an illustration of 6 types of candles with a hand holding 1 candle and another hand rubbing one candle

How To Safely Dress A Candle For Candle Magic, Spells & Rituals [Full Guide]

One of the easiest ways to manifest something into your life is by setting an intention with candlelight.

Yes, Witches, we mean the magical tradition of candle magic!

Candle magic paired with the simple method of candle dressing is a powerful tool for manifestation because you’re creating a beacon to pull your dreams into reality.

Let’s learn how you can:

  • take a candle,
  • stack some powerful energy on top of it,
  • align your vibrational energies, and
  • create your best life.

So, let’s dive into the dressing process so you can drastically improve your spell outcome!

How To Dress A Candle [Short Tutorial]

Scroll to the full guide.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How To Dress A Candle

  1. Pick Your Intention

    Put into words exactly what you want or need. This helps you decide what color candle to use, what type of candle, what types of oils to dress your candle with, and what to carve into the candle. 

  2. Choose Your Candle & Trim The Wick

    Choose the best type of candle to fit your time and attention needs. Pick the best candle color that matches your intent to bring the most powerful energies to your spell. Trim the wick to 1/4″.

  3. Select Your Oils

    Add more powerful energy to your spell candle by choosing a cooking, carrier, candle, or diluted essential oil that spiritually matches your intention.

  4. Carve Your Intention Into Your Candle

    Using a carving tool or a toothpick, carve your intention from step 1 into your candle. Visualize your life as if your intention has already manifested.

  5. Apply Your Oil In The Right Direction

    To bring something into your life, apply the oil from the top of the candle down to the bottom. Pushing something away? Apply the oil from the bottom to the top. Visualize as you do!

  6. Avoid Dried Herbs & Flammable Objects

    Any dried item coated in wax can become an additional wick. Avoid exploding candles, superheated wax, and chaotic flames by not rolling your candle in dried herbs or flammable objects.

  7. Visualize & Chant Your Intention

    Take a moment, hold your candle, and feel what it feels like to have your intention manifested or your burden released.

  8. Light Your Candle In A Safe Place

    Place your candle on a heat-proof surface and securely within its candle holder. Plan to sit with your candle as long as it’s lit. Light your candle, and let your intention go.

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Step 1: Pick Your Intention

The most important step in dressing your candle is to know exactly what you want or need. 

This want or need helps you decide what color candle to use, what type of candle, what types of oils to dress your candle with, and what to carve into the candle. 

Often, we enter a sacred space or a manifestation ritual with a specific idea in mind, whether it be a new job, money, love, self-love, or friendship.

This specific idea turned into a goal is called your intention. This intention is what you’re planning to manifest into reality with candle magic.

If this is you, excellent! Finalize your intention or design your own sigil and wisp on down to step 2!

How Do I Discover The Intention I Want To Manifest?

Sometimes, you may not know what you want to manifest into your life, but you feel called to cast a spell or do a ritual.

Usually, you’re being guided by your Higher Self, Ascended Masters, Guardian Angels, or the Universe to make an important change for your future Self.

Part of magic and spirituality is going with the flow and helping the right energies manifest in the way Future You is calling them to be or the way they need to be in the constructed for the future.

If you’re feeling the pull to cast a candle spell, take some time to yourself, in a beautiful, quiet space, and try one of the following:

  • Meditate on what you need or want in your life.
  • Sit still, give yourself a hug, and ask out loud what your life needs will help uncover what your intention should be. Then, listen. 
  • Create a list of needs and prioritize them. Pick the top need and create your goal/intention.
  • Do a tarot spread to find out what is missing from your current life.
  • Think about your personal goals for the next 5 years. What do you want to tackle first? Create an intention around that.

How Should My Intention Be Phrased?

Intentions can be phrased as:

  • Affirmation statements: “I am healthy.” or “I have the exact money I need to pay my rent.”
  • A direct demand with symbols to designate energy flow:
    “$15,000

    My Bank Account In November 2022.”
  • Condensed down into a sigil: “Good Health” turns into “gd ealt” which is then designed into a unique and powerful symbol.

It’s important to phrase the statement in a way that helps you visualize and experience your goal as if it’s happening now or has already happened.

Now that you have your intention in mind, it’s time to pick the theme of your intention and choose the best candle to fit your goals.

Step 2: Choose Your Candle & Trim The Wick

Choosing a candle for your candle spell is a super personal experience. The topic of your unique intention paired with your lifestyle and what you have on hand will help you pick your spell setup.

The good news: There’s no wrong way to do candle magic. Well, except dangerously. That’s why you’re going to trim that wick, use heat-proof candle holders, and always stay present when you’re burning candles.

The goal in candle magic is to stack energies that match your intent. The more energies you align, the more powerful your spell will be.

What Type Of Candle Should You Use For Candle Magick?

The type of candle you use will determine how long you burn your candle, how you burn your candle, if you’re able to inscribe your candle, and how you dress the candle.

To help you decide what candle you should use, here’s our list of pros and cons for different types of candles:

  • Taper Candles 
    • Pros: Great for inscribing single-word intentions, short vertical sentences, and sigils. Easy to hide in plain sight. Taper candles typically have a burn time of 1 hour per inch.
    • Cons: Easy to knock over. Require taper candle holders to burn safely.
  • Votive Candles
    • Pros: Great for sigil spells. Can be burned on any heat-safe surface. Votive candles have a burn time of around 15 hours.
    • Cons: Wax pooling tends to be a little messier.
  • Pillar Candles
    • Pros: Perfect for longer intentions, full spells, and larger sigils. If you have an intention that you want to revisit regularly, a pillar candle is great for extended spells like this.
    • Cons: Very long burn time. Pillar candles have a burn time of up to 95 hours, depending on the size.
  • Chime Candles
    • Pros: Perfect for quick intentions, fast spells, single-word intentions, and small sigils. Great if you want to meditate, do deep visualization or your intention manifested, or chant while the candle burns. Chime candles have a burn time of 2 hours.
    • Cons: Require chime candle holders to burn safely.
  • Birthday Candles
    • Pros: Perfect budget-friendly candles. Great for instant intention setting, manifesting spur-of-the-moment needs. If you have cats or are unable to monitor your candles, this is an amazing option! Birthday candles have a burn time of 1 minute.
    • Cons: No room to inscribe your intention. Needs a special birthday candle holder.
  • Knob Candles
    • Pros: Perfect for larger intentions that require more focus or multi-step intentions. Knob candles have a burn time of up to 14 hours.
    • Cons: Require your attention for at least 1 hour a day.
  • Glass Jar Candles & Seven-Day Candles
    • Pros: Great for intentions that you want to revisit multiple times. Jar Prayer Candles have a burn time of up to 80 hours.
    • Cons: Though contained, it’s still safest to burn these in a large, fire-safe area. Glass can superheat and explode if the wick is too close to the edge. Wax can also superheat.

To recap, if you don’t have a lot of time to cast a candle spell, the best spell candles to use are birthday and chime candles. 

If you have a lot of time or are manifesting something large, pillar, jar, and knob candles are best.

What Color Candle Should You Use For Candle Magick?

Now that you know what candle type is going to work best for your time availability and intention type, it’s time to pick the best candle for the topic of your intention.

As you know, the more energies you can stack on your manifestation, the faster it will appear in your life! 

Let’s use money as an example. If you’re casting a money spell, the energies that resonate with money are the color green, the color gold, cinnamon oil, grapeseed oil, bay leaves, and more.

So, when you’re picking your candle for money manifestation, you know to choose a green candle or gold candle because those colors resonate with and symbolize wealth.

Symbolic Meanings Of Candle Colors

  • White Candle Uses: Healing, blessing, protection
  • Grey Candle Uses: Balance, neutralizing energy, transformation
  • Brown Candle Uses: Grounding, stability, family
  • Black Candle Uses: Banishing, removal, binding
  • Gold Candle Uses: Success, wealth, power
  • Silver Candle Uses: Intuition, emotional healing, self-care
  • Purple Candle Uses: Meditation, Wishes, Divination
  • Blue Candle Uses: Relaxation, stress relief, charisma
  • Green Candle Uses: Money, healing, compassion
  • Yellow Candle Uses: Empowerment, focus, memory
  • Orange Candle Uses: Ambition, creativity, courage
  • Red Candle Uses: Love, power, passion
  • Pink Candle Uses: Friendship, happiness, love

See a full candle color guide of candle color meanings with full-color breakdowns, like lavender and light blue.

Example: If you’re planning to set an intention for more money, the color of the candle for money you would choose is green.

Now, it’s time to start the actual candle dressing.

How Do I Trim A Wick?

Using scissors, trim your candle’s wick down to 1/4″.

This stops your candle from having a dangerously tall flame or a candle that burns dangerously hot.

Step 3: Select Your Oils

Candle dressing is as simple as picking an oil that corresponds with your intent and coating the candle with oil. 

But what oil should you use? Will any oil work?

You can choose from:

  • Cooking oils you have in your kitchen, such as virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, etc.
  • Carrier oils or base oils, like sweet almond oil.
  • Essential oils (Learn how to dilute essential oils before working with them.)
  • Natural candle fragrance oils, which are safe around the heat of flames.

Stay away from using synthetic fragrance oils because the chemicals used to make the scents may be highly flammable.

Stacking energies is important when you select your dressing oil.

Example: For a money spell, you might choose to dress your green candle in grapeseed oil or diluted cinnamon essential oil.

Be sure to check out our herb symbolism dictionary to pick the best oil for the job!

Step 4: Carve Your Intention Into Your Candle

Now, the fun part! Actually creating your intention candle!

  1. Cleanse: If you are sensitive to energies or want to make sure any uninvited vibes don’t disrupt your energy stack, you can cleanse your candle and oil with herbal smoke, sound, moon water, salted water, or reiki.
  2. Carve: Using a carving tool or a toothpick, carve your intention from step 1 into your candle. 
  3. Chant & Visualize: As you carve, chant your intention and visualize it as if it has already manifested.
  4. Empower: As you make a mark on your candle, visualize or know that your candle is empowered by the light of your intention.

Once you’re done, it’s time to add the next layer of energy: dressing oil.

Step 5: Apply Your Oil In The Right Direction

The direction in which you apply your oil to your candle is important.

It tells the energy which way to flow: into your life or out of your life.

If you’re manifesting something into your life: 

  1. Apply: Apply drops of oil to the top of your candle.
  2. Pull Down Toward You: Using your recessive finger, start from the top of the candle and pull the oil down to the bottom, towards you.
  3. Visualize: As you coat your candle in oil, visualize that your intention is coming towards you, manifesting into your life. See and feel your intention as if it has already happened to you.

If you’re setting an intention to get rid of something in your life: 

  1. Apply: Apply the oil to your dominant or power finger.
  2. Push Up & Away From You: Starting at the base of the candle, push the oil up towards the top, as if you’re pushing the energy away and out of your life.
  3. Visualize: As you dress your candle, visualize that your intent is leaving your body, going into the candle, and will be burned away by the flame. See and feel your life as it would feel if you were free of that burden or problem.

Step 6: Avoid Dried Herbs & Flammable Objects

We know. Oiled candles rolled in dried flower petals and herbs look amazing!

The bad news is that any dried item coated in wax can become an additional wick.

More wicks means more fire.

Increased fire means more heat.

More heat means more danger.

When Can I Roll My Candle In Dried Herbs?

If you’re planning to be a great candle sitter or are dressing the outside of a glass candle, you can definitely roll your dressed candle in herbs!

Keep a close eye on your candle and have a fire extinguisher nearby.

A hot wick too close to the edge of your glass candle can ignite the herbs on the outside of the jar.

Dried herbs coated in or sitting in candle wax can easily catch on fire.

When Should I Not Roll My Candle In Dried Herbs?

If you’re planning to meditate while using your candle or if your candle has exposed wax, do not use herbs.

Do not place herbs into the wax of a jar candle; the extra heat generated by the herbs acting as extra wicks can make your jar candle explode.

What Can I Do Instead Of Adding Herbs To The Outside Of My Candle?

Instead of coating your spell candle in herbs, we recommend creating an herb & crystal grid around your candle’s heat-proof base or candle holder.

Step 7: Visualize & Chant Your Intention

Now, you’ve stacked color energy, herb and oil energy, and emotional/visual energy into the candle.

Finally, it’s time to take a moment and seal everything into one event: lighting the candle and letting go.

How: Take a moment, hold your candle, and feel what it feels like to have your intention manifested or your burden released.

Let that feeling and power build within you and flow down into your candle.

Once you feel like you and your candle are full, move to step 8.

Step 8: Light Your Candle In A Safe Place

Your intention is built up and ready to be released! Congratulations, babe!

Place your candle on a heat-proof surface and securely within its candle holder.

Light your candle, and let it go.

Be sure to keep an eye on your candle as it burns.

Should You Let The Entire Candle Burn Out On Its Own?

If you need to walk away for any reason, it’s okay to temporarily extinguish your candle. Simply use a candle snuffer, extinguish the flame, and when you’re ready to light it again, repeat steps 7 & 8.

If you’ve used a fast-burning chime candle or birthday candle, it’s easy to let these burn out in one sitting.

If you’re using something larger, we recommend extinguishing and relighting; it’s absolutely fine to do so!

Copyright 2022 Plentiful Earth, LLC. / All Rights Reserved.

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About The Author

Aurora Moone is a beautiful, kind-spirited, loving, motivating, and exciting Witch of 21 years. Having traveled all over the United States, Aurora has close friends of every religious background and spiritual path.

She believes, whole-heartedly, in the power of coexistence through love, respect, and growth. She feels that we have responsibilities that involve everyone, no matter what path they walk.

“No matter what group you commit to, no matter what spirituality you align with, no matter what religion you follow, no matter what political party you fall under, and no matter what your gender or race is, we are all citizens of Earth, and we all have a responsibility.” – Aurora Moone

During her time in Hattiesburg, MS, Aurora founded Coexist at Southern Miss and Southern Miss Spell Casters. She specializes in mindfulness, Usui Reiki, Ascension Reiki, Wicca, meditation, extra-sensory perception, instant magic, and tarot analysis and reading. She is a 4th rank Temple Tradition Priestess.

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