Practical Candle Magick, Candle Magick Basics
When I sat down to write this post a few days ago, I thought this would be an easy subject to highlight and discuss. I was so wrong; there are so many levels and variations on Candle Magick I had forgotten. When you do something for many years, you tend to forget or ignore it’s variety and complexity. Perhaps it all becomes mundane after a while, like a habit.
Quickly, I realized how inspiring it is to rehash something you feel you know very well. Taking the subject apart and reassembling it has even given me a new perspective on the how and why. This is one of my favorite forms of Magick for many reasons. This review has reopened my eyes to the value of this Magickal practice.
As humans, I think the ability to control something as volatile as fire is fascinating. We are empowered when we “control” something with the high potential for negative and positive results.
Fire can be subtle and comforting while at the same time it can be painful and destructive. Who doesn’t like to sit by a warm fire on a chilly night? Who isn’t horrified by the sight of a family’s home burning to the ground? Fire is a double edge sword. Fire demands respect and caution. You must respect it and keep your wits about you at all time as you release yourself to its power.
In my research, it appears that Candle Magick is one of the earliest forms of Magick out there. Indeed, the types and ingredients of candles have changed, but fire remains the same. Fire remains a powerful tool in all areas of Magick. As a Kitchen Witch, I cannot do what I do, without fire and heat. It is essential. “Fire, my Spirit.”
In addition to Witchcraft, fire is used by all religions to conduct prayer, manifest divinity, and set the tone for spiritual conduct. Fire and candles set the mood if you will. Think of the power a romantic candle lit dinner has on those who are in love or dating. In conjunction with our needs and desires, candles have their Magick we can explore and use to our benefit. Fire is provoking while remaining comforting to the soul.
In reviewing this subject for this post, I quickly realized that I was opening Pandora’s Box so to speak. There are so many avenues to explore, and there is no way I can highlight and discuss everything here and now. So I will run through some of the basics. In later posts I will add to the knowledge highlighted here.
Mental & Magickal Focus
Candles are great for allowing you to focus on your intent. When I began practicing Wicca and learning Witchcraft, I would do a daily fire meditation. This was a simple ritual where I would light a candle, of any color, and focus my eyes on the base of the flame/wick as it burned. Without fail, and almost instantly, I would find my focus moving away from my mental chatter. This was a great practice for me as I often have trouble resolving and ignoring my mental chatter.
Like Water, Fire can draw you in and hone your focus with its essence. In Candle Magick the use of this unique trance-like quality is essential. Creating our mental focus and coupling it with a soothing or concentrated atmosphere is essential in accurately and effectively performing Magick.
When we enter into sacred space, atmosphere is everything. The effective transition from the mundane to Magickal mindset is essential to creating sacred space and performing Magick. As Magickal Practitioners, we must find that right state of mind quickly to be effectual in our work. Some wear ritual robes, some use scent, others have specific ceremonial regimens to follow which mix and blend many elements; I prefer candles.
Try this shortly: Take several candles into a room where you will not be disturbed. It can be the bathroom, bedroom, etc. Just be sure your space is not so close in quarters that you set something on fire. Safety first!
Once you are in your space and you set your candles in safe locations, light one candle and turn out the lights. Notice the soft glow. Now begin lighting the other candles.
First, notice your mental state. Then take notice your body relaxing. This is the Magick of candles even before you set your intent; the right energy is there. You just created the right atmosphere for Magick, and it was almost instant!
Okay, I can’t discuss Candle Magick without discussing the candle colors and their uses/meanings. The color of your candle for your specific working is essential. Color helps solidify your focus and ensure success in spell work.
Now there are MANY charts out there that highlight the colors and their meanings. I find a gradient chart of color to be the best tool for me. This means that each color blends into one another which leads to other unique aspects as the specific color as the color wheel changes. I like to keep things simple including for those colors that are combos of two or more basic colors.
Here is an example. You have Blue-Green or a teal color… this color would embody both aspects of blue and green. In other color combinations, the dominant color would hold the Magickal aspect for that color. Take a pea or sage green. The primary color is green although there is some brown thrown in there, green is the main focus. Easy enough right?
Keep in mind that colors will represent different aspect depending on your path and source of Magickal study. In my history I have studied a variety of paths. I have created my own Color Correspondence Chart based on my experience and education. This is what works for me.
I have also highlighted both the positive and negative aspects of the colors. It is important to know the pros and cons of what you plan to use in your Magickal workings. As in everything, there must be balance.
|Strength, Attraction, Desire, Dominance, Power, Energy, Health, Vigor, Enthusiasm, Courage, Conceit, Sexuality, Passion, Action, Impulsiveness, Life, Greed, Hate, Rage, Motivation, Protection, Wishes, Love, Lust…
|Strength, Attraction, Desire, Dominance, Conceit, Power, Energy, Health, Vigor, Impulsiveness, Appetite, Enthusiasm, Courage, Motivation, Action, Self-Esteem, Caution, Confidence…
|Creativity, Business, Legal Matters, Conceit, Compassion, Divination, Clairvoyance, Mental Alertness, Mental Focus, Intellectual Matters, Prosperity, Health, Change, Motion, Happiness, Creativity, Confidence, Communication, Education, Travel, Happiness, Mental Clarity, Indecisiveness…
|Luck, Abundance, Stability, Compassion, Envy, Health, Fertility, Happiness, Opportunity, Stubbornness, Success, Placidness, Hearth & Home, Caution/Warning, Illness, Employment, Safe Travels, Prosperity, Courage, Growth…
|Psychic Awareness, Intuition, Opportunity, Understanding, Dreams/Dreaming, Sedation, Honor, Quests, Patience, Tranquility, Depression, Truth, Dreams, Protection, Change, Meditation…
|Spiritual development, Intuition, Spiritual Healing, Dreams/Dreaming, Spiritual Communication, Protection, Wisdom, Solitude, Shyness, Meditation, Trance, Sedation…
|Deep Meditation, Inner Journeys, Introspection, Neutralizing, Banishment, Gestation, Introversion, Depression, Curses/Hexes, Protection, The Universe, Night, Truth…
|Cleansing, Energy/Curse/Hex Removal, Purity, Truth, Meditation, Peace, Death/Mortality… Neutral color can be used as a substitute for all other colors.
|The Goddess, The Moon, Feminine Magick, Prosperity…
|The God, The Sun, Masculine Magick, Prosperity…
|Endurance, Strength, Security, Certainty, Clutter, Stubbornness, Introversion, Earth Energy, Stability, Depression, Hearth & Home…
|Deep Love, Compassion, Feminine Magick, Emotional/Mental Love…
Phew! What a list! There are more aspects that can be added, but this gives you a solid idea.
Next let’s take a look at some of the areas of debate related to Candle Magick.
Handmade Candles vs. Mass Produced
This is an area of discussion that is widely debated in Magickal circles. Oddly, enough I have even seen people become very upset over this subject. I have no desire to tell you what you should and should not do in this area. I am only here to give you another perspective, and some of my knowledge I have gained over the years. With that said…
I prefer handmade candles. There are many reasons for this. Mainly, handmade candles are usually made is small batches and handled by select people who care for the craft and process of making candles.
I used to make my own, but I don’t get much time for it anymore. I personally, feel that candles made by you are most effective in spell work. But… they take time and space to make. The process can also be very messy. I would spend days making a variety of candles that would last me a while; then I would spend almost as much time cleaning up after. I found it increasingly hard to find time to replenish my supplies. Someday, I hope to have a designated area for making candles, then maybe I can resume the practice. Until then, I will buy my candles from local candle makers.
The bottom line is be practical. If you can make your own, do it. The process is fairly easy, and the supplies/tools are not too outrageously priced. Just make sure you have the room and the time to dedicate.
If you don’t have the time and resources to make your own, find a good vendor. There are plenty of wonderful craftspeople out there who make handmade candles that will suit your needs. Feel free to ask them about their process, where their wax comes from, what type of wax they use, and how many people potentially handle the candles, etc. Working with a small and preferably local vendor gives you a chance to get to know your craftsperson.
If you can’t find a supplier that suits your needs you can always buy candles at your local retail store. Just make sure you cleanse each candle before you use it. When items are mass produced, you can’t be certain what kind of energy they harbor.
Bees Wax vs. Soy/Palm vs. Gel & Paraffin Wax
Yes, here is another topic widely debated in Magickal circles, and for good reason. There are many things to consider. You will have to decide what kinds of wax you will use, based on your preferences. Bees Wax is considered an animal product. Palm and Soy are derived from plants, and Paraffin is a petroleum product. If your concern is the environmental impact your wax has on the planet, you will need to research your supplier and consider each wax before you purchase.
Bee’s Wax is probably your least processed wax. Bee’s Wax will hold more natural aspects compared to other wax options. So this is something to consider when choosing your wax. Bee’s Wax is thought to deliver your wishes and prayers directly to Divinity when used in Candle Magick.
Also, good quality Bee’s Wax is usually a very hard wax, which gives your candles a longer life when burning. This wax also tends to be higher in cost. Per pound Beeswax is about double the cost of Soy wax, and nearly triple the cost of Paraffin.
Soy and Palm Wax: These are both a fairly new types of wax. You might want to do some research on origin of the wax and how they are harvested, processed, is it fair trade, etc.
Lastly, we have Paraffin wax that is usually the most processed of all the waxes and the least expensive. Since Paraffin is the most processed of the waxes, it would likely hold little to no aspects related to its origins as a fossil fuel/oil. For many, this wax is the ideal choice. It is easy to find and is often blended with other waxes making it versatile. Not to forget inexpensive.
There are other types of candle wax, but I think these highlighted few are most noteworthy. So in selecting your wax type, you will want to consider the resources needed to make the wax for your candles and your individual needs.
Again this is your preference; there is no need to justify your choice to anyone. Do I sometimes use candles I bought from my local retail store, SURE! My default is practicality.
Choose the type of wax that best suits your needs and budget. Don’t over think it.
Blowing Out vs. Snuffing Candles
Most of the time in Candle Magick you will allow your candles to burn out on their own. However, there are times when this is not a good idea.
Blowing out your candles vs. snuffing them is a practice directly related to your specific path, and the tradition you follow. Many friends of mine would NEVER blow out a candle. In their practice it is a HUGE taboo.
As in most Candle Magick practices, I prefer to allow my candles to expend their energy by allowing them to burn out on their own. However, there are times when I simply can’t leave a candle unattended. In times like this, I will blow them out. And no, the Earth has no opened up to swallow me whole for doing so!
I have a Snuffer; it’s a cool looking pewter dragon. Once upon a time, I snuffed my candles. Then, I realized my need for it diminished. To me blowing out candles, when needed, is a form of sending off the energy with the element of air. Plus snuffing always seemed to bend my wicks, which just annoys me. See there is my practical side again.
So again it is up to you. Sometimes Magick is about being flexible.
Ultimately, Do what feels right to you.
Oils & Herbs
Oh yeah! Let’s break out the oils and herbs!
One of my favorite aspects of Candle Magick is using my oils and herbs. You have many options here. You can place herbs and oils directly into your wax as you make candles. You can rub oil on your candle before burning, or you can melt your candle into a mix of herbs.
You can even toss carved Bee’s Wax wrapped in specific herbs into a fire for an instant spell!
This is one area where you can get very creative and try different things.
Carving Your Candles
Here is another exciting element to Candle Magick. Well, at least, I get excited about it. I find this fun and intriguing.
Take a hot needle or blade tip, and carve Magickal symbols into your wax candle. The symbols you use should directly relate to your working and can be simple or detailed. You can even carve specific words, chants, or mantras into the wax.
How’s that for focus?!
To wrap up this post, I have highlighted some major points you can consider about Candle Magick. To me Candle Magick is very personal. Ultimately, how you practice this art should be based on your personal preferences, needs, and desires.
Candle Magick allows for the use of color, oils, flowers, herbs, incense, potions, inscription, and more. One of my favorite forms of candle Magick is making a centerpiece or floating candle arrangement when relative come over for a visit. You can use Candle Magick in just about any situation for a variety of reasons, and most of the time no one, but you, will notice.
If you make your candles, you give yourself more options. You can mold wax into specific shapes. Candles can be split or melted together for to solidify your intention. You can use a variety of colors, oil, herbs, potions, so on and so on.
Whether you use Candle Magick by itself or as an addition to your other workings, get out there and explore!
It is a beautiful Magickal Art!
I invite your feedback. Tell me what you think. How has this post helped you, and how have I inspired you. I love to know what my readers are up to and how you put my thoughts and experience to use in your world.
Also, if you have any suggestions on subjects for future posts let me know your thoughts. I’m listening.
© 2014, The Magick Kitchen