A Witches Ritual: Mullein Torches

Posted by Colleen Bones on

Throughout history, humanity has long embraced the tradition of crafting torches by immersing dried mullein stalks in beeswax. These luminous implements have served as sources of light and various rituals, ceremonies, and spiritual practices. Known by a myriad of names such as Mullein Torch, Hags Taper, Witches Candle, Jupiters Rod, King’s Candle, Torches, Candlewick Plant, and more, these torches hold profound significance.
Igniting a mullein torch resembles the act of smudging. Not only dissipates negative energy but also purifies the surrounding atmosphere. Moreover, it delicately thins the veil that separates different dimensions, facilitating a heightened spiritual connection. Embracing a mullein torch during your Samhain ritual can greatly enhance its potency and imbue it with spiritual protection.

Mullein, a biennial plant, follows a remarkable two-year growth cycle from germination to flowering and seed production. During its initial year, the plant forms a low-lying cluster of velvety, tender leaves known as a basal rosette. These leaves, renowned for their expectorant properties, are often incorporated into smoking blends as a bulking agent. In the subsequent year, Mullein reemerges in early spring, once again assuming the form of a rosette. However, it swiftly shoots up a towering flowering stem that blossoms from June to September. As the plant nears the end of its life cycle, Mullein proudly stands tall, leaving behind a dried stalk. This very stalk is precisely what we require for our project! For more in depth information on Mullein head to the herbarium section of the website.  

How to make Mullein Tapers
In the late summer or autumn season, venture into nature to find the withered and lifeless mullein stalks. These can typically be found in open meadows, along the river, and conveniently strewn along roadsides and desolate terrains. Sever the dried stalk with scissors and give them a gentle shake to scatter their seeds, fostering future growth for years to come. After gathering, allow the stalks to further dry, if necessary, by placing them in a well-ventilated space.

Once completely dried, begin by melting beeswax in a double boiler, allowing it to liquefy gently. Introduce your preferred colors into the mixture—I, in this instance, utilized charcoal to pay homage to the dark and sacred occasion of Samhain. If the melted beeswax possesses ample depth and quantity to envelop the mullein stalk completely, submerge it directly into the molten concoction. Repeat as many times as needs to fully coat.  Alternatively, you may opt to paint or pour layers of wax upon the stalk. It may require two to five coats of beeswax to achieve full coverage. Remember to seal any seed heads to preserve their integrity.

Should you desire, sprinkle the wax-coated stalk with botanicals of your choosing. Sage imparts cleansing and grounding properties, while Mugwort fosters vivid dreams. Roses symbolize love, while Yarrow stands as a guardian of protection. Additionally, you can infuse the mixture with essential oils to heighten both fragrance and energetic intent.

Each Mullein torch possesses its own distinctiveness, showcasing the essence of its beauty. When you are prepared to employ it, insert the torch stem firmly into the earth or remove the base and position it within a taper holder. Truncate the tip of the torch, granting access to ignite the "wick," which comprises the actual Mullein stalk.

The Mullein torch will gracefully burn at an approximate rate of 15 minutes per inch, ideally consumed in its entirety in one session. However, if necessary, you may extinguish it safely by dipping it in water and subsequently cut the stalk for multiple uses. These torches emit minimal smoke, rendering them suitable for indoor use, although exercising caution is advisable.

     Additional Notes:

    • For natural color, you can add spices to the liquified beeswax. Different spices will produce different colors; for example, you will get a brown/orange color by adding cinnamon, yellowish color by adding Turmeric and charcoal for gray/black. The color will also depend on how much of the spice you add. When adding spices, be aware that although the spices will settle on the bottom, they will still add color. Micas work great too!
    • Use an old paint can or pitcher designated for this project.
    • After you're done, leave the paintbrushes in the beeswax to use for next time. 

    Love and Magick, Colleen- Head Witch 

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    • Thank you for the thorough tutorial. It’s just what I need for our Samhain gathering.
      Gratitude and Blessings,

      Gayla on
    • Hi! I made one and want to make a lot of them! My rich stayed outside all year rain and snow and is amazing. I need more!!!!’
      You are the first torch maker I came across. Happy Nature hunting 😀

      Kristina Cullen on
    • I’be always been drawn to mullein and grown it for many years, but never knew that it could be used this way! This is beautiful, special, and I can’t wait to try it!

      Rachael on

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