It’s time to play with fire.
Element – Fire
Type – Transformation
Time – Depends of the size/type/wax of candle
Expense – Will range from $ to $$$$$
Level – Novice to Sage
Candle magick is one that everyone from a non practicing witch to a witch with fifty years under his/her belt performs. Allow me to sing you the song of my people. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear witchy poo, happy birthday to you!” It invokes images of a group of people standing around an individual with a sacrificial sugar laced treat that has been lit aflame, doesn’t it? Birthday candles are considered candle magick. Make a wish and blow those little ones out!
Candle magick falls under, of course, the element of fire and like fire, candle magick is one of transformation. A pillar of wax is touched by a flame and slowly melts, forming a new thing. You can use if for more than just transformation magick; for example divination and of course wish magick. I have also seen witches also used candles magick for lust/sexual rituals and for healing as well. Candle magick can be used for anything that you can pull for your little witches hat. Your own limits are that of your own imagination.
When it comes to your supplies of candles, you can buy them from a wide range of vendors; from your fellow witches, your local Pagan shop, Fred Meyer, Dollar Store and yes, even Wal-Mart. But here is the real question, what sort of candles should you buy?! I mean there are so many out there and how can you properly craft a spell without knowing the proper information. Let’s break it down for you shall we?
Paraffin – Most common candle that you will find on the market. It has a high melting point. It is strong (aka well not become flexible after minor handling due to the heat of your hands). Lots of colors/scents as it is dyed easily. Not sustainable. Sooty. Cost: S
Soy – Second most common candle that you will find on the market. Burns cooler. Last 30% to 50% longer than paraffin candles. It is a soft wax. Very few soy candles on the market are 100% soy and can not be rated as 100% organic. Sustainable although there have been concerns about it being a contributing factor to deforestation. Will not produce soot depending on wick. Cost: $$
Palm – Does not become flexible in the heat of summer or after handling. May be able to get 100% palm oil candles and can also be rated as 100% organic, depending on treatment processes. Sustainable. Will not produce soot depending on wick. Cost: $$
Beeswax – All natural baby. It is a soft wax. Will become flexible after handling and minor heat. Cleans the air while be burned. Sustainable. Will not produce soot depending on wick. Burns longer than paraffin and soy. Cost: $$$
Gel – Container candle only. Made from mineral oil and polymer resin. Can be embedded with other items. Cost: $
Taper – Can very in size, small or tall. Burn time depends on height, diameter and wax type. Paraffin wax tapers, small can burn for up to an hour or slightly more, taller more normal tapers tend to burn up to 10 hours.
Pillars – These babies, no matter the size are LONG burning. Recommend using these only for god and goddesses candles. There is a variety of size and wick number.
Tealight – Small, normally contained in a a small plastic or metal dish. Normally burn 2 hours.
Votive – 2″ to 3″ in height and around 1/2″ in diameter. There can burn any where between to to 15 hours.
Novena – 7 day candle or also known as a vigil candle.These are not intended to be burned constantly but burned for a period of time, then extinguished and lit the following day.
Seven knob candle – A Wishing candles. These are not intended to be burned constantly but burned for a period of time, then extinguished and lit the following day.
Figurine – Shaped as a person, animal or item. Burning length will vary depending on size and diameter of the candle.
Birthday candles (yes these totally count and can be used) – Quick and dirty spells. Only last a handful of minutes.
Container – These will depend on container size and wax type. The maker of the candle will normally inform you of approximate burn time.
Breath vs Pinch vs Snuff
So there is a never ending debate about how you should “properly” extinguish your candle flame when you need to. Some say that blowing your candle out is rude but others say that pinching your candle out is rude. This is one of those “rules” that I allow people to choose on their own depending on their connection and mentality when it comes to the elements and spirits.
I use breathe to extinguish my flame. In my opinion it is not as abrupt as the other two ways. I also take this time to use my breathe as a last push to send my spell out into the universe. Others find this as rude and pitting two elements air(my breath) and fire(the candle flame) against one another. Those that pinch use their fingers or clap over the candle, but in my opinion, you are just pitting two elements against one another but hey, that is just my opinion. Those that snuff tend to use a candle snuffer, a metal bell attached to a want to smother the flame (tell me that doesn’t sound unpleasant). Apparently if you blow out a candle you are canceling out the magick. Once again, you chose how to extinguish your flame and if anyone ever looks at you aghast, remember to just smile and flip them the bird.
Never. NEVER. NEVER! Reuse a candle that you used for a spell that didn’t burn completely down. Don’t think you are being a smart penny pincher. You are basically mixing two spells together and praying that one or both don’t blow up in your face. DON’T REUSE!
So how do you perform candle magick? Well you got your candle? Good. Now there are several things that you can do with it. You can inscribe it with words, sigils, or runes that you are using for your spell. You can also rub a specific oil/ointment on it. Sprinkle it with herbs that are part of the spell. You can use the candle to burn a written spell. You can use your candle magick as part of even even greater spell. Your candle can be used for multiple purposes. Really a candle is a multi-purpose tool to be used in your spell crafting.
For example: I would use a green candle for a wealth spell. I would carve a sigil to invoke wealth into the candle. I would anoint the candle with a wealth oil or an essential oil that would represent oil. Next I would sprinkle the candle with herbs that may quicken the spell. I would mediate with said candle and then light it when prepared. I may then use the candle’s flame to burn an herb such a bay leaf for wish magick or I may burn a spell that I had written. I would, personally as it really is up to you and the size of the candle if you allow it burn completely down, would allow it burn until it is no more in my cauldron or a flame safe container.
Do you need to cast a circle when doing candle magick? That one is a trickier one to answer. If it a quick spell, I would lean on the side of caution and say, yes. If you have an epic spell running, like I do on Samhain or one of our other holidays, I would say that is up to you to choose. Remember, you get to choose on how brazen you want to be and you know how much work space and what your work space is like better than I do.
As you can see, candle magick is a simple tool that should be part of your witch’s cupboard no matter your experience level. There is nothing wrong with a fifty year experienced with doing something as simple as a candle magick spell and it is a wonderful place for beginners to start at.
Until next time witches! May the brew in your cauldron never burn and your broom never splinter.