From Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers
Candle spells and Lamp spells are spell-castings involving candles or lamps. They may be performed by Southern-style hoodoo root doctors on behalf of their clients for virtually any purpose, including the performance of love spells, money spells, blessing spells, protection spells, career success spells, health and healing spells, spells for the removal or reversal of crossed conditions, curses, or jinxes, court case and mediation spells, spells to increase psychic gifts, or spells to drive away or get revenge on an enemy.
The colour of the candle or lamp oil, the herbs, oils, and other materials which are used to dress the candle or which are placed in the lamp, and the altar setup may all vary according to the particular worker's inclination and purpose. Variations of these sorts of spells include casting moving candle spells, setting vigil lights or novena candles, and fixing spiritual lamps.
If a candle worker is a church deacon, reverend, apostle, minister, or bishop, his or her candle practice of altar work on behalf of clients may also be called a Candle Ministry and the preparation of the candles may be accompanied by the recitation of prayers or Psalms. A rootworker who maintains a candle ministry has at least one altar set aside as sacred or sanctified space.
Fixed Candle Spells
Fixed candle spells involve the use of any type of candle that, once fixed and prepared, is left to burn in place without being moved. Candles used in this type of work include offertory, seven day, seven knob, jumbo, figural, double action, reversible, and votive lights. The candle's colour may be chosen based on the situation or condition for which the job is being done, the client's intentions toward the people involved, or the astral or zodiac signs of those involved. The word "fixed" in this context refers both to the fixing and preparing of the candle, and to the fat that it is fixed or unmoving during the time it burns, which is generally less than six hours altogether, although it my be burned in sections -- that is lit, put out, and re-lit a number of times.
Fixed candles may be named for a client or a target individual, carved with appropriate symbols or sigils, loaded with personal concerns like hair or fingernail clippings, and anointed, dressed, or blessed with condition oils and herbs, roots, and minerals appropriate to the work. Sachet powders suitable to the condition of the client may be dusted on it, or it may be sprinkled with glitter to reflect wishes out into the universe many times over.
After the candle is prepared according to the style of the rootworker and the needs of the client, an appropriate time is selected for the ritual of lighting. At that time, prayers or petitions are made over the candle, and it is lit at the altar.
Depending on the nature of the work, a fixed candle may be burned straight through, with or without the recitation of Psalms, or it may be burned in sections, either a segment at a time, or for a specific time-span per session. If the candle is to be burned in one sitting, the conjure practitioner may time the work so that the light burns in concert with natural occurrences like sunrise and sunset or so that it stays alight and provides illumination during the casting of another spell, such as a ritual of spiritual bathing and cleansing or the creation of a mojo bag, doll baby, talisman, or container spell. If the candle is going to be burned over several days, it is a common tradition for an odd number of days to be chosen; three days and seven days are typical choices for sectional burns.
Moving Candle Spells
Moving candle spells are progressive workings in which the candles are repositioned during the course of their being burned, in essence being used to act out the intentions of the spell-caster. They are generally used when the hoodoo doctor wants to help a client by separating people or by bringing people together. Moving candle spells may make use of a variety of offertory, jumbo, pillar, double action, reversible, seven-knob, figural, or votive candles. The candle colours may be selected to relate to the situation or condition for which the spell is being cast, the roles of the people involved, or the astral or zodiac signs of the people involved.
To separate or break up a couple, to move an unwanted neighbor or enemy out of a client's life, to send a troublesome co-worker away from a job-site, or to drive customers away from a store that is in competition to the client's store, the root doctor will fix and dress a candle for each person or class of persons, face the two candles away from one another, and burn them in sections, moving them apart over the course of several days.
Alternatively, to bring about a reconciliation in love, to effect a renewal of friendship, to get a job for a client, to bring a new co-worker into a job-site, or to increase customer flow into a business, the rootworker will position the dressed and prepared candles facing one another and burn them in sections, slowly bringing them closer and closer until, at the end of several days, they are touching on the altar.
Hoodoo rootworkers who cast moving candle spells for clients may also read and interpret the patterns formed in the candle wax and provide a written or telephoned candle report to their clients as part of the fee for doing the work.
Setting lights is a term used for the dressing and lighting of candles for a specific person with a specified desired outcome and letting them burn through until they are finished. A variety of candle sizes and shapes may be used, as well as kerosene lamps, but the term "setting lights" is most often used to specifically indicate the setting of glass encased hoodoo vigil candles, Catholic novena candles, or oil lamps.
There is also an unspoken religious context to the practice of setting lights, and a professional rootworker who does this for clients may be said to have a candle ministry. Such a worker generally sets aside a special place to conduct the candle ministry for clients, often in a separate room or small building, perhaps best characterized as a chapel or small church.
Lights to be set on the altar are prepared by dressing them with appropriate oils, herbs, minerals, or glitter. They may have names or other words carved or written on them, and they may be loaded with personal concerns from the client or the target individual. The worker may recite Psalms or prayers from the heart over them.
After being prayed over, the candles are placed on the candle altar, usually with a petition paper beneath or taped to the side. A paper bearing an appropriate Psalm may also be placed beneath the candle. The petitions are said to "set" under the candle in the same way that eggs are set under a broody hen -- and lights that are set are never burned in sections (put out and re-lit), and they always burn for several days.
A spiritual worker who has set vigil lights for a client may include candle reading as part of the service. With glass novena and vigil candles this type of reading takes the form of candle glass divination, and a written or telephoned candle report may be included as part of the fee for setting the light.
Oil lamps are an enduring token of humanity’s desire to conquer darkness and the Philosophy of Fire. They are used for magic, prayers, petitions, and spell casting, especially within the traditions of the African Diaspora religions, ceremonial magick, and Jewish mysticism. Lamps have the benefit of a longer burn than most candles, and for a set price many rootworkers will offer to set a lamp burning constantly on a petition for your condition for a period of time ranging from a couple of days up to a year.
Root doctors and conjure workers use lamps for their clients in several ways. Because of their long burn time, rootworkers may employ lamps to be set as vigil lights upon an altar. Rootworkers will also specially prepare lamps with roots, curios, coloured oil, and personal concerns to create fixed lamps to aid clients who hire them to perform magical spells for love drawing, money drawing, court case, blessing, protection, and peaceful home situations.
During their creation, fixed lamps may be dedicated to a specific condition such as love and romance magic, for a named client, or for a group of targeted persons. They are then prayed over, set upon appropriate petition papers or Psalms, or have such petitions attached to them, and prepared according to the style of the conjure worker and the needs of the client's situation. After this, an appropriate time is selected for the ceremonial lighting of the lamp, and it is decided how long it will be left burning. Any final prayers or petitions that may be needed for a specific case are made over it as it is lit and set to work.
Many spiritual conjure practitioners are willing to take on clients who request that their petitions be set under one of the rootworker's general condition lamps. If you wish, you may select a hoodoo doctor who will create an individually fixed lamp just for you, to be set upon the rootworker's altar in your name alone. Although this service generally costs more than having your petitions set under the rootworker's general condition lamp, you are assured that you now have a lamp dedicated only to you and your needs.
Some rootworkers can create a “fixed” lamp or set of lamps, ready for work, to be sold directly to you along with personal instructions, through a spiritual telephone consultation or magical coaching session, explaining to you how to use the lamp so you can burn the lamp in your own home.
Divination with oil lamps is performed by some conjure doctors and is similar to candle reading and fire reading, although with an oil lamp the quality of the flame and any blackening or clearing of the glass chimney are of special significance.
AIRR Readers & Rootworkers Who Perform This Work for Clients