BY CANDLELIGHT: Rites for Celebration, Blessing & Prayer

Janina Renie, Author, Janina Renee, Author, Janina Rente, Author . Llewellyn $14.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-7387-0417-3

Fire has always been a source of mystery, warmth and light, making it an excellent focal point for family or group gatherings. But the candle—with its single, contained flame and soothing scent—is especially conducive to the enhancement of family rituals and group rites, according to Renée, a student of psychology and ritualism for more than 30 years. Starting with the motion of striking a match and lighting a wick, candle lighting offers an intentional pause—signaling the unconscious mind to focus on spiritual forces. "The flame of a candle can represent the fire of life and spirit... [or] each person's ability to bring light into the world," she writes. By concentrating on the flickering flame, it becomes easier to shut out the distractions and reach a more relaxed "alpha state," making creative insight more likely to occur. Considering the ritualistic power and popularity of candlelight, it's not surprising that someone devoted a book to it. What is surprising is how well this one works. Renée offers 87 non-denominational and inspirational candle rituals for specific situations, such as managing stress, attracting love, greeting a new moon and creating world peace. Each entry includes prayerful phrases to say aloud as well as suggestions for what color candle to use and essential oil scents that will enhance the ritual. Her appendices are especially resourceful, covering the meanings associated with different colors (for instance, light blue represents peace in the home), the uses of essential oils, and home altars. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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