Updated: Aug 12
The use of candles in spiritual practice is quite ancient. Many cultures and religions use candles today in their spiritual practices. Candles are said to hold magickal, creative energy that represent the elemental force of Fire. Some believe that it invites in the elemental beings such as the salamanders, the fire elementals. Some cultures believe that the flame of a candle acts as a portal to the spirit world, connecting us to those beyond the veil. Candles can also be used as offerings. They can be used to invite or honor a deity, a spirit of a deceased person, or other type of entity such as the spirit of your house.
In witchcraft, candles are all of that as well as a focal point of energy. By placing an intention and lighting a candle as a focal point aligned with your goals, it speaks to our subconscious mind and assists you in manifestation. When you raise your energy and put that energy into the candle, its flame acts as a release of that energy.
Preparing a Candle
The simplest form of candle magick can be done with a single candle and nothing more but if you wish to enhance your spell with additional materials, you have many options. These additional materials are called correspondences in witchcraft. Over thousands of years, magickal practitioners have discovered many magickal uses for both natural and everyday things and these have been recorded as tomes of magickal correspondences for others to study. Typical correspondences are things such as: colors, moon phases, shapes, days of the week, angels, demons, planets, herbs, spices, crystals, and other natural items such as sea shells, pine cones, stones, flowers, etc. You can find this information in several books and online sources nowadays.
That being said, basically anything can be used as a correspondent in your spell as long as it resonates with you and your intention. This is where your intuition and your knowledge from studying come together. It is wise to study well known and tried and true correspondences so you are aware of your options. Plus there is something to be said about the magick behind mass consciousness putting a symbolic meaning to something. Ultimately though, it must resonate with you and you must follow your own inner guidance before anything else. I always recommend that you meditate upon your intention before planning any spell to find what correspondences resonate with your intention. Trust what comes to you and trust your intuition.
The following is a basic candle spell, showing you the typical steps involved in a candle spell. It assumes that you are not casting an emergency spell and that you have time to prepare your spell. You can modify it to fit your intention by using different correspondences and changing the wording to suit your needs. I always recommend that you design your own spells for optimum effect but you can use others' work as inspiration.
Steps to Cast a Basic Candle Spell
Become clear about your intention, meditate upon your intention if need be.
Decide which day of the week and/or moon phase seems the most appropriate. You can get more detailed by finding planetary hours if you like. Never do a spell during a v/c Moon!
Gather your materials and correspondences.
Cast a magick circle of protection and invite any helpers you like (angels, guides, ancestors, etc).
During the following steps, you are visualizing your intention coming true. You are feeling it happen. You are focused on your intention coming true. You may pray, chant, dance or sing if it helps you focus.
Carve your sigils, names, etc. into the candle.
Anoint the candle with magickal oil.
Sprinkle the candle with any herbs, spices, flowers, etc.
Place the candle in a holder and surround the candle with any correspondences you have.
Light the candle and begin to raise your energy in whatever way you like. I like to say my incantation a number of times, depending on the spell. Then I choose a line from my incantation to make my chant and I repeat it as I use my imagination to raise energy up from the earth beneath me and down from the sky below me. I let it flow through me, meeting in my solar plexus or my heart chakra and then out through my hands and into the candle before me.
Once the energy is raised to its climatic point, imagine releasing the energy into the candle and the flame taking the intention and setting it aflame for manifestation to take place.
You can now open up your circle and thank your helpers, the candle has now taken over the job of releasing the energy.
Let the candle burn down completely if you can. If you cannot, extinguish the flame with wet fingers or with a candle snuffer and light again as soon as you can.
While the candle burns, spend time creatively focusing on your intention. You can do lots of things for this. You can: meditate and visualize your intention coming true, write in your journal, create a vision board, draw, paint, craft and create art. You can also follow up with corresponding actions. For example, if it was for a new job, you might work on your resume. If it was for popularity, you might work on your social media profile. If it was for beauty, you might put on makeup or do your hair. If it was for weight loss, you might research some recipes or new exercises.
Once the candle is completely burned down, discard it in a manner that is appropriate for your intentions. For example, bury the remains in your yard if it’s something you want to grow over time or discard the remains in a black bag, tied three times and throw it in the trash if it’s something you want to be done with. If it is for banishment, discard it far away from your home. Don’t litter!
If you wish to take this further, you can employ some techniques to do a reading on your spell. This isn’t as thorough as a tarot reading, but it can give you an idea of how your spell will manifest.
After you have released the energy into the candle, you can observe the flame to gain more insight into your spell. The following are common interpretations of flame divination:
High, strong flame: Good news, no obstacles between you and your goal
Low, weak flame: Obstacles within you; doubt, fear, uncertainty
Flickering flame: Summoned energies are present and they are working with you to manifest
Double flame: Obstacles outside of you, blocking your goal
No flame, keeps going out: There is an interfering spirit (banish the spirit and cleanse yourself and your house, break the candle and discard it)
If your candle is the kind that leaves melted wax behind, you can take this a step further and interpret the wax to see how your spell will manifest. First, it’s important to know the orientation of the candle. In other words, which is the top, which is the bottom, the left, and the right. Don’t move the candle while it burns, make sure it’s on a flat surface. Then use the following common interpretations of wax divination to help you:
If the wax runs upwards, above the candle: Spiritual, non-physical, the unconscious, the mental
If the wax runs downwards, below the candle: Physical things, tangible things, jobs, money, relationships, etc.
If the wax runs to the left: things from the past are affecting the spell or will be affected by the spell
If the wax runs to the right: things are coming in the future, or further action will take place in the future
Where the candle is on the plate represents the here and now. The closer the wax solidifies to the candle, the sooner your results will happen. The further out it is from the candle, the further out in time it will manifest. If it goes over the dish completely, outside influences are going to come in or it’s so far out into the future that it’s difficult to read how it will manifest. Sometimes that means you need to do more mundane actions first.
Now relax your eyes and look for symbols in the wax. Sometimes a clear picture will form, other times you may see several images. What do those symbols mean to you? How do they make you feel when you think about your spell? How would you interpret their meaning as the possible outcome of your spell?
Candle magick is one of my favorite spell techniques. I use it often. It’s so easy, beginners can do it with confidence. The most challenging thing about magick is having the right mindset and candle magick can help you get into the right one to help you manifest the kind of life you want. It’s a fun and easy way to get started in witchcraft and a great technique for seasoned witches as well.
Below I have some resources for correspondences to get you started. Remember it can be as basic as using just the right color or as elaborate as you like, using as many items as feel necessary to help you focus. Just try not to overwhelm yourself and practice fire safety! And of course, follow your intuition. Always.
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