Candles (and my ridiculous obsession with them)

Candle-flame-and-reflection
Image via Wikipedia

For this week’s PBP entry, I’m going to talk about candles.

I’m obsessed with candles.

Seriously. Take me into a store that’s having a sale on candles and just try and stop me from buying them, why don’t you. (You will be injured. Fair warning.)

Actually, I think that’s one of the main reasons I ended up getting into Wicca in the first place. “I can light candles in a religious context OMG AWESOME!” (That, and I wanted to hex the bullies at school who beat me up every day.)

Having an excuse to burn fifty candles at a time sounded like a dream come true to little 11-year-old me. Though I did frequently burn fifty candles at a time, regardless of my parents’ wishes.

I’m not sure where this obsession comes from. It could be my strong relationship to the fire element. It could be a desire to master the candle-flame ever since I was a kid watching the ‘adults’ in the room show me ‘magic’ by passing their fingers through the top part of the flame without injury. (I decided to show them up by putting my finger into what was logically the coldest part of the flame, the blue bottom, and holding it there. This is what cartoons did to me.) It could be that the room I had in our house at the time was FREEZING because I may have accidentally flung a hammer through the window in the middle of winter and a million candles kept me warm.

A collection of lit candles on ornate candlesticks
OMG. HEAVEN. (Image via Wikipedia.)

It may have been the dancing light on the wall. It may have been the treasure candles that had gemstones and crap hidden inside, and each burnt candle was like a mystery unlocked (and more shiny pretties! CAW!). It may have been the subtle scented candles I bought, the ones that actually smelled good as opposed to the heavily perfumed crap you can buy nowadays that tend to try and kill you before you even light them. It may have been the beeswax, which always smells good.

It could have also been a sign I was marked by Brighid early on. Or, and this may be more likely, it could have been that I was a kid in a world that was wildly shifting out of my control, and burning candles and researching paganism were small acts of rebellion that I felt were still mine while I weathered my parents’ divorce. (I wasn’t rebelling against mom, for the record.)

I’m not really sure what it was. But the obsession has never stopped.

Candles
Unlit. Unloved. (Candles (Photo credit: njj4))

And now I’ve found myself in a place and time where I cannot burn as many as I did fourteen years ago, when I didn’t have to be the one worried about landlords coming down hard against burning materials like candles or incense. I’ve now lived in so many different places it makes my head spin, and the ones where I could burn as many candles as I wanted, either through a lack of rules or an abundance of safety, I can count on one hand.

I’m lucky at the moment — my landlady is awesome, and I burn candles all the time in my basement suite. (Economical way to heat the place, too.) But in April I’m moving to an apartment on the mainland, and there’s a strata council here. I’m not sure what their rules are exactly regarding candle-burning, but I’m fairly certain they won’t look kindly on candles everywhere. Not to mention, I have to keep the place looking stage-able — that is, ready to show to prospective buyers — at all times. And for some reason, people don’t like seeing a lot of candles around. Especially not black ones in the shape of a pentagram. (They’re so close-minded, honestly.)

Even now, with my awesome house, I don’t burn as many as I’d like. I’m not home enough to do so — either bed-ridden here in this apartment as my back recovers, or at school and rehearsal once I go home next week — and my room is not finished being cleaned, so accessing my altar and candle space is not easy with my cane.

English: Handmade soy candles.
Imagine if “The Birds” had been done with tealights instead. (Image via Wikipedia.)

So my candle collection grows bigger and bigger as I search for excuses to burn them — even doing more candle magic than I usually do, just so I can make the collection smaller.

Because a smaller collection at home means less chance of a candle apocalypse, where they rise like zombies to destroy their former masters I can actually buy more when I’m out and about.

I think I may have a problem.

10 Comments


  1. I totally have that pillar candle in the top photo.. lol I love candles too. I buy them and then horde them.. Cause OMG what if there’s a black out and we need them? Or thats my best excuse to date to buy them. Or you know the big one hits! And we have to live off candle light and cook our food by it!. yea…

    lol. :)

    Reply

    1. Exactly! Living where we do we DO have to be prepared for the big earthquake, or black-outs, or even tsunamis!

      Ok maybe less so that last one but IT COULD HAPPEN. CANDLES ARE ALWAYS USEFUL. *nod nod*

      Reply

      1. ~nods~

        I think that thing we just did there is called.. enabling ourselves.. lol

        Plus I just totally burned my goddess candle down tonight. I gotta get another one!

        Reply

  2. This coming year I am going to begin making tallow candles, including large church pillar candles. (You know, the big 3 foot tall ones? Yeahhhh.) I also hope our beehives do well enough this year to justify harvesting some of the was.

    My name is Lokyra, and I am a candle addict.

    Reply

    1. Hi Lokyra!

      3-foot tall candles sound AWESOME.

      Reply

      1. Oh yeah. once I actually make a few I’ll know how much to charge. I want to keep them fairly cheap. I’ve seen them go for over a few hundred bucks. o.0 A bit insane.
        Of course, if it takes tallow from several cows, then I might be able to understand that. But I doubt it will. I think.

        Reply

  3. I love candles too. I don’t know quite when I started to love them so much but it’s really grown over the last year and a half or so. When I was living with my boyfriend he didn’t care if I lit them or not, so we had a little collection in the apartment. I even got him hooked on buying them. He’s even bought some without me there.
    Now that I’ve moved back in with family I can’t light them as much because my dad is afraid I’ll end up burning the house down or something (just a note I never had any mishaps in the apartment in the last year and a half) I don’t even know why I like them so much, I find them soothing. I’d sometimes take baths by candlelight and hot water does wonders for my spasticity, so maybe relaxation became a conditioned response to candlelight. I found an amazing 3 layered one a few months ago where I actually liked all 3 scents so I had it going constantly. I have a secret stash in my room here but haven’t gotten the guts or found a lighter to light them with, haha.

    Reply

    1. Nice!

      When I lived with my dad he didn’t let me burn candle because he was also afraid I’d burn the house down.

      Just because I once set fire to my thumb with a lighter and hairspray…geez.

      But yeah, every time I’m out and I see I new pretty/scented/on sale candle, I get it. Don’t even get burned. Just sit around.

      Reply

      1. Dads, they’re so overprotective. :) I’ve had to resist buying them until I find a job, but I bet if I had a job right now I’d have an even bigger collection. My best friend has this massive collection too. When I was visiting her after coming back from Canada, I convinced her to melt some of her really low level candles, mix them together and rewick them. It created some pretty interesting colors and scents.

        Reply

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