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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: candle magic


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


Readers familiar with the writings of Aleister Crowley will recognize the somewhat unusual spelling of the word "MAGICK." Crowley did this to distinguish Occult "Magick" from the "magic" of legerdemain, and also to separate the new Occult Magick ...
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Enochian Magick Techniques
The two main techniques used in Enochian Magick are skrying and travel in the Body of Light, which is also called travel in the Spirit Vision. However, before these are to be used in a magickal operation, one must first draw a magic circle in which ...
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Introduction to Ceremonial Magick
Ceremonial Magick is one of the most complicated systems of spiritual attainment in the world. It is a mixture of Jewish, Christian and ancient Egyptian philosophy mixed with ancient Indian and Chaldean ideas spiced with a hint of earlier Paganism. ...
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Review of the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot
Summary: A brilliant deck that is ideal for practitioners of ceremonial magick and for those following the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Will also interest those researching the link between earlier traditional Tarot decks and the ...
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Group vs. Solitary Ritual and the Source of Magickal Power
Many if not most rituals in books were written for group performance, yet, most "seekers" today do not belong to a group and modern Americans more often prefer to be Solitaries. Before offering suggestions on how to convert a group ritual to the ...
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Principles of Ceremonial
Magical ceremonial can be built up and elaborated to forms of great subtlety and complexity, but the initial principles which cause its creation are simple in the extreme. In the first place, ceremonial is a different thing from meditation, and it ...
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What Is Involved in Ritual Magic
By now you may be impatiently asking yourself what ritual magic is, and how to perform it. I want to point out before beginning that it is impossible to fully describe such an extensive subject in this small essay. That is why so many excellent ...
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(Arabic tilsam, from Greek tetelesmenon, "that which has been consecrated") In magical lore, an object charged or consecrated with magical energies for the fulfillment of some specific purpose. Talismanic magic has had an important place in Western ...
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The History of the Golden Dawn
The story of the Golden Dawn, like that of any human organization, is replete with high points and low points—with human achievements and human failings. There is no need for us to try to whitewash or sugarcoat the faults of some of the individuals ...
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History of Enochian Magick
Enochian Magick was first presented to the public in modern times by Sir John Dee, the court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth of England. Dee was born in England in 1527, and was a magician as well as an astrologer. Working with Edward Kelly (sometimes ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
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