Armed with a candle covered in dragon’s blood oil and a variety of herbs, 13-year-old Angelina Savini from Knightdale is ready to cast her first spell.
All she has to do is think about what she wants, or what she wants to get rid of, and light the candle.
“You can use it for any sort of intention you have or spell you do,” she said. The details of the candle and visualizing what she wants are largely up to her.
There is one constant requirement though: She can’t talk about the spell once it’s cast.
Savini and a group of about 15 learned about the process of preparing, cleansing and using a candle for spells, which they also call prayers, at a candle magic class hosted by the Church of the Earth in Raleigh.
The church offers classes throughout the year on topics such as creating altars and other sacred spaces.
The church started in 1999 with the help of a metaphysical store, Cosmic Lemniscate, that was next to the property. With the church and the store, the area became a small hub of activity for people interested in alternative religions.
Cosmic Lemniscate has moved to a new location, but the church still stands with more than 1,000 people associated with it, church trustee Johnson Davis said. Most of those members practice at home, and only about 100 show up regularly to classes and celebrations the church hosts.
The church welcomes all kinds of religions. Some identify broadly as pagans, but the church includes followers of more specific Earth-based religions, such as Wiccans, shamans and practitioners of Celtic Druidism.
Candle magic is a solitary ritual members can do at home and can be altered to fit the exact brand of religion someone practices.
It is a process that is personalized, or sympathetic, instructor Tamara Davis told the class. Tamara and Johnson Davis are married and dedicate much of their time to the church.
“It needs to be representative of what you want or want to get rid of,” she said.
Lighting a candle that has been properly prepared sends a person’s desires to the universe, where they can be answered. A candle user can pick a color and herbs, but the most important part is the energy put into the candle before it burns.
“Intent is the most important,” Davis said.
In mainstream religions, members usually share common prayers, but at the Church of the Earth, Davis emphasized the importance of coming up with a personalized prayer.
“If you’ve done it, it’s more powerful,” she said. The prayer doesn’t have to be profound as long as it’s sincere. Before lighting the candle, energy needs to be put into the candle in the form of chanting, dancing or meditation, Davis said.
There are almost endless ways to practice candle magic, she said. In general, though, a candle should finish burning before the moon moves to a new phase, since each phase is ideal for certain outcomes.
A full moon is best for praying for positive personal growth, since it is the most powerful phase of the moon.
But, Davis warned, following the guidelines does not guarantee proof that the spell worked. Sometimes it takes time to see a change, and in some cases, the spell needs to be cast again. That usually means waiting another month, until the moon is in the right phase.
It doesn’t have to be the same candle or spell, but Davis emphasized the importance of keeping it personal.
“Don’t talk about it,” she said. “Don’t tell anyone what you just did – just wait for the moon to change and trust that (your faith) is dealing with it.”