The use of candles in a ritualistic sense can be found in almost all religions and spiritual paths of the world. In this article, we are dealing with the principles of candle magick and we describe step by step how to perform a ritual. Read it to the end to get a complete impression of this topic.
Ancient Pagans used candles to honor their Gods and ancestors. Later Christians began to use candles as a representation of the divine light of God. Catholics particularly gave a symbolic meaning to the candle: The wax symbolizes the body of Christ, the wick his soul, and the flame his divinity.
For Buddhists, the light of the candle represents the enlightenment of Buddha’s teachings. They use candles from the old times on their altars as a symbol of respect.
Until nowadays there are customs, originating from the old times, in which candles are used in a ritualistic manner. Some of them are well known widely, while others are performed only by local communities.
Perhaps the most well-known is the birthday custom. You are making a wish and blowing out the candles on the birthday cake. This is the first and more common candle magick spell for most people. The act might seem the same but with different principles.
As a kid, you made a wish hoping it to come true. As a person who studies the principles of magick and understands how it works, you make your statement of intent consciously. Besides your spell-work, you work towards your goal in order to make your intentions come true.
The custom of birthday cake comes from ancient Greek. Greeks used to use it for the worship of the goddess Artemis. She was a Moon Goddess, so the candles were a representation of her popular symbol, the moon.
They made a round cake for the ritual and adorned it with candles. They could make a silent wish and if the candles had extinguished in one breath, the wish would come true.
Another common act of candle magick is the lighting of a candle when praying in a church to communicate your intent with the divine. But you can’t call it that way.
What is candle magick?
Candle magick is one of the simplest and oldest forms of natural magick. Unlike ceremonial magick, it doesn’t need a lot of materials or tools to perform its rituals.
In fact, anyone with a candle, matches, and strong intention can perform candle magick almost anywhere. That’s why many beginners choose it as a starting point for their magick path.
Performing a Candle magick ritual is simple and straightforward. It can help you to strengthen your ability to focus and direct your energy toward your intention. After all, learning how to focus, visualize, and concentrate is the cornerstone of all forms of magick.
The power of thought is the fundamental power behind both the simplest and the most advanced forms of magick. With any form of magick, we try to send a particular thought to the spiritual plane to manifest and return to the physical plane.
A candle is a perfect representation of all this. Our intention (request) is sent to the spiritual plane through the flame. As the candle melts and disappears, it leaves the material plane and joins the ethereal one, bringing with it the message of our intention.
So, candle is a perfect tool that can help us to visualize the manifestation process more vividly – especially helpful to beginners. (Further Reading: “Common Mistakes People Make When Learning Magick”)
Candle magick can be used for various purposes such as protection, manifestation, changing habits, mental and personal development, etc.
When we think about Candle magick, the first thing that comes to our minds may be the flame. Representing the element of fire, the element of transformation, flame brings changes to the candle. Actually, candle magick uses the power of all five elements, this is why it is so effective.
The candle as an object is a well-balanced representation of the Elements.
- The flame, as we mentioned earlier, represents the element of fire. The element of fire governs our willpower and represents passion, transformation, and rebirth.
- The wax represents the element of water with its property to transmute, as the temperature rises, from solid to liquid and finally into gas. The element of water governs our emotions and represents the power of daring.
- The oxygen that is necessary to light the candle and keep the flame alive, represents the element of air. It represents the act of transferring, clarifying, and communicating our intention to the spiritual plane. Furthermore, is associated with the power of knowing. Often is visible in the smoke released by the candle and in the scent of the burning wax.
- The base of the candle and the wick represent the element of earth. It stabilizes, solidifies, and reinforces our work and reminds us of the necessity of silence.
- The act of charging the candle with our intention represents the fifth element – the spirit. It represents the will of the universe and in spell-work is associated with the power of being.
In the beginning, keep it simple. All you need are some basic items like a candle, a piece of paper, a pen (preferably a pencil) and of course your intention. Remember that the most valuable element is you with your clear intention.
As you develop your skills you can add more elements to your rituals such as herbs, essential oils, and crystals to make your spell more effective.
What you’ll need
- A candle of color that corresponds to your goal.
- A candle-holder.
- Your clear intention written on a sheet of paper.
- Oil to dress your candle.
- Herbs that correspond to your goal. (Optional)
- A sigil. (Optional)
- A small knife, if you want to engrave your candle. (Optional)
Choosing the Right Time
Check a lunar calendar to find the best moon phase for your spell. More advanced practitioners may go further by selecting the planetary day and hour. (Check our table of correspondence for Days of the week and Moon Phases)
In general terms, if you want to attract or manifest something, perform your ritual in the new moon or in the waxing moon. On the other hand, if you want to get rid (banish) of something, perform your ritual on the full moon or in the waning moon.
Choosing a Candle
First of all, you should always use a brand-new candle. According to some magical traditions, once a candle starts to burn, picks up vibrations from the environment around it. So, candles that have been used for other reasons, for instance on the dinner table some days before, are ineffective or reduce the magical outcome.
Next, think about what type of candle you will use. The size of the candle isn’t important. Although, in some cases, big candles may be a problem. For instance, a pillar candle can be a problem for someone who performs a ritual that requires the candle to burn all the way down.
It’s common to use a short taper or chime candles for one-spell rituals. Longer rituals (which are performed over a period of days) require votive candles or bigger taper candles. Lastly, pillar candles and jar candles are great options for multi-day rituals. Tea lights also work but it is hard to dress.
You can use candles from any material. Beeswax candles have a higher price but they are more potent because their material is natural, but it isn’t necessary.
Many experienced practitioners prefer to use only candles they have crafted themselves. This is because the candle made by the practitioner for a specific purpose captures the practitioner’s energy and becomes more effective.
Do you want to learn more about Magick? Check out our recommendations at “Magick Bookshelf” and many free resources at our “Free Magick Library“
Candle magick existed long before colored candles were created. Generally, you can use white candles for any purpose, since white contains all colors. White candles work better for attracting and manifesting, while black ones for banishing.
However, if you choose to use the color correspondences in your ritual, will reinforce the particular spell. Here is a list of the magical color correspondences where you can choose which one is the best for your spell.
Keep in mind that choosing a colored candle is a personal choice, not a requirement. Additionally, no list is written in stone, most important is what means every color to you. For example, red is associated with love and passion, but if it brings you bad feelings or memories, do not use it.
Feel free to tweak, expand, or shrink this list in a way that resonates with you.
Using Herbs and Essential Oils to enhance your Spell
You will need oil to anoint your candle. Always you can use extra virgin olive oil or you can use an oil blend specific to your spell.
Herbs, essential oils even spices are additional supplements that you can add to your ritual. (Check our table of correspondence for Herbs and Essential Oils).
While these lists may be helpful, keep in mind that the correspondences must have meaning to you. As we mentioned earlier, no list is written in stone.
Create your Spell
The first thing that you need to do is to determine your goal. Do you want to attract or banish something? A clear goal it’s very important in all magical works because it helps you to put your thoughts and energy into the ritual. (If you want help to create your spell check out this source – Aff.link)
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- Be Specific. You must determine your goal with as many details as possible. Generalized goals, or “wishing” must be avoided.
- Keep your attitude positive. Use only positive language. Instead of what you don’t want, describe what you want.
- Make realistic goals. Yes, magick is powerful, but if you hold a strong belief in your subconscious mind that is opposed to your spell, guess what will happen…
Have you ever heard the expression ” magick backfired”? Is referred to the case that a magick ritual has some negative or opposed results. Why? because the goals were not realistic and there was a conflict with the subconscious mind. On the other hand, this is proof that magick really works.
Don’t forget that all that we want with magick is to impress our intention on our subconscious mind. You can’t go from broke to millionaire with one ritual. Instead, you can create a series of smaller – intermediate- goals that eventually will drive you to your main goal.
- Be ethical. Never interfere with the free will of other people, you don’t have the right to do that.
- Write your goal in a single, concise sentence.
(You may find it useful to read our article “How to Write and Use Your Affirmations” because both actions share the same principles.)
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Cleansing your Tools
According to some magical traditions, magical tools must be cleansed and consecrated before use. This will remove any negative energies from the tool and it is particularly useful when we are not sure of the previous owner and the history of a tool.
To cleanse your candle, simply, submerge it in sea salt, or salt water, or rub it with alcohol.
Alternatively, you can cleanse it energetically. Hold the candle between your palms and imagine that all the negative energies inside it are leaving and being replaced by the positive, powerful energy that will help your wish come true.
Just as with everything else in magick rituals, there is rarely right or wrong. If a practitioner feels that is necessary to cleanse his tools, then it is. Or he may choose to do it in certain rituals but not in others, it is up to the practitioner.
Before you start your ritual, take a moment to relax and clear any negative energy. If you like you can take a salt bath, put some relaxing music, or light some incense. Make sure that nobody is going to distract you. It is very important that your mind be clear and relaxed before any magick ritual.
Also, you can clean your space with herbs such as sage or palo santo. If your tradition requires casting a circle, do it now.
Visualize and Write down your Intention
At this point, you must be in a relaxed state of mind with all the components of your ritual in front of you. If you need more relaxation feel free to meditate as long as necessary.
Now begin to visualize your intent. Visualization of your intent is the cornerstone of candle magick (as for any kind of magick).
- See yourself experiencing this reality. How do you feel? Try to engage all your senses in this reality. What do you see? Are there other people? How do they feel? Visualize your scenery with details and feel the feelings you would feel if your goal were accomplished.
- Once you have a clear visualization and you have captured the feeling, take out your pencil and paper and write down your statement of intent. You need to write it in the present tense. Assign your name to it. No document has any validity unless it has a signature. This gives credibility to the document.
- Say your intention out loud as often as you like. This will help to raise the energy.
- Fold the paper into four equal parts and place it underneath the candle or the candle holder.
(For more effective visualization read our article “Visualization Techniques For Great Results”)
Carving Your Intention into Your Candle (Optional)
Another way to add some power to your ritual is to inscribe your intention on your candle. You can use your Athame or any other tool to do it or simply write your intention on the candle with a pen.
You can use symbols, numbers, names, runes, sigils, and anything that has meaning for you. For example, in a money spell, you can engrave your name and a dollar sign, if that makes sense to you. You can always just write your intention on it. It is also ok. (Check our table of correspondence for Runes)
If your intention is to draw something to you, carve your candle from the top to the bottom. If your intention is to repel something, carve your candle from the bottom to the top.
It is important to note that the sign you engrave on a candle must have the same intention as the candle spell. Never cast a candle spell for an intention and engrave a symbol for another.
Dressing the Candle
” Dressing the candle” is the process of establishing a psychic link between your intention and the candle. If we want to state it differently, is the method of charging your candle with your own energy.
To dress a candle you’ll need oil and, herbs that correspond to your intention (optionally). You can use extra virgin olive oil in all your spell works (this is my preference). Another option is to use a special oil blend according to your goal.
An important part is the direction you are going to dress the candle. There are a lot of different opinions on which is the proper way to rub the oil on the candle. I prefer a simple method ( I will describe the alternatives later).
- To bring something to you, rub the candle with oil from top to bottom.
- To repel something from you, rub the candle with oil from bottom to top.
The back-and-forth motion must be avoided.
Continue to rub your candle until you feel that it is sufficiently charged. This will take you a few minutes.
If you have chosen to use herbs or spices now is the time to do it. Roll the oiled candle in them or sprinkle them on every side of your candle. Either way, do not use too much of them. You do not want to catch fire.
Visualize your intent
Here is a part of vital importance. Visualize your goal.
- During the procedure of dressing the candle, you should be strongly visualizing your goal as if it has already been manifested. You can chant your spell (or another relevant incantation) to help raise the energy.
- Keep the attitude of gratitude for that which you have already accomplished.
- Do it as long as you need, and when you feel that you have raised enough power, push that visualization into the candle. See, with your imagination, all your visualization going into the candle.
- Concentrate on it, light your candle, and chant or recite your intention once more.
- Imagine the flame expanding and bringing your goal into the universe.
- Keep your visualization as long as possible.
- Fold the paper with your intention into four equal parts and place it underneath the candle or the candle holder.
Make sure the candle is in a safe place and let it burn all the way down. Do not leave it unattended. If you don’t have time, extinguish it and relight it later until it burns all the way down.
You can bury the remnants, discard them normally or put them in a jar. It’s okay either way.
Do you want to learn more about Magick? Check out our recommendations at “Magick Bookshelf” and many free resources at our “Free Magick Library“
Forget about it!
Ironically you need to forget about your magick ritual in order to be manifested. This is very crucial for the outcome of our ritual.
Why? Because, while you still thinking about it with your conscious mind you are filtering it out. This way you can’t impregnate your message to your subconscious mind. (Further reading: “How to Speak to Your Subconscious Mind“)
Don’t forget the results of magick will always come to you in some form of logical means. They are always unexpected and look like a coincidence. Of course, you know that you have done some magick to make that happen. (Related reading: Synchronicity Meaning and Examples – Reality or Bias? – opens in a new tab)
That’s why it’s a good practice to keep a diary of our rituals so we can go back and take a look at what works best for us.
So, the best you can do when you finish your ritual is to move on to something else and keep your mind full of it. Stop thinking about your magick.
More About Candle Magic
Candle magick is very flexible. You have the room to design your spell in a matter that suits your needs. Here are some tips and variations.
- Alternatives of the “proper way” to dress to a candle:
- To bring something to you, rub the candle with oil from the top to the center, then from the bottom to the center.
- To repel something from you, rub the candle with oil from the center to the top, then from center to bottom.
- With one hand rub the candle with oil from the center to the top and with the other hand rub the candle with oil from the center to the bottom. According to your intent.
- Additionally, rub it clockwise to attract something and on the opposite to repel something.
- It was mentioned earlier that is better to use matches to light your candle. This is because a match has sulfur which is associated with the sun and the element of fire. It is used in protective magick and to repel negativity.
- You can use scented candles. However, make sure that the scent is related to your intention.
- Candle magick can easily be combined with other types of magick.
- There are candle magick methods that include many candles. Other methods require performing chants and visualizations for many days. Extinguish the candle each night and relight it the next day. With practice, you will find which one fits best for you.
- To reverse something, engrave it on the candle in reverse. Beginning with the final letter and finishing with the first. Mirror the letters to reinforce this. Hexing someone or breaking their influence over another is another possible use for this.
- Reversing the candle is another method of reversing anything. That is, you flatten the candle by slicing off its top, and then you scrape out the wax at the bottom to expose a fresh wick.
- It is a good idea to wear something not ordinary or white clothes. The idea behind this is to send a signal to your subconscious that this is something to be noticed.
- Subconscious likes simplicity. Don’t worry too much about the proper procedure. Keep it simple.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- Place your candle away from any flammable materials.
- Do not place the candle near an open window or where children or pets can knock it over.
- When using oil, be careful not to burn your fingers.
- Make sure the candle is fully extinguished before disposal.
Although is powerful, as you see candle magick is very simple at its core. There are many ways to personalize your ritual according to your intentions. However, it is important to understand that candle magick – like any other type of magick- is not a quick fix for your problems or goals. (Related reading “Frequently Asked Questions about Magick“)
The ritual is only a mean to impregnate your subconscious mind with your intention. That will cause your subconscious mind to start transmitting a new vibration which eventually will bring your goal to you.
The results of magick never manifest out of thin air. Always will be a logical explanation and always will be seen as a coincidence. This means you have to work towards your goal to get what you want.
Feel free to experiment with different combinations and stick with that which fits best for you. Do not forget your magical diary, to keep track of your rituals. The outcome will surprise you. If you have any experiences practicing Candle Magick, share them with us in the comments below.
Keep Studying – Keep practicing!
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Featured image from Depositphotos
The Candle Magick Workbook Paperback – By Kala Pajeon (Aff.link)
Practical Candleburning Rituals: Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose – By Raymond Buckland (Aff.link)
Wicca Candle Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Practicing Wiccan Candle Magic, with Simple Candle Spells – By Lisa Chamberlain (Aff.link)
I love this, Chris! So informative and straight forward ? im a baby witch from Manila and i want to start exploring candle magic (to aid with my manifestation). I bookmarked this and your piece about magic correspondences. Thanks so much ? Take care!
Thank you Anne!
Your readings are the most educational and useful I have found yet. I learned mistakes I’ve been making and ways to fix them. That being said I’m looking for an answer to one question that I have not found in any reading. Is it acceptable to do the same ritual more than once if you feel like there is so much more needed and better ways to manifest it?
If you feel that your ritual was not enough, you are probably right. But why you feel like that? Maybe you did not raise enough energy or there is something else that bothers you and you can not recognize it. (Please read the article “Common Mistakes People Make When Learning Magick“)
Remember that when you finish your ritual, you must feel that your intention will be manifested. You have done your part (so far) and now is the turn of the universe to do its part. Now, you have to forget the ritual (the hard, but basic, part ). In addition, you do not care about the way of manifestation.
If you like you can use many candles for a period of days. Extinguish the candle each night and relight it the next day (Never leave a candle unattended). Additionally, you can perform chants and visualizations for these days.
Try many ways and stick with those that work for you. Κeeping detailed notes will help you with this.
Hope this helps
Thank you for this excellent informative article which combines the description of candle magick with bits of information of what magick is that one doesn’t always find in beginners’ books.
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it a lot!