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How to Hand Dip Candles

First off, they're going to be ugly.  Well, I think they are honestly.  They're ugly until you get Amish good at dipping candles which is a lot of time and energy I don't have. But!  They work beautifully, burn beautifully and take in magic like a sponge.

To make at least four candles you will need:

* 1 cup Beeswax pastilles  

* Cotton wicking (about 8 inches per candle)

* An 8oz glass mason jar (it should be a tall jar, not a squat jar)

* Herbs or essential oils (if desired)

* Candle wax dye (if desired)

* Wax paper

* A pot you don't care about (wax is going to get in it and make a mess of it)

 

First, figure out your magical intention and pick out the appropriate herbs, colors, whatever for it.  If dates, times, moon phases and other cumbersome mathematical magic is your thing, make sure to get that sorted.  

Pour about two cups of water in your pot.  Heat it on medium.  Put your beeswax, herbs or essential oil and dye into the mason jar.  Put the mason jar into the pot right side up.  You are creating a bain marie (fancy!).  If you are really ambitious and motivated, while you're waiting for the wax to melt, focus on putting your magical intention into the wax using whatever method you usually use for this sort of thing.  This will take a bit and be boring so you may as well be productive.

Once the wax is all liquid, put out a piece of wax paper on the counter next to the stove.  Lower the heat to low.  Swish your wick into the wax for about five seconds.  Take it out for ten.  Swish it back in for five.  This will go on for a bit and you won't see much happening.  It will feel like failure for the first couple minutes, but you'll start getting somewhere.  As you are dipping, make sure to leave some wick at the top to light.  It may seem weird dipping your candle at first because the wick scrunches and floats which doesn't seem like it will become a candle, but it will once it starts getting enough wax on the wick to weigh it down.  Your candle may crack but that's okay, you can keep dipping to cement over the cracks.  If you get bored with your failing candle, start a new one.  You can alternate your candles out as much as you like, just put them on the wax paper.  

You can also use the wax paper to try to make a perfect commercially made candle by rolling it in the wax paper, but it will likely not work unless you have been making candles for quite some time.  Accept that your candle will be somewhat weirdly shaped, possibly slightly cracked and it will be less aggravating.  Finish enchanting your candles using whatever method you're using and now your candle is ready for magical use. 

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Deborah Castellano is featured in the 2015 Llewellyn Herbal Almanac. She is a frequent contributor to Occult/Pagan sources such as Witchvox, PaganSquare and Witches&Pagans magazine.

Deborah's book, The Arte of Glamour is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid and The Crow (www.mermaidandcrow.com) specializes in Hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers, euphorically scented mason jar beeswax candles, tempting small batch ritual oils, Dream Ambassadors (tiny sheep to help you sleep!), lofty unique nuno felted scarves, airy hand painted silk chiffon scarves and more.

Her Craft shop, The Glamoury Apothecary (www.etsy.com/shop/glamouryapothecary) specializes in handcrafted Occult and Magical items such as gods and goddesses vigil candles, loose incense and hand rolled chime candles.

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