Candle Magic for the Dark Months

Fire is some of our most ancient magic. It lights the way, and illuminates us. It is something we can all feel because we embody it. Yes, the body is primarily made of water, but water is a conductor. Electricity flows through us. Cracks and sparks of lightning exist in every breath, and with it there is the white hot element of fire. Through the external flame and the candles which carry them, we are able to contain that magic from within and bring it forth in powerful ways. Consider a birthday cake, topped with a certain number of little friendly fires. Silently, we speak our deepest wishes to the flames before offering them the gift of breath. This is something we do innocently, yet completely. It is a true act of sweetness and faith, which is where so much of our magic reserves can be found. 


Our ancestors from all corners of the world understood the power of flames. Through them they would scry, witnessing the secrets revealed in the dancing and whipping of each hot and bright spire as they reached up to the darkness of night. Ancient pagans use lanterns and candles to contain the magic of these flames, carrying them throughout their rituals and ceremonies. Over time as they became undone by larger religious entities, the magic of the fire remained. Interestingly, the Catholic church acknowledges the power (one might say magic) of holy consecrated candles, made to dissolve sins and banish evil energies. It does make one curious about where they may have obtained such ideas. As witches, wise folk and modern magical practitioners take up the traditions of candle magic once again, we can comfortably incorporate the inspiring work of fire in our everyday lives - the same magic we carry within us and understand on a deep, foundational level. 


Candle magic is a lot like kitchen witchery - you can choose just how involved you want things to get, or how simple you'd like it to be. Remember, the spell doesn't mind. Craft your own simple candles by pouring melted wax into an old mug or glass and adding a braided cotton string wick. For a stand-alone tapered candlestick, dip your wick into a melted vat of beeswax. As you dip and dip again, watch a candle form before your eyes. As you craft your candles, keep your minds eye open and clearly focused on your intention. You can also save yourself time and energy by purchasing simple chime candles, or using what you've already got on hand, whether that be emergency candles or even birthday candles. You can even use natural soy wax massage candles to bring the physical self into your spellwork. 


If you wish, you can incorporate a little sigil magic into your candle practice. There are a few different ways to craft a sigil - here's one: write a sentence of your intention in short form. Let's say you're hoping to invite more sensuality into your life - you could write out something such as, "welcoming sensuality." From there, remove the repeating letters. In the example here, you'd be left with WCOMSUAI. Arrange these letters into shapes that form an entirely unique design, and thus you have your sigil. This composite shape can be further simplified to carve or draw onto your candle. As you shape out your design on either the side of your taper or the top of a pillar candle, ground down and hold your intention in mind. 


The vibrancy of color magic can also be easily utilized when working with candles, pairing your intention with a corresponding color for extra richness when enacting your spell. You can either use a candle of a certain color, anoint your candle with a drop of paint, or tie a ribbon or string at the base of your candle. You can even write the name of a color on a piece of paper and place it under your candle! Here's a basic list of colors and their associated spellwork:

  1. White: clearing, purification meditation

  2. Pink: friendship, harmony, morality

  3. Red: sexuality, strength, physical health/blood 

  4. Orange: courage, release of greed 

  5. Yellow: confidence, charm, memory support

  6. Green: healing, prosperity, luck

  7. Blue: psychic work, peace, dreams and sleep

  8. Purple: ambition, authority, curse lifting

  9. Gold: protection, enlightenment, the sun

  10. Silver: intuition, lighting subconscious, the moon

  11. Brown: protecting pets, earth, spirits of the soil

  12. Gray: encouraging neutrality

  13. Black: clearing and grounding through grief, release


Bask in your own glow, witch. Extract it and enact it, from the inner fire we are each born with to the candle that reflects that power before you. 


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