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Candle Magik

Candle Magik Basics
Every Witch should know which days to work and which to take off. Which moon phases are best for what kind of casting. That's also true for Candle Magik. The essence of magik is to "go with the flow" and use the energy of the universe to create a partnership for creation. That's a fancy way of saying you want to use the right tool for the right job. Or in this case, what candle to use for what kind of spell.
There are two requirements for Candle Magik. Know what spell you want to cast and which color candle is best suited for that energy. You might also want to read about Color in Magik.
Selecting A Color
Think of your magik as a way of joining forces with the energy in nature. All energy vibrates with it's own sound or frequency, and it's own color. In candle magik, you want to compliment natures energy with your own, and with your choice of candle. By that I mean the choice of color. But how do you know what color goes with what energy?
One method is to associate colors to the Chakra centers. The Chakras are the energy vortices (or centers) of the spiritual body at a sub-atomic level. They are also called the spiritual DNA which hold your trace memories from past lives. In your current physical embodiment, the chakras act as input centers for the cells of your body. They are in the simplest of terms the physical manifestation of the soul within the human body. You can read more information about the individual chakra centers. This explains how the energy of your soul works in concert with your physical energy. This will help you work with the flow in all your magikal endeavors.
Another method is to chose colors based your own personal symbology. For instance, some people make associations based on culture or society. A good example of this is the use of color when associated with money or finances. Here in the U.S., we would associate green with money and finances. But in other countries that might not make sense as not everyone in the world has green currency.
I strongly recommend you write down your correspondences and keep them up to date. You want to create a consistency with your workings and maintain a balance. There will always be changes, but that's expected as you live, grow and learn.
The picture to the right represents the location and color of each chakra center as I have come to view them. This is the method I use to associate colors to candles and workings.
Defining your chart of color and energy will help you make choices for yoru own workings a little easier and quicker. Here's an example.
If you want to cast a spell that will help you with your psychic development, you'll want to chose a color that matches the energy of your 3rd eye or the Pituitary chakra. In this case, you'd select a shade of purple.
What if you want to cast a spell for financial abundance? You'd want to match the energy of the Pancreas. So you'd select a shade of orange. Why orange? The Pancreas controls the sugar in your body, or the sweetness of life. In the human frame of mind, financial abundance helps you secure or add to your sweetness doesn't it?
I prefer to light vanilla candles (sort of an off white) each night, saying a special prayer for each one. White (or off white) can be viewed as a general all purpose color. But it also matches the energy of the Crown chakra, which is the spiritual gateway or connector to the cosmic consciousness.
It's important to note that these colors as viewed here are not the only method for selecting a candle for your magik ritual. In fact, it's not the one I use when we're selecting a candle for a Sabbat ceremony. In the table below, I'll give you the two most common methods for color selection. The key is finding a method that best fits your beliefs and what you feel comfortable with.
Magikal Purpose Chakra Color System Cultural Color System
 For Divine Spiritual Work, such as prayer, increasing your spiritual knowledge, meditation, etc. White  White
For Psychic work, such as divination, psychic healing, or psychic development  Purple Purple
For matters of the heart, such as love spells, heart conditions, etc. Dark Green Different cultures represent love or the heart with different colors; a common American color would be pink for love or red for the heart.
For spells of protection, strength, courage or increasing your "gut feeling" or psychic feelers Light Green or shades of Yellow to Gold The same cultural impacts apply. In the U.S. you might chose Gold.
For stabilizing emotions, increasing abundance or conducting money spells Shades of Orange You might chose a color that represents money in your culture. Here in America, that would be Green
For grounding your energies, casting spells for physical pleasure, or fertility Red Again the same cultural impacts apply. Here in the U.S. you might chose Red for the physical or Blue for fertility.
For Healing Spells Chose a color that matches the chakra center where the healing is needed most. Dark Green
For General All Purpose Candle Magik White White
For binding one from doing harm to you or to them self; for forgiving yourself or another; for acknowledging karma, or a past hurt; for letting go of past events White or Pink White or a color for love
For Spells of Justice, such as helping a law suit, combating a lie or deception Brown Brown
For undoing a spell that has been cast upon you, for creating confusion or stress (please remember what you put out you will get back. I conduct spells of undoing when we're working a case with the police. I ask for confusion and stress within the body and mind of the criminal who the police are trying to capture. In this way, I hope the criminal will make a mistake in their actions that will help the police find the evidence, clues and information needed for an arrest and conviction.) Black Black
Candle Inscriptions & Decorations
Dress a Candle or Dressing a Candle:
Many people like to add to the energy of their candle workings by inscribing the sides with their personal sigil, or a special symbol that supports their intent. Others like to decorate their candles with ribbons, stones, or other such decorations to add to the energy of their intent. Choosing decorations is just as important as choosing the color of the candle to be used. So do your research and match your intent with the colors, stones or whatever objects you choose to include. 
Symbol inscriptions, such as a dollar sign for financial abundance, or a Reiki symbol for healing are carved into the sides of the candle. Typically inscribed twice and on opposite sides of the candle. If you candle is square, you can carve the inscription on all four sides. Once the candle is inscribed it should only be used for that intended purpose.
This is best done within your magikal circle. Especially if this is a candle you will light each night when you come from work and state a prayer over it in a simple lighting ritual. Inscribing your candle inputs your thought, energy and intent into the candle in a focused way. You're basically programming the candle for the intended purpose, and lighting the candle turns on the release of that captured energy for manifestation.
Inscribing is often done with a tool of some sort. I know people who purchased a meat thermometer and cut off the thermometer, leaving only the pointed steal stake. They use this as a pen to inscribe their candles. An advantage of this method is that they can heat up the tip and make it easier to inscribe the wax. Of course there are considerations to this. First using a metal point can be hazardous, secondly, heating up that point can add to that danger if the tool is not used carefully.
Another method is to use a wooden stick that has been sharpened to a mild point. I know a lady who purchased a wooden cuticle stick and she uses that to inscribe her candles. Another person I know purchased a small wooden rod at a craft store, about the diameter of a pencil and uses a regular pencil sharpener to create a point.
My personal method is a little more rustic. I choose a stick that has fallen from an oak tree during a thunderstorm. You can use any kind of tree, an oak is just what I have in my back yard. The stick should be about the diameter of a regular pencil, a little thinner or thicker doesn't matter as long as it's strong. I peal the bark from the stick and cut it to size. Typically about 9 inches long. Using my athame I carve one end to a point.
For simple prayer candles that I will light each night, the ritual is equally simple. I like to inscribe my candles during a new moon ritual. I will ask the GreatSpirits to help me empower the candle for the desired purpose and to guide my hand in marking the candle with whatever symbol it is I have chosen. Depending on the purpose, I might invoke the element of fire to increase the 'programming' of the candle's inscription. I do this by setting the tip of the oak branch on fire, letting it burn for about 30 seconds. I blow out the flame and while the stick is still hot, I use it to inscribe the symbol in the side of the candle.
For ceremonial candles, I will use the fire method and incorporate the inscription process at the beginning of the magik ceremony itself.
Candle Magik Rituals & Ceremonies
Of course there are many ways of conducting a simple ritual or complex ritual. Way to many to list them here. But I have created a step by step process that provides an example of a Candle Ritual & Ceremony.
Where To Place Your Ritual Candle
After you have completed the magikal working the next step is to care for your candle. This includes extinguishing the flame and storing your candle.
Let's start with how long the candle should be allowed to burn. Once you have completed your ritual or ceremony, the candle should burn for at least 30 minutes. If you would like for it to burn longer, that's fine but never ever leave a burning candle unattended. I place my nightly ritual candles on my fireplace mantle. They are out of the way and sit safely in a place where they will not be bothered and more importantly where they are not around any other objects that could be ignited.
When you are using a candle during an in depth magikal ceremony, you will want to close the circle and clean up your space before you move the candle to it's safe location. Again try to leave it burning for at least 30 minutes.
In either case select a place in your home where you can keep an eye on the flame, and where the candle is safely away from curtains, plants, tissues or any other items that can be ignited. Don't assume the candle is ok here or there, make sure it's safe!
Extinguish The Flame
Within the magikal community there are differing ideas about how to put out a candle. You must chose what feels right for you.
Some say you must extinguish the flame so that no smoke escapes. Using a candle sniffer or your athame to extinguish the flame. Holding the energy of your spell within the flame and candle.
Others suggest that it's important to blow out the candle so that your energy rides along the smoke rising up to the spiritual ethereal plane where it can manifest. I personally use this method as it coincides with other elements of my personal beliefs and practices. I also invision the prayer or spell floating upon the waves of smoke, moving up and out into the etherial to be manifest. But as with all things, do what feels right to you.
Care And Storage Of Your Ritual Candle
Storing your candle is also up to personal choice. The candles I light each night stay on the fire place mantle until the candle has been totally used up. It's economical to save the remaining wax for later and make your own candles for future workings. If this isn't possible, then some people like to bury the remains, others break up the pieces and throw it away and still others just toss it out with the kitchen trash. Choose what feels right for you.
For candles that you will use again for a later similar purpose, storage is the question. Some like to wrap the candle in natural fibers such as silk or pure cotton, then store the candle in a wooden box in their magikal broom closet. Personally, I simply roll mine in a paper towel and place it in my portable altar box. Again, chose what feels right for you.

Source: 1, c3, c4, c8, c13, s1, s2, s4, s5, s6, s7, s11, s14, m1, m4, m5, m7, m10, m16, m18, m23, m36
Created:   04.08.1999           Updated: 10.14.2009