Candles are one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal as a witch—and they’re a personal favorite of mine!
Fire is an important element in the practice of magick that represents creativity, vitality, and, in some cases, destruction. Candles help bring these spiritual properties into the physical world and allow us to harness their power.
However, there’s so much more to these tools than striking a match! Depending on your specific situation and purposes, the magickal power of candles can be used in diverse ways to accomplish wildly different tasks.
It’s all about knowing how and when to use them.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at five magickal practices where candles provide you with the most spiritual power. When performing spells and rituals like these, you’ll definitely want to follow the light!
Some spells are a one-time occurrence, but others can last over the course of days or even weeks. These long-term spells are ones that require you to revisit your original intention over a period of time.
Let’s say you’re looking for a new job and want to perform a spell to help you land the position of your dreams. The job-hunting process doesn’t end when you submit a resume—there are interviews, negotiations, and a whole host of other things to worry about before you’re employed again.
A good spell should help lend positive spiritual energy through every step of that process.
And this is why candles make such good tools for long-term spells like this—they’re naturally built to be used over time! Any sort of magick that involves creating/breaking a habit, making a change, or dealing with a recurring problem is a great candidate for candle magick like this.
When performing spells such as these, don’t dispose of your candle immediately afterwards! Keep it to burn in the coming days and weeks. This allows you to continue to harness and release spiritual energy into the world to work your will. You’ll find that the longer you burn your candle, the more energy accumulates around your will.
In a perfect world, you would allow the candle to burn for at least an hour a day until it’s completely spent. If that’s not a feasible option for you, at least allow your candle to burn for an hour during the three days following your ritual.
Displaying candles on your personal altar serves two purposes.
On the one hand, candles are a way to express your spiritual “personality.” These tools come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, which means your design options are wide open. You can choose candles made to represent specific deities, candles that represent a particular mindset (like love or peace), or candles that you simply like looking at.
However, candles also serve an important practical purpose…that’s actually another spiritual purpose in disguise!
Perhaps I should explain.
When working magick, I recommend disconnecting from modern technology as much as possible. Magick begins and ends in the natural world. The fewer barriers between it and yourself, the more your spellwork can tap into that natural, primordial power.
In my own personal practice, I accomplish this by avoiding electrical energy sources when working a spell. This means my phone, my computer, and, most importantly, my lights are all off when the magick happens. I use the flames of the candles on my altar to illuminate my workings when the light of the sun isn’t available.
So, on the one hand, altar candles are a practical necessity for seeing what you’re doing. But at the same time, they’re serving a spiritual purpose too—drawing you closer to the natural origins of magick.
Divination is a magickal practice meant to put us in contact with knowledge from the spiritual world. When most people think about this practice, two specific forms of divination typically come to mind: predicting the future (like with Tarot cards) and communicating with the dead (like with a Ouija board).
However, divination is much more than just these two things, and all you need is a candle to experience its power!
Flame gazing is a form of meditation that’s the perfect introduction to the world of divination. Unlike other methods with complex tools, all you need is a simple candle to perform it. Plus, it’s a perfect introduction for newcomers because it doesn’t require a high level of technical skill to perform.
Normally the hard boundary of our human ego prevents our minds from having direct communication with the spirit world. However, by allowing ourselves to become lost in the hypnotic flicker of a candle flame, we can temporarily circumvent this barrier.
The flame acts as a gate between the spiritual and the physical.
To perform a basic flame gazing ritual, light a candle and focus your attention on its flame. As you progress, allow your breathing and your gaze to become deeper and more focused.
Over time, you’ll begin to see “snippets” of messages in your mind that are being sent from the spirit world. The more your train your mind to concentrate on the flame, the longer and clearer these messages will be.
Unlike divination techniques such as Tarot cards, flame gazing isn’t about predicting the future. Instead, it’s about seeking out general advice. The spiritual wisdom of the flame can’t tell you how events in your life are going to unfold exactly, but they can help point you in the right direction when you’re feeling a little lost.
Wiccan Holiday Celebrations
Wiccan holidays that revolve around the sun or fire are the perfect time to break out some candles in celebration.
Imbolc (also known as Imbolg or Brigid) is a Wiccan holiday celebrated at the beginning of February. On this day, you should burn red or silver candles to honor the goddess Brigid and to represent the warmth of the upcoming spring.
Beltane is a spring holiday on May 1st that celebrates fertility and growth. Traditionally, villages would come together to create a huge bonfire that would light the hearths of every home in town. These days, lighting a candle to commemorate the day works just as well.
The summer solstice (also known as Midsummer or Litha) occurs during mid-June when daylight is longest and nighttime is shortest. Needless to say, this is one celebration that is all about honoring the life-giving power of the sun. Lighting a red, yellow, or orange candle is a good way to invoke the brightness of the sun. However, bright blue or green candles would work as well, as they represent the natural growth the sun provides.
The winter solstice, which occurs in mid-December, is the time when the sun is symbolically at its weakest point. However, some witches commemorate its re-birth at this time, so lighting a small black or white candle is appropriate. Plus, an extra candle or two for warmth wouldn’t hurt, considering this holiday falls during the chilliest months of the year!
Like I mentioned in the divination section of this article, candles can act as a link between our physical world and the spiritual world.
And it’s for this reason that candles make great tools for invoking Gods and Goddesses.
Regardless of how you invoke, an offering needs to be made to the deity you’re communicating with. And a candle is a great offering to go with.
Choosing a nice candle for invocations requires a little research. First, you need to figure out what colors are associated with the God or Goddess you want to invoke. If you’re having trouble finding a specific shade, gold is a good all-purpose color for Gods, while silver is a good choice for Goddesses.
Additionally, you’ll want to (carefully!) carve your deity’s sigil or symbol into your candle. As with color, this will vary between Gods. Good all-purpose symbols for deities include a five-pointed star in a circle or an equal-armed cross in a circle (both pictured below).
Learn More About Candle Spells
It’s my hope that by this point you’ve realized that candles are more useful and versatile than we give them credit for. They might be a popular tool for witchcraft, but we routinely don’t give them enough credit for their ability to create and channel spiritual power.
If you need even more candle magick in your life, my book, The Wiccan Handbook of Candle Spells, covers this topic in even more depth.
In addition to exploring the uses of candle magick, it takes a closer look at what gives candles their power and why fire is such an important element in the art of witchcraft. And as always, there are plenty of original, one-of-a-kind spells to help you put it all into practice—including detailed instructions for performing the flame gazing ritual I described above.
If you’re looking for more free information, be sure to sign up for our Explore Wicca mailing list. When you register, you’ll receive a free color magick correspondence chart—it’s perfect for choosing candle colors when designing your own spells!
But wherever your love of candles may take you next, I hope that what you’ve read here has been useful to your spiritual journey. May your light always shine brightly.