An Introduction to Candle Magic


Candle magic is one of the simplest forms of spell casting. Considered sympathetic 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 your birthday cake?

In this article, Patti Wiginton, explains, as birthday candles, here is the same theory, only now instead of just hoping, 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 someone working a spell that 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 correspondences for 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, and solar 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 or animal-related workings.
  • Black: Negativity and banishment.
  • White: Purity and truth*.
  • Silver: Reflection, intuition, and lunar connections.

    * Note that in many Pagan 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 like I will become financially prosperous. In some traditions, you would write your intent in a magical alphabet, such as Theban or Enochian. Because this is a money-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 or dispose of it in 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 would if you were reading tea leaves.

    To divine by the way the candle burns is a bit more complex, and Cat Yronwoode of LuckyMojo has a great essay on ceromancy in Hoodoo candle magic.

    5 Steps To Write Your Own Spell


    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 the specific aim 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 week is 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 says of 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 your Book of Shadows during 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.

    A Beginners Guide to Herbal Magic: A Wiccan Overview


    Many members of our witchcraft community are interested in herbs and plants. That’s not a surprise, since we tend to be deeply connected with nature.

    Since plants are stationary and make no sounds, we might think of them as inanimate objects. But in many ways plants are superior to animals, even humans. They dominated earth’s land way before any animal dared to step out of the water. They make their own food out of sunlight, how cool is that?… While us animals, other than a few minerals like salt, we always need to kill a life being in other to survive. They provide animals with fruits, which if you think about it, it’s just a very clever way to “trick” us on spreading their seeds. They take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (which is bad for us) and gives back oxygen (that thing that we breath) as waste product. So technically we’re breathing “plants garbage”, and loving it… lol

    Plants can easily live without us, but us without them, let’s just say we’ll have pretty tough times… If some day a higher civilization arrives to earth, I wouldn’t be surprised if they see plants as “earth’s civilization” and animals (humans included) as the “savages lurking around”.

    The following article written by Lisa Chamberlain at is a great source of information about herbal magic. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below!

    Given that the plant kingdom developed on Earth many millions of years before the evolution of human beings, it’s fair to say that herbs are the oldest magical tools in existence. Known for millennia to have beneficial properties for both physical and spiritual well-being, many different species of plants were incorporated into the practices of healers, shamans, and other medicine men and women of the “old days”—this was the origin of herbal magic.

    Back before medicine was separated from magic, physical healing was often accompanied by ritual and prayer, so that a patient might be treated with an herbal decoction (or tea) as well as a smudging ritual and an incantation to the spirits for a speedy recovery. Today, the simple ritual of enjoying a cup of herbal tea can have emotional and spiritual effects as well as nutritional benefits. This combination of healing and magical properties makes herbs incredibly powerful components in modern magic. In fact, the study and patient practice of herbal magic can prove to be the most rewarding form of the Craft a Witch can discover.

    The Elemental powers of plants

    In terms of magical symbolism, plants embody the power of the four classical Wiccan Elements working together to create and sustain life. They begin as seeds in the soil of the Earth, where the minerals needed to sustain their life are found. They interact with the “fire” of sunlight, which makes the process of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen possible—a process that directly affects the quality of the air.

    Air, in turn, fosters more plant life in the form of wind, which both stimulates the growth of stems and leaves, and scatters seeds in order to continue the cycle. And of course, all plants need some amount of water to live—even the hardy cactus. But they also play a crucial role in the regulation of the Earth’s water cycles by purifying water, and helping to move it from the soil to the atmosphere. Indeed, there is perhaps no better illustration for how the elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire come together than in the magical existence of plants.

    Plant intelligence

    Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher of ancient times, believed that plants have “psyches,” a word normally used to describe the human quality of soul, or spirit. Many Wiccans and other Witches today would agree. In fact, even scientists are starting to realize that plants actually have what we might define as consciousness.

    Plants both communicate and cooperate with each other in the wild, even among different species. In a forest setting, trees, shrubs, and other plants will exchange information with each other through an underground network of roots and fungi. This natural “internet” allows plants to exchange nutrients with each other, helping each other make up for any shortages at various points in the growing season—much like you might “borrow” a few eggs from a neighbor and return the favor later on with some extra butter! Plants are also able to warn each other about nearby predators. For example, if one leaf is bitten by an insect, a plant will release chemicals that both repel the insect and prompt its plant neighbors to release their own chemicals to do the same.

    These discoveries serve as wonderful illustrations of the inherent intelligence of Mother Earth. Whether working with a plant’s roots, seeds, stems, leaves, flowers, or berries—or even the bark of a tree—Witches tap into this magical energy when incorporating herbs into their practice.

    Hands-on, versatile magic

    For connecting with the energies of the Earth, nothing beats working with your own magical garden. Growing and harvesting your own herbs keeps you literally in touch with the powers of the Earth—not to mention the Sun, the rain, and the wind, as well as the role played by insects and other animal life in sustaining the cycle of life and death in all of its forms. What’s more, gardening allows you to charge these tools with your own energy from their very inception!

    Herbs are also probably the most versatile when it comes to hands-on magic. You can use them to create your own magical crafts, such as spell jars, dream pillows, poppets, sachets and other charms. Some people like to create their own incense and oils with herbs, which adds even more magical power to their work. Herbs are also used in all kinds of ways in “kitchen Craft,” whether we’re talking about magical teas, tinctures, potions, baked goods or other foods.

    Herbs are used in many forms of spellwork, of course, from crystal and candle magic all the way through to bath spells. Smudging—the burning of dried herbs to purify and/or bless a space—is a near-universal practice found in many ancient traditions, and has also made its way into contemporary Witchcraft.

    When it comes to ritual, some Wiccan practitioners use specially designated herbs to mark the sacred circle before beginning Sabbat rituals. Others use particular herbs to honor their patron deities, such as lemon balm, which is considered sacred to the Roman goddess Diana.

    Indeed, herbal magic is incredibly practical—in fact, much of it can be done with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen! Click here to learn more about the magical properties of some of the most popular herbs.

    What exactly is an herb?

    Botanists use a fairly specific set of characteristics to distinguish herbs from other types of plant life. For healers, cooks and Witches, however, the definition of “herb” can include any plant that is useful to humans—whether that means cooking, medicine, fragrance, clothing and other functional objects, or magical and spiritual work. This means that trees and shrubs are included, and even fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers, grasses, and many plants considered by mainstream culture to be just plain “weeds.”

    It’s interesting to note that for Witches and herbalists alike, the designation of “herb” applies both to plants that have physical benefits to the body, and those that are known to be toxic—even potentially deadly—such as belladonna and henbane. Those who are knowledgeable about herbs understand that no plant is either good or bad—each simply has its particular uses in relationship to the human body. If you’re just starting out in herbal magic, be sure to heed all warnings regarding toxic herbs, as some older traditions do use a few. And if you’d rather be safe than sorry, find appropriate non-toxic substitutes for those spells and recipes.

    Getting started with herbal magic

    The amount of available information about herbal magic can be overwhelming at first. But you don’t have to be a master gardener or a botany expert to get your practice started. Getting acquainted with the magical properties of just one or two herbs at a time is a great way to build your relationship with the energies of the plant world.

    In fact, many popular magical herbs are available in the spice section of your local grocery store! If you’re just starting out, try this simple herbal spell and gradually build your knowledge of herbal magic from there. Enjoy your first steps on this amazing journey!


    A Herbal Magic Spell for Beginners: A Charm for Opening up to Love


    This herbal magic spell takes a different approach than your typical love spell! – by Lisa Chamberlain

    Have you tried spells for bringing new love into your life and been disappointed with the results? Most people who want to attract a solid relationship and can’t seem to find success are actually blocking the flow of energy required to bring love into their lives—often without realizing it.

    This herbal magic spell addresses the unconscious blocks you may be experiencing, so that you can resolve whatever issues may be lurking under the surface. Be aware that this process of resolution can be emotionally uncomfortable, at least temporarily—but releasing the blocks is well worth it if you truly want love to happen for you!

    Charmed herbal sachets are great for carrying with you in a pocket or purse, or even wearing on a cord around your neck. It’s ideal to use small drawstring bags made of cotton, silk, or muslin, which you can purchase online or at a craft store, but you can also sew your own. If you’re not handy with a needle and thread, you can make a charm “bundle” with a piece of scrap cloth tied together with a ribbon.

    If you can’t get a hold of every single herb called for here, don’t let that stop you—just use greater quantities of the herbs you do have! (Click here to learn more about the magical properties of some of the most popular herbs.) This spell also includes elements of candle magic.

    You will need:

    • 6 whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon dried mugwort
    • 1 teaspoon lemon balm
    • 1 teaspoon St. John’s wort
    • 1/4 cup chamomile flowers
    • 1 tablespoon rose petals
    • small bowl
    • 1 pink candle

    Instructions for this Herbal Magic Spell:

    Gather your ingredients and place them on your altar (or other working surface). Light the candle and take a few deep breaths to still your mind.

    In the bowl, place the mugwort, lemon balm, St. Johns wort and chamomile and mix gently with your fingertips. Pour the mixture into the sachet. Sprinkle in the cloves, followed by the rose petals, and pull the sachet closed.

    Now, holding the charm, close your eyes and imagine your whole body suffused with white light, beginning in your heart and spreading outward. When you’ve held the vision for a few moments, allow a soft pink light to slowly emanate from your heart, mingling with the white light. Recite the following (or similar) words three times:

    “As below, so above,
    I release all unseen blocks to love.
    As above, so below,
    My healed heart allows love to flow.”

    Allow the candle to burn out on its own. Keep the charm near you as much as possible, including by your bed at night. When you feel its energy has served its purpose, you can bury the charm or sprinkle the herbs onto the Earth.