One of the aspects of spellwork I love most is the layering of items, herbs, potions, symbols and colors that create a landscape of correspondences to empower the spell and its energy.
Candle dressing is one of those ‘layerings’ and though most of the time, candles are dressed with just oils or potions, Ashes are a powerful tool for me.
What Ashes Are In Magick + Spellwork
It is said that ashes hold no active energy, but I completely disagree. Ashes are the alchemical result of fire and earth, water and air. Sympathetically it represents change, transformation, union of different parts and the whisper of its parts. In other words, when you take, say, wood from Cedar, Manzanita, Oak, and Pine, as I have with my ash, burn it and collect the ash, and what you have is a new substance.
In this case, the ash holds the signature of a rebirthing strength that manifests sacred, cleansed and wise. And all of this holding the vibration of transformation itself, which for me is the most powerful symbolism of this substance.
So when using ash, more than anything you’re tapping into the energetic of transformation and alchemy itself, which amplifies the directive of the intention I set for each spell I work.
And the beauty of ash is that you can make it out of any combination of ingredients you choose. The possibilities are endless.
Uses For Ashes in Spellwork
As with any single ‘ingredient’ we use magically, simply having a bit of it on your altar or on your person, holds the energetic intention for you. The image above, where I have a small bowl of ash, can be a great anchor in and of itself.
As another example, I attend fire ceremonies for various deities in my personal practice, and often the ash from those offerings that are burned are given to each of the participants of the ritual in order to have a ’tie’ or connection to that working that can then be kept on our personal altars. I love this practice very much as when I’m working with that particular deity, I’ll have an altar erected for them, that also holds this container of ash as a resonant vibration of that ritual and devotion.
Other uses are additives to potions, making it something to anoint tools, your body, places, circles and inks. The last being something I love to do. Adding a smidge of intentional ash to a magical ink that you use to write in your Book Of Shadows or to create sigils with is a powerful layering that we can all easily be doing all the time.
This list isn’t by any means comprehensive, but I wanted to give special attention to candle dressing.
Candle Dressing With Ash
We sent out a bundle of this particular ash blend in the Elemental Portals Box because it contained 4 rituals with 4 candles where part of the ritual entailed inscribing the candle, anointing the candle with a Spell Boost Oil and then taking the ash and rubbing it into the crevices of the elemental alchemical symbol on the candle as a way of layering in protecting transformation.
And personally, I add this particular blend of ash to all of my candles for all spells because weaving in the layer of rebirth, protection, and clearing serves just about all of my magic.
Sourcing Your Ash
Again, you can create specific ash out of whatever ingredients you have on hand and mean something specific to you. It’s such a versatile ingredient! And it’s important to note that the blend I use and offered in that box was made up of ingredients I have an abundance of supply of, because the Witches Box workshop is in the middle of a forest.
I say that to indicate that where this particular blend is powerful for me, it is not indicative of a recipe you have to have or should be seeking to create if you don’t have access to this combination of woods.
Layering ingredients for ash in your spellwork is just as powerful if not more so, for you, if you create these combinations out of things that both have meaning for you and are accessible for you.
Sourcing ingredients for ash blends can be as easy as beginning to collect the ash left over when you burn a particular incense that you love and find particularly potent for things like divination, clearing, astrological work, etc.
Consider the things you burn typically in your rituals and spells and you can begin to get an idea of the type of ash blends that will make most sense for you.
How To Create Ash
I wasn’t going to include this here, but perhaps in the interest of thoroughness, I will. Spellwork is always most potent when we’re being responsible and informed!
Ash is what is left over after you have burned flammable items. It can be dried herbs and twigs or logs of wood, it can be paper, fabric, incense, hair, oils on other flammable objects, etc.
There are a few words of caution here:
- Be mindful of not burning things that are toxic to you and the environment such as plastics, synthetic fabrics, photographs or any other man made substance that you can’t readily find or create from natural products easily. Magickally these items will be weak, unless you have ascribed special meaning to it, and then it may have power for you, but you have to weigh out whether the toxicity is worth it for you. Admittedly, there have been times when I have burned photos and kept the ash, but the smoke was absolutely toxic, so my alternative now is to just make a color copy of the image on a printer. Still a bit toxic due to the inks, but no where near as much as an actual photograph.
- And as always when burning anything, use caution so as not to burn yourself, your home or anything else down!
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