Candle magic is one of the simplest forms of spell casting. Consideredsympathetic magic, it’s a method which doesn’t require a lot of fancy ritual or expensive ceremonial artifacts. In other words, anyone with a candle can cast a spell. After all, remember when you were a child and you made a wish before you blew out the candles on yourbirthday cake?
In this article, Patti Wiginton, explains, as birthday candles, here is the same theory, only now instead of justhoping, you’re declaring your intent (and by now you’ve probably stopped hoping for a pony). If you think about it, the birthday-candle ritual is based on three key magical principles:
Decide on a goal
Visualize the end result
Focus your intent, or will, to manifest that result
What Sort of Candle Should I Use?
Most practitioners of magical systems will tell you that, much like a few other aspects of life, size really isn’t important. In fact, really big candles may be counterproductive. Look at it this way–a candle that takes three days to burn down can be highly distracting to someoneworking a spellthat instructs you to wait until the candle burns out on its own. Typically, a short taper candle or a votive candle will work the best. In some cases, a spell might call for a specific type of candle, such as a seven-day candle or a figure candle, which may represent a particular person.
One of the most popular candles, believe it or not, is in fact the little menorah candles which are sold by the box in the kosher section of the grocery store. They’re about 4″ long, white, unscented, and thin. Because of this, they’re perfect for spell work.
You should always use a brand new candle for spell work–in other words, use virgin materials. Don’t use the candles that you burned at the dinner table or in the bathroom yesterday for spell work. In some magical traditions, once a candle is burned it picks up vibrations from things around it. If a used candle is already tainted by vibrations, some people believe it will lead to a negative or ineffective magical outcome.
When it comes to colors, you may wish to have a variety on hand for different magical purposes. Typically,Color correspondencesfor candle magic are as follows:
Red: Courage and health, sexual love, and lust.
Pink: Friendship and sweet love.
Orange: Attraction and encouragement.
Gold: Financial gain, business endeavors, andsolar connections.
Yellow: Persuasion and protection.
Green: Financial gain, abundance, and fertility.
Light Blue: Health, patience, and understanding.
Dark Blue: Depression and vulnerability.
Purple: Ambition and power.
Brown: Earth-related oranimal-related workings.
Black: Negativity andbanishment.
White: Purity and truth*.
Silver: Reflection, intuition, and lunar connections.
* Note that in manyPagan traditions, it is acceptable to use a white candle in place of any other color.
Using Your Candle in Ritual
After you’ve selected a candle, you’ll want to oil it or dress it before burning. This is a method by which you’ll establish a psychic link between you and the candle itself. In other words, you’re charging the candle with your own energy and personal vibrations, and projecting your intent into the wax before you burn it. To dress a candle, you’ll need a natural oil; many practitioners like to use grapeseed because it has no smell. Another option is to use special candle magic oils from one of the metaphysical supply stores.
Begin at the top of the candle, and rub the oil downward to the middle. Then, begin at the base of the candle and rub the oil up towards the middle, ending where the first coating of oil left off. In some traditions, the anointing is done just the opposite way; start in the middle and work your way towards the two ends.
If your working calls for herbs to be used as well, roll the oiled candle in the powdered herbs until it is coated all the way around.
Brujo Negro of BrujoNegroBrujeria says,
“Is a candle magical in and of itself? No, it is the flame of the candle which is what we are making the magic; the candle and its wax are the fuel for the fire. In essence the candle is a vehicle for the creation of the magic contained in the flame, it is a tool if you will and yes it is a magical tool so you should treat your candles as magical tools. You should give your chosen candle a basic cleansing, before dedicating it to the use of a magical spell.”
The most basic form of candle magic uses a piece of colored paper that matches the intent of your candle. Decide what your goal is, and write it on the piece of paper. Just for an example, let’s say we’re going to do a money working. Write down your intent, something likeI will become financially prosperous. In some traditions, you would write your intent ina magical alphabet, such as Theban or Enochian. Because this is amoney-oriented working, we would select either a gold or green piece of paper, and a candle of the same color.
As you write down your goal, visualize yourself achieving that goal. Think about the different ways in which your goal might manifest. Could you be getting a raise at work? Perhaps someone who owed you money will arrive out of the blue to repay their debt. Maybe you’ll find out you overpaid that cable bill from last year, and you will get a surprise refund check!
Once you’ve written down your goal, fold the paper, concentrating on your intent the whole time. Some people like to say a small incantation as they do this. If you’re one of those people, this is a good place to do it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can use something as simple as:
Extra money come my way, I could use a little cash today. Extra money come to me, As I will, so it shall be.
Place one corned of the folded paper into the candle’s flame and allow it to catch fire. Hold the paper as long as possible (without burning your fingers) and then place it in a fire-safe bowl or cauldron to burn the rest of the way on its own. Allow the candle to burn out completely. When the candle has burned out completely, dispose of it, rather than saving it to use again for another working. Usually there’s not much left of a candle except a stub of wax, and you can either bury it outdoors ordispose of itin whatever manner you choose.
Candle Magic for Divination
In some magical traditions, candles are used for divinatory purposes. The two most commonly used methods of candle divination are by reading the wax, and reading the manner in which the candle actually burns. To read the wax, the typical practice is to drop the liquefied wax into a bowl of cold water. The wax will harden almost immediately, and form shapes. Use these shapes to get the answers to your questions, much as you wouldif you were reading tea leaves.
To divine by the way the candle burns is a bit more complex, andCat Yronwoode of LuckyMojo has a great essay on ceromancy in Hoodoo candle magic.
I have noticed a lot of interest on spells. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using other peoples’ spells — and in fact there is an entire industry devoted to publishing books full of them — there are times when you may wish to use your own. I loved this 5 steps guide from Patti Wigington because if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a book, or you might just feel a need to use original material you have the option to write your own.
Whatever your reasons, it’s not as hard as you may think to write your own spells if you follow this very simple formula.
1. Figure out the goal/purpose/intent of the working.
What is it you wish to accomplish? Are you looking for prosperity? Hoping to get a better job? Trying to bring love into your life? What is thespecificaim of the spell? Whatever it may be, make sure you’re clear on what it is you want — “I will get that promotion at work!”
2. Determine what material components you’ll need to achieve your goal.
Will the working require herbs,candles, incenses, or stones? Try to think outside the box when you’re composing a spell — and remember that magic relies heavily on symbolism. There’s nothing wrong with using unusual ingredients in a working — Hot Wheels cars, chess pieces, bits of hardware, sunglasses and even old DVDs are all fair game.
3. Decide if timing is important.
In some traditions, moon phase is crucial, while in others it’s not significant. Generally, positive magic, or workings that draw things to you, is performed during the waxing moon. Negative or destructive magic is done during the waning phase. It may be that you feel a certain day of the weekis best for the working, or even a certain hour of the day. Don’t feel obligated to drown yourself in the details, though. If you’re a person who feels confident doing magic on the fly without worrying about timing, then go for it.
4. Figure out your wording.
What words or incantation — if any — will be verbalized during the working? Are you going to chant something formal and powerful,calling upon gods for assistance? Will you simply mutter a poetic couplet under your breath? Or is it the sort of working where you can simply ponder the Universe in silence? Remember, there is power in words, so select them carefully.
5. Make it happen.
Put all of the above together into a workable form, and then, in the immortal words of the Nike commercial, Just Do It.
Llewellyn author Susan Pesznecker saysof crafting a spell on your own, “When you build a spell yourself, from the ground up, you infuse it with your deliberateness, your preferences, your wishes, your thoughts, and your energies. This spell won’t simply be something you read from someone else’s pages—it will carry your own signature and resonate through your very core. It will be much more powerful and complete than any ready-made charm could ever be, making you an integral part of the magick from start to finish.
When we practice spellcraft, we use magick as a way of altering reality. We do this by working with as many of the corresponding realities as possible—time, date, place, elemental correspondences, the support of deities, etc.—in hopes that we can shift reality in one direction or the other and alter the outcome. Nowhere is this more elegantly done than in handcrafting spells, charms, and rituals, because in these instances, we put our essence into the magick and make it our own.”
Despite the above five-step method being a very bare-bones and simple way of looking at spell construction, it does work effectively. You may wish to keep a magical journal or make notes in yourBook of Shadowsduring the spell construction phase, and then keep track of results as they begin to manifest.
If a working hasn’t begun to manifest within a few weeks — some traditions say within 28 days, a lunar month — you may want to stop and revisit the working. Figure out what variables may need to be changed.
The Universe has a quirky sense of humor, so make sure anything you cast a spell for is worded correctly. In other words, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!
Remember that magic is a tool and a skill set, but some common sense should prevail as well. You can cast all day to get yourself a job, but your chances of success are greatly reduced if you haven’t pounded the pavement and sent out copies of your resume!
Last but not least important… Remember to practice, practice and practice.
Try to either get outside to see the moon, or look at it out a window, or even just close your eyes and visualize the full moon bursting with light and glory. Slow your breathing to enter a light meditative state by breathing in at the count of 4, hold for 4, exhale to 4. Once you’ve entered your meditative state, depending on where you are, either say out loud, or whisper this little poem whenever you stand beneath the full moon.
I am your child.
At this, the appointed hour,
I stand before you and reach out with my whole heart to the full moon.
Hear my words as they rise among the stars
and at night, when my body lies resting, whisper to my spirit.
Teach me secrets yet revealed…
Fill me with your wisdom…
Enfold me in your power…
Keeper of the mysteries of the moon,
hear these words and recall the ancient promise that
all who seek your presence shall find your blessings.
At this, the appointed hour,
I stand before you and reach out with my whole heart to the full moon.