Claire has worked with crystals and many other aspects of paganism for over 14 years. She has also studied reiki up to master level.
Candle magic is relativity simple to perform and is often where people start on their magical journey. Suitable candles and accessories can be found in a huge variety of sizes, shapes and colours and can be bought in everyday places such as supermarkets and homeware shops. The use of scented and other candles has grown in popularity over recent years and this fact can be beneficial for people who wish or need to keep their magical beliefs private, as having candles around the house is unlikely to be seen as a concern. Although it is relativity simple in its ingredients and methods, candle magic can be used in creating powerful magic and manifestations in a wide range of applications. Some examples include spells to attract luck or love, protection, abundance and money spells or in spiritual development.
The Element of Fire
Candle magic uses the element of fire which has long been associated with transformation and change. When thinking about fire many people’s first thought is of it as a powerful uncontrollable force that brings destruction and sadness. While this is true, particularly when a fire is out of control or used in unsuitable surroundings, fire is also an element of transformation and creation. Fire can be used to soften or melt metals so they can be transformed into new items, it can be used to create warmth and light or in cooking food to keep us alive. Fire is connected to the sun, which in turn warms and lights the Earth so that life can flourish. Many cultures and religions regard fire as a symbol of the divine or great knowledge and power. Fire is often seen as a symbol of hearth, home and communities. Right back into ancient times, people have gathered around a fire to share meals and ideas or hold celebrations.
As with all aspects of magic, opinions can vary on the uses and associations of fire and this may be due to differences in how traditions view or work with this element or based on an individual’s personal experience or intuition. Personal experience can have a profound effect on our magical practices, for example, someone who has experienced the devastation of an out of control fire may associate it only with destructive forces or may feel afraid or unable to work with this element at all. For a person who grew up with positive experiences of fire, perhaps on happy family camping trips or having an open fire at home, fire can feel more comfortable, cosy and warm to work with or be around.
Some commonly noted correspondences of fire include:
- The zodiac signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius (the fire signs)
- The sun
- The colours red, orange, yellow and gold
- Divination (fire scrying)
Colours and Candle Magic
The colour of the candles used when casting spells or performing rituals should always be considered as carefully as any of the other ingredients used. Colour is an important aspect of any magic and can influence the effectiveness and outcome of your work. Using the colours that are best suited to your intent will help increase the strength and success of your work. White is considered to be suitable for any use, though it does have many associations of its own and so is useful to have on hand. The aspects connected to each colour can vary and not all cultures view colours the same, which can have an impact on how individuals view and work with each colour. In China, for example, red symbolises joy, luck and good fortune whereas in Western cultures it is more likely to be linked to anger, death, passion or heat. Each person may also view colours based on their personal experience or based on colours that they find pleasing or dislike.
Commonly used colour correspondences include:
- White - spiritual enlightenment, purification, protection, cleansing, clairvoyance, healing and truth-seeking. Full moon magic and removing doubts and fears.
- Yellow - creativity, unity, concentration, imagination and solar energy. Learning, changes, creativity and confidence.
- Gold – power, understanding, money and luck. Wealth, strength health and healing.
- Pink - romance, love, friendship and affection. Femininity, honour, service, friends and increasing affection.
- Red - associated with health, passion, love, strength, courage and willpower.
- Silver - removing negativity, increasing stability and developing psychic abilities. Lunar magic.
- Purple - power, success, ambition and independence. Purple has a long association with spiritual abilities.
- Brown – balance, helps in decision making and improves concentration and financial situations. Improve study skills and in locating lost items.
- Indigo – meditation, bringing situations to an end.
- Blue - wisdom, harmony or peace. Used when seeking truth and guidance.
- Green - prosperity, fertility, success or good luck. Attracting money, harmony and rejuvenation. Nature, growth, empowerment, courage and changing direction.
- Grey - neutralises negative influences.
- Black – understanding the unconscious, banishing and dispelling or protect against negativity or evil.
- Orange – strength, healing, attracting things towards you. Vitality, encouragement and energy.
- Peach - strength, protection, confidence and communication.
Almost any type of candle can be used in candle magic, however, they must be coloured right the way through and not just dipped in coloured wax to coat the outside. The type of candle that you choose may be determined by the spell or ritual, for example, they may need to be burnt over several days in succession so need to be on the larger side or may need to be burnt completely in one sitting. In this case, a smaller candle such as a tea light can be a great choice as they have a shorter burn time. Another type of small candle often used in magic, are known as chime candles. They are slim candles that are around 4 inches tall and available in a range of colours. You may also see these sold as spell candles. Tea light and votive or small jar candles are often easier to find than other types, particularly if you do not have easy access to witchcraft or metaphysical supply shops. These candles are often scented and this can add another layer of correspondence to your spell if you wish.
Candle magic should always be carried out in a safe area away from flammable items and where there is no risk of the candle being knocked over. Candles should be placed in appropriate holders and on a heatproof surface such as stone or glass candle plates. Extra care should be taken if spells require a long burning time and candles should never be left unattended.
Many candles for sale are made using paraffin wax which is created using petroleum. It is also possible to buy candles made from soy or beeswax. Soy wax candles can be more expensive than their paraffin wax equivalents but are often considered to be a more environmentally friendly and clean-burning candle. Soy wax is made from soybean oil, is colourless and non-toxic. It is often stated as having a longer burn time than paraffin wax but this can be affected by many factors other than the type of wax, such as wick size and other ingredients in the candle. In the case of scented candles, many people also find that soy wax candles give out a stronger scent and disperse this more fully around a room. They may also be made using genetically modified soybeans or grown using pesticides. Paraffin wax on the other hand is likely to cheaper and easily found in a range of shops. There is a lot of debate about whether paraffin wax releases harmful chemicals into the air as it burns but does not appear to be any definitive answer one way or another. It may also be the case that it is not the waxes that are harmful but the other ingredients that are added to the candle such as fragrances and preservatives that may present an issue. One example of this is could be allergy type issue related to fragrance oils but candles made using essential oils being fine. Beeswax candles are another option and can be bought ready-made or created simply at home. Sheets of beeswax can be purchased and made into candles without the need for any specialist equipment or high temperatures. The sheets can be used as they are or cut to size using a knife or scissors and then simply rolled tightly around a wick.
There are many books dedicated to candle magic as well as its practice being featured in many more. These range from informative books designed to teach all aspects of candle magic to books comprising only of spells. There are also many resources related to candle magic available online including educational materials and spells as well as candles, holders and other items. There is no shame or harm in working spells that have been created by other people and if this is all you wish to do then do not be discouraged or feel that your practice is somehow lacking. Already created rituals and spells can also be a great starting point either for candle magic in general or if you are working with a particular intent for the first time. This can help familiarise you with colour correspondences as well as whether to use meditation, visualisation or another technique alongside your candles. You may also pick up information on using other items to boost your candle works, such as herbs or crystals. As you gain more experience you may wish to adapt existing spells or create your own from scratch to suit your individual needs and intent. Always remember that your intent, desire and focus are far more important than fancy tools, words and beautifully arranged displays.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Claire
Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on August 04, 2012:
It could well be. Often different traditions will vary slightly. Amethyst (as a purple crystal) is a good crystal for psychic powers and thought to encourage intuitive dreams.
Kitty Fields from Summerland on August 03, 2012:
I always thought Purple was a good color for psychic powers and dreams too? Awesome hub! Voted up and awesome.
Christin Sander from Midwest on July 21, 2012:
Very interesting overview of the candle colors and their properties - voted up and interesting :)