Witchcraft: Beginner's Guide to Candle Magic
Why and How to Practice Candle Magic
Candle magic harnesses the power of fire—the element of transformation—to bring change. Think for a moment about how fire transforms things. It melts wax. It renders many organic materials (leaves, wood, flesh and bone) to ash. It softens hard metals and makes 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 or your dough into bread. It brings light to the darkness and warmth to the cold.
Ever since human beings discovered fire, they have been in awe of its power, and they sought to harness that power, mostly to use its transformative abilities. We continue this ancient tradition when we practice candle magic.
If you’d like to learn candle magic, this guide will take you through the process step by step, from determining your goal and designing your spell to dressing your candle and burying it once the ritual is done.
Remember . . .
The moment you begin planning a spell, you are in the process of casting it. Always keep your intentions good and your attitude positive, because you’re pouring your energy into the goal.
Step 1: Determine Your Magical Goal
As with all magical workings, it’s very important to put thought into your goal. Here are some tips to keep in mind when setting a magical goal:
- Be Specific: Avoid ‘wishing’ or ‘make-everything-better’ type goals.
- Be Realistic: Don’t venture into the realm of fantasy, here.
- Be Ethical: Always act ethically, and don’t interfere with free will.
- Use Positive Language: Avoid words like ‘don’t’, ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’ and ‘not’.
- Create a Series of Goals: Break bigger goals down into a series of smaller ones.
With those tips in mind, 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’.
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, and 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 you. I also personally like to use rhymes, because they’re easy to remember and to get into a rhythm.
Chant to Attract Money
This is a chant from my Book of Shadows that I wrote when I was out of college and trying to get my finances in order, my career off the ground, and pay off my 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 3: Collect Your Components
Choose components aligned with your goal. You will want to find a candle color and oils, herbs and spices that correspond 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. Let's look at how to choose components that align themselves best with our money spell.
In my magical cabinet, I will look for:
- A New Green 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: This oil is associated with prosperity.
- Ground Cinnamon: This spice is associated with wealth.
- Dragon’s Blood: This resin lends spells power.
- Ground Ginger: This spice is used to speed up results.
How Do You Choose What Kind of Candle to Use?
When it comes right down to it, you can use pretty much any kind of candle for your spell. I prefer tapers (typically medium-sized), but I sometimes use chime candles in a pinch. Votive candles and tea lights also work, though the latter is hard to dress. Lastly, pillar candles are a great option for multi-day spells, but I find they're a bit of a waste for one-day burnings.
How Do You Choose Magical 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 that can come in handy; a quick Google search will yield an abundance of them. While these charts can be helpful, the most important thing to remember is that the correspondences need to have meaning to you.
A good thing to ask yourself when choosing correspondences is, “What things do I associate with my goal?” In my case, green reminds me of money and wealth, but if gold or brown or red remind you of money and wealth, you could use those colors instead. If I didn't have essential oil, I might just use corn oil—corn reminds me of cash crops and prosperity. But you could just as easily 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 the results of spells. But let’s say you hate Chinese food because it makes you sick, and the smell of ginger reminds you of that. In that case, ginger would not be a good correspondence for you, because you associate it with being sick.
What Color Candle Should I Use to Cast a Spell?
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
dreamwork, 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
Step 4: Dress 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’.
1. Rub the Candle With Oil.
Dressing the candle requires the candle and some oil (whatever you’ve chosen based on your goal). The basic idea is that you have to pour the oil on your hands and rub it on the candle, but 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 top to send things away.
- Start at the center of the candle and rub from center to top, then from center to bottom.
- Start at the ends of the candle and rub oil on from the top to the center, then from the bottom 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.
2. Visualize Your Intent.
More important than the way you rub the candle is your mental state as you do so. 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.) You will start to 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.
3. Continue Until Candle Is Charged With Energy.
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.
Using Herbs and Spices to Add Power to Your Spell (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.
Using Runes and Symbols to Add Power to Your Spell (Optional)
Another way to add power is to scratch names, numbers, or symbols in the wax of the candle. You can use anything from a pin or earring to a ritual knife to scratch things into the wax.
For our money spell, I’ll scratch my name into the wax (to further connect myself to the candle) and I'll add the ancient rune Fehu. 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.
Do you have a preference for dressing a candle?
How to Dress a Candle
Step 5: Cast the Spell and Light the Candle
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 would probably be happy, relaxed, and relieved. Imagine what you’d look like—what your life would be like—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 to your goal. You may continue chanting if you desire.
- Spend some more time visualizing yourself attaining your goal. Hold the visualization as long as possible.
A Helpful Guided Meditation for Manifestation
Step 6: Let the Candle Burn Out, Then Bury It
Make sure the candle is in a safe place, and allow it to burn out on its own. 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.
Once the candle has gone out, bury the remnants and know that the ritual is done.
More About Candle Magic
This is only one of many candle-magic methods. 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.
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 also can keep it fairly simple with a minimum of supplies. Keep practicing and you may be surprised by how helpful this skill can be.
If you're interested in learning more about candle magic and spells, check out the books below. Both are excellent resources for beginners.
Candle Magick Workbook
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 it has Wiccan-ish undertones.
Candle Spells and Rituals
This is a great guide for both Pagan and Christian Witches, as each candle spell gives both a Pagan and a Christian (Bible-based) version.
© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright