Preparing for Candle Magic
You’ve washed your hands, chosen your candle and prepared it, and you’re all ready to go! Now for the most important thing in any form of magic— your intent. All of the things that we use day to day or specifically for magic are simply tools for your intent. Your focus and thoughts are what is truly magical in any ritual you perform.
The best way I have found to focus all my thoughts is simply to hold the candle in my hands and close my eyes. I then visualize exactly what it is I want this candle spell to achieve. For example, if I want to send healing to someone, I think about that person being well and healthy. If I need to increase my confidence , I imagine myself overflowing with confidence and stability. I imagine all these thoughts and images pouring through my hands into the candle I’m holding.
There is no time limit to how long you should hold the candle. Trust in yourself. You will know when the candle is ready; it will feel full of your intent. Place the candle in a proper holder so it can burn safely for however long it needs to. Remember that lots of hunky firemen aren’t going to help you in your spell casting, however gorgeous they may be!
Light your candle, keeping all your intent and focus on it. Try not to drift off to thinking about what’s for tea. Once your candle is lit, imagine its flame transforming your intent and carrying it up and out into the world. If you can, leave the candle to burn down safely to complete your spell.
If you can’t leave your candle to burn down safely, what do you do? If you are a really prepared and organized person, you will have selected a candle with the correct burning time for your spell, allowing you to be present throughout the whole burning time. This is not me! Rarely am I that organized. So the question arises of whether to blow out the candle or leave it to burn. Or should you use a snuffer to extinguish the flame, or perhaps your fingers (ouch)?
Well first, never leave the candle to burn down alone. This has nothing to do with magic— it is just common sense. Any flame should be thought of as a toddler— unpredictable and capable of destroying everything in your home in a flash!
There is a school of thought that says you should never blow out a candle used in magic; some think that this blows out the essence of the light created by the flame. I am not of this school at all! I believe the essence of magic is you yourself. And what could be more magical than your own breath? I always blow out my candles if I can’t leave them to burn down . And I always take that moment as an opportunity to mix my breath with the spell that has just been cast and to send thanks for its successful working. I see this as a perfect moment to give a final personal touch to what I have been doing and to rightly send thanks for any help the spell may have received. Manners are everything here!
If you choose to use a snuffer or your fingers, that’s good too. It’s all a matter of personal preference. A bent spoon can make a wonderful snuffer, but please be careful with the fingers thing. Pain is not necessary in spell casting!
So now that you know the basics of candle magic, you have a wealth of possibilities available to you for using this way of spell casting . Take it slowly and find out what works for you. But if you want to experiment, here are a few ideas that I use:
Write down your spell on a piece of paper and burn it in the candle flame (always remembering those fingers— get some tongs). You can get really fancy here, with different colored paper for each type of spell if you like, but I always use white. Try writing just a few simple words to start. You can progress to more elaborate verses as you get more experienced. Remember, words are an extremely powerful thing and you must think carefully before writing them down. Be sure of your intent and state it plainly.
Wrap a piece of thread around your candle before lighting it. Imagine that your intent is spiraling with the thread. This can be a great focus and a wonderful way to create something to carry with you at the end of your spell to keep it going. Spells for confidence and money in particular can become more effective if you carry part of them with you. At the end of the burning, take the thread and some of the wax with you and carry it in a small pouch so you have it on hand whenever you need a boost.
A pinch of an appropriate herb sprinkled into the flame during the spell can add the power of that herb to your work. There is a list of common herbs and their associations in the appendix. Keep some small jars or bags of dried herbs especially for this purpose. Dried herbs certainly work better in the flame and are quite often cheaper. And they are certainly a lot easier to store. Remember to use only a pinch, however. It’s the magical element of these herbs you are using here. Any more and you’re playing with fire, literally!
Don’t forget to light a candle of thanks. So often, we get caught up in what we are doing in spell work and forget all about that purest of intentions— to give thanks. I like to light a candle in the evening. I do it almost every day and I use this moment to send out thanks and healing to all that need it. Just focus that intent into the candle and light it in the same way as before. If we all did this a little more, I really believe it could make a huge difference in the world. Send out that warm healing vibe as often as you can to all you can. It is one of the most important parts of who we are and what we do with our magic!
Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year