white magic

I just looked at this thread


and I googled “santeria candles”. This took me to various “white magic” resources and one even showing you how to use the votive candles together with a Psalm to get the desired “results”


I am also converting to Catholicism and although I see how Catholics use these candles I wonder how they can also be associated with santeria and white magic?


Glad to hear you’re coming home.

I understand your concern, but no need to worry. As you probably know, the only difference between “white” magic and “black” is intent–the latter has the added sin of malice–but both are of the devil.

Our holy religion has many elements to it, deep spirituality, many devotions, and a rich culture, or rather family of cultures (according to different rites, Eastern and Western) which developed over hundreds of years. Unfortunately, some people find certain elements of our religion attractive, but instead of embracing the whole religion, they take only the parts they like, and mix it with their own beliefs. The same thing happens in the realm of doctrine, thus all the Protestant religions. In the realm of devotions and spirituality, it tends to be occultists and pagans. This does not mean the devotional elements themselves are tainted because they are “associated with paganism” anymore than the doctrine of the Trinity is tainted because it is held by Protestants.

Probably you’re less comfortable with some of the devotional elements because they are conspicuously absent from the religion you’re converting from. I had a similar experience coming from evangelicalism. But once you understand that the devotions have their proper place, that–when properly used–they are powerful means of drawing closer to our Lord, I think you will come to be quite at home with them.

Hey, I’m the starter of that thread. I know how you feel, I was so set on getting some candles from the local grocery store, then when I started googling them, and seeing all the connections they had with pagan practices it made me uncomfortable. Especially since the candles with St. Jude are on the same shelf with Santa Muerte. Seeing all of that made me wonder if these candles were a legitimate Catholic practice or that of Folk Catholicism.

I know this isn’t a good reply, I just wanted to let you know that I’m in the same boat that you, especially since that was my thread, haha.

The best answer is to call a priest. Different cultures have votive candles with the Blessed Virgin on them, but I do not know if they are considered a legitimate type of candle for this kind of use.

White magic is not considered a good thing. Again, talk to a priest.

God bless,

Don’t worry about what other people are doing with these candles. Here in the US, people use candles for secular reasons, such as on birthday cakes, at restaurants, for decorations (especially at Christmas time), and so on. They are also used in sacred settings such as at church. Just because some people try to use them for evil does not mean that candles are in themselves evil. The same can be said of candles with pictures of Christ, His Mother, and the Saints.

We Catholics are absolute forbidden from trying to manipulate God through practices that are “guaranteed to bring results!” That is considered the realm of the occult, and taking on occult practices is a sin of grave matter.

Does that mean there are NO Catholics who engage in occult practices? Of course not. In any religion, there will be members who through ignorance, defiance, etc., disregard the teachings of their religion to do their own thing – even though they still claim to be members of that religion!

We cannot control what anyone does with a rosary, a crucifix, or a picture of a Saint. If some people use these items for evil, we should pray for them. But that doesn’t make all such items evil.

Thanks for asking such a great question!

God bless you!


I’m not the OP, but I am the OP of the post she’s talking about. Thank you for putting it this way. This really helped me out and made me think.

I did a little research on “santeria” and it gave me some insight. Basically some of these converts were “forced” to be baptized but wanted to keep their pagan deities so they superimposed them onto the images of the saints, just with different names.

This helped me to understand that, as was mentioned above, each culture takes what is attractive from Catholicism and adopts/adapts it to fulfill their needs.

The other day at the store together with the incense with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and others I noticed an incense for the “7 powers” (or something like that) it had a prayer on the back that mentioned “God” etc. I felt kind of uncomfortable with it. Now I understand that this was “santeria”.

My oh my does Catholicism have soooooo much for me to learn!!!:eek:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.