Why Candlesmoke?

Good Evening Friends,

I have been asked before where the name Candlesmoke Chapel comes from. While we are still 2 hours away from Halloween I thought that now would be a good time to explain.

I wanted a name that fully represented me and my philosophy on magic and setting lights. I believe that each candle set, each spell done, each prayer, each evocation is a small light unto itself. As more and more of these “lights” get illuminated there becomes a cascade of brightness. A wall of glowing power. The symbolic meaning behind a candle being lit for a specific purpose multiplies with each growing number of candles lit. The build-up left behind from all of these is called, Candle Smoke.

So, candle smoke is the residue left from burning candles. Many, many burning candles over many years. The Sistine Chapel had to have it’s entire fresco ceiling re-done due to the heavy covering of candle smoke caused by 400 years of lit candles. I have seen it (sometimes one has to look closely and carefully) in most every house of worship or place of ritual candle usage I have visited. I admire the candle smoke “shadows” left behind by the candle altars of the Missionary Independent Spiritualistic Church on the Lucky Mojo grounds in Forestville, California. Each time I visit I gaze lovingly at the outlines of hundreds of candles lit and burned for a particular purpose, a particular person.

Candles hold a special place in my heart and are at the heart of most of the work I have done. My wife is an Aries — which proves I am obviously and hopelessly attracted to Fire! I take the art of lighting candles very seriously and knew this had to be the main heart of the name I chose for my blog, my mission, and my future physical Chapel.

Music is also very close to me and has been for as long as I can remember. Carolina Dean once asked me if I utilized music in my rituals and spellwork. I foolishly answered quickly with, “No.” I was wrong. Music has always had an intoxicating effect on my moods and entire life in general. It serves as backdrop to research and writing. It is always there as I burn and blend, cast and create. That is the second part of this origin story.

I have always felt an affinity for eco, feminist, black metal band Velvet Cacoon. They are dark, but soft and as beautiful as the night sky. Usually they are considered a harsh sound, and I would agree to that to an extent, however in August of 2009 they released a entirely ambient album called “Atropine.” The lead song is the soft-as-it’s-namesake, “Candlesmoke.” This rolled around in my head until finally cementing itself as a given…it had already chosen me!

That is how Candlesmoke Chapel came to be named. I hope you enjoyed that little tidbit of trivia. For those more curious readers I leave the song itself. Yes, it is supposed to be that quiet, and yes…it does get “louder” after the 3 minute mark…but just barely:

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