A Latina Bruja's Guide to Candle Magic
Chances are you've seen a number of TikTok videos about candle magic on your FYP and it sparked your interest. Now you're excited and equally curious but lost on how candles can create "magic." Something about using candles to manifest feels intuitively right. You've finally worked past the colonial Latinx fear of candle magic's bad brujería stigma and landed here, ready to explore your inner magia. ¡Bienvenida, amiga!
Whether you recall your abuelita lighting candles during your childhood or remember seeing a plethora of candles lit while being forced to attend church, intuitively you know candles have a deep connection to your culture. With the recent emphasis on reconnecting with decolonial spiritual roots, you've found yourself wanting to explore taboo subjects like candle magic. Candle magic is the ritual practice of using velas (candles) to manifest specific spells or goals, and it literally helps you ignite your light from within with its various uses, from intention setting to money magic.
Candle magic can be found on altars across the world. Beyond using candle magic to honor your muertos (dead loved ones), this practice can assist you with breaking ancestral curses as well as reversing mal de ojo (evil eye). Candle magic is the art and intention of using the element of fire as a vehicle to read messages from the spirit realm. This practice is another way to connect with your intuition and spirit guides, and it's a method to honor your ancestors beyond stereotypical self-serving spells. You don't have to be a bruja (witch) to appreciate its significance. Candle magic is an open practice that you can personalize according to your level of comfort.
Why should you pursue candle magic in your personal spiritual practice? This type of magia uses the power of flame to ignite your passions and propel your wishes. Begin adapting candle-magic rituals to reconnect with and reclaim your decolonial healing. Ready to invoke your big bruja energy? We thought so!
In Candle Magic, All Nature Elements Are Represented
There are four elements to nature — not only in science, but in magic as well. We're talking about the familiars of earth, water, fire, and air. These are considered to be elemental beings in ritual work, including candle work. Honoring all four elements of nature allows your magic to create more accuracy and potency. What exactly does that mean? As established earlier, candles are the element of fire in general because you ignite the flame to spell cast. However, if you're looking to work with specific lunar cycles depending on their astrological zodiac element, this is where you want to be inclusive in your candle work.
If you're working with a lunar cycle or intention that is earth-element-focused, use candle colors such as brown, green, or black. What about the water element? The colors blue, white, and silver honor that element. Yes, there are candles in nearly every color out there! As for fire? Use candles in the colors orange, yellow, or red to connect with the element of fire. Lastly, intention setting with the element of air requires candles in the colors blue, purple, or white.
What Kind of Candles Do You Need to Do Candle Magic?
Now you're pretty pumped about starting candle magic ASAP! Pero, wait! What kind of candles are appropriate or needed? Really, any and all candles are valid. But don't worry, we've listed out the variety of candles you can use and why. Recommended universal rule: stay away from decorative and scented candles. That means Bath & Body Works is not the vibe for this. Hit up your local botanica or spiritual shop for your vela plug. Maybe you've seen a lot of folks in IG Reels using glass candles or taper candles. That's because those candles provide longer burn time and give you a longer duration to analyze how well your intention is being received through the candle's flame. You can definitely use tea lights, too, although I personally recommend not doing so because they burn out so quickly.
The point of candle magic is to assess the process of the daily burn. How fast is it burning? How does the flame move? And what is its height? Is there tons of smoke or residue left over? Those are the things you want to intuitively read while performing a candle-magic ritual. Your standard seven-day glass candle is your best option so you can read the smoke's residue or lack thereof in addition to allowing it to burn for several days. Basically, you get more bang for your buck. However, figure out if you prefer taper candles over glass.
How Do You Prepare Your Candle For Manifestation?
Now you're set with the basics of candle magic and its uses. It's time to start building the foundation for your first candle-magic ritual. Let's get it, let's get lit!
- Step 1: Decide on your inspiration. What are you inspired to act on in this present moment of your life and why? This is basically your intention. Your inspiration is your intention setting. Do not mix more than one intention or objective per candle. Keep it clean and simple. Write out the intention that you want to use candles to help you manifest. This can range from creating something new to breaking something old such as cycles, habits or experiences, and relationships with ideologies or people.
- Step 2: Find a dedicated space. Keep in mind this space should be sacred and personal to you. This can be an altar space or a corner where the energy is respected. Crowded rooms and environments are not encouraged when housing your candles. Clean up the space and clear it out with smoke smudge to start prepping the energy of the area.
- Step 3: Purchase your candle depending on the color for its intention. You can do this based on the elements listed earlier or on the color codes shared further down in this piece. Connect with your candle by holding it near your heart with both hands. Recite your intention from step one out loud while holding your candle. Close your eyes and visualize your candle helping you manifest this intention. Take your time with this process. You could go as far as writing your name on the candle or drawing symbols on it that correlate with your goal.
- Step 4: Light your candle in a safe place. Be sure to cut your wick if it's really long. Then spend some time connecting with the flame of your candle as you visualize your intention being sent out into the universe. Conclude with gratitude.
How Do You Use Candles to Set Off an Intention?
With all divination tools, like crystals or tarot, candles are simply a tool to hold you accountable. Candles alone will not do all the work for you. The magic comes from the intention you set combined with the behaviors you perform to support your intention. This is called cocreation.
Use candles to perform multiple intentions. Want to set an intention to increase your luck? Ready to get a new job? Want to release limiting beliefs that are no longer serving you? Create a candle-magic ritual for each of these. The candle itself is a proclamation of dedication on your end to the universe, depicting your commitment to manifesting this desired spell. Use candles as literal fire-smoke signals to communicate your needs and watch the spirit realm support you!
Pro tip: be sure to see your candle all the way through, meaning be consistent with lighting your candle. If you skip a day, that's OK, but get back to it as soon as you can. Don't burn candles halfway through and forget or lose interest as this will break the possibility of your intention manifesting.
How Are Candles Used to Amplify and Release Energy?
You're literally using the power of fire to propel your intention forward. Candles can help you amplify energy by giving your intention or spell momentum. Feel like something has been taking forever to achieve? Wondering why you feel stagnant and want new energy to enter your life? Set a goal earlier in the year that fell off and you want to revisit? This is where using candle magic can amplify that idea and bring it back to life.
When it comes to releasing energy, fire not only creates and grows but also destroys. The element of fire from candle magic is powerful at dispelling and banishing. You can perform banishing spells toward negative energy, people, and entities. This can help you release bad habits or break unwanted cycles.
How Can You Perform Candle Magic For Yourself to Read Your Aura?
One of the best ways to tap into your energy is through candle magic. You can do this often or whenever you feel you need to release unwanted energy. It's especially helpful to assess a cycle of plateaus. It's also another good form of keeping your aura hygiene healthy.
Basically, you'll perform candle magic on yourself. You can buy an all-purpose white candle or a seven-potencias candle. Set the intention as learned in steps three and four above. However, you'll want to ask the spirit of the flame from your candle to share with you if your aura is strong, healthy, and vibrant. Meaning, are there any self-imposed blocks in your aura from limiting beliefs that need to be reviewed and removed? Based on how fast the candle burns, this will tell you if there are any energetic blocks burdening your aura.
If the candle takes longer to burn and the flame is low and slow, this means you need a limpia. If the candle burns fast and in under four days, this isn't good either. It means your energy is anxious, flighty, and impatient. If the candle burns steadily and the flame varies from tall to medium height, this is ideal. If it burns anywhere from five to nine days, this is healthy, and your aura is confident. If the candle burns with tons of black smoke and leaves shades of gray to black smoke residue on the glass, this isn't great either. This could mean you have a lot of self-sabotaging tendencies that need to be addressed. It could possibly indicate you're working through repeated unhealthy ancestral curses that need to be released. Additionally, in rare and extreme cases, it can indicate that someone is performing ill intent towards you such as mal de ojo (evil eye). This is when you'll want to consult with a bruja or candle practitioner for more insight.
Why You Need a Variety of Different-Colored Candles
What if you're wanting to create candle magic to invoke archetype energies within yourself such as joy, prosperity, self-love, and a wealth mindset? Check out the below candle-color codes to appropriately assess what you'll need for your motive.
- Blue: Heals your throat chakra and opens up stronger communication; also assists with building authority and trust rituals.
- Black: Serves protection purposes along with banishing, breaking blocks, and reversals.
- Brown: Great for working with planetary and ancestral magic and connecting with grounding intentions.
- Green: Helps soothe and heal your heart. Releases greed and opens up an abundance mindset.
- Orange: Wonderful for creativity and inner-child healing. Sex magic and sensual healing as well.
- Pink: Perform self-love rituals or love rituals with this color. Heals your inner divine feminine and removing resentment.
- Purple: Amplifies psychic abilities and spiritual healing. Helps you with integrity and leadership intentions.
- Red: Releases fear and helps to embrace confidence. Creates magnetism and is ideal for attraction rituals.
- White: Can be used to connect with the angelic realm and spirit guides. Perfect for lunar magic and witchy rituals. Also great for aura cleansing.
- Yellow: Good for prosperity and success rituals. Use to activate joy and positivity.
Where Can You Buy Candles For Ritual Use?
Always support local. You can purchase candles for your rituals through online spiritual shops or at brick and mortars. House of Intuition and Brujas Botanica are Latinx-owned and -operated online botanicas you can consider. Don't have much to spend? Magic is meant to be practical. Purchase simple standard colored candles from your dollar store and you'll still be able to perform effective magia.
How Can You Create Your Own Candle Spell?
Lastly, you might have heard of candle dressing. It's pretty straightforward, meaning dress your candle. You can incorporate specific herbs by element or intention as it relates to your intention to add more meaning and power to your candle spell. A great resource is Juliet Diaz's "Plant Witchery" book, which details an herbal directory for magical purposes. You don't have to overdo candle magic. But if you feel called to add herbs, candle oils, or crystals to your candle, go for it! This is part of creating your own candle spell.
A spell is a culmination of intention plus divination tools such as herbs, words, colors, and extra added magical things like crystals or dried herbs. You can make your own candle spell by simply writing out your intention on paper and adding additional behaviors you'll do on your end in daily rituals to hold yourself accountable as you achieve the desired outcome. This can look like meditating every day when your candle is lit or connecting with your candle weekly and visualizing your spell until it manifests. Create your own candle spell by adding language like written word, poetry, verses, or prayers to chant and ignite the intention further. Soon enough, you'll be graduating from baby bruja to boss bruja. Keep at it, and may you manifest wisely.