How To Dispose Of Candles: Biodegradable Or Not

When disposing of spell candles, it’s important to think about the materials they’re made of, their impact on the environment, and the cultural or spiritual significance they may have for you.

Many Witches and most Wiccans identify as Protectors of Earth, and thinking about how we dispose of our spell ingredients is very important to the longevity of our Mother.

Often, you may read that you should bury your spell ingredients when you’re done with them.

So, initially, you may think, “Wax comes from the earth. Why can’t it just go back?” It’s true, spell candles are made of wax, but not all waxes are readily biodegradable and safe for the earth.

Which Candles Are Biodegradable?

  1. Beeswax Candles:
    • Biodegradability: Beeswax candles are biodegradable since beeswax is a natural substance.
    • Disposal: You can bury the remains of beeswax candles if your practice allows for it. This is seen as returning the material to the earth and can be part of a ritual closure.
  2. Soy Wax Candles:
    • Biodegradability: Soy wax is also biodegradable, as it’s made from soybean oil.
    • Disposal: Similar to beeswax, soy wax remnants can be buried. Ensure any dyes or fragrances used in the candle are also environmentally friendly.
  3. Paraffin Wax Candles:
    • Biodegradability: Paraffin wax is not readily biodegradable since it is a petroleum byproduct.
    • Disposal: It’s best to avoid burying paraffin wax as it can leach chemicals into the soil. Instead, you might want to melt down the remains and use them for other purposes, such as making new candles or fire starters, if they are free from harmful additives.

Considerations When Disposing Of Spell Ingredients

  • Remove Non-Biodegradable Elements: Before disposing of candle remains, ensure that you remove any non-biodegradable components such as metal wicks or decorative elements.
  • Reuse: If the candle remnants are large enough, you might consider repurposing them into new candles or using the wax for other crafts.
  • Recycle: If the candle came in a glass or metal container, you should recycle the container according to your local recycling guidelines.
  • Spiritual Considerations: In many traditions, the remnants of spell candles are disposed of in a manner that aligns with the intent of the spell or the guidelines of the spiritual practice. This might involve releasing them into a body of water, burying them at a crossroads, or another method specific to your beliefs.
  • Environmental Impact: If you’re burying candle remnants, do so in a place where you are sure it won’t negatively affect the local ecosystem. For non-biodegradable materials, seek environmentally friendly disposal methods.

Always follow local regulations regarding waste disposal and be mindful of the environmental impact of your actions. If your spellwork is a regular practice, you might want to consider using candles made from natural, renewable resources like beeswax or soy to minimize your ecological footprint.

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