Having prepared and cleansed a candle as covered in the last article, it is ready for making into a tool for magick. As a tool it works on several levels, the mental, the energetic and the Elemental. Mentally the act of cleansing, dressing/magnetising, and adding specific things such as herbs or semi-precious stones stimulates the imagination or feelings part of the psyche that, in turn, puts pressure on the lower Astral or Mental plane. The creative and personal energy is also stimulated by this and, as you focus on your goal, your personal energy Chi/ vitality/ Odic Force whatever you term it blends with the candle focused and intensified by the intent and imagination. Naturally candle magick belongs to the Fire Element class of spells as it is involved with inspiration and manifestation. It is also symbolic of the spark of the Divine that is within all sentient things, making it ideal for spellcasting on its own or as part of a ritual with or dedicated to a particular Deity.
Fire Elementals or Salamanders are also believed by many Pagans to be a living part of flames and other aspects of fire. To add to the power of a spell or ritual involving candle magick if a circle has been cast, then the candle is placed in the fire quarter of the circle. This is usually considered to be the South by Pagans in the Northern hemisphere and North by a lot of Pagans in the Southern Hemisphere. It need not stay there, but starting it in harmony with the Fire Element can significantly boost the influence of the candle. But, if you can cast a circle and place it correctly each time it can greatly improve the likelihood of the outcome you are after.
Charging a candle with your intent can be done in several different ways. The most common is the magnetising or ‘dressing’ of a candle with oil as outlined in the previous article. From experience I find magnetising from the centre out towards the base and the wick works best for me as it binds the inner plane forces that might impair the desired outcome, and condense the positive influences that provide the spells’ power. Some Pagans having purified the candle through personal power then empower it the same way, holding it in their dominant hand and channelling power – personal or Divine – into it while visualising or chanting their goal. In both these cases the candle is considered akin to a battery, building and holding an intense charge that is unwound as the candle burns. It means that the powerful energy generated in bursts of intense emotion can be stored, then released at a steady rate over a longer time than can be sustained in the usual magickal or ritual operation.
This release of energy is also ideal for empowering working tools such as Runes and Tarot cards. These are placed in a circle around the charged candle, which is usually red in colour, and then the candle is lit and charges the items with the released energy as it burns down. As with all candle spells it is important to do this somewhere where the candle is supervised. Not that long ago you could set up a candle spell in an enamelled cast iron bath and, provided things such as shower curtains were out of the way, you could shut the door and leave it to work safely. But today most bathtubs in the West are made of plastic and are highly flammable so this is rarely a viable option now.
Another way of enhancing candle magick is through magickal correspondences, these are energetic and symbolic connections between concepts, energies, and objects linked in accordance with a particular worldview or philosophy. The most well-known system is the Kabbalah/Cabala based on ancient Jewish worldviews with a system of Sephora (spheres) and paths connecting them which are associated with both the esoteric and exoteric. It does cover literally everything, being easy to adapt once you understand the underlying principles of the system. However, its apparent complexity makes it hard to access for people just starting out on the magickal or Pagan path and many have been discouraged from learning or using it because of this. Fortunately today there are several other systems that are easier to learn based on colours, astrology, and numerology. Even more important for personal practice is the discovery in the 20th Century that you can develop your own system of correspondences that are just as effective as any of the traditional ones, usually by starting with one of the simple systems and adapting it through practice and experience.
As an example let’s look at some candle colours and their associations:
Red: Health, Vitality, Lust, Blood
Green: Growth, Nature, Prosperity, Fertility
Blue: Peace, Water Element, Healing, Astral Projection
Yellow: Air Element, Mental Acuity, Communication
Using these correspondences you might decide to do a healing spell for yourself or, with permission, someone else, using a blue candle charged with healing energy and get no result. But, doing the same spell with a red candle results in a spectacular success. In this case you would note this down in your personal journal or Book of Shadows along with the type of dis-ease that this spell helped overcome. Along with other information such as the time, date, weather and any other relevant information that will help you ascertain your own personal correspondences for this type of spell to be successful on a regular basis.
Candles can also be used for “instant magick” to enhance a spell done on the spur of the moment regardless of the phase of the moon or doing a full ritual. An example of this is a spell for needed money to cover an unexpected expense or bill. In this case you can charge a tea-light or short stubby candle with money energy, or the intent that the bill be paid, raise magickal energy by chanting “The bill is paid, the bill is paid” and experiencing the feeling and excitement of the success your ritual will have. Then when you feel your excitement and energy have reached their peak say:
“Money money come to me
As is my will so must it be.
Money come on the run, now this bill is paid and done!”
Intensity rather than volume counts here (you don’t want to alarm the neighbours!) and at the end of the chant splat your hand down on the candle, hence the size, putting out the flame. Then bury it near the front door, or in a flowerpot of earth near the front door to act as a wealth attractor. Some people who have used this spell successfully say that it helps to face East or South for the best results so, once again, this is something to experiment with.