The Forgiveness Candle

Relationships and the Ancestors

We learned this prayer, spell, visualization, ritual, whatever you’d like to call the dynamics of the forgiveness candle, literally under psychic attack. That day we remarked, “Cool trick, who’d have thought?” Many years later, it’s one of a handful of “Special Ceremonies” in our work, and it’s done so much good we can’t even begin to quantify it.

 I am the resident curandero at a local Mexican herb store – a Yerbería, a world of its own making.Two Island-born Latinos are spitting out curses in pistachio shells. They try not to be seen, but as per the owner’s wife, they don’t care when she catches them doing it. She is already busy with actual customers on the floor and the owner has his hands full with an irate customer who happens to be a witch. The third helper at the store is locked in the bathroom puking and coughing who knows what.

 In the ruckus I tend to a patient in the small warehouse space we’d prepared as an altar. The Santa Muerte stands Red and elegant over the proceedings.  

I look down at my patient and her eyes are rolled back, all white. I need to see the attacks in spirit, as I need to see my patient, too. In semi-trance I see the island guys spitting fire of destruction and the witch has small machetes floating in the air.

“Get a white veladora,” I hear, whispered, yet loud and clear, from the Red Santa Muerte (statue). That whisper, oh that whisper.

I say, “Si Señora, I’ll get it.”

I walk a few steps and pull a tall glass candle, all white wax, no label. I hold it tight and pass it hand to hand, rubbing it and blessing it as I do. As this movement transpires, I’m shown what I’m to do.

“In the name of God and the Santa Muerte,” I pray as I raise the candle, “I forgive all you people, the islanders, the witch, the illnesses, the demons. I forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me, too. Please, I understand you might be mad at us, but we forgive you.”

I take a breath, but there’s one more thing. “Almighty God, please, you see these people we are speaking with. Will you please send them a major blessing in a way that best serves them?”

Less than 20 minutes later, our helper recovers and the owner’s wife has the floor under control. The owner puts together a couple of useful products and sets them in front of the witch lady, who has calmed. My customer gets her eyes back five minutes into our treatment, and a few minutes later, leaves with a smile. By then the islanders are gone, disappointed, I imagine, since in their view, they only scored a nice feeling.

It took some time for the Santa Muerte to explain why this worked so well. Meanwhile the practice of the Forgiveness Candle became staple. We use it for healing relationships mostly, and of course, breaking up psychic attacks. The Santa explained the people doing harm wanted something. We gave them something, too. It was not what they were looking for, but we know the value of forgiveness.

Forgiveness softens relationships and grudges, and it opens conversation, too. Try it sometime when you hit a wall. Find some amount of sincerity for the forgiveness of each party, all while you hold the candle. Then light it, as you ask for their blessing.