There are countless authorities, books and traditions that will tell
you precisely what to do in each candle burning ritual or spell. Few
will explain the reasons why it must be just so. The actual reason is
because it's what works best for them. Whether it works for you is another
Candle burning is a psychic and psychological experience.
The main thing is to understand what you are doing and to create and
develop your own techniques and rituals which will bring about the results
The act of candle burning does indeed cause an altered
state of awareness, producing changes in circumstances. Think of something
as seemingly mundane as a candlelight supper. Many have been persuaded
or seduced, proposed to and have sealed business deals over one. Squabbles
have been patched up and differences of opinion have been resolved.
Note, I said seemingly mundane. The above situations take place under
Most candles made in the United States are made of beeswax,
parafin or stearite, or combinations of these and other good waxes which
serve as hardners, drip-retarders, etc. In olden times, candles were
made of animal fats.
There are "straights", tapers, pillars, sculptures and
glass-enclosed candles, which are all used for ritual purposes. There
are three main classifications of candles used for Spiritual work:
1) The first one is the main Altar or Invocational candle
and is traditionally used for Spiritual Protection. They're dedicated
to a special Deity. The act of lighting them serves to call upon that
Deity. When extinguished, they are dismissed. These candles can be reused.
2) The second one is the Personal or Astral Candle. This
represents the person for whom the candle is being burned and must burn
throughout the entire ritual alongside the "Purpose" candle. Any size
can be used so long as it's not more predominant than the Altar candle.
These can also be reused but never for a different individual.
3) The third candle is the Purpose or Offeratory candle.
This represents the purpose of the ritual. They're usually burned until
completely done but certain types of candles or spells may require extinguishing
and relighting at specific intervals.
Colors of your Purpose candle should correspond with the
intent. Basic colors are:
BLACK - the most controversial of all because we're
often conditioned to associate black with dark, bad and evil. Many of
us have come to learn black is necessary for balance and also for banishing.
Black is absent and void of any coloring, therefore absorbs energy and
doesn't emit it. As it burns, it releases what it absorbed - what you
put into it.
WHITE - purity, truth, sincerity, virtue of all
kinds and the highest of all spirituality. It also represents balance.
It can be used to substitute for any color.
RED - life's blood, passion, love, anger, sex.
PINK - affection, love, honor, gentleness.
ORANGE - enthusiasm, fun, vitality, friendship,
YELLOW - creativity, adaptiveness, diplomacy.
GREEN - nature, material gain, fertility, abundance,
good fortune, good health.
BLUE - peace, tranquility, innocence.
PURPLE - royalty, dignity, wisdom, psychic manifestation.
BROWN - earth, neutrality, hesitation.
Different types of candles include Novena or New Beginning
candles, Seven Stud candles, Separation candles, Image candles, Cat
candles, Skull candles, Triple Action candles and Memorial candles.
Preparing the Candles
Cleansing & Consecrating:
This is a very important step and should not be omitted. Cleansing
removes all the negative energies that the candle has picked up along
the way. As with all supplies you want your candles to to be as free
of psychic debris as possible. Submerge the candle in sea salt and the
ask The Lord and lady to bless it.
Dressing the candle with oil is as important as any other step.
Use whatever oil you prefer or what a specific spell asks you to use.
To bring something to you, rub oil on the candle in a downward motion
from the top to the middle and then from the bottom to the middle. To
send something away from you...you rub the oil from the middle of the
candle out to the ends. Never make a back and forth motion as this defeats
Candle burning has roots stretching back to ancient times
as a part of both religious ceremonies and magickal rites. During primitative
times, people used fire to ensure a feeling of security and trust, as
well as to ward off evil spirits that haunted them in the night. In
5AD, the Catholic Church viewed the white flame of a candle as a symbol
of the purity of Christ as well as the infinite power and wisdom of
God. During the Italian Renaissance, 1500s to early 1600's, the Catholic
Church started to light red candles during High Mass, noticing by doing
so, the energy and enthusiasm of the parishioners seemed to rise. In
later years, saint candles came into existence. They were golden in
color to symbolize not only spiritual wealth but material wealth, as
the saints symbolized by them came to them in prayer.
One of earliest holiday celebrations was Candlemas, marking
the middle of Winter and holding the promise of Spring. Candle work
is commonly done during this ritual even to this day. According the
encyclopedia link at infoplease.com, is a Christian festival commemorating
the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of Christ
in the Temple. The name Candlemas is derived from the procession of
candles, inspired by the words of Simeon "a light to lighten the Gentiles"
(Luke 2.32). In the Roman Catholic Church the candles for use in the
ensuing year are blessed on this day. An old superstition claims that
the weather is foretold by the ground hog on Candlemas.
Most Hoodoo practitioners burn candles for magickal effect,
spellcasting and as an adjunct to prayers but unlike the traditional
and conservative craft of making mojo bags, candle burning in the African-American
hoodoo tradition has undergone considerable evolution during the 20th
century. Probably the single most important influence on African-American
magick from the 1940's to present has been a paper bound pamphlet written
by Henri Gamache in 1942, "Master Book of Candle-Burning." It gives
detailed instruction how to burn candles for every purpose . Using these
instructions, conjure workers of the 1940's to the 1960's burned small,
free standing pillar candles of various colors to draw luck, love, and
money; for protection from evil and to wreak vengeance or exert control
Christianity is another religion where candle magick is
always present. Fire has long been a sign of God's presence. The Old
Testament is full of examples: the burning bush on Mount Sinai, the
pillar of fire in the desert, the tabernacle lamps, and the sacrificial
fires on the altar of the temple in Jerusalem. Early Christians rather
naturally viewed the kindling of new fire as a symbol of the presence
of their resurrected Lord, the new pillar of fire.
Walk into a Catholic Church and you'll see the use of
candle magick on a daily basis, from devotional candles to prayer candles
to the Paschal Candle. The Paschal Candle, unlighted, represents Christ's
death and burial. Lighted, it represents the resurrection of Christ.
The wick represents Christ's humanity and the halo of the flame represents
Another Christian symbol using candle work is the Advent
Wreath, which is a symbol of ongoing life. Advent is Latin for "the
coming". It marks the beginning of the Christmas season and starts the
Sunday nearest November 30th. (It starts on December 1st in 2002.) The
wreath, in a circular shape and made of evergreen symbolizes ongoing
life and eternity and mercy. There are four candles placed within the
circle to represent the four weeks of Advent. Three are purple to represent
penance, sorrow and longing expectation. The fourth is pink to represent
hope and the coming joy. This bit of candle magick has probably been
observed since the 4th century.
Even one of the newer religions, Kwanzaa, incorporated
candle magick in the use of its Kinara which holds seven candles: three
red to represent struggle candles - for the past, the color of blood
and courage; one black for the celebration of being black and three
green to represent vision candles - for hope, dreams and promise of
the future. They're used to instill in African-Americans the memory
of a long struggle against injustice and unfairness and a promise that
they will continue to work together against this.
Mexico's traditional Day of the Dead is actually a celebration,
a time of remembering the dead and rejoicing their lives. The Altars
are carefully planned with three distinctive tiers. Photos of the dead
are among things placed on the them and the Altars are covered with
candles. It's believed the more candles, the better the celebration.
The day after the celebration, families of the dead go to the cemetaries
with special candles, which are typically placed on the graves with
Candle magick atop birthday cakes is present but not often
thought of as such. Light the candle, make a wish, blow out the candle...sounds
like magickal intent to me! In many parts of the world, some traditions
are quite similar, holding to the belief that birthday candles carry
wishes up to God.
Other candle workings include:
Flame Interpretation and Flame Divination
When casting a spell, if the flame is:
Short - obstacles lie in the path of a successful
cast and the universal is currently dealing with those before beginning
to deal with the cast's goal.
Tall - great amounts of universal is being put
forth towards the cast's goal making the cast strength very high. Normal
Height - the cast is proceeding towards its set goal.
Normal to Tall Flickering - cast is proceeding
at a normal pace with extra energies needed for certain obstacles (this
is common for complex casts).
Short to Normal Flickering - cast is dealing with
obstacles and then proceeding until another obstacles needs dealing
with (equates to a slow path to the goal).
Short to Tall Flickering - a high strength cast
that is intermittently dealing with cast obstacles.
Side to Side Movement - commonly denotes a negative
(negative energy, "No").
Clockwise Circular Movement - commonly denotes
a high positive (strong positive energy, "Yes", "Soon", "Quickly") also
denotes a strong push towards the cast's goal.
Counter-Clockwise Circular Movement - commonly
denotes a positive (positive energy, "Yes") also denotes a neutralization
of a casting, or energy.
No Movement - a neutral flame bent on the goal
Dim - little energy is being put towards the cast
goal (weak spell/magick).
Normal Brightness - cast is proceeding towards
Bright - a lot of energy is being pushed through
the cast (strong spell/magick).
Sizzling - the cast is deteriorating a strong reality
in order to accomplish its goal, or a force is acting against the casting.
Flame Out - if the flame goes out then the balance
would be thrown too far off by the magick and the universal has denied
it, or another source has defeated the cast.
1) One-Candle Divination = Light a candle. Keep
it lit for several hours. Ask a yes or no question. Now sit quietly
and watch the candle. If the right side burns faster than the left,
the answer is yes. If the reverse, the answer is no. When burning a
candle to determine future influences, the right means good fortune.
If the left side burns, prospects are ill.
2) Three-Candle Divination = Set up three candles, all
the same color and in identical holders. Arrange into a triangle and
light them. If one burns more brightly than the others, you will have
a period of unexpected good luck. A quenched flame signifies a period
of negativity. If the flame moves in a circle, someone may be working
against you. Sparks shooting out are also negative signs. If all candles
burn steadily, your life will be the same.
3) A Multi-Candle Divination= Set up as many identical
candles in holders as you have choices facing you. If you wish an answer
to a simple question, two candles; one for yes and one for no. Name
each candle for one of your choices individually and light them. The
first one to burn down and sputter out is your best bet.
4) Another Candle Divination= Light a candle, focus on
your question and drip melted wax into a dish or pan of water, then
interpret the symbols/shapes the wax makes as it hardens. This works
well with dark-colored candles or you can use the proper color candle
for the issue.
The Magick Candle: Facts and Fundamentals of Ritual Candle Burning
by Charmaine Dey
The Candle Lighting Encyclopedia by
and numerous websites and web articles.