Altar Candles

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Altar candles on a Wiccan altar. Courtesy Raymond Buckland/Fortean Picture Library.

Altar Candles

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Book of Shadows states that there should be fire on the altar. Some traditions, and some Solitaires, use a single candle, which is simply "the altar candle." Others use tow candles and refer to them as the God and Goddess candles. Most Witches have representations of the God and the Goddess on their altar often in the form of statuettes, but sometimes the candles themselves are used for these representations. It is possible to purchase candles that are shaped like male or female figures. These are especially suitable to be God and Goddess candles.

Although altar candles are usually white, it is not uncommon for Witches to use a candle in a color appropriate for the particular sabbat or for the season—for example, dark green for Beltane, brown for Imbole, yellow for Lughnasadh, orange for Samhain, light green at the spring equinox (Ostara), red at the summer solstice, orange at the autumnal equinox, and brown at the winter solstice (Yule). These colors may vary according to the particular Wiccan tradition or even to personal taste. Yellow candles are frequently used on the altar at the Full Moon. White candles are always used for Initiations. Purple candles may be used for the rites of death, or Crossing the Bridge.