Today the boys had a friend over for some Imbolc crafting. We made orange skin beeswax candles, painted terra cotta pots and planted crocus bulbs, baked sugar cookies that the boys rolled in golden sunny sugar, and celebrated the returning sun.
"Fire and purification are an important aspect of Imbolc (St. Brigid's Day). The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months."Tonight we will have dinner by candlelight, burning our sun shaped orange citrus globes to light our way into the coming spring, read some poems, and have a cozy evening at home.
It is easy to make orange skin beeswax candles. Our friend brought the oranges - the tops cut in a zig zag pattern, and then all the fruit center removed (yum), leaving a perfect shell for the beeswax.
I melted beeswax in a double boiler we use just for candle making.
We then put 2/0 cotton wick into a wick holder, and pinched it closed with pliers. I dipped the wick into the melting beeswax to coat, and dripped a bit of beeswax into the orange to secure the bottom wick tab in place. We then wrapped the wick around a chopstick balanced on top of the orange...to hold the wick straight.
Once the wax was melted, we chatted with the boys about wax safety, and then with me holding their hand over the handle and guiding the pot, we poured the cooling beeswax slowly into the oranges. We left just under an inch of space of headroom at the top of the peel. We let the candles sit to harden/dry. When they are hard, we unrolled the wick, and trimmed it down to 1/4 - 1/2".
The candle is ready to burn - the orange ball is so sunny and inviting and the smell of beeswax is amazing. We will burn these tonight, and continue to use the candles until the peel is no longer fresh, and will then peel it off and use the candles in a heat safe dish or canning jar until they are done!
Happy Imbolc to all of you...to the return of the sun!