Ideally, the candles you use will be of solid beeswax, colored with natural dyes and hand-dipped by the magical worker. In reality, candles are often made of paraffin, artificially colored, and mass-produced by factories.
Beeswax candles are available in many colors, and they generally produce the best results, but any candle will work. It doesn't have to be expensive or handmade, for candles are simply vehicles for the magician's personal power and the energy of the element of fire.
Usually the practitioner will select a candle for use in a ritual by its color, matching its hue to the type of ritual they will be doing. Its best to use the appropriate color candle, if you can't find the correct color, white candles are good for any positive magical purpose.
The following table is from the book "Earth, Air, Fire & Water" by Scott Cunningham:
Red: Maintaining health, bodily strength, physical energy, sex, passion, courage, protection, and defensive magic. This is the color of the element of fire. Throughout the world, red is associated with the life and death, for this is the color of blood spilled in both childbirth and injury.
Pink: Love, friendship, compassion, relaxation. Pink candles can be burned during rituals designed to improve self-love. They're ideal for weddings and for all forms of emotional union.
Orange: Attraction, energy. Burn to attract specific influences or objects.
Yellow: Intellect, confidence, divination, communication, eloquence, travel, movement. Yellow is the color of the element of air. Burn yellow candles during rituals designed to heighten your visualization abilities. Before studying for any purpose, program a yellow candle to stimulate your conscious mind. Light the candle and let it burn while you study.
Green: Money, prosperity, employment, fertility, healing, growth. Green is the color of the element of earth. It's also the color of the fertility of the earth, for it echoes the tint of chlorophyll. Burn when looking for a job or seeking a needed raise.
Blue: Healing, peace, psychism, patience, happiness. Blue is the color of the element of water. This is also the realm of the ocean and of all water, of sleep, and of twilight. If you have trouble sleeping, charge a small blue candle with a visualization of yourself sleeping through the night. Burn for a few moments before you get into bed, then extinguish the flame. Blue candles can also be charged and burned to awaken the psychic mind.
Purple: Power, healing severe diseases, spirituality, meditation, religion. Purple candles can be burned to enhance all spiritual activities, to increase your magical power, and as a part of intense healing rituals in combination with blue candles.
White: Protection, purification, all purposes. White contains all colors. It's linked with the moon. White candles are specifically burned during purification and protection rituals. If you're to keep but one candle on hand for magical purposes, choose a white one. Before use, charge it with personal power and it'll work for all positive purposes.
Black: Banishing negativity, absorbing negativity. Black is the absence of color. In magic, it's also the representative of outer space. Despite what you may have heard, black candles are burned for positive purposes, such as casting out baneful energies or to absorb illnesses and nasty habits.
Brown: Burned for spells involving animals, usually in combination with other colors. A brown candle and a red candle for animal protection, brown and blue for healing, and so on.
Candles are, of course, charged with personal power before burning. Store them flat in a cool place. As to the forms of candles, all kinds are appropriate in magic: pillar, votive, taper, as well as the "seven-day" candles that come poured in a tall glass jar.
~It is best to light candles with matches, not lighters. Using a plastic object at the beginning of the ritual or spell negates some of its charm. ~