Clearing, Charging & Dressing Candles for Rituals & Spells

If your livelihood depends on the condition of your tools, you probably do your best to keep them clean, well oiled and ready to use. After all, trying to build something with a power saw that has not been charged will not get you far. Nor will you get very far if you are using magical tools that have not been properly cared for.

However, keeping magical tools in optimal working order has more to do with spiritual energy than physical care. In effect, they are charged by what we think and feel when we handle and work with them.

With candles, we cleanse them to get rid of any ‘psychic clutter’ or stagnant energy they may have picked up. Then we charge them with energy from nature or our own personal energy. Candles are often ‘dressed’ with essential oil and or inscribed with words or symbols to help us stay focused on the candles purpose.

Clearing Candles for Rituals & Spells

Clearing a candle for magical use involves a deeper level of cleaning than simply removing physical dust. Below are three easy methods to help you remove any unwanted or stagnant energy from your candle.

Smudging is a fast and easy way to clear your candles. You can use your favorite incense, or choose a smudge stick like Sage, Cedar or Sweetgrass. Simply pass your candle back and forth through the smoke several times to clear it of unwanted energies.

One of the most popular cleansing methods is to leave magical tools in the moonlight. Many use this method to cleanse and charge their tools at the same time. You can set your candle outside or in a window indoors.

Salt is another easy way to clear your candle of negative energy. Simply lay your candle in a bowl of salt and leave it there overnight. Most practitioners discard the salt after use.

TIP: Some practitioners buy candles in bulk. You can save time by cleansing multiple candles at once. After cleansing, wrap them in a soft cloth and store them with your other magical tools until you need them.

Charging & Giving Your Candles a Purpose

Not all candles need to be charged. Your candle’s natural state may work well if it is simply being used for atmosphere or every day purposes. But if you will be using them for magical work, they need to be charged to reach their full magical potential.

An ideal way to charge your candles is to infuse them with some of your own energy and give them a purpose. You can do this by holding the candle in your hands and focusing on your goal. Visualize your positive personal energy infusing the candle. Sit quietly and think about the intention you are sending to the candle. Feel what it’s like to have already achieved this goal. After a few minutes, thank your candle for helping you manifest this goal. You have now charged and set intentions for your candle.

Remember that your candles will absorb energy from the area around them, so after they have been charged, do your best to keep them in an area with lots of positive energy. For this reason, it’s a good practice to charge your candles close to the time you’ll be using them for rituals and spells.

Dressing & Inscribing Candles for Rituals & Spells

After your candle has been cleared and charged, it’s time to dress it. By dressing or anointing a candle, you create a link between your intentions and the candle. During the dressing process, you will charge the candle with your personal energy. As you focus on your goal, the candle becomes an extension of your thoughts and feelings.

When it comes to increasing the power of your candle magic, dressing the candle with oil is as important as any other step. Use your favorite essential oil, unless the spell you are doing calls for something else.

The direction that you dress the candle is important. If you are trying to bring something to you, rub oil on the candle in a downward motion from the top to the middle and then from the bottom to the middle.

To send something away from you, simply rub the oil from the middle of the candle out to the ends. Never make a back and forth motion as this defeats the purpose. Dab the remaining oil from your fingers onto your third eye and on your breast bone. If you want to verbalize your intentions, say something like the following:

“I cleanse and consecrate this candle in the name of the Lord and the Lady. May it burn with strength in the service of the light.”

NOTE: You can substitute God and Goddess or the name of whatever higher power you are working with.

Inscribing Your Candle

It is also helpful to inscribe your candle with words or symbols to establish your magical purpose. This assists in communicating your specific intentions directly to a higher power. To inscribe a candle you can use your Athame or any sharp object.

The same principle as dressing the candle is used. To draw something to you, write from the top to the middle, and then from the bottom to the middle. To repel things, write from the middle out to the ends. If you are inscribing a symbol on your candle, place it at the base to draw the object to you or at the top to repel it and send it away.

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