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Monday, May 14, 2012

Master Candles

Master Candles with my Crossroads Keys
The tradition of a Master Candle isn't ubiquitous to all hoodoos. Most of my experience is with Louisiana and "western Southern" conjure, and even among those folks it isn't necessarily universal. Conjure from that part of the South has a lot of its history steeped in Catholicism, as compared to the strong Protestant strains of conjure in the rest of the South. With Catholicism comes candle burning, so it's probably no surprise that some of the traditions that have cropped up there have become a little nuanced and specialized.

In the photo at right, you can see my collection of Master Candles. The one front and center, undecorated (and about ready to be replaced!) is my Master Spirit Candle. From left to right, the others are: my Master Prosperity candle, Master Healing candle, Master Blessings & Protection candle, Master Love candle and my Master Road Opener candle.

In most conjure traditions involving Setting Lights, when your rootworker finishes fixing a candle for you with the proper herbs, oils and prayers, she will light the candle and then seal off the wick with some of the melted wax. This "seals in" the Work she has done and prepares it for your use at home.

The use of Master Candles takes that one step further. Before doing any conjure work, the Master Spirit candle is lit, representing the Light of God, the Unknown Flame behind the Darkness. This is also called a "Source" candle, because lighting it is an invitation to the Source of all the worker's hoodoo, however they understand that Source. All flame I use in conjure is then lit from this candle, using smaller tapers to transfer the flame.

Additionally, I also have Master candles with specific purposes. When I am working on any conjure involving that purpose - making oils, creating tobys, or doing full on Altar Work for that goal - I always have the appropriate Master candle lit, burning alongside my Source candle. When lighting these Master candles, I always use the flame from the Source candle: these blessings flow from the Source, after all.

When I fix a candle for someone, whether I burn it here on my home altar, send it home with a client or mail it to a customer, I always light that candle from the appropriate Master candle, or from the Source candle if I don't have a specifically-created Master purpose candle for it. This transfers some of the mojo from the candles I work with for those purposes all the time to the candle you're working with.

So, if you order a candle from me and find that I send one with a little bit of the wick already burnt, you know why!

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