Tools Witchcraft

Candle Magic for Witches: Your ULTIMATE Guide

The wick. The wax. The flame. The light it casts over the room. A simple candle spell is potent in manifesting nearly any intention. And doesn’t require a ton of energy on your behalf. Wanna know how witches have been casting candle spells for centuries? Here’s your ULTIMATE guide to candle magic for beginner witches. We will discuss the magical properties of certain colors for candle magic, the sizes and types of candles and their applications, dressing a candle, and how to do a basic candle spell.

Candle Magic for Beginner Witches Table of Contents

What you’ll find in this tutorial:

  • Candle magic colors
  • Sizes and types of candles best for certain rituals
  • When and how to cleanse your spell candles
  • How to dress and bless/charge a candle
  • How to do candle magic
  • What to do with candle spell remnants

First, a Brief History of Candle Magic

The first “candle” dates back to at least the tenth century BCE. This means we’ve been lighting things up for a loooong time, y’all. But, check this out, it wasn’t wax they were using back in those days. Instead they would stick a wick into a vessel. And within that vessel there was some flammable liquid substance that would then act as the “burnable” item. So instead of burning wax, the wick would stay aflame because of the liquid. The Egyptians are credited with being the first to use candles in their magic circa the fourth century BCE (or at least the first documented).

Apparently the first “dipped” candles, similar to our candles today, were made from tallow (animal fat) and were credited to the Romans. Ahhh, there’s that Roman Empire again, y’all. You can’t escape it. These dipped candles looked a lot like our dipped taper candles today.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that as long as people have been using candles to light their homes and buildings, they’ve also been using candles to make magick. Why? Because people and fire magic go together like milk and cookies. Then by the Medieval Age, someone came along and decided beeswax was the way to go. It burned longer and brighter and didn’t produce as much smoke. These days we have candles made of different materials including soy and parrafin. Though, IMHO, I would avoid parrafin if you can.

Candle Magic Colors

The best candle magic starts with thinking about the color and kind of candle you’ll use. First start with the color. Color itself is a magical thing and fuels your intention in your candle magic ritual. Use this candle magic color guide to choose the right color. Feel free to pin it to your Pinterest board for future reference!

  • Black: banishing, removal, return to sender, absorb negativity, binding, and represents the occult, the womb, night, darkness, shadow, feminine and yang energy
  • White: purification, working with angels, represents freedom, the moon, yin masculine energy, also used for protection and transformation (one of my favorite colors for candle spells because it can be used in place of other colors!)
  • Red: for passion, lust, strength and used to combat. Also represents fire and anger
  • Orange: positivity, opportunity, power, the harvest, confidence, self esteem, vitality, good to use for legal issues and justice
  • Blue: healing, peace, dreams, communication, and represents the water
  • Purple: the color of magic and metaphysics, intuition, royalty, indulgence, wisdom, spirituality, a higher level of healing
  • Yellow: for joy, creativity, success, inspiration, communication, the sun, arts, career
  • Green: love, money, abundance, prosperity, the earth, fertility, Goddess, fae magic
  • Pink: femininity, sexuality, romance, friendship, self love, harmony, emotions
  • Brown: animals, grounding, stability, growth, security, focus, finding lost things
Candle Magic for Beginners: Candle Colors

Kinds & Sizes of Candles for Magic

Beginners are often confused on what kind or size of candle to use for candle magic. The thing is most rituals and spells don’t tell you what kind or size to use. It’s left up to the candle magic practitioner to decide. I’ve tried to make it easier for you here. Use these guidelines:

  • Tapers:  These are the long, thin candles your grandma has at her house. These were popular candles in the old days and were handmade back then. Use tapers to light up your altar during ritual or seal a witch’s bottle. 
  • Novenas:  jarred, tall candles often found in the dollar store, Walmart, or the grocery store with pictures of saints, Mary, and Jesus. Use novena candles to honor your gods/goddesses, ancestors, angels, etc. Bless them and burn them as often as you’d like.
  • 7 Knob: seven knob candles are popular in American folk magic traditions and are used to cast a spell for seven days in a row. Light and burn one knob each day for 7 days.
  • Medium to Large pillars: thick, medium to large candles. These burn a long time, so I recommend using only as ambient lighting or to honor your gods/ancestors. 
  • Small pillars: smaller candles that burn faster than pillars and larger candles. Use these in candle magic that lasts three hours or more. Great to seal larger witch’s bottles or jars. 
  • Chime/Spell Candles: PERFECT for candle magic for beginners. Bell candles (also called chime or spell candles) burn in about an hour. 
  • Birthday candles: a cheap, quick-burning substitute for bell candles. These also come in different colors
  • Animal and Figure Candles: these kinds come in various sizes and styles. Owls, wolves, cats, lovers, birds, etc. Animal candles are extra helpful when honoring and communicating with animal spirit guides and familiars. Human figure candles are used in love and healing spells, mostly. But can also be used in malefic magic.
  • Tealights: I particularly love tealights for heating up jar spells or doing quick candle magic. They come in all colors and some are scented. Find tealights in packs at your dollar store or Walmart if you’re looking for an affordable option.
  • Floating candles: candles that float in water aren’t just pretty…they’re great for keeping one’s wishes afloat. I find them particularly powerful when using both the water and fire elements to fuel your spell work (think sacred polarity).

Should You CLEANSE A Candle Before Use?

We know that certain objects tend to collect energy and store it. Are candles one of these absorbing items and should we be cleansing them before use? A lot of witches will tell you, yes, you should cleanse your candles before use because they may have picked up energy during manufacturing and handling while in the store. I also believe if you plan to use a candle that’s sat around your house for awhile, or if it’s already been burned for some other purpose, you should cleanse your candle before using it in a spell. Just to be sure that energy doesn’t mix with your intentions.

There are times when you DON’T have to cleanse your candle. Which include if you’ve already been using it for one particular reason. For example, if you have a “working candle” that you only use to light your rituals or spells…it provides light and ambiance or extra energy to your working. You wouldn’t need to constantly cleanse it between each burning. The same goes if you’ve charged a large candle for prosperity and enjoy lighting it on a daily basis. No cleansing is necessary, unless you feel drawn to do so. In addition, if you MAKE your own candles, there’s no need to cleanse them after making them if you were putting your intentions into them during the creation process.

Ways to Spiritually Cleanse a Candle:

  • Via incense or herb bundle smoke
  • With sound via singing bowl, drum, rattle, etc.
  • By your own breath or wind
  • Bury in salt or soil (though this is a messier and longer process)
  • Waving a selenite wand (or other cleansing wand) around and over it

How to Magically Dress a Candle

Candle magic for beginners should always include dressing a candle, but unfortunately this part is frequently overlooked. Dressing a candle involves adding extra ingredients and intention into your candle spell or ritual by anointing your candle in oils, carving symbols or words into your candle, and/or rolling the oiled candle in loose leaf herbs and powders. You may choose to do one or all of these.

While you carve, load, anoint, and dress with herbs, visualize your intention for this candle ritual. Do you need healing? Are you attracting love? A new job? Friendship? Justice in a legal matter? Envision yourself having whatever your desire/need is while dressing the candle. This adds extra power to your ritual.

Here’s the different ways to dress your candles:

  • Carve symbols, sigils, pictures, or words into your candle using an athame, knife, pin, etc.
  • Anoint the candle with magical oils
  • Load your candle by carving out a portion of the top/bottom and adding herbs/oils
  • After you’ve anointed in oil, roll your candle in loose leaf herbs or powders of your choice
  • Encircling your candle spell with powders, oils, crystals, etc. protects the spell while it’s in action and amplifies your intentions

WARNING! Overloading your candle with herbs or plant matter of any kind CAN and WILL produce a large flame. This is a common mistake with beginners and is a definite fire hazard. A sprinkle/pinch of herb is typically enough and cuts down the risk. NEVER LEAVE YOUR CANDLES UNATTENDED.

Glass jar candles are easy to dress with oils, paints, etc.
A candle with a bindrune painted on for magical intent.

What Are 7 Day Candles?

7 Day Candles, also called 9 day and novena candles, are a popular choice for candle spells and magick of many kinds. Practitioners folk magic and witchcraft all find use for glass jar candles, and so can you! With a wide variety of colors and labels, witchcraft with these candles can be fun and empowering. Learn how to dress and use these for your magick here.

7 day candles are candles in a tall glass jar that can be found at local botanicas, metaphysical stores, Walmarts and dollar stores. They’re also called novena candles, nine day candles and saint candles. Some grocery stores even sell them in the candle aisle. Typically they come decorated with the images of saints, Jesus, or Mother Mary OR in plain white or various colors. They reportedly can be used for seven day workings or spells. And for other spiritual reasons.

Magical Uses for 7 Day Candles

These budget-friendly candles have many magical uses including spells, prayers, vigils and rituals. Your magical tradition may determine how YOU use them in your practice. But here are some ideas:

  • Dedicating the candle to a god/goddess/spirit: light during prayer and as offering
  • Ancestral prayer and offerings
  • Candle Spells for love, money, uncrossings, protection, healing, etc.
  • Ambiance for meditation and ritual

How to Dress Them for Candle Spells

To dress a candle for a spell means to roll the candle in oil and/or herbs according to the practitioner’s intentions. But how does one dress a candle in a glass jar? If you’re lucky, you might have a jar candle that can be popped out of the jar, dressed in oils and herbs, then put back in the jar. But most of the jar candles I’ve come across aren’t removable. SO here’s a few different ways to dress your candles in glass jars:

  • Anoint the glass jar with oils and sprinkle the herbs/oils on top of the candle itself (BE CAREFUL how much you use, as it WILL catch fire if you use too much!)
  • Use a chopstick or needle to poke holes into the candle, then pour a few drips of oils and add a small pinch of herbs into the holes
  • Purchase a 7 day candle with plain glass jar and decorate it using markers, stickers, paints, etc.
  • Write your intentions on the glass jar with sharpie
  • Print out labels and photos from the computer, then paste onto the glass jar with craft glue
  • Purchase pre-blessed 7 day candles from botanicas, conjure shops, etc. (some come already blessed with oils and labels)

Candle Spells: Can You Do a Candle Spell Over 7 Days?

In many folk magic practices, jar candles are used for specific spells that can be performed over a period of 7 days. This contradicts what some witches say should constitute a candle spell – some say the candle should burn all the way down and never be blown out/re-used. Some counteract this by saying they let their 7 day candles burn constantly for 7 straight days. WARNING – I recommend against this practice! Why? Fire is destructive. It’s not to be messed with or underestimated. Leaving any candle burning for days on end is inviting more risk in your home than necessary.

Everyone has their own way of doing things, but if you have one of these candles and want to do a spell every day for 7 days, go for it! It all depends on how you practice and what works for you. My suggestion is to light the candle at the same time each day and snuff or blow it out around the same time each day. Keep in mind, the 7 day candle should be used for one purpose and completed after the intended 7 days.

Learn how to dress glass jar candles here.
The 7 day candle comes in all different colors – plain and labeled.

How to Bless or Charge a Candle

There’s that word again – charge. It seems everywhere a beginner looks this work is thrown into online sources and books. But what does it mean to charge? And how do you do it? To charge an item means to put your energy into it, your intention, your emotions, your goals. It’s easiest to charge your candle and candle magic ingredients while you’re dressing your candle.

By simply visualizing your goal’s positive outcome while holding the candle in your hands, your energy is being imprinted onto the candle, oils, and herbs themselves. This is what it means to “charge”. Some people feel their energy radiating from their palms into the items they’re charging, while some feel a warmth. Some might feel nothing at all. As long as you’re visualizing your goal, literally seeing it happen in your mind’s eye, then you are imbuing that energy into whatever you’re holding. 

Candle Magic for Beginners: How to Cast Like a Pro

It didn’t take me long to become proficient in candle magic, and it won’t take you long either as long as you practice. Candle magic for beginners may seem convoluted, but eventually you’ll come up with your own signature style. Adapt to your needs and preferences. Here’s how to do a basic candle spell or ritual:

  1. Choose the color and size/type of candle for your intention.
  2. Prepare oils and herbs/powders and knife for carving.
  3. Carve your symbols, sigils, etc. into candle (optional) (start visualization of your goals/desires coming to fruition at this point and continue throughout ritual).
  4. Anoint candle with oils.
  5. Roll oiled candle in herbs/powders.
  6. Light and burn for intended time (I recommend letting the candle burn out on its own instead of blowing or snuffing the flame. Make sure you monitor the candle spell while it’s burning so nothing catches fire!)

What to Do with Candle Spell Remnants

Following a candle spell, beginners might wonder what to do with the remnants. Before you dispose or keep the remnants, consider doing candle wax predictions. Look at the wax drippings and scry a pattern, picture, letter, number, etc. that may give you a deeper look at the spell’s energy and results. Don’t make this a difficult process. Simply look at the drippings and make candle wax predictions based on the first thought that pops into your head. Your intuition usually speaks before logic. Write down your readings then move onto disposing/keeping the remnants.

What you do with the remnants of the candle magic will depend on the intention. For instance, if you want to draw something to you, you’ll want to bag up the remnants and keep them close-by. If love is your intention, take the wax, herbs, and remnants of the spell, tie them in a bag, and keep it under your mattress, next to your bed, or in your underwear drawer, etc. If you’re looking to banish something from your life like a bad habit, bag up the remnants and throw them in running water, trash them on the other side of town, etc. Just get it away from you.

The ultimate guide to candle magic for beginners: candle colors, size,s, how to charge, dress, and do candle magic plus candle wax predictions!


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  9. Rebekah

    December 16, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Very informative and nicely written! Easy to understand. Glad you addressed toxic herbs. I need to put a list of these in BOS.

    1. admin

      December 17, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you, Rebekah! Glad you found it useful.

  10. Itsme0775 Itsme0775

    November 17, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    What kind of powders. Not sure what you mean

    1. admin

      November 17, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Herbal powders – powders made from grinding down herbs into a fine dust. Powders can also be made from eggshells, etc.

      1. Karen

        December 10, 2018 at 7:11 pm

        Would it just be from organic material? Could you use rose petals? Or lemon rind? Something like that?? Or just herbs? I assume fresh herbs if so.. are there some herbs better than others?

        1. admin

          December 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm

          It can be anything you want to use. Rose petals absolutely work as well as lemon rind. Fresh OR dried herbs do the trick! No herbs are better than others, just be careful the ones you use don’t put off toxic fumes if lit up.

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