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The Power of Candles in Brooklyn

The New York Post reports on a fascinating business that grows in Brooklyn:

Like any budding businesswomen, small-batch candle makers Hayley Elisabeth Kaufman and Whitney Huhmann have settled into a work routine. Kaufman will pick a tarot card before they melt wax, while Huhmann performs reiki over a pile of clear quartz crystals. Trap music blasts through their Greenpoint studio as they meditate and focus on what energy the candle they are about to pour will bring. This happens on the night of every new and full moon.

“We’re harnessing the [moon’s] energy,” says Kaufman, 37, co-founder of candle company the Sphinx and the Priestess. Those lunar powers and the duo’s incantations help make candles that Kaufman and Huhmann, 35, say help customers gain clarity, love, jobs and whatever else they’re hoping will come their way.

The duo, who share studio space with a group of jewelers and a woman who makes high-end tie-dyed garments, are part of a growing group of Brooklyn entrepreneurs creating offbeat, whimsical alternatives to big-brand beauty and home products — backed with a spiritual aspect.


The two Clinton Hill residents met while working for branding giant Starworks Group, and connected over their love for tarot and crystals. They sold their first candle a year ago, and now pour around 100 per moon cycle to sell online and in shops such as CAP Beauty. They count Kate Hudson, Joan Jett and Amy Schumer as fans.

There are four varieties, each $44 per 12 oz. candle: the Lovers, for manifesting attraction and sexual energy; Pentacles, for prosperity and grounding; the Star, for meditation and inspiration; and best seller Death, for transformation and renewal.

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Tamara Beckwith/NY Post

The candles are designed based on the Table of Correspondences, a sort of farmer’s almanac for the occult, which combines elements of tarot, astrology, alchemy and kabala and lists the scent, stone, musical note, color and other elements associated with each type of energy.

To the untrained eye, the end result looks no different from other high-end options. But Kaufman claims that customers often report back with glowing stories she can only chalk up to the candles’ powers.

The candles have worked their magic on their makers, too. “Sometimes I struggle with living in New York, so I burn Death to push through it and transition to another phase where I’m at peace again,” says Huhmann.

But the two caution that the candles magnify energy that the user may not expect. “I started burning the Lovers candle, which I don’t really use a lot, and I had every ex-boyfriend call me or e-mail me or get in touch in such a short amount of time,” says Kaufman.

“We tell [customers] to be careful what they wish for.”


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