Types of Candles used in Candle Magic

Types of Candles used in Candle Magic

Candle magic is a form of magic involving the use of candles to manifest ones desires. With the variety of candles now available, it can be difficult to know which type of candle is appropriate to use for a spell. The truth is that any candle can be used. There are simply some that are more suited to certain workings than others. Below is a list of some of the most common candles and how they can best be utilised. 

Birthday Candles

One of the first forms of candle magic performed by most people, even if they do not know that they are doing magic involves making a wish over a birthday cake and blowing out birthday candles. When you make a wish over a birthday cake and blow out the candles, you are performing a magic spell. You are petitioning for a wish to be granted and when the candles are blown out the wish is sent into the universe to work its magic!

Birthday candles are small, skinny candles that come in a wide variety of colours. They have a very short burning time and can be used in small or quick spells. They are also great for travelling and make an ideal candle choice for travel altars. Birthday candles can be used singularly in a spell, or multiple candles and colours of candles can be used at once.

Due to their small size, birthday candles are not the type of candles you would use if you wish to carve your intention into the candle, however they can be anointed with oils and herbs prior to being burnt.

child blowing out birthday candles on a cake

Tealight Candles

Tealight candles are small candles that liquify completely and are usually sold in thin metal or plastic cups.  They are usually paraffin (however you can purchase beeswax ones here), can be found in most shops now days (especially in Australia) and are available in a wide variety of colours.

The downside to using tealight candles in your spell work is that they often are scented- especially the coloured ones. The scented candles can interfere with the scent of your incense or oils that you have selected for your spell.

Another problem with the tealights is that because they come in metal or plastic cups, they are not the most environmentally friendly of the candles.

Also due to their small size, tealights are not the type of candles you would use if you wish to carve your intention into the candle.

red tea light candles lit on top of music sheets



Spell/ Chime Candles

Chime Candles, commonly referred to as spell candles, wish candles or ritual candles are small, tapered candles, commonly about 10cm (4 inches) tall and 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) in diameter. They have a short burn time (max burn time is about 2 ½ hours).

Chime candles are generally dripless and come in a wide variety of colours, making them ideal for spells and use on altars.

Because these candles are not a standard taper diameter, they can be difficult to find candle holders that fit them- If you are looking for candle holders designed to fit these spell/ chime candles, check out our Spell Candle Collection here.

Due to their relatively short burning time spell/ chime candles are perfect for short spells where you cannot spend a lot of time watching your candle. They are perfect for anointing with herbs and oils, however they are not great to use if you wish to carve your intention into the candle due to their small size.

 red chime/ spell candle in a candle holder behind a floral decorated skull

Taper candles

Taper candles are long, narrow cylindrical candles that are slightly wider at the base and taper to a point at the wick. Dinner candles are your everyday taper candles.

A tall dinner candle can generally burn for 7-8 hrs. Like chime candles, taper candles are available in a wide variety of colours and are generally unscented, making them perfect for spellwork.

The downside of the taper candles is that unless they are marked as dripless, they tend to drip and the wax will run down the candle and holder. For this reason, if you are using them on an altar, you should always have them in a candle holder sitting on a fireproof plate so that your surface does not get destroyed.

Taper candles can be carved with your intention and can be anointed with herbs and oils prior to being used in a spell.

 taper dinner candles behind a spell book

Pillar Candles

Pillar candles are commonly available in a wide variety of sizes and colours. They are usually made of paraffin; however, they can also be made of beeswax (check out our Beeswax Pillar Candles here) or a mixture of waxes.

Pillar candles are perfect for anointing with oils and herbs and for candle carving- carving sigils and words into the side of the candle for magic.

pillar candles

Figure/ Image Candles

Figure candles are employed in sympathetic magic. Figure candles come in a variety of colours and are cast into a wide variety of shapes such as people, animals, or objects. Common figure candle shapes are:  a male, a female, a couple, a couple with their backs facing, body parts such as the penis or vagina, skulls, animals such as cats etc. Figure candles are often used in practices such as Hoodoo.

The individual figure candles can be used in love and attraction spells (the individual human figure candles and couple candles), break up spells (couple with backs facing), sex magic (penis & vagina) etc.

The figure candles are chosen based on their colour- e.g. if you want to bring a couple together, you would use a pair of candles (male and female for a heterosexual couple) in the colour pink for love. This union symbolizes the love between the two people and is a type of sympathetic magic.

These candles can also be anointed with oils and herbs for spell work. They could technically have signs carved into them however they are not meant for this.

magic practitioner holding a black skull figure candle

7 day Candles

7 day candles are candles that are designed to burn for a long time- usually over 7 days. They are commonly known also as prayer candles.

The 7 day candles are useful in large spells and are perfect for carving sigils etc into and for anointing with oils and herbs due to their large size. If the candle cannot be removed from the jar, a sharpie can be used to draw on the outside of the candle container and a skewer can be inserted next to the candle on the inside of the container to allow the anointing oil to seep down the side of the candle.

You can sometimes purchase coloured 7 day candles that have already been anointed for specific purposes, such as a pink 7 day candle anointed with rose oil for love.


7 day prayer candles

Pull Out Candle

A pull out candle is a seven day candle that is designed to be able to be removed from the glass jar that it is held in so that it can be carved and anointed before being placed back into the jar. This makes it ideal for use in the practice of candle magic.

Knob Candle

A knob candle is a type of 7 day candle that is designed to be lit and burnt down each day. Each day, the candle is burnt 1 knob at a time until the candle is finished.

These candles can also be anointed with oils and herbs for spell work.

Novena Candle

The Novena (Latin novem meaning nine) is a time of prayer that is practiced over nine days. The practice of Novena is usually accompanied by a Novena Candle, which is designed to be burnt for 9 days (or until it self extinguishes). The practice of Novena is useful for large petitions. They are traditionally used before and after funerals, for sacraments such as baptisms, marriages, communion etc, and for Holy / Saint or Feast days in the Catholic faith.

These candles, like the 7 day candles are useful in large spells and are perfect for carving sigils etc into and for anointing with oils and herbs.

 *if you have any favourite candles for use in your candle magic, leave us a comment and let us know.




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