“Religion is a candle inside a multi-colored lantern. Everyone looks through a particular color, but the candle is always there.”
Another big step toward spiritual growth is creating your own spells. Plenty of practitioners feel uncertain about that. Why? You may not know traditional spell constructs, or feel insecure in your own abilities. Here’s a chance for gaining some confidence. Take what you can from the history of spellcraft and apply it to wholly new creations that sing the song of your soul!
Do I Need to Be an Adept for Working Candle Magic?
Before you say, “I can’t do that, I’m not an expert,” here’s a secret: You don’t become an expert overnight, and sometimes not even in a lifetime. Someone somewhere had to devise the first love spell, healing spell, crop growth spell, and so forth. Then more people came along and created yet more spells that made sense in their historical-cultural setting. This ongoing process of invention is truly a legacy on which modern Witches can draw quite readily.
First, however, accept the role of being your own Priest or Priestess. Ah, is that pair of shoes a little too uncomfortable to try on, even more so than crafting your own spells? Relax. You already assume this role in your life every day when you make moral or ethical choices. In those moments, you are both guru and guide. All you’ll be doing now is acknowledging that capacity more.
As with adapting prefabricated spells, this process of making your own is going to take a little serious consideration. Don’t be dissuaded. You can do this! The time and effort you put forth results in an improved understanding success rates with your Candle spells
The 9 Step Process for Successful Candle Magick:
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
In reading over numerous books, both modern and ancient, there seems to be nine readily identifiable steps in the spell creation process. Now, you may find people who disagree, or who do things differently. That’s perfectly natural in a vision-driven faith, but we have to start somewhere. Consider this list as a rough black-and-white outline to which you bring the crayons of your spiritual experiences and imagination.
Step One for Powerful Candle Magic: Determine Your Goal
You can’t bake the cake without knowing what kind of cake you want! What about the size, the shape, the toppings (remember the sprinkles, please)? Using this analogy, it’s strongly suggested that you think about your spell’s goal(s) in detail.
Perhaps you want to design a love spell. What type of love do you seek? Do you want romance, longevity, just a playful fling? Be specific here or the universe will interpret things for you (yes, really). A great illustration of this came from a person who contrived a companionship spell that included things such as hair color, eye color, and personality. She left out one minor detail, however: species. Her perfect companion (which came to her shortly after the spell, and fit the entire description perfectly) was a dog! In this manner, magick is similar to a computer program. It does exactly what you tell it to do; no more and no less. When you leave out some instructional language, the results get very interesting!
Some other things to consider at this time are the potential permutations of your goal. This is where we get into ethics. Is what you want manipulative or harmful? If so, are you ready and willing to accept all the karmic implications of what you’re about to do? If not, Set aside magick and opt for old-fashioned mundane efforts to rectify the situation.
Once you have a detailed overview of your goal, and feel secure in your motivations, proceed to step two.
Step Two for Empowering Candle Magick: Choosing Components and Symbols For Representing Goals
Okay, some readers are probably sitting there saying, “Well this is a Candle Magick article, so beyond the candles, what else can I include in Candle Magick?” The answer to that question is that nearly anything an everything that supports the spell’s goals. You can play inspiring music while you work, add movement, dab on aromatics, and burn incense. Use any manner of props to illustrate your desire, and even include special timing if you wish.
Make a list of all the items that might be useful for the spell you have in mind. Choose the items that are both available and really meaningful from that list. When you do this, please don’t limit your brainstorming to just items found on correspondence lists. Rather, include those things that come immediately to mind when you think about your core theme.
For example, when contriving a spell to improve your mood or sense of humor, perhaps feathers pop into your mind (They tickle one’s fancy!). When designing a spell for communication, a cell phone may similarly inspire you. See, it doesn’t matter that neither of these items are necessarily located on conventional lists of magical components. The symbolic value is completely obvious to you and you’re the one casting the spell! This returns to that notion of being your own Priest or Priestess. Start trusting those instincts if you haven’t already!
Step Three: Planning Candle Magic by Making a Blueprint
This step comes somewhat under the “chicken and the egg” discussion. If you don’t have a design in mind for your spell, it’s hard to choose components. If you don’t know what components you have available (or prefer) it’s hard to make a design! Nonetheless, it’s generally easier to pattern magic after determining the focal points and props. You can now start thinking more like a director thinks; the candle spell is a play through which you’re illustrating your wish for the universe.
Taking this staged metaphor further, every play has a beginning, middle and an end. Throughout the action, everything that happens leads toward a distinct point. In this case, design the progression of the spell from beginning to end so it builds energy. Then release it toward your goal. Let’s use job hunting as an illustration. When you’re trying to find work, the first thing that needs to happen is discovering the best leads. Perhaps part your spell would include dabbing some rosemary oil on the want ads, heightening conscious To this foundation, lighting a green candle (for prosperity) and setting it nearby while you read makes sense (shining a light on things).
The next part of the spell might be taking the ads that jumped out at you, and reciting an incantation over them before you make calls or mail resumes. All the while the candle continues to burn. In fact, if you have 7-day candles that can be kept safely burning until you succeed, even better! Many times, interview prospects and callbacks come within a week’s time. Do you see how the progression is logically based on normal human patterns? That’s very important. Magick should work with Nature, not against it.
The progression should also make logical sense in terms of the goal. When you’re trying to lessen or banish something, the items that represent that “something” shouldn’t grow during the spell (making a burning candle the ideal media). In all, just remember that the blueprints you’re designing say something specific to your subconscious and super-conscious self, the Collective Unconscious, and Spirit. They fashion the way in which your energy manifests. Lay out a couple of potential approaches and then look at them as a whole, picking the one that seems really right.
Step Four for Success in Candle Magick: Deciding on Verbal or Written Materials
In step two and three it’s easy to see if a written or verbalized charm, incantation, or invocation might be appropriate to your goals. If this turns out to be the case, and you want that type of element included, write one! Your words need not rhymed, be eloquent or terribly long to be effective. In fact, plenty of old charms were very short ditties that people could easily remember. One that comes to mind is:
“Leaf of ash I do thee pluck
to bring to me a day of luck.”
No great literary piece, for sure, but it states the goal clearly and the most common of persons could remember it (rather like a commercial jingle!).
Having said that, there are very specific items to consider in your wording. First, always use terms that you wholly understand and can easily memorize. If you’re stumbling over an incantation, it increases the likelihood of losing your spiritual focus. Second, rhyme may sound a little hokey, but it helps the mnemonic process for those who have trouble remembering things (especially in a pinch). Third, the meter of a worded component carries symbolism that supports the goal of the spell. For example, a standard 4/4 beat represents the Earth Element and foundations. Therefore, it might be sn ideal cadence when writing an incantation for a prosperity spell. Better still, use a drum to sound out the 4/4 beat while speaking your wishes and the candle burns.
Phrases that comes up a lot in verbal and written components are “for the greatest good” or “for the good of all.” These phrases act as a karmic catchall. While no one would want to accidentally harm another or cause more problems than good, humans have a limited amount of global perspective. By including this type of wording in your spells, you acknowledge the part of the picture (the Web of Life) that you cannot possibly see. This way Universe can step in with guidance, should it need to.
Perhaps something happens that you can’t use a planned verbal component (like privacy restrictions). Quite simply: THINK! The mind is where magick begins, and your thoughts are every bit as powerful as words. Close your eyes and recite your incantation inwardly with as much conviction as you would out loud, and then continue with the spell as planned.
Step Five: Proper Personal Preparation for Magick with Candles.
You’re done with all the fussing for laying out the blueprint for your spell. What’s left, other than casting it? Getting yourself in the right frame of mind for magick. No matter how advanced the practitioner is, weariness, worries, sickness, and other of life’s normal negatives interferes with your magick, usually in a not-so-nice way. Little bits of that energy seep into what you’re creating. This is a perfect illustration of “like attracting like” on a very intimate level. Approach Candle Magick as you would any other sacred task and you’ll fare well.
Let’s assume that your mind, body, and spirit are all in the right space for magick. What other types of preparations can you make so that you’re wholly focused? a few moments of quiet introspection doesn’t hurt. If time allows, meditation and prayer also directs your concentration to exactly where it needs to be (and where it needs to remain throughout the spell). A meditative, prayerful demeanor seems to open our spirits to both giving and receiving energy.
Other ways of getting in the right head space include listening to music, dancing to sacred songs, or taking a long walk (a moving meditation). Each of these actions becomes a tool that helps us bridge the gap between the temporal and metaphysical,
Step Six: Organizing Candle Magic Ingredients
Once you’re fully prepared for the work ahead it makes perfect sense to purify these items and then charge them for the purpose at hand. Cleansing takes many forms. You can visualize pure, silver-white light pouring into the item until it feels warm, smudge the item with cedar or sage incense, or wash it with spring water. Eliminate any random vibes that could influence the magick adversely.
Charging, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a little different. The components of your candle spell are spiritually empty. So, it’s time to fill them with the appropriate magick! There are several ways to accomplish this. You can energize the components by sunlight or moonlight. You can also place your hands, palms downward, over the components and think of your purpose. Let energy flow from you into the components (a visualization often helps here).
A third way to charge your candles is by dressing them. “Dressing” means anointing the candle with a symbolic aromatic oil, working from middle toward both ends. This action also designates its purpose. Choose an oil symbiotic with the magical purpose, like rose oil for love.
Step Seven: Arranging the Environment for Candle Magick
Let’s get pragmatic. Where, exactly, can you put your candles and components so they’re safe and away from flimsy curtains, other flammable items, stray hands, or paws and whiskers? This question also brings to bear a second−do you want or need an altar space on which to set everything up? Having an altar may resolve the safety issues, but a “formal” altar isn’t necessary. Any flat, stable surface will do. Remember, sacredness is more about attitude than platitudes, and not everyone can keep a formal altar erected all the time.
Another thing to consider is your proverbial real estate. If there’s a lot of movement in your spell, you’ll want to be sure that windows are closed (so candles don’t get blown out), that the floor is free of clutter, and you have enough space. Son’t forget to check your own clothing. Very lovely, flowing dresses catch on fire easily when lighting candles. We want the magick to be hot−not the practitioners!
Once you’ve found a good the next question is that of creating sacred space. Because Candle Magick is considered an elementary process (Folk Magick), it is not absolutely necessary to invoke the Quarters (or Watchtowers) for your spellcasting. Nonetheless if you have the time, it certainly won’t hurt anything. Sacred space not only protects you from unwanted influences but also holds your energy in place until you’re ready to releaset it. Rather like a plug in a spiritual sink, this will keep stray bits of energy from flowing out before you’ve completed the working.
Many traditions have a specific way of erecting the sacred Circle. If you practice a Wiccan tradition use what you’ve been taught. If not,Here’s an example that begins in the East (the place where the sun rises, symbolizing the start of our magick). Just make sure you have all your components set out and ready to go before you take this step.
Turn to the East and say:
“From the East I call the Air,
Come and with you magick bear.”
Turn to the South and say:
“From the South I call the Fire,
Come and move the magick higher.”
Turn to the West and say:
“From the West I call the Rain,
Come and nourish my spirit again.”
Turn to the North and say:
“From the North I call the Earth,
Come and to the magick give birth.”
As you can see, trust isn’t overly difficult to remember, nor is it fancy.
When you’ve completed the Circle, go to the center and welcome Spirit in whatever words feel right to you. If you’re working with a specific God or Goddess, this is a good time to mention that Being by name, and put something on the altar to represent that presence. In Candle Magick, or a gold candle can represent God, and a silver candle for the Goddess. You could alternatively use a candle whose color is sacred to your Divinities.
Step Eight: Building & Releasing the Candle Magick
At last it’s time to start making magick. Follow the blueprint you created in step three. Maintain your focus throughout the spellcasting process. As you follow the spell step-by-step, you should feel the air begin to tingle with energy. Alternatively, some people hear a humming, some feel itchy and others smell a change in the air. Usually your senses give you some indication that you’re doing it right.
The defining moment of the spell comes when you release it. You have all this energy created for a purpose. Like an arrow just sitting knocked in a bow, it won’t do much good until you let it fly. Some people indicate this motion physically (by pointing or raising their arms). Other people use a particular action in the spell as a cue (such as a pinned candle burning down to that point and the pin falling out). Whatever you choose, continue your focus and begin guiding the energy as far out as you can, to your spiritual event horizon. From that point forward, trust in your construct and the energies raised to manifest for the greatest good.
This is also the juncture at which many practitioners release their sacred space. This is easily done by simply reversing the earlier process discussed, and saying farewell to the energies. Here’s an example of wording for your reference:
Turn to the North saying:
“Return to the North, return o’ Earth,
and thank you for your protective presence.”
Turn counterclockwise to the West saying:
“Return to the West, return o’ Water,
and thank you for your protective presence.”
Turn counterclockwise again to the South saying:
“Return to the South, return o’ Fires,
and thank you for your protective presence.”
Turn to the East and say:
“Return to the East, return o’ Winds,
and thank you for your protective presence.”
When you’ve finished this widdershins dismissal, it’s an excellent time to thank Spirit and blow out the candle on your altar if one was used. Put away any components that should not be left out until next time.
Magick is hard work and it often leaves people a little out of sorts. The best way to combat this off-center feeling is by grounding. Either sit down close to the earth, put your fingers in some sand or soil, hold a bit of obsidian, eat something crunchy such as carrots (a root vegetable), or have an old-fashioned hamburger! All of these actions ground out excess energy and return your normal level of awareness. But wait−your work isn’t done yet!
Creating and casting a spell is but one part of a much bigger picture. Now, you need to support your magick in word and deed. Follow up on your goals mundanely (this is part of being a co-creator), and periodically reinforce your spell until it manifests. This is not a lack of faith on your part. Each time you add energy into a candle spell, you create a sturdier bridge between the worlds over which your will travels more easily. Reinforcement also stresses and clarifies the specifics of your goal even further.
Light up Your Life: Integrating Spirituality with Candle Magic
“We say God and the imagination are one… How high that highest candle lights the dark.”
It has been said before that we are spiritual beings looking for a human experience. That humanness includes an amazing capacity for growing beyond our perceived limitations, including mystical ones. While such a discussion could become quite lofty, it really boils down to walking one’s walk versus going through the motions. It also means connecting with the God and Goddess in an intimate way every moment of every day. Candle Magick can become a helpmate in that process.
The Candle in Religion
To understand the candle’s role in helping us with these goals, first let’s consider the symbolism of the candle. The word candle means “to make bright.” The early church took this to heart, often using candles not only for ambiance during services, but also as a representation of God’s purity. Buddhism likens candlelight to the soulful power within each of us-power that we tap in order to move out of spiritual darkness and achieve enlightenment. By lighting the candle, we light our spirit, intentionally leaving behind the mundane/temporal world in favor of the magickal/eternal.
Making Room for the Gods
Now, while all that sounds very nice, you might be wondering how to go about actually putting these ideas into practice. One suggestion is that of a daily God and/or Goddess candle. Each day when you get up, mindfully light that taper and welcome Spirit into your day. Take a short moment here saying “hello”. It’s easy as we proceed through the day to forget about the Divine. We must be mindful, and in our mindfulness-act. This small daily routine reminds us of our connection to the Divine, literally igniting a prayerful, grateful attitude.
If you find morning devotions don’t work for you (not everyone is a “morning person”), how about one at dinner? For most people, this is the one time of the day when rushing stops for a few moments. We sit and gather our thought and enjoy a good meal. That’s why mealtime prayers were popular for a very long time. Lighting a candle at dinner becomes your mindful prayer and action (If you live with others you may wish to take turns so everyone’s involved).
Another possibility would allowing time for some pre-sleep meditation and reflection. Light a candle (I suggest a safety conscious, self-enclosed one just in case you fall asleep) and think about your day. Ask yourself if the Divine provided any nudges or guidance, and if so what those moments meant to you. Be thankful for your blessings, and then blow out the candle so you can sleep with joy and Spirit in your heart.
As you can see, these types of activities aren’t overly time-consuming or fancy. The point is that you’re making a space for the Divine in your life.
What to Expect with Candle Magic Outcomes
“Common sense is the wick of the candle.”
−Ralph Waldo Emerson
What kind of results can you expect from Candle Magick? Quite honestly, for such a simple method you can see some pretty impressive manifestations. Plenty here depends on you. How much focus you give the spell, how much support you provide afterward, and how much you trust in your magick all influence the results. This seems like a non-answer, but it’s the most honest one. Anyone who tells you that a magickal process will absolutely work perfectly (perfect, in this case, meaning exactly as you anticipate) 100 percent of the time is a charlatan. Magick is not now, nor has it ever been, a perfect art. There are too many variables to make that kind of statement. Nonetheless, Candle Magick is a very viable tool for your alchemical kit, and you’ll find it very satisfying.
Based on, “Mastering Candle Magic,” by Patricia Telesco. All rights reserved.