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Author Topic: In your opinion, is it disrespectful to the element of fire to blow out candles?  (Read 14150 times)
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« Reply #15: February 16, 2010, 09:57:07 pm »

To work with metal you need fire, so to me metal = fire. How do you associate it with earth?

Metal comes from earth.
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« Reply #16: February 16, 2010, 10:02:29 pm »

Metal comes from earth.

Oh. Duh. *facepalm* Sorry, it seems I wasn't thinking.
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« Reply #17: February 16, 2010, 11:05:54 pm »

I've yet to figure out how to extinguish fire without using another element (a snuffer is made of metal = earth.)  One could pinch it out, I suppose, but my fingers cringe at the thought. 

I tried putting one out that way a couple days ago for the first time! I thought, "Hey, I've seen people do this lots of times and not get burned." So I licked my fingertips and tried to pinch it, and it's hot! Unless I'm doing it wrong, I don't think I'll try using my fingers again!
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« Reply #18: February 16, 2010, 11:12:57 pm »

One could pinch it out, I suppose, but my fingers cringe at the thought. 


Licking the tips of your fingers before pinching out a candle takes care of this. The contact with the flame is extremely brief and the moisture on your fingers is sufficient to insulate your skin from the heat.

But then some would say that that's using water to put out the fire (yeah, I've heard that.)

I've also heard once or twice someone taking the snuffer as using air to extinguish a flame by means of deprivation, and therefore one shouldn't use a snuffer and the only acceptable means of putting out a candle at all is to either let it burn all the way down or pinch it with your bare fingers.

Seriously, I think people take things a little far. I also think that the fire spirits are intelligent enough to understand that sometimes the flame needs to be extinguished and that the means of extinguishing are not intended to be an affront to the fire.

Personally, I prefer my own view of the elements, which precludes all this business about insulting spirits by means of performing a perfectly ordinary, needed action.
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« Reply #19: February 17, 2010, 12:23:14 am »

I see from your profile that you're near Philly, Ellen. Where exactly, if you don't mind sharing? I went to school in Philly and I am vaguely familiar with the surrounding state and area.

Ha, not at all. Anyone who's been following my posts has probably been able to figure out where I go to school anyway (girls' school near Philly with a great classical archaeology program with the patron Athena!). I'm at Bryn Mawr. Wink
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« Reply #20: February 17, 2010, 01:29:02 am »

To work with metal you need fire, so to me metal = fire. How do you associate it with earth?
Because ore is stone.
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« Reply #21: February 17, 2010, 01:33:43 am »

Oh. Duh. *facepalm* Sorry, it seems I wasn't thinking.
And I didn't notice there was another page of responses before I typed that last post.  Sorry about that!

The "metal forged by fire" explanation does show why some people would find a snuffer more acceptable that breath, though.  So thanks for clearing up that mystery for me!
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« Reply #22: February 17, 2010, 09:03:41 am »

I tried putting one out that way a couple days ago for the first time! I thought, "Hey, I've seen people do this lots of times and not get burned." So I licked my fingertips and tried to pinch it, and it's hot! Unless I'm doing it wrong, I don't think I'll try using my fingers again!

You'll get used to it.  I don't know if it's building a callous or just pain tolerance, but you get used to it.  Of course, I've been sewing, playing guitar and cooking irresponsibly for years, so I already have almost no feeling in my fingers  Tongue.

Seriously, I think people take things a little far. I also think that the fire spirits are intelligent enough to understand that sometimes the flame needs to be extinguished and that the means of extinguishing are not intended to be an affront to the fire.

Personally, I prefer my own view of the elements, which precludes all this business about insulting spirits by means of performing a perfectly ordinary, needed action.

Yeah, it is the 21st century.  I understand lot's of paths require that the hearthfires burn constantly.  That's a great tradition, but I don't even have a hearth; I have an electric stove.  And I'm not leaving it on all day, not when I have to work and run errands.

Traditions in all faiths change and adapt over time; my dad's church uses Saltines and grape drink when they do a mass.  I guess since most of our faiths have had a ~1500 year gap since they were last widely practiced that change and adaptation is more jarring and less gradual.
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« Reply #23: February 17, 2010, 09:20:18 am »

Yeah, it is the 21st century.  I understand lot's of paths require that the hearthfires burn constantly.  That's a great tradition, but I don't even have a hearth; I have an electric stove.  And I'm not leaving it on all day, not when I have to work and run errands.

Not to mention the fact that most "keep the fire going" religions had that because the fire going out was a catastrophe.  It's not really the same thing when you can buy a pack of lighters at the nearest store for a couple of bucks.

HEAT is still life, in a lot of ways - but the fire itself?  Not so much.
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« Reply #24: February 17, 2010, 02:16:11 pm »

Personally, I do blow out my candles, though I have read many sources which say this is disrespectful. Do you know why this is?

Meh, I'm not sure the element of fire is even aware enough to grok disresepctful.....

My Wiccan practice does not prohibit blowing out candles.

For myself, I pinch them out, but that is only because I can't stand the smell of the smoke coming off of the candle as the wick dies down. Pinched out candles give off very little smoke.
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« Reply #25: February 17, 2010, 04:04:34 pm »

Ha, not at all. Anyone who's been following my posts has probably been able to figure out where I go to school anyway (girls' school near Philly with a great classical archaeology program with the patron Athena!). I'm at Bryn Mawr. Wink

Lol, my public generic university (northeastern illinois university) is on Bryn Mawr drive... So in a loose way we kinda go to the same place... Yeah, see how much I've learned at school.

My school doesn't have any policy about burning flames. With that said, it's a commuter school, but I did a couple very small burnt offerings last year, and didn't get in any trouble. Then again, it was outside, and night time too...
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« Reply #26: February 17, 2010, 05:25:22 pm »



Perhaps if one is worried about offending the element of fire by blowing it out, simply thanking the fire before you blow it out would be helpful? "I thank you, element of fire, for what you have provided, and now with element of air, I say farewell with all respect" or whatever words work for your beliefs and path?

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« Reply #27: February 17, 2010, 08:29:22 pm »

For myself, I pinch them out, but that is only because I can't stand the smell of the smoke coming off of the candle as the wick dies down. Pinched out candles give off very little smoke.

This is the only reason I pinch my candles out. I've found if I lick my fingers I hardly feel the heat, and if I let it smoke it ruins the fragrance from all the time I left it burning. I have a strong elemental aspect to my faith but I figure it's not like my one candle is going to affect the whole of the element. I guess you could argure it's symbolic...but I'm more of a practical girl.
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« Reply #28: February 18, 2010, 05:13:54 am »

Meh, I'm not sure the element of fire is even aware enough to grok disresepctful.....

That's pretty much where I'm at with it.  (I don't do a lot of magical or elemental work these days anyway, though, so it's not a question I have to deal with much.)
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« Reply #29: February 18, 2010, 08:24:20 am »

Meh, I'm not sure the element of fire is even aware enough to grok disresepctful.....

Yeah...and even if the elements are fully aware, it seems that thinking this type of behavior offends them or that they even have an opinion on it assumes that the elements think like humans.
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