In much Afro-Caribbean magic, as well as hoodoo, magical lamps are employed to great effect, and its a magical technique that I have experienced great success with myself. In fact I have come to prefer lamp magic over candle work for various reasons. Firstly, lamps seem to bring an immediate and powerful force down on any goal that you are working to manifest. They seem to burn 'hotter' both literally and spiritually - the results are strong and steady if you construct and empower the lamp well. They are tremendously versatile and one is able to add anything to the fuel bowl ranging from standard herbal ingredients such as whole roots and minerals, herbs or powders to entire bottles of condition oil if you mean business. In fact anything can be added that is sympathetically connected to your goal (sugar or honey for sweetening, chains for binding, rusty nails to hurt, graveyard dirt, dirt from your target's yard or place of work, personal concerns etc) - as well as any ingredients traditionally sacred to any spirit whom you might be enlisting in your lamp work. This is the best part of lamp magic; as long as you use some common sense, making sure to stick to the basic principles of sympathetic magic and hoodoo - you can get very inventive indeed.
Lamps can be kept going for many days and weeks if need be - as long as you keep adding fuel. In addition they can easily and cheaply be created out of an assortment of non-flammable containers, and the container one uses can powerfully add to your spell's effectiveness. Alternatively, you might opt to buy a simple oil lamp if your dont feel inclined to lamp building, and these work well enough although they lack the additional symbolism a custom created lamp might have. Another issue with a conventional oil lamp is that you are limited to using lamp oil or kerosene as fuel (which can be smelly and smoky), whereas handmade lamps can burn using an assortment of vegetable oils - all of which along with the container lends extra symbolism and energy. A rusty iron pot for instance is an excellent lamp container when the work you are doing is of an aggressive nature - similarly, there are plethora of creative and magically potent containers one can use to create lamps.
The fuel you use for your lamp's oil can also lend significant symbolism and power to the work - for blessing or healing lamps olive oil is perfect connecting them to biblical tradition. For prosperity or money lamps, sunflower oil is marvellous, golden and imbued with wealth bringing solar force. For reversing work or revenge castor oil is ideal and i found it mentioned on the web that some folks will burn used motor oil! Probably not a good idea indoors but pretty nasty nonetheless. Draja Mickaharic's book A Century Of Spells has a good section on the occult properties of various vegetable oils you might want to check out for consideration as to how the oil used for fuel can influence the work. As I mentioned you can add a LOT more herbal and mineral material to a lamp than to a candle - all of which adds additional magical power in my opinion. You can also add whole items like fresh basil, whole peppers - the sky is the limit! Whats more is you can add whole roots like John the Conquer, Master root or Nutmeg and when you have finished burning your lamp for its a lotted time you can take those roots out of the vegetable oil - and they will be soaked with condition oil, herbal essences and POWER. I like using these in follow on mojo hands - after they have been juiced up by my lamp work. Every day as i pray over that lamp the roots become more and more powerful.
A well constructed lamp combines all of the best elements of a bottle spell, a honey jar and vigil light into one object! They are also very aesthetically pleasing objects and I derive a lot of satisfaction out of carefully created lamp. The flame is larger and brighter than a candle flame and this adds a lot more energy to the work - however, even though they burn bright in my opinion they are much safer than candles. Built with a bit of care and practice you will find they are very sturdy and you can leave them burning without worrying that the glass around the vigil light will crack or it will fall over setting everything aflame. You still need to take care though, and put the lamp in a fireproof tray or dish.
In Afro-Caribbean magic lamps are usually used in association with spirits and in catholic hoodoo in particular lamps are almost always created under the aegis of a saint. The magician invokes the spirit whose power is enlisted in the spell and ritually 'mounts' the spirit onto the lamp. It is understood that the spirit sits or rides the lamp as it burns and further expedites its aims.
The 24/7 Money Lamp
This is a money drawing lamp I devised recently that I want to share with you, so you can get an idea of how i work with lamps. You will need the following:
A nice china dish - something real fancy. If this is hard for you a plain china bowl will suffice but make it the very best that you can afford.
24 coins of the highest coin denomination
A bottle of lodestone oil
A bottle of money drawing oil, or attraction oil
A bank deposit slip which you collect from the fanciest bank branch in the wealthiest area you can get to - quest for it! This brings power to the work. When you are at the branch try to collect some dirt from the branch too - its getting hard with all the paving we have in my country but see if you can do this anyway.
Money drawing powder
Cotton bandage (this must be natural fibre bandage otherwise it well smell like burning plastic!)
Sunflower oil or Olive oil.
I will post a lamp building tutorial shortly on my new blog, with step by step pictures for rolling the wick and attaching it to the bowl but for now i will give cursory description of the actual lamp's construction and focus more on the spell.
Begin the spell on a Friday at sunrise.
Open your altar space as you normally do (candles incense etc). Then take that bank slip and fill in the sum of money you need, or the sum of money you would like to earn monthly - or just go full out and fill it in with the highest figure you can imagine - but make sure you think about it first and that it is figure that sits well with you. This is an interesting exercise regarding your personal beliefs about money. Fill the entire slip out as you normally would with your name bank account details etc. Dress it with lodestone oil and money drawing oil in a five spot pattern and place it on the bottom of the bowl sprinkle money drawing powder all over it. Also add a pinch of bank dirt if you were able to get some.
Next, take a coin and some blessed water and baptise it - say something like: "in the name of the father son and holy ghost I baptise you 1AM" place it on top of the deposit slip in the bowl then take the next coin and do the same thing, except this time you say: "in the name of the father son and holy ghost I baptise you 2 AM" keep naming them like that till you get to 12PM and the deposit slip is covered with twenty four coins, then sprinkle some money drawing powder over the coins.
Next take a lodestone and say: "In the name of the father son and holy ghost I baptise you Monday", then do the next one naming it Tuesday and continue up till Sunday. Place all the baptised lodestones on top of the the coins. Make sure you use the biggest lodestone, or an otherwise unique looking lodestone for Friday. You need to be able to recognise it later on - alternatively you can spray it gold (or better yet cover it in gold leaf from a craft store!) but you need to be able to know which one is Friday.
Next you roll wick out of cotton bandage rolling it toward you praying for that money to come into your hands - till it becomes a tube about the length of your hand. Then fold some some tinfoil till you have about four layers the size of your palm, take a knife and make small hole in the foil. Thread the tube of cotton bandage though the foil so you have about 2 cm protruding with the rest below it. Next, fold the foil over the edge of the bowl so that that it form flat little platform on inside of the bowl flush with the edge and with the wick sticking up and the rest trailing in the bowl. You can secure the foil the side with some sticky tape - making sure the tape is on the outside of the bowl.
Finally, pour your sunflower oil into the bowl covering everything make sure to soak the wicking filling the whole bowl. Pour the WHOLE bottle of lodestone oil in there too. Add a few drops of money drawing or attraction oil.
Light the wick then sprinkle a mixture of magnetic sand and money drawing powder into the bowl all over, feeding the lodestones as you pray over it all, say:
"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, seven days a week 24 hours a day, ALL day every day comes to me. Every minute of every day in every imaginable way money flows to me endlessly. My bank account grows and grows. Money LOVES me! Amen"
You can also pray the 23rd psalm. Then ask yourself: "what would it feel like if i had the figure of money written on the bank slip in my bank account right now?" When you get that feeling in you - rub your hands together till they are burning hot and hold your hands over the lamp and let the feeling flow into the lamp.
Every day you need to fill the lamp with more fuel and pull a bit of wicking through the tinfoil and repeat the above. Keep it going 24/7 for a minimum of seven days. I sometimes keep the same lamp going for up to four weeks and usually i have what i want before then. You might even want to keep it going indefinitely by adding new wicks when you finish the first.
However when you do decide to stop burning the lamp do so on a Friday at dawn - take out the lodestone called Friday and put him in a flannel bag with magnetic sand, three of the coins from the lamp, a master root and high john the conquer root. Why Friday? Because Friday is PAYDAY, also Friday is the day of Venus who rules prosperity, and the first hour after dawn a Friday is Venus hour.
Take the rest of the lodestones thanks them kindly and bury them by your front door so they can keep working there for you.