Skulls are a misunderstood symbol. While they are commonly considered a representation of death, their power goes far beyond that. In different cultures and traditions, skulls are much more than a memento mori.
Skulls Around the World
In the American tradition of Hoodoo, skull candles are used to influence the mind. As the thing that houses the mind, skulls represent ideas, feelings, and the ability to compel or control thought.
In old Celtic traditions, skulls were a symbol of power and the soul. In old Irish poetry, the body was described as containing three cauldrons. The topmost one was located in the head, and was upside-down and empty at birth. As people went through life and gained experience, this cauldron would fill and turn upright. Some Celtic tribes also took the heads of their enemies as trophies and symbols of power and success.
In India, skulls were a symbol of the cycle of life and death. Deities wore or carried skulls as a sign that they had triumphed over mortality.
In Mexico, skulls are frequently used for venerating ancestors and the beloved dead, and for requesting favors from Santa Muerte.
Skull candles combine the symbolism of skulls with the versatility of candles. When you choose the right color for your intention, you can enhance the power of your workings.
A Black Skull to Stop Gossip
Black is the color of banishing. It can be used to banish unwanted energies, situations, or even people. If you want to take control of gossip or slander, a black skull candle can take care of it.
Carve the name of the person gossiping about you into the candle (the base or forehead is fine). Next, you can either drive nails or pins into the mouth of the candle, carve out a hollow area there and fill it with tobacco or hot pepper, or both. Dress the candle with Shut Up oil.
Next, burn some slippery elm bark and cloves on a disk of charcoal. Take the skulls candle in both hands, and hold its face in the smoke. Say,
"Your lips are sealed. You will gossip about me no more."
Light the candle. Let it burn completely (snuff and relight it if you need to leave it unattended), and dispose of the remains far from your home.
Red Skull for Passion
Do you feel that some of the fire has gone out of your relationship? You can command your lover to be attentive and passionate with you again by using a red skull candle.
Carve your lover's name into it, dress it with Desire Me oil, and dust it with Desire Me sachet powder. Place the skull candle in a safe place, preferably in your bedroom. Before you light it, speak to the skull as if it were your lover. Tell them what you want from them, before lighting the candle and allowing it to burn completely. Wrap the remains in a piece of fabric (red silk is best) and conceal them under your mattress.
Green Skull for Prosperity
Skulls can be a source of abundance. To the ancient Celts, the warrior with the most trophies was the most successful. If you use a skull to represent the mind, then a green skull can help fill you with ideas and remove the limiting beliefs standing in the way of your prosperity.
To do this, you will need a green skull candle, a pyrite stone, patchouli leaf, cinnamon, basil, an all spice berry, a pinch of five finger grass, and a little Prosperity oil. Before you start, load the bottom of the candle by carving out a small hollow area. Place the pyrite and a pinch of each herb in this secret pocket, and seal it over by melting on some of the wax you carved away. Dress the skull with the Prosperity oil.
Light the candle on a Thursday, when the moon is waxing. Let it burn completely, and dispose of the remains by burying them near your front door.
White Skull for Clarity
White skull candles are helpful for healing, purifying, and clarifying. If you have been feeling unfocused, or like your mind and heart are overburdened, this ritual may help you.
You will need a small bowl of water, a piece of paper, a pen, a white skull candle, and Clearance oil. First, dress the candle with the Clearance oil. Take a moment to hold the candle in your hands, and picture your worries pouring out of your mind and into the wax skull. When you feel that it cannot hold any more, set it down behind the dish of water.
This working operates through sympathetic magic -- as the candle melts and the wax runs, your worries will drain away and leave you with a clear mind. Light the candle, and inhale the refreshing scent of the Clearance oil. As it burns, sit and think of all of the things that trouble you. Do not meditate long on them, just write them down as soon as they crop up.
When your list is complete, tear it into strips. Light each one in the candle's flame, then drop them into the water. Every time you do this, say, "I am troubled no more. My mind is clear."
Allow the candle to burn completely. When it is finished, dispose of the candle remains, burned paper, and water in a stream, ocean, or other moving body of water.
Skulls hold our every thought and feeling, which makes them powerful magical vessels. Use with skull candles whenever you need to work with thoughts, feelings, ideas, or the help of your ancestors.