In this time of year, when days are short and nights are long and cold (well, depending on where you live), our activities focus on creating our own light and warmth. In the spirit of Brigid’s sacred fire and the light of truth, we put our energy into glowing candle flame to manifest a positive year ahead.
Making Sacred Oils
Infused and/or energetically charged oils can be a useful addition to your magical toolkit. They can be used to anoint yourself or dress a candle for a spell; they can be used to draw a circle on the floor or magical symbols on yourself. They also smell nice (usually) and can just generally enhance any magical working you are doing.
There are many commercially available oils from which to choose, and those are certainly lovely, but they’re also pretty easy to make and, therefore, can be fairly cost effective.
The first step would be to choose your base oil. Olive oil is readily available and commonly used (I recommend something other than EVOO such as “light” olive oil or some other more refined version because it will have less of its own scent), but it can be heavy and you may wish to select an oil that is more readily absorbed, if you are going to be applying it to your skin. Sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil are very nice for this. I also like to mix in a little jojoba oil because it is an excellent carrier for whatever essential oils you may wish to add. That is, it helps “carry” the other compounds below the surface of the skin. Please note: essential oils should NOT be applied directly to the skin; they can burn and must be diluted prior to use. Besides, they’re expensive and a little goes a long way.
The next step is to decide what your intention for the oil is. Do you want to make a prosperity oil? Maybe a love oil? Perhaps you want something to ward your home? The use helps to determine what herbs, essential oils, and/or stones you might put in. For example, if I were creating a money oil, I might get some fresh basil (money drawing) and mash it just a bit, then put it in a bottle with my base oil, add a cinnamon stick (for oomph and also for quickness), maybe a little patchouli essential oil (earth, prosperity), and a magnetite stone (to draw things to you). Then I’d let it sit in the sun for at least two weeks. If you’re using dried herbs, you can just let them stay in the oil indefinitely; if you’re using fresh herbs, you may wish to strain the oil after a bit to avoid them rotting. You can always strain out the fresh stuff and put the rest back in. The oil could even be left to charge under a waxing moon or in the sun on the summer solstice to add a little extra energy. Then add a small amount of your carrier oil and you should be ready to go!
Candle spells and candle magic are perhaps the most iconic of witchy activities. They can be as simple or as complex as you desire to make them, and can serve a variety of magical purposes.
Let’s say you have a friend who’s applied for a job and she asked that you send some good energy towards it. Lighting a birthday candle and focusing your intention on the best reception of your friends application would be a good way to send mojo toward the goal. It doesn’t take much preparation and the spell, as it were, is completed quickly. See? Simple!
On the other hand, maybe you want to use that fabulous money oil you just made to help draw needed funds, and you have the time and motivation to craft a more elaborate spell. You could start with a green candle (I tend to use jar candles for spells because they’re nicely self-contained, but your intent may determine the type of candle you use), carve some dollar signs in it with a nail, quartz point, or porcupine quill, dress it with some of your oil (to dress a candle means to apply oils, herbs, and even symbols to add magical intent), sprinkle some appropriate herbs (mint, basil, dill, five-finger plant a.k.a. cinquefoil, cinnamon), set it in a fire-safe container or on a trivet or tile and light it. I like to put my candles on a dish with sand around the base to add another layer of fire-safety. Another option would be to put it in a water- or sand-filled cauldron instead; then you can float things in the water too. Sometimes I’ll add tarot or oracle cards under the dish to emphasize my intent, and maybe drop a stone in the candle or place stones around the base of the dish. If you drop a stone directly into the candle, after you’ve completed the spell you can take the charged stone and carry it in your pocket or wallet to help perpetuate the energy. You could also tie a string or ribbon in a corresponding color on the candle jar (I would choose green and/or red for money and fast luck, in this example). If you’re working toward a specific goal, you may want to put a representative picture on the outside of the jar. Anything that seems meaningful to you that you feel enhances your intention is fine to gather around the base of the candle. The candle is basically just a tool for focusing your own intention, and anything you add to the working is simply to enhance that process, so... what works for you?
It is important to note that you do not need to drown the candle in oil or herbs. Remember that these things also burn and you don’t want to start a bonfire or crack your candle jar because you dumped in too much stuff. More is not necessarily better in this case; your goal is to create a kind of magical harmonic resonance and it doesn’t take a lot of material to do that. Another important note: it is not advisable to leave a burning candle unattended. There is nothing wrong with putting it out while you’re at work or asleep and relighting it when you’ll be around. In fact, any spell will benefit from ongoing energy directed toward it, so by engaging with your candle spell daily, you put more intention into it and increase its power.