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Author Topic: Types of Candles  (Read 2557 times)

Demophon

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Types of Candles
« on: May 11, 2016, 08:21:00 pm »
Recently I became a convert to beeswax candles because apparently they are better for the environment, the smell nice, and I like the idea of burning something natural during my religious worship rather than something synthetic made from petroleum. The major drawback is that they are quite pricey, so I have to ration how often I burn them. The store I go to even carries them in different colours, made with vegetable dyes.

I also found tapers made from soy that I like. They don't drip, and they burn pretty cleanly. They also don't really have much of a fragrance, even though they are apparently scented. There are probably additives, since soy is usually a softer wax, so I don't know how "natural" they are, but probably still better than most candles.

However, I still use regular paraffin candles a lot of the time, because they're cheap, they look nice, and they come in a variety of colours. They are usually the most convenient, even though the natural ones are nice for special occasions.

Scales

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 05:19:04 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;190954
Recently I became a convert to beeswax candles because apparently they are better for the environment, the smell nice, and I like the idea of burning something natural during my religious worship rather than something synthetic made from petroleum. The major drawback is that they are quite pricey, so I have to ration how often I burn them. The store I go to even carries them in different colours, made with vegetable dyes.

 
Just a note on rationing, if you need them for spells or whatever, sometimes you can buy packs of birthday candle sized ones. The ones I see for sale are made in Kaslo, BC, so I'm not sure if they'd be available in Ontario, but something similar might be? They carry them at most of the nicer markets here, grocery and otherwise (off the top of my head, fair trade store, vitamin store and health food store have them), so those might be places to look for them or a different brand.

Sefiru

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 07:03:04 pm »
Quote from: Scales;190997
Just a note on rationing, if you need them for spells or whatever, sometimes you can buy packs of birthday candle sized ones. The ones I see for sale are made in Kaslo, BC, so I'm not sure if they'd be available in Ontario, but something similar might be? They carry them at most of the nicer markets here, grocery and otherwise (off the top of my head, fair trade store, vitamin store and health food store have them), so those might be places to look for them or a different brand.


Along this same line, I have a box of teeny-tiny candles that burn for 10 minutes each and are meant, I think, for Buddhist home altars - you might have to go to a Buddhist center or Asian market to find any, though.

Jainarayan

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 09:44:26 am »
Quote from: Demophon;190954
Recently I became a convert to beeswax candles because apparently they are better for the environment, the smell nice, and I like the idea of burning something natural during my religious worship rather than something synthetic made from petroleum.

 
How about small oil lamps that you can burn vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter) in with a cotton wick? This is what is traditionally used in Hindu pujas (worship rituals). They can be easily obtained from a few Hindu sites, but an oil lamp is very easy to make. The are called diya (dee-ya) or deepa.

One method for a tiny one (about an ounce of oil that will burn for about an hour if you let it) is to get the metal molds for floating candles.

[attach=CONFIG][/attach]

Take a pure cotton ball (not a "cosmetic puff", which is synthetic), tease it apart, then roll it into a snake. Fill the little mold with oil, soak the wick in it, hang it over the side slightly, and light. When you're done, just extinguish the wick. The oil in the container will not catch fire because the flame is too small and not hot enough. Btw, put it on a small plate or glass or plastic coaster, because the oil will seep from the wick down the side.

Here is what it would look like, but made of clay for Diwali. In fact,, you can go to a craft store, get the type of modeling clay that can be baked, shape it into a a diya. Very easy, inexpensive, and you made it. :)

[attach=CONFIG][/attach]
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Jack

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 05:16:49 pm »
Quote from: Gunnar Thorbjorn;191019
Take a pure cotton ball (not a "cosmetic puff", which is synthetic), tease it apart, then roll it into a snake. Fill the little mold with oil, soak the wick in it, hang it over the side slightly, and light. When you're done, just extinguish the wick. The oil in the container will not catch fire because the flame is too small and not hot enough. Btw, put it on a small plate or glass or plastic coaster, because the oil will seep from the wick down the side.

 
I like this idea a lot, I might have to try it.

For the most part I use candles that I find at thrift stores and estate sales because they're cheap and also they're cheap. Sometimes I find really nice ones!
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
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"[Jack], you are embracing a lie which will ultimately prove destructive to you and those around you and for which there will be consequences." - ehbowen

Demophon

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 09:29:39 pm »
Quote from: Jack;191033
For the most part I use candles that I find at thrift stores and estate sales because they're cheap and also they're cheap. Sometimes I find really nice ones!


Interesting, hadn't thought about estate sales or anything like that. What are they usually made from?

I have to admit, my favourite candles that are white and perfectly sized tapers for the holders I have, come in packs of 5 for $1 at the dollar store. The only drawback is that they are paraffin, and not sure if they are that environmentally friendly.
 
Quote from: Demophon;190954
I also found tapers made from soy that I like. They don't drip, and they burn pretty cleanly. They also don't really have much of a fragrance, even though they are apparently scented. There are probably additives, since soy is usually a softer wax, so I don't know how "natural" they are, but probably still better than most candles.

 
I was suspicious about these tapers that were on the soy candles table at the gift store where I found them, so I went on the website of the manufacturer, and sure enough they are high quality paraffin, not soy. They are very nice, but I feel kind of dumb for overpaying for paraffin candles.

Jack

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 10:42:17 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;191708
Interesting, hadn't thought about estate sales or anything like that. What are they usually made from?

They're usually paraffin, but I've found soy and even beeswax. It's just a matter of luck, I think.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"Jack, you are gravely disordered." - Castus
"[Jack], you are embracing a lie which will ultimately prove destructive to you and those around you and for which there will be consequences." - ehbowen

Jack

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 10:43:37 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;191708

I was suspicious about these tapers that were on the soy candles table at the gift store where I found them, so I went on the website of the manufacturer, and sure enough they are high quality paraffin, not soy. They are very nice, but I feel kind of dumb for overpaying for paraffin candles.

Oh, forgot to reply to this part. Don't feel too bad. You like the candles and you learned something, so that's worth it IMO.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"Jack, you are gravely disordered." - Castus
"[Jack], you are embracing a lie which will ultimately prove destructive to you and those around you and for which there will be consequences." - ehbowen

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 08:00:41 am »
Quote from: Demophon;190954
Recently I became a convert to beeswax candles because apparently they are better for the environment, the smell nice, and I like the idea of burning something natural during my religious worship rather than something synthetic made from petroleum. The major drawback is that they are quite pricey, so I have to ration how often I burn them. The store I go to even carries them in different colours, made with vegetable dyes.



I like beeswax too. The commercial ones are pretty expensive but I am getting quite good at acquiring raw beeswax to make my own. Sadly though not in sufficient quantity to replace the paraffin ones completely.

I avoid the soy ones on ethical grounds.

I'm currently experimenting with oil lamps for devotional flames to try and reduce my use of candles.  Ideally I'd like to try making rush lights. It would make my beeswax go much further but I need to coax my father into letting me have the antique family rush light holder first!

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2016, 04:33:58 pm »
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;191722
t I need to coax my father into letting me have the antique family rush light holder first!


And as I was down in South Wales this weekend I did manage to get him to lend it to me! I've discovered that the mechanism though is jammed tight. I'm hoping that liberal applications of penetrating oil will release it  - any suggestions would be welcome. It's a pincer action and made from wrought iron.

Demophon

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 07:45:20 pm »
Quote from: Jack;191712
Oh, forgot to reply to this part. Don't feel too bad. You like the candles and you learned something, so that's worth it IMO.


That's true, although if I knew they were just paraffin candles, I would have stuck to my dollar store tapers rather than paying $3 per candle for basically the same thing.

Man, I love the dollar store, they really have the basics when it comes to ritual supplies. I've been thinking about incorporating blessed salt water for purification purposes into my practice, so I bought two ceramic bowls, salt, and ten white tapers, and all together it cost less than $8. Can't beat it.
 
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;191722
I avoid the soy ones on ethical grounds.


What are the ethical issues with soy candles, something related to genetically modified crops and pesticides? Candles in general do not seem very environmentally friendly, unfortunately. Paraffin ones release toxins into the air, beeswax ones threaten the bee population by exploiting their habitat. I've come to the conclusion that I will use both, but not excessively, that way I hopefully won't hurt the bees too much, and I won't use candles that emit toxins too often. Moderation.

Morag

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 09:49:54 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;192300
...beeswax ones threaten the bee population by exploiting their habitat. I've come to the conclusion that I will use both, but not excessively, that way I hopefully won't hurt the bees too much...

 
If you get your beeswax candles from a local apiarist, then you won't be hurting any bees. Apiarists care about their charges, so they're not going to hurt their bees to harvest something for selling. Also, supporting a local apiarist supports local bees. If there's a local farmer's market near you, there might be an apiarist there selling honey and beeswax goods.
My pronouns are zie/zir/zirs but they pronouns are easier to remember for most folks.
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Demophon

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2016, 10:46:54 pm »
Quote from: Morag;192305
If you get your beeswax candles from a local apiarist, then you won't be hurting any bees. Apiarists care about their charges, so they're not going to hurt their bees to harvest something for selling. Also, supporting a local apiarist supports local bees. If there's a local farmer's market near you, there might be an apiarist there selling honey and beeswax goods.

 
Oh cool, thanks for sharing that information.

Darkhawk

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Re: Types of Candles
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2016, 01:44:49 pm »
Quote from: Morag;192305
If you get your beeswax candles from a local apiarist, then you won't be hurting any bees. Apiarists care about their charges, so they're not going to hurt their bees to harvest something for selling. Also, supporting a local apiarist supports local bees. If there's a local farmer's market near you, there might be an apiarist there selling honey and beeswax goods.

 
Yep.  Honeybees, like other domesticated and semi-domesticated animals, are environmentally adapted to human interference; they will produce honey and wax beyond what the colony can use, which can disrupt the health of the colony if run to extremes.  A competent apiarist will remove the surplus from the colony without touching what the bees need, help upkeep the health of the bees themselves, make sure they're not suffering from any illnesses and so on, that the queen is secure, and all these other things.
as the water grinds the stone
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as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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