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Magick In Religion… Candle Magic? Edit

As different Religions developed over time, more ancient ideas of magic infiltrated that present religion’s practice. Prayer Wheels, Prayer Flags, Prayer Candles, Petitions and Sigils are the five I will mention here that originated from Magic. Edit

I grew up in Orthodox Christianity which denounced magical practices and until I was older and better informed, I never knew that pagan magic practices were still observed in the church. Edit

Everyone has done Candle magic Before! Edit

What is the origin of birthday candles? Edit

It is said that the custom of placing candles on a birthday was started by early Greeks who used to place candles on the cake that they offered to Artemis - the Goddess of Moon. Lit candles made their round shape cake glow like the moon. Germans, who perfected themselves in the art of candle-making placed candles on the cake but for religious reasons. They used to place a big candle in the centre of the cake to represent 'light of life'. The candle is marked with lines and numbers, usually 12, which would be burned every year. Scholars also say that the custom of placing candles originated because people believed that Gods lived in the skies. They thought that lit candle helped to send signals and prayers to the god so that they could be answered more effectively. The other belief that people held was when a person makes a wish while blowing out the votive candle a signal or message was received by the god and the prayers would be answered Edit

A great many of the early Christians were Greeks and they brought candle magic into the church. Instead of lighting candles to Artemis, they lit them to the Virgin Mary or to Jesus, believing their message was received by the new god and the prayers would be answered. I was also taught as a child that the votive candle continued to pray on my behalf until it burned out. Edit

In a few churches where the lighting of candles faced objection, the reason was changed to say that they represented “Burnt Offerings”, something common to both Jewish and Christian Scriptures. Edit

What are Petitions? Edit

These are written Prayers on scraps of paper. They are read aloud and tossed into the fire and burned. The prayers are supposed to go up to God in the smoke, since the Scriptures mentions smoke of offerings ascending up to God. The practice originated in Pagan Worship Rituals. Edit

Some churches placed a “Petition Box” on the alter of the church and people would insert their paper prayer requests. The Priest or Minister would place his hand on it and bless it during services. On December 31, the last night of the year, at exactly midnight, believed by many to be the exact moment of the nativity, the box of Petitions would be burned. Edit

Prayer Wheels Edit

People observed a wheel or ring has no beginning or end and messages were often inscribed in wedding rings. Inscribing “Forever Faithful” would insure the wearer would be exactly that. The practice infiltrated other religions and prayers or desires were inscribed on wheels or cylinders and turned to send the messages forth. Prayer wheels are more common in Buddhist Temples, but have appeared in some Christian Churches and are mentioned in at least one or more Christian Hymns. Edit

Prayer Flags Edit

Prayer flags are common in a number of religions, but most common among Buddhists. One takes a cloth like a handkerchief and writes their Petition on it as they do a scrap of paper. Instead of burning, it is placed in the wind so that the air will carry the message to heaven. A few Christians have been observed to use Prayer Wheels and Prayer Flags. Edit

Sigil (magick) Edit

In medieval ceremonial magic, the term sigil was commonly used to refer to occult signs which represented various angels and demons which the magician might summon. It spread into medieval Christianity and Churches and homes employed graphic designs to ward off evil. It continues today among some Christians of the Pennsylvania Dutch as "Hex Signs" painted on barns to ward off evil, But mainly, we think they are symbols of good luck or good fortune.  There are present articles which try to remove the HEX status of the name and reduce them to decorations.  Examining a Hex sign will reveal it has religious symbols and numerology to make it have spiritual value and effect.  The cross, The Fish (IXTHYS), Circle, Triangle, and Wreath are all Christian accepted Sigils. Edit

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