Candle Magic

Candle Magic

Candles have long been known for their mysterious and intriguing qualities in life. In this article I will help you improve your candle magic with my own thoughts on reading the flame, and what to do in difficult situations that may impact your work. I will cover the following to help you on the road to get your intention heard by spirit:

  • Review any remains in the candle spell – what does the wax, soot and flame mean?
  • Provide an overview of reading the flame in candle magic – watch and understand what this means
  • Understanding the wick and where this is placed at the end of the spell – is it buried for example?
  • What it means when wax drips down the side of the candle – does wax drip down the side of the candle?
  • White or black soot – White soot comes from spirit.
  • Images in the candle wax – after the spell look and see what pictures you can see.
  • How you know your work is going well.
  • Stand-alone candle flame and wax meanings and vigil.

Sometimes you will see images such as an angel, skull, or even an elephant (which I had recently) appear in the wax, I will discuss these later in this article but for now remember to pick out any strange images that you see. These signs and many can be interpreted using my tea leaf dictionary click here.

Marks on the front side of the candle suggest problems and the back side hidden problems. A scorched label points to issues or problems in a vigil candle spell. If the work is focused on money then any grey or black marks can suggest that there is resistance to the work. 

Candle Magic: Why even bother?

Just want to quickly go back to basics here. Why do we witches bother doing candle spells? Candles bring light to the darkness, they light our way when we are lost, they bring to us the peaceful calm of being safe and protected within a golden glowing force field whenever they are lit. It is no wonder that they are used as frequently as they are as tools for magic. Candle magic essentially is the practice of working magic to direct your will using Candles as a medium, or tool, to complete the process. Witches have been using candles for a very long time because they are symbolic of the element of fire, first of all, which connects us to the mystery of that element and in combination with the wax in the way that it melts; there are other divinatory qualities that exist with candles.

Candles are very mysterious and interesting. Candles themselves have been traced as far back as the Paleolithic era, where they were created to symbolize people or animals or the sun and moon. In this modern-day and age, candle magic has become something of an art form. When choosing to use candles in your magic to symbolize the work, you will first want to decide what kind of timing you are going to be using for your spell. If it is going to be an hour-long spell, a day-long spell or a week-long spell.

Then you will want to find a candle that will burn as long as you are intending the spell to work. Once you have done that, you will want to choose a color that is representative of your goal. For example, a green candle might mean money to you or it might mean the home or the hearth.

If you are trying to work magic on acquiring more money or making your home a peaceful place, and you resonate with the color green for these purposes then you should use a green candle. Once you have chosen that color, you will want to take it home and consecrate it.

One of the most common ways of consecrating (blessing your candle in preparation to do good work for you) you will want to get some olive oil or some kind of anointing oil and with all of your good intentions using your thumb and starting at the middle of the candle, you will want to start moving the oil up the candle toward the top all the way around. And then do the same thing from the middle to the bottom of the candle. When your candle is consecrated in this manner you may use it for your purposes. Many people wonder what kind or color of candles they should use to work their spell. They refer to books to reference the colors and their symbolic meanings.

While books are extremely helpful and informative, especially when it comes to correspondences such as these, it is also extremely beneficial to practice strengthening your own personal intuition by approaching the colors of the candles with an open mind.

Determine what feels right for you. You may feel that a yellow candle is symbolic of your home and hearth or that Red is the color of money for you. Both would be fine if that was the case. The main point behind any magical work is the amount of intention that you put behind it.

Candle Colour Meanings

Many people wonder what kind or color of candles they should use to work their spell. They refer to books to reference the colors and their symbolic meanings. While books are extremely helpful and informative, especially when it comes to correspondences such as these, it is also extremely beneficial to practice strengthening your own personal intuition by approaching the colors of the candles with an open mind. Determine what feels right for you.

Please bear in mind that candle colors can be used for individual purposes and if YOU have a specific alternate meaning for a color then by all means use it. You may feel that a yellow candle is symbolic of your home and hearth or that Red is the color of money for you. Both would be fine if that was the case. The main point behind any magical work is the amount of intention that you put behind it.


These are standard guidelines for typical reasons why specific colors can be used. Pay close attention to your candle color choices depending on the season or holiday as well as some traditions have specific specifications on which colors should be used for ritual purposes. Also, keep in mind that the variance of the color can indicate a different meaning – such as light blue for serenity and dark blue for healing or health.

Candle Magic Flame And Wax Meaning

If you have carried out any spells you would naturally be wondering what the candle can tell you about the work. The time of day to light your candle should be related to the goal, some spells are best at sunset or sunrise and others are best to burn at the witching hour of midnight. Candle magic is quite popular and a form of spell work that tends to be extremely effective. Personally, I carry out magic only when the situation appears desperate and even then I’m conscious that we should not change fate too much. To draw in great influences, working when the sun rises is positive and in the evening when the sun goes down casts off negative influences. But just as any witch who is experienced will tell you, spell candles at times seem to have an independent mind. A fluttering, dancing flame might seem to be communicating to you something but what could it be? Here I detail what your candle magic spells signify so you can look for clues in the work.

There are not many resources surrounding the observations made during the burning candle ritual or spell. I’m going to help you look for the signs, combined with your intuition, this can easily provide you with essential clues in connection with the failure or eventual success of your undertakings. 

You have to always remember that omens and signs are very individual and the methods you utilize for reading them will keep on evolving over time, When it comes to showing the concrete and significant effects that candle magic has on us, we are inclined to look into the flame for evidence. To interpret the candle signs is a hoodoo/witchcraft practice that is quite broad which encompasses at least three types of divination as follows:

  • Ceromancy – divination by wax.
  • Pyromancy – divination by fire.
  • Capromancy – divination by smoke.  

A logical explanation of a candle burning 

There are many transient signs that can be seen when the candle burns. A tall flame is normally caused by a wick that is not trimmed. Black soot from the candle is normally due to colorants or oils which are exposed to high heats. And a candle which goes out suddenly could be due to a stiff breeze – or magically, unfriendly spirit passing by.

Knowing the candle’s makeup will make one understand why it burns differently from one another. A candle can dance or flares up really high, and if you passively watch the candle burn you can get an idea of if this will work. One of the important concepts in the magical world is that candles will provide a tool into the spiritual world. 

Candle spells can either use a stand-alone candle or vigil candles, even birthday candles. Both these methods can be effective and simple, what you need to do is to set your intentions, prepare and then burn the candle. But what does it denote when your candle ends up burning in a particular way?

First, let's consider candles for appropriate actions and affirmations to bring your intentions to life. There are many types of candles to choose from. 

Stand-alone Candle Magic Signs

If you are burning candles that are stand-alone or on a honey jar, then you can look for signs in the residue. A free-standing candle burns down to normally a small puddle of wax. Of course, you will see many shapes in the candle and this can mean so many things. When you burn two named candles together (for example lovers) when the wax falls onto the other candle it means that person's love for them is huge. It is important to understand the intention of the spell when looking at the wax images for stand-alone candles. If a stand-alone candle is burning it can produce droplets down the side of the candle, these are known as tears and they mean someone will cry by the time the spell finishes. If the tears are gone away then this means sorrow will eventually pass. If the tears are still found after the candle has burned and hangs like an icicle then this can indicate a negative sign for the spell. Seeing wings in the wax can indicate that you are protected by spirit. 

Candle Magic: Clean Burn Freestanding candle

A clean burn of a freestanding candle is a great sign. If it leaves no marks at all then this can mean the petition will be answered. Things are likely to go well. 

Candle Magic: Candle burns really fast

I noticed this personally, as I burned a candle it was super fast and normally a 4-inch spell candle can take around 80 minutes to burn but this candle was done in 30 minutes! The spell worked and the next day the person contacted me with a job invitation, therefore, a fast-burning candle means it is working really fast!

Vigil encased candles

As well known, the vigil class candles are mostly in a shape that is cylindrical with each side of the candle having a particular meaning when it comes to the process of interpretation and the results that work. 

The vigil candles have both back, front, right, and left parts. When you start working on the candle, you have to ensure that you determine the front of your candle and know where the front part is on the candle.  There are some candles which will come in a special design or some special wording on the front to make it easier to tell. Others will have the same design on both the front and the back. 

Select the candle’s front side whether it is already shown or you choose it and ensure that the side is always facing you while on the altar or the table. If both the back and the front happen to be the same, put a mark with a marker on the candle’s front. You can mark with the date that you begin your spell or the name of your target, or the intention you have for the spell-like abundance, money, or protection.

That will ensure that you will be able to tell what the front of the candle is and it is important when it comes to having to read the progress of your candle and once the spell is complete. The advantage of glass-encased candles is that they are safe to leave unattended, they come in various colors and they don’t normally need relighting.

The front of the Vigil Candle

The candle’s front is a representation of anything and everything tangle and physical. It can be things like physical health, money, people, your home, places, animals, and much more. Anything you can physically touch, see, taste, smell and which is a physical substance

Back Of The Vigil candle

The candle’s back is a representation of your intention which is non-tangible and non-physical and non-tangible.  It can be things such as spirituality, spirits, emotions, mental health, situations, feelings, and much more.  Anything that you cannot be able to touch, see, smell, taste, and is an idea, concept, belief and is certainly described as non-physical.

Left Side Of The Vigil Candle

The candle’s left side is a representation of things coming from the past. It could be the distant past or the recent past. The candle’s left part is determined by your left side. So as you face the candle, what you happen to see on your left is the candle’s left side. Similar to the tarot reading as well as the card reading on the left in a present, past, Future reading is often in the card’s past. 

Right Hand Side of the Vigil Candle

The candle’s right side is a representation of things from the future. What is likely going to happen or that will influence your future. The candle’s right side is the opposite side on the candle’s left side. 

Flame reading of the candle

Many people ask me what does the flame on the candle burning mean. Now that you know what the spatial diameters of the candle’s vigil glass are, you need to determine the latex wax and flame reading, soot and residue reading. Candle reading can easily be done while the candle is burning and physical or mental notes have to be made as the candle burns with dates to be added onto the notes. 

With the candle burning, you might end up noticing effects from the working which start to take place that will automatically affect the candle and the way it burns. When you make notes and pay close attention to the way the candle burns, you will have to connect it to the various events which are going around you and your entire life. It will help you in seeing the connection between your spell and working. Not only that, the flame can dictate if your work is going well. The following are different type of flames and what they mean:

Candle Magic High flame 

Wow this is a great sign. There is great energy which is behind the spell work. It might denote intention is intense and high that there might be a lot of influence and help in pushing the working to high performance. The spell might start very powerful but be resisted later. You need to keep an eye and find out if the high flame will continue for the entire time the candle will be burning.  It is possible for a high flame to become weak, but might pick up again so don’t worry if it suddenly goes down. A high flame that turns into a low flame can mean that your spell will work really quickly at first.

Candle Magic Low flame

The low flame is not a positive sign, it can mean that things are blocking the magic. It can suggest that there is a lot of resistance to the work. The spell might not be the right or there could be a need to be a different spell.  You have to ensure that the wick of the candle is not very short when you start on a candle spell. A wick that is too short might yield a low flame and might go out in case the wax pools around it very fast. 

At times, a candle for cleansing or a candle that is not in a crossing spell might require to be done before you attempt to do the spell again if there is a lot of resistance depending on the spell that you are carrying out.

A flame that sputters, hisses, crackles, or pops

When a flame starts going crazy and makes noises, it denotes that, the spirit is talking to you and has a message for you.  You have to ensure that you keep an eye on the flame’s height and the way it is burning to find out if the message is a negative or a positive one, a comment on the work that you are currently doing.

If it is a crossing or cursing spell and the flame crackles or removes a hiss, it might be that you are facing some resistance from your target. If you are asking for money and the candle hisses or crackles, you need to pay attention and find out if you have a feeling your petition will be granted or not.

Noisy candles are an indication of communication or interference by outside forces. If the burn is uneven, then it is a sign that there is something or someone who is trying to work against you. There will be a need for you to add extra concentration as well as energy to your spell. Or you can decide to withdraw if you feel that the resistances seem to be great. Sputters, hisses, and whistles are at times said to carry messages from spirits and ancestors and thus, a need to listen to them and hear whatever they are saying. 

The flame goes out early

If the candle flame happens to go out before the candle is finished, then it might mean the spell/working is meeting a lot of resistance, the spell might be weak or it is meant to fail, or the spell might have finished before the candle got finished.  If the candle happens to go out with only a small amount of wax seen at the bottom, it might be that the working is going to be successful but not as fully manifest as you had hoped. Be sure to think about how the candle may affect the target and if this burns high or creates a fire hazard then goes out - it could be a warning to stop the work and start again. 

In case the flame happens to fizzle out with more wax accumulated on the bottom, it might mean that the spell is incomplete or the spell has manifested the way you desired. To determine the actual meaning of your candle, you have to ask your spirit guide or use your intuition if you feel that the spell has already manifest or if it is going to be unsuccessful.

You can decide to relight the candle in case there is a lot of wax that has pooled around the wick, you can dig the wick out and relight it. At times, I have fed the candle old wax in order to realign the spell, if a candle repeatedly flares up and dies away then this is a sign the person you are working on can subconsciously feel the work. If you relight the candle and it goes out once again this is clear confirmation that the candle is finished.

The flame suddenly going out without warning (maybe a gust of wind) is a sign that a force that is opposing has put an end to the working. You will need to open the circle, ensure you ground yourself, and then leave it to be. It is an indicator that your spell or petition or whatever it is that you were working on will not come to be. 

Candle Magic: A blue flame 

It is an indication of spiritual presence that is assisting your spell. It is the color of Faery and Angelic fire. If you are carrying out a spell candle and the flame burns blue-white or blue then it is indicative that the high spiritual beings are interested in your magic. Yellow or red flames denote extra mundane but which is still powerful potentially. There is energy fueling the spell. 

Candle Magic: A dancing flame

A candle flame that dances a lot yet there is no draft around it might denote there are a lot of variables in the situation and that it is not stable or fixed yet. It can still be a success but there might be a lot of things happening at the moment in the spell and the situation. 

Candle Magic: A flame that is moving

A flame that moves around the wax and this could be indicative of what the spell is trying to work on. A flame might move closer to the candle front to work on a physical problem, to the back to work on a spiritual or non-physical problem, to the left, it will be working on a past problem. The wick and the flame might change position from the front to the back, then from the right to the left. You have to be observant of the position of the wick in the candle and the way it might move while the spell is ongoing. If the flame bends away from a named candle (maybe representing a lover) then this is a negative sign. 

Candle Magic: A candle burning evenly and cleanly

When a candle burns uneventfully, that is a good sign. When the candle tends to burn without causing a lot of noise, movement or smoke, or dripping, then that means that your spell is going the way you planned it. This is great as the results will come out as expected but not as dramatic or quickly as you might want. Some candles I have burned have dissapearred completely, even the wick and this was a positive sign. Passively watching a candle burn and the wax run will provide you with the insight into how you are blessed.

Candle Magic: The bright, tall candle flame

It means there is quite a lot of energy which is behind the spell. Barriers to the success of your spell are falling away quickly. There is a likelihood of a happy, fast result. 

Candle Magic: A small, steady flame

A flame that is low burning is indicative of less energy which is fueling the spell. A small yet steadily burning flame is a very good sign though it signals a need for you to be focused and patient. A positive result is what you are likely to get, though you might experience some delays. You have to remain persistent and ensure you focus on your goal. If the flame of the candle increases in size as you work on your spell, it is a sign that the energy behind it is growing. 

Candle Magic: The weak, small candle flame

A small flame flickering and then bends is not a good sign when performing candle magic. The work’s timing might be all wrong. Or you might be asking for an outcome that is impossible or unfavorable for you in the long run. In case the small flame drowns or falls into wax that is melted, that should be a definite sign to mean that you won’t be given your petition at the moment. 

Candle Magic: A candle flame that is rapidly flickering

There are times when a candle flame will dim then brighten over and over as if there is someone who is flicking a light switch. In some traditions of magic, a candle flame that keeps flickering is an indication of spirits being present.  

If you are using the candle for devotional work with angels, gods, or high spirit guides, then it denotes that the invocation was a success and your prayers have been acknowledged. A candle flame that is flickering is a trance-inducing mildly so that you can utilize it as a great opportunity to spare the fire for other extra insights.

Candle Magic: A candle doesn’t extinguish

Sometimes candles are hard to put out and I tend to pinch the candle with wet fingers, do not blow out your candle as this is blowing out your intention. A candle flame that refuses to extinguish and remains lit denotes that, you have to continue sitting as you are not yet done with the work. 

Try to understand the message the candle gives - chances are that you skipped a certain step or missed out on an essential message while you were doing the ritual for candle magic. There is a helpful spirit or guide that is trying to remind you what you forgot. When you have a feeling that you are now done, try extinguishing it again. As I have already said, traditionally, the vigil candles are snuffed or pinched out and never blown, so make sure that is what you are doing.

Candle Magic: Candle refuses to light at all

This has happened to me on many occasions. If the candle refuses to light, it means the spell will not help you win the results you are looking for. The results may have already been determined or are out of your control. You need to take time like several days or weeks so that you refocus your intention before you try the spell again. Instead of the spell, you can decide to do divination to find out more regarding what is blocking you. Spiritual cleansing and meditation might be needed before you can continue with the spell.

Candle Magic: A burning candle that produces a lot of smoke

A lot of smoke is not a bad or good sign. It is indicative of an Air element that is present in the spell, the element of observation and communication. When a spell candle gives out a lot of smoke, you are being informed to use your mind and eyes in reading the situation. Look at the color, shape, time, and movement of the smoke to get information that is helpful about what you are working on.

Candle Magic: A candle produces a white smoke – this is rare

The white smoke is known to be a sign of benevolent spirits and blessings. If a candle produces a white smoke puff, especially at a significant moment, it denotes that your wish is likely to be granted. 

Candle Magic: Candles and black smoke clouds

Black, dense smoke that comes from a ritual candle is a representation of the energy that is negative. Bad luck, conflict, and purposes that are opposing are surrounding your spell work. You have to spend some time in meditation or prayer and do a ritual for cleansing before you proceed with the work.

Candle Magic: Candle smoke moves towards you

If the ritual candle smoke starts to move towards where you, it is a sign of success in whatever you are seeking. For the spells to draw money, love or healing, this might be a great sign. It denotes you will achieve whatever you are seeking shortly. The exception might be for negative workings such as hexes, curses, and tricks. If the candle smoke is coming from a hexing candle and moves towards you, or fills the entire room, it is a sign that you are not going to escape the responsibility for the effects that the magic has.

Candle Magic: Candle smoke moving in the opposite direction from you 

Smoke which dramatically moves in the opposite direction from you is a representation of energies that happen to be going the opposite direction. In a majority of spells, it is a bad omen. It denotes that there is something that is currently escaping from your grasp. But if it is a spell for healing, manipulating others, and influence, the traveling smoke might mean that it is going to work as you have planned. You will need to pay great attention to the direction, speed, and shape of the smoke in determining if your magic is on track.

Candle Magic: Burning candle being able to form a crater in the center, thereby leaving wax on the sides

It is one of the most common when it comes to containers and pillar candles, but it is possible to happen with votive and other types of candle shapes. The wax which is melted is centered closely around the wick, thereby leaving tall wax walls on the sides.

It denotes mostly that you have a weak will to cast the spell effectively at that particular time. Or it could be that the energies of the spell might have been blocked from having to reach the target that is intended.

Candle Magic: Candle melting fast into a puddle of wax

A candle that happens not to be contained properly or leveled will tend to create a hole in its side, which will cause the melted wax to keep dripping very fast thereby shortening the candle’s life. When a candle is spent too fast does not necessarily have to mean a bad sign, it can be an indication of accelerated, passionate energy that is behind your spell.

Being left a pile of wax that drips all the time is an invitation to divination by wax – ceromancy.  You will need to examine the wax that is hardened with an open mind, seeing if any messages or shapes come out. 

Candle Magic: Candle burns that have no wax drips

It is an indicator that a spell is properly executed and well-conceived. It could as well be a sign of a wick that is correctly-sized and well-positioned. Your spell is going to go as you had expressed and written. The gods of the candle magic have no lessons for you on that particular day.

Candle Magic: Wax dripping on one side of the candle

It means that there is something that is out of balance. You should expect to get incomplete results. Some might say that the drips happening on the left – about the way you are seated as you work, is a representation of psychic or emotional imbalance, while drips happening on the right side mean that your beliefs and thoughts are getting in your spell’s way.

Candle Magic: Black pieces appearing in the melted wax

There are times when you will observe some little bits of wick that is burnt, breaking off and sinking in the melted wax.  The scientific term is candle crud. The debris in the wax is an indicator of consequences that are unintended or work which will require to be done after you are done with the spell. Broken hearts, guilt, new hassles, karmic baggage, and much more are what you ought to work on later. You have to continue with your work but ready yourself for some clean up later on.

Candle Magic: A candle exploding or a container breaking or some other candle mishap that is dramatic

When you end your candle burning ritual with a dramatic ending, then it denotes that the spell work has been vetoed by a greater power. You will need to cleanse yourself plus the ritual space and stop working until you get more information. 

Reading the candle wax

Most of the spell candles will have some wax which will be leftover, while for others, there will be nothing left. Mostly, it is believed that, if the wax that remains is less than 0.5 inches, and then it is considered to be highly successful to moderately successful. Any wax that is more than 0.5 inches at the candle’s bottom might be an indicator that the spell will not be successful or might yield partial results. 

Wax which tends to stick to the side and happens to leave a residue has to be noted on what side of the candle it remains. If it remains on the front, right, back, or left, it might mean that there is some unfinished business in that particular area where the spell was not able to complete work on or remove.  It is the same for glitters, herbs remaining stuck on one side or whatever side of the candle as it might be a sign that there is some unfinished business in one or more of the areas. 

Candle Magic: Wax Circles

There are some candles (normally 4 inch spell candles) which might leave on the glass some wax circles. The circles can be read in determining the timing of the spell. Unbroken or complete circles are some of the most predominant showing strong indicator of time prediction which will be more precise and accurate. In my work, I have often seen circles being left with the wick in the middle. What I tend to do is light the wax again and place the new candle on top the next day. 

Broken or incomplete circles might be a sign of delay or variables in the precision and accuracy of the prediction of time.  The ring numbers might determine the time frame when your spell is going to manifest. The circles might denote the timing of the success of the spell. If the candle doesn’t form any circles at the bottom, it might mean that the spell is going to be immediate if the determination was a successful spell. 

The remains in the candle For Vigil Candles

Most of the candles used in spells contain glitters, herbs, and some roots, meaning, at the end of the burning, there might be some remains at the candle’s bottom. If you get that there are a lot of remains at the bottom of the candle, it might be a sign that there were too many which were placed into the candle. 

You have to take precautions regarding placing too much of the stuff in your vigil candle.  When the candle burns towards the bottom, it might create a fire hazard, becoming too hot for the glass to be able to contain it if there is a lot of stuff at the bottom. If there is only a small amount that is placed in the candle and it remains at the bottom, you have to take into consideration if the material is burnable like the root and if it might have to burn the rest of the wax or if it is resistant. It is possible to read the leftover like tea leaf reading to get any interpretation or symbolism.

Soot collects on the container of the candle

It is rare for a jar for the candle that is tall to burn without soot appearing onto the candle. You will have to read the location and the amount of the soot to get information about the success or failure of your work.  Black soot is believed to be negative energy or interference that is happening in the spell working. If it happens to be seen at the top of the jar alone, the opposition has been overcome most likely. If the entire container surface is covered, then it means that the spell has been thwarted, and thus, you need to repeat.  It is rare to find white soot and in case it happens, then it represents spiritual assistance and communication.

White and black soot in vigil candles

Generally, the black soot is known to be negative and represents challenges, while for the white soot, it is known to be positive and that the spirits are trying to help you. To read white soot and black will depend on how far the soot will be on the candle and where it happens to appear. If the black soot happens only to appear on a single side of the candle – back, front, right or left, it is a sign that the negativity or challenges are related to that specific area.  If it is on the front of the candle, then most likely, the obstacle or challenge is physical. 

Black soot on the left denotes that you had some challenges in the past. On the back, it denotes that it is a non-physical or spiritual obstacle or challenge. And in case it is on the right, then it denotes that there will be challenges to be overcome in your future soon.  Black soot is mostly seen as the candle’s top. If it happens to appear at the candle’s top but then moves to become white or clear soot, it is a sign that the obstacle or challenge has been overcome.

In case the black soot appears in the lower to the middle half of the candle, it is an indication that the challenge or obstacle blocked your spell. If the soot continues or it is at the candle’s bottom, it denotes that the challenge, obstacle, or whatever negativity has completely blocked your spell.

White soot that continues down to the candle’s bottom or almost at the bottom without any black soot at the bottom, indicates that spirits helped the spell and that your spell might likely end up being successful. 

By Florance Saul
Nov 6, 2012