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Early candles were made of vegetable waxes produced from plants such as bayberries, candelilla leaves, candletree bark, esparto grass, and various varieties of palm leaves such as carnuba and ouricury. They were also made of animal tissue and secretions, such as spermaceti (whale oil), ambergris, and beeswax (insect secretions). Sometimes entire animals such as the stormy petrel and the candlefish of the Pacific Northwest were threaded with a wick and burned as candles. Tallow candles were made of sheep, cow, or pig fat. All these candles were rather crude, time-consuming to make and smoky.
Of the two kinds of candle fuel, beeswax was considered the better since it burned cleaner than tallow and had a lovely odor compared to tallow's rancid, smoky smell. Being scarce, beeswax was expensive. Only churches and the wealthy could afford beeswax candles.
By the 17th century, European state edicts controlled the weight, size and cost of candles. In 1709, an act of the English Parliament banned the making of candles at home unless a license was purchased and a tax paid.
Matches were invented in 1827, using poisonous phosphorus but were improved by the end of the century, eliminating the need for sparking with flint, steel, and tinder, or for keeping a fire burning 24 hours a day.
Probably most important of all, Paraffin was refined from oil around 1850, making petroleum based candles possible. The combination of paraffin, which burns clean and without odor, and stearins, which harden soft paraffin, with new wick technologies developed in the nineteenth century, revolutionized the candle industry, giving us the tools and materials we still use for candle manufacturing.
Container: Any candle that is poured into a container and intended to be burned in the container is a container candle. These candles are often made of soft wax and would not be able to stand on their own outside their enclosures.
The container also prevents soft wax from dripping. Since these candles are safely contained in a vessel, they are often used in restaurants and in religious rituals that require long-burning candles.
Pillar: A thick candle with a geometrical cross section such as a circle, oval, or hexagon is called a pillar. It is usually referred to by its diameter followed by its height. For example, a 3-by 6-inch pillar would be 3 inches in diameter and 6 inches high. Some pillars come in standard sized for commercial and religious use but you can make many variations of pillars by using molds.
Novelty: These are irregularly shaped candles made by molding, sculpting and/or pouring.
Taper: These are the long cylindrical candles that kindle memories of historic candle-dipping. Tapers can be made by dipping wicks into melted wax, by pouring wax into a mold, and by rolling wax around a wick. No matter the method, the result is always candles made to fit into a holder.
Tapers are generally made 1/2 inch or 7/8 inch in diameter at the base because most holders are designed to fit these two sizes. There are, of course, exceptions, such as birthday candles (3/16 inch) and Danish tapers (1/4 inch). Some specialty candleholders are designed to hold a taper larger than 7/8 inch.
Votive and Tea Lights: Although these candles originated in the church, the term now refers to small plug-type candles that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter by 2 to 3 inches high. This shape has become popular for scented candles because their small size allows them to fit easily into small rooms, such as bathrooms.
As votives melt and become liquid in their containers, the wick uses up all the liquid fuel. If you burn a votive on a plate, the burn time will be shorter because the wax will drip and the wick will be unable to use it.
Tea lights are small votives used to warm pots of potpourri and to heat foods. They fit in smaller-than-standard votive cups.
WHITE: --Self; Protection; Purification; Full Moon Magic; Purity; Innocence; Centering; Truth; Sincerity; Meditation; Peace; Power of a Higher Nature; Greater Attainments in Life; Spirituality.
RED: -- South; Protection; Strength; Blood; Passion; Courage; Health; Power; Fire Elemental; Sexuality; Vigor; Energy; Enthusiasm; Will Power; To conquer fear or laziness.
LT. BLUE: --Healing; Patience; Happiness; Psychic Awareness; Quests; Intuition; Opportunity; Tranquillity; Understanding. Ward Depression; Safe Journey; Harmony in the Home; Peace.
DARK BLUE: --The Goddess; West; Water Elemental; Inspiration; Truth; Dreams; Protection; Change; Impulse; Fidelity; Deep Emotion; Peace; Meditation; Changeability; Psychism.
GREEN: --North; Money; Fertility; Growth; Employment; Earth Elemental; Herb Magic; Luck; Healing; Balance; Prosperity; Courage; Nature type Faerie-magic; Garden blessing; Abundance; Generosity; Renewal; Marriage.
YELLOW: --East; Air Elemental; Intellect; Creative Work; Learning; Changes; Confidence; Attraction; Harmony; Clairvoyance; Charm; Imagination; Power of the Mind; Gentle persuasion; Action.
BROWN: --Earth Elemental; Animal Health; Endurance; Steadiness; Houses & Homes; Physical Objects; Overcoming uncertainty and hesitancy; Attract Money and Financial Success; Concentration; ESP; Intuition; Study.
PINK: --Love; Peace; Femininity; Friendship; Honor; Morality; Emotional Love; Affection; Romance; Spiritual Awakening; Healing of the Spirit; Togetherness.
ORANGE: --The God; Attraction; Stimulation; Energy; Healing; Vitality; Encouragement; Adaptability; Luck; Pulling things to you; Clearing the Mind; Dominance, Sudden Changes; Change Luck.
PURPLE: --Power; Dignity; Spiritual Development; Meditation, Spirituality; Intuition; Ambition; Spirit Communication; Tension; Business Progress; Healing Severe Diseases; Occult Wisdom; Success; Idealism; Higher Psychic Ability; Break Bad Luck; Drive Away Evil; Honors.
GOLD: --The God; Solar Energy; Physical Strength; Power; Success; Mental Growth; Skill Sought; Healing Energy; Fortune; Divination; Creative Work; Intuition; Money; Fast Luck; Attracts Higher Influences.
SILVER: --The Goddess; Lunar magic; Removes negative forces; Opens astral gates; Conducts Energy; Meditation; Creative Work; Protection; Money; Psychic Development; Success; Balance; Ward Negativity; Remove Negative Energy; Stability; Victory.
VIOLET: --Self Improvement; Intuition; Success in searches; Creative Work.
BLACK: --Endings; Closing of Doors; Psychic Work; Death; Ward Negativity; Remove Hexes; Protection; Spirit Contact; Truth; Remove Discord or Confusion; Reversing; Releasing; Repel Dark Magic and Negative Thought Forms.
GREENISH-YELLOW: --To Negate; Discord, Sickness, Anger, Jealousy, Cowardice, Anger.
INDIGO:--Meditation; Spirit Communication; Karma Working; Balance; Learn the Ancient Wisdom; Neutralize Another's Magic; Ward Slander, Lies or Undesirable Competition
GRAY: --Non-Nature Faerie Magic; Travel to Otherworld; Vision Quests; Veiling; Cancellation; Hesitation; Competition.
LAVENDER--Spiritual Development; Psychic Growth; Divination; Sensitivity to the Otherworld; Blessings.
MAGENTA: --Very High Vibrational Frequency that tends to work fast so usually burned with other candles; Quick Change; Spiritual Healing, Exorcism.
Candle Burning Interpretations
Excerpted from Ray Malbrough's "The Magickal Power Of the
Saints-Evocation & Candle Rituals"
THE CANDLE EMITS BLACK SMOKE WHEN LIT:
This signals that the candle is beginning to remove negative energy from your desire.
THE CANDLE EMITS WHITE SMOKE WHEN LIT:
This signals that your prayer will be answered but not without a struggle.
A STRONG OR HIGH FLAME:
The candle is working by sending out a large amount of power & strength to manifest your desire. This indicates that your prayer will be answered rapidly.
A WEAK OR LOW FLAME:
The candle is working slowly to remove an obstacle or to bring about positive vibrations. You will have to pray a bit longer and harder to overcome some opposition.
A JUMPING FLAME:
Spiritual warfare may be occurring on your behalf. If the candle is a war-type candle, the person you are trying to affect is fighting back.
IF THE CANDLE CRACKLES:
This is thought to mean that the spirits are pleading your case on your behalf. The louder the crackling, the stronger the opposition against you.
IF THE SMOKE WAFTS TOWARDS YOU:
Your prayer has been acknowledged & will be granted quickly.
IF THE SMOKE WAFTS AWAY FROM YOU:
Perseverance will be needed to achieve your desire.
IF THE SMOKE TURNS TOWARDS YOUR RIGHT :
You will need to use a bit of patience with success coming from using your head
IF THE SMOKE TURNS TOWARDS YOUR LEFT :
You are becoming too emotionally involved with the situation and are in danger of subconsciously sabotaging yourself so that your prayer will not be answered.
IF THE GLASS BREAKS:
This can depend on what type of work is being done. If an uncrossing , this is good because it indicates that the spell placed upon you or the individual you are petitioning for has been broken. If this happens to candles being used for other reasons it can mean that there is strong pressure from someone working against you.
IF THE CLASS REMAINS CLEAR:
Your prayer will be granted despite any opposition.
IF GLASS TURNS BLACK AT TOP BUT CLEARS TOWARDS BOTTOM:
Someone is working against you with the darker the blackening, the stronger the opposition you are facing. he suggest you think positive and persevere.
IF THE GLASS TURNS ENTIRELY BLACK:
Serious obstacles stand in your way and more work, including uncrossing and negativity removing, needs to be done by a practitioner of your faith.