Candle Magic advice and tips
I have written this essay with the intention of offering the benefit of my personal experience in the area of candle magic. Far too long have various authors and self appointed authorities on this subject and the subject of magical practice caused confusion to the very basic nature of the art of candle magic. In example to the various misconceptions some authors insist on specific colors of candles for a specific spell or that you can not use matches to light your candles or even that you can not work candle magic without dressing it with oil. Admittedly in my early years of magical practice approximately 19 years ago, I too was led astray by some of this nonsense and I would like to spare you some of this confusion. Because frankly and I mean no insult to your intelligence ever, these ill conceived notions of candle magic are a waste of time and quite stupid at their core nature. Wasting your thoughts on such nonsense only weakens your thoughts towards your intended magical goals.
I will break down the essay with the specific aspects of candle magic to clarify some of the most common and silly misconceptions which exist in the world of self proclaimed magical masters and so called authorities. So either get yourself a cup of coffee, tea or crack open a beer (however you relax) and sit back and read on maybe you will find something of use in my essay.
The candle and its magic
Is a candle magical in and of itself? No, it is the flame of the candle which is what we are making the magic; the candle and its wax are the fuel for the fire. In essence the candle is a vehicle for the creation of the magic contained in the flame, it is a tool if you will and yes it is a magical tool so you should treat your candles as magical tools. You should give your chosen candle a basic cleansing, before dedicating it to the use of a magical spell. Does this cleansing have to be complicated? Not at all simply rinse your candle with some cool water in a faucet and state in your own words that you are cleansing the candle of any impurities it may have acquired and that you are dedicating it to the use of your spell. Dry off your candle and it is officially cleansed, no need to use consecrated water or incense or some elaborate invocation.
Basic candle magic: Items candle, and nail to scribe with, matches, paper, pen or pencil and a place to burn your candle.
At the very core a candle spell is very much prepared like its ancestor the oil lamp for the very same purpose, stripped of all other modern nuances a candle spell is performed in this way: The dedicated candle for the spell is placed on an altar or designated spot with its basic intention. To help shape the intention of your spell lets use a taper candle (natural wax not colored) as the example, you can carve your intention with the nail right into the wax if it is to affect someone in particular for whatever reason you can also write their name on a piece of paper and place this under the candle in its holder. If you have some kind of link to the person such as a picture this can go under the candle or next to the candle where you can see the image. Of note it helps to think through your spell before you prepare the candle, define the intention and its end result then when you have this clarity your prayer can be simplistic and to the point. More so your intent is clear and easily placed into the preparation of your candle spell.
Assuming your candle is prepared and ready now you must light it state your prayer of intention and settle down to focus on the outcome of the spell, personally I like to focus on the flame looking into it seeing result of the spell coming to be. When you find that your focus has faded take some time to relax and look at the candle and try to note any signs with the candle and how it is burning. I will not go into how to read the candle flame because there are some good books that teach this fundamental aspect of candle magic. What I will say is that with time and experience you will be able to read the flame and the way the candle is burning. Allow the candle to burn completely down and when this is done also burn the petition paper this symbolizes sending off your spell into the ether to do its work. Like any spell you cast whether with candles or otherwise it is important to not think about the spell or its results once the spell is in motion, by obsessing you are blocking the spell from becoming reality.
This of course is a purely magical spell stripped of any religious or magico-religious influences and in a purely magical practice would be the norm. Of note the oil lamp version of this basic spell would only involve a paper with the written intent because there is no wax to scribe.
Contemporary examples of this basic candle magic exist wherein the practitioner only uses the candle as above and does not use anointing oils. The Brujos in the rural parts of Mexico and the Brujos in Guatemala use candles in this way because in such poor communities one does not always have the luxuries of the modern world yet their spells are very effective.
Dressing oils for candle magic:
The use of dressing oils in candle magic is something that can enhance or give considerable potency to your candle magic spells. What is important is using a magical oil that is made with the correct herbs and related elements that are designed for the spell in mind. These oils you either make yourself or if you buy these oils, make certain that you buy oils from a person that makes these oils themselves and knows what they are making.
Beware of someone that tells you they are the best or their products are the best or that if you buy from other than this person that you are making a mistake etc, etc. Even worse they will tell you that your magic will not work if you do not buy their products. Such individuals are obviously hiding the fact that they are lacking knowledge in making magical spiritual products and hope to only make a quick sale. Unfortunately in our early learning phases of magic we are all vulnerable to this kind of exploitation. I speak from experience which is why I ultimately made my own magical products and is in fact the very reason I sell these items because some people just do not have the resources or understanding to make such items.
Ultimately you should be able to make your own magical items and this can only happen for you with experience and the study of plants and their use in magic. In addition to understanding the oils used as a base and related issues all of which are very important in the making of magical oils. Not knowing the differences in such matters can be counter productive again this is something you learn with experience.
Of course the study of herbs for magical practice is vast subject and one that can make a whole book in itself. I was fortunate to have had some of the teachings of herbs handed down to me from my family which in turn enriched my own study of herbs in the use of magical work.
It is wise to avoid the mass produced pseudo occult oils notoriously sold in most spiritual supply shops these are usually just perfumed colored mineral oil. I say most because in the distant past I knew some reputable witch shops in Los Angeles that made their own oils and were good at their trade.
Anointing candles: Personally I place a few drops of the oil on the index finger of my strong hand (right hand for me) and then I like to anoint the candle from the center up all around and then from the center down all around the circumference of the candle. While I am anointing I focus on the intention of the spell and this further magnetizes the intent into the spell candle.
Remember although not needed for candle magic, dressing oils can give an incredible boost in potency to your candle magic spells.
Dressing candles with herbs:
The use of powdered herbs to dress candles is actually the precursor to the candle oils and form a historical part of the magical past. In Mexican Brujeria as well as Central American Brujeria this practice is still in use because in these parts of the world the tallow candle is still used and is very common in more rural areas. Tallow candles being made from either beef or mutton lard are sticky and so were often rolled in the herbs intended for the spell.
These are the candles that the Spanish missionaries in Post Conquest Mexico taught our indigenous ancestors to make and so have become a continued tradition of candle craft in Mexico which is circa 500 years old.
To this day you can still find these candles even in Los Angeles as they are still requested by many brujas, brujos, and healers; I know a yerberia in South East Los Angeles in Norwalk (my home town) which still sells these tallow candles. In fact I purchased some in Nov 2007 when I went to visit my family of course the long trip back to my new home called for storing these in an ice chest.
Although most candles you will find will be largely of paraffin wax you can still use the herbs by sprinkling the herbs in the candle as it burns or more advanced methods call for hollowing the base of a candle to fill with herbs.
With some candles this is difficult and with others it is easy of course these are more elaborate techniques which are used to give greater potency to your candle magic. If you are using the glass encased 7-day candles then it is as easy as sprinkling the herbs at the top of the candle.
Note: When you begin adding herbs and other elements to the base of a candle they become amuletic in nature converting the basic candle into a magical charm of great strength. The key is to know what to place in the candle which works harmoniously with your magical intention.
Rather than go over the actual colors that are used in Candle Magic which varies in opinion from tradition to tradition. I only briefly want to state that colors can be very useful in shaping your intentions and should be used if they are available. However the lack of having specific colored candles should not negate or prevent you from practicing candle magic. I will relate some examples from my own personal experiences to help illustrate my point.
Four years ago I moved from Los Angeles to a small town above Sacramento in this small town I no longer have the luxury of the yerberias and botanicas which carried the candles I like to use in my magical work. I can still purchase some of the 7 day candles in some of the colors I use yet some are never available to me so driving 500 miles to visit Los Angeles for candles is both impractical and out of the question. Because of this I started to get back to the basic understanding of candle magic and when green candles were not available for money or prosperity spells then I would use a plain white or natural wax color candle.
Did this negate the effectiveness of the spell? Not at all the spells were as effective as if I had the green candles I use for this work, I still have the oils and herbs I use to prepare the candles for this work and using the oils and herbs with a natural colored candle worked as well as with the colored candle. The key was for me to remember the intention of the spell as the I worked the spell, and this I believe is the key for those who have grown using colored candles; who perhaps someday will find they don’t have a specific color candle for their work. Same is true of the times I did not have red candles which I use for love spells in such a case again the natural color candle worked well.
Black Candles are my all time favorite candle to have on hand because I find I always have use for these in my black magic work. These are the candles which I never am able to buy in this small town even in special order.
Yes I can order these online and have but the cost and time is sometimes not worth the effort. When I visit my family in Los Angeles I try to stock up on black candles however they do not last. In times past when I had some serious situation with an enemy or related dark magic work in which I didn’t have black candles I have used natural wax color with great success.
Being a creature of ambiance I do like to use the black candles when I have these. My point is that I have successfully used natural wax color when I didn’t have a black candle and things worked out the same.
Specialty shaped candles are also not a requirement and I rarely use these any more as much as I used them in my earlier years. They can help with visualization for a new practitioner and so can be helpful. Personally I use 7-day glass encased candles and the 50 hour glass encased candles in addition to household candles, taper candles and plumber’s candles. The only shaped candles which I will still use when available and currently I have a large supply of are skull candles and these are different from the common occult skull candles (I have a secret supplier) they are more natural wax color and are effective for all intentions related to calavera and necromantic spells. I may be selling these specially prepared with herbs, tierras and oils in the very near future for those that are interested.
A very minor misconception which I have run into in some books on candle magic which are considered popular is the prohibition of matches to light candles for magical work. These authors are under the silly impression that matches because of the sulfurous element in them will attract negative spirits due to brimstone’s classical use in conjuring demonic entities. It is a carried over belief from the old grimorios of Christianized Ceremonial Magic.
This is a quite silly idea bordering on superstition the tiny amount of sulfur in a match head is not going to attract demons or their attention. If this was so then demons would manifest around smokers who use matches as opposed to a lighter. To call forth malefic spirits requires more than brimstone which must be blended with other resins and the appropriate prayer to the demons being called forth. You can use a lighter or matches if you choose but to not use matches because of the sulfur element is ludicrous.
Yet you would be surprised how many practitioners have been affected by this ignorant claim that matches attract evil. These people who believe this silliness will use a lighter instead of matches and insist on not doing a candle spell if there is no lighter to use. I always use matches for candle magic and I have performed blessing work, protection and healing with candle magic and never had any trouble.
A final misconception is one which I saw in one the oldest books on candle magic Henry Gamache’s The Master Book of Candle burning; states that the use of tallow candles is prohibited in the “philosophy of fire” that it is both evil and satanic and is only used by practitioners of the dark arts. Of course I have seen newer authors speak of the avoidance of tallow candles and as I said it is simply a misconception. Think of the fact that all churches and other places at one time used tallow candles and although these religions can be disputed in terms of theology, tallow candles were being used in a place of worship and divine reverence.
This is merely an opinion and honestly in Brujeria circles it is believed that tallow candles are more powerful for use in candle magic. I believe this benefit comes from the tallow being animal fat. Prior to the use of glycerin and vegetable oils use, beef and mutton fat were at one time was used as a base for salves and similar products for the body including soap. Animal fat is believed to metaphysically affect the human being’s animal nature more directly.
This in turn can make for some potent spells as it stirs the person’s animal nature. I have used both tallow candles and all other candles over the many years of my practice and when no matches were available I used a lighter. You do not have to use tallow candles yet they are a part of history and if you live in the country far from candle supplies, you may learn to make these tallow candles for your work they are ecologically friendly as they negate the use of petroleum by products and lard is easy to come by from the local butcher. We all have our preferences and in some cases matches are used symbolically in a spell but I will not explain how this is so because it is another topic I am relating to in a Brujeria book I am currently writing.
There are of course many ways in which candles are used i.e. positions of candles and patterns etc, these things are done when working on a large magical project which may involve many aspects of a situation.
For example breaking up a couple, or healing a marriage or various aspects of some other situation that will involve several people. That you would need 9 candles burning at the same time for a money spell or a love spell because, it will give more (energy) to the spell is really a waste of candles which it will not make the spell any stronger than the one candle properly prepared for the spell can already do. Sometimes candles are burned for nine consecutive days a novena this done for a very special cause and this is usually burning one candle per day/night as part of the novena.
Once you’ve performed your candle spell for however many days this lasts or a single burning. When it’s done forget about the work and let it manifest, if it never manifests for you then it is an unattainable goal or can not be achieved at the time. By lighting more candles for something that is not manifesting will annoy the fire spirits/elementals and can cause a blockage for you in this request or goal. Some people believe that the constant burning of candles on something that has not manifested will because of this imagined build up of energy make it manifest sooner. This is both silly and counterproductive experience has shown this to be true in my own practice. I offer you the benefit of my experience for what ever it may be worth. As a general rule more candles in a spell do not equal more power, this is defined by the correct oils and herbs.
As a final note of advice: This essay’s intention is to help those who wish to understand the basic principles of candle magic without confusion or superstition. Nor should my advice be taken as a rule or contradiction to what you have learned. It is meant as a supplement to your growth as a student and practitioner of magic. I have not offered specific spells or divinatory techniques of candle magic (reading the flame) because too many would be students are collectors of spells. If all you do is collect spells then you will never get to the essential principles of magical practice nor will you develop your magical abilities.
I have seen many self proclaimed master sorcerers fall short of understanding the basic concepts of magical work. Other times being collectors themselves will quote the information they collected from another source (usually from the many internet forums that exist in this day and age) to further glorify their alleged knowledge and authority.
My advice to those of you that truly wish to study and practice magic is to avoid those silly occult magic forums as they are a mine field of spell collectors from the very group owners down to the majority of its members. Nine times out of ten the owners of the forums themselves are not even sincere in their lack of knowledge. I once helped what I believed to be a “friend” manage her site while her internet service was down it was in my opinion pointless because in my efforts to actually teach, the spell collectors only wanted spells. My would be friend told me she was tired of the forum so I suggested that she shut it down and start over with a screening of those that wanted to truly learn something. She objected and kept the forum at the risk of losing her imagined status as an authority of that topic. And the forum continues to be inhabited by the spell collectors.
I hope this essay is of some help however minor it may be for those who are truly sincere in the studies of the magical arts for this is magic at its basic core.