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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: candle magic

DEFINITIONS

Candle Magic: “The use of candles in magic dates back many centuries, but the specific system of magic in which colored, anointed candles are the primary tools is a relatively recent innovation, developed in the nineteenth century out of Catholic devotional practices using candles of various kinds. The southern United States, with its rich heritage of hoodoo magic and African tradition, seems to be the homeland of candle magic, with New Orleans probably the original place of invention.

“The basic practices of candle magic involve a detailed color symbolism in which red candles represent sexual desire, green stand for money, white for spirituality and healing, black for cursing and banishing, and so forth. Candles used in magic are “dressed” or anointed with specific oils, which are typically rubbed onto the candle from the middle out to both ends. A candle magic working may simply involve lighting one or more candles and reciting a charm while it burns; it may also involve rearranging candles on an altar to represent the rearrangement in the world that the working is intended to bring about.

“Originally, candle magic was mostly practiced among Southern folk magicians of various kinds, but in recent decades it has spread far more widely. Many Witches and Pagans in the current Pagan revival movements make use of it, as do a great many occultists who simply picked up a book on the subject and found it to their liking.”
source: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, by John Michael Greer


ARTICLES

Magic of the Golden Dawn
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Review of Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn
Summary: Although it doesn’t live up to its name as the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn, the brilliance of the art and the deck’s adherence to the concepts of the Golden Dawn make this the ultimate deck for doing readings according to the ...
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Is Enochian Magick for You?
Enochian Magick is but one of many paths to spiritual enlightenment. Because each path is different and has its own unique problems of ascension, each individual must seek the most appropriate path for him or herself. This can only be done by taking ...
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What is a rune?
The runes are a set of symbols that concisely embody the most potent magical system of the ancient world. Because rune magic was rarely described in written records, persecution by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages succeeded in obliterating ...
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Herbal Codes — Or, You Don't Need to Kill a Black Cat
Many grimoires and books of magic use animals and their parts as codes for herbs and other materials. Here are a number of them, some from the Greek Magical Papyri (see PGM XII:401-44), a work composed between 200BC and 500AD. Others come from Galen ...
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Review of The Robin Wood Tarot
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
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The Robin Wood Tarot—A Review
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
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Fundamental Laws of Enochian Magick
The three fundamental Laws of Enochian Magick are stated in H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. These Laws pertain to everything in the universe, from subatomic particles to galaxies: 1. The Law of Duality states that an om-nipresent, eternal, ...
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Amulet
A magical device for general protection and good fortune. An amulet differs from a talisman in that talismans are made and ritually consecrated for specific tightly focused purposes, while amulets are more general, and are often not formally ...
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What Is Rune Meditation?
Before the runes can be effective for works of magic or divination, they must be understood on the intuitive level and made to come alive in the unconscious. This will occur over time simply by using them, but the process can be encouraged through ...
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Basic Instruments of Ritual
The basic framework of Western magic is made up of a few surprisingly simple instruments that function on the astral plane (another way of saying in the imagination). Usually they have their material correspondents. As the physical instrument is ...
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