"Voodoo is also a collection of symbols, with the drum itself one of the most representative, since wood and skin are made symbolize the resurrection.
Such is the degree of the trance which seizes the participants in this frenzied ritual, sometimes nobody remembers what happened later."
- KUYB Team
Candleburning is an integral part of the Voodoo religion as it is used in countless rituals. The use of fire in worship and religion can be traced back to the beginnings of man.
The Bible has many references to it. Fire has been used to protect, benefit, drive off evil, bring good fortune, and for many other purposes. The most convenient way to use fire in such manner is to light the proper candle. The following list gives beliefs but it should be remembered that as with other religious agents such as oils and powders, herbs, etc… mo list of this can ever be complete as to belief ascribed.
We are dealing with religion and magic intertwined and beliefs vary depending on time, locale, environment, and many other factors. For instance, a blue candle may be used for good or evil. This is true of all colors. Ther is a generally accepted system of symbolism, but within the system will be found many variations.
Candle color and sometimes the shape of the candle together with intent and prescribed ritual determine which candle is used. What this all adds up to is that ther is no one and only one proper way to use candles in rituals. It is the ritual and purpose that is most important; and it is the belief in them that leads some persons to religiously observe them. It finally comes down to personal preference, and naturally differences are great.
There is one universal similarity about candleburning: Regardless whether burned for alleged supernatural powers, as symbolic religious offerings found in countless churches, or simply for personal enjoyment, candleburning is practiced around the globe by almost all peoples.
NOTE: All Voodoo candle burning includes use of anointing oils. Such oils are either similar in name, or are symbolic of the intent or purpose. Often more than one oil is it used. This is a matter of personal preference except for exacting rituals which specify precisely what is required. In the following candle list, the first oil named is commonly used, the others are optional and meant to add additional power to the ritual. Candles should be anointed with the oil rubbed on from the center towards the top, an then from the center to the bottom. This is the accepted method except in a few rare cases where a ritual will call for a different method.
A Voodoo candle is always allowed to burn to the socket except in specific instances where a special type of candle is snuffed out and re-used.
How to conduct a candle ritual
There are many ways to use candles in Voodoo rituals. The famous book “Master Book of Candleburning” contains numerous rituals designed to cope with life’s problems. These rituals require various candles and oils, and certain methods of anointing, burning, and moving of the candles to different positions. These instructions are easy to understand and follow.
In addition, there are rituals that require only one candle and an oil or two. The candle needed is anointed as shown before, and is then burned completely. It is considered best done after sunset in most instances. This is an offering and a prayer that your need be filled. It can be repeated as often as felt necessary.
It also can be done in adittion to any other rituals that may be performed. It is believed that a double force of power may thus be created. The following collection of candles lists beliefs of religious, mythological, and legendary derivation: all connected with present-day voodoism. This is a presentation of beliefs as factually accepted by Voodooists.
Astral or birthmonth Candles: These candles are said to give off vibrations that are harmonious with personal vibrations. They are believed to be very powerful in bringing success to any ritual. Each candle is a combination of colors astrologically assigned and attuned to each of the Zodiac signs and those born under them. The historically accepted collors are
Aquarius, Jan 20- Feb 18 Blue, Pink, Green
Pices, Feb 19- March 20 White, Pink, Green, Black
Aries, March 21- April 19 White, Rose Pink
Taurus, April 20- May 20 Red, Lemon Yellow
Gemini, May 21- June 21 Red, Light Blue
Cancer, June 21- July 23 Green, Brown
Leo, July 24- Aug 22 Red, Green
Virgo, Aug 23- Sept 21 Gold, Black, Blue
Libra, Sept 22- Oct 21 Black, Red, Blue
Scorpio, Oct 22- Nov 21 Brown, Black
Sagittarius, Nov 22- Dec 20 Gold, Red, Green
Capricorn, Dec 21- Jan 19 White, Pink, Emerald, Black
Astral candles are anointed with Zodiac oil or individual birthmonth oil.