Have you ever wondered about a flickering candle meaning or why some spells seem to burn brighter than others? Or what it might mean if the candle winks out in the middle of your casting? This article outlines some of the most common spell candle situations and how to divine the meaning of their flames.
What is candle magick?
Candle magic is a form of ritual or spellwork that calls on the element of fire to bring greater energy and power to a casting. It is a process in which we infuse a candle’s wax with our own magickal intent and desires much as the candle’s original artisans infused its wax with scent or pigments.
In most common candle magic, it’s sufficient to seal your intention within, then simply light and burn to slowly release its energy into the world, but some witches find deeper meaning in the candle flame itself.
The Clean Burning Candle Meaning
A clean, natural burning candle is a fortunate sign that your spell is working in harmony with your own energies. A clean burn is also a sure sign that you’ve captured the perfect timing and intent for the spell you wish to cast and that the right amount of energy is present in the spell to ensure that it comes to pass in its own time.
The Big Candle Flame Meaning
A big candle flame that burns brightly is indicative of a spell that is working quickly and confidently to bring about the caster’s desires or intent and that there is more than sufficient power present to bring it to fruition with little, if any, resistance. Likewise, a big flame that burns through its wick quickly could indicate a spell that is fast acting yet short lasting.
The Little Candle Flame Meaning
A little flame that burns evenly, but lowly, can often mean that your spell may be working very slowly or perhaps only subtly, but that it is indeed working. It may also be that you are facing some heavy opposition or that your request will need more time to manifest than you originally thought.
The Struggling Candle Meaning
A spell flame that is struggling, meaning one that is low burning and on the verge of drowning out in its own wax, is not generally an ideal sign when working with candle magic. Such a resulting flame could be a sign of misaligned timing and intent (such as attempting a summoning spell in a time of banishing magick like that of the waning moon) or perhaps it could indicate that your own energy is not yet up to the task that you have set before yourself and that more inner focus is needed before attempting the casting again.
If this is the case, and the flame drowns out, it is best that you take a step back to reexamine and perhaps to refocus on what exactly you are hoping to accomplish, to adjust the timing if need be, or to request more power for the spell from whichever guiding spirit or divinity you choose to work alongside.
The Dancing Candle Meaning
A dancing flame seems not to know where to remain. This is often a sign that your spell will in fact come to pass, but that it will not necessarily manifest in the way that you had imagined or perhaps hoped. The sporadic movements of a dancing flame suggest sporadic energies within the spell itself–the kind that tends to lend themselves to unforeseen outcomes or circumstance.
Although dancing flames tend to represent the unpredictable nature of a spell and can perhaps be a cause for concern, it is important to note that they are not always a sign of something gone awry. For although the outcome may not be what you were seeking it could end up being exactly what you were needing.
The Flickering Candle Meaning
Sometimes a candle flame will dim and brighten, dim and brighten as if someone were flicking on and off a light switch. This phenomenon is referred to as a flickering flame and in some folk magick, is seen as an indicator that spirits are present around the caster.
If the spell candle is being used for devotional work (e.g. with the divine or other spiritual guides), a flickering flame can mean that the invocation was successful and that your prayers have been acknowledged.
Furthermore, a flickering candle flame can prove to be mildly trance-inducing, and as such this time could be used as an opportunity to scry the fire for additional insights into the nature of your workings and any energies that may be affecting your spell.
The Popping Candle Meaning
A popping or noisy candle flame is often said to indicate communication with (or interference by) outside forces. A spell candle’s hisses, sputters, and whistles can sometimes carry cryptic messages from one’s ancestors or spirits—try listening closely to them and deciphering what they are trying to say.
A popping candle could also represent the presence of foreign magicks surrounding the focus of your casting such as if the effects of another caster’s spells are in play such as someone else’s warding spell, love spell, etc.
The Exstinguished Candle Meaning
So your spell candle’s flame went out? Don’t panic! A candle that goes out is not always an ill omen. However, it does almost always indicate that the working has finished whether of its own accord through completion of the spell or due to interference from a stronger opposing force.
More often than not, when a spell candle winks out in the middle of working, this means that your petition or spell—whatever it may be—will not end up manifesting without first stepping back, refocusing your energies, and attempting the spell again. Although, in some rarer cases, it could simply mean that the objective of the working has already been attained and that no further magickal assistance or energy is required.
When Mundane Meets Magick
A final note from the author:
It goes without saying that anyone well-versed in candle-making could tell you what causes the weird candle behaviors listed above in strictly non-magickal terms. A tall flame is caused by an untrimmed wick. Black soot is the result of oils or colorants being exposed to high heat. And a candle that suddenly goes out could be the sign of an unfriendly spirit…or just a stiff breeze.
Of course, we all know that the varying physical properties of candles can easily cause them to burn differently from one another.
However, I find that one of the most useful caveats when delving into the magickal arts is that everything could be an omen. That’s part of the beauty of it all and I dare say the fun of it! That once you bring any mundane object into a magickal or sacred space, it becomes a tool for understanding and discovery! Whether it be a candle, a piece of parchment, a bird’s feather or even a spoon! The magick it holds comes from within you.
This article was written in collaboration with Naia Moonbrook from TheMysticCorner.com