Candle Magick is a form of Ritual Magick (which I share rules of in Four Elements of Ceremonial Magick for More Effective Spells). Functionally, it is simple. While creating your candle you put your purpose and power into the candle. By burning it you either Release the magick to its effect or Empower the spell to run while it is lit.
Preparing your Candle.
There are SOOOO many ways you can add your purpose and connect to conceptual momentum (aka alignments or correlations). The idea is that each action creates purpose and empowers the spell… Common actions Include:
- Mixing the Wax with Herbs, Spell Components or Essential Oils
- Spell components can include anything that makes sense such as Flower Petals for a “good garden growth” spell, hair of a target for a banishment or Gold flakes for a money spell
- Ritually Dipping/Pouring the Candle
- Ritually purifying a candle with a salt bath or an incense soak (usually only for purchased candles)
- Carving runes or symbols into the Candle (or painting the glass around a 7 day candle)
- Coating the outside in herbs/essential oils
- Wrapping the candle in herbs/spell components
- Setting the area for a spell to relate and empower (See picture above)
There is no “one true way.” Do whatever you feel you need to accomplish your spell. Some people go ALL out (Click here for an example)… however, my candle magick is usually pretty simple. I usually buy my candles from local magick shops and rarely feel that I need to cleanse them. In fact, I usually feel that by buying them from a magick store they already have a bit of “these are magickal” in their nature
From there I tend to simply carve related runes and symbols into the side. It’s a good way for me to spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 3 hours in trance focusing on my purpose (you’ll know you spent time in trance if the clock says 2 hours have gone by and it feels like it was only 10 minutes. )
A while ago I fell in love with a little trick. Michael the co-owner of “Above and Beyond” makes some absolutely awesome incenses. He chooses herbs & resins and grinds them into fine powders. There is true power in his work. While I can make my own, he has a true gift and love for it. I like tapping into that power. In the picture above you can see what I like to do. After I carve the runes in the sides I rub a directly related incense into the carved areas. On top of adding the herbs and “conceptual momentum”, it makes for a cool dual tone effect where the runes just “POP.”
Remember that theater is a part of good magick. While I routinely do dirty (ugly) magick, it does help a spell for the entire presentation to be solid. Sure, I believe that my magick will work if I set the candle burning on a small plate sitting on my dirty desk… however it’s a LOT easier to believe my spell will be effective if I clean the desk, make a nice space and then put related power objects around where the candle will burn. Heck toss in some good related music (or chant a spell) and burn some incense and we have visual, kinesthetic (hot fire), smell/taste and sound. Your spells tend to be more effective when all of your senses join in the belief that this is a solid and true spell.
After it’s lit…
Now there are disagreements as to during and after your spell. As I explained in What are the Rules of and How to use divination to see the past, present and future, there are no set rules. Decide on some you feel comfortable with and move forward:
- Some people like to believe that your candle going out in the middle of the spell means that you or someone else is blocking the spell.
- Some people like to divine in the flame of the burning candle feeling it’s connected to the spell.
- Some notice guttering flame, sparks or flares as meaning anything from spell hinderance to the spell overcoming obstacles.
- Some like to believe that a spell’s energy is released as you burn the candle and it’s ok to burn a magickal candle a little at a time
- Others believe that the magick isn’t completely formed and released unless it’s burned to the end.
- Some believe that you can divine the outcome from the leftover wax and it bodes ill to have none.
- Some believe that leftover wax represents things blocking your spell and you can divine and ritually use the wax to help release those things.
- Some people don’t worry about leftover wax at all and just bury it, mix it into other candles or even burn it in a fire… (most don’t throw the wax in the garbage however)
Notice how these beliefs are sometimes contrary? Don’t worry about it. Decide which beliefs feel right for your spell. I’ve tended to believe that guttering indicates interference, small amounts of left over wax is natural and can be used to divine results, but large amounts indicate a flaw in the spell or implementation in my life which I can use to divine and then ritually change the situation. However, none of this is ALWAYS true for me… I listen to my intuition. I’ve had times when a lot of leftover wax was a talisman to help me carry the energy of the spell with me in life.
Now what about the other kind? The “while the spell is active” kind…
My favorite example was a night when I was experiencing harm from externals. Quite simply I had pissed off another witch and he was interfering actively and strongly. At the time I hadn’t shielded the home I was living in because it was borrowed space (and I just forgot). Things were going absurdly wrong, from a pot falling off the counter and smashing a toe to a knife slipping and cutting 4 times in the course of a simple cut. The household was having INSANELY bad luck as well as this insanse chaos, discord and feeling of doom.
We decided to do a counter-spell, but things were going so badly that we were even having a hard time discussing what to do. So I took a simple tea candle and lit it. Once it had melted the top layer of wax I dripped blood into it while envisioning the modified candle forming an intense barrier around our home. Our luck instantly got better, the feeling of pressure and doom released and we were free to do as we needed.
Long story short we completed a “return to sender with interest and fees” spell. The person who had done such things hurt his ankle pretty bad the next morning and took a few weeks to heal. After our spell I put out the candle I had made (releasing the barrier).
A couple months later I had been playing with some unfriendlies that I shouldn’t have. One was really messing with me and I needed some time to think. I simply relit the candle and BOOM the barrier was back. I was able to get the time I needed to decide on a healthy course of action before putting out the candle (and releasing the barrier) again.
When I moved to a new place I tried to use the candle again, but the barrier didn’t form properly around the new place. When I originally created the barrier spell I envisioned the candle creating a strong shield with certain dimensions around the house we were in. It just wasn’t designed for the new place and didn’t work there. I almost would like to have seen if the barrier arose around the old place when I lit it though… ;-)
Update: After writing this, I decided to see about retasking the spell. After lighting the candle and feeling the barrier form at the old location I merely “moved the barrier” dimensions to the new home we’re in. I noticed a couple things. One, it moved nicely and stuck with its new purpose. Two, blowing out the candle doesn’t make the barrier go away, it simple stops adding power to it. /update
With a bit of creativity you could do this for other purposes as well. I’ve also created a healing candle and successfully used it in three different sessions for two different people to impressive result each time. (One of the persons was bedridden with a nasty flu that usually took a few days to a week to overcome. After an hour with the candle they were up and about, not feeling perfect, but amazingly better. More impressively they didn’t relapse, but were completely healthy the next day)
In closing, candle magick is a nice structure that you can use to perform your magick. Candle magick helps draw a clear line of the prep where you focus your intent, to the casting where you drive it, to the most important part, release and acceptance that the spell is done.
Power Before Wisdom