Candle Magic

Candle Magick: A Beginner’s Guide

Candle magick is the most commonly practiced form of sorcery because it’s embraced by both the mundane and the witching world. It’s kind of funny when you think about it, how many people will look down their nose at witchcraft while lighting a lave

When we think of having a passionate drive toward something, we think of fire. A phoenix “rises from the ashes”, we get a “fire in our belly” over a juicy idea, and when we’re doing well at something we’re “on fire.” That’s no coincidence. Flames are an accessible, magickal tool, and candles make it easy to direct that energy.

Before engaging in candle magick, be sure to set the scene. Tidy your area both physically and energetically. You may wish to cast a circle, light some cleansing herbs, or you might just take a moment to picture you and your space bathed in pure, radiant light. 

Do whatever you need to do to separate this magickal time from your everyday life. Keep all of your tools nearby, so there’s no rushing out of the room once the tone has been set.

But perhaps we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let’s prepare.


Candle Colors 

Each candle color corresponds to a different intention. Before heading into a ritual, you should know what you want. You may surround your candle with items that complement your spell. We’ll give you some ideas for simple candle accessories below. 

Bonus budget candle tip: birthday cake candles come in a variety of colors, burn quickly (for fast results!), and are usually not much more than $1 for a pack.

Black- Protection and banishing magick. Use this when you’re feeling wary of a person or situation, need to cut ties with someone living rent-free in your head, or want to break a bad luck streak. Most compatible with: salt, the waning moon.

Red- Sex, passion, and attraction magick. Use this when you want to turn heads and dial up the heat on your sex life. If it’s lasting love you’re after, you may want to pair this with a pink candle to avoid a lusty fling. Most compatible with: red rose petals, the waxing or full moon. 

Green- Money, fertility, new ventures. Green is the color of new life and fresh starts, like the feeling of seeing that first blade of grass poking up through the snow. It’s also the color of money, but it represents more than that. It’s a feeling of lushness, having all your needs provided for. Use this when you want to invite new growth into your life- whether that’s in your wallet or a baby bump. Most compatible with: coins, the waxing or new moon.

Blue- Clarity, Calmness, and Communication. Have you been having trouble seeing eye to eye with someone lately? Are emails and questions going unanswered? Blue candle magick opens the lines of communication and calms you down so you can meet frustrating situations with love. Most compatible with: water or watery symbols (seashells, clear blue crystals), swords, Wednesdays. 

Purple- Spirituality, speaking to the other side, tapping into your intuition. Purple is associated with the crown chakra, our connection to the divine powers that be. Use this along with divination practices, when you wish to have prophetic dreams, or when trying to commune with a lost loved one. Most compatible with: selenite, full or new moon, Samhain.

Pink- Self-love, romance, compassion. Pink is a soft, cuddly color. It’s best used to mend a rift, invite more cuteness into your love life, or give yourself a break when your self-esteem is at an all-time low. Most compatible with: pink rose petals, rose quartz, the waxing moon. 

White- Clearing the air, or a stand-in for other candles. If you’re looking to banish a curse with a black candle, consider also using one in white to restore balance in your life. 

White is a blank canvas, and most drug stores carry white emergency candles. So if you’re hard-pressed to find something green but rent is due tomorrow, grab a white candle and surround it with rich imagery. The spirit world will get the picture. Most compatible with: Palo Santo, any trinkets that clarify your intention, any day or time.


candle making

Making Your Own Candles 

If you have a little more time on your hands and like to get crafty, consider making your own candle. You can make the whole process a ritual by focusing on your intention as you prepare your tools and ingredients. Add essential oils, colors, herbs, even crystals if you’re feeling fancy. This is the ultimate in candle magick because it’s uniquely you.

Reading The Signals

You may speak your intention to the candle, but be sure to listen when it talks back. Candles have ways of communicating with their witchy friends.


candsle ritual

 Reading Candle Flames

  • Flickering Flames- This is often a sign that someone on the other side wants to communicate with you or make their presence known. It can also indicate that angels or luminous ancestors are surrounding you with love. If you aren’t sure what message may be coming through, try combining this ritual with a trusted divination practice, or ask the spirit for a dream.
  • Pop, Fizz- Unseen forces are working against you. Someone may (even unintentionally) be meddling with your magick, or you may have to cleanse your space of lower vibrational entities.
  • Tall, Dancing Flames- There’s a lot of energy, but it has no outlet to plug into. Consider bringing more focus to your goals, or prepare yourself for a lot of twists and turns!
  • Tiny Flames- Access denied. The spirit world says “it’s not you, it’s me.” This just isn’t the right time to manifest this particular desire. Accept the message with love, and ask the universe to guide you in a more suitable direction.
  • Slow and Steady, Even Flame- No muss no fuss, ask and ye shall receive. If your burn feels pretty “normal,” you’ve picked a good time and you’re ready to manifest your desires.

  • candle smoke

    Reading Candle Smoke

  • No Smoke- Little to no smoke can be a good sign, but it may mean your intention is going to happen slowly, not in the dramatic transformative way we often want it to!
  • Lots of Smoke- Your intention has been communicated, and the spirit world has received your request. Keep your eyes open for signs.
  • White Smoke- White smoke with a light, sweet scent is generally regarded as a positive sign.
  • Black Smoke- Black smoke with a strong scent means you need to clear the path. Consider a cleansing or uncrossing spell, something is in the way at the moment.

    Reading Candle Wax 

  • Clean Burn- Great work! Slow and steady wins the race. You’re on the right track. This is the best outcome because it means your results will be well balanced.
  • Wax Drips Toward You- That which you desire, also desires you. If you are looking to attract something, it’s working. This may be a bad omen in banishing spells, you’re still too connected to the source.
  • Wax Drips Away From You- Great omen for banishing work, not so great for everything else. This intention may not suit your current path. 
  • Wax Drips All Over The Place- This plan needs some focus. The waters are too muddy right now. An outside force has meddled with your magick, perhaps even for your own protection.

  • candle dressing

    Dressing a Ritual Candle

    Using something sharp (but safe!), feel free to carve your intentions into your candle. Depending on how much wax real estate you have to work with, this could be a small sigil or a full-blown letter to the divine energy you wish to work with. 

    Choosing an oil that matches your intent (or something neutral like olive oil), anoint your candle. There are different schools of thought on this, but the easiest method to remember is upward motions for manifesting, or downward for banishing. 

    If you are using a large pillar candle, dress the top in a clockwise motion to invite things in, or counterclockwise to push things away.

    If you’ve got a particularly nasty energy in your midst, or just want something very urgently, you may prefer a twisting or “wringing” motion with both hands on your candle. (This is obviously best suited for thin, taper candles.) 

    If you are banishing one thing (debt) while bringing in another (abundance), you may use a similar twisting motion to work from the middle and outward.

    Some magickal workers will carefully dress their candles from the top to the middle, then the bottom to the middle. This is to draw things in. Reverse the motion (middle to top, middle to bottom) to kick things out.

    Experiment with different ways of dressing your candle until you find something that you can do easily while focusing on your intention.

    You may also wish to roll your dressed candle in appropriate herbs. Not only will this make your candle look and smell amazing, but it will also make your intentions crystal clear.

    Bonus budget herbal tip: Break open an herbal tea bag and spread the contents on a plate. Now you’re ready to roll for less than $5.

     candle ritual

    A Simple Candle Ritual to Get Started

    Prepare in advance:

    • A candle matching your intention.
    • Any objects you wish to use to clarify your objective.
    • Oils
    • Herbs
    • Something to light your candle with. (Perhaps a lighter in a corresponding color?)
    • A spiritual call to action, something short you can chant, or something longer you may read aloud. Work with your strengths here. If you are easily tongue-tied, try a simple phrase. 

    Cleanse your space. Consider playing music that puts you in a magickal mood, or something with lyrics that speak to your desire. 

    Dress your candle and light it.

    While sitting or standing comfortably in front of the flame, make your call to action. When it feels like the energy has “set in,” sit in quiet contemplation, gazing into the flame with a soft focus. Picture your desire manifesting itself. You can do this for as long as you like. 

    You may start to see images in the flame or even intuit messages. Relax, and let it all wash over you. It may be a good idea to keep a recording device nearby so you can keep track of any thoughts and revelations.

    When it feels as if the magick is “done,” thank the Universe/whichever deity you are working with for hearing your petition. Thoughtfully, snuff the candle out. You may use a snuffer, a wax dipper, or if the candle has a lid, just screw it back on. Some people are adept at snuffing a candle out by licking their fingers and “pinching” the flame. You should only do this if you feel safe and comfortable, as it’s obviously risky.

    Magickal purists will tell you that blowing out your candle will blow away your magick, but if that is your only option, cup your hand behind the flame and try to extinguish it in one quick blow. 

    If your candle has not burned all the way down, reserve some time over the next few nights to reaffirm your goals, and spend at least 5 minutes with the flame. If you’re more of a “one and done” kind of person, consider a small birthday candle. But keep in mind- some magick works better over the course of a few days, especially if it’s a big ask.

    Check out our amazing selection of candles in the Occultish Emporium below!




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