HALLOWEEN CANDLE MAGICK
In olden times when Halloween night drew nigh and the season of the witch made its presence strongly felt, many people throughout Europe burned special candles in their windows to light the way for, and welcome back, the returning spirits of deceased ancestors. Halloween candles were also employed as amulets to scare away any unfriendly ghosts that might be wandering about in the night in search of dwellings to haunt.
In the present day, the Halloween custom of candle burning lives on in many parts of the world, including the United States. Candles molded into the shapes of witches, grinning pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, skulls, black cats, bats, owls, and other Halloween symbols can be found in most stores and are bought by the average person as nothing more than a holiday decoration. However, there is far more to Halloween candles than just their decorative function.
Candles that are fashioned in the stereotypical image of a witch (with black cloak and pointed hat) are displayed on the shelves of many stores around Halloween time. Some are cute and whimsical, while others are intended to look wicked and haglike.
Some modern witches are greatly insulted by such an irreverent and unflattering depiction of witches. They feel it portrays them in an unfavorable fashion, is degrading to those in the Craft, and is greatly detrimental to the progress that many witches’ liberation activists have achieved in combating the numerous negative stereotypes and misconceptions that have long been associated with witches.
On the other hand, many witches take little or no offense to the pointed-hat-wearing witch symbol. Instead, they find it to be humorous or charming. Some witches even embrace it proudly as a kind of mascot, pointing out that the cone-shaped witches’ hat is an obvious phallic symbol, which identifies witchcraft’s ancient roots as a European fertility religion. The hat is also a symbol of what is known as the cone of power (the raising of magickal energy). Either way, the image of a witch is a highly powerful symbol and one that is extremely magickal.
Use white witch-shaped candles in spells and rituals that involve healing, divination, wisdom (witchcraft is not called the “Craft of the Wise” for nothing), transformation, and the strengthening of clairvoyant or magickal abilities. They are also ideal as altar candles for initiation and self-dedication rites, as well as for meditational work. Black witch-shaped candles work especially well in uncrossing rituals and banishing negativity.
Jack-o’-lantern- or pumpkin-shaped candles are appropriate for use in spells and rituals designed for protection against malevolent supernatural forces, negativity, enemies, destructive energies, and all manners of evil.
The image of a pumpkin naturally invokes the special magick of the autumn season, and in many circles it is a symbol of transition. Pumpkin candles are generally orange—a color which, in the art and practice of candle magick, increases the powers of concentration and feelings of courage.
Use any of the following anointment oils to increase a jack-o’-lantern- or pumpkin-shaped candle’s protective powers: cypress (ruled by the planet Saturn and the element of Earth), frankincense (ruled by the Sun and the element of Fire), geranium (ruled by the planet Venus and the element of Water), hazelnut (ruled by the Sun and the element of Air), myrrh (ruled by the Moon and the element of Water), olive (ruled by the Sun and the element of Fire), patchouli (ruled by the planet Saturn and the element of Earth), rosemary (ruled by the Sun and the element of Fire), or vervain (ruled by the planet Venus and the element of Earth).
Ghost-, skeleton-, and skull-shaped candles, with their obvious theme of death, are used by many witches on Halloween in rituals designed to bless and/or welcome back the spirits of the dead. They are also used in séances and spirit channelings, and some people use them to illuminate their Ouija boards as they attempt to communicate with the world beyond.
Many modern-day necromancers (persons who practice the ancient occult method of divining the future through communication with the spirits of men, women, or children who have passed over to the other side) often used skullshaped candles in the rituals to call forth the dead. In earlier times, candles affixed to the top of actual human skulls were utilized for this purpose.
The skull was, at one time, said to be the “seat of the soul.” It was believed by many to possess potent magickal qualities, and it was viewed by most practitioners of the magickal arts as a focus of supernatural power. Its image in candle form is by no means deficient of magickal strength.
The essential oil of anise (ruled by the planet Jupiter and the element of Air) is traditionally used for anointing candles used in spells and rituals to conjure spirits. Orris oil (ruled by the planet Venus and the element of Water) has long been reputed to offer protection against evil spirits, while occult folklore holds that lavender oil (ruled by the planet Mercury and the element of Air), when it is used in the correct magickal manner, can bestow upon a human being the rare power to see ghosts.
Many witches, especially those who are cat-lovers or who have a cat-familiar, use candles in the shape of black cats in spells designed to end streaks of bad luck, strengthen one’s night vision, awaken or increase the powers of clairvoyance, restore balance, banish negative energies, and break the power of curses and hexes. Additionally, black cat candles are appropriate as altar candles for rituals that invoke and/or pay homage to the ancient Egyptian cat Goddess Bastet.
Another popular candle found around Halloween is the bat. This mysterious creature of the night has been linked with witchcraft and the darker side of superstition since the earliest of times. In the Middle Ages it was said that witches used bats’ blood as an ingredient in flying ointments, love potions, and spells to gain the power to see in the dark. It was also believed that witches possessed the ability to shapeshift into bats by means of special charms and incantations. In bat form they could easily gain entry into people’s houses, cause untold mischief, and then disappear quickly and unscathed into the darkness of the night.
Most witches have always considered the bat to be a creature of good luck, even though it is regarded as an unlucky omen in a vast number of folkloric beliefs. Candles that resemble bats are highly effective tools of magick when used in spells and rituals designed to conjure forth good fortune, banish feelings of depression, strengthen one’s night vision, and promote longevity.
A candle in the shape of an owl—another popular symbol of Halloween—is perfect for spells and rituals that are performed to gain wisdom. To make it an even more potent tool of magick, anoint the candle with seven drops of olive oil (ruled by the Sun and the element of Fire, and sacred to the Goddess Athena) or sunflower oil (also ruled by the Sun and the element of Fire).
Witch’s Halloween: A Complete Guide to the Magick, Incantations, Recipes, Spells, and Lore