Thought I would post this here as I am leaving here soon, you may also find this in a few covens I have belonged to under different user names before
candle Magick History
The flickering flame of the candle provides us with a link to the sacred flames that have been kindled over thousands of years. Candles were used in Egypt and Crete as early as 3000 BC and were a feature of worship in many pre-Christian societies. Mostly made of beeswax, because bees were regarded as messengers of the Gods and Goddesses, they are still used in Christian churches today. Beeswax candles are currently popular with many people for magical and spiritual development. However, you can perform candle magick with white utility candles and it will be as pure and true as if you had followed the lists of color correspondences, fragrances and herbs that are most often used. These can add ceremony and atmosphere and create a mood of harmony in which conscious barriers dissolve.
There is something mystical about candles. It is said that we have always practiced primitive candle magick from the time that we were children and blew out our first candles on our birthday cake and made a wish.
Some of the earliest candles were actually oil lamps made of pottery, with a reed or a piece of twine used as a wick. The oil was usually animal oil of some sort.
Later they used hardened fat. Still later, in the 1700's and 1800's, the poor mixed fat with a small amount of wax to create foul-smelling candles. The wealthy, who could afford beeswax or bayberry candles, had candles that were smokeless and pleasant to smell. Just as we give our workers benefits if we wish to keep them, the better households also offered benefits to their servants. For instance, all servants got one day out a week. Many also were allowed to take any left-over candle stubs for their own use.
Candle magick has been observed for thousands of years, as noted above. The most significant time was when the Catholic church initially began the tradition of burning candles for the dead, or for favors, because many of their parishioners came from pagan backgrounds and used candles for the same reasons. The Catholic church was notorious from compromise in order to strengthen their numbers.
Practioners of Hoodoo, Voodoo, Wicca, Satanism, New Age, and other faiths also use candles ritualistically. The Jews also use candles in traditional ceremonies but they don't use them in a magickal context. Instead, they use them for symbolism.
In the 1800's, many slaves brought certain traditions and beliefs to America with them. This involved the belief that certain colors were effective when asking the spirits or Gods for certain favors. Black was used either for evil or to repel evil, white for purity or as a substitute for any other color, orange for money or strength of purpose, green for success or healing, brown to win court cases or improve a pet's health, red was used for evil or to create passion or to work healing, pink for romance, blue for fidelity and health, yellow for happiness or attraction, and purple for domination. Figural candles also enhanced the spell. Some figural candles used were and are of cats, people, genitalia, celestial signs, and more. Each one serves a symbolic purpose and not always in the way someone would guess.
Candles can add warmth and atmosphere to a special meal or gently soothe us to sleep. They can invoke moments of quiet reflection, or help us to access the deep wisdom that lies beyond conscious thought. They can be used in ritual as a focus for our most powerful dreams, hopes and desires. Candles are not only light, but living fire. When a candle is spent or snuffed out, the light may be gone from our external vision, but that light is not lost; rather it is transformed into radiant beams that fuel the positive energies of the universe and fall as love and healing on those who gaze into a candle flame in sorrow, pain or fear.
Turn off the lights and spend a few silent minutes by candlelight, connecting with the older, slower and wiser rhythms that are not divided into months, years or even millennia, but flow in cycles and release us from the treadmill of time. As you light your candle, you automatically interact with people around the world who light candles or torches. Each candle is part of an interconnected cosmic web of millions of tiny beams, and as you look through the candle flame you may see on the other side someone smiling back at you through their light--a familiar face, someone you have yet to meet, or a stranger--across time and space, an hour, a day, or perhaps thousands of years away.
Candles and the Moon: Candle ceremonies fall mainly under the auspices of the moon, whose different phases offer us specific energies. Many times you may want to be aware of the zodiac and planetary placement.
Waxing Moon: The moon is in its waxing cycle as it moves from the new moon to the full moon. As the moon grows or increases, it can give power to all rituals for growth and increase--whether in health, love, knowledge or prosperity. The waxing moon is traditionally the ''planting'' period, whether for herbs and vegetables or for conceiving a baby. Usually white or pale-colored candles are best for waxing moon rituals, with silver on the day of the full moon. The day of the full moon is very effective for all rituals concerning power, ambition and success, and for climax of endeavors. Full moon energies span from 3 days before to 3 days after the full moon day.
Waning Moon: The moon wanes as it moves from full moon to new moon again. As the visible moon decreases in size, it is reflected in weakening power in human endeavor. As the traditional time for harvesting herbs, etc. or pruning trees, this period is potent for removing negative influences, shedding redundant guilt or resentment, ending destructive relationships, reducing pain or weight and for giving up addictions and compulsions. The waning moon is also good for Scrying. The dark of the moon--the 3 days when the old moon is invisible and the crescent not yet discernible to the human eye--is said to be best for rituals of protection and for any undertaking that involves secrecy. Use darker candles for this cycle.
Superstitions and Beliefs
Always light a candle with your right hand for good fortune. If the candle should go immediately out, however, bad luck will follow. This belief could easily be adapted to a candle spell for luck!
Never singe the base of a candle to make it fit firmly. This brings misfortune. So, for ritual and spellcraft it might be a better idea to melt wax into the container and then place the candle within so it's secure.
Allow Yule candles to burn out naturally for blessings and luck. Add this idea to your holiday celebrations.
Never light three candles with one match, or have three candles burning together. This brings mishaps. This is one area where magick differs, as three is a sacred number to the Goddess and represents the triune nature of humankind.
Only a woman named Mary should snuff the candles on Christmas day so the blessing isn't lost. This one isn't overly practical, but interesting!
Give the gift of a bayberry candle on New Year's Eve to friends to whom you wish luck, prosperity, and health. Note that this should be burned completely on New Years Eve for the greatest effect.
Money: If you wish to grow rich, never light a candle from a burning fire. Use this as a guideline when working prosperity and money magick.
Protection: If it's storming outside, light a blessed candle for safety. most magickal practitioners would likely use a white candle for this purpose, as white is the color of protection.
Lighting a candle at a child's birth, after a death, and on one's birthday affords extra protection from evil. This is a great idea all the way around. At a birth ceremony, the light honors the spirit of the child coming into this world. At death, it shows the spirit the way out into the next incarnation. And on your birthday, a candle reminds you of your own light, which should always be honored.
Signs and Omens:
A candle that goes out during a ritual indicates the presence of a restless ghost. Actually, I've often found this to be very true. If a spirit shows up at a ritual it will not, however, be ale to enter the sacred circle without permission. Use your own discretion here, being aware that not all spirits are nice, nor do all of them have good intentions.
In ancient Greece if a girl could blow on a candle flame and the re-spark it, she was marked as a vestal virgin and given the task of tending Vesta's sacred fires. Vesta is a fantastic goddess for a candle crafter to call upon for blessings in his or her art.
Candles that burn blue or have wax that forms a winding sheet around the base reveal the presence of spirits. Alternatively some people consider this a death omen. In magick, watching the wax or flame of a candle is a common form of divination, and there are tons of meanings associated with a flame's movements.
If a candle will not light, a storm is coming. This is actually true because of the dampness in the air.
A candle sparking bright portends a letter for the person sitting across from it.
Accidentally knocking a candle over and having it go out indicates a forthcoming marriage in the family.
If a person can revive a sputtering candle it indicates he or she is virtuous and pure of heart.
Seeing a ring in the candle flame indicates and engagement or marriage.
A lump of soot on the wick of a candle reveals that a stranger will soon visit.
The ritual of blowing out birthday candles may have originated with rites for Artemis. The key is blowing out all the candles at once. The smoke that follows carries your wishes to the heavens. This is a great bit of wishcraft that works wonderfully just as it is. Remember, however, that silence is power in this magick. Telling the wish dissipates the energy behind it.
Candle Lore and Superstitions
Using a single taper candle to light 2 other candles will draw bad luck.
Lighting a candle from the hearth destines one to poverty. Thin of it as stealing power from the fire that maintains the home.
3 candles burning in a group signify a wedding or are considered unlucky in theater, especially. This superstition comes from the Christian in which a group of 3 candles were only burnt on the altar.
Difficulty lighting candles means rain is on the way, Once lit, if the flame sputters despite there being no detectable draft in the room, wind is on the way.
A candle that gutters and creates a trail of wax foretells death.
A sparking wick signifies the arrival of a stranger or a letter.
A candle left burning until the very end invite misfortune, except on Christmas Eve when it is traditional to let the candle burning to light the way for the coming infant. In the case of Christmas Eve, the fully burnt candle is said to bring prosperity to the household over the following year.
An extinguished candle that continues to glow is an omen of hardships to come.
Extinguishing a candle by accident foretells a coming marriage.
If a girl walks backward down the steps with a burning candle she will come face to face with her future love.
In America, a candle left to burn in an empty room will cause the death of a relative.
A candle that burns blue, signals the presence of a ghost or of death in some versions.
Always light a candle with the right hand for luck, however, should the candle go out immediately, bad luck will follow.
Bayberry candles given as gifts on New Year?s Eve bring good luck, prosperity and health to the recipient.
Smoke from birthday candles send your wishes up to the Gods.
Candles are lit at births, weddings and funerals to chase away evil spirits.
If a person can revive a sputtering candle they are considered virtuous and pure of heart but the French and the German are more specific, believing a sputtering candle can only be revived by a virgin girl.