Posted Under Paganism & Witchcraft

Getting Started with Candle Magic

Candles for Magic

Candle magic is an accessible form of magic to learn, as it can be learned relatively easily and doesn't require loads of expensive or rare tools or components to do. It's also pretty effective, once you know what you're doing.

Generally, this involves picking a candle or candles of the appropriate colour; charging, dressing, or anointing them with oil; and sometimes carving them with certain symbols, names, or sigils. You can buy oils for different purposes, or have a go at making your own by steeping the relevant herbs in a carrier such as olive oil.

Shorter, thicker candles are better than skinny tapers for candle magic, but use what you have on hand before going out and buying something fancy.

There are loads of different ways to perform candle magic. The one I am including here is no more or less valid. Read up on some alternatives, experiment, and use what works for you.

  1. Set your intention. Think carefully about who this magic is for, who it will affect, what the ideal outcome will look like. Always get someone's consent before performing magic for them.

  2. Gather the components for your working. Different coloured candles have different correspondences, or go for plain black or white if colours aren't available. Gather anything else you will need for the ritual or setting up sacred space.

  3. Set the scene. If you're working indoors, tidy up. Make sure the space is quiet, and electronic devices that might distract you are off. Ensure you have a space to work: an altar is ideal, or just a clear surface like a coffee table that you're okay with perhaps dribbling wax on if accidents happen. Put down a non-treasured cloth etc if you're really worried.

  4. Prepare yourself. Different traditions give different instructions for readying oneself for ritual. One simple method is just to make sure you are rested, clean, and fed: bathe or take a shower. Put on clean clothes or ritual garb (or go skyclad if you like). Make sure you are fed and comfortable. You will concentrate much better if your basic needs are met.

  5. Begin. If you're so inclined, set up sacred space in the way that works for you. Centre yourself with a few deep breaths while you remember the actions and intentions you thought about and visualised in step one, then say them. Speaking words out loud gives them power.

  6. Dress your candle. This involves anointing it in oil, rubbing it in from the centre to the ends. Oil, obviously, is flammable: don't use too much. Concentrate hard on the issue or intention of this working as you do so.

  7. Inscribe your candle. This could involve carving a certain sigil, rune, or even your subject's name onto the candle. In doing this, you are charging the candle with your intention.

  8. Light the candle. Omit this step if you are preparing the candle to give to somebody else. If you plan to burn the candle yourself, place it in a fire-safe container and light it. Many workings will require you to leave the lit candle burning until there is nothing left. Only do this if it's safe.

  9. Finish. Thank and make offerings to any deities or spirits you need to. Close down your sacred space and ground yourself. Leave the candle burning if it is safe to do so.

About Josephine Winter

Josephine Winter (Victoria, Australia) is a Pagan author and podcaster. She is one of the founding members of the Pagan Collective of Victoria, an organizer of the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering. Josephine shares a little ...

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