The Busy Witch: Easy Candle Magic

I’ve always been drawn to candles and fire, and I use candle magic on a regular basis. When I paused to think about it before writing this post, I realized that my candle spells seem to split into three different categories: devotion, gratitude, and requests.

Candle magic for devotion has long been a part of my daily routine; the first candle I light when I come to my little bedroom altar each night is dedicated to Isis. Although the candle changes (often, I use a blue lotus candle holder, but lately, I’ve been using a tall, white pillar candle), I always light this before beginning any other work, even if it’s the only candle I light. I offer a prayer of to Isis when I light the candle and when I extinguish it, sometimes a vague, short phrase, and other times, a specific list of ways I’ve noted her presence in my day. Although I work with a variety of goddesses, I am a priestess of Isis, and using a candle to connect with her each night feels right to me.

egypt 1040The second type of candle magic I regularly perform is to give thanks. I keep a stash of “spell candles”, tiny tapers that are about three inches high and can be purchased at any metaphysical store and some holistic grocery stores, and whenever something moves me to gratitude, I pull out a white spell candle and light it as an offering. I use candle magic to express gratitude for both large and small moments, but the one thing that doesn’t change is the burning of the candle itself; when I am working gratitude magic, I let the candle burn itself out on my altar. I poke my head into the bedroom every so often to make sure the candle is burning safely, and luckily my cat has never tried to explore the top of my altar, but still, it’s good to be conscious of mundane as well as magical safety when working candle magic. I practice this type of magic outside the home, too; whenever I’ve visited a church that moves me, I’ve lit a candle if they are provided, and I always feel a moment of blissful connection, unifying my home practice to the outside world.

The third type of spell I use candles for is one I do only rarely; if there’s something I really want to manifest, I will prepare a spell candle for this desire. Sometimes, I use specifically colored candles (orange for creative endeavors, or blue for psychic requests), and other times, I simply use a fresh white spell candle. I will carve words or images into the side of the candle with a pencil, or I’ll anoint the candle with a specific essential oil; it depends on what I’m asking for, and what my instincts tell me to do. Sometimes, I’ll let the request candles burn themselves out in one sitting, as with my gratitude offerings, but more often, I’ll light the candle in the evening after I’ve lit my devotional candle, and only let it burn for the time I’m in front of my altar, repeating the process every night until the candle has burned down. I’ve learned to phrase my requests in open-ended ways; it’s taken a lot of mistakes to realize that sometimes, I don’t know what would be best, so I ask the Universe or a particular goddess for help “if this is the best thing for me.” I’ve found that this kind of candle magic is soothing, reaffirming, and helps me to feel as if I am still taking action toward my goals, particularly in situations which feel very much out of my hands (like after I’d sent in my MFA application, and I could only wait and see what would happen).

Candle magic is an easy way to connect to the Universe and your chosen divinity, and it’s still the type of spell craft I turn to most often for fast results.

What type of simple magic do you gravitate toward?


The Busy Witch is published on alternate Tuesdays. Follow it via RSS or e-mail!

About Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”). She is a poet, a novelist, and a goddess-centric witch with a love of all things magical. Her first nonfiction book, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls: Get Rich, Get Happy, Get Lucky, is now available from Weiser Books wherever books are sold. Check out her website (jenmcconnel.com) for more information.


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