Using Herbs with your Candles

When we work with candles, whether it’s for spell work, meditation, devotionals or just our altar candles, we can add some herbs to them to make some amazing magical tools. What I’m going to share with you is a method of working with candles that involves oils, herbs and a few other elements that I personally have been using for years with great success. It was one of the first methods of working with candles that I ever learned for spellwork.  If you’re into working with herbs and crystals as well as candles, this could be a great way to mix them all together with some magical intent and personal power.

Obviously the first thing that you’ll need to do is come up with a purpose for your candle spell. We’re going to work with the idea of creating a money drawing candle as an example. For this we’re going to need some items; the first thing that you’re going to want is the most obvious item, your candle.

Color: When you’re picking your candle you need to make a few considerations, the first being the color of the candle. In the case of a money spell you can use green or gold, or even a shade of yellow. Pick whatever color and shade of that color says “money” to you. Many people recommend that you use a candle that is a solid color all the way through meaning it isn’t coated with a few layers of colored wax but white on the inside.  You can tell this by scratching just a small chip off the bottom of the candle with your fingernail. Personally, while I prefer solid colored candles, I don’t think that a dipped candle with a white core inside will harm or detract from your work. White is a color that can be used for any kind of magical work and in my experience a dipped candle, properly charged with intention and well prepared works just a well as a solid colored candle.  So if you can only get a dipped one don’t worry.

Shape and Size: Next you’ll need to pick what type of candle you want to use. First consider how long you want to let the candle burn for. Ideally you want to burn the candle down when you light it. One of my personal favorites for this sort of candle work is the large, 7 day jar candles. These, depending on your living situation, can be safely burned without having to extinguish and relight. However, I will say that it is always best to work on the side of caution and snuff them out and relight them and to never leave an unattended candle burning. Some jar candles are not designed to come out of the jars, so look for ones that can be removed, sometimes sold as “pull out candles”. You can use this method of dressing with any shape candle but the best are either the large 7 day jar candles, jumbo tapers, or votives if you need something that will burn for a shorter amount of time.

Herbs, Oils and Crystals: Now it’s time to pick some herbs. I personally like to use three herbs, an oil and a crystal that all correspond to my intention. The amount of herbs you use will vary based on both the size of the candle and the number of herbs that you decide to work with. You’re going to need enough to cover you candle, fill a portion of your candle, and have some either in the jar or holder. Before you start working with putting any of this together, you’re going to want to know if the herbs are safe to burn. Check some references online or books like Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs to be sure about how safe the herbs are for burning ensuring they aren’t toxic or explosive.  Things like seeds, Vesta powder, or salt peter wouldn’t make for good choices since each of these will pop and explode which can break glass and cause a potential fire.

You’re going to want to pick an oil that corresponds to the purpose of your work and you’ll need enough to cover you candle well.  You can use an magical oil blend, also known as Condition Oils, or you can use a single essential oil of a plant that corresponds to your intention   You’ll need more than just a few drops like you might use for your usual candle anointing. I tend to use a palm-full for the larger 7 day candles.

Next, pick a crystal to use with your candle. The stone is going to be used with the candle but it’s also going to become a talisman for you after the candle has burned down.

A Few Other Things You’ll Need:
Something to carve your candle with
A slip of parchment or plain paper
A pen or quill and ink
A small fireproof dish larger than the opening of your candle jar so that you can burn some of your herbs on
Glitter (this is optional but it’s fun and does serve a magical purpose)

Preparing Your Items:

The first thing you’ll want to do is physically clean everything; the candle holder/jar, the candle itself, and the crystal. Cleanse the crystal in whatever way is best for that stone. Let it air dry and use whatever method you use for charging and programing your stone. For this example I’m going to be walking you through steps for using a jar candle since this is what I typically would be working with. You can certainly make whatever adjustments you need to make based on what I give you here.

Take the candle out of the jar and with warm water (warm but not hot). Use a drop or two of liquid soap and wash out the inside and outside of the jar. Let it air dry completely.

Next, with a small bowl of lukewarm water, take a cotton ball or soft cloth, dampen it and then completely wipe down the entire candle. Set the candle aside and also let this air dry completely.

While you’re waiting for things to dry, take this time to charge your herbs and set up your altar. When you’re doing this sort of work, I personally think incorporating color as much as possible is very helpful. Use an altar cloth that corresponds to the intent and if you have specific types of tools or other items that you might work with when doing (in this case) money magic. Set your altar and then work to charge your herbs. You don’t need to grind them to a powder but if you are using herbs that are large, like star anise for example, you’ll want to grind them to a size that will be safe for burning.

Crafting Your Candle:

Once your candle and jar are dry, gather everything you’ll need at your altar. Keep the candle out of the jar.

In your power hand, hold some of your herbs and bless them, including some words and visualization of your intention. Take your herbs and on the small plate form a pile with a peek to it. Light it and let the herbs start to smolder. Blow out the flame and cover the herbs with the jar so that the smoke will fill the inside of the jar completely. Once the jar is full and clouded with smoke, hold the jar with one hand and the dish with the other and flip them so the herbs fall to the bottom of the jar and the dish is on top of the jar opening. Let it sit like this while you work with your candle so that the herbs can finish smoldering and any smoke that is inside the jar will settle naturally.

Next, take your carving tool and carve a symbol representing your goal in the side of the candle. This can be a single symbol, like in our case a large dollar sign, or you can work with a sigil, a seal, or create an image of your own out of multiple symbols, like a dollar sign topped with a crown for success. While you’re doing this visualize your goal. If you have a specific word or chant that suits your needs, use that as well. As long as your intent is clear, your wording will fall in line with your work naturally. The key here though is to carve deeply. You’ll want to make sure that you go over your carving a number of times so that you’ll have a nice, deep groove in the candle that your herbs will be able be able to stick in the inside the candle.

Once you’re done carving you’ll want to get your oil and pour a good amount into your hand. The oil is not only going to charge your candle and infuse it with energy and power, it’s going to also help herbs adhere to your candle. Use both hands to rub the oil deeply into the candle. Do this with intention and purpose. Now is a great time for changing, visualizing, raising energy and directing that energy with intent into your candle. In the case of our money spell we would rub the candle in long, downward strokes because we’re working on something that we want to draw toward us. If we were working on a spell to break a bad habit, for example, we’d rub the candle from bottom to top to send this energy away from us. Rub the candle with oil, adding more as you need to, until the candle is shiny with oil and filled with energy.

Now you’re ready for your herbs. Take the herbs in your hand and begin filling the carving with herbs. This can be tricky depending on how wide and deep you carved your symbols. Do your best, and once the carving is filled, sprinkle herbs around the rest of the candle surface. Don’t worry if they don’t stick real well because you’ll be putting herbs around the candle and on top of it once it’s in the jar. If you’re going to work with glitter as well, you can add that on the candle now as well.

When you’re done with the herbs, take the plate off the top of the jar and place the candle in the jar on top of the herbs that you burned. Anoint the top of the candle and sprinkle herbs deosil around the top of candle. Take some of the herbs and, if there is space between the candle and the glass, try and sprinkle some down the sides as well.

Take your slip of parchment and write out a written spell with your intent in whatever words you wish. Use runes and symbols as well if you’d like. Anoint the four corners of the paper with oil and place it under your candle jar. Hold your crystal in your power hand and take a moment to also anoint it and infuse it with energy. Place the stone in front of your candle.

You’re just about ready to light your candle. Take a few moments to visualize your intent, say some words of intention calling on whatever God, Goddess or spirit ally you’d like to aid you if you wish. When you have the image of your intent fully in your mind, light your candle. When you light the candle visualize it releasing your power and intent, directing your desires to your goals. Let the candle burn for as long as you can. If you can let it burn completely, that’s perfect, but if not you can snuff it (not blow it out) and then relight it when you’re ready to continue. When you do, relight it with purpose, taking time to focus on your goals and purpose just as you did initially.

When the candle burns out completely, there are two things that you can do. If your spell hasn’t manifested as you desire yet, take the parchment, crystal, wax remnants, and any left over herbs into an appropriately colored spell bag and carry it with you until it does. When it does you can take the crystal out of the bag and either cleanse it to reuse for another time and burn the other items. If when your candle burns down your spell has manifested as you wish, you can burn the paper slip and any other left over herbs, taking the stone to cleanse for reuse later. In either case, scatter the ashes in a natural body of running water or to the winds. Recycle the candle jar or you can clean it out and use it with another candle in the future.

With regards to the crystal, in some cases people don’t like to reuse stones for spells or other work once they’ve been used like this. If you wish, you can take the stone and bury it in the earth or toss it in a river, lake or ocean.

The method here is a nice and involved way for you to really collect and work with energy to add some oomph to candle magic and it’s a great way to add in herbs to candle work. The steps I’ve given you here are vague in some regards on purpose so you can work to create your own spells with your own personal touch. Years after I learned this method, I discovered a book that works with an almost identical method but expands on it adding a few other elements that I have found to be really interesting to work with. The book is called “The Enchanted Candle” by Lady Rhea and Eve LeFey; I don’t believe it’s still being published but it can probably be found on eBay or used through The authors have a second book that is still in print called “The Enchanted Formulary” which is a great addition to give you some help with creating wonderful oils and potions for your candle spells.

So take this and have fun with it, be creative and let the act of crafting your spell candles be just as magical as the rituals you use them in.

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  • Chelsea
    May 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Nice 🙂 a comfortable spell style!