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

Items Needed:

1 Pillar candle of your choice of color
1 Knife
1 Nail
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.)


  1. I read something amazing a few months ago. A gentleman named Professor Wuzong Zhou began research into what a candle flame is composed of, and he has discovered some remarkable properties. He discovered that every second a candle flame burns, 1.5 million diamond nanoparticles are created, which are instantly burned away by the flame. What is even more awe inspiring is that he discovered that within the center of the flame, all 4 known types are carbon are created. Dr. Zhou said of this, "This was a surprise because each form is usually created under different conditions." He also found that the candle flame creates something called Fullerene particles (which might actually be the diamond nanoparticles...I am not an organic chemist so I'm not sure) which are created entirely of carbon.

    Now, of course, he was not researching the spiritual properties of candle flame. But these discoveries begin to answer for those of us who do burn candles for spiritual reason, I believe, exactly why candles work so darn well. Most magical work is done to manifest something into a world that is built of carbon chains and the candles that we burn after having prayed over them produces all 4 types of carbon, and releases 1.5 million diamond nanoparticles every second that it burns. Other research has discovered that diamond nanoparticles are the building blocks for molecular life and that they are able to function as semiconductors of electrical energy. What a fabulous spiritual tool a candle is!

    So, no. I don't think that there is a substitute for candle flame. Are there other ways to do the work that don't involve candles? Of course. The candle is just a tool, like a hammer is a tool for building a house. Could you build a house without a hammer? Sure you could, but it would take a lot more effort. I do not believe that a substitute for actual flame exists because the flame itself is the conduit for the work. The wax is just the fuel, which we can imprint with our prayers. If we want to do spiritual work and we can't use a candle, then we must use other tools available to us and be ready to put a lot more energy in to getting the work done.

    There are also other ways to achieve a flame than by using candles, which may help some people, depending on why they can't (or won't) use candles. Oil lamps, bonfires, burning candles outside in an area protected from wind and rain. Some people may be on oxygen, and just can't be around fire of any type though.

    For some people, if they can't burn candles or any kind of oil lamp, or create a bonfire outside, and they are unable to figure out what other methods they can use to get the work done (through herbs, waters, etc.) then maybe that is a sign for them. Conjure isn't for everyone, and if they can't do the work due to physical limitations then maybe they should find a spiritual modality that they can work within.

    1. Thank Jennifer. I totally forgot about people on oxygen.

  2. Hi Doc,

    I live in a building where burning candles is a violation of my terms of lease officially. Even if I say I'm burning candles for religious reasons, the management could petition to have me and my family evicted. We live in no-fault state when it comes to evictions.
    The good news I suppose is that I mentioned religious reasons up front and was given a pass. The management and owners are concerned with smoke residue, and judges by the flier notices they've handed out to the apartment community, they are far more concerned with tobacco and incense smoke, which is another violation of the terms of lease.
    And this is not the only building in the city where I live with these rules.


    1. When I was a smoker I lived in a building that banned smoking in the apartments. I still did. Most people still did. Of course I no longer smoke so it's not an issue. The point is there are ways to get around it. As long as you don't go crazy and use your brain you should be fine. The same thing goes with incense. I might give some pointers on incense next.

  3. I'm trying this method using LED flickering tea lights. Now with Halloween coming you can find a variety of colors out to help you focus your prayers and intentions. Dollar Tree has packs of two for $1. They have black, orange, green, blue and red. Michaels has Purple, Orange and Black right now for Halloween. Michaels also has Halloween stuff where you can find glass skull bottles you could easily use for intense bottle spells. They also have very nice skull candle holders to burn votive candles in to really get into someone's head. Definitely check those two stores now for Halloween items for hoodoo!

  4. I've been using this method for over two weeks with great results. Since now is the Halloween time sales at stores between Dollar Tree, Five Below, and Michaels craft store I found red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and black tea light LED candles and votive LED candles very cheap. Excellent time to start getting all the colors you would need for on the cheap. This method has helped me focus more prayer towards my petitions and keeps the electric flame going all night while all human minds are weak and I can leave them going with no fear of a real flame. I feel this method is a bit "new age" to the idea that spirits will be attracted to electricity and prayers over an electric LED flame. I just use the LED candles as I would use a real one. Herbs around the LED candle and the LED sits right on the petition. I know some will not agree. But thus far, it's working.