Although tools of the craft may at times help you can practice magick with nothing but a candle.
A candle is a self-contained magical system, for although it represents the Fire element, it also containing the other three basic elements of magick:Earth is represented by the unburned wax of the candle, Air is the smoke, Fire the flame and Water
the melted wax. Thus is created Akasha, or Spirit.
For most spells, however, you should have one or two altar candles in white, cream or natural
beeswax. A single central candle can be good for times of quiet meditation, but for more focused
rituals you may prefer to light one candle to represent the Goddess on the right and another for the
god polarity, on the left of the altar.
Any tools and elemental substances that you wish to use, such as salt – which represents Earth in the
North -can be set at the four main compass points around them and any symbols set between and in
front of them.
These will be the first candles lit in any ritual, either before or immediately after casting a circle. I
prefer to light them first, to mark a beginning and an empowerment to the magick and to avoid casting
an empty circle, but there are no hard and fast rules.
There is debate over whether you should blow or pinch out candles that you do not wish to burn
completely away. The act of blowing out a candle is itself a magical release of power, for, rather than
holding the light in a snuffer, you can send it towards all who need it. This is an excellent way of
releasing and directing power at the end of a rite.
If you buy candles with two or three wicks, a new one can be lit each day in a three-day ritual. Larger
candles can have up to seven wicks and if you need a lot of power, you can light all the wicks during a
single ritual. Candles vary considerably in their burning times – the better-quality ones may state the
number of hours, but with practice if you always use the same type of candles, you will be able to
assess how long they will last.
Then you can choose one to match the occasion – either one that will have burned through by the end
of an evening in a dusk ritual or one that will last for up to 12 hours for an all-night vigil candle, for
example on one of the solstices.
Practitioners of strict ceremonial magick say that you should never use a candle that has been lit for
another ritual or purpose and should not use these afterwards for household illumination. However,
since candles are so expensive and since you will only be performing positive magick, there is no
reason why ritual candles should not be adapted for everyday use. Candles from harmony and healing
spells may be used in quiet areas of the home, and candles for energy and success in work or study
On the other hand, candles for banishing magick should be left to burn down and any remaining wax
buried, or the unused candle be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. You can, if you
wish, place your banishing candle on a metal tray etched with a symbol of what you wish to remove
from your life and bury that.
Both for ritual magick and for your informal candle spells and meditations, you will need a supply of
candles in a variety of colours. I will list here astrological significances, the magical colour meanings
and the elemental correspondences, so that even if you are new to magick you can begin work at once.
If you are an experienced practitioner, some of the ideas may suggest new directions for your personal
and coven work.