If you’re curious about incorporating witchcraft into your spiritual practice, candle magic (or magick, a term that some who practise prefer to use) is a good introduction because it's so simple and inexpensive. All you need is a candle, something to light it with, and an intention.
“Candle magick is a kind of alchemy, where all elements are represented — fire of the flame, air to feed it, melted wax for water, and solid wax for earth,” explains Holly Cassell, who runs the blog Witch Cake. “Beyond those basic elements, you can then incorporate whatever colors, herbs, oils, crystals and other candle dressings you want that best serve your desired result. You can do candle magick with any type of candle, as long as your intention is there.”
Candle magick can be tailored to your preferences. “Everyone practises differently, and that is as it should be, so take as much technique inspiration from as many sources as you want to, but do it your own way,” Cassell says. “You could start by simply placing your candle in a cleansed, sacred space, and returning to it at roughly the same time each night to meditate on your desire until the candle is complete, or for a certain number of nights. Keep an eye on the flame and observe how it behaves."
There's one important thing to remember: "Remember not to blow your candle out unless you want to blow away your intention! Snuff it out with a tool or your fingers instead, if it can't be left to burn out."
Lydia Adrian Marie, a writer and witch in Providence, Rhode Island, says, “I primarily use candles to either set off an intention or to raise a kind of energy I need. When I'm studying, or trying to solve a problem, sometimes I'll put cinnamon in the candle that's yellow or blue." (Cinnamon is often used for purification and protection; yellow candles are used for focus and intellect; and blue candles are used for meditation and understanding.)
You can buy a candle designed for ritual use for just a few dollars, she says. "At witch shops, they sell these little chime candles [for rituals] in a rainbow of colors for usually very cheap. So it's really easy and quick to just get a candle, tell it what it's for, add any other ingredients, state your intention and light it. It's literally some of the quickest and easiest magic, and also the flame burns as its own entity, so to me it's kind of self-sustaining. You don't have to keep putting your own energy into it, you just have to start it and it goes by itself."
Marie adds, “You can also layer on other meanings by carving symbols, runes, or sigils into candles or putting oils on them. Magick is all about combining symbolic meanings of things and it makes much more sense while you're doing it.”
If you’re shopping for a candle, Cassell suggests spending some time considering your plans in advance. “Start by thinking about what you want to draw in, and then go candle shopping with an open mind, allowing your intuition to guide you to what you need in that moment,” she says.
You should consider all aspects of the candle. “Really think about your desire and how you can best represent that in a candle. What scent should it have, if any? How long should it burn for? What shape should it be?” she says. “Go for soy and other plant wax candles if you can — they are more environmentally-friendly and the wax doesn't burn very hot, so if you spill some on yourself, no harm will be done. If you want to buy ‘fixed’ or spell candles with an intention already set, buy them from a real witch or apothecary that really knows their stuff.”
You can expect to see results soon. “Candle magick is fast-working and intense, so be sure that what you're asking for is something you really want and are ready for!” Cassell says.