As this was my first Sabbat I went through a lot of new candles. None of them burned all the way and I wondered what the thoughts are about reusing them. I understand that the gold one that I anointed and carved into is probably not to be used again…but what can you do with them?
I had the same question when I first joined. @francisco told me that you can reuse the ones for ex: that ones you use on your altar, like the ones you light to the elements. I re-light them until they have finished. If it’s a spell work-candle like you mentioned, you don’t. Unless it’s a 7 day candle. I believe this is correct…
The only spell work candle I reuse is a soy 32 hour candle. No way I am tossing that after one use.
The others I burn down in a separate container if I don’t use them completely on the altar. What you do is really up to you. It is more about intention than anything. What will be your rituals? What will be your traditions? That is between you and your deities or you and your own conscience if you don’t worship anything divine.
Lol… yes that would be on expensive candle after one use. Personally, i use votive or tea lights candle. If I can’t find certain colors i just use white. For Mabon, i used reds, orange and greens to fit the season. I have a red one i keep relighting for Brigid- will use until it’s done.
Great question, @Berta!
If you have to leave the area, it can be dangerous to let candles continue to burn unattendeded- the most important thing is staying safe! Of course, this leads to plenty of half-finished candles. @Walter summed it up very well- candles for general purposes, your altar, decoration, etc. can most definitely be re-lit and re-used without worry
Candles used for spells meant to absorb or draw negative energy should likely not be reused, as they take on the negative things you were removing/drawing away from you. For candles used for these purposes, consider disposing of them in a safe way if you can’t let them burn all the way out.
For candles used for other types of benevolent spellwork, I personally believe it comes down to your intuition about whether to re-use them or not. @Praecog29 makes a great point about your intention- how you feel about reusing/disposing of your materials really is the most important part! Go with your instinct and what feels right to you.
Great question and good luck, Berta!
Have you tried chime candles? They burn down in about two hours. So you can use your regular ones for decoration and for altars and for the spell you can use the chime and let it burn down to release the spell.
For individual spells I like to use tealights and let them burn all the way (unless it’s an ongoing spell in which case I might use a bigger candle). If you find that you have a bunch of half used ‘extra candles’ knocking about I like to cleanse them (sage/Palo santo/incense) melt them down in a pot over a pan of boiling water and make new spell candles! We’re about to go into lockdown again and I’ve been saving wax so I’ll post some pics when I make my next batch
I have both Kasie. Chime candle for spells and votives for the altar and watchtowers. The votives take about 8-10 hours to burn.
I reuse altar candles, but not a candle that is attached to the spell or anointed/carved into. I will save those ones or let them burn to completion.
I’m glad for all the great answers you received here, Berta!
I agree that tealight or chime candles are the most practical ones because they burn fast. If you’ve carved it or anointed it with a specific purpose, don’t reuse that candle just burn it all the way.
I like to keep a candle burning next to me as I work, read, or relax. I have a cauldron for that!
Tealights burn safely and I can choose the aroma by pouring an essential oil on top.
I like your cauldron candle holder, Francisco! Having the flame protected was part of my issue and why I ended up snuffing them out rather than letting them burn…I was working outside and there was a breeze giving me a bit of a challenge to keep the chime candle going… and even though I had swept the area - fall leaves don’t play by any rules. So live and learn. I am sitting here with my chime candle burning next to me… It feels like a spell completed letting it burn down.
Of the MANY things I like about your approach to working is the generous gray area and the default to intention. Part of my MANY personal flaws is a need for perfection and this is freeing me from my usual mental ‘rules’ and let the process flow like art.
It is hard to express how much of a blessing that is for me.
How I’ve come to see it intuitively is that it’s not really the candle, but the fire that gets imbued with the intent and magical properties… the properties of the candle like its color and oil can give it a starting point so that it would require less work to start with a candle with the matching correspondences! Once the flame goes out so does the energy stored in it, escaping in the form of smoke… unless intentionally directed to go elsewhere, preferably in a way that doesn’t give out smoke! Just think about Olympic torches or other sacred fires lit from a single source…
(Just my method though, what works for you works for you! )
Kista That is totally understandable… I love that perspective. and it makes sense. Thanks for sharing your explanation.
Thanks! The emphasis on intention is there because a big part of any spell is setting your intentions clearly and specifically.
Keeping the intention in mind is also a way to help guide and structure other parts of the ritual. Intention helps you choose the plants, minerals, and tools for the work. But it’s important no to forget the inherent power and spirits in the natural ingredients.
It also depends on your personal style. If you have more “animistic” views then your magic could rely on the relationships with these natural spirits and asking their powers to work on behalf of you. If you’re more into eclectic magic, then intent and visualization will be more important.
Everyone here already has some really great advice on whether or not to re-use candles, how to go about doing it, and what to do if you can’t. I personally enjoy creating new candles from old used up ones, but I wouldn’t necessarily create a new candle out of one that was used for specific kinds of work.
Sounds like you’ve got a good mix then, and can use the altar and watchtower ones over again.
I like this explanation a lot. I came here looking for answers as I am doing my lessons here, I noticed a quote “ALWAYS, use a new UNBURNED candle…” and I have never. Few spells I do require me to burn the candle to the end but when I do my daily devotionals and daily moon magic rituals, I do re-use the candles. I have, in my mind, adapted the same understanding as you have mentioned [with few exceptions, as it was brought up above that I have used the candle for the specific reason (it is carved with intention etc), then, of course, I would not reuse it]
I get… almost scared. when I find these so definitive rules as “never reuse a candle” (without really explaining why). Makes me feel at times as I am doing things wrong which can be so conflicting to one’s mind and confidence. You have brought some peace to my mind in showing there are like-minded feelings.
I apologise for a long and seemingly unrelated post, but you have brought a lot of calm to me.
THANK YOU for this insight… it is exactly why I wrote my question. I felt I was getting mixed messages as you bought up…the very firm “ALWAYS, use a new UNBURNED candle…” followed by a discussion on whether to blow a candle out or snuff it. ??? which left me to wonder about all those poor half burned candle bodies cluttering my dresser.
Like wise…I want to get it right. I hope that some of the above answers put your heart at ease as they did mine… I love the wonderful Common Sense that was revealed. Hope it helped.
I’m happy to hear that I could do that
This is pretty much the practical reason leading me to adopt my way of thinking… I’m not sure of the different materials but the candles I’m used to burn for hours (yes, even the tealights!)
I like this idea very much too! Not a skill I’ve picked up yet though, maybe once I do I’ll start doing things differently, but right now I’m happy with what works for me now
This is my biggest pet peeve about witches online that share their information. For example, I could say Never reuse a candle, because in my practice the candle is already charged with a purpose and that can’t be changed. That gives you an explanation of why and a way to relate to the practice if it resonates with you. When people say that things are very strict, i.e. speak in absolutes when it comes to witchcraft but don’t give an explanation, I tend to brush it off and ignore it. If they can’t be bothered to explain what they’re saying then they don’t get my attention.