Any witch worth her salt knows there’s no such thing as too many candles, especially if you’re a regular practitioner of candle magick. Candles have been associated with magick and spirituality since antiquity. In fact, many people associate magick and candles at least once a year–remember when you were a child and made a wish when you blew out your birthday candles?
Candle magick is a lot like that, except instead of hoping for a new bicycle, you’re declaring your intention to bring about a result. Want to find out more about this approachable craft and making your own magick with candles? Keep reading to find out more!
What is Candle Magick?
You can’t remember the first time someone told you to make a wish and blow out your birthday candles, but it’s been a feature of your birthdays for as long as you can remember.
No one can quite remember where that tradition came from, nor can they remember who first came up with the notion of candles and magic.
Candle magick as it’s practiced today is one of the simplest forms of spellcraft out there, in that anyone who has a candle and a lit match can perform candle magick.
The premise is simple: using the candle as a focus tool for magical intent in order to cast a spell, meditate on what you want to let go of, or other forms of craft.
Why Practice Candle Magick?
If candle magick is so simple, why practice it? Beginners to the craft might think that you could get more magical oomph from a more complicated spell.
Well, candle magick is a lot more powerful than you think, even in its simplest form.
That’s because candle magick harnesses the power of transformation, vis-a-vis fire, wax, and candle wick.
Think for a moment about how much transformational power fire has. Humans today have lost much of the wonder we once associated with fire, so it’s worth pondering how powerful fire truly is.
Let’s say you take some flour, eggs, sugar, and a few other ingredients, mix them together and put the mixture in a fire. You won’t get flour, eggs, and sugar back again–fire transforms them into a cake, just as it transforms your dough into bread.
Fire does this with all sorts of things–it makes hard metals malleable, brings light in the darkness, and offers warmth against cold air. It can even turn water into a gas (boiling water into vapor).
Candle magick is powerful precisely because it harnesses fire’s transformational abilities.
The Basics of Candle Magick
It might seem counterintuitive, but in candle magick, the candle itself isn’t the source of power. That is, the wax and wick aren’t the drivers behind the magick–instead, it’s the fire melting the wax and burning the wick.
Think back to birthday candles. The wish doesn’t work if you blow on unlit candles, does it?
The same basic principle applies in candle magick, except that in candle magick, you shouldn’t blow out the candle–you should let it burn down completely or put it out with a toll or wet fingers. Blowing out the candle can be seen as an insult to the element.
Candle Color Meanings
That said, the candle itself does have some power in the spell, even if the fire is the component that puts the spell in action.
One of the ways the candle affects the magick is the color of the candle. Different color candles have different magical associations, so the focus of the spell will be different depending on the color.
Here are the common magical associations of various candle colors:
- White: purification, clarity, truth
- Black: banishing negativity, protection, binding, trances
- Red: passion, love, lust, courage, strength, life force
- Pink: friendship, self-love, compassion, empathy, emotional healing, the feminine
- Yellow: joy, energy, creativity, intelligence
- Orange: success, power, encouragement, confidence, authority
- Green: money, luck, fertility, abundance, growth, wealth, prosperity
- Dark blue: depression, vulnerability, changes
- Light blue: health, patience, healing, peace, serenity, meditation
- Purple: psychic powers, wisdom, intuition, hidden knowledge, spiritual power
- Brown: earth or animal-related, grounding, stability, balance
- Silver: reflection, channeling, neutrality
- Gold: attraction, financial gain, victory, authority
When in doubt (or lacking a colored candle to correspond with your spell) a white candle will always serve you well, as it’s a magical clean slate.
Types of Witch Candles
You may also use different types of candles depending on the type of spell you want to cast.
Table candles are the most easily available types of candles. While they do need to be set in candlesticks, they burn freely for six to eight hours and can be used in most spells as needed, so it’s good to keep a supply on hand.
Pillar candles are the next most common type of candle. They’re freestanding candles that don’t need candlesticks and can be formed into various shapes, like an owl, heart, or skull. Because they take quite a while to burn out, they’re best for spells you want to take effect over an extended period of time.
Finally, there are taper candles, which are tall thin candles that require a candleholder. They burn out quickly, so they’re good for spells that you want to take effect quickly.
Other common types of candle for candle magick include:
- Tea lights
- Chime candles
- Birthday candles ~ great for quick spells
- Container candles
- Novena ~ also known as seven-day candles or vigil candles
- Seven knob candles ~ wishing candles
- Figurine candles ~ skull, pyramid, female/male parts, cross, lovers, animals
You can purchase basic candles at any store and use them, but if you want your spell to have something extra working for it, you can also purchase spell candles.
Crafting Candle Spells
Now that you know the essentials of candle magick, let’s talk about how to craft your own candle magick.
When you break it down, it’s a lot like making a wish on a birthday candle. The difference is that you’re doing it with intention.
Determine Your Magical Goal
First, you need to determine your magical goal. An unfocused spell may work, just not in the way you expect (or want!)
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Be specific: avoid wishing or generalized goals
- Use positive language: give your spell a direction to go, rather than cutting off its avenues of growth
- Be realistic: you’re not going to magic up a million dollars, but you could motivate yourself to get down to business at work tomorrow
- Be ethical: i.e. don’t interfere with other people’s free will
When in doubt, it’s best to break down your magical goal into a sentence. If it’s a bigger goal, break it down into a series of smaller goals.
Design Your Spell and Collect Your Components
Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you can design your spell.
You can collect items with significance to your goal. Keep it simple with a candle to build and release transformation paired with a basic chant to focus your intent.
For example, a money spell would often include things like a green candle and herbs associated with money and wealth, such as mint.
If you’re going to keep it simple, it’s a good idea to write down a chant–this will help direct the spell as you work and keep you focused on the goal.
Cleanse Your Candle
Let’s say you want to do some candle magick and you purchase a candle from the store for that purpose. You’re ready to go, right?
Not so fast.
Before you use a candle in a spell, you should cleanse it first. This will give your magick the best results, since you won’t have the energies of other people who handled the candle lingering over it.
One easy way to do this is by smudging the candle the same way you would smudge your house. If you don’t have a smudge stick, you can also use smudge spray, incense smoke, or some other type of purification spray or ritual.
Bless and Charge Your Candle
Once the candle is smudged, you need to bless the candle to seal in good intent. There are three easy ways to do this.
- Place both hands over the candle and visualize your energy going into the candle. You can simply visualize a bright light going from your hands into the candle.
- Breath your own energy into the candle. Visualize your breath surrounding the candle and infusing into it.
- Say a prayer over the candle or speak an incantation related to your intention.
Inscribe & Dress Your Candle
Before you begin your candle spell, though, you should make sure to inscribe the candle, which is when you carve your intention into the candle with words, symbols, or sigils.
Once the candle is inscribed, you anoint the candle by dressing it in herbs and herbal oil matching the intent of the spell.
If you don’t have the means to carve a candle you can also write your intention on a piece of paper, place it under the candle during the spell, and burn the paper afterward to ignite your intention.
Once the candle is inscribed and anointed, you’re ready to light the candle to perform the spell. While the candle is lit, it’s important to focus your thoughts and intentions toward the flame. Think of it as a kind of meditation to help focus the spell.
After you’re done, don’t forget to thank the elements or deity, and release them. A good closing phrase is something like, “Go if you must, stay if you will, but know that you are always welcome.”
Crafting Your Magical Path
Ready to try your hand at candle magick? It’s an easy way to test the magical waters and start finding out what spells you like.
And if you’re an experienced witch, don’t be afraid of going back to basics! You never know when a simple spell is just what you need to find new inspiration.
Looking for some spell candles? Check out our collection of herbal alchemy spell candles.
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