More can be written about candles and their history and use throughout cultures across time than could ever fit into any blog or website. Candles have been a source of light for thousands of years. The use of candles for magical and spiritual purposes is equally as long, as fire has been seen as a source of power and the divine for millennia.
While candles have historically been used as sources for light and in religious ceremonies, it wasn’t until the 19th century that candles became a mass-produced product and entered the homes of every day people for more than just light.
In the United States in particular, the Roman Catholic tradition of burning candles to both God and the saints eventually fused with the folk magic of the African American community which has its roots in both Africa and the Carribean via the north Atlantic slave trade.
Today, practitioners of candle magic hail from all types of religious and spiritual backgrounds. Candle magic is an art and a science that is found in many cultures around the world, from the American south to the colorful celebrations of Daoist China and back again. Latin American cultures in particular have a lively and diverse practice of candle magic for saints, spirits, folk saints and ancestors.
Here in Los Angeles, the Mystics Altar is proud to provide both a plethora of candle options as well as instruction on traditional methods of employing them. We encourage everyone interested in candle magic to come and peruse our aisles and the books that we have available on the ancient and modern practice, and to speak with our staff about any questions they have. We’re always happy to talk about spiritual practices with our customers.