Tuesday 14 February 2023

Candle Divinations and a Little Magic for Love

Folklore is full of fortune-telling practices and spells to learn who one would marry or to influence the course of love. Here are some involving burning candles, but like many examples of older magic, they might need a little adjustment for modern tastes.

Ash, Roses and Mirrors

Here's one traditional love divination using paper burnt to ash, rose petals and a miror:

Write your name on a slip of paper and burn it to ash in the flame of a candle. Sprinkle the ash on the face of a hand mirror you regularly use and then cover this with rose petals. Put it under your pillow when you go to sleep to prompt dreams of your future spouse. 

This is recorded in Lovespells - The Authentic Collection of a White Witch, by Claire Nahmad. Personally, I'd be wary of the risks associated with broken glass - let alone making a mess in the bed! If you want to give it a go today, perhaps wrap the mirror, petals and ash in a padded bag.

Blue Flames and Lovers' Spirits

A form of candle divination to see a future husband was recorded in Yorkshire and Lancashire in the early 20th century, according to Steve Roud in Superstitions of Britain and Ireland. According to the sources, you had to use a candle you'd stolen or it wouldn't work. You lit the candle and watched it in silence until the flame turned blue, at which time the spirit of a future lover - or, more traditionally, husand - would appear. Blue flames are often said to indicate the presence of spirits. In times gone by, this could be the spirits of living people rather than those who had died.

I'm certainly not recommending anyone steal a candle, theft being illegal and unethical. From personal experience I know it's quite possible to do divination with candles you've bought from a shop. Setting the right intention is the most important part. 

A Candle Pricking Spell

Steve Roud also mentions a candle spell recorded in Durham and Buckhamshire in the 19th century. It was intended to force an errant lover to make an appearance. You take a candle and stick pins into it before lighting it. Then say the words:

It's not this candle alone I stick
But [my lover's] heart I mean to prick
Whether he be asleep or awake
I'd have him come to me and speak.

I've heard other versions of this spell using poppets, animal hearts and, gruesomely, toads. Many modern witches consider it unethical to influence the behaviour of another person using magic. However, these examples do serve as a reminder that folk magic of the past was often murkier than the divination techniques and spellcraft we do today.

There are more spells and divination techniques in my own books on candle magic, poppets and scrying, which you can find via my author page at my publisher, Moon Books. You can also view it on Amazon.

I'm teaching a two-session evening class on Scrying: Divination Using Crystals, Mirrors, Water and Fire via the College of Psychic Studies, starting on Wednesday 15 February. You can find the details here.

(Note: I earn commission from advertisers for some links. This helps support my blog at no extra cost to those who read my posts.)

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