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Gel Candles and Magick

When a witch gathers materials for crafting a spell, she looks for items that are as close to their natural state as possible. The more the item has been changed, the farther from nature. For examples: a rough stone is closer to nature than a polished or shaped stone, a handcrafted box from wood is closer than a pressboard or ceramic one. That is not to say that the items that have been enhanced cannot be used. They can be and are used very often, with much success. The point is that items that are closer to their natural state have more energy and thus add more energy to the spell.

So it would follow that the candles one uses during a spell should be as close to nature as possible. Beeswax is the closest to nature but can sometimes be too expensive to be practical. Many witches use paraffin candles. If a witch has used paraffin candles, she cannot say she would never use gel candles because they are less pure. The composition of paraffin candles and gel candles are very similar.

Paraffin is a by-product of petroleum. Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum. Mineral oil is sometimes called "liquid paraffin". Gel candles are made from 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin. Paraffin wax is made from mostly paraffin but contain additives so the wax can hold the dye and scent (source: http://www.cajuncandles.com/paraffin-wax.html, which doesn't name the exact additives). Both paraffin and mineral oil are considered generally safe. Paraffin is added to chocolate and has other food-related uses. Mineral oil is used to season cutting boards and internally as a laxative.

What about soy candles? I wish we had the marketing team that soy candles have. Soy candle makers like to say their wax is superior, but if you actually do a little research, you will find this is untrue. In my research about the different waxes, I found that:

  • All waxes are primarily hydrocarbons, whether of animal, vegetable, or petroleum origin. The chemical composition of all candlemaking waxes is similar, and all candle waxes burn in the same manner.
  • No specific type of wax or wax blend is considered "best" for candlemaking. All waxes - when provided in high-quality format - have been shown to burn cleanly, safely and in the same manner.
  • No candle wax has ever been shown to be toxic or harmful to human health. (the harm seems to come from some dyes and chemical fragrance oils, which are often used in soy candles)
  • There is no such thing as a soot-free wax. All organic compounds when burned will emit some carbon (soot) due to incomplete combustion. Sooting is primarily a factor of wick length and flame disturbance.
  • Reputable candle manufacturers use only high-quality waxes in their formulations. (I use Calumet/Penreco Gel in our candles, they make 99% of all gel wax available)
  • Source of list: National Candle Association

So if you have used paraffin candles in your magickal workings, there is no reason to not try a gel candle. Gel candles are just as safe to use as paraffin, read Truth About Gel Candles for more information about burning candles safely. The only real difference is that gel candles should not be burned for more than 2 hours at a time. This makes them ideal for multiple day spells or spells that get repeated. Holiday candles can be burned the night before and after along with using them during your ritual. Gel candles do not work very well if your candle magick spell calls for letting the candle burn down completely in one night. Then you can either change the spell or use a votive.

How We Make Gel Candles for Magick

To be honest, when we first started making magickal candles, we thought of using paraffin. They really are more cost effective: no containers needed, once you purchase a mold it can be used time after time, paraffin wax is cheaper. And people were used to using them. But my business marketing mantra is "why create something that already has tons of competition?" Try a search of magickal candles, there are thousands of paraffin candles available. But we are the only ones making magickal gel candles, or at least we were the first.

Since the wax is not the closest to nature, the additions are. We only use essential oils to scent our candles. This is great for magick but hard sometimes to create the best scent. For example, when we created our Autumn Equinox candle we really wanted to make it apple scented, or at least have apple in it. But there is no apple essential oil. For our Lughnasadh candle, which we created to look like harvest wine, we wanted something fruity but again, no berry essential oils. We often look to the associations of an oil for our scents rather than matching the look or traditional smells associated with the purpose.

Every candle contains a stone or crystal that relates to the energies of the candle. This helps further align the candle with the natural forces needed for successful spell casting. The stones are cleansed and then empowered with the candles. Once the candle is burned down, the stones can be used in any way you see fit to finish the spell, or you can cleanse them and empower them with your own purpose.

The glitter......well....that really isn't natural. We often use glitter to color the candle instead of dyes, altho some like our World Peace or Midsummer candles do contain dyes. Think how boring a gel candle would be without color or glitter. The flames would reflect any bubbles and add a nice touch but still..... We stand behind our decision to use glitter because it really enhances the look of the gel candles. It adds a touch of movie-fantasy magic, making the candle really sparkle when lit. To some this may aid the mind shift from the mundane world to the spiritual world in which magick is performed. It adds a festive touch to rituals when our Wheel of the Year candles are used.

To some candles we add other symbols like the cat charm in our Bast candle and the moon in our Night Magick candle. Those items are made of metals which are natural substances. To our Wheel of the Year candles we added stickers and ribbon to the outside. When possible we used natural ribbons but some are polyester. These were added to enhance the look of the candles and to help with the visualization of the energies.

On the night that we make the candles, we gather all ingredients together and ask Brigit to bless them and our workings that night. We asked Brigit to help us with this business when we first started. She is a goddess of the flames and of creativity. She is associated with candle making. You do not have to follow Brigit to use our candles, She is the patroness goddess of our business but not of each individual candle.

Once made, all candles are empowered with the corresponding energies in a circle. The empowering spell we use has a specific form with some lines being changed to match the candle. Since the spells have the same rhythm and certain parts we each speak separately and others together, we are able to concentrate more on the words and energies rather than when to speak or make a motion. During the empowering, we direct the candle to release the energies when invoked by the spell written on the card accompanying each candle sold. We only empower the candles during the circle, we do not combine other spells or rituals with this task. Once the circle is released, the candles stay on the altar undisturbed overnight. In the morning a piece of plastic wrap is placed over the container to keep the energies and scent in, and all other energies out.

We have had great response to our magickal gel candles. We have used them ourselves during our rituals and spells with great success. We would welcome any comments by those who purchase our candles, especially with permission to print quotes.

I hope this page has cleared up any misconception that gel candles are any less safe or less magickal than any other candles. I hope you will choose to try one of our candles and respect your choice if you don't. Blessed be, ~~ Laura (Rhiannon Rose)

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