Making Magickal Candles

Chandler's Chant / Colors / Herbs / Oils / Beeswax Candle / Using Molds / Dipped Candles / Sabbat Candles

Making your own candles adds a magickal boost to spellworking. The witch may infuse each homemade candle with the intended magickal purpose by the use of specific chants, oils, colors, crystals, and herbs. And candle making is relatively easy. Just watch out for burns when handling the hot wax.

I use a makeshift double broiler -- an empty coffee can placed in a pot of boiling water. I simply melt the wax in the coffee can; add color, oils, and/or herbs; and dip candles or pour into molds. This process can be as simple or as elaborate as you care to make it. The important thing is to concentrate upon your magickal intent while making them. Cast a circle or create sacred space. Chant throughout the process, repeating this chandler's (candle maker's) chant or something similar:

By the life giving Sun and the mystical Moon,
I conjure these candles to grant a boon.
Full of magickal power (or safety or healing) this candle will be
By the Lord and the Lady, so mote it be.

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Candle Color Correspondences

Choose a candle color to match your magickal intent. Also listed are correspondences for the zodiac and days of the week.

White -- spirituality, purity, truth, protection, and peace (Aries) MONDAY
Red -- health, energy, strength, courage, sexual potency (Taurus) TUESDAY
Pink -- love, affection, and romance
Orange -- creativity, attraction, ambition, career matters, and the law (Leo)
Yellow -- intellectualism, imagination, memory, and confidence (Gemini) SUNDAY
Green -- fertility, abundance, good luck, healing and harmony (Cancer) FRIDAY
Blue -- inspiration, protection, peace, and devotion (Pisces, Libra) THURSDAY
Purple -- psychism, spirituality, wisdom, enchantment (Aquarius)
WEDNESDAY
Brown -- Animal magick, earth awareness (Capricorn)
Black -- banishing, Crone magick, mourning, loss (Scorpio) SATURDAY
Silver -- clairvoyance, , astral energy, and intuition, the Moon, Goddess (Sagittarius)
Gold -- wealth, prosperity, enthusiasm, the Sun, God (Virgo)

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Some Herbal Correspondences

These are the herbs that work particularly well for me. There are many, many other herbal correspondences. Try out as many as you can and find what works best for you. Refer to Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs and Paul Beyerl's The Master Book of Herbalism.

Money -- cinnamon, chamomile, basil
Creativity -- vervain (the artist's herb), lavender
Psychic power -- cinnamon, mugwort, thyme, honeysuckle, yarrow, broom, bay
Divination -- mugwort, broom, camphor, dandelion, hibiscus, borage, honeysuckle, dragon's blood, black willow
Protection -- sandalwood, basil, frankincense, rosemary, fennel, sage, angelica, ivy, cinquefoil, foxglove, dogwood
Health -- sandalwood, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, bay, sage, pine, mugwort, St. John's Wort, cypress (eases pain), cedar (speeds healing)
Love -- rose, lavender, gardenia, jasmine

MORE HERBS (coming soon)

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Herbal Oil Correspondences

Again, these are the oils I use on a regular basis. You may find others work just as well for you. Refer to Scott Cunningham's The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews.

Money -- patchouli, basil, sage, cinnamon, honeysuckle, ginger, lemon balm, nutmeg
Psychic power -- jasmine, lemongrass, myrrh, nutmeg, yarrow, star anise
Divination -- jasmine, lemongrass
Protection -- pine, juniper, pennyroyal, vetivert, clove, geranium, black pepper, lime, patchouli
Health -- lavender, eucalyptus, myrrh, peppermint, clove, garlic
Love -- jasmine, rose, lavender, rosemary, lilac, vanilla, carnation

MORE HERBAL OILS (coming soon)

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Simple Beeswax Candles

You will need:

Rolled beeswax sheet (buy these in a color that matches your magickal intent)
Lengths of cotton wick
Magickal herbs
Sharp craft knife

To roll your own beeswax candles, warm the beeswax sheets until floppy (a blowdryer works great).

Right side down, sprinkle the magickal herb all over the inside of the sheet.

Tightly roll the sheet around a length of wick which has been cut slightly longer than the length of your candle. You can cut the beeswax sheet to make smaller candles, or leave the sheet whole for taller candles.

If you prefer, cut a diagonal from the top left-hand corner of the sheet to about half-way down the center of the right-hand side and tightly roll up the beeswax, so the candle becomes tiered as it takes shape. Experiment with different angles of the diagonal, cut to create a variety of tiered beeswax candles.

Gently press the end of the sheet into the candle to seal it. (The idea is to give it as seamless a look as possible.)

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Using Molds or Containers

I use a plastic votive candle mold I found in a craft store. I've also used milk cartons, jars, toilet paper rolls, small cat food cans, and even a Parmesan Cheese canister. Be creative. Conch shells could make beautiful candles, as could heavy glass tumblers. (Be very, very careful when pouring hot wax into jars or glasses. Use only thick, tempered glass, like that used for canning jars.)

Scented Candles in Containers

Items needed:

Wax of some sort -- granules (which can be bought pre-dyed) or blocks
Cotton wick, depending on the diameter of containers (the larger the container, the thicker the wick)
Pure beeswax (optional)
Double saucepan or a metal can over a pan of simmering water
essential oils and/or herbs of your choice

1. Once you know the diameter of your container, you can buy the correct size of cotton wick, simply
by matching your measurements to those on the packets of cotton wick. A wick of the wrong size
will not burn properly, so read the information on the packet carefully.

2. Gently dissolve some white wax granules or wax block (Optional: add a small bit of beeswax in the top of a double-saucepan; use about ten parts wax to one part beeswax. The beeswax will add a little color and scent to the candles.) IMPORTANT: Be careful not to overheat the wax.

3. Cut a piece of wick about twice the length required for the container. Dip the wick into the melted
wax, and leave to dry and stiffen. Now attach the waxed end of the wick to the base of the container
with a small piece of modeling clay or putty, and hook the top end of the wick over a pencil lying
across the container top.

4. At this stage, scent the candle wax by adding several drops of essential oil and or dried herbs. Add color by dropping in crayons or candle dye. Read the dye directions for appropriate amounts. Melted wax will dry to a lighter shade.

5. Gently pour the melted wax into the container, and leave to cool. You may need to add a little more wax if the cooled candle shrinks too much. Any spare wax can be cooled and re-melted for other candles.

Molded Candles

Cardboard canisters and cartons make good molds as they can be peeled off after the candles dry. It helps to spray the molds LIGHTLY with non-stick cooking spray before pouring the candles.

Follow steps 1-5 above

When candles are cool, remove the molds. Rapping a plastic mold sharply against a surface will loosen the candles. They should drop out after one or two raps. (As plastic molds get older, candles may become harder to remove. Don't forget the cooking spray.)

Dipping Candles

Dipping candles is a little more challenging than container or molded candles. The trick is getting the wax to just the right temperature. If it's too hot, the wax will melt every time you dip the wick. If it's not hot enough, the wax will glob. It takes a little experimentation to get it right.

Find something to drape the drying tapers on while layering the wax onto the wick. A dishtowel rack or one of those collapsible clothes drying racks work well. The rack should be wide enough so that candles don't touch when hanging on it.

Cut the wick long enough for two candles plus a bit extra for hanging across the rack.

Fill the top boiler pan or metal can as high as you want your candles to be plus two inches.

Dip both ends of the wick into the wax, allowing it to hang dry slightly between dips. (To taper candles, after several dips, gradually dip less of the candle into the wax with each dip.)

When candles are the desired size, pour the remaining wax into containers or molds. Let the tapers cool, then roll them gently on waxed paper on an even surface (This presses out the lumps and imperfections). Leave them hanging on the rack to dry on the rack.

Sabbat Candles

Use herb, oil, and color correspondences for each Sabbat to create your own unique seasonal candles. Check correspondences for each of the holidays at my Wheel of the Year page. Have fun! Here are only a few ideas:

Samhain: Black or orange candles with dried rosemary and/or dried mugwort and patchouli, musk, or sandalwood oil. Carnelian, bloodstone, or jasper crystals can be dropped into the candle as it cools. Skull candles (symbolizing wisdom) and pumpkin-shaped candles are entirely appropriate.

Yule: Red or green candles (also gold and silver) with ground cinnamon; and bayberry, cedar, spruce, pine, or cinnamon oil. Decorate the candles with poinsettia, holly, red roses or white carnations. Drop quartz, garnets, blue topaz, or pearls into the cooling wax.

Imbolc: Red, black, and white candles with dried dragon's blood or red and white rose petals; and carnation, vanilla, or vanilla musk oil. Garnets, clear quartz, or pearls may be added.

Ostara: Pastel green, yellow, pink, and blue candles (egg-shaped is appropriate) with purple clover, lilac, lavender, vervain or lemon balm herbs; and heather, lilac, lavender or new mown hay oil. Decorate with daisies, tulips or daffodils. Clear and rose quartz, lapis lazuli, agates and amethysts can be dropped into the wax as it sets.

Beltane: Purple, gold or green candles with honeysuckle, roses, lilac or vanilla; and rose, lilac, or vanilla oil. Decorate with daisies, roses, lilacs, fern, or violets. Drop in peridot, citrine, amethysts or rose quartz.

Litha: Orange, gold, yellow, or green candles with rose petals; and violets, rose, orange, lime, or thyme oil. Or include nine sacred herbs of the season: mistletoe, vervain, St. John's Wort, heartsease, lavender, mugwort, sage, rosemary, and honeysuckle. Decorate with roses, marigolds or sunflowers. Add citrine, peridot, carnelian or calcite crystals or drop in a hazelnut.

Lughnasadh: Brown, yellow, or orange candles with copal, tangerine, musk, or patchouli oil. Decorate with marigolds, corn, wheat, grapes, sunflowers, ivy, barley, or any wild flowers and plants. Use tiger's eye, citrine, aventurine, golden topaz, obsidian, moss agate, rhodochrosite, or clear quartz.

Mabon: Orange, brown, tan, or yellow candles with cinnamon, rosemary, marigold, sage, or clove; and cinnamon, tangerine, or orange oils. Decorate with fallen leaves, rue, yarrow, or other fall plants. Use citrine, rose quartz or moonstone crystals.

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