Updated: Feb 4
What’s not to love about scribes? It has become one of the most versatile tools in my ‘kit’. If you have followed my Work at any length, you know I like to lay out definitions. I want to make sure everyone is on the same page. So, according to Merriam-Webster.com we have - 1: to mark a line on by cutting or scratching with a pointed instrument, and 2: to make by cutting or scratching.
There are a tremendous number of ways to use a scribe and the material it is made of is just as versatile as well. I’ve been known to scribe sigils in a dish of sand placed on my altar. It is likely best known for its uses with candle magic(K). Using it to draw or ‘scribe’ on the candle for one’s Working. Candle Work is extremely effective in my experience. You can find a whole slew of books that are dedicated to the subject. Personally, I am a huge fan of candle magic. I mean, it’s how I got my Beloved after all. But that is a story for another time.
I have found over my days along this path, that there is more than one way to do things. Which I welcome. I think life can be hard enough without bringing narrow views and rigidity into my Practice. I’ve changed over the 30 years I've been on this journey, and so has my Practice. You can ask five blacksmiths a question and get about twenty-seven different answers. And they are all correct! I think one of the great mysteries in life is finding what works for you. And how exciting is that! With that thought in mind, I have reached out to some next level people that I count myself fortunate to have in my life. I asked them to share how they may use a scribe and/or candle magic(K). It is my hope that this will speak to you and possibly give you a spark to try something different, or even do more of it in your Work. I think we ALL need MORE people doing their Work!
Let's start with Irisanya. She has written multiple books, is an avid blogger on Patheos and teacher. She says:
"One of my favorite and consistent candle magick practices is to carve my intentions into the wax. I might do this by carving words or symbols onto the surface. Or, more frequently, I come up with an intention, write it out on paper and turn that phrase into a sigil that I can then carve into the candle. The energy moves out into the world as the candle burns down, as I take notice of and claim whatever intention I'm working."
Find out more about Irisanya Moon and her work at https://www.irisanyamoon.com/
M. A. Phillips is a Druid in the ADF tradition and has written a series of books. She writes:
"Since I overcame my fear of fire as a child, candle magic has been one of my favorite forms of enchantment. I’m sure it has something to do with my being a Sagittarius and having a deep, transformative relationship with the goddess Brigid. I find candle magic fits into my spiritual practice well. Using a knife, pin, or scribe, I often carve Ogham into the wax to further energize and focus my work. Each magical system has symbol sets. Learning their history and lore will bring you closer to your religious path. In my experience, studying ogham, an ancient Irish alphabet that corresponds to the language, has helped me better understand the culture that continues to inspire and inform me. This has enriched my Druidry as a whole and added depth to my candle magic. I connect with my tool, a hand-forged scribe made by a fellow polytheist, intone the Ogham’s name as I carve my goals into the candle, and light the way to my desires."
You can find out more about her and her work at https://ditzydruid.com
Phoenix is a Melchizedek priest and bodyworker. He says:
"I love the scribe I learned to make at Ravens Keep Forge. It’s a tool I use to carve keywords, names, sigils, bindrunes, etc. into candles, mostly. I have also used it to impregnate other mediums with an intention for spell work and for healing. It is much easier to work with than a boline when it comes to carving smaller ritual items and for clearer details. Plus, the flame kissing that I learned gives it an otherworldly feel that helps my mind to buy into whatever it is I am doing. I am thrilled with the amount of use that it is providing me with and even better that I forged it myself. "
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Karen is also a published author, and she gives us some great insights:
"Candle magick is one of the oldest modalities of magick in the world. For as long as humans have had the power of fire and the ability to create candles, there was probably someone out there using them for energetic purposes. We all do at some point, whether we know it or not. Have you ever made a wish on a Birthday candle before blowing it out? That’s magick! Focusing on your intent and harnessing the energies of fire from the candle and air from your breath to send it out into the universe to manifest your wish.
I personally love candle magick. It is simple, accessible to most of us and one of the purest forms of magical work in my opinion. It is my usual go-to for any kind of manifestation spell work, especially if I am looking for something with a quick action. I am drawn to the ease of it, the economy, and the overall classic feel of a simple candle spell. Nothing like candle magick to set the energies I want in motion. Depending on how long the candle takes to burn down will inform my calculations on the effect or time it will take to manifest my intent once initiated. This is magick anyone can perform. You simply light a candle and speak your intention, or you can plan things out more elaborately. Create your spell carefully and set it with correspondences to really kick it up a notch. All you need is a candle, something to light it with and something to inscribe the wax. I have scribed candles using pins, nails, my fingernail, a pen, a pointy stick, a pocketknife, hunting knife, and with an actual scribing tool. Whatever I have at hand has done the trick. I am practical in my magickal workings, although, I will say having a lovely scribe tool in your hands to scribe with does make one feel a little extra “witchy”, lol.
I prefer to plan out my spells and rituals, especially when I have a specific need I want to make sure will manifest the way I desire. When it has been necessary to perform magick “on the fly”, a quick candle spell has occurred. It just depends on the situation. For most things I plan though. That means choosing my candles by shape, size, and color for the energy I am working. Planning out the day and time of the spell, gathering my materials such as: carrier oil and essential oils, herbs to correspond with my desired intention and anoint the candle, and planning out specifically what I will scribe on the candle. I have scribed words, symbols (dollar signs for money/abundance magick, etc), ogham and runes. I find symbols and ogham to be easiest and most energetically powerful. Since I connect with a mostly Irish pantheon of Gods, I have been studying the Irish Ogham and its correspondences for use in all my magick. The ogham has been easier for me to scribe into a candle with their basic line shapes. They also pack an energetic punch when used properly. I would suggest having something to hold the candle still, so it doesn’t roll when you are working on the inscription. The size of the candle and the size of your scribe point matter too. Best to have a finer point if your scribing something more detailed. I will also charge and prepare my intentions into my candles a few days before I am going to perform my spell. I like to let it build potential energy on my altar as the proper time for setting things in motion approaches.
Whatever your intention, wish or need may be, candle magick can serve as a simple yet powerful mode of energetic manifestation. I highly recommend it!"
Author of numerous books including ‘Priestess of The Morrigan’ Stephanie gives us this:
"Candle magic has always been one of my go to forms of magic. It's simple and effective, and well who doesn't like fire? While it can be a fairly simple form of magic, there are some things that enhance the work. What you dress a candle with is just as important as what you use to inscribe magical symbols or words upon it. I've used knives made from metals with qualities that correspond to the work I'm doing as well as items like pins, railroad nails, and thorns. Each lends its own magical qualities to the greater work."
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My witch friend and prolific author Byron says:
"When we start out in candle magic, the conventional
wisdom is that color is everything. But as we get more experience (and have more success), we begin to understand the subtlety of this art. We learn the exquisite differences in the effect of the oils we use to dress the candle. (My preference often runs to rue oil because it acts like rocket fuel for any working.)
We also learn the value of inscribing words and symbols onto the flank of the candle. We often begin with a toothpick or a writing pen but soon look for a better tool. Scoring the wax helps the oil cling to the wax and the markings set the intention for the work. You would do well to choose a scribing tool that is easy to grip, even if your fingers have residual oil on them. It should be stout and strong, well-weighted. An old-fashioned nut pick will do in a pinch but a well-made scribe is worth the effort to find."
Nikki, who’s the Founder and HPs of The Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick gives us a lot of information to ponder:
"When I was asked to describe how I use a candle scribe in my magickal practice, the first thing that occurred to me was that I had never actually used an item that was formally crafted to serve that sole and specific function. My candle inscribing has normally been done with various working knives including jack knives, steak knives and often my oversized crescent-shaped boline. As a side note, in my tradition of American Witchcraft the athame is never to be used as a tool for cutting, carving or working, so it would be very beneficial to have something on hand that is, in fact, meant for that purpose. There are lots of ways to customize the dressing of candles and I’m sure the most common, and one which I have used extensively, is the carving of symbols upon the wax. A great way to get into this habit is to carve the planetary symbol corresponding to the day you are working, or the vibration of the reason you are burning the candle. For example, you might make a petition for a victory at work on a Tuesday, since the ruling planet of that day of the week is Mars. You could use your inscription tool to carve the symbol of Mars on a red chime candle. Not only does it serve to further personalize the candle with your energetic effort and your purpose, but the grooves created can help the candle better hold any oil or herbs you might also choose to dress it with prior to burning. I have done lots of sorcerous work using the carving of runes, bind-runes, ogham, elemental symbols and even sometimes just straight up words or names. These actions add another layer of sympathy to the intention and other components you have going, intensifying the work. People often ask me about the carving of sigils on candles, but if you know anything about classic sigil magick, you come to realize that this would never truly be necessary. A properly activated sigil becomes part of the subconscious and of the energy field of the magician and it is not necessary to have it used in any visual medium after that. It wouldn’t be harmful to carve or draw it, but your efforts would be better used to add the carving of additional symbols to the work, even if a sigil has already been set into play for the purpose at hand. For more in-depth information on this topic, refer to “Practical Sigil Magic” by Frater U.D.
In addition to the carving of symbols on candles, one could draw circular line segments around the candle, partitioning it into sections. This could denote how far down you were meant to burn the candle per day, for example, and signify a certain amount of sequential progress toward your goal. Obviously, methods such as this, as well as the carving of symbols, work best on chime, taper or pillar candles, where the outside surface of the candle’s wax is exposed and accessible. I do also happen to do a lot of magick using the traditional “7-day” candles, which are the tall, glass-encased candles that come in various colors and which are often found in the multicultural food aisle of the grocery store at very affordable prices. There are safety benefits to a glass-encased candle, but it is a different creature altogether from the classical taper. The wax is usually much softer, and obviously only the top surface of the wax is exposed and accessible to the user. This has leant to a different style of dressing, and one which I enjoy immensely. You can still add symbols by using markers, glue and glitter to decorate the outside of the glass, but with your scribe or implement you can burrow little holes or tunnels into the soft wax of the top surface. Into these holes I like to stuff pinches of special herb and oil mixtures that were custom created for the working at hand. It is very gratifying to work with the personalities of herbs in this way, finding how their talents and properties relate to your spell. When they are included in the long term burn of a candle such as this for a more important working than say a daily chime candle petition, the increased energy of the effort is palpable. You can even dip the metal end of a scribe into the pool of wax created in the top of such a container candle and then anoint a grimoire page or slip of paper to be burnt with that wax, tying it to the spell.
It should also be noted that such a tool comes in handy for non-magickal moments at the altar as well, however.There are times when you need to scrape wax and ash off of surfaces, or out of a container so that it can be recycled.These are just a few of my favorite ways to use an implement for modifying candles for magickal work."
You can find Nikki Wardwell Sleath, on FaceBook
And finally, Sarah leaves us with some steps to work through the process.
"Candle magick can be as simple or as complicated as you like. I often will settle for middle of the road with most of my workings.
1-Gather the materials you will need for your candle magick. I will often use just a candle, a petition paper and my athame or boline for carving (if you do not have a ritual blade, you can use a small kitchen knife, needle, pin or wood/pumpkin carving tool You just need to cleanse them and bless them first) For more advanced workings, you can have herbs and oils that correspond to your goal. i.e. patchouli herb for prosperity or lust, rose for love, etc. 2-Write your petition as clearly and as focused as you can. Example: You want to attract love into your life. Write something like: I open to love in all its forms. Happy healthy relationship. Etc. 3-Carve your desire into the candle. This can be as creative or as simple as time allows. Carving into the candle really assists in focusing on our needs/desires. And remember them more energy you can align into your workings, the easier the energy will flow out and return.
I will most often utilize symbols that correlate to my magickal need. In health I would carve the healing hand over the person’s name and DOB, For finding a new job you can utilize a 4 leaf clover for wealth and luck. Horseshoes can be used for both luck and protection depending on the direction you carve it.
So many ways and this is a great way to get your witchy creative juices flowing.
Remember to write down what you did in your journal, this way you will ascertain what works best for you."
Sarah McDavid is the proprietress at one of my favorite shops, Terra Blue
I am so grateful to each who took their time to contribute to this. It is such a wealth of information and knowledge through experience! What a treasure. May it honor you in your Practice, your Work and your Service!
Now, it is no secret that I happen to co-create candle scribes. If it speaks to you, great. If not, that’s ok too. I’ve been known to use of those high dollar fancy nails in the days gone by, and I am sure I may very well again. Bottom line is, just do the Work. I appreciate your support and would be thrilled if you didn’t keep this a secret. Please share.
If you are reading this before Dec 4th, I have something delicious for December's 𝐌𝐨𝐨𝐧
𝐁𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠! A 𝐶𝑜𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑆𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑏𝑒! This is a terrific way to add to your metal magic.⚒️Whether for candles or other inscriptions. This Scribe is about a 1/4 by 6 inches. It has a gentle twist and is flame kissed🔥on either end. A spiral and triskele stamped at the end finish it off. Will be forged on Dec 7th for the dark moon.🌑 Only $𝟒𝟓. To make this🌑 an excellent combination, bundle it with a fairy dish for only an additional $𝟏𝟓. Talk about fantabulous! For 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 and for 𝐠𝐢𝐟𝐭𝐬. 𝐿𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑡 𝟥. Order no later than Dec 4th. 𝐌𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫.
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