A Witches Ritual: Mullein Torches

Throughout history, humanity has been dipping dried mullein stalks in beeswax to make torches as a light source and for support during a variety of rituals, ceremonies and spiritual cleansing. These torches have many names including Mullein Torch, Hags Taper, Witches Candle, Jupiters Rod, King’s Candle, Torches, Candlewick Plant and more.
  
Burning a mullein torch is quite like smudging as it clears away negative energy, purifies the air, thins the veil between dimensions, and brings spiritual protection. Mullein candles make for a great tool for your Samhain ritual!
 
 
 
Mullein is a biennial, which means it has a two year cycle of growth from germination to flowering and production of new seeds. The first year the plant forms a basal rosette of soft, furry leaves that remain fairly close to the ground. The leaves are often found in smoking blends as a bulking agent and for its expectorant properties. In its second year, Mullein will return in early spring as a rosette again but then quickly sends up a tall flowering stalk that blooms June through September.  As the plant begins to fade, mullein stands tall leaving behind a dried stalk. Which is exactly what we need for this project! For more in depth information on Mullein head to the herbarium section of the website. 
 
 
 
 How to make Mullein Tapers
 

During the late summer or fall go out in nature and gather the dried, dead mullein stalks. Usually found in open fields and other dry places or easily spotted along roadsides and wastelands. Cut down with scissors and give it a little shake and sprinkle the seeds around to encourage growth for years to come. Once picked, let dry more if needed by placing in a well ventilated area.

 

Melt beeswax in a double boiler and add in any colors. I used charcoal for this project in honor of samhain. Place the stalk directly in the melted beeswax, if it's deep enough and you have enough wax to cover the stalk. Or you can simply paint or pour on the layers of wax. It may take anywhere from two or five coats of beeswax to fully cover. Be sure to seal up any seeds heads.

If you would like, sprinkle with botanicals. Add Sage for more cleansing and grounding properties, Mugwort to encourage dreams, Roses for love. You can also add in essential oils to enhance scent and energetic purposes

Every Mullein torch is unique. That's the beauty. When you are ready to use, stick your torch into the ground or cut off the bottom and place in a taper holder. Cut off the tip of the torch so you can light the "wick" which is the actual Mullein stalk.

The Mullein torch will burn about 15 minutes per inch and it is best to burn entirely at once. However you can safely dip in water to extinguish and cut stalk for multiple uses. They produce very little smoke so they are safe to use indoors, just use caution. 

Happy Samhain!

     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, pink 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. 

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