Candle magic is very familiar with most Pagan magicians and magickians, however there is another world to explore when one uses oil lamps for your workings. Oil lamps are not a new thing, almost every ancient people has used them for both common day utilitarian function as well as religious purposes. The Temple light is well known in myth and legends from all over the world. And so the magical uses are known also. As stated on the Vodou Store website:
"Oil Lamp Magic
Traditional lamp magic has been used all over the world from the Middle East to India and Haiti. While our ingredients are our own, the method of lamp magic in a traditional sense is very powerful and very effective for getting fast results. With lamp magic you speed up magical workings as the energy is hotter than with a candle. Specially prepared herbs, oils and other ingredients are blessed and added to petition a specific spirit allowing the flame to hold the power of the spirit. When done correctly and in just cases, lamp magic produces very quick results."
Those who practice the ways of the Strega usually have gained experience with making a Spirit bowl on their altar. For those not practiced in this Tradition,
"The Spirit bowl is the center of the ritual and where the Goddess and God reside. Here is where we conjure up the Grigori, and invite our Lord and Lady to join us. It is a silver, copper, or brass bowl filled with alcohol and nine drops of Strega, the liquor. It is ignited and the blue flames are the proof the God and Goddess are in the circle."
Indeed, many times this writer has made a fire from epsom salts and alcohol in an open field. The flames were changed with pennies or other items for the rituals. Fire is the original worklight.
Knowing how to make your own lamps is a skill that is both useful and gratifying as part of what I like to call Pagan Life Skills. Though there are many techniques ranging from using glass and stone, fruits such as lemon rinds and gourds, and all the way up to metal containers, this author recommends using the basic glass jar method. As a caution, olive oil seems to be the best oil to use for economy and low smoke. Fancy blended oils seem to smoke a lot more.
Mother Earth News has a wonderful instruction set for making your own at home that you can find following this link. The article covers adding herbs and essential oils as an afterthought at the end. In this regard, I caution you to be mindful that you do not overload your container, as these items are flammable.
Also, remember to be careful when you are using something other than an actual candle wick to be choosey in your selection of materials. Also, when using cotton
"use 100 percent cotton string or twine and salt it to ensure that it burns long. To salt your wick, take your cotton twine, put it in a bowl with a little water and then cover with table salt. Squeeze it dry and let it dry overnight, or until it is no longer damp"
It is a good idea to keep your oil supply for your lamps in a designated container. Remember, the mind is triggered by visual cues and the subconscious responds, so this small step can aid you in reaching that essential state where your Workings are done. This can be trance state, mindful focus, etc.
A really great local source for wicks is Candela Products in Hazel Park. Reasonably priced and a fixture in the area, they are a good place to find what you are looking for when needing wicks, candle molds, etc. With a friendly staff, they are sure to help you find the wick you need.
This is but one more practice of magical crafting that you can add to your skill set. It also is a frugal alternative to buying premade candles. Ultimately, you will be the final judge on if this ancient practice resonates with you, but give it a try.