Candles that kill - by Cate Burton (LW6)

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As our original source of light, candles have played a

role in human civilisation for centuries. Initially used

to ‘prolong the day’ and lengthen available working hours, in

modern life their use is almost the opposite. Candles are used

to facilitate relaxation, create romance, imbue ambience,

symbolise celebration, focus meditation and complement

décor – and a signal to our frazzled psyche that the day is


A brief history of candle-making


In China, beeswax was used for candles as early as the Tang

Dynasty (618–907 AD). In Western civilisation, from the

Roman times until the 18th century, candles were made from

either beeswax or animal fat, known as tallow. Tallow candles

are said to have had a strong odour (being animal fat) and

to have emitted a lot of smoke. Beeswax was the more

expensive because of its superior properties, including its

hardness, lack of deterioration with time, brighter burning...

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First printed in Living Wisdom #6