Candle How To Guide
Choosing a Candle
When it comes down to it, you can use any candle, even a birthday candle, to do spell work; but spellwork is an art, and like any art, if you have the right tools it is much easier to create what it is that you envision.
Quality really does matter. I've worked with hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of candles over the years and I love the candles that I work with because they are created with intention that supports your spellwork - When you choose the candle that is aligned with the work that you wish to do, you know that you are choosing a candle crafted with the correct colors, essential oils and herbs that support the work; one that is also poured at the correct time of the moon to activate what it is that you desire. When you start out with the correct tools, you give your work an amazing burst of power.
So, yes, to do good work, it is best to start with tools that are aligned with your intention. You get the power of Three - the candlemaker's energy, my energy in supporting your work and the energy that you put into your spell.
No matter what candle you choose, it is essential that it is a new candle, not one that you have burned before and especially not one that you have burned for another spell. You don't want to confuse and dilute the energetic intention!
When you choose a candle that is already dressed with oils and herbs and blessed for a certain outcome (for example a Prosperity candle for money or a Come to Me candle for love), you do not have to consider the importance of the color of the candle. But if you are choosing a plain wax candle and dressing it with oils and herbs yourself, you may want to choose a color that corresponds to your intention.
Here are candle colors and their corresponding intentions:
Green - Prosperity, money luck, growth, fertility, gambling luck, business, a good job, good crops
Red - Passionate love, energy, action, attraction, sexuality
White - Cleansing, clarity, blessing, healing, connection to spirits or the spiritual world, purity, rest
Black - Cursing, banishing, protection, reversing, repulsion, dark thoughts, sorrow, freedom from evil
Blue - Harmony, peace, calming, ideas, joy, kindly intentions, healing
Pink - Romantic love, friendship, sweet feelings, heart connection, affection, clean living
Purple - Empowerment, success, controlling, commanding, mastery, power, ambition
Lavender - Healing, calming, tranquility
Yellow - Optimism, prosperity, happiness, gambling luck, attraction
Orange - New opportunities, success, new ventures, change of plans, opening the way, prophetic dreams
Brown - Court case work, justice, balance, grounding
Gray - Neutrality, invisibility, working in "gray areas"
Black and White - Removing general negativity and bringing in blessings
Black and Red - Removing negativity surrounding relationships and bringing in love
Black and Green - Removing negativity surrounding money and bringing in prosperity
When Do I Light My Spell Candle?
My belief is that if you need a spell RIGHT NOW, then do your candle spell right away. But, if you can wait a few days to work with a time that aligns best with your intention, you can harness an extra boost of energy to add to your spell.
There are a few choices that you have when it comes to when to start your candle spell.
Working with Moon Phases
There are two basic phases of the moon that can be harnessed for candle magic
Waxing Moon - The time when the moon appears to be growing larger, from New (dark) Moon to Full Moon.Waning Moon - The time when the moon appears to be growing smaller, from Full Moon to New (dark) Moon.
The Waxing Moon is the time to do spell work about invocation, attraction and bringing in; for example, attracting a lover or bringing in more abundance.
The Waning Moon is the time to do spell work about clearing, removing and banishing; for example, clearing out negativity and removing unhealthy patterns.
Some candles should ideally only be used at the Waning Moon (such as Needed Changes or Reversing) or Waxing Moon (such as Attraction or Money Draw) but others (such as Healing, which can be used to release disease or invite in health or Heart which can be used to heal or open your heart) can be used at either time of the moon.
It is best to light your candle toward the early part of the moon phase and completely burn it before the phase of the moon completes.
Ideally, to really create some powerful magic, do two candles working with the waning and then the waxing phase of the moon. First, use a clearing candle in the Waning Moon phase, clearing the way for something new and then, use a drawing candle to invite in what you want in the Waxing Moon phase.
Here are some examples:
Waning Moon - Removing poverty-thinkingWaxing Moon - Creating abundance
Waning Moon - Banishing self-limiting beliefsWaxing Moon - Inviting success
Waning Moon - Clearing out old relationship baggageWaxing Moon - Attracting a soulmate into your life
Working with Astrological Phenomena
If you are familiar with astrology, you might want to coordinate your candle around the Moon, Sun or planets being in certain signs to enhance your work.
For example, you might want to do love work when Venus is in the sign of Cancer, professional success as a performer when the Sun is in Leo, or enemy work when Mars is in Aries. The Moon goes through a new sign every couple of days, so it's easier to coordinate an auspicious timing.
Astrology is a fascinating topic to explore and you can use even a basic knowledge to coordinate your candle work.
Working with Days of the Week
Traditional rootwork relies not on the phases of the moon or planets but on days of the week to coordinate when to light candles.
Sunday - Healing, blessing, general positive work, optimism
Monday - Women's concerns, childbirth, fertility, psychic work, spiritual work, marriage
Tuesday - War work, enemy work, break ups, banishing, strength, health
Wednesday - Communication, business, travel, negotiations, faster results, gambling
Thursday - Power, wealth, success, money, business, legal issues
Friday - Love, sex, beauty, prosperity, business, admiration, creativity
Saturday - Enemy work, binding, blocking, clarifying, creating structure, revenge, justice
There are many more ways that you can choose a time to start a spell, but these three are the most popular.
Prepare an altar space in your home on a small table or nightstand. Using water and a paper towel, wipe down the area of your table that you intend to use as an altar in a counter-clockwise motion, with the energy and intent that you are clearing space for your magical work. Arrange your candle in a votive candle holder, jelly jar, or cup (anything that will contain the wax as it melts), along with anything else that represents the work that you are going to do on the altar in a way that is pleasing to you.
For all candles (except Vigil Candles) unwrap the candle removing all paper and plastic. Sit with the candle in your hands and meditate on your intent. If you are working with a free-standing candle, take a nail, pencil, knife or some sharp object and carve words representing this work into the sides of the candle. You may choose to inscribe it in a downward motion from wick to base for a clearing candle or in an upward motion from base to wick for an invoking candle.
Anoint your candle with an appropriate oil, stroking it in a downward motion for clearing or an upward motion for invoking. After anointing your candle, you are ready for the spell. (For more information on working with Spiritual Oils, go to my "Spiritual Oils How To Guide")
For Vigil Candles, which are already dressed and blessed, just remove the lid and sit with the candle in your hands and meditate on your intent.
Lighting Your Candle
Place your candle in the holder. Light incense that is pleasing to you and use it to clear the energies surrounding you and your altar space.
Pray, chant, sing to focus your energy before you light your candle. When you feel ready, light your candle and speak your spell words.
Your candle will need to be put out when you leave your house or go to sleep, but the effectiveness will remain if you snuff your candle instead of blowing it out. When you need to snuff your candle, use a shotglass, cup, dish, candle snuffer or pinch out the candle with moist fingers. Do not blow out the candle.
When you relight your candle, repeat the key message from your spell in a few words or a sentence.
Correcting Candle Problems
Whenever you are doing a candle for spellwork, you are working to shift something to go in your favor; therefore, you want to work to make the candle comply with your wishes. The ideal candle burn is for a candle to burn with a middle-sized flame, not too high and smoky and not so small that it goes out. If your flame is too high, trim the candle wick to about 1/4" tall. If the flame is too low or the flame goes out, pour off some of the excess wax so that the wick is a little taller.
If you are working with more than one candle, such as two figural candles, and burning them over the course of several days, the ideal is that they burn at about the rate. If one candle is burning faster than the other, snuff the faster burning one out earlier than the slower one and let the slower one catch up.
One of the wonderful things about a candle spell is that it can give you feedback from the spirit realm as to what to expect from your spell. The primary way to interpret candle remains are to look for soot or smoke on the glass (if applicable), to look for excess candle wax and to read the candle wax remains.
For Vigil Candles and Candle Burned in Glass Holders:
Black soot or smoke indicates spiritual blockages around your intention. The amount of soot indicates the level of blockage (a small amount indicates small blockages, a lot of soot indicates heavy blockages). Re-do your spell again or start with an Energetic Purification, Spiritual Cleansing, Block Buster, Open Roads or Van Van candle to remove spiritual blocks and then, when this cleansing candle has burned cleanly and completely, light another candle for your original intention. Additionally, you may want to enhance your work by doing a series of cleansing baths with Energetic Purification Bath Crystals.
Grey or white smoke indicates that your spirit guides are surrounding you on this issue and would like to help you with your situation. If you would like more help connecting to guides, listen to Magic and the Law of Attraction podcast episodes 9 and 10.
Wax remaining in the bottom of the glass indicates that there is material world work and effort that needs to be done to support your outcome. Wax burned completely indicates that there is no extra work or effort that has to be done on your part.
A broken glass indicates that someone is working against you having your good outcome.
Looking at any candle remains, you can see shapes or symbols which can be interpreted as you would interpret tea leaves in a tea leaf reading.
For Free-Standing Candles on Plates or Trays:
Wax spilling over the side of the tray or dish indicates that you are revealing too much in the situation - either too much information or too much emotion.
Wax “pillars” standing up indicate blockages - large or tall wax pillars indicate large blockages, short ones indicate small blocks. Many pillar indicate many blocks, a few indicate only a few hurdles. Wax pillars that were standing at one time but have fallen over by the end of the spell indicate blockages that have been removed or overcome through the spellwork.
Excess wax drowning your candle flame before it has burned completely indicates that there is material world work and effort that needs to be done to support your outcome. Wax burned completely indicates that there is no extra work or effort that has to be done on your part.
A broken dish or tray indicates that someone is working against you having your outcome.
Looking at any candle remains, you can see shapes or symbols which can be interpreted as you would interpret tea leaves in a tea leaf reading.
If you are working with a figural candle, you can see any particular part of the candle that remain as a message also. For example, if the feet are remaining, you interpret that symbolically as you need to get your “foot in the door” or your “feet on the ground” or that you need a “better footing” in the situation.
When your candle has completely burned down, you may choose to recycle the entire glass container with the wax in it. However, if you would like to reuse the holder, take any remaining wax out of the holder. This can be done by placing the holder in hot water or by placing your holder (if it's oven safe) in an oven set at the very lowest setting (usually "Warm"). Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer to soften the wax in the glass. Once the wax is soft, it may be scooped out or even wiped out with a paper towel.
You may dispose of the leftover candle wax by throwing it in the trash (your own trash if the spell was to bring something to you or a trashcan away from your home if you were doing uncrossing or banishing work), however, if you would like to dispose of your candle in a more ceremonious way, you have several options.
If you have been working with an invoking candle, you may keep it in a ziplock bag and place it in an appropriate place (such as your bedroom for a love spell or your office for a prosperity spell) until your spell comes to fruition. Alternatively, you may bury it on your property or in a potted plant in your home or workplace. You might want to form the leftover wax into symbols such as hearts or dollar signs and place these wax talismans on your altar or add a small piece of the wax to a mojo bag. You can also soften the wax with a hair dryer and use it to form a poppet or doll baby.
For an uncrossing or banishing candle, you may want to bury it somewhere away from your home, bury it in a graveyard or leave it in a crossroads, that is, leave the spell remains in the center of a quiet intersection where two roads cross.
In any case, once your candle has burned completely, your spell work is complete. Your work now is to envision, expect and receive the positive results.
How long does it take a spell to work?
That depends on the circumstances surrounding the situation: often, more challenging situations require a longer time to turn around. I was taught, as a general rule, to look for a small positive sign (such as hearing a special song on the radio, seeing a word on a billboard, a special number on a clock or seeing a symbol of some kind) within three days of completing your spellwork; to look for movement toward your goal within three weeks; and to look for your outcome within three months. If, at any point, you are not seeing one of these signs, then you probably have to go back and give it more energy, employ a new strategy, light another candle or do some more spiritual work around your situation.
Think about this: not every disease is cured with one dose of medicine; sometimes it requires another dose and sometimes several - the same is true for spiritual work. If you would like to know more specific timing for your particular case or a spiritual assessment of how challenged the situation is, I recommend getting a tarot reading with me or another trusted reader.
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