Witchcraft: Beginner's Guide to Candle Magic
Candle magic harnesses the power of fire to bring change. Fire is the Element of transformation. Think for a moment how fire transforms things: it melts wax. It renders many organic materials (leaves, wood, flesh and bone) to ash. It softens hard metals to make them malleable for forging. It can heat substances, turning them from liquid to gas (water to steam, for example). If you mix ingredients together and put them into the fire, it can transform your batter into cake, your dough into bread. It brings light to the darkness and warmth to the cold.
Since human beings discovered fire, they were in awe of its power. They sought to harness that power, mostly to use its power of transformation. We continue this ancient tradition when we practice candle magic.
If you’d like to learn candle magic, this guide will take you through it step-by-step. Remember: the moment you begin planning a spell, you are in the process of casting it. Always keep your good intentions and a positive attitude, because you’re pouring your energy into the goal.
Recommended Witchcraft Book:
A very thorough basic introduction for the beginner or anyone wanting a better basic understanding of candle magic. Each chapter has quizzes, worksheets and room for notes so it's very interactive. I found it very thorough. It's not specifically Wiccan, but has Wiccan-ish undertones.
Step 1: Determine Your Magical Goal
As with all magical workings, it’s very important to put thought into your goal. Some tips to keep in mind when setting a magical goal:
- Be specific (no ‘wishing’ or ‘make things better’ type goals)
- Be realistic (don’t venture into the realm of fantasy here)
- Consider the ethics of your actions (always act ethically and don’t interfere with free will)
- Use positive language (avoid words like ‘don’t’, ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’ and ‘not’)
- Break bigger goals down into a series of smaller goals
Try to write your goal in a single sentence, such as ‘I need to earn extra money to pay the electric bill’ or ‘I want to be protected from harm when I travel’.
Here’s a Chant I Might Use:
This is a chant from my Book of Shadows that I wrote when I was out of college, trying to get my finances in order, my career off the ground and pay off student loans:
Money, money, come to me
I seize the opportunity
With this spell the tables turn
What I need is what I earn
Increase paychecks I will see,
This is my will so mote it be!
Step 2: Design Your Spell
Use your goal to help guide you in designing your candle magic spell. Let’s say I’m doing a money spell for the electric bill. I’m going to do the most basic candle magic spell: I’m going to visualize my goal and light the candle to release the energy.
I’ve decided to keep components simple and to a minimum: a taper candle in a holder, some oils to dress the candle, maybe a few herbs and spices to lend some power
Finally, I want a chant to help raise energy. I can use one of the many chants found online, or I can custom-design one. The only important thing about the chant is that it has meaning to me. I also personally like to use rhymes, because they’re easy to remember and to get into a rhythm.
Step 3: Collect Your Components
Choose components aligned with your goal. For our money spell, we already designed the spell to use one candle, a holder, and some oils, herbs and spices to lend power. We want to find a candle in the color to correspond with our goal. We also want to use oils, herbs and spices that correspond to the goal.
Looking in my magical cabinet, I might find:
- A green virgin candle – candles should always be virgin, or never used, in candle magic. As for the color choice, use your instincts or see the *quick color correspondence guide below.
- A gold candle holder – gold also represents wealth (it’s not real gold, it’s just gold-colored, but it’ll do)
- Patchouli oil – an oil associated with prosperity
- Ground cinnamon – a spice associated with wealth
- Dragon’s blood – a resin that lends spells power
- Ground ginger – a spice used to speed up results
How do I know correspondences? Part of learning Witchcraft is learning to choose correspondences appropriate to your goal. There are lots of correspondence charts in books and on the internet which can come in handy. A quick Google search will yield and abundance of them. The most important thing to remember, though, is that the correspondences have to have meaning to you.
A good thing to ask yourself when choosing correspondences is, “What things do I associate with my goal?” Green reminds me of money and wealth; if gold or brown or red remind you of money and wealth, you could use those colors. If I didn't have essential oil, I might just use corn oil— corn reminds me of cash crops and prosperity. You might use olive oil-- it's expensive, so you might see it as a luxury item.
I use ginger because I have had success with it speeding up results of spells. Let’s say you hate Chinese food because it makes you sick, and the smell of ginger reminds you of that. Then ginger would not be a good correspondence for you, because you associate it with being sick.
*Quick Color Correspondence Guide
assertiveness, courage, creativity, energy, passionate love, sex
ambition, concentration, eloquence, legal issues, intellectual pursuits, success
attractiveness, clarity, happiness, intelligence, persuasiveness, travel
growth, fertility, harmony, health, prosperity, wealth
dream work, healing, intuition, loyalty, peace, spirituality
connecting to the higher self, communing with higher beings, meditation, psychic abilities and development
beauty, compassion, femininity, partnerships, romantic/innocent love
all-purpose (can be a substitute for any other color), cleansing, purification, truth, reflecting energy
absorbing energy, banishing, breaking things (bad habits, hexes, etc.) discovering hidden wisdom, protection, self-defense
invisibility (not literal), loneliness, neutralizing energies and spells, wisdom
abundance, family, friends, gardening, grounding, pets, stability
What's Your Take?
Do you have a preference for dressing a candle
Candle Magic: Dressing the Candle
This is one of the most important parts of doing candle magic. You have to establish a psychic link between the candle, you and your goal. The process for doing this is known as ‘dressing the candle’.
Dressing the candle requires the candle and some oil (whatever you’ve chosen based on your goal). You have to pour the oil on your hands and rub it on the candle. There are a lot of different opinions on the ‘proper way’ to rub the oil on the candle. Here are some variations:
- Rub the candle with oil from top to bottom
- Rub the candle with oil from bottom to top
- Rub from top to bottom to draw things to you; rub from bottom to tip to send things away
- Start at the center of the candle and with oil from center to top, then from center to bottom.
- Start at the ends of the candle. Rub oil on from the top end to the center, then from the bottom end to the center.
So which one is right? I think this is one of those things in which various methods work and you need to choose the one that works best for you.
The more important thing is your mental state as you rub the candle. As you rub the oil onto the candle, you should be strongly visualizing your intent and mentally ‘pouring’ that energy into the candle. You can use your chant at this point if you feel it will help and feel the energy building. Your hands may actually begin feeling tingly or the candle may begin to feel like it’s pulsing with energy—this is good, it’s working.
Do this for a couple of minutes, maybe 50 to 100 strokes, until you feel the candle is sufficiently charged. You can dress your candle well ahead of time if you like, or you can do it just before casting the spell. It’s up to you.
Candle Magic: Adding Power – Optional
We talked about using herbs and spices to help lend power to the spell, but how do we do that? It's pretty easy, really. After you choose herbs and spices that correspond with your goal, hold them in your hand and charge them with your intent. Roll the dressed candle in them, or sprinkle them over or around the candle.
Another way to add power is to scratch names, numbers or symbols in the wax of the candle. You can use a pin or your ritual knife to scratch things into the wax. For our money spell, I’ll scratch my name (to further connect myself to the candle) and I'll add the ancient rune FEHU into the wax-- FEHU is a rune that symbolizes prosperity.
If runes are meaningless to you, you might choose a different symbol, such as a dollar sign or money bag. Of course, you could always just write 'money' on it. That'll work, too.
A Guided Meditation for Manifestation may Help
Candle Magic: Casting the Spell
When the time has come to cast your spell, sit before your candle and follow these steps.
- Meditate as long as necessary to relax yourself. Take a few deep breaths, release tension and let go of intrusive thoughts and worries. If you want, you can imagine these thoughts are helium-filled balloons, and visualize yourself letting go of them.
- Begin to visualize your goal, as if your mission has already been accomplished.
- Try to feel the feelings you would feel if your goal were accomplished—you probably would be happy, relaxed, relieved. Imagine what you’d look like, what your life would be, if your goal were accomplished.
- When you have a clear visualization in mind, repeat your chant as often as you feel is necessary to raise energy. When you feel yourself bursting with your goal in mind, light the candle.
- Imagine the candle’s aura—the light aura right outside of the flame – is growing, getting bigger and bigger, filling the whole area. Imagine it growing out, expanding into the universe to bring you your goal. You may continue chanting if you desire.
- Spend some more time visualizing yourself having your goal. Hold the visualization as long as possible.
Manifest Your Desires
Recommended Witchcraft Book:
This is a great guide for both Pagan and Christian Witches-- each candle spell gives a Pagan and a Christian (Bible-based) version.
Candle Magic: Wrapping it Up
Allow the candle to burn out on its own. Make sure it’s in a safe place when you do this. It might go out before it’s finished, or it might completely melt away into nothing. It’s okay either way—don’t re-light it.
Bury the remnants and know that it’s done.
More on Candle Magic
This is only one candle magic method. There are other methods as well. Some people like to write or draw a picture of their goal on paper and place it under the candle. Some people like to write down their desire and burn the paper, lighting it from the candle flame. Some people put a pin in the candle and, instead of letting it burn down to nothing, they extinguish it when it gets down to the pin.
Other more complex candle spells may include performing the chants and visualizations for multiple days in a row. You would extinguish the candle each night and re-light it the next day when you continue with the spell.
Still other candle magic methods involve using multiple candles—one to represent the caster, one to represent the target, and one or more candles to represent goals or situations.
That’s part of the beauty of candle magic: it’s flexible so you can really design your spell to suit your needs, but you can keep it fairly simple with a minimum of supplies. Keep practicing and you may be surprised at how helpful this skill can be.
© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright