Let’s Talk Witch – Candle Spells
Candle spells are probably one of the most commonly used spells for many witches. They are simple to perform and often used in a ‘set and forget’ manner.
A candle spell involves taking a candle of the appropriate colour, inscribing your wish upon it, anointing the candle with an oil blend in the direction most suited to your purpose and burning the candle. If you can’t find or can’t afford the right colour, a plain white or beeswax candle with ribbon or something else in the right colours around it will work just as well. Use what you have or can find. Colour choices can be based on what that colour means regarding the purpose or what day of the week and planetary influence you are wanting to draw help from.
Inscribing the candle can be done with an athame, although I always think you’d need to have a pretty big candle or this would be somewhat unwieldy. My favourite tool for inscribing candles is a pearl headed florists pin that came from my wedding bouquet. It’s big enough to hold comfortably, but small enough to write tiny letters if that’s what I need.
An alternative to inscribing candles is to write your wish on a small piece of paper— something shaped like a ribbon— or draw a sigil and wrap it around your candle. It can be held in place with melted candle wax. Make sure that your candle is on or in a heatproof dish as this will catch fire.
I’ve seen plenty of discussion about the directions used when inscribing and anointing candles. I learned it as finding the candle’s middle point and for a drawing to you or building spell, working from both ends toward that point. For destructive, removing or banishing then you’d work away from the middle toward each end.
A friend always holds the candle with the base toward her and for a drawing spell, will work from wick to base (always careful to hold the candle so that it’s working toward her). For a banishing, she’ll work from base to wick.
The thing is, you are the magic. Whatever you believe or feels right to you will work for you. As long as you’re clear about the intent behind your spell. You can rub the oil or inscribe your words around and around if that’s what you feel you need to do. (Although in some traditions twisting the candle when anointing is the practice for manipulative spells).
As you are anointing your candle, you need to be completely focused on your purpose. See it working, see (like a movie in your head) the results you want and see how they come about. I did a money spell and saw my partner reading the winning numbers online and calling out to me that we’d won $ 10,000. I could hear the excitement in his voice and see our numbers on the computer screen. We didn’t win that one, but a month later he won the same amount in a radio competition. As stated earlier, be specific, be clear about the way your results will occur. When you feel you’ve poured as much of this into your candle as it will take, light it.
Some books will tell you that you must never use matches because of their sulphur and brimstone content and that this will bring unwanted energies to your candle. Other books say that you should only use matches as they’re made from natural products not plastic and gases raped from the earth. Again— use what comes to hand and feels right to you. If it bothers you and you don’t have the right ones available, light another candle separately (birthday cake candles work well) and use that candle to light your spell candle.
Stay focused on your candle as it’s burning. Keep that movie running in your head. Raise some energy and direct it into the candle. How long you leave your candle burning is up to you.
• Do you want to repeat this process every night for a week? This can make for a heavy duty spell. If this is what you want to do, mark the candle into 7 equal sections before beginning, or there are Seven Day Candles available— they have seven ‘knobs’ up their length, but simple marks are fine.
• Do you want to repeat it once a month on the full moon and spend a long time reinforcing the energies of this spell?
• Do you want to make it all happen right now?
• Do you want to use part of the candle in another form of the spell?
For example tying it in a bundle with herbs and burying it or melting it down and making a talisman from it.
One of the other points of discussion around candles is whether they should be blown out, snuffed, pinched or left to burn out completely. I’ve read that blowing it out is Air overpowering Fire and is offensive to Fire elementals. Similarly, that snuffing or pinching is snuffing or pinching out your desire. Burning a spell candle out completely is often unsafe (especially if you have a candle that will burn for 6 or more hours) and is of no use if you are doing a seven day candle spell. I can give you reasons why each one is right and wrong. Don’t fool yourself that any form is more or less disrespectful than others. Either way, by putting out the flame, the Fire element is being overpowered. You need to follow what works for you.
Personally, I blow mine out and picture my wish being blown toward what is needed for it to get results. For some spells, I let it burn out completely (safely of course). Some of the smaller votives can be good for this, or if it’s a little wish, birthday cake candles can work too.
Disposing of the candle remnants is also a choice you will have to make. I used to bury candle ends to complete the spell, but was told that depending on the composition of the candle, this could be poisoning the earth it was buried in. One friend flung her ends into the fire, another saved them, then cleansed them and melted them down to make new candles from the ends. Yet another friend saves his partial spell candles and uses them again for a similar spell. The build-up of energy from repeated spells makes them more powerful.
There is plenty of folklore about paying attention to the way a candle burns. If the flame is abnormally high, if it dances, leans toward a specific direction or the ways the melted wax drips. Sometimes there may be a message in this, but first, please check that it’s not simply in a draft. Additionally a cheap candle may drip more than an expensive one. Too many people on this path see something spooky where there really isn’t. Be wary of seeing messages in everything you do. Sometimes a candle drip is just a candle drip.
An important note about candle safety— many house fires are caused by candles. It’s hard to imagine that the tiny flame on a candle can turn into something so destructive but it is still a fire regardless of size. Always make sure that nothing can blow or drape over your candle flame. Things like curtains, sleeves and long hair can easily blow onto a candle especially in a draft and lead to disaster. Another safety tip is that a metal candle holder will heat up and can cause whatever it is sitting on to smoulder. I’ve also lost a few glass candle holders when the candle burned down low. Some just crack but others explode into a shower of fine flying glass splinters. Never assume that a candle holder is heat-proof. Always check.
The Common Sense Spell Book