Today I read this excellent article by Gordon, and just as I was nodding my head in agreement with him I read that Urban Outfitters is selling prayer candles. "No way," said I, and opened another tab to see for myself. Yup. They certainly are.
And they're really fuckin' cute.
"I don't know how to feel about this," I told my sister via gchat, and sent her a link. "Holy shit, they're really cute," she shot back. So today after work we decided to see if they had made it to the Canadian stores. Yup, they sure had.
I bought the set.
...I don't think that's what I was supposed to take away from that article.
(Nor is it the only thing I did, but that was a funnier line, so shut up.)
Hipster occultism. You know, I've noticed for a while that fashion has been flashing back to the 90s (my sister and I like to play "sixteen-year-old me would LOVE this" when we shop) and not that long ago I was musing on the resurgence of witchy TV, so this really doesn't shock or appall me. It feels like we've just hit another point of recycling, and as was pointed out over on Rune Soup this seems to happen pretty frequently with magical currents. And as much as we like to roll our eyes at the new and hip incarnations, there's no denying that you wind up with people who are attracted for the aesthetic and stay for the rest of their lives.
Beside the prayer candles in Urban Outfitters, on Granville Street, there was a copy of Raymond Buckland's Book of Spirit Communications. THAT surprised me, because wtf it's Raymond Buckland in Urban Outfitters. It's not even like they updated it with a moustache on the cover. But here's the thing - how many people will buy that book, read it, and actually USE it? How many will do so more than once? Probably not a lot. So what? A little occult dabbling is fairly normal. But there will also be a few people who read the book, test it out, and go hunting for similar material.
Everyone has a starting point. For a lot of people my age it was The Craft, or Charmed. It was the comic books of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. There's always an in, and from there you find your way with a lot of trial and error.
Who am I to judge the chick with too-big non-prescription glasses sitting in her crappy apartment bedroom, praying for love or fortune while her roommates slam PBR in the living room and argue about the merits of vinyl records? Nobody. Because when I was her age, I was in my OWN crappy apartment, with my own equally silly clothes and music, fucking wishing I could find premade spell candles instead of making my own out of shitty dollar store materials.
So. Are these candles ridiculous? Yes.
...but they're really fuckin' cute.
(Note that the candles are not in any way dressed - it is simply the glass that is decorated. So, yes, they're totally a rip-off for the price in terms of candle composition. On the other hand, I've seen truly atrocious scented candles go for an even higher price, and they're not marketed as either magical or aesthetically pleasing, soooo.... dunno.)