Candle Magick 101
Candles are truly magickal items – so much so that non-practicing folks love to fill their homes with candles, make wishes when blowing them out on birthday cakes, and adorn sacred spaces with them.
Candles are simple tools that can impart an essence into your space or can be a powerful tool to cast and conjure. They’re a beautiful symbol of the alchemy we can create in the world as candles have all five elements within them.
The Five Elements of Candles
Earth: Candles are made from wax, which comes from the earth, and a wick. Wicks can be cotton or wood – both made from the earth.
Water: When someone makes a candle, they must heat it to a liquid form – the heat of “fire” turning it into a liquid or “water.”
Air: A candle’s scent resonates with air. The wax becomes gaseous as it burns, and as it cools in the air, the candle rehardens.
Spirit: Smoke curls from the wick when blown out, carrying your intention using the elements of air and spirit.
Fire: And, of course, fire ignites the wick.
Candle Magick Methods
Since candles are so magickal on their own, you don’t have to go to great lengths to use them for magick and manifestation. When we chatted about the different “stages” of candle magick, the IGC witches came up with the following, from the simplest method to the most complex:
- Hold the candle in your hands and speak your intention over it. Light it and allow it to burn and activate the intention.
- Pick a specific candle color that corresponds to your intention, and then complete the previous step.
- Scribe a word, sigil, or rune on your candle (which is also a specific color to align with your intention).
- Add oils on top of the word/sigil/rune.
- Add herbs, gemstones, or even glitter to your candle, which has been dressed in oil, scribed, and selected for its specific intention.
I’m of the opinion that you can reuse a candle for multiple spells, or even light it repeatedly after casting the original spell. You may disagree, and that’s ok. Whether you use candles once or multiple times – in and out of your magickal practice – here are a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Dressed Candles: If you dress your candle in oils or herbs, never leave them unattended. Oils can spark, and herbs can ignite, causing a fire. Keeping a vessel of water or non-alcoholic liquid on your altar is a great way to make an offering and, in an emergency, keep your candles from creating destruction.
Candles in Glass Containers: If you have candles in glass containers, do not let them burn all the way to the bottom. It will overheat the glass, causing it to break.
Trimming the Wick: Wicks that are too tall can smoke and pop, causing a hazard to surrounding people and objects. Before lighting any candle, trim the wick back to about 1/8 of an inch – even if it’s brand new.
To Snuff or Not To Snuff?
Just like the above thoughts on reusing a candle, the decision to snuff out your candle or blow it out at the end of your spell is entirely up to you. I do both, depending on the spell. For instance, if I want the magick or intention to be carried off to the universe or spirit world, you better bet I’m blowing it out! What better way to use the element of air in your candle magick?
If you want to keep the magick close to the candle, snuffing it out is a good idea. Just be sure to do so with snuffer – or even the lid of the candle – so you don’t burn yourself.
Do you love practicing candle magick as much as we do?