The dark season is an expert container for transitional magic; as the wheel turns towards spring, and the snow finally begins to melt and soften into the soil, we're witnessing winter's final goodbyes. As we transcend the bitter cold, and look ahead, so much remains unseen—it's difficult to anticipate the changes of the coming season from our current spot, coiled in luxurious darkness. Candle magic can warm the way for us, easing us through the transition from a season of death and rebirth and into season of new, abundant growth.
Fire is the element of creative action, but it's also a surprisingly deft facilitator of rest. Think of the traditional hearth fire, sitting proudly at the center of a home. This fire was utilitarian, yes—you could cook with it as well as warm your tired bones. But the hearth fire was also an offering of sorts, and an energetic landmark. The hearth fire would warm the house's inhabitants and spirits through the most bitter nights of winter—you could bask for hours in its glow, and know that its light would ward off unwelcome spirits as you slept.
Magically, this fire was also used to illuminate the unseen, and forge a path through the dark season, into the season of light and gentle blooms. The modern witch, hearth fire or no, can utilize candle magic to invoke a similar power. Though the fire of a candle may be smaller, a flame's magic is as potent as you allow it to be.
Warming the Way: A Candle Ritual for the Dark Season
Embrace the untempered warmth of flame with this candle ritual. This spell is best performed at night, or at times of energetic darkness.
You will need:
A white or gold votive candle
An offering dish
A bay leaf
A fire-proof dish
Begin by assembling all of your materials in a space of sanctuary—this ritual can be performed in any space, but ideally you should perform it in a place you feel safe, and know you'll be undisturbed.
Start by sitting and reflecting on the coming spring. What goals do you have, that you feel unprepared to pursue? What do you want to accomplish in the coming season? What tools would you need in order to achieve these goals?
Take your bay leaf. On the back of it, write, "The way is lit. The way is warm. I am divinely guided." If you'd like, you can write another appropriate mantra. Place this bay leaf underneath your candle. Then, light your candle. Keep it in a place it can safely burn for an extended period, but don't leave the candle unattended—if you need to leave, always snuff your candle beforehand.
While your candle burns, sit in contemplation. What awaits you on the other side of winter? What may be clouding your judgement at this time? Bask in the light of your flame, and let these concerns subside and melt away.
When the candle is nearly finished burning, remove the bay leaf from underneath it. While holding your desire for warmth and guidance in your mind, light the bay leaf in fire, and let it burn in the fireproof dish.