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The history of candle burning is as old as humanity itself. It originates from fire worship. Early man was in awe of fire—it warmed him, protected him, and helped him cook his food. The flame of the hearth was guarded carefully, shielded against the ravages of wind and rain. Over time, fire came to represent strength, power, and the ability to see past the terrors of the night.
Symbolically, candlelight represents illumination, the energizing power of the sun, and the spark of life that resides within the human soul. As an agency of the fire element, candles are quick to respond to magickal incantations and creative visualization. The simple lighting of a candle creates an atmosphere of magick, and as the darkness gives way to the light, desires are brought into reality.
Candles can be used by themselves as a form of magick, or they may be incorporated as part of a spell. In either case, the candle itself becomes the point of focus. The colour of the candle and its shape and size all play important roles in the art of candle magick. The colour signifies intent, the design or shape represents the objective, and the size is equivalent to the amount of time needed to carry out the spell.
Colour is of primary importance in candle magick. There are 12 basic colours, which offer different sensory vibrations. Red is the most physically potent and powerful, and violet is the most passive and spiritually receptive. The primary colours of the light spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) emit specific energies, which are symbolic of their intrinsic properties. These colours move energy outward and forward, as well as inward and backwards. In addition to the seven primary colours, there are five additional colours used in the art of candle magick. These are black, white, grey, pink, and brown. Black anchors and absorbs; white encourages and supports; grey is seldom used because it is considered to be void, without movement; pink attracts and entices, and brown stabilizes and sustains.
Burning times (that is, how long the candles should burn) are as essential to candle magick as color is. Each color of the spectrum has its own special wavelength or vibrational frequency. This vibrational frequency is the equivalent of motion and energy, which is the amount of time needed to activate a spell. Therefore, a candle that requires a burning time of four hours will take four times longer to work than a candle that requires only one hour to burn. However, the longer it takes a spell to work, and the more energy involved in its formulation, the more enduring its results.