The lighting of candles is a tradition that has comforted many people through times of crisis. At such times, the candle is a beacon for calling spirits of guidance, as well as a symbol of hope. Following is a simple prayer that you can say when lighting such a candle. The words are necessarily very general, but you can change them or add words that better express the nature of your concerns.
As I light this candle,
I call upon you, my Deity,
And upon all protective spiritual forces.
I thank you for all of the help
That you have given me in the past,
For you have brought me safely to this day,
Through many trials and hardships.
Now, I must call upon your help again,
For this is a time of crisis.
Please bless and protect me, my loved ones,
And all of the people I care about.
Please help us summon all of the wit and energy
That we will need to work our way
Through this time of trouble.
Please help us to see and think clearly,
And to be more receptive to your guidance,
Knowing that you are ever with us,
And have always taken care of us.
I thank you again,
As I affirm your Presence.
So it is, and so shall it be.
If the crisis is a larger national or world problem, you might want to set the candle in a window, to share this symbol of hope with others, but do make sure there are no curtains or other flammable items nearby.
Allow the candle to burn for as long as the crisis period endures, replacing it when it burns out. However, you should put it out when you leave your house or go to bed. You can relight it later, but it is not necessary to go through the ritual each time you relight the candle, unless you want to.
Excerpted from By Candlelight, by Janina Renée
Janina Renée is a scholar of folklore, psychology, medical anthropology, the material culture of magic, ritual studies, history, and literature. Her books include Tarot Spells, Tarot Your Everyday Guide (winner ...