Aries – Red
Taurus – Green
Gemini – Yellow or Orange
Cancer – Silver or White
Leo – Gold or Orange
Virgo – Dark Blue
Libra – Pink
Scorpio – Dark Red (Maroon) or Black
Sagittarius – Purple
Aquarius – Electric Blue
Pisces – Lavender
Specially shaped candles and their uses:
I’m sure that you’ve seen the pretty cat candle, or the skull shaped candle. Well, they have their uses too!
Cats are considered good luck and are wonderful messengers. Skulls are useful when contacting your Ancestors. Seven-knob candles look like they have seven balls squished one on top of the other; these are used over a period of time, usually seven days. Human figures have their obvious connotations, to represent the self, another person or the Gods.
Just like everything else, use your intuition. If you see a nice mold or shaped candle for sale, think about what it could signify.
Creating your own correspondences:
By now we have seen that correspondences are a big thing in candle magic… and there’s more to come! But for now we’re going to be making correspondences!
Everything we come in contact has meaning to us. These meanings are correspondences. For example, the herb Mugwort has healing properties physiologically (make a poultice, put it on a wound and it will help heal that wound). Therefore, I’d use Mugwort in a spell for its likewise magical powers of healing.
To make your own correspondences, meditate on what you want to make correspondences for. When doing this for color, I like to take a piece of construction paper, clear my mind and feel what the color is telling me. Also, think about it logically. Blue is a color of protection because it’s the color of police, and their base function is to protect.
Lesson Two: Getting Candles
Within candle magic, we place our energy into our candles. Crafting your own candles is a great way to put that extra energy into them. Some people don’t have the time, money (though it’s not a lot), or space to do this. If you feel that you can’t make them, don’t fret. Keep reading through the thread.
In this lesson I’ll be covering buying candles, how to cleanse them, and cheap ideas for candles. We’ll also be learning how to make your own candles. It’s easier than you think!
We all know that we can run down to the grocery store and buy some overpriced candles. We can go to the candle store at the mall or on line and get some really fancy and overpriced candles. But there are easier ways!!!! (Cheaper too! can you tell I’m a starving art student?)
Keep an eye out for sales. I managed to find small votives at Freddie’s for the Jack-o-lanterns for 25 cents each. Of course I got extra!!
There are tall glass container glasses. These are usually found with images of saints on them. They’re a great deal, and if you don’t want the picture, you can soak the container in water and then scrape it off.
Tea lights are great!!! You can occasionally find colored ones, but at the discount stores (read ‘whatever-mart’) you can generally get a bag of 100 white ones for $6-7.
Birthday candles are as cheap as you can get. They’re basic, and not good if you want it to last a long time, but they do work! Just don’t get the trick candles (herm… might be a good idea for an outdoor ritual though).
Thrift stores are places of wonder. You can generally find a vast variety of candles. Avoid ones that are partially burnt, and of course, make sure that they aren’t too mangled.
Occult shops are good places to find candles generally. The ones here in Portland all seem to have small tapers for a reasonable price. They’re also likely to have the specially shaped ones… or know where you can get them.
A note to those not in the US… I’m sorry… I don’t know how much they cost over there…. but this should give you a rough idea of what to look for.
Cleansing Purchased Candles
If I have purchased candles, I like to cleanse them, just to be safe. But I *always* do this if I used candles from a thrift store… they’ve been handled more and sometimes need a physical cleansing as well.
For the physical cleansing (if it has dirt stuck on), simply use a small knife to peel off the offending dirt encrusted wax.
To do the spiritual cleansing, take a bowl/sink/casserole big enough to fit all the candles you’ll be cleansing. Put in a couple tablespoons of salt (give or take depending on the size of the container)… I like sea salt. Gently put in the candles. Add lukewarm water, it shouldn’t be too hot, but I find a little warmth helps salt dissolve. Swirl this around (or stir) three times in a counterclockwise motion. The number 3 is quite powerful, and clockwise is a direction for sending things out… such as any energy that’s in the candles.
A sample chant would be:
Mighty oceans of the sea,
Let these candles be fresh and clean.
By the power of three,
As I Will,
So mote it be!
let the bowl of water, salt and candles sit overnight, preferably in sight of a full moon, or sun for Kemetic practitioners and others who feel that the sun is the cleansing globe in the sky. When you take them out of the water, be nice… talk to them. Dry them off gingerly, but thoroughly.
Sand Candles are great fun, and quite cheap. If you live in an apartment, or another place with no yard of your own, fill a large bowl or box with sand. If you do have a yard you have it easy! lol in your dirt/sand you dig out the form of your candle. A traditional shape for these is like a cauldron. You can get creative though… wet it down a little to help it keep it’s form (spray bottles are ideal). You can then inscribe a sign or sigil (rune, pentacle, whatever) in the side. Make interesting shapes if you like. Determine by the shape how many wicks you’ll need. Suspend the wicks from a stick or pencil that runs across the opening. I don’t like my wicks to actually touch the dirt. I’ve found that they burn cleaner if they don’t. Pour in your wax, and top off when necessary.
After you’ve topped it off and it’s cooled completely, gently lift it out of the dirt. There will still be particles stuck to the wax, like a crust. If you’ve used a yard, you may have larger bits of debris that you can pick off.
Why have an altar? There are many reasons. Specifically in candle magic, you’ll want a place to do your spells. It needs to be a place, which you can have candles, and a variety of other objects on. Mine is in my bedroom (private)**, I’m going to be getting a small table from an unfinished furniture place, so that I can do some work on it. A simple altar cloth (pick a meaningful color to you, or change by the season, or whatever spell work you’re doing). Your altar will be the place that you cast spells, the place that you meditate, the place that you commune with the Gods.
Athame (a-tha-may) — Ritual knife. Traditionally not used for cutting physically. I use mine for physical as well as spiritual cutting though, as well as inscribing candles.
Scribe tool — if you don’t have an athame, or don’t use it for physical cutting, you’ll need something to inscribe the candles with. A sharp rock, a needle, a nail. Find something that works for you.
Censer — aka incense bowl. place sand in the bottom to stick in stick incense, or lay charcoal on top to burn. Is also useful for burning paper in ritual.
Candle holders — of course an essential for candle magic. Make sure that you have a few, and ones that will work for all the types of candles that you have.
Snuffer — some people feel that blowing out a candle offends the element of fire.
Meditation is what I feel to be an essential part of magic. You must know your self. You must also be able to focus and visualize. Meditation helps with all of these things.
Candles can be used for basic meditation. The color of the candle can vary. If you would like to meditate on something in particular, choose an appropriate color. If you just want a general meditation, use white. This candle can be used over and over again until it’s gone, or get a big bag of tea lights for cheap and use them!
Sit in a comfortable position with the candle about a foot in front of you. Light the candle and ground and center. Feel the tension flowing out your feet and fingers. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, then exhale for four seconds, then repeat. this will create a slow methodic rhythm to your breathe which will allow your muscles and mind to relax more, aiding in a meditative state.
Focus on the candle’s flame. If you get other thoughts in your head, let them flow out, and continue focusing on the flame. Maintain your breathing.
After a few moments of focusing on the candle, close your eyes. Hold on to the image of the candle, particularly the flame. Your mind’s eye should see the flame flickering. If you loose the image, open your eyes again. Do this for a total of 10-15 minutes each day.
This also works with a regular fire. If you have a fireplace, try it out. You can also do it while camping, etc. You probably have already! Most people notice that they’ll look at a fire and end up “zoning out”. This is meditation, but non-focused and accidental.
Dressing the candle
The Physical Process
Dressing the candle is performed during the ritual, after lighting incense, etc. and before lighting the candle. (spell and ritual composition will be covered next week!)
There are a number of conflicting methods as to the direction to rub in the oil, how to hold it, etc. Read all options, and then go with whatever works best for you!
Method 1: Hold the candle, with the base pointing at your belly, and the tip pointed away from you. Place a few drops of dressing oil on your fingertips or the candle. Rub the oil over the candle, moving your hand from the tip of the candle to the base if your intent is to bring something to you (or the person that you’re doing it for) such as attracting health, getting a job, etc. If your intent is to push something from you (banish illness, etc) hold the candle the same way, but rub from the base to the tip of the candle.
Method 2: Similar to method 1, except this philosophy is that you should never rub the candle away from you. Instead you flip the candle the other way around (point to your belly) when the intent of the spell is to push something away from you.
Method 3: The position that the candle is held in isn’t’ as important with this method. To attract something to you, anoint (the other way of saying ‘dressing’) the candle from the tip of the candle to the middle, then from the base to the middle. To push something from you, start in the middle of the candle, moving first to the tip, then from the middle to the base.
I’ve seen people combine these methods. Again.. get intuitive…
Never dress the candle in a back and forth motion. This negates the energy that you’re putting in.
With all of these, you may have to spin your hand or the candle to get an even covering of oil… it should be quite light and even!
As you are anointing your candle, you are putting/pouring/dumping energy into the candle. Visualize the preferred goal coming to fruition. See it as clearly in your mind’s eye as you possibly can. When it is real in your mind, it is real in actuality. (Remember that visualization gets better with practice!)
Feel the energy going from the earth, up into your body. There it is converted to be aligned at your goal. Feel that energy flowing out your hands into that candle.
Herbs are used in dressing oils, as well as incenses. These herbs, just as colors, have magical uses. I personally feel that some of these meanings can relate to physical actions of the herbs.
You don’t have to be an herbalist to use plants and resins in candle magic. Choose a few, which you are drawn to. Start doing research on them. Ensure first off that they aren’t poisonous. I can’t recommend that a novice herbalist use anything that is out rightly dangerous. For this class we’ll just be using them in oils and incenses, so I won’t go into ingestion… except.. don’t unless you talk to your MD.
Allspice – a catalyst. Works on higher planes for good or evil. Tends to affect the mind and thoughts of the person on whom it’s used, for instance luck or success in the form of a brainstorm. Frequently employed in luck, love and psychic areas; also good for money and general success.
Basil – for money and success. Soak in water for 3 days, then sprinkle about a place of business. Also used for purification and protection and to remove obstacles in love and create harmony. Dispels melancholy and attracts friends.
Bay: powerfully protective – even when used alone. Also a power and commanding herb. Used for banishing. In some traditions, used for hexing. Combined with other herbs for love and money rituals. Burned to induce visions. The leaves are put under a pillow for inspiration and prophetic dreams.
Chamomile: excellent for luck, prosperity, money and gambling. (Wash your hands with the tea before playing cards.) Calms the nerves and gives energy in adversity. Often used in Uncrossing formulas.
Caraway Seeds: protective, particularly in the area of health. In love – is said to attract a lover (in the physical sense) and cure fickleness. Also used to strengthen the memory.
Clove: a strong, forceful, compelling herb. Commanding. Acts as a catalyst when combined with other herbs. Used when force or power is required. **also money**
Cinnamon: a catalyst that doesn’t mind baneful recipes. Used in money drawing, for concentration and spells for love and passion . Sometimes used in healing or clairvoyance.
Cedar: psychic and protective. Has a way of keeping psychic channels open while protecting the operator. Use to anoint the 3rd eye.
Coriander: used for love, yet Very protective in these matters. Good for people who want a somebody, but aren’t sure whom. Added to Perfect Mate recipes. Works for slow, steadily developing relationships.
Dragon’s Blood: Power and protection. Thought by many to only work for good. That’s nonsense! It’s uses are almost limitless.
Frankincense: associated with the male principle as Myrrh is associated with the female principle. A mixture of both in an incense creates a balance. It is a good “white” magical base to receive other herbs or oils. Often used for protection or in money drawing recipes. Long used as a divinatory offering, in consecration and to raise the spiritual vibrations of a place. It aids in meditation and is used to obtain blessings and general prosperity.
Garlic — Protection, Healing, Exorcism, Lust, Anti-Theft
Henna (Lawsonia inermis) Healing. Place on forehead to relieve headache. Attracts love if worn near the heart. Protects from illness and from evil eye. A body adornment originating in the Mediterranean. Modern witches use as a ritual adornment, especially for the Great Rite and other important ritual occasions. Henna mixed with olive oil, massaged on the penis at the rising and setting suns promotes virility.
**I’m a henna nut. If you want more information on henna or the art of mehandi, please let me know! Also, if you’re using henna, and it gets wet in any fashion, expect it to stain! Good for lowering fevers.**
Jasmine: essentially a seduction herb. More sexual than romantic. Symbolizes the mysteries of the night. Sometimes used for meditation, to relax, for dreams or even to aid in childbirth. In love recipes it is used lightly in combination with other ingredients unless you just want a sexual affair.
Lavender: cleanses, protects and shields from bad vibrations and negativity. Used for uncrossing and love, it’s particularly effective in helping with marital problems or relationships. Soothes problems between parents and children and is an excellent protecting herb for babies and children.
Lemon Verbena: a traditional luck herb, it has the ability to convert bad luck to good. It is positive, protective and cleansing. A strengthening herb added to others to give extra power. Also used as an “attraction” herb.
Marigold (Calendula officinalis) aka calendula, drunkard, marybud, marygold
Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Legal Matters, Psychic Powers. Aids visionary sight and helps find stolen property by producing a vision of the thief in the mind and the location of the stolen property. Dried petals may be used alone or mixed with dried incense to consecrate divination tools. Petals may be macerated in sunflower oil to make an oil of consecration. Adds a special, loving magick to rituals of death and dying. Carry marigold petals with a bay leaf to quiet gossip.
Mint: a common additive to love incense – though I don’t know why since it tends to clear the head, not fog it. Spirits love the scent of mint and a dish set out will tend to attract them. Used in prosperity and money formulas. Also excellent for psychic matters and studying. **also healing**
Mugwort: clairvoyance, summoning spirits, manifestations, dreams and for consecrating any items used in this manner. **also healing**
Myrrh — Protection, Exorcism, Healing, and Spirituality
Rose: love. What you mix with it determines the kind of love. **it also depends on the color of rose. Red for romantic love, yellow for friendship, etc**
Rosemary: binds things (or people) together in a loving, gentle manner. Used in pillows for dreams and visions. Also used for purification and protection, mental alertness and stronger memory. Often used in sea rituals.
Sage — Immortality, Longevity, Wisdom, Protection, Wishes
Thyme: a favorite with the spirits, it encourages positive vibrations and actions. Used for protection (especially from the negative energy of others), for courage and for cleansing.
Vanilla: a compelling herb, used in areas of love and money especially. In love, it acts on a more physical level – lowering the guard, lulling the senses and subtly seducing.
Remember, do your research. Know *everything* about the herbs that you use. This may mean that you only use a few different ones at first, that’s fine. If you’re having troubles finding sources for further research on your chosen herbs, please contact me, and I’ll see what we can come up with together.
There are various times that you’ll want to write or draw something as part of a spell. I like having a special pen and inks for this purpose. For paper, use whatever paper you have on hand, blank is better. Use parchment for that special ambiance!
I have made a couple of different types of pens for use with spell work.
Bamboo is generally readily available, and cheap, usually free. Take a piece of comfortable length, usually 9 inches or so. at one end carve the point, then slice up about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to make the grove for holding ink. And you’re done!
Quill pens create a wonderful effect for the ambiance of your spells and rituals. The feather that is traditionally used is the longest ones on the wing. Pull off the fluffy bits (the technical term) from the barrel of the feather. You don’t need to remove all of them, but removing them from the side that will be resting on your hand, and especially nearer to the tip will be necessary.
You’ll want to have a dish or can of sand warming on the stove or a hot plate. Plunge the feather into the sand and let it temper there for a few minutes. This strengthens the feather.
Taking a sharp knife cut the tip of the pen, including the grove. And you’re done!
The basic recipe for inks is:
1 part herb or resin
coloring if needed
1 part gum Arabic
15 parts rubbing alcohol
Grind up herbs and resins. Add alcohol and coloring (food coloring will work). Soak until resins are dissolved or overnight for herbs. Add gum Arabic and run through a sieve.
1. Pick a goal out of this list:
Communication with Spirits
If you have a different goal which you currently have a distinct need for, please send me a PM, and we’ll discuss it and make sure that it’s appropriate for the class.
2. Make the goal more specific. This includes noting attracting or sending away. i.e. a fertility spell to increase the fertility of my garden. or a love spell to send a lover out of your life (I personally only do this for *really* bad relationships, like abuse). I think of communication with spirits to always be attracting, though if you have a different opinion, feel free to go with it, but please explain your reasoning!
3. Choose a color candle (or multiple colors) to go with your stated goal.
4. Pick out 3-5 herbs to aid with your spell. I would *prefer* that you pick herbs that either are already in your home, or ones that can be wild crafted (find them naturally in your area). If that won’t work, feel free to pick whatever will work for you.