Candle magick is an easy and simple tool for those who are new to Wicca and witchcraft. It also blends in nicely if you want to keep a more mundane outward-facing appearance. I first gravitated toward candle magic as I don’t personally connect as closely with large displays of magic or rituals. Candles are atmospheric—I love that about them.
As I stepped further into learning about candle magic, I knew I wanted to write a comprehensive guide as my own personal journey was fraught with dead ends. So this is my living, breathing guide to all things candle magic. My aim is to make it comprehensive and my hope is to update it as I learn more myself. (Remember, we’re all always learning. I’m no master of the craft, merely an engaged and ambitious student.)
Warning: Candles have open flames. (Breaking news, right?) You should always be careful when working with candles and performing candle magic. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
Ahead, get the answers to your burning candle magic questions and learn how to get started with candle magic.
From chimes to votives, there are a number of different types of candles you can use in candle magic. Which one you pick will depend upon the type of ritual you’re performing and, honestly, how long you want to deal with a lit candle. There are candles that burn for a long time that may not work well for those who don’t have large sums of time to keep watch of a burning candle.
Here’s a look at the five main types of candles and when you would use them to practice candle magic:
- Chime, Spell, or Ritual Candles – Small, thin candles that burn quickly. Best for shorter spells and rituals. (Burns for roughly two hours.)
- Prayer or Pillar Candles – These are tall, thick candles often in a glass holder. Often you’ll see these candles with a religious figure on the outside glass. These are best used for longer rituals like a seven-day spell.
- Taper Candles – Long, thin candles that burn for longer periods of time and are good for spellwork that takes place over a series of days.
- Votive Candles – Short, squatty candles that burn quickly. Best for shorter spellwork. (Burns for roughly three hours.)
- Shapes and Figure Candles – There are many types of shape and figure candles, common ones including goddesses, Buddha, the female future, and animals. Figure candles are often used for focused spellwork, just as you might inscribe an intention on the edge of a candle.
Spell Candle Color Meanings
There are numerous ways to use different candle colors. You’ll actually find witches vary in exactly how they consider color correspondences when it comes to candle magic. A basic overview of candle colors and what they mean is as follows:
- Black Candles: Banishing, protecting, and releasing negative energy
- White Candles: All-purpose candle, protection, healing, and cleansing
- Silver Candles: Female energy and intuition
- Brown Candles: Balance and home
- Green Candles: Prosperity and growth
- Pink Candles: Love, self-love, romance
- Purple Candles: Psychic ability, creativity, enlightenment
- Red Candles: Love, passion, and strength
- Light Blue Candles: Perception and harmony
- Dark Blue Candles: Opening communication and inspiring
- Yellow Candles: Focus, positive energy, joy and socializing
- Orange Candles: Increases ambitions, justice, and success
- Gold Candles: Happiness
Scented vs. Unscented
Using scented versus unscented candles for candle magic comes down entirely to preference. Many candles intended for ritualistic purposes are unscented. However, you can use scented candles to heavily enforce the intention behind burning the candles. This requires a bit of extra legwork on your part.
If you do opt for scented candles, you don’t want to simply pick a cinnamon pancake candle or a campfire candle for the fun of it. Scents for spell candles should be picked strategically and purposefully based on the essential oils present used for creating the scent. This will require you to understand correspondence to essential oils.
Common scents for candle magic include lavender, rosemary, sage, and mint.
Size does matter when it comes to candle magic. If you’re looking to do spellwork quickly in a condensed amount of time, you should pick a simple spell candle or a tealight. There are larger candles that can last upwards of seven days (often prayer candles) if you have a long-standing ritual you’re looking to complete.
Dressing Your Candles
Dressing your candles adds a bit more intention to your candle magic practices. While you can certainly burn a color based on color alone with no additional dressing, dressing your candles will add to the intention.
You can inscribe candles with phrases, intentional words, runes, sigils (sygils), and numbers aligned with numerology meanings. To do this, you’ll need to use a knife or similar tool to chisel into the wax.
Sprinkle Herbs on Top
Herbs that correspond with the spell you’re working on can be added to the candle during the anointing and inscribing portion of candle magic. The herbs you pick should align with the intention of the candle.
Anointing with Oils
Anointing your candle with oils is an optional part of your spellwork process when practicing candle magic. (Honestly, it depends on how thorough you want to be.) Be sure to use oils that align with the intent of your spellwork. You can find oil blends and essential oils in your local metaphysical shop or online.