Candle Work: Colors, Shapes, & Example Spells

Candle Work: Colors, Shapes, & Example Spells
Candle work - What is that?

Before I explain the following, I would always like to point out that this description is my own personal interpretation of the subject. You will find many examples, explanations, and definitions for what candle magic and candle work is, and you have the opportunity to define it for yourself using whatever feels right to you.

Candle magic is a term for a widespread practice that uses candles as the center object for the ceremony or ritual. Many different types of rituals and ceremonies with candles are used throughout different groups. After I tell you the general consensus of color meanings in candles (hint: it's a lot similar to the color meanings of crystals) I will give a couple example spells that anyone in any practice can use or customize to their liking to get started with candle work. I will also give you a quick description of a few candle shapes beforehand. Burning candles is an ancient practice that is widespread and rooted in symbolism, the colors each containing their own symbols to the universe. 

Candle Colors and their Meanings:

I always start with colors that represent the base chakra and move up through the body to the crown chakra. We will start with black, and move through the colors of the rainbow.


Black candles typically are used for protection and banishment. Black candles burn away negativity.


Brown candles are used for protecting the home, connecting with animals, and achieving material goods. Brown candles have heavy earth energy. 


Red candles represent lust, passion, fast action, strength, and courage. Red represents fire, things that spread fast with high energy, fueling action.


Pink candles represent love, emotional healing, friendship, nurturing, and self love. It should be noted that red candles symbolize more passion and pink candles represent more love itself. 


Orange candles represent justice, business, success, celebration, and ambition. 


Yellow candles represent intelligence, learning, focus, joy, and hope. Yellow candles remind me of the sun card in the tarot deck. 


Green candles represent healing, growth, abundance, money, and nature. Green candles have a wide variety of uses but everything is still tied to what earth represents, the material world.


Blue candles represent grief, astral traveling, creativity, forgiveness, and inspiration.


Purple candles represent wisdom, psychic abilities, influence, authority, mystery, and hidden knowledge. Purple in general represents magic.


Gold candles represent wealth, luck, happiness, and power. They also represent masculinity.


Silver candles represent the moon, intuition, dreams, and psychism. They also represent femininity which is always connected to the moon.


White candles represent peace and purity. White candles can be used to connect with spirits and cleanse a space or your mind. You can also use a white candle for any purpose or substitute it for any color, as it is a symbol of a clear slate.

Candle Shapes:

Candles come in a couple standard everyday shapes, and then there are quite a few that are more unique. This is not an extensive lost of all the different candle shapes there are, but this will get you started.


Chime candles are short skinny candles that burn quickly, usually between 2 and 3 hours. These are good for short spells that you can stick around for. These can be dressed in oils and herbs on the sides of the candle and should be used with a small holder to keep them upright.


Tealight candles are the small circular candles in the aluminum tin, usually about 2 inches in diameter and less than an inch tall. They burn between 3 and 6 hours long are also good for short spells or to put into tealight holders or vases of water. This candle has more surface area on the top of the candle and some people like to dress this area on the top more than they would say rolling a skinnier candle in oils and herbs.


Votive candles are short and fat circular candles usually between 2-3 inches in both diameter and height. Again, another candle with a larger surface area on the top. Votives can also be rolled in dressings due to their cylindrical shape. A votive burns between 8 and 15 hours.


Tapered candles are usually very tall and tapered towards the top - you may have seen them used for decoration quite often. Tapered candles are similar to chime candles but burn longer and just get skinnier at the top. These are good for longer-time duration spells, rituals, and prayers. Depending on the size, these can burn between 4 and 10 hours.


Container candles are candles that are poured into a container. Usually you will see this in glass form for prayers and ritual use. These burn immensely long at 3 inches in diameter and about 8 inches tall, anywhere between 25-30 hours.

7-Day Candles:

7-day candles are on this list because you may see candles with layers of different colors or what looks like knobs in the candle. These are markings for rituals that require burning part do the candle every day for 7 days. 

Human Body:

A human body candle can be used to represent a person.


Genitalia candles can be used to represent sexual energy, fertility, or masculine/feminine energy. 


Animals may be symbols of spirit guides, energies of the animal, or even pets. 


Skulls can represent wisdom and clearing of the mind.


You may find candles in the forms of goddesses, angels, spirits, and all kinds of magical symbols. These forms can be quite literal and are usually used in shrines representing those deities or heroes. 

Example Self-Appreciation Candle Spell

You will need:

- 1 pink candle (or white candle)

- a safe space to burn the candle

- a flame

- a piece of paper

- a writing utensil


- Crystals of your choice, either your favorites or pink and white crystals. You may choose to add some black ones as well to get rid of negativity.

- Rose incense 

- Rose Petals

- a glass of water representing your ancestors 

- candle dressings (I am working on a separate post about this coming soon)


Start out by clearing your mind and preparing your energy and space for the magic. This can be intricate as a spiritual bath or simple as closing the door.

Clear a surface to house your instruments. Optional: Place your water in front of you and devoting it to any spirits or ancestors if you wish, light your incense, and place your rose petals and crystals around the space in a way that is meaningful to you. You can also dress your candle at this stage. Place your candle in the middle of the surface, making sure it is safe from tipping or spreading flame. 

Take out your paper, and begin to write down your favorite 3 things about yourself in the form of “I am” statements. For example, “I am funny” or “I am wise”. Then, write the following statement (or something to the effect):

“I am more valuable than any words can so describe.

I am powerful, and using my power I control everything I see through my eyes.”


After writing your statement, you have two options: burn the paper and light the candle, or place the paper under the candle and light the candle. Using the latter option, you may choose to burn the paper afterwards. You may also choose to say a prayer before or after lighting your candle.

As your candle burns, take a moment to stare into the flame and visualize your favorite things about yourself and your value. Focus on the words you have written.

Stay close by your candle and let it burn completely. After the candle is burned, don’t stress over your intention but let it go into the universe trusting that what you are asking for will come - do this for any spell. 

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Be sure to take a look at our candles section if you need some. 

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