Updated: Nov 7, 2019
There are many ways to perform spells, and many tools and ingredients a witch can choose from to help strengthen their power; oils, herbs, a full moon, consecrating tools, cauldrons, poppets, fire and water to name a few.
If you’re new to magick and spell work, the thought of creating your own spells can be daunting. Where do I start? What items do I need? Do spells only work during a full moon? What do I chant?
Candle magick is a great way to practice your spellcasting and doesn’t require anything more than a candle and your intentions. By harnessing the power of fire (the element of transformation) candles are used to bring change.
The basic principles of candle magick are:
Set a clear intention – why are you doing this spell and what do you want the outcome to be? Be positive and specific, for example “I want £500 to pay my rent this month” is much clearer than “I need more money”. Intentions are best set in a single sentence. Be realistic, avoid making wishes and be careful not to interfere with free will.
Imagine what the outcome will look like – meditate on how you will feel when your goal is achieved. Picture yourself handing that rent money over to your landlord or jumping for joy when you get the phone call offering you your dream job.
Concentrate your thoughts on the result – don’t let your mind wander into a negative mindset. Focus purely on manifesting your desired outcome. A good tip here is not to think about how it will happen, instead keep your thoughts fixed on the end result.
What candles should I use?
There are many different types of candles available to purchase. Some of the most popular and common ones on the market are tealight candles, votive candles, taper candles and pillar candles; there’s also paraffin wax, soy wax, palm wax and beeswax candles to choose from.
Paraffin is the most common material used to make candles, however, being a petroleum by-product, they release harmful, toxic fumes when burnt. A safer alternative is soy wax or beeswax.
A medium-size taper or votive candle is usually best for spell work. Large pillar candles can take too long to burn for short spells, especially if you need to burn it all the way to the bottom to complete the ritual, but are ideal for multi-day spell work.
It is crucial that you only use new candles during your magickal work, never repurpose candles you have burned before. Candles absorb the energy around them so used candles will still hold the energy that was present during their previous use; this could impact on their effectiveness.
What are the colour associations?
Colours have their own unique energy. The green growth in Spring brings a feeling of fertility and abundance; red has a powerful and passionate ambience.
When choosing a candle, pick a colour that is associated with the intention of your spell:
Red: Passion, vitality, health, strength, courage, sexual power, lust, independence
Pink: Friendship, innocent love, compassion, nurturing, femininity, romance, spiritual & emotional healing, protection for children
Orange: Creativity, joy, vitality, fun, intellectual and legal matters, justice, business success, overcoming addiction, ambition
Gold: Money, fortune, abundance, prosperity, divination, luck, positive attitude, justice, health
Yellow: Protection, success, happiness, learning, memory, imagination, confidence, travel
Green: Fertility, money, fortune, abundance, prosperity, physical & emotional healing, growth, luck, marriage
Light Blue: Health, spirituality, peace, protection
Blue: Dream work, communication, forgiveness, good fortune, truth, fidelity, patience, astral projection
Dark Blue: Spiritual guidance, psychic ability, stop gossip/lies, ambition, overcome depression
Purple: Wisdom, ambition, power, contact with spirits, ward off evil, change luck
Brown: Earth magick, animal magick, house blessing, finding lost objects
Black: Banishing, grounding, wisdom, learning, protection, unhexing, repelling black magick
White: Purity, cleansing, peace, balance, spirituality, healing, truth
Silver: Psychic awareness, intuition, dreams, communication, gambling luck
Many witches use a white candle as an all-purpose substitute for any other colour.
When starting out on a magickal path you will learn to choose correspondences appropriate to your intentions, but the most important part of your journey will be discovering what has meaning to you personally.
What is ‘dressing’ a candle?
Before burning, it is important to build a connection between your energy and that of the candle. To do this, focus your thoughts and visualise your goal, then imagine yourself pouring your energy into the candle. While you are doing this, anoint the candle with oil; either grapeseed or essential oils are best. This is process is called ‘dressing’ a candle.
There are many ways to coat the candle, the two I find most effective are:
To bring something to you, starting from the top and rub the oil down to the centre of the candle then, from the bottom, rub the oil upwards to meet in the middle
To send something away, or remove it, start in the middle of the candle and work the oil outwards to the ends.
If you are including herbs in your ritual, roll the dressed candle in the dried herb until it is fully coated.
You may feel tingles in your hands while working on the candle or you could experience a pulsating sensation. This is the energy building up and a sign that the candle is being charged, but don’t worry if you don’t experience anything, it’s perfectly normal either way.
How do I perform a candle spell?
Keeping your intention in mind, select your candle and place it in a holder to keep it secure.
Always use caution when working with fire and never leave a burning candle unattended. Burn candle out of reach of children and pets. Always leave at least 10cm between burning candles. Do not burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire.
Dress your candle with some oil and add herbs and spices for extra energy if you need to.
Chants or incantations rise the vibrational energy and are best prepared before casting your spell. There are many chants available online or you can create your own – the most potent words will be the ones personal to you. Many spells include rhyming chants as they are easy to remember and feel powerful when spoken out loud. Remember to write your chants in your Book of Shadows.
For a bit of extra magickal help, check the lunar calendar to determine the best time in the moon cycle to perform your spell.
To bring something in cast it during the waxing phase.
To let something go cast it during the waning phase.
For full power cast it during a full moon.
Gather your magickal items – a coloured candle and holder, a piece of paper that is the same colour of your candle, a pen or pencil, oils and herbs that correspond with your intention.
Meditate until you are feeling completely relaxed. Take a few deep breaths and release any negativity.
Repeat your chant as many times as you need to until you feel the energy of your intention filling you up. A healing spell I created in my Book of Shadows, for example, was “Skin to flesh, dark to light, bind thee with love, shining bright. Blood to bone, night to day, let this sickness fade away. With harm to none this spell’s cast free, so I say it, so it shall be.”
Write your intention on the piece of paper, such as “My body is strong, healthy and free from dis-ease”
As you are writing down your intention, imagine what the outcome will look like. Using this example, imagine your body in its prime condition, moving without pain, your skin glowing with health. Keep your mind focused on this goal throughout the ritual.
Once you have finished writing, fold the paper while still chanting your incantation.
Set light to the candle.
Place one corner of the paper into the flame of the candle so it catches fire. Imagine the candle’s power is growing, filling your sacred space. Imagine it getting bigger, swelling out into the universe to bring you what you have manifested. Hold it there for as long as possible then transfer it to a fire-proof bowl or cauldron, leaving it to continue burning until it has turned to ash. Leave the candle to burn until the flame has extinguished.
Once the candle is completely out and the wax has cooled (it may or may not have burned all the way to the base, this doesn’t matter. Don’t re-light it.), bury it outdoors - the spell is complete.
Remember: No matter what magickal path you are on, or how many items you have on your altar, the most powerful element in any spell is you. Your intention and mindset are the foundations of any spell.
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