(Alleged) Hoodoo

Renee Chavez

This morning at 10am it was already 70 degrees. Being the angel that I am, I decided to stop on my way to work to pick up a box or two of popsicles for my delightful coworkers. I pulled into the parking lot of Stadium Super Market on Broadway, hopped out of my dusty car and entered the store. At the entrance, there were two full shelves of colorful candles. I assumed they were the usual Mary, Jesus, etc. variety, until my eye fell upon a black Santa Muerte candle with an image of a skeletal figure in a black robe holding a skull. Ooooh! I've done some research on the cult of Santa Muerte: It's fascinating stuff but not to be messed with.
Right next to that candle was another with a large eye that stared at me. It was half black and half red, and below the eye was printed "(Alleged) Double Action Candle." Alleged? I asked myself. Seriously? Companies have to put "alleged" on magic candles now? For Chrissakes, if you sue a candle company because the candle you bought for 99 cents at the supermarket didn't work to dispel your run of bad luck, you need to get a hobby. But I digress.
I picked up the candle, wondered if the clerks would think I was some sort of bruja, decided I didn't care and took a closer look. It was a "reversing candle" and had arrows pointing from a large cross to a picture of the world. Below the cross was a triangle, and inside that triangle was a cross, an eye and an old-fashioned filigree key. I wondered at its purpose; what did the symbols mean? What would this candle reverse? Was it for good or evil? I decided to buy it because the "alleged" part made me laugh, but I was going to do some research, too.

Renee Chavez

An hour later, I had some answers. The triangle on the back of the candle looked Masonic to me and a quick search revealed ties to Masonry, the Illuminati, the Occult and a host of various interpretations of ancient symbols. The "All-seeing Eye" in the pyramid can be found on US money and is connected with higher knowledge and inner vision, but the large eye on the front of the candle looks frighteningly like the "evil eye." The filigree key can be a "mastership" key that allows privileged access to another level. Talk about dipping your toe in a rabbit hole.

Renee Chavez

Apparently, DA candles are used in various types of folk magic and are used to get rid of bad energy/luck/curses etc and then replace that negativity with good energy. You can buy DA candles in different colors for different purposes but your intention while burning the candle is what's really important. However the color can help you focus. So, green is for things like money, ambition, success and fertility. White is for more spiritual things like blessings, cleansing, protection and peace. Turns out the red that I happened to grab is for energies involved in courage, sex, love, will power, strength, passion and vitality.

The candle I bought was in a glass holder, but if it had been a free-standing taper, I could carve things into the wax to further focus my intentions. For example, I could write the words "jealousy," "hate, ""anger" and "loneliness" into the black to get rid of those negative feelings and write "love," "friendship" and "joy" in the red wax to invite those things into my life. According to my research, I should burn the whole candle in one sitting, and if the candle didn't have the glass holder, I would need to collect the black wax drippings so that they wouldn't dirty the pure red drippings. Then I could throw away the black wax or bury it at a crossroads or repurpose it for some other ritual.

So if you, dear reader, happen to be walking through one of the back alleys Downtown and see a ball of black wax in a Dumpster or lying in the the gutter at an intersection, you'll know that someone out there is looking to change their luck. #Themoreyouknow