How To Use Fixed Spell Candles (And Interpret The Flame)

As most of you will know, I launched my own little candle shop recently. This is something that has been "in the works" for a long time, and I'm so massively grateful for the support I've received so far. All your messages, orders, retweets and photos of my creations on Instagram really mean the world. There will be lots of shop-related blog content coming up in the next few weeks - how I came to work with Lace And Whimsy on the "Divine Feminine" collection, I think, deserves it's own post. For today, however, I wanted to talk a bit about what fixed candles are, and address common questions about how to use them.

Candle art by Kathy d. Clark of Lace And Whimsy

All the candles I make could be described as "fixed". This is because they are fixed in intention, set in their energy, dressed with herbs, crystals, or oils for a specific purpose. You don't have to add any extra magick to them, if you do not want to, or don't know how; they already have mine. They can be left alone to work on your behalf. You can, of course, adapt them for your own spells, rituals, meditation, or celebrations. But it's not essential for you to benefit from them. Many of my customers tell me they notice a difference before they even start to burn their candle, just from having it around the house.  

Candle magick is alchemy, and interpreting how a fixed candle reacts and behaves is part of the witchcraft of it. If you want to interpret your candle more closely, get a notebook and take down anything you notice about it. Look at whatever feelings come up. Compare and contrast. Move it to a different room, and notice the effect the shift in energy has on the flame. Work from your intuition, first and foremost, but here are some general guidelines you can take into account when it comes to translating anything out of the ordinary.

The Candle Won't Light Or Stay Lit: It might not be the right time to use it! Think over whether it's really the ideal time to begin your working, or if you're ready for what you're asking for. For example, maybe your Aphrodite candle keeps going out, and you're wondering why because you feel so desperate for a certain person. That person might not be right for you, or you might need to spend some time on your own before you call in a new relationship. Set it aside for a while and rethink your intention.

The Glass Container Shatters While The Candle Is Burning: Fixed candles are made using shatter-proof glass, designed to withstand ridiculous temperatures. The jars I use for mine have never shattered during the pouring process or during product testing. Conventional witchy wisdom says that should this happen, you must cover the shattered candle jar with anything you can; a bell jar or upside down bowl/vase would work fine, so long as the whole jar is covered and contained. This will trap any negativity the candle caught for you. You can then dispose of it away from the house.

The Flame is Dim Or Flickering: This is low-vibration, weak, almost smothered energy. The flame isn't getting any air, so to speak, which means your working isn't getting any power behind it. This happens sometimes when there's a large obstacle to overcome or there's density to clear. Keep your focus and keep trying until you achieve a strong flame.

The Flame Is High And Strong: In short, a strong flame signals a strong working.  If the flame shoots up high like a blowtorch, it is being well "fed" and consuming a high amount of energy. This is an intense, but positive sign. If you have multiple fixed candles on at once, examine their flames to see where your power lies at the moment, and where you might need to place more attention. Your Athena might be burning bright and steady, but your Hera is flickering and dim, for example. What could this tell you about your work/home life? If your flame is jumping and inconsistent, there is explosive, volatile energy involved. 

The Candle Is Smoking For No Reason: Smoke is usually a sign of manifestation. What is being manifested exactly, can depend on the direction and colour of the smoke. Is it drifting off in the direction of the bedroom, or the doorway? Is it drifting West (water, emotions, creativity) or South (fire, soul, passion)? Again, make your own interpretations based on your situation.

A closing note on practicalities. Soy wax has a memory, and will burn to the parameters it went to the first time. If you don't keep your candle on until the whole surface is wet the first time you use it, you risk candle tunnelling. Because my candles are designed for manifestation, they are ideally burnt in one long sitting. If you have to snuff it out and come back another time, make sure the whole surface is at least molten first. This can take several hours, as they are incredibly slow-burning. If you've followed these guidelines and can't explain why your candle is acting so spooky, hopefully this post has shed some light. 

Magickal Beauty Products With Heart (For The UK And USA!)

love it when I see witches getting major deals and spreading their magick; I always try to support my faves when they bag a sweet collaboration with a big company. There are many brands, however, who have never dipped a toe into spirituality or witchcraft before, let alone consulted an actual witch, bringing out "rose quartz" and "crystal" products with no actual crystal infusion or intent behind them, and certainly no help from occultists. They're jumping on a bandwagon that's been driven by the spiritual community, and churning out products that look similar, but don't have the same intention. And don't even get me started on "witchy" products that are tested on animals.

I've spoken before about the commercialisation of witchcraft, and how I feel about it being co-opted as a lifestyle trend by everyone and their nan. Part of the reason why I take issue with it is because I know so many amazing witches, creators, makers and artists doing great work, crafting unique products and not getting the attention or the support they deserve. It's not hard to find magickal products and tools designed by real witches, especially not right now. You don't even have to shop particularly "small" to shop authentic and more ethically. Here are some of my favourite brands and apothecaries, to get you started. 


A lot of these brands deliver worldwide too, but just ask a bit more postage! In this list I tried to stick to more easily-discovered brands so that you guys can all go and do your own research on Instagram or other social, just to demonstrate how much is out there and how easy it is to find good ritual products. Let me know if you would want to see my recommendations for local, Welsh artisans and makers. Many of my friends create their own magickal things and don't have much information about their projects online. Also, if you can think of any great woo creators I haven't listed here, please give them a massive shout-out in the comments.

Intuitive Skincare (And Why I Stopped Doing a Routine)

I've been obsessed with skincare since I was 11 or 12. I enjoy the process of it, the ritual of cleansing and beautifying the exterior self, indulging your senses in a way that feels like it's "doing something", and I kind of want it to be the answer to all my problems. As much as I don't want to, however, I must admit an uncomfortable truth, blogger heresy: my skin feels better when I leave it pretty much alone.

A lot of you will say I just haven't been doing skincare "the right way". You might want to suggest more products or techniques I should try, which is well-meaning but misses the point of what I'm trying to say here. I'm not against skincare - I just think our approach to it is a bit of a clusterfuck. I've been washing my face all my life, and doing a 3-step routine since I was still a child. By my early 20's my nightly skincare climbed up to 8 or 9 products, and got more and more complex. Looking at a lot of skincare forums and hashtags, it's hard for me to ignore the parallels between those spaces and the pro-anorexia forums of the 00's; both are full of very young girls becoming obsessed with perfecting an innately transient and imperfectable thing, sharing advice on how to "control" it, and all of them sure that if they only stuck to the right regimen, their life would sort itself out and maybe they'd be beautiful. This breaks my heart a little bit.

On The Commodification Of Witchcraft

Witchcraft is booming. New books, products, and spiritual services come out every day. Masonic and occult symbolism is vividly present in mainstream pop music, we have more cutesy "white witches" on TV than ever before, and more and more people are sharing their magic online, posting pictures of their altar space or Sabbat celebrations. I spoke with You Magazine recently about why I think modern witchcraft is becoming so popular, and to me the answer was obvious. Millenials and Gen Xr's want a spiritual path that honours everything organised religions too often ignore or demonise - women, our natural darkness, our sexuality, and above all, mother nature.

The surge in interest in witchcraft has been so great that Sephora recently announced they are bringing out a "starter witch kit", containing a rose quartz, a smudge stick, some oils and a few other things. The kit will cost $42. This news has attracted so many differing opinions and perspectives over recent days that I felt I needed to discuss it here. Let's overlook, for a second, the question of where these crystals were mined, and by whom. It's true that many trendy lifestyle stores have already been selling over-priced witch tools such as Tarot cards, incense, and crystals for years. But that doesn't make it acceptable. That doesn't mean we should grow complacent at every instance of unethical flogging of sacred materials. We are allowed to be angry every fresh time it happens. The commodification of white sage, and the unsustainable harvesting of it to meet demand from white girls dabbling in spirituality, is problematic on its own. White sage is not yet endangered, as some well-intentioned people on Twitter claim, but it does need to be responsibly harvested to avoid damage to what is left of our planet's wildness. Even putting aside the fact that you could buy enough herbs and seeds to start a garden, or several instructional books, with that amount of money, witchcraft isn't a commodity and it can't be bought at all. Not only could young witch's money be better spent, this kit is also spreading the idea that being a witch is all about having the right "stuff". How declawed and unthreatening have we become, that being a witch is a fashionable and kitsch identity one can pick up at Sephora.

How I Celebrate The Harvest Season

At the very beginning of August, I'll be celebrating Lughnasadh. Otherwise known as Lammas, or the First Harvest, Lughnasadh marks the golden days of high summer, and the beginning of the reaping festivals. The first fruit is ripe and ready to be picked, and we move on to another stage in our journey through the year. This day has much to do with fertility (all witch's festivals are about fertility in some form, as the wheel of the year mimics the natural cycle of all life and death) but it also revolves around the home and kitchen, nourishment, growth, fire and plenty.

On a personal level, it always feels to me like a time to honour everything the universe has given us, and welcome in the rewards we are about to receive for our hard work, struggle, and lessons over the year so far. If you've been blessed, now's the time to give thanks and open up for more. If you've been wronged or had it rough, remember that we all reap what we sow, and nobody truly escapes that fact. Moving forward in our own lane, and tending our lives with love and kindness - even when we can't yet see any results - pays dividends in the end. This day is also a reminder that the dark months are inevitably coming (sob) and we should make the most of the sunshine we have left. Here are some simple ways I like to mark the beginning of harvest season.

Growing My Hair Out After Years Of Bleach

There's so much writing online about how to grow long hair. Some of us can get almost fanatical about it, obsessed with achieving "Disney princess lengths". This is not that kind of post. I'm not interested in growing my hair as long as it can possibly go, no matter what; I started growing it because I wanted to be free of the discolouration years of bleaching and colouring had caused, leaving me with frazzled, khaki ends. It took a little time, but all of that is now gone, and I have my own natural colour and texture reaching my bra-straps. I last bleached my roots in March 2017, which means I've developed around 14 inches of fresh growth in 16 months. 

I haven't been taking any hair vitamins or wacky Instagram supplements. I eat a vegan diet and tend to mix up my wild medicine; I often take iron, kelp, Forage Goddess Drops, and soya protein powder. Getting enough protein in your diet helps all your hair grow, including your lashes and eyebrows, so I make sure I pack it in there.

Plant Babies

Being a nature-based solitary witch, most of my magic takes place in the kitchen, the bath, or out in the wild. Working with flowers, essences, plants, and herbs is central to my practice and my whole ethos as a witch; almost everything I do is based around tending human needs through the bounty we have right at our fingertips, and underneath our feet. Magic is nature and nature is magic. I like to grow my spells, eat my spells, bathe in the infused water of my spells.

Recently my boyfriend got this mini greenhouse from IKEA, and together we've been filling it up with our plants, creating a joint garden. The living room gets the most sunlight; it's almost like a greenhouse already, so that's where all the arid-loving plants live. The shady bedrooms of the house are much better suited to ivy and other shrubbery. Many of my plants have been in desperate need of  re-potting for a while, and we wanted to combine a few and make giant cactus/succulent gardens in larger pots. So, I designed little triads that would coexist harmoniously.

The Ultimate Vegan Carrot And Walnut Cake (With No Dairy Alternatives!)

2018 has kinda effortlessly become my year of baking. Getting really good at making vegan treats was one of the things I wrote down as an intention for this year, and for once I'm actually super proud of how far I've come with my New Year's resolution. I met my partner around the beginning of January and having him in my life has certainly helped motivate me to cook from scratch more - making him fall in love with vegan food brings me so much joy. Another thing that's been really helpful is Pinterest. Finding inspiration and starting-point recipes is so much easier on there than any other platform. The inspiration for this particular cake, a moist, crumbly, hearty and exceptionally sweet carrot and walnut cake, came from Loving It Vegan. I've changed the recipe considerably here, according to my preferences, and I love the result. I think it's one of the best cakes I've ever made, and it disappeared so quickly I thought I'd better share it. Unexpectedly, it contains no dairy alternatives in the actual cake base whatsoever. No nut milk, no margarine except a little bit for the icing, no boxed egg replacement. The rise comes from the baking powder and soda, and it's all held together by the carrot and the banana. This is all you'll need.