Candle Magic Introduction for Wiccans, Witches, and Pagans
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Candlelight encourages happiness and contentment. There is a special ambiance and magick in the glow of a candle, and it was recognized by our ancestors. As early as the 4th century BCE, human beings were lighting some form of candle for pushing back darkness of night and the darkness of spirit that often surrounded them in a harsh world.
Candle Magic: Fire in your Soul
While our lives are not as difficult as theirs, they are certainly more complex. We also need that hopeful light –that glow and the happiness that comes from a single taper lit with thoughtful intention. Thus, Candle Magick remains one of the oldest, most widely utilized and respected methods in the metaphysical world. In this series on Candle Magic, we focus on mastery. Before that puts you off, here the term denotes and promotes more of an attitude, outlook, and approach more than absolute perfection. If we are walking our walk every moment of every day, our lives become an act of worship. From here, all else is simply icing on that proverbial cake (and in this case, we get the candles, too!).
Is Candle Magic “Low Magick”?
Some of you might be thinking that Candle Magick is by its very definition “low magick” −magick of the common people practiced in simple, functional, and sublime ways. You are correct! We need not reinvent the wheel here. If the method isn’t broken−why fix it? Candle Magick can’t be any more approachable and adaptable than it is already.
What we are doing now is adding sound constructs and fresh ideas to that foundation. You can apply Candle Magic to your everyday needs and goals with little fuss. Are you tired of being in a dead-end job? Are you looking for coven mates that share your magickal vision? Do you want to build spiritual kinship−a tribe with whom you feel wholly at home? Do you long for intimate, lasting companionship? You can accomplish all of these things, and many more, through the creative, willful, and determined application of Candle Magick. But don’t stop there. Include one other very important aspiration−your growth as a magickal person.
Candle Magic and Spirituality
It has been said that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, In that context, each of us is a candle in our own right. Your soul is the candle’s eternal wick, your heart, the flame. Your mind and your desire to learn becomes the air that gives that fire life, and your body is the wax. As you begin to understand this symbolism, you can burn ever more brightly and come closer to fulfilling your quest for enlightenment.
So how does all this make our candle magick efforts “advanced?” Perhaps “advanced” is a poor choice of words. It’s certainly not more complex, time-consuming, or difficult than before. Rather, we mastering our practices and art, so they live outside the proverbial box. Advance them with your sincerity, your intensity, and your determination. Advance then based on your patience, creativity, and sensitivity. Candle Magick like any spiritual method, advances as far and as fast as you allow it-as far and as quickly as you allow in your own spirit!
Thoughts on Candle Magic Mastery
Acquaintance without patience is like a candle with no light.”
− Iranian Proverb
According to the dictionary, the root word for “advance” means promoting, bringing to the forefront, enhancing, improving, and moving forward. These definitions give us a fine place to start our journey toward mastering candle magic. In this setting “advanced” doesn’t necessarily mean more complex, only a little more creative, insightful, and responsible. The mastery of candle magic promotes this ancient art by further establishing it as an accepted and adored metaphysical method.
Candle Magick came out of the warm and wise traditions of everyday folk. The process indicated for nearly all Candle Magick efforts is reasonably straightforward, and better still you can find candles at nearly every store. So, let’s taking the best of what we have from Candle Magick’s history and put our own spin on it. Rather like leaving your fingerprint on a glass, take time, experiment with your media (namely candles), impresses them with your energy signature. This, in turn, leads to wholly unique and meaningful results.
Simple yet Sublime
While Candle Magick is a simple art form, it can have sublime beauty. We need to raise the bar in how we perceive this ancient practice. Candle Magick is just as powerful and practicable as any other metaphysical method. Fancy does not always mean better. Spiritually speaking, simplicity does not equate to wimpy results, and our ancestors were not foolish. If a process didn’t yield results, then they stopped and tried something else. The straightforward nature of Candle Magick makes it loved by most spiritual seekers. In our busy world, simple and functional is good!
Beyond this, magick has always been about creating changes. We face environments daily where transformations are desirable. To meet that need, let’s bring our magickal methods to the forefront of everyday life. Candles represent a beautiful way for achieving that goal without having a door sign reading, “Witch within.” How many people do you know personally who have candles in their house but aren’t Wiccan or Pagan? This subtlety is very important for those practitioners who, because of personal circumstances, cannot be wholly out of their proverbial broom closet.
The inner Kitchen Witch sees the practicality here. You don’t have to go much further than your pantry for all the ingredients used in Candle Magic. However, are there ways of personalizing pre-formulated spells for a better result? You bet!
Adapting and Personalizing Prefabricated Candle Magick Spells
“The best candle is understanding.”
− Welsh Proverb
Using pre-prescribed spells saves time, the results aren’t always as satisfying, especially if something seems amiss at first glance. One step toward adeptness in Candle Magic is being able to recognize when a process, or its components, aren’t quite right for you. Therefore, it’s time to put our thinking caps on. How can we individualize those spells, so they manifest in the most successful and fulfilling way possible?
Poorly Crafted Spells
When you look at a spell, and it feels off, ask yourself where the problem lies. Is it the components, the symbolism, the wording, the focus? If the components are the issue (either because you don’t have the ones recommended, or don’t want to work with those items), that’s one of the easiest things to fix. For example, if you don’t have the suggested aromatic oil, find an alternative. For example, if you’re fresh out of rose water with which to anoint your candle in a love spell, you could use any other oil vibrationally aligned with love. Options include lavender, jasmine, vanilla, or violet (among many others).
What about components that modern practitioners no longer use, or those with which he or she may be unfamiliar? The same type of substitution holds true. It is, however, important that you fully understand the contextual purpose for the ingredient. If, for example, you read a spell that calls for dabbing the bottom of the candle with Treacle, the natural reaction from most folks would be, “What the heck is Treacle?” That’s just the old name for molasses, and it makes an excellent component for symbolizing sticking with a goal. In this case, it was just a matter of doing a little research to fully appreciate the meaning of the original spell rather than substituting anything. Don’t have molasses? How about glue or bubble gum?
Meaning IS Magic
The example of molasses brings up an important point that cannot be stressed enough. Meaningfulness is nothing less than essential in magick. While discerning the meanings of oddly spelled, older words can be time-consuming it’s worth it. If you don’t understand what you’re supposed to use and why, you won’t be able to find a suitable substitute, and/or the spell WILL NOT work for you. There’s no mental connection to the process or the symbols, and therefore it produces no energy.
Similarly (and this may sound a bit militant), if you’re going through the motions just to impress someone−stop right now! Magick is between you and the Universe. If you do anything that breaks personal ideals or taboos, any magic created is likely to go awry. Usually, the results are not pretty.
”Taboo” Magic Spell Components
Speaking of taboos, there are old spells that include unacceptable ingredients by modem standards. For example, many of the ancient Grimoires include spells calling for blood because it’s a very personal and very powerful component. Now, in our health-conscious times, avoiding that ingredient make sense. Change this up by using an ingredient of the right color like tomato juice.
The important thing in all cases of adaptation is maintaining the continuity of symbolism. So, if you have issues with the imagery or items used in a spell, change them. Just make sure your changes make sense. Let’s say the spell’s instructions call for carving an upward-pointing arrow representing an increase of energy. You, however, prefer the mathematical sign for “greater than” (>). The solution is simple. Carve the mathematical sign on the candle instead. It still maintains the basic value of all parts of the spell but means more to you when you look at it.
Writing and Speaking Magic Spells
Next, we consider the wording. Let’s face it, very few of us find that Shakespearean style prose comes tripping off the tongue. We’re not sure we’re ready for a Rap style invocation either. Read over any verbal components and say them out loud. Does anything stick on your tongue or feel completely foreign? Consider changing those words and phrases. Focus is everything in spellcraft. If you’re stumbling over your words, you have less energy to give to results.
This is also a good time to mention any spells that include words in foreign languages. Please have a working knowledge of that language, or minimally someone who can teach you the correct pronunciation before using any such incantation. Incorrect inflection, tone, or pronunciation dramatically changes the meanings of some foreign words and phrases. Unless you enjoy uncontrolled surprises in your spellcraft, know what you’re saying, how to say it, or substitute words from your native tongue!
This brings up a good point for readers for whom English is a second language. If you are more comfortable using Spanish, French, or German go ahead and translate your spells into that language. Our minds react to language in very specific ways. There are very good reasons for working with a familiar linguistic construct.
Magickal Operations: Purpose and Intent
What about the spell’s focus? You may come across very well-constructed ancient spells that you would never consider using for the purpose for which they were designed. For example, one spell says to put a nail in the footprint of an enemy to cause him or her harm (similar to using a poppet). While the White Witch recoils at such a dark deed, the symbolic value really grabs some attention. To adapt this concept for Candle Magick, devise a karmic spell by pushing a nail through a candle while reciting an incantation. Do no harm. Simply turn that energy back to the source. Let the candle burn to that point (akin to having an X that marks the spot). From there your magick takes flight.
Useful Ideas for Candle Magic Spell Adaptations
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”
− Father James Keller
- Rather than using one candle, use several arranged in a symbolic pattern
- Make Candle Magick a group effort with each person bringing and lighting a significant candle.
- Move with a candle through a pattern (literally putting your magick into action)
- As you light the candle, remember your purpose; As you put it out, it signals closure for the spell.
- Turn candles clockwise in their base a symbolic number of times for generating positive “spin,” and counterclockwise for banishing.
- Turn the candle over and light the bottom thereby “turn” the energy.
- Melt the candle completely for banishing. This provides the visual impact of unwanted energies disappearing.
- If you’re going to be doing a lot of Candle Magick, seriously consider buying a small portable fire extinguisher. Accidents do happen; Safety first applies to magick, too!
- Divide the candle into sections for units of time (they should be equidistant, but need not be perfectly clocked). Burn a symbolic number of units of the candle that reflect your goal. For a partnership spell, burn two units. For money spells, burn four, a number associated with wealth.
- If you freeze a candle first, lighting it helps “warm” things (a symbol particularly useful in love and relationship spells). The extra benefit? The candle burns longer.
- Alter your chosen candle’s shape and aroma so that both symbolize the circumstance and need.
- Shape some spare wax around a wick into an image representing your goal. Using the law of sympathy for guidance. Sympathy simply means “like attracts like” and it is the theory behind poppet-making as well.
- Use Feng Shui to help choose a suitable location for your goal
- Place your candle in an Elemental location: Earth (north) for mundane matters like money and grounding, Water (west) for emotional matters, Fire (south) for energy and purification, and Air (east) for communication and creativity.
- Make your own candles when possible. You can time their creation using propitious astrological moment
- Layer colors in hand-dipped candles so that each layer burned represents part of the magickal process. For example, in Prosperity Magick, make the inside layer green and the outside layer brown for firm foundations.
- Knot the wick of your candle, binding wishes or energy inside the knot so it’s released when burning.
- Choose the base of your candle so it represents your goal by its shape, color, or decorative patterns.
- Consider working your Candle Magick in a sacred space
- Create a special candle storage box where your tools will not get chipped or bent from heat. For protection, line it with a soft cloth that you can also use for polishing the wax. If you have separate boxes for each color, you can also add select essential oil beneath the cloth. Candles absorb the aroma and energy it represents over time.
Candle Magic Mastery Takes Time
As you can see, the process of adapting prefabricated spells isn’t that difficult. Think of the process as analogous to baking a cake. You can’t randomly substitute a component in this “recipe” that doesn’t mix well with the whole. We can’t add more of a specific energy signature than prescribed without having the entire magickal cake fall flat or lose stability. Basically, just take some time and think it through. You might have to try more than one time to mix it just right! Practice still makes perfect with Candle Magic.
Based on “Mastering Candle Magic,” by Patricia Telesco. All Rights Reserved.