What Is Candle Magic Called?

What is Candle Magic?

Candle magic, also known as ceromancy, is a form of ritual magic that involves the burning of candles for a specific purpose or intention. Candles have been used in spiritual and occult practices for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. The basic premise of candle magic is that the candles represent the magician’s desire or goal, and the act of lighting the candle releases that energy out into the universe.

Early candle magic centered around simple candle divination, where the way a candle burns is interpreted as a sign or omen. Practitioners would observe things like the shape and direction of the flame, the melting speed of the wax, smoke trails, and more. Candle magic evolved over the centuries to involve more elaborate rituals, spells, and intention-setting. Specific candle colors, shapes, symbols, and herbs blended into the wax came to correspond to different magical purposes.

Today, candle magic is a staple technique of contemporary occult practices like Wicca, Neo-Paganism, New Age, and other metaphysical belief systems. It is often used for attracting love, prosperity, health, luck, protection, divination, communicating with spirits, honoring deities, celebrating Sabbats, and charging objects like amulets or crystals. Candle magic combines the elemental power of fire with the magician’s focused intention to manifest positive change.

Origins and Early Practices

The earliest origins of candle magic can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures like Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Celtic regions. Candles were primarily made from beeswax or tallow at this time, and were considered precious commodities.

In ancient Egypt, candles were used in rituals honoring the gods, often being inscribed with magical symbols and the name of the desired deity. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used candle magic, incorporating candles into their religious ceremonies and mythological rites. The Celts are thought to be among the first to use candles specifically for magic, including spells, divination, and communing with spirits.

Early candle magic practices involved burning candles of specific colors, carving magical symbols into the wax, and timing the burning of candles with astrological events. The flame itself was seen as connecting the physical and spiritual worlds. Melting wax was thought to represent manifesting desires into reality. The smoke carried prayers and intentions up to the gods. Candles were thus an essential tool for ritual magic.

Types of Candle Magic

There are many types of candle magic used for various purposes. Some of the main types include:

Color Magic

Color magic involves burning candles of a specific color to achieve a particular goal. Each color has its own symbolic meanings and magical properties. For example, burning a red candle represents love and passion, while green can be used for healing spells.


Carving symbols, words, or images into a candle before lighting it is a common technique. As the candle burns, the carvings release their intended energies into the ritual or spell. Practitioners may carve names, runes, astrological symbols, or shapes like hearts onto the candle.

Dressing Candles

Dressing a candle involves applying oils, herbs, glitter and other items to the outside of the candle to add additional symbolism and energy. For example, rubbing chamomile oil on a candle boosts the peaceful energies. Dressing can also involve rolling the candle in herbs or crushing herbs and sprinkling them on top.

Other types of candle magic include inscribing candles with written affirmations, burning candles in a specific pattern or sequence, incorporating candle smoke into rituals, or using candle flames for scrying. There are endless ways to perform candle magic by utilizing the transformative power of fire, light, and intention.

How Candle Magic Works

Candle magic utilizes the burning flame, scents, and colors of candles to manifest intent. Correspondences between candles, herbs, astrology, gemstones and more allow practitioners to tap into specific energies and direct them for their magical goals.

The flame represents transformation and change. As the candle burns down, the practitioner’s desire takes form in the physical realm. The color of the candle also holds meaning – red for love and passion, green for prosperity and abundance, black for banishing. Candle magic practitioners select candles in colors that align with their intention.

Candle magic also draws on the sense of smell. Certain herbs, oils and incense correspond to different magical purposes. Mixing these aromatic ingredients into candle dressings links the candles with specific energies. For example, rubbing a candle with rose oil connects it to love and romance.

Inscribing candles with sigils, names, words or phrases further defines the candle’s purpose. As the inscription burns away into the flame, the spell activates. The melting and dissolving wax represents the magic taking effect.

By combining color, herbs, scents, inscriptions and focused intention, candles become potent magical tools. The candle flame serves as a messenger, transmitting the practitioner’s desire into the universe through sympathetic magic.

Casting Candle Magic Spells

Candle magic spells harness the power of intention and symbolism to manifest desires. When casting a candle spell, it’s important to set a clear intention and follow some basic steps:

Set your intention

Before casting any spell, take time to get very clear on your intention. Write it down in simple, positive language. Be specific about what you want to manifest.

Choose your candle and accessories

Select a candle in a color that aligns symbolically with your intention. You’ll also want candle accessories like a holder, matches or a lighter, and a safe container to burn the candle in.

Charge your candle

Hold the unlit candle in both hands and imagine your intention filling the candle as you chant or say your intention out loud. This charges the candle with energy.

Add oils or carve symbols

Anoint the candle with essential oils aligned to your purpose, or carve symbols like hearts, stars, runes, etc. into the wax to strengthen the spell.

Set the mood

Light incense, play ritual music, clean your space – do whatever you need to set the mood and feel focused.

Light the candle

Light the candle at the appropriate moon phase if possible. As you light it, visualize your intention coming to fruition.

Chant your intention

Chant or speak your intention out loud as the candle burns. Imagine the energy being released into the universe.

Let the candle burn safely

Never leave a burning candle unattended. Burn the candle in a safe place until it goes out, allowing the spell to release fully.

Dispose of remnants

Once the candle has burned down, dispose of the wax and remains in an environmentally friendly way to complete the spell.

Trust the process

Have patience and trust that the spell is working in alignment with the highest good. Let go of worrying about “results.”

Safety and Ethics

As with any form of magic, it’s important to practice candle magic responsibly and ethically. Candle spells should always be cast with good intentions – never use magic to manipulate or harm others. Be mindful of the Threefold Law, which states that whatever energy you put out will return to you three times over.

Take precautions when handling lit candles. Keep them away from flammable materials, out of reach of children and pets, and never leave a burning candle unattended. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. Consider using battery-operated candles for added safety.

Respect the candles themselves as sacred tools. Use candles made of natural, biodegradable materials like beeswax or soy whenever possible. Never blow out ritual candles – it’s better to pinch or snuff them to avoid blowing your intentions away.

Protect your own energy when doing intensive candle work by grounding yourself before and after rituals. Cleanse your space periodically to clear out built-up energies. And listen to your intuition – if a spell doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. Stay centered in positivity and your inherent power.

By being mindful, taking precautions, and using candle magic with good and wise intentions, you can tap into its transformative potential while avoiding potential dangers or misuse.

Tips and Tricks

When casting candle magic spells, there are some tips and tricks that can help optimize your practice and avoid common mistakes.

Optimizing Spells

To get the best results from candle magic:

  • Choose the right color candles for your specific intention
  • Carve meaningful symbols or words into the candles to focus the energy
  • Use candles made from natural materials like beeswax or soy
  • Add corresponding herbs, oils or incense that align with your goal
  • Time your spells according to the phases of the moon or days of the week
  • Focus your mind on visualizing the outcome you desire while performing the spell
  • Chant meaningful incantations to direct the energy
  • Allow candles to burn all the way down for full manifestation

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Some common candle magic mistakes to avoid include:

  • Not being specific enough about your intention
  • Letting your mind wander during the ritual
  • Extinguishing candles before they finish burning
  • Using candles, herbs or oils that don’t align with your goal
  • Performing spells when you are feeling negative or doubtful
  • Not properly disposing of spell remains
  • Mixing too many ingredients or techniques at once

Best Practices

Follow these best practices for effective, safe candle magic:

  • Cast spells in a quiet space free of distractions
  • Keep your intentions positive and for the highest good
  • Use fire safety precautions like casting spells on a fireproof surface
  • Focus on one intention at a time
  • Keep track of spells in a magical journal
  • Dispose of remains respectfully when finished
  • Allow time for magic to manifest in alignment with nature/Divine timing

Candle Magic in Different Cultures

Candle magic practices vary greatly across cultures from all corners of the world. The cultural significance and regional rituals surrounding candle magic provide a fascinating glimpse into different belief systems.

In Hoodoo folk magic, which originated in West Africa and developed in the American South, candle magic plays a central role. Multi-colored candles representing different intentions are often burned together in spells. The movement and shape of candle flames are read for divinatory purposes. In the Hoodoo practice known as lamp magic, oils are added to the glass enclosures around candles to influence the candle’s magical effect.

Ancient Egyptians used candle magic by inscribing candles with symbols and images connected to their spells and desires. Green and black candles featured heavily in their rituals. Egyptians focused on candles’ mystical abilities to harness the power of fire and light.

In traditional Scottish witchcraft, candle magic emphasizes the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Colored candles aligned with each element are used in specific rituals. These practices have ancient Celtic origins prior to the spread of Christianity in Scotland.

Candle magic also plays an important role in Santaria traditions, Voodoo practices, and Italian folk magic. The wide range of cultural traditions incorporating candle magic demonstrates its powerful and flexible nature.

Notable Candle Magic Practitioners

Throughout history, there have been many influential figures who practiced and taught candle magic.

In the early 19th century, Marie Laveau was a renowned Voodoo priestess known for her candle magic spells and rituals in New Orleans. She would use different colored candles, herbs, oils, and symbols to achieve different intentions for clients who sought her magical services.

Modern candle magic teacher Anna Riva published many books on the subject starting in the 1960s, and offered candle magic spells, rituals, and guidance to new generations of practitioners. Her book Candle Burning Magic remains a classic today.

Other prominent modern teachers of candle magic include Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham, Silver RavenWolf, and D.J. Conway. They have published books, given workshops, and promoted ethical, safe practices of candle magic in the neo-pagan community.

In Wicca and other neo-pagan groups today, candle magic remains a popular form of spellwork, with many adepts continuing to pass down their knowledge. With the wealth of information now available in books and online, candle magic is accessible to anyone interested in learning this ancient craft.

The Future of Candle Magic

As with any mystical practice, candle magic continues to evolve and develop as more practitioners discover innovative techniques and applications. Here are some ways we may see candle magic change and grow in the coming years:

Evolution of Practice: Experienced candle magicians are constantly experimenting with new candle dressing oils, intricate carvings, multi-day rituals, and more to achieve powerful results. Social media enables quick sharing of these new best practices across geographical boundaries.

Potential New Applications: Candle magic’s roots are centuries old, but its fundamental techniques remain remarkably applicable to modern contexts. For example, we may see specific rituals developed for candle magic focused on school entrance exams, new job opportunities, or even reducing carbon emissions. The flexibility of candle magic is part of its enduring appeal.

Mainstream Adoption: As alternative healing and New Age spirituality gain mainstream acceptance, more people may turn to candle magic as part of their self-care routines or manifesting practices. Businesses may offer candle magic coaching and rituals customized for individual client needs.

Digital Integration: While candle magic requires physical candles and materials, technology can augment rituals through timed lighting, livestreamed group spells, augmented reality enhancements, and more. This synthesis of ancient tradition and digital capabilities may attract new demographics.

Ultimately, candle magic’s core principles are timeless, but the practice continues to evolve. This willingness to adapt with modern contexts ensures candle magic remains dynamic, relevant and impactful for many years to come.

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