One of the first things I learned as a fledgling witch were the basics of Candle Magick. Candle Magick can be one of the simplest, and highly effective, forms of magick to learn and practice. Candle Magick has been used by nearly every religion, Eastern or Western. It is widely practiced, even by the mundane population. Blowing out the candles on your birthday cake is a form of candle magick (you make a wish, don’t you?) We have all lit a candle for a recently departed relative, seen Catholics light candles for prayers, watched (or participated) in a candlelight vigil to offer support and best wishes for the return of an abducted child. All of this, and more, is candle magick.
In learning about candle magick you will find you can make it as simple or as complicated as you wish. During this process you will be working to imbue a candle or candles with your intentions, then lighting and burning the candle while focusing (visualizing) your goal as manifest. The spells is completed when the candle (or candles) is spent. This can be done with one candle or many, with or without spells, props or other aids, performed one time or many. Remember, you are the magick. The candle is there to assist you in your focus and aid you in your workings.
Basics of Candle Magick – Instructions
Below are basic instructions for practicing your own candle magick. I have listed them in basic order of operation – kind of a candle magick “recipe” if you will. As with all good recipes, try it out then add or subtract what does or doesn’t work for you.
- Write down your intention: As with any spell or ritual you need to have a plan of what you intend to do. Do you want a spell for love, to find money to pay your bills? Maybe you wish to discover your inner child? Write it down! Review it several times to make sure that a) You really need this; b) You will not infringe on anyone’s free will (especially in regards to love spells); c) You really need this.
- Write your candle magick “recipe”: Now is the time to decide how you wish to proceed. Will it be simple with a single candle or will you need several for different aspects of the spell? Do you want to add additional correspondences to aid the spell? How many times should you perform the spell? What color candle should you use? What type? Will you repeat a chant, meditate, sing or use some other method to focus your intention? Have fun, write it down, and then gather the ingredients required.
- Cleanse and consecrate: Always cleanse and consecrate all candles, oils, herbs, etc. before beginning. Candles can be cleansed and consecrated using most of the usual methods.
- Get your ingredients together: Gather your ingredients, anoint your candles (see instructions below), then add your catalysts (herbs, tokens, etc.). Grab your Book of Shadows handy or at least your written spell, ground, center, and….
- Get Cooking: Now you are ready to practice your candle magick! Imbue your candles and catalysts with the required energies and intention. Take a deep breath, focus, light your candle(s) and perform that spell!
Now that you have the basic “recipe” lets discuss how to pick the best ingredients to add to the strength of your candle magick.
When discussing the basics of candle magick, choosing the right candle (or candles) for your spell is important. As you try to decide on your candles, keep the following in mind:
- Pick a color to match with your intention: Choose a color from your color correspondence tables to best work with your intention. For example; green for a money spell, pink for a love spell, blue for a healing spell. White is a great all-purpose color and can be used for any type of spell.
- Size your candle to match your spell: The size of the candle can differ depending on the time and type of spell. I prefer to use four-inch candles. However, birthday candles are great if you are short on time. If you are going to be performing the spell for consecutive days you can burn a new candle each day. Or perhaps buy one of those cool 7-knob candles. Alternately you may use a taper candle or small pillar and mark a line on the candle to separate it into sections for each day. Then you can burn it down to the line and snuff it out till the next day.
- To scent or not to scent: Some Witches like to use store-bought scented candles to add to the ambiance and impact of the spell. However, most are heavily scented and the aroma that corresponds best to your spell may make you sneeze. Sticking to essential oils, or a simple, imbued, carrier oil, is usually best for those with allergies or sensitivities.
Adding the Spice to your Candle Magick
Using and choosing an oil: I feel that the use of oils for anointing candles is essential for my spell work. As you anoint your candle with your chosen oil you are adding your intention as well as giving the spell direction. What do we mean by direction? Rubbing the oil into the candle in specific manner indicates whether you are drawing something to you or pushing it away (banishing). To pull something towards, you anoint your candle from the top down to the center, then from the bottom to the center. To push away or banish, start from the center and rub the oils upward towards the wick, then from the center to the bottom.
“Spices” for your recipe: Your “spices”, or catalysts (correspondences), for a candle magick spell are the herbs, tokens, stones, etc. that are used to, a) focus your intention; and, b) add to the energy and/or vibrations require. For example, when doing a spell to heal someone (always with their permission), you may include a picture or drawing of that person. Add in a personal item of theirs, stones and healing herbs and a healing oil to anoint your candle. Use what has meaning and energy to you.
Imbuing with purpose and energy: Now is the time to get personal with your ingredients and imbue them with your energy and intent. Place your candle in your hand or your hands over the candle and let your energy flow into the candle. Tell the candle what you would like it to do, such as “As you burn you will open my mind and heart to aid me in finding my true spiritual path.” Be specific and don’t be stingy with the energy. Remember, the candle is acting as your focus and as it burns so your intention is made manifest.
Spell repetition: Deciding on the repetition of a spell can be, for some, the most difficult step. How much is too much and what is not enough? There is no set time to cook your spell – the use of trial and error is your guidepost. To assist you, try using the sacred numbers of three, five, seven or nine. Three is a good starting point for less intense spells and seven repetitions are perfect for longer and more focused spells (thus the seven knob candles). As always, use your intuition and decide what’s best for you.
A Word on Candle Safety
A discussion on the basics of candle magick would not be complete without a few words on candle safety. Please, whenever you are burning candles, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. If you know you may have to step out of the room, place the candle inside a cauldron or on a fireproof surface such as a cookie sheet. Better yet, make it portable and place the candle in the bathtub to continue burning.
- Make sure that nothing flammable will come in contact with the flame. Always place in a non-combustible candle-holder and keep any flammable herbs, tokens, papers, etc. out of the reach of the flames.
- Keep pets out of the way of the candles. Pets, especially cats, are curious about the pretty flames. They can hurt themselves or knock the candle over and start a fire.
Now you are ready! It’s time to put all this information on the basics of candle magick to good use. You will find below a simple candle magick spell to help bring peace and love to the Universe. Have fun!
Candle Magick Spell for Universal Peace and Love
- 1 white candle – marked with a line to separate it into three fairly equal sections or 3 tea lights
- Oil for peace and love such as gardenia, lavender, peppermint, vanilla
Anoint your candle with the oil. Imbue with your energy and your intention to bring peace and love to all that inhabit this Universe. When ready, light your candle and say:
May peace and love embrace each being that dwells within this Universe divine,
May the peace of the God fill your essence
May the radiant love of the Goddess upon you shine.
Repeat the chant three times visualizing a Universe of peace and love.
Burn your candle to the first line (or let your tea light burn completely). Repeat for two more consecutive days.