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The Mass Media

UMass Boston professor creates Soul Vibe Candles, lifts spirits

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Professor Van Der Meer’s candles

Professor Anthony Van Der Meer of the African Studies department at the University of Massachusetts Boston manufactured some “Soul Vibe Candles” — special candles made with natural soy wax designed to lift spirits.
“I designed the candles to create a space that we can relax, reflect, and, reinvigorate our soul and spirit,” Van Der Meer stated.  He explained that the name “Soul Vibe Candles” is pretty much self-explanatory in terms of its impact on people. He said, “the name ‘Soul Vibe Candles’ is based on what it says; using candles to create a positive vibe within our soul.”
Professor Van Der Meer explained how the idea of Soul Vibe Candles came from his interest to make candles for spiritual purposes over 20 years ago. He mentioned that he gained his initial inspiration through a family conversation about mourning the loss of a loved one and was looking for ways to best honor their passing. From this point, he explained to have been driven by two candle ideas that reflected human beings personal and historical experiences.
“I created two ancestor candles; one to reflect on the people and one to reflect on the experience. The Ancestor Essence candle [represents] the people,” he said, “[and] the Maafa candle is about the experience.”

He explained that the colors of the candles are symbolic and serve to reflect on human solidarity between races and across all continents, especially African Americans in the United States. The Maafa candle serves to translate and understand tragic experience before a healing process can begin. “On some level, we need to heal from these traumatic experiences,” he stated. “All people are exposed to the tragedies of the world, whether we want to recognize it or not.”

Professor Van Der Meer believes his candles create an ambiance of solitude, introspection, reflection, and projection. The aroma of candles can create sensations or moods that provide a comfortable space for us. When we are in a pleasant space, we can imagine positive and successful initiatives, become creative and innovative, and envision building a healthy society and world.
“It is also a way to honor our distance ancestors as well as family and friends who have passed during our lifetime. It offers positive memory and reflection,” he stated.
Professor Van Der Meer mentioned that they is designed to appeal to all people who are sensitive to personal and historical experiences. He added that the candles can put us in the path that can help us recognize where we have come from in order to know where we need to go.
 He said that the candles were designed pulling from his own view of the world, of which he sees in physical and spiritual ways. “Lighting candles can provide a psychological as well as a spiritual lift,” believes Van Der Meer. 
“All people who are concerned about the human condition can use Soul Vibe Candles,” he concluded.
 People who are interested in Soul Vibe Candles can order them on www.SoulVibeCandles.com.