Inspired by Grayson's blog
and my own experience in creating a similar craft, I would like to present a method to create candle-like incendiaries whose burning time is roughly 25 minutes and construction is as customizable as the spell itself.
Standard taper candles can take hours to burn and, like all candles, should demand your constant supervision. Personally, I favor a single burn as opposed to lighting the same candle over days. If it is intended to be a long-term operation, I will use a novena or similar candle housed within a glass chimney. If it's not, I would rather burn it in one go or have new ones for any necessary repeats. However, I do not wish it to burn all day in case other things require my attention.
For this method, you create your own fairly easily and inexpensively. You can also mix your own oils into the base "wax", and make the whole creation process a ritual in and of itself. For the base fuel, I will be using ghee, a purified butter that's been used in Hinduism as an oil and offering for millenea. Here's what you need, DIYers:
¤ 100% cotton balls
¤ Votive candle holder/plate
¤ Spell-relevant material
If you cannot acquire ghee, which is a staple at Indian supermarkets and some international/world marts, you'll have to make it yourself. However, this is easily done and a process around 20 minutes of duration. In lieu of the ghee, then, you'll need two more items:
whole, organic butter
¤ Cheesecloth, coffee filter or a clean piece of cotton fabric/T-shirt
If you already have ghee, skip the following bits of information and steps.
Unwrap your block/sticks of unsalted butter. It's important that the butter is unsalted. Salt adds unwanted, unnecessary sediments that forms when you boil it, also forming cracks and pops in the burning of the finished product. The whole point of clarifying the butter, in fact, is to remove all non-dairy solids, reducing it to pure milk fat. It is for this reason that I recommend the extra dollar or so in purchasing your butter that has been certified organic. Less crap in the food means less in the butter. What the cattle are fed ends up in all
I also advise against cheap butter. You get what you pay for, and a decrease in price usually means that there's a significant amount of water in the butter. If you have no choice, however, use it and simply double your boiling time to evaporate all of the water. Expect a reduced amount of ghee, however. Regular butter may result in around a 5-7% loss of volume. Butters of lesser quality will yield 15-20% less ghee.
So, let's begin!
Drop your butter in a medium sauce pan and place it on the stove. Turn the heat to no higher than medium and allow it to come to a boil. Allow it to boil for around five minutes or so, lowering the heat if it appears the "froth" may spill over. Besides the froth, you'll notice whiteish solids forming at the bottom of the pan. These sediments are what you don't want in your candle and, likely, in your body as well.
Remove the pan from the burner and allow to cool, but only for a few minutes. You want whatever solids left to form, but not the ghee to become semi-solid. Now, let's filter that junk out. Place a piece of cheesecloth (or aforementioned alternative) over a clean, glass container. Pour the butter through it, periodically changing pieces of cloth (it will clog within minutes) until it's all filtered through. For quality assurance, filter it all back through a second time. What you now have is ghee! Easy enough, right?
From Ghee to Glee
With melted glee before you, it's time to customize it if you're going to use it outside of cooking or other traditional application. At this stage, I would typically work in accordance to the Planetary Hours
relative to the working. For example, if I wished to attract prosperity, I would begin mixing in a few drops
of an oil associated with the intent (olive oil is a household oil suitable for it) during the a Jupiter hour (and, all the better, on a Thursday of a waxing moon). If one for banishing illness, the hours of the Sun would be optimal, and oils such as that of Frankincense may be the perfect synergy. You get the picture. Use the herbal properties model of your specific practice.
You may also wish to use natural
food dyes to color the ghee. If you feel that coloring it red will assist in matters of protection, then by all means, do it. This process is very much a ritual in and itself. Chant, sing, visualize your intent into the mixture. When finished, simply stir it until the oils are homogenous and you're almost done. You really should do this in a timely matter, lest the ghee begins to solidify.
If you're wanting waxes of various purposes, you would naturally make several vats for each intended purpose. If the ghee begins to solidify, a few moments on a burner or microwave will bring it back to a manipulable state.
At this point, you have an all-natural, intent-specific fuel, ready to go up in flames. You may wish to pour it into an open oil lamp, use it as a replacement wax in a glass candle chimney, pour it into a tealight candle holder (of which in these cases a new cotton wick would be needed). An alternative would be to use the cotton balls.
Twentyish Minutes of Flame
Take a cotton ball and dip it in the modified ghee. Form it to a teardrop shape, thus giving you a tip to serve as a "wick" from which to ignite it. Let the saturated cotton drip a few excess drops back into the vat, but do not wring any out. Place it upon a plate or within a container to cool. I assembly line produce mine and place them into a tupperware container to store in my freezer. I have, however, stored mine in an open container on a cupboard for months with zero degradation. Therein lies one difference between butter and ghee: extended shelflife without the need of refridgeration. It seems to me that the additives to butter spoil it remarkably faster.
So, now you have ready-made, quick-fire spell "candles". One-half a block or two sticks of butter will yield around a dozen of these things. You don't have to annoint it or anything. You only need to find the right time to use it. I recommend using planetary hours, but anytime deemed "necessary" is good enough, too. Simply prepare your workspace accordingly, place the ball upon a glass or metal votive holder (or dish, etc) and light the "wick" and do your thing as it burns. I highly recommend that, like regular candles, the process be continually observed. With these, they can produce a steady 4-6" flame! Use this time to focus on your intent, add some other energy-raising techniques or simply meditate upon the lovely flame that it produces. One made from large cotton balls last upwards of 25 minutes from start to a small pile of ash easily disposed or used in further relevant workings.