Wednesday, 1 April 2020

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Review: Custom Ostara Candle from Southern Sea Witch

A photo of my lit Ostara candle

Custom Ostara Candle from Southern Sea Witch

Southern Sea Witch's Website | Southern Sea Witch on Instagram

I was sent this custom Ostara Candle for free from Southern Sea Witch as a brand rep for the purposes of providing an honest review.

I've got something a little different for you today. I've been a huge fan of Southern Sea Witch for months now, so when store owner Rhiannon opened up applications for brand reps on Instagram, I jumped at the chance, and was luckily enough to be picked. As a brand rep* for Southern Sea Witch, I was sent a free custom candle for the purposes of providing an honest review. As reviews are my jam, I'm going to write my full, honest review here, and post snippets on Instagram. This review is going to be structured a little differently from my normal reviews, and, because of where I am on my spiritual path and how I've used the candle, it may seem I go off on a tangent at some points, but stick with me - context is needed, I feel, to understand my specific use of, and reaction to using, this candle.

As a brand rep, I was able to request a free item already on sale on Southern Sea Witch, or request a product to be created for me. I've been admiring Rhiannon's scented candles for months, but due to my fragrance sensitivity, I've not been able to buy one for myself - although I did buy her Pine Forest Candle back in November as a Yule gift for a friend. As I had the option to have a custom candle made up specifically for me, I asked if she'd mind making me an intention set unscented candle for Ostara, which was on 20th March.

Unboxing Photos

A photo of how my Ostara candle was wrapped, with tissue paper around it taped with washi tape, a pouch of tea lights and wrapped candles next to it, showing the Southern Sea Witch logo card inside, and in front of them both, a yellow and green watercoloured piece of card, handwritten with a list of what is contained in the candle A photo featuring the open candle with it's lid off, the Southern Sea Witch logo card to it's left, the tealights and crystals on top of their pouch on the right, and the handwritten list in front

The Candle Itself

I received a gorgeous 8oz tin container soy wax candle that will burn for approximately 45 hours. As I requested an Ostara candle, Rhiannon imbued the candle with intentions around Ostara's themes of new beginnings, balance, renewal, happiness and abundance. My Ostara candle was made with:
  • Soy wax dyed yellow for joy, happiness and abundance
  • Daffodil petals for new beginnings, joy and abundance
  • Jasmine flowers for spiritual love, and to increase awareness and sensitivity during times of transition
  • A Green Fluorite Egg for cleansing, new beginnings, healing, and aligning the heart chakra and emotions
  • Rose Quartz for love, self love, emotional balance, and healing
  • Singing Quartz rods for healing, self balance, and happiness
  • Synthetic mica and eco-glitter
The container was cleansed by Rhiannon in Moon Water prior to making the candle. Had I paid for this candle, it would have cost me £12, not including postage and packaging.


A photo of the unlit Ostara candle taken from above A photo of the lit Ostara candle taken from above

My candle is just gorgeous, as I knew it would be. I love the colours! I think the subtle shade of yellow of the wax (which unfortunately hasn't come out as well in photos. It looks quite pale in most, and bright in one - the closest match is the very last two close up photos of the candle below, in the Magic & Use section), the brighter yellow of the daffodil petals, the paler yellow of jasmine flowers, the pink of the rose quartz, and green of the fluorite egg work together so well, not even yet considering their correspondences, and the synthetic mica and eco glitter just adds such a pretty touch (you can't see it in my photos, but the candle has a shimmer to it from the synthetic mica). And I think there's something quite cute about the tin, too. And it looks beautiful on my everyday, minimalist doesn't-actually-look-like-an-altar altar (still in the broom closet with certain family members I live with).

Theme & Intentions

What I love about the intentions for this candle is that they're tailored to the themes of Ostara, while the candle itself isn't one that can only be used for Ostara. I requested it specifically to use during my Ostara ritual, but as it's imbued with general intentions for new beginnings, balance, renewal, happiness and abundance, it can be a component of rituals and spells around any of those intentions. It makes the candle quite versatile, and with having a burn time of 45 hours, I can get - and have got - a fair amount of use out of it.

To be perfectly honest, because of being in the early stages of my education, had I not been sent this candle for review, I probably would have only used the candle for Ostara. But because I write quite thorough reviews, and wanted to give you as much information as possible - and to be able to tell you how well it works - I asked Rhiannon a couple of questions about the correspondences of elements used in making this candle and the intentions she set into it. But I don't think it would have occurred to me to ask otherwise, or consider it's other uses. A more experienced witch probably would have looked at the list of what the candle contains and automatically known their correspondences, and based on that, would have been able to make an educated guess on the intentions set, and therefore the variety of ways the candle could be used. Yes, I could have looked up the correspondences, but tt didn't even occur to me that I could use this candle for anything else when I requested it, so I'm not sure I would have. All of this is to say, as an aside to the review itself, if you're new to your path, keep an open mind, and feel free to ask store owners about correspondences and intentions behind magic items/products - they're more than likely going to be happy to answer them, it's just good customer service.

Magic & Use

With the above in mind, on to me actually using the candle. Because I'm still fairly new to my path, and how, because of my fragrance sensitivity, I've had to create and write all my rituals and spells from scratch, there is a sense of experimentation when it comes to my practice. I know this is the case for most witches, but they can also rely on the correspondences of incense, essential oils and most herbs that I can't. For me, it's mostly crystals and specific coloured candles, and the rest I have to figure out for myself. And while I trust my magic ability, as I've seen it work, there's still quite an element of uncertainty for me. However, when it comes to the magic abilities of other, more experienced witches, I just have complete trust that they know what they're doing, and their products will work, and it was the case with Rhiannon's candle.

A close up of my Ostara altar, featuring the Ostara candle, a star shaped container candle, and my Feast of Lovers container candle lined up at the back. There are purple, yellow, pink and green tea lights lit in front of the container candles in a row, with a tiny bunny ornament in the centre. Next is a white stone, a rose quartz tumblestone, an aquamarine tumblestone, an amethyst tumblestone, and a black stone. In front, in the centre, is a clear quartz point

A close up photo of the lit Ostara Candle A close up photo of the Ostara candle taken from above, after use, before the wax has solidified

I burned it first as part of my Ostara ritual, where it's intentions and correspondences aligned with my own, as I created sigils for more specific intentions, painted them onto wooden eggs (a symbol of rebirth and growth, themes of Ostara), and then decorated the eggs over the sigils. My intentions were such that it'll will take time for them to come to fruition, so I'm not yet able to comment on whether my ritual - and also the candle - "worked" in this regard. However, I did notice a difference in this ritual. I generally feel a sense of contented calm whenever I do magic work, but this was moreso with the use of the Ostara candle, making for a lovelier experience. During the ritual - and since - I have felt really drawn to the candle; I am not the kind of witch who is able to, at this time, feel the energy of things (at least so far), so I don't feel the energy of the candle, but I am so drawn to it. I find myself wanting to light it, even outside of ritual and spellwork, so have done so. And I genuinely feel it's made a lot of difference.

The world is currently in crisis due to coronavirus. There is so much uncertainty, and the death toll is terrifying, and on top of the health issues, everyone is effected by the plans put in place to fight it - staying at home, not working, uncertainty around job security, etc. It's an intensely stressful time, and as someone with anxiety, it's quite difficult. But I've found my candle to help. Lighting it focussing on the intentions of balance and happiness Rhiannon imbued it with, I'm finding I'm not struggling quite as much as I would have thought. I light it for emotional balance, so I'm not overwhelmed by the worry and fear, and while not exactly happiness, for the sense of contented calm I felt during my first ritual. The contentment isn't necessarily coming, but I'm more calm than not. Of course, I'm not suggesting anyone buy a candle as a treatment for mental illness - medical professionals should always be consulted in times of need - and I have my tried and tested CBT strategies to fall back on when needed, but the candle is definitely having an effect on my mood and my state of mind. I am so grateful to Rhiannon for this candle, and that I receiving this candle before the crisis truly hit. And I can't help but feel like the Universe had a hand in this.

A close up photo of lit Ostara candle after three previous uses, where the flame is struggling A close of up photo of lit Ostara candle a short while after previous photo, where the flame has almost gone, but the wick is glowing

ETA: I'm leaving the rest of the section as is for transparency, but I've had the reas the flame doesn't last explained to me, and I'm going to share it here. The issue is me, and not the candle - or rather, my lack of knowledge about candles. When you first light a candle, it needs to burn for around four hours, otherwise my problem happens. If it's extinguished too quickly, the wax will form a "memory" of where it stoped melting, and start tunnelling, which leads to the effect on the wick I'm having. I only burned the candle for about an hour the first time round, not knowing this, hence the problem. So there's no issue with the candle!

However, the candle does struggle to keep a flame. It doesn't go out, the wick still glows, like an ember, but it can't keep a flame. On first use, the flame lasted the whole time I used it, around an hour. The second time, the flame died after about half an hour or so, and the third time, the flame died around the 15 minute mark. In the two photos above, the first is how the flame now looks after being lit, and the second is maybe ten minutes later, when the flame is really struggling and has almost died, but you can see how the wick is glowing, which is how it stays when the flame dies.

I'm no expert when it comes to candles, so I could be wrong, but it looks to me like it's once there's a fair amount of melted wax at the base of the wick, the flame dies. From observation, I think this might be because the candle contains crystals? On first use, the surface of the candle was flat. Now there is a hole in the center of the candle, where the wax pools. I have one other cylindrical container candle, one that doesn't contain crystals, and have looked at how that melts in comparison. In this candle, the melted wax forms a large, deep bowl from almost the edges of the container, and downwards towards the center. But because of the crystals, the Ostara candle isn't able to melt the surrounding wax. It looks to me that because of the crystals (and possibly the jasmine flowers too?) around the edge of the container, the candle wax can't melt outwards, so as it has nowhere to go, it pools and stays where it is, and the flame struggles against whis pool of melted wax. Again, I don't know enough about candles, so this could be wrong and there's another reason why the flame doesn't last. The below four photos show the appearance of the candle after the wax had solidified after each use.

A photo of the Ostara candle taken from above after first use, with a shallow hole in the wax around the wick A photo of the Ostara candle taken from above after second use, with a deeper hole in the wax around the wick

A photo of the Ostara candle taken from above after third use, with an even deeper hole in the wax around the wick A photo of the Ostara candle taken from above after fourth use, with the deepest hole in the wax around the wick

It's a little frustrating and disappointing, but as I said, the candle itself doesn't go out. The wick keeps glowing. As I've already mentioned, I'm new to my path, and don't know a huge amount about what is meant by how the candle burns. Although I of course would prefer the candle to stay aflame, I actually take some heart from the fact that the candle doesn't go out completely. I feel the candle is still doing it's job - it still has the same affect on me. And given everything that's going on, it kind of gives me some hope, as quite an apt metaphor: the flame might struggle, but the candle itself still burns on. We're all really struggling right now, with the disruption of normal life, the constrains put upon us, as well as the illness itself, but we're carrying on.

Packaging & Ethics

The candle was well packaged and protected. It came in a small cardboard box, which was padded out with newspaper. The candle itself was wrapped with tissue paper over bubble wrap - and the same for the crystals inside their pouch. The packaging is all reusable and recyclable - while bubble wrap is made from plastic, it can be reused if the bubbles haven't been popped.

With regards to Southern Sea Witch's ethics, I'm going to share Rhiannon's answer to a question relating to ethics from my interview with her last month (before I became a brand rep):

With my products, I try to be as ecofriendly and mindful of the environmental impact as I can. For example, my candles are made with soy wax and are within containers I have either upcycled or purchased from local charities. In terms of herbs and plant foliage, I tend to grow the majority in my own garden as well sourcing some of the more difficult to find herbs from other fellow witchy businesses. Spiritual items and crystals have been a lot more difficult for me to source ethically as there’s a lot of hush within the market and has been something I have been putting lots of research into for the past few months. I’ve had lots of insightful tips from other fellow small businesses and the community which has been amazing as it can be such a labyrinth. I recently made changes to my suppliers as I realised some of them weren’t open and transparent with the sources of their products and have now changed them for more honest and ethical suppliers. I also have been working with local small businesses and suppliers and increasing my contacts within the ethical community - it’s been an insightful experience and learning curve and I’ve met some truly amazing people along the way!

Customer Service & Extra Touches

Rhiannon's customer service is excellent. She's very friendly and approachable while being professional, and very open to questions. With regards to this particular candle, she checked with me a number of times regarding my fragrance sensitivity, and what herbs and flowers won't cause a migraine. From a previous purchase, when I bought the pine scented candle for a friend, she was very happy to post the candle direct to my friend, because it was scented. Last week, I bought some crystals from her Instagram grid sale, and she was happy to wait a few days for payment until I was paid - though this was agreed upon before I commented on any products in the sale, and was down to Rhiannon's discretion.

A photo of the handwritten list from Rhiannon of what my candle contains

As you have seen, my candle came with the added touch of a handwritten list detailing what the candle contains. There are handwritten elements to a lot of Rhiannon's products which I really love. It just adds to the handmade element, and makes it feel more personal. It's cute, and I love it!

I also received a couple of crystals and tea lights along with my candle, but this is one of the perks of being a brand rep, and not something that comes with every order.


A photo, taken from a diagonal position, of my everyday altar, with my three lit container candles, including the Ostara candle, a small collection of crystals and shells, and a pressed roses in a frame

I'm really happy with my candle. If it's not clear yet, I love it. It's a beautiful, versatile intention set candle, and one that's made a difference to me during this time of upheaval. As mentioned, the candle would have cost £12 if I had bought it, which I feel is very reasonable considering the time, labour and magic work that went into making the candle itself and setting it with intentions. I would prefer the flame to last, but it still works as magical tool, and I still love it. On top of the having the candle itself, once it's burned down, all crystals, as well as, the tin can be reused after cleansing. (I was so pleased to see the fluorite egg; I've been browsing crystal eggs for a while, wanting to get some for my altar for Ostara, but they were quite expensive. Now I have this one!) Rhiannon herself is just lovely, with great customer service. I'm still a major fan of Southern Sea Witch - I've purchased from Rhiannon before, I've purchased from her since receiving this candle, and I will do so again.

How to Order Your Own Custom Candle

So after reading my review, you may want to purchase your own custom candle from Southern Sea Witch. Well, how do you go about it?
  • You can contact Rhiannon through Instagram DMs, email, or the contact page on her website.
  • In your request, you should tell Rhiannon your preferences regarding colour, fragrance, intention, container choice, any allergies or aversions you may have to any potential ingredients, and anything else pertaining to the kind of candle you'd like.
  • The price of the candle will depend on the complexity and the amount of materials used to make it, but there's no extra charge for a custom made candle over one of her own design.
  • Unless there are delays on procuring items required for your candle, the turnaround for your candle would be roughly 1-2 weeks after request, but this depends on the complexity of your candle and how busy Southern Sea Witch is.
And be sure to check out Southern Sea Witch website to browse the other products on sale, and follow @Southern.Sea.Witch on Instagram for product updates and Instagram sales. If you do choose to make a purchase from Southern Sea Witch, be sure to use discount code SOUTHERNSEAWITCH10 at check out to receive 10% off! And if you fancy finding out more about Southern Sea Witch, you can read my interview with Rhiannon for The Witches' Marketplace.

*For the purposes of transparency, I feel it's important I tell you that, as a brand rep for Southern Sea Witch, I have to post a review or unboxing of my product/s from Southern Sea Witch, to post my rep code on my account and include it in any dedicated promotional posts, and to post at least two promotional posts a month. In exchange for this, I received this free custom candle for the purposes of review, a special rep 15% off discount code, and extra free items in my orders.

You might also like:

The Witches' Marketplace - Southern Sea Witch The Witches' Marketplace - pocket witch

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