Monday, November 18, 2013
LED or Flameless Candles
I get asked rather frequently about what a person can do if they can't burn candles at their home. This is a tough question for me to answer, mainly because I don't want to reward laziness or give credence to crackpots who just want my permission (as if they need it) to do what they want to do.
As far as I'm concerned there's nothing better than a real flame. I love real flames and I think they are beautiful and highly magical. There's nothing like the flame of a real candle or lamp. Aesthetically, it's just perfection. However, there are some people who just can't burn candles due to their living condition. Or so they claim.
What type of living condition prevents someone from burning candles? Well, I've heard it all. The excuses that are acceptable are;
1. moved home with mom & dad or relative who would not approve of it
2. living in a group home/prison/half-way house where burning candles are not allowed.
3. I'm gone for most of the day and I'm afraid I would burn the house down if I left candles burning.
The excuses that are not acceptable (just a few listed here)
1. I just don't like real candles.
2. Real candles are too expensive.
3. I'm allergic to candles/burning. (Note: this is somewhat debatable. When someone tells me they can't burn candles because they are allergic to them I ask them what perfume/cologne they wear. If they respond with admitting they wear any type of perfume or cologne they are lying. If some one's allergies are so bad they can't have burning candles then just a whiff of perfume would send them into a fit. So this is a way to tell if they are lying or not.)
As far as I'm concerned, if a person just doesn't like candles/lamps or they think they are just too expensive or they lie about being allergic, then they really shouldn't be doing any conjure work at all. It's not for them. These are the types of people that don't want to get their hands dirty and that's not what conjure work is about. Conjure work is about doing what needs to be done to get the job done. Using a flameless candle is a form of substitution. It can be done but it needs to fit the circumstances. If there's nothing preventing you from burning a real candle or lamp then burn a real candle or lamp.
I will also touch on the fear of burning down the house. Normally a person will say that due to their work or other things, that they will be gone from the home for long periods of time and are afraid they will burn the house down if they use real candles. Well, I totally understand this fear. I would add that there are ways for one to minimize the risk by burning candles in the bathtub, but burning candles in the sink, or by burning candles in a metal bucket or tub that is placed on the floor. Make sure nothing is hanging above it that could fall and catch fire. Make sure there are no pets around who could mess with it. This method will prove effective if the candle should blow up. It's rare, but every now and then a 7 day glass candle will crack or explode. Sometimes it just cracks and melted wax will leak out. Sometimes it will blow up. If the candle is in the bathtub, sink, or a metal bucket/tub, then it will be fine and will not cause a fire. However, if this method is still far too risky for you then you can use a flameless candle.
Now that I have gotten all of this out of the way I can say that flameless candles can be just as effective as real candles. However, not all flameless candles are as aesthetically pleasing. Some are simply not attractive. I would recommend the flameless candles that have a real wax base and not the plastic models. Additionally I would recommend the flameless candles have an LED or multiple LEDs that simulate the flickering light of a candle rather than having just a steady light. The steady light ones look too much like night lights.
If you purchase a real-wax flameless candle you can then carve and mark the candle. If you purchase a plastic model you will need to mark it with markers. The candle then can be prayed over and dressed with oil. If you are using your flameless candle for a saint or spirit, you can glue a prayer card to the candle or print out an image and glue it to the candle. You can also use lace, glitter, and even sequins to decorate your candle, if you so chose.
The only thing I would caution against is reusing your flameless candle for multiple things. Technically, you could cleanse your flameless candle with Florida water and dry it and reuse it. However, you would need to erase any carving you made prior and then carve or mark it for your new work. Personally, I wouldn't do that. If I was using a flameless candle for say money-drawing, then I would reuse it over and over for money drawing. I wouldn't change it up and use anything else. If I no longer needed it anymore I would take it apart and throw away or recycle the parts that are not degradable and then bury the rest or take it to the crossroads.
Now, the most important thing to remember about using flameless candles is that you MUST view them and work them like real candles. So if you use one on your altar for say love-work, then you work that candle just like it was a real candle. When you pass that candle your gaze should be attracted to it. When you work that candle you better pour all your attention and concentration into it. Don't ever, ever get so lazy and content in knowing that it's battery-powered that you just forget about or that it loses the power that it should hold for you. If you get to the point where you forget about it for days the it's a good sign that you are not mature enough to be working with flameless candles and need to go back to the real deal.
When it comes to teaching children how to work with candles in magic, I strongly recommend flameless candles for them. They can safely learn to use flameless candles and when you feel they are old enough and mature enough to use real candles you can help them transition.
Finally, I will end on how you can make your own LED/flameless candles.
How To Make Your Own Flameless Candles
1 Pillar candle of your choice of color
1 Pack of flickering LED candles (The kind that looks like tea light candles. Walmart and Target sell them. Make sure to get the kind that flickers and not the steady light ones.)
Open the pack of LED candles and take one out. Take your candle and cut off the wick. Place your LED candle onto the top of the pillar candle. Use the nail to trace a circle using the LED candle as the template. Lay the LED candle aside and use the knife to carve out a circular hole. If needed, the knife can be heated to help it pass through the wax more easily. Place the LED candle in the hole to check that you have the correct depth. When you achieve a depth you like stop there. Take out the candle, turn it on, and then drop it back down. Voila! You just made your own flameless candle! (Note: These LED candles are disposable. When the battery goes out just throw it away and replace with another one in the pack.)