Candle Lore

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” Buddha

“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” William Arthur Ward

“My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — it gives a lovely light!” Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Nirvana is not the blowing out of a candle. It is the extinguishing of the flame because day is come.” Rabindranath Tagore

“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” William Shakespeare

“We say that God and the imagination are one. How high that highest candle lights the dark.” Wallace Stevens

“To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” Ursula K. Le Guin

“Burn not thy fingers to snuff another man’s candle.” James Howell

“To light one candle to God and another to the Devil is the principle of wisdom.” Jose Bergamin

“It is a great pity but tis certain from every day’s observation of man, that he may be set on fire like a candle, at either end provided there is a sufficient wick standing out.” Laurence Stern

“Nothing is more satisfying to me than sitting in a dark room, hunched over a single flickering candle like Ebenezer Scrooge, and watching my ledgers fill themselves with ink.” Michael Ian Black

“The human relationship to combustion is as mysterious as it is fraught with madness. From the candle flame to the nuclear blast, it has lit up the human imagination with fear and fascination.” Michael Leunig

“The candle of liberty has always been kept lit by a vigilant few.” Russell Pearce

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” Anne Frank

“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” George R. R. Martin

“A stray fact: insects are not drawn to candle flames, they are drawn to the light on the far side of the flame, they go into the flame and sizzle to nothingness because they’re so eager to get to the light on the other side.” Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall)

“If you hold a candle close to you, its flame rises. And if you hold it away from you, its flame shrinks. The same way you hold a candle close to you, keep all your plans, aspirations, projects, and dreams close to you too. Do not share your plans or goals until you complete them, because as you hold your candle away from you–envy, jealousy, and resentment may put out your flame before it grows.” Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun)

“A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard. And the candle by which she had read the book that was filled with fears, with deceptions, with anguish, and with evil, flared up with greater brightness than she had ever known, revealing to her all that before was in darkness, then flickered, grew faint, and went out forever.” Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)

“A candle, a book, and a peaceful person mean three candles for the world!” Mehmet Murat Ildan

“When you have gone beyond thinking, and if you can still remain alert, aware, as if one is fast asleep but still alert–deep down at the very core of one’s being a lamp goes on burning, a small candle of light–then you will see your original face. And to see your original face is to be back in the Garden of Eden.” Osho (The Secret of Secrets)

“The glass candle is meant to represent truth and learning, rare and beautiful and fragile things. It is made in the shape of a candle to remind us that a master must cast light wherever he serve, and it is a sharp to remind us that knowledge can be dangerous.” George R. R. Martin (A Storm of Swords)

“Don’t wait for anyone to push you up, push yourself up; don’t wait for anyone to pull you up, pull yourself up! Your best hero, your greatest savior is yourself! The candle of your darkness is hidden within you.” Mehmet Murat Ildan

“If you knew
what you will know
when your candle
has burnt low,
it would greatly
ease your plight
while your candle
still burns bright.”
Piet Hein

“If your mind is misty, your life will be misty; if your mind if sunny, your life will be sunny! Your life will be the reflection of your mind, of your thoughts! If there is a candle in your mind, you life will not know what utter darkness is!” Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Wisdom holds a candle to experience, but you’ve got to take the candle and walk alone.” Lauren Kate (Teardrop)

“The world can give ups these glimpses as well as fairy tales can–the smell of rain, the dazzle of sun on white clapboard with the shadows of ferns and wash on the line, the wildness of a winter storm when in the house the flame of a candle doesn’t even flicker.” Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth)

“We can feel the vibration that comes from our candle flame, burning its way into our inner mind, no blurry images, clear as crystal, we enter into the highest consciousness, on our journey back home, we possess the eagle’s eye, the eye that can see the invisible.” Michael Bassey Johnson

“Praying in a Temple is like lighting a candle. One kills the ignorance and the other kills the darkness.” Guarav Rao

“When your soul is looking for you, light a candle on its path.” Rumi

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” Margaret Fuller

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” Jack Kerouac (On the Road)

“Better to have flamed in the darkness, to have inspired others, to have lived, than to have sat in the darkness, cursing the people who borrowed, but did not return, your candle.” Neil Gaiman

“Be sure that the candle is lit before you throw away the match.” Creole Proverb

“What hurts you blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” Rumi


1924 (Westleton, Suffolk) “If a lighted candle is accidentally shut up in a pantry, it is a sire sign of a death in the family soon.”

1870 (Tullimaar, Cornwall) “Three candles were burning on the kitchen table and the cook said that the person who was nearest to the shortest candle would be married first.”

1948 “Stage candle superstition demands that on no account must three candles be alight at the same time in the theatre dressing room.”

1933 (Navenby, Lincs.) “If you light a candle from the flame of a fire you will end your days in the workhouse.”

1823 (Moor) “A coming letter is foretold by a projecting spark on the [snuffing of a candle].”

1923 (Bradford-on-Tone, Som.) “If there is a lump of soot on the wick of a candle it means you will soon meet a stranger.”

[Folklore derived from A Dictionary of Superstitions, edited by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem.]