Dressing, fixing, blessing, and loading candles are done with oils, powders, herbs, curios, inscriptions, petition papers, and prayers. There is not just one right way to fix a candle, whether it is a 7 day glass encased vigil novena candle or a plain taper candle. It depends on the work you are doing, the purpose of the candle or ritual. Here are some simple basics to get you started with developing your own style and techniques. Pick up a copy of Henri Gamache’s “Master Book of Candle Burning”, and become familiar with working with candles. There are many good books on candle burning, but I personally prefer this book as a good ground cover to build upon. Develop your own technique and rhythm magically in working with candles, soon enough it will become part of your routine and like second nature. Use your creativity and instincts when working with candles, you will be amazed at how simple a candle burning is but how powerful the invocation will be to manifest the things in your life that you need.

Dressing or Fixing a candle– Inscribe, anoint it with oils, powders, herbs, and curios.
Loading a candle– Making a hole in the candle and filling the hole with powders, papers, herbs, and curios.

Be careful with adding herbs and papers to candles, too much can catch fire. In fact, vigil glass containers can have your petition written on the glass rather than a petition paper just for safety, but it still gets the job done. Also, be careful to not over do your oils, or it can drown your wick causing a smokey burn or low flame or no burn at all.

Working with Vigil/Novena candles is popular for any type of conjure. If you buy your 7, 9, or 14 day Novenas at a local grocery store or botanica and it has not been loaded or dressed for you already, you should first clean it thoroughly with a spiritual cleanser such as Florida Water, Chinese Wash, or Holy Water. After purchasing an unblessed, undressed candle, sprinkle the cleaner on the candle while focusing on the spiritual gunk removed from it. Let it dry a minute.
On top of the wax around the wick you may either inscribe with a sharp needle, nail, quill, or some other utensil that you use for inscribing or scratching into the wax of candles, the name of the target, or simply an equal arm cross to represent the 4 cardinal points and elements that you call upon to aid you in your work. You may inscribe small sigils or symbols in the wax as well. Next, you want to write out any petition papers or name papers to attach to the outside of the glass or on the bottom out of sight. Some workers like to paint sigils, names, or specific pictures to the candle as well. At this point it is time to dress it with oils, powders, and/or curios. For the top of the wax, take a long screw driver or hand held knife sharpener and poke three holes in the wax around the outside of the wick to form a triangle. In these holes, you may put tiny amounts of your herbs and curios (load the candle). On top of the wax, add a few drops of ritual oil and/or powder. Use a small paint brush or stick to draw a cross with the oils across the wax. If you attached a photo or name paper or drew on your candle, anoint it with a cross or a 5 point anointing.
Your candle is ready to light and prayers said over the candle. Once you light the candle state your prayers and let the candle burn continuously. If you must leave the candle and you want to extinguish it and relight it at another time, snuff it out with a candle snuffer. Never blow out candles during a working unless the ritual calls for it. If your flame is too high and creates a lot of black smoke, trim the wick for a better and even burn. Learning to read the candles, ceromancy, will become a part of your work as well.

Working with figure or regular candles such as jumbo 9 inch candles, male figure or female figure candles, and tapers are very similar to glass enclosed candles. To dress these candles, first inscribe the candle with your targets name/s and prayer. If it is for uncrossing or reversing, write the petition in a mirrored reversed direction. After the inscription on the candle, you can load the candle with herbs and curios, and oil the candle with a good quality hoodoo ritual oil appropriate to your work. If you are using drawing in energies, rub the oil on the candle from bottom or feet to the top of candle or start at the feet and work to the center, turn it over and work from the top to the center. For removing, rub the oil the opposite direction away from you if you are cleansing, uncrossing, or banishing. Write out your petition paper or name paper if you are working with any and set it with your candle under it. Now you are ready to light the candle and speak your prayers of choice. If you are performing a spell where it requires multiple days to burn your candle, snuff it out with a candle snuffer. Never blow out candles unless the ritual calls for it. Sometimes the ritual will require to be extinguished in graveyard dirt, toilet, or some other method, otherwise, snuff out the candle.
If your flame is too high and creates a lot of black smoke, trim the wick for a better and even burn. I never let a candle catch fire and burn herbs and leaves that are on the candle if it’s dressed with them! This is a fire hazard and defeats the purpose of when I am reading the way the candle wax is dripping, what direction it is flowing, how the flame is moving, and reading the wax left behind. An out of control flame is easy to adjust and fix, just as you trim your wicks before each light to have an accurate burn, either use less herbs (more doesn’t necessarily equal better or stronger), or use the end of a snuffer or athame to put the flame out on the herb chunk that is on fire. (Sometimes it will distinguish itself, but you can move this herb or herbs to where the whole candle is not on fire). You want your wick to burn, not your herbs and not the whole candle catching fire when you are trying to read the candle wax and flame. Herbs, powders, and oils, are adding or infusing your candle with magickal energy. You are manipulating energy to work in your favor, after all YOU ARE working active magick and you are working mojo in a ritual manner, whether it’s working a poppet doll, candle, mojo bag, or ritual bath. Play it smart and safe. A candle that is on fire burns too hot and can ruin the way a figure candle burns and hinders how you are reading the signs and it can break the surface or plate you are working on. Always use common sense when playing with fire! Learning to read the candles, ceromancy, will become a part of your work as well.

The remains of the candles, whether they are glass or figure candles, depends on the intent, are disposed of in places like the crossroads with thanks to the spirits, graveyards, churches, banks, running water, tree hollows, the ocean, or the target’s property. Love candles can be left at a holy place such as a church or chapel, unless the ritual specifically says where to place all the remaining wax. Uncrossing and cleansing work can be disposed at a crossroads or running water. Money candles can be disposed at crossroads or banks, again unless the ritual says where to put the remains. Glass candles in these situations are difficult, sometimes, to dispose of in public places. I sometimes clean them and reuse the container. In a situation like this, I prefer to either recycle the glass for more candles for the work or recycle the container after removing access and taking it to the crossroads, etc. (except uncrossings I prefer to put in crossroads).

In Hoodoo candle work, you can choose to work with specific colors that help bring the appropriate vibrations for your intentions.  Candle colors are chosen by the energies we wish to invoke, by symbolic meanings of the color preference, the astrological sign that might be in the working, or even by planetary energies being worked with.
The shape of the candle also depends on the type of ritual work being performed. Many times, practitioners may only choose taper candles, chime candles, or 7 day glass encased novena style candles. Other workers, however, may work with figure candles. Figure candles can be in the shape of human genders, male or female figure candles, genitalia, crosses, skulls, cats, devils,7 knobs, and so forth.

Listed is a table of Astral Candle Colors, Planetary Candle Colors, & Ritual Candle Colors

Candle Color Meanings
White Purity, Spirituality, Universal, Truth, Healing, Health
Blue Peace, Calming, Soothing, Healing, Health, Cooperation
Purple Success, Royalty, Ambition, Higher Power, Mastery
Yellow Attraction, Success, Business, Drawing
Orange Road Opening, Encouragement, Blockage Removal
Red Passion, Sexual, Dominance, Love
Pink Passion, Reconciling, Romance, Love
Green Money, Monetary Gain, Finances, Business, Wealth
Black Uncrossing, Jinx Breaking, Exorcism OR Crossing, Hexing, Dominance
Brown Court Cases, Justice, Law, Influencing
Astral Sign Primary Color Secondary Color
Aries White Pink
Taurus Red Yellow
Gemini Lt. Blue Red
Cancer Green Brown
Leo Green Red
Virgo Yellow Black
Libra Red Lt. Blue
Scorpio Brown Black
Sagittarius Green Red
Capricorn Red Brown
Aquarius Blue Pink
Pisces Pink Green
Influence Color
Sun Personal Mastery, Ego, Leadership, Health, Vitality, Self Expression, Honor, Glory Yellow or Gold
Moon Personal emotions, Unconsciousness, Mood, Memory, Dreams, Psychic Awareness, Receptivity White or Silver
Mercury Communication, Thought, Reason, adaptability, Mobility, School, Studies, Divination, Science Orange or Purple
Jupiter Wealth, Material, Finances, Monetary Gain, Growth, Good Fortune, Success Blue
Venus Personal Attractiveness, Love, Matters of Beauty, Fortune, Heart Green
Saturn Bindings, Discipline, Restriction, Limits, Structure Black
Mars Sexuality, Warrior, Aggression, Energy, Strength, Ambition, Courage Red