The Winter Thermstice, also known as Imbolc, is a celebration of the returning light and the coming of spring. It should come as no surprise then that candles play a central part in celebrating this sabbat. I have created a variety of Imbolc decorations over the years, including a candle wheel and paper lanterns, and this year I wanted to make my own candles specifically for a Winter Thermstice candle ritual. I know that many of us are currently struggling financially, myself included, so I went into this project with a budget. Most of the supplies I used for this project came from Dollar Tree while others I had lying around the house, items you likely have around your home. This ritual, which incorporates the making of the candle, is designed to awaken your inner light and welcome the coming spring. Of course, you do not have to make a candle to complete this ritual, especially if you don't have some flexible cardboard around to make a mold. I wanted to test it out as I wanted a white, lavender-scented candle for this ritual.
What You'll Need
- 1 white prayer candle
- 30 drops of lavender fragrance oil
- Paper towel roll
- Wax paper
- Candle holder
- Toothpick or another tool to etch the candle
- Anointing oil such as olive oil or lavender essential oil
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender, lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried calendula
- 6 tea candles
- Lighter or matches
What to Do
Being by cleansing your space using your preferred method. If you feel inclined, invite any deities or spirits you wish to observe or assist in your candle-making. I would not, however, create a magical circle at this time, as you will be moving about quite a bit during the candle-making process. Close your eyes and take a deep breath, releasing any tension upon your exhale. Repeat this process until you are fully relaxed and focused on the task at hand. Shift your focus to your intention and the task at hand, creating a magical Imbolc candle. If you are not making your own candle, skip the next few steps, instead focusing your intention on awakening your inner light.
To create the candle, begin by melting the wax inside the white prayer candle and removing the wick, which will be used to create our new pillar candle. I did this by partially submerging the candle in boiling water. You want to be careful not to do this too quickly as you could shatter the glass. I ended up pulling the wick, along with some candle wax out of the glass and breaking it apart to help it melt faster. While the wax is melting, create your candle mold using a paper towel roll, wax paper, and tape. I measured out the size of the wick on the paper towel roll and cut about one inch below the top of it. Once the roll has been cut to the size of your wick, cut the roll vertically so that you can open the roll to line it with wax paper and conform it to the size of your candle holder. Line the inside of the paper towel roll with wax paper and roll the cardboard tightly to create a mold the size of your candle holder. Tape the mold several times using strong packing tape. With an additional piece of wax paper, cover the bottom of the mold and tape it tightly. This will prevent your wax from running everywhere but know it will not stop all the wax from leaving the mold.
Once the wax is melted, add 30 drops of lavender fragrance oil to it. Place your mold in your candle holder and pour the hot wax into it, being sure to handle the hot glass with care. Place your wick in the center and secure it to the center using tape or a paperclip so it cools in the center of your candle. Allow the candle to cool completely before removing the mold. If you called any deities or spirits to work with you during the candle-making process, thank them for their assistance.
When your candle is ready or if you are using a store-bought candle, it's time to set up for the ritual. Once again, cleanse your working space using your preferred method. At this time, feel free to cast a circle and invite any deities or spirits you wish to work with you. I suggest inviting any deities or spirits associated with Imbolc, such as Brigid, Aenghus Og, Gaia, or your local land spirits if you are inviting anyone to join you.
Next, use a toothpick or other carving tool to carve the Sowilo rune into the center of your candle. Lightly anoint the carved rune and the rest of your candle with lavender essential oil or fragrance oil and sprinkle/roll the candle in the lightly crushed lavender flowers and dried calendula. Place the candle in the candle holder and place it in the center of your workspace.
Around the central candle, place your six tealight candles. Sprinkle a pinch of dried calendula in each one. Be careful not to over-dress the candle as it could quickly become a fire hazard. All of these candles can also be placed in a large, shallow bowl filled with salt or sand and bay leaves. Around the candles, sprinkle the remaining lavender and calendula to form a circle. Feel free to add any crystals associated with the sun, light, strength, or Imbolc, such as citrine, if you feel inclined.
Light the first tea candle, starting at the topmost candle and say, "In the dark of winter, I seek the light; In the cold of winter, I seek new life."
Light the next candle, working clockwise, and say, "I call upon fire to light the way, to melt the snow and drive the chill away."
Light the third candle and say, "With fire and flame I call upon the light, fill me now on this chilly night."
Light the fourth candle and say, "With this candle, the inner flame is lit; the darkness within shall submit."
Light the fifth candle and say, "Empower my light and help it grow; with fire and flame to help it glow."
Light the sixth candle and say, "I nurture my light with candle bright, the warmth of spring I now invite."
Finally, light the seventh central candle and say. "Flame of inner light, blazing like the sun, fill me now in your shining light. Awash me in your healing glow, bringing peace and love so I may grow. I open the doors and invite you in, to warm the heart, kith and kin. I release the winter's chill and rejoice in the flame's thrill. With nurturing warmth to guide you home, come with me now wherever I may roam. By candle and flame, I proclaim it so."
Take a deep breath, breathing in the warmth of the flames. Feel the warmth filling you, sparking to life the flame within you. Spend the next several minutes meditating, visualizing your inner flame growing in strength until the candles no longer shine.
Once the flames have burnt out, close your ritual, being sure to thank any deities or spirits you invited. Dispose of any eco-friendly spell remains near your front door or compost them. Anything that isn't biodegradable and eco-friendly should be disposed of in the trash, such as the tins from the tea candles.
Why You Did ItUnderstanding the why's of a spell are just as important as performing it. It helps you understand the process so you can modify the spell or ritual to suit your needs and helps guide you to write your own. It's my intention that by providing these explanations, you can build a better understanding of how spells are written and executed so you can modify and build your own spells (the goal of my Spellcrafting Series).
This ritual begins with the creation of a white candle (if you decided to make your own), which deepens the connection between you and the flame you later use to awaken and nurture your inner flame. Creating our own supplies better connects us to the item and ensures the ritual's success. Even if you skipped this step and went with a candle you already had on hand, you still created a connection with it through the carving of the Sowilo rune and dressing. Candles were chosen for this ritual because they are associated with the element Fire, life, and our inner flame, working to sympathetically nurture your inner flame and symbolically burn away the chill of winter or the ice covering our heart and soul. White was chosen to symbolize the sabbat, which is characterized by snow and ice, as well as the white snowdrops that begin to blossom this time of year and the milk ewes begin producing in preparation for their little lambs.
Next, the candle was adorned with a Sowilo rune, which represents the sun and inner flame, working to sympathetically draw the sun's warming rays back to the earth and help awake and nurture the flame within you. It was dressed in both lavender and calendula which represent peace, balance, strength, and success, thus aiding you in nurturing your inner flame by bringing strength, balance, and peace.
The larger candle was placed in the center of six tea lights to represent your inner flame being nurtured and strengthen by the candles around it, which were also dressed in calendula for strength. Seven total candles were used as the number seven is associated with fullness in life, completeness, awakening, and enlightenment.
Finally, the ritual ends with a visualization of your inner flame growing in strength. This visualization and breathwork help you center, focus on your intention, and nurture the flame within you.
Wish to break this spell? Unfortunately, this is not a spell that can be "broken" in any traditional way. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of energy you have called back to yourself, simply release it back into the Universe or snuff out the candles before the ritual is complete.
Remember to record this ritual on your ritual/spell worksheet or in your Book of Shadows for reference later.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Winter Thermstice full of warmth, good food, and light! I am sad to see the cold go, but know, as with all things, winter must come to an end.
Interested in learning more about the Winter Thermstice/Imbolc? Below are some resources to get you started.
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