Ear candling is precisely, exactly what it sounds like without any caveats. It’s an activity a three-year-old would invent if you asked them to draw “ear candling.” I still feel like I have to say it, though: it’s the ancient science of sticking a candle in someone’s ear. How can you do it yourself? I just fucking told you: stick a candle in someone’s ear. But for those who want to make it a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny bit more complicated, let’s look at The Practical Guide to Ear Candling (6th Edition(!)).
The “””science“”” behind ear candling is this: hot smoke goes into your skull through your ear hole and it heals you, physically and spiritually. The author of this book doesn’t quite know how it works, and in fact seems terrified of saying anything specific enough to make him liable for injuries. Every page praises the benefits of this historical ear magic invented by nerd Indians and then immediately adds something like, “But, you know, remember: this has only been tested on mummies and you should check with a doctor before you scorch half your face off with authentic Wally’s brand ear products.”
Oh yeah, I should mention the author sells ear candles and a wide array of snake oils you can rub on your ear before and after you put a lit candle in there. This is essentially a 64 page advertisement and liability waiver with a touch of dingbat witchcraft, and I think I accidentally just described every metaphysical book ever written. In your face, wizards.
As the introduction says, The Ears May Hold More Mysteries Than We Imagine… but we aren’t saying they do and you can’t prove in court we specifically told you to put something called an “ear candle” into your ear and light it. This activity is for “relaxing, soothing, and entertaining” only, and won’t cure any of these ailments these legends claim they cure. Weirdly, the author keeps downplaying the magical power of ear candles while growing more and more certain in the mystic protection of his legal disclaimers. He is one step ahead of any potential lawsuit. In fact, if you surrounded a lawyer with pages from Practical Guide to Ear Candling, they would be trapped in an endless dance until a scorch-faced virgin broke the circle.
The book can’t even get through the first page of THE BASICS OF EAR CANDLING without debunking the basics of ear candling. These dorks have been melting candles on each other for generations and it’s only recently they considered all this wax they kept finding came from the candles and not a vacuum spell they were somehow casting on ears? This feels like opening up a puppet show by telling the audience how recent science has proven all your talking puppy dogs are mainly socks on your hands. How dumb is your hobby’s community that this was worth saying out loud, and why would you shatter such a necessary fiction for it to function? No offense to your ancestors, but if thousands of years of their ancient healing art can get dismissed by knowing what candles are, maybe they were all stupid and wrong?
The traditional way to ear candle, the one the author admits does nothing and you should never try, involves laying your victim on their side and using a pie tray to keep most of the ash and wax from falling into their head. But since none of this matters, you can go ahead and sit upright. You could even stay home without putting shit in your ears. This book cannot stress this enough– only a few guys in cave paintings have any idea what this does or why it exists. It’s entirely possible australopithecus drew cartoons where people fucked each other in the ear and this entire practice is a wildly misinterpreted take on them.
So after ten pages of explaining this “home remedy” only adds wax to your ear, it says slowly burning two to three candles into a sitting persons’ skull is “just as effective.” Effective at goddamn what? This is indentical to telling a husband having sex with a rotisserie chicken it will help his marriage just as well if he fucks it wearing a 1-900-HOTDOG headband. Neither one are going to clean out his ears, and they both make for less embarrassing photographs than ear candling. People getting their picture taken during ear candling look like they’re getting their brain basted at Sport Clips.
I swear to God this inspirational quote about learning to fly came right after the author again explained how dangerous and pointless this hobby is along with a plug for Wally’s brand “ear oil.” It’s philosophically as far from flying as any activity has ever been. If you were a raccoon delicately eating around the semen on a discarded rotisserie chicken, it would make more sense for someone to recite quotes to you about soaring beyond the confines of your fear.
I mentioned this is a 64 page book, but there is less than a page worth of actual material. They keep rewording the candling process, which I swear I’m not simplifying, and then lowering your expectations, which I swear can always get lower. Repetition can be a helpful learning tool, but this is like watching a sick goldfish discover diarrhea 128 different times.
The “Anecdotes” chapter is a sad, whimpering collection of evidence no one is expected to believe. Make-believe individuals make vague, third-hand claims about the benefits of ear candling after a disclaimer saying they’re all probably lying. This author is way too sheepish to be a grifter. They’re like a breezy heiress who never really wanted to be stuck with her dead dad’s penis enlargement business.
This ear candler is not an expert on anything including this, their useless and ineffective life’s work. The one thing they should be good at is killing time while they wait for candles to burn down to their client’s head, but the chapter “During Candling” is two pages long and only includes a single activity idea: face massage. So if you pursue a life of professional ear candling and small talk isn’t working out and you’ve already exhausted all 7 seconds of the full history of this ancient practice, simply rub your client’s face for the remaining three to four hours. Or hell, why not open plastic bags of cabbage burps or hand them drawings of local cat buttholes? Nobody is ever going to say, “This wax guru held a spirit candle to my ear for most of the day, and then things got weird.”
One reply on “The Practical Guide to Ear Candling”
This book would have been more useful and less ridiculous if it was about making candles from collected earwax. Collected from where is chapter 2