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Candle Color Meanings and How to Use Each Type and Color of Candle

Moving away from its previous subsistence economy, in the 18th century Saint-Domingue refocused its economy around the mass export of indigo, coffee, sugar, and cocoa to Europe. Ultimately, Saint-Domingue became the colony with the largest number of slaves in the Caribbean. Vodouists fear the dead’s ability to harm the living; it is believed that the deceased may for instance punish their living relatives if the latter fail to mourn them appropriately.

The first part of the initiation rite is known as the kouche, coucher, or huño, and is marked by salutations and offerings to the lwa. It begins with the chire ayizan, a ceremony in which palm leaves are frayed and then worn by the initiate. Sometimes the bat ge or batter guerre (“beating war”) is performed instead, designed to beat away the old.

Whether performed as a simple act or as part of a much more complex ritual, this experience involves witnessing the process of transformation through the element of fire. Through the practice of candle magick, people channel energy in ways that promote and speed up changes taking place in their lives. Beyond a basic focus on prayer and reflection, candles have often been used in rituals for divination, to find a divine spirit or larger meanings from random facets or elements. More than attempts at fortune-telling, divination often has a deeper social or religious context. Commonly known as candle magic, this practice is also known as lychnomancy when it involves three identical candles laid out in a triangle.

An estimated 80% of Haitians practice Vodou; in 1992, Desmangles put the number of Haitian practitioners at six million. Not all take part in the religion at all times, but many will turn to the assistance of Vodou priests and priestesses when in j.misa collection porcelain doll times of need. The Code Noir issued by King Louis XIV in 1685 forbade the open practice of African religions on Saint-Domingue. The build-up to Easter sees Rara bands, largely consisting of peasants and the urban poor, process through the streets.

Often most present in the area immediately above the blue flames, this is the area where “crackling” noises may emanate as the fuel within the candle loses oxygen due to the presence of the flame. Candles combine the natural elements of air, water, earth, and fire. By igniting the candle, all four of these elements come into play. The physical wax transitions after flame is introduced to the wick.