I wrote this article on DIYing my candles for witchcraft some time ago, but I re-read it in preparation for some of the workings I am doing for myself, as well as some matter I plan to teach in our Grove very soon.
Typically when I work candle magic spells, I have found through years of experimentation that this formula works quite nicely. It adds a lot of attention and focus to your goal, which empower the spell tremendously:
- Determine the intent of the spell. Divination before any working always helps to bring more accurate results. I usually consider it foolhardy to go into any working without doing a divination beforehand. To know, after all, is the first of the four powers of the Sphinx.
- Condense that intent into one to two words.
- Choose a candle of the appropriate color. More often than not, though, I will create a candle of the appropriate color and add to it all sorts of other ingredients such as herbs, oils, and stones of corresponding nature to my goal.
- With a needle, carve your witch name in any other script beside your native language. (Runes, Theban, Ogham, or any other non-Roman alphabet is acceptable) and your degree symbol at the base of the candle. If you do not have a degree symbol, carve a pentagram or a small symbol which represents yourself.
- Carve those two words onto the length of the candle, again, using the alternate alphabet, starting just above the witch name and going up the length of the candle.
- Dress the candle with an oil appropriate to my goal. If I do not have an oil appropriate to my goal available, I use my specifically-blended temple oil, which is a great all-purpose oil. If you do not have a great array of oils to choose from, simple olive oil always works nicely, or if you have an all-purpose oil that you use, feel free to use that. Either work from the ends of the candle and spiral the oil on toward the center for drawing something to you, or work from the center of the candle and go outward to banish something.
- Then, with a shout of, "So mote it be!", stick the pin in the candle, and put the candle upright in a holder. If you do not plan to use the candle right away, skip this step, and instead wrap the pin and the candle in a piece of white fabric until you plan to use the candle. At that point, stick the needle in, instead.
- Speak aloud a created magical phrase that is appropriate to your goal, and directly linked to the words carved on that candle. The best way I have found to create a magical phrase is by anagramming the words I inscribed on the candle. For example, if I had inscribed the words, "Publish a book," I would anagram them to "Up akoho blibs." The Internet Anagram Server is great for this.
- Choose an appropriate time to start burning the candle. Planetary Hours/Days are a great way to choose an appropriate time of day to start this phase of the spell. Also, appropriate phases of the moon, season of the year, and even concerns such as what fiscal quarter we're in can all help you choose a good time to start your work.
- When you start burning the candle, focus your attention solely on the candle. Your eyes should never go away from the flame. Continue speaking this phrase until the pin drops. This can sometime take a few hours depending on how large of a candle you use. While speaking these magical words, focus on the flame, solely. Let your mind drift if you wish, but always keep speaking that phrase aloud.
- If I need to pause, I may by simply speaking the magical phrase aloud once and pinching out the candle. I leave the pin in the candle, and leave the candle standing in its place. You may pause as often as you like, but the spell must continue to be chanted until the pin drops. If possible, restart burning the candle during the same planetary hour you chose when you began. Likewise, if possible, attempt to finish a candle started during the waxing/waning moon before the moon is full/new and the tide of energy changes.
- After the pin drops, you may take the candle outside and place it in a fireproof container, where you let it burn out. After the candle is burned out, wrap the candle's remains and the needle in a black cloth and bury them both.
The effect of a candle magic spell is powerful because there is a lot of work that goes into the deceptively simple candle spell. The candle can take hours to burn down to the needle, and that is hours you spend with your gaze focused on that flame, speaking aloud this magical phrase which, while nonsensical, you know is completely linked to your goal. Add in the front-end magical work of creating the candle (and the creative act alone is one that pours a lot of power into an object,) and you have a simple, effective way to cast forth the forces of nature into manifesting your goal.
A few variations on this spell I have also done to great effect. I love the glass jar novena candles. They are great for use outside thanks to their built in wind shield. Obviously sticking a pin in it will do no good, so instead I carve out a little hole about an inch deep and drop inside of it a small fireproof trinket that represents my goal - a metal charm, a stone, or a shell usually. When the wax has burned away enough that the object within is fully revealed, then I stop chanting the magical phrase and let the candle burn to nothingness. I do not bury the glass jar; I recycle it, but I do wrap the trinket in black fabric and bury it.
Also, I have in addition to carving the runes on the candle, I can create a visual sigil which I draw on a piece of flash paper. I pin the sigil to the candle, and when the flash paper goes up in flames, I then stop chanting and let the candle burn as usual. This more flamboyant approach is better for spells that require more immediate action.
Candle magic, a very straightforward form of magic, has many opportunities for you to pour energy into this working to create spells that have a great impact. Explore this type of magic often, and you'll find that it will reward you time and again!