Plant Spirit Challenge Day 12: Charge a Candle

Merry meet, readers, and happy Mother’s Day! I hope all your challenges for the Hagstone Publishing’s 30-Day Plant Spirit Challenge have connected you with your plant spirit in magical ways! Today we are charging/anointing (sometimes referred to as ‘dressing’) candles for spiritual & spell work, so let’s dive right in!

 

History

Candle meditation has been a focal point of spiritual work for centuries, and the art of charging, or anointing, candles with herbs and oils for use in spiritual work has recently gained momentum within the last century. Many cultures anoint candles with herbs and oils, and the variances of rules for doing so are vast. It would be too much to cover in one blog post! So rather than delve too deeply in historical research, let’s get down to the ‘why.’

 

The Purpose of Charging Candles for Spiritual Work

Charging, anointing, or dressing a candle is something very important to candle magic(k). While it may be nice to decorate candles for aesthetic purposes, candle anointing is a very sacred practice and should be taken seriously by practitioners. Proper anointing is done with every consideration in mind:

  • Candle Color (see guide below)
  • Candle Shape/Size (see guide below)
  • Dressing Oil Scent & Accompanying Magical Purpose
  • Dressing Powder Magical Purpose
  • Dressing Plant Material Magical Purpose (herbs, leaves, flowers, stems, barks, roots, etc.)

Some anointed candles are simple, some are complex. But candle anointing is always done with a specific purpose in mind (e.g. peace, binding, money, psychic work, guidance, health). The reason why we do this is to hone the intention for our spell work. These items above allow us to focus on the tangibility of their existence, which aids us in manifesting our desires into tangible outcomes.

Another reason for using these items in candle anointing is that each of these items in the list has an individual spirit and purpose. Color evokes emotion that energetically drives your intention forward, while the spirits of plant materials work alongside you like little helpers to manifest your desires.

 

Candle Color & Shape Guide

In this section, I will give you a brief list for candle color & shape selection. A guide for oil & plant material selection would turn this blog post into a tome, so I encourage you to do as much research as possible on the oils and plant materials that are closely associated with your intentions.

Color Selection Guide

Red

Passion, energy, love, lust, sex, vitality, courage

Orange

Joy, energy, strength, stimulation, cleansing, creativity, success

Yellow

confidence, manifesting action, creativity, intelligence, mental clarity, clairvoyance, education

Green

Money, Fertility, Luck, Abundance, Success, prosperity

Blue

Meditation, Healing, Forgiveness, Inspiration, Fidelity, tranquility, Communication

Purple

Spiritual awareness, wisdom, psychic work, inspiration, confidence, Intuition, Paranormal, Peace, Healing

Pink

Positive self-love, friendship, harmony, joy, innocent love

White

Destruction of negative energy, peace, truth, purity, cleansing

Black

Protection, absorption/destruction/repulsion of negative energy

Silver

Goddess/feminine energy, reflects negativity away, psychic development, intuition

Gold

God/male energy, fortune, spiritual attainment, achievement, success

 

Shape/Style Selection Guide

Taper

Ceremonial, used with candlesticks, tridents, & candelabras, holiday observations

Tall Glass Cylinder (Prayer)

Communication with the dead, vigils

Pillar

Ceremonial and casual vigils, can be used for static vigils or vigils featuring movement

Votive

Individual use: small vigils; Multiple use: large vigils; reverence & honor of the dead, concentrated spell work

Tea light

Individual use: small vigils; Multiple use: large vigils; reverence & honor of the dead, concentrated spell work (typically used for the necessity of shorter burn times)

Luminaria

Lantern/guidance work, vigils featuring movement

Floater

Ceremonial or casual sacred bathing

Container

Mostly for aesthetic purposes, but used ceremonies & vigils when safety precautions are necessary

Specialty

Varying shapes for specific use: crescent moon for moon spell work, triangle for pentagram/element evocation, etc.

  

Creating Your Own Charged Candle

For the purpose of this blog post to align with the Plant Spirit Challenge and my chosen plant, chamomile, I will create a charged candle using chamomile plant material as my plant material dressing. Because chamomile is mostly used for peace and relaxation, I have chosen to create a white, votive-sized pillar candle with jasmine as the wax scent, peppermint oil for the anointment, and accompanying dried lavender as an additional herbal dressing to use for peace meditation while writing this blog post. I whipped up my own candle (that’s what I do at The Wicking Hour Flamery!) prior to this blog post, but a purchased candle is perfectly fine for use.

Items of Necessity:

  • Candle color & shape/style of your choice according to your intention and ceremony
  • Plant material and/or powder of your choice according to your intention and ceremony
  • Anointing oil of your choice according to your intention and ceremony
  • Square sheet of wax paper
  • Crystals and/or smoke wand (optional)

 

Step 1: Cleanse Your Space & Self

It is always best to cleanse your workspace and your hands before you begin any spiritual work. Everyone cleanses their space differently, so how you choose to cleanse your space according to your comfort levels is best. You may choose to use crystals, incense, smoke wands/burning herbs, a tarot/oracle card reading, etc. in this beginning step. And please wash your hands before touching your items so as to not contaminate your work.

 

Step 2: Select Your Candle, Plant Material(s), Oils, and/or Powder

Again, take special care when making the decision of what type of candle color & shape/style, plant material, oil, and/or powder for your intentions. For instance, if you are trying to manifest peace (like my example), choose a white candle with peace-associated herbs like chamomile and lavender, and peppermint oil for cleansing.

 

Step 3: Cleanse Your Candle Before Use

If you have purchased a candle, you will want to do a quick cleansing of your candle to shed any energies that may have been attracted to the candle before your purchase. When candles are produced en masse, they are usually touched by many other hands in production and transport. You want to make sure you start with a clean slate so only your energy is absorbed by the candle during your spell work or ceremony. (Forgive the terrible photo representation here. I had to use my grill tray outside to hold the candle while I pushed the capture button with one hand and cleansed the candle with smoke with the other hand! I need more hands!)

 

Step 4: Assemble Your Items

  

Like we do with spell work or ceremonies, you will want to take special care to prepare all your items to have at the ready before beginning your anointment. Carefully and evenly spread out your plant material and/or powders on a sheet of wax paper to approximately twice the length and width of your candle.

 

Step 5: Apply Oil to Hands

The anointing of your candle with oil is not only a sacred part of the work, but it’s also practical. The oil will act as your adhesive for your plant material to the edges of your candle. Also, which hand you use to anoint the candle is important:

  • Left hand – to draw something to you
  • Right hand – to repel something from you

Pour an amount of oil in the palm of your hand (amount scalable to candle size; I’ve used approximately a nickel-sized amount of oil for my 3-inch pillar candle). Try not to go overboard, otherwise you’ll end up with a greasy mess, and if you’re using a soy-based candle (as I have here), too much oil will begin to break down the wax. Finally, rub your hands together to disperse & warm the oil in your hand for better adhesion.

 

Step 6: Apply the Oil to the Candle

The movement you make in the application of the oil is just as important as the hand you use:

  • Stroking motion (downward) toward your body (remember – use left hand) – brings your intention TO you
  • Stroking motion (upward) away from your body (remember – use right hand) – pushes the intention AWAY from you

Using gentle, even strokes, coat all side-wall edges of the candle in your desired direction until you feel the wax is “sticky” or pliable enough that your plant material will adhere well. 

*** This is also where you will begin to chant or recite your intentions out loud. You have to tell your candle what work it needs to do, so make your intentions very clear to the candle. Continue to recite these intentions throughout the anointing process. ***

 

Step 7: Coat the Candle in Plant Material and/or Powder

  

When your candle is coated well, quickly (to avoid hardening of wax around the oil) place your anointed candle on top of your plant material and firmly roll the candle repeatedly until it is completely coated on the sides. If you have chunkier plant material (as seen here with my chamomile), you may have to tap between rolls to dislodge any pesky stubborn bits. When you feel you’ve coated all sides well, do a final tap to loosen any bits that may cause a wonky, sideways fire hazard (Sticky-outy stems, petals, leaves). Feel free to add a little plant material and/or powder to the top of the candle for an extra bonus (I always do!), but do be careful with those previously mentioned sticky-outy bits. Dry plant material is notorious for catching a flame quickly and running amok, so whatever you use for the top should be finely ground and small enough to be submerged in the pool of melted wax under the flame. (Trust me on this.  Blessed Brigid has taught me a couple of lessons in my time doing this, and I have stupidly set fire to a LOT of plant material!!)

 

Step 8: All Done! Blessings for Your Charged/Dressed/Anointed Candle!

Now that you have completed anointing your candle, it’s time to do your spell work or ceremony! It’s always best to do your spell work shortly after you’ve charged your candle because the candle is holding your fresh intentions. But if you simply don’t have time to do your spell work immediately, just remember to recite your intentions clearly when you are able to do the work. Give the candle a little “reminder.” I’ll leave it to you from here. ;)

Some advice and safety precautions for candle magic(k):

  • Focus your intentions on all the choices you’ve made according to the charging/anointing of your candle. Did you choose a red candle for passion and lust? Envision the feeling of warmth associated with red; let it envelop your skin and immerse yourself in the heat you’re manifesting. Did you choose mint or bay leaf for finances? Imagine the smell of the fresh herb in nature while you’re simultaneously imagining the smell of paper money.
  • INTENTION, INTENTION, INTENTION! Intention is everything in spell work. Dot those i’s and cross those t’s with your anointing materials and home-in on exactly what you need to manifest. Meditate on these things after you’ve performed your spell work or ceremony, and keep those intentions going!
  • Never blow out a candle when you’re finished – always snuff. When you use your breath to blow out your candle, you blow away all the work you’ve just done!
  • It is always preferred that you never leave a candle burning in vacant areas without supervision, but if your spell work or ceremony requires you to leave your candle lit until completely expired, PLEASE use the utmost caution. (Also, just don’t do it. But I get it. But don’t do it. But ok…if you MUST...)
    • Keep away from drafty windows
    • Place in a dish of water or sand as wide as your candle is tall in case burning embers drop
    • Do not burn your candle near hanging items, draperies, or cloth of any kind
    • Do not burn your candle in high traffic areas of your space
    • Make sure all smoke detectors in your space are up to code and have fresh batteries; run a push-button test on your smoke detector before leaving your area
  • If you feel uncomfortable leaving your candle lit after you vacate your space (I do!), go ahead and snuff it. Upon your return, do a mini-ceremony to reignite the intention, and give gratitude to your spirits to continue the work with you.

 

May Your Flame Fuel Your Intentions and the Smoke Carry Your Them to Manifestation

Thank you again for allowing me to provide you this information. I hope you have found it useful, and most importantly I hope it manifests your exact desires. It is truly a sacred experience to charge your candles for the spell work you will do in the future. It brings you closer to the work and it shows your spirits that you are deeply serious about your intentions.

If you have any trouble with charging/anointing your candle or just want to delve into the symbology and magical properties of herbs, colors, and oils, I am always happy to learn and engage with others.  Feel free to drop me a line at thewickinghourflamery@gmail.com.

Until next time, beloveds!

〰️🕯

Labhair go comhchineáil, gníomhú go measúil, diaga a bhfuil eagna níos airde agat, agus ná dochar a dhéanamh d'aon anam.

(Speak kindly, act respectfully, divine with a higher wisdom, and do not harm a single soul.)

~The Wicking Hour Flamery