Working with Hoodoo Candle Magick

Dressing, fixing, blessing, and loading candles are done with oils, powders, herbs, curios, inscriptions, petition papers, and prayers. There are many ways 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 and the purpose of the ritual. Here are some simple basics to get you started with developing your own style and techniques. I recommend picking 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 in working with candles and soon enough it will become part of your routine 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– To inscribe names of targets, date of birth, and/or petition on the candle followed by anointing with oils, powders, herbs, and curios.

Loading a candle– To make a hole in the candle and fill the hole with powders, ash, dirts, resins, roots, herbs, or curios. If you remove wax for this, refill the hole afterwards with wax that was removed to seal it so the ingredients do not fall out.

Anointing a candle with oil- If you are drawing in energies, rub the oil on the candle from bottom or feet to the top of candle. For removing, cleansing, uncrossing, or banishing, rub the oil the opposite direction, top to bottom, head to toe.

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

Working with Vigil/Novena candles is popular for any type of conjure. If you buy 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 and undressed candle, sprinkle the cleaner on the candle, wipe it top to bottom, removing any spiritual gunk. 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 can also 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 under the candle. Some rootworkers paint sigils, names, or specific pictures on the candle or on the glass. Next, 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, put tiny amounts of herbs and curios (loading the candle). Then add a few drops of ritual oil and/or powder to the holes. You can use a small paint brush or stick to draw a cross with the oils across the wax if you like. If you attached a photo or name paper or drew on your candle, anoint it with a cross or a 5 point anointing pattern (four corners and the center).
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. Look for signs from your candle flame, smoke patterns, and left over shapes on the glass candle when the it’s finished burning. Write down what you observe. Many symbols and shapes left in the glass as soot, wax, herbs, etc. can be interpreted like dream symbols or tea leaf readings. A cracked glass can mean that an obstacle was broken down. A sooty black top usually means there are blockages to overcome. Did the candle clear up as it burned down? If so, this can indicate that those blockages are being removed. Does the wick jump, flicker, pop, burn too high or too low? These are signs of spirit messages or that there is an interference in your work. Search around for more meanings of candle burnings and you will find many different comments and opinions on the topic.

Working with figure or regular candles such as jumbo 9 inch candles, male figure or female figure candles, and tapers is very similar to glass enclosed candles. There are a few ways to dress these candles. The first way is to inscribe the candle with your targets name/s, dob, and intention. Alternatively, use personal concerns to load the candle. The second alternative is to write a petition paper and set it under the candle, however take caution that at the end of the candle burning, it doesn’t catch fire. And lastly, after writing the petition paper, anoint it with oil, and burn it. Mix the ashes with sachet powder or herbs to dress the candle after anointing the candle with oil. After you have prepared the candle, you will baptize the candle and lay claim the candle represents your target and state the intention or what you want your target to do over the candle. Note: It isn’t necessary to write the intention on the candle, a prayer of intent over the candle will be fine. When writing the intention on the candle, if it is for uncrossing or reversing, write the petition in a mirrored reversed direction. For blessings, write the intention as you normally would. The candle is ready to be anointed or dressed with Hoodoo Oil.

The Do’s and Don’ts– 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 other tool 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! Use your intuition and spirit guides to help you feel out what your candle work is trying to show you. Look for how the flame burns, what direction is it tilting, any pops or crackles. Look at the direction wax is melting and look for possible shapes. Sometimes wax shapes can be interpreted the same way that tea leaves are read or how dream symbolism is read.

Disposal– 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 with additional  candles for the work or recycle the container after removing access and taking it to the crossroads, etc. (except remains from an uncrossing I prefer to leave at a 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 you 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 Figure Candles, Astral Candle Colors, Planetary Candle Colors, & Ritual Candle Colors

Candle Shape Uses
Male Figure (nude male) Male target. Specific to color symbolism
Female Figure (nude female) Female target. Specific to color symbolism
Cat Figure Success, Luck, Gambling
Marriage Bride/Groom Figure Love or marriage work. Specific to color symbolism
Face to Face standing couple figure on heart base Love work. Specific to color symbolism, usually pink or red
Cross Luck, Protection, Uncrossing, Blessing
Back to Back standing couple figure on heart base Break up/Separation/Divorce. Black only
Penis Fidelity, Nature, Male Sexuality. Specific to color symbolism
Vulva Fidelity, Nature, Female Sexuality. Specific to color symbolism
Skull Thoughts, Influencing, Domination. Specific to color symbolism
7 Knob Each “knob” is burned one day. Money, Love, Health, etc. Specific to color symbolism
Pyramid Money, Luck, Love, Communication, etc. Specific to color symbolism
Double Action 2 toned The black portion is burned first to uncross the negative condition. Then the color side is burned for bringing/changing the luck.                               Black/Red- Love  Black/Green- Money  Black/White- Health/Blessing
Devil Protection. Red and Black color
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 or Purple
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