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The Basics of Candle Magick

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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….
  5. 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.

Choosing Candles

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Basics of Candle Magick - A single candle flame

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

Items required:

  • 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. 

Blessed Be!

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There Is No Such Thing As “Safe” Witchcraft

Not long ago I had a new student ask me if witchcraft and magick were “safe”. My first impulse was to launch into a long diatribe regarding intent, precautions, yada yada. Instead, I giggled, or maybe more accurately cackled, (not entirely certain if it was out loud or in my head). After I’d composed myself, I sat her down, took her hand, and proceeded to explain that there is no such thing as “safe” witchcraft. Ever.

Merely by using the words witchcraft, witch and magick, you’ve launched yourself completely out of any and all “safe” zones. These words are loaded with mystery, superstition and fear. Hell, just giving yourself the moniker “witch” is dangerous enough. But telling someone you are a witch or studying the Craft? Danger, danger, Will Robinson! Be prepared to answer questions, defend yourself, or beat feet out of a sticky, and perhaps volatile, situation.

As for the practice itself – safe has never been a word I’ve used for it. Face it. We didn’t start practicing Witchcraft to be safe. It called to us, grabbed us and held on. That in itself was a scary prospect, answering a call into the unknown, into the mysteries that are the Craft. Do you recall your first ritual? Your first spell? Can you still feel the apprehension, the suspense, the fear and the anticipation? I recall the chills that ran down my spine, the sweat on my brow and the utter joy to finally connect with the magick, the whole, everything. Cue the goosebumps. No, safe has never been a part of the Craft and it never will be.

"Safe" Witchcraft - A picture of an altar during a ritual

Magick Isn’t “Safe”

Then there is the magick itself. Magick isn’t safe. It is messy, explosive, emotional, powerful, and many times, freaking scary. To be a witch is to push and break boundaries – not at all a safe prospect. We work with the dead, the Gods, and the “Others” of this dimension and the next, and the next. By its very nature, magick is dangerous. So many things can go wrong if our hearts, mind, and intentions are not in sync. Even when everything is aligned and our spells manifest exactly the way we desired them to, there is always a cost. Magick costs us personal energy, time and often, a piece of ourselves. Nothing is free so we must always cast wisely.

Should we be scared of doing magick? No, but we do need to give it the respect and caution it deserves. Magick is not for the faint of heart, the dabbler, the skeptic, the weak of mind and spirit. Well-trained practitioners understand this and treat magick and its energies with reverence, and act in consideration for all of its actions. They are mindful in their castings, always heeding the laws of magick and that of their guides and chosen deities. In contrast, those that do the most harm, who are the most dangerous, are those that treat magick as a “thing”. They treat it as a toy, a plaything, abusing its energy without understanding it. When there is no consideration of possible harm, no cognizance of where magick comes from, how to channel it, then magickal backlash and chaos can, and does, occur.

Witches and Wiccans and Wizards, Oh My

Another seemingly harmless yet inherently dangerous part of our craft is what the “muggles”, the “regulars”, think of it all. Others may perceive our Craft, our magick, our work, even ourselves, as frightening, creepy, otherworldly, and “evil”. A lack of understanding about what we do can lead to threats, animosity and, at times, violence. Our neighbors hear us chanting in the back yard, talking to plants and animals, and drumming in the Full Moon. They see our pentacles, brooms, and protection sigils and become alarmed. Out of fear they label us “weirdos”,# scary” and “delusional”. Perhaps they hang an extra crucifix or two around their property, cross themselves when they see us or just shake their heads as if we were wayward children. If we are lucky, that’s as far as it goes. It’s when they decide to “cleanse” or “protect” the neighborhood that things get scary and dicey.

Opening dialogues with the neighbors can ease some of this tension, but don’t count on it. I’m lucky that one of my neighbors is cool with it, may not fully understand, but remains open to what I may share with her. The others? They are more of the “cross themselves” variety. But it’s all good. Just keep doing what you’re doing, bang that drum, stir that cauldron, and cackle maniacally any chance you get. A tiny bit of fear will keep them from asking you to their next boring Tupperware party.

“Safe” is a Four-Letter Word

Is Witchcraft Safe? No. Is it scary? Yep. But it is worth every shiver, every goosebump, every daunting and disquieting moment. “Safe” is a four-letter word, an expletive, one to be uttered only in company of the “regulars”. Leave the magickless, the “muggles” and the uninspired to the likes of “safe”. Remember, we ARE the magick and we will not hesitate to cast, stir, and conjure, safe or not. Because it is who we are. It is our life, our blood, bones, and being. We will not be quieted. We will not be stopped and we will not be frightened back into a “normal” life. Safe is for the uninspired, the non-magickal, the muggle. Practice your magick with prudence coupled with fearlessness, knowledge mingled with power, and strength joined with daring. Together, we are the Witches, the Wiccans, the Wizards, Sorcerers, and Magicians, the future, the magick and the danger.

Blessed Be!

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Staying Productive Amidst the Chaos

Chaos is not something that most of us appreciate. Being a Virgo I relish my peace and quiet. I thrive on schedules, lists, routine, and more lists. But every once in a while the Universe chucks a curve ball at me and I have to figure out how I will be staying productive amidst the chaos.

As I am sitting in my office, tapping away at the keyboard, there is chaos all around me. Roofers have descended upon my little house and are currently ripping the crap out of the old roof. Shingles are flying and crashing, dust and debris is everywhere. And the noise! Between the crashes and bangs, the dog whining and the clanging of the metal ladders, I’m already spent and they’ve not been here two hours. My anxiety is through the now non-existent roof. So how am I staying productive amidst the chaos? Sheer will my friends, sheer will.

Staying Productive Amidst the Chaos - wooden shingle debris oin a front porch
Just a taste of the chaos and debris surrounding my house today.

I’m staying productive amidst the chaos by flexing my will. Our will is what pushes us, reminds us of our purpose, our goals. The will is our stick-to-it-ivness, our tenacity and our drive. By flexing my will, making it work for and not against me, I am writing this article instead of binge watching Netflix with the volume at full blast. Even though I may be continually distracted by the debris falling past my window, I keep typing. Is it easy? Hell no. But it is happening because of my Will.

Flexing your Will to Stay Productive

How can you flex your will to stay, or increase your productivity even amidst a chaotic day? Always keep your end game, your goal, in the forefront of your thoughts. Perhaps your goal for the day is to paint the bedroom. You’ve got your tools in hand, the furniture has been moved and the tarps are down. Then bam! The cat throws up on the recliner, you forgot to turn off the coffee maker and now burnt coffee smell permeates the air. The school nurse calls and asks you to pick up your child because he threw up in the classroom (I sense a theme here). Down goes the paintbrush and out you go (after turning off that dang coffee maker).

This could be the end of your grand plan to paint. But remember, we are flexing our will here. We are staying productive amidst the chaos. Our game plan may have changed but we can get back on track. So, pick up your child and set them up on the couch with some saltines and ginger ale and a bucket, just in case. Clean up the cat barf off the recliner and put some vinegar in the crusty, burnt coffee pot. Then march right back in and pick up where you left off. Flex that will!

Sometimes the Chaos Wins

Okay, I will admit it. The above scenario would make most people throw in the towel. Re-scheduling and flexing our will takes practice and, quite frankly, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes the chaos wins, but that’s all right. The key in these instances is not to beat yourself up because things didn’t get done. Allow yourself to regroup, then reschedule. Maybe you are only able to complete a portion of what you had planned. If things are crumbling and chaotic around you but you were able to tape off the trim in preparation of painting, then you were staying productive amidst the chaos. Yes, it wasn’t everything you’d envisioned, but it was something. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting anything done amidst a barf-a-palooza.

Above all, just keep trying, keep your focus, and remember that this too shall pass. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to flex our wills. Staying productive amidst the chaos isn’t easy and sometimes it’s downright impossible. If chaos wins today, we can kick its butt tomorrow.

What’s this? Blessed quiet, for the moment. The chaos has diminished, a welcome breather for which I am most grateful. When lunch break is over, the chaos will again commence. But I will keep focused, flex my will, and keep staying productive amidst the chaos. After all, I need to keep my little Virgo soul happy and check something off my list. Today, chaos does not win!

Blessed Be!