The Allure of Candles

CandlesThe National Candle Association states that candles are used in seven out of ten U.S. households and that the majority of candle users use their candle within a week of purchase. Nine out of ten candle users say they use candles to make a room feel comfortable or cozy. More than 1 billion ponds of wax is used in producing the candles sold in the United States each year.

We currently find ourselves at the half-way point between the longest night of the year and the equinox when the day’s length finally catches up with the night’s. During this time of year, Pagans often look to power of the candle to assist them. Just as the candle was necessary for the ancients to light their way literally, we can use the candle symbolically today to help provide us light and direction. Just as the nights are still dark and long and we look forward to the warmth and light of Summer, we can look to the candle to help us overcome uncertainty, doubt, and the unknown and achieve enlightenment, happiness and
success.

Most of us performed our first act of candle magic as small children when we blew out the tiny candles on our first birthday cake. This custom is based on the three magical principals: concentration, willpower and visualization. In simple terms, the child who wants his wish to come true has to concentrate (blow out the candles), visualize the end result (make a wish) and hope that it will come true (will power).

One of the ways candles are used this time of year is to help us connect to the Wheel of the Year . Just as the Wheel reminds us that the sky will soon be filled with the returning Sun and its light and warmth, we use this time to reflect on our own lives as we are given another opportunity to recapture our life purpose. This is a great time to reignite our motivation and rekindle the excitement of our desires.

Those in the past who celebrated this day by honoring Brigit did so by the kindling of sacred fires, since she symbolized the fire of birth and healing, the fire of the forge, and the fire of poetic inspiration. Bonfires were lighted on the beacon tors, and chandlers celebrated their special holiday.

Some use this season to make new candles and imbue them with intent for the upcoming year. Sometimes the remnants of the old candles are used so as to capture the good intents of the previous year. Covens often choose this time of year to bless the candles that they will use for the upcoming year.

With the creation of the electric light, the “need” for candles has all been but eliminated yet we find that they are still very much part of most people’s lives. As you watch the candle’s dancing flame, smell its wondrous scents, or wonder at its intricate shape, the candle can help you travel to a better place. Consider using this season to connect to the power of candles to help improve your life.

 

About Sam Shryock

I am a resident of Kansas City metro area and have practiced Pagan Spirituality since 2007. I am a third-degree Wiccan with the Correllian-Nativist tradition, the local coordinator for Kansas City Pagan Pride Day, and the host of the monthly Kansas Coffee Coven. I currently work full-time in the Computer Industry. I am a retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel and have a Masters Degree in Computer Resource and Information Management. Most importantly I am a proud husband, father, and grandfather.
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