Candle magic and color magic are two simple, powerful forms of magic used by beginners and experts alike. (We once published a list of color meanings in a product description, and it quickly became the most viewed page on the website.)
Each color carries a different energy frequency. In spellwork, the energy of colors is used to generate a specific response in the magic worker, and to attract certain energies through the principle of sympathetic magic. If you've ever wondered which colors mean what, here's a primer to get you started. Feel free to supplement this information with color meanings from your own tradition and experience.
You can find different colored candles at most metaphysical stores, and also home decor and craft shops. Keep in mind that your spell can still be effective even if you don't have the "right" color candle. (Author Dorothy Morrison tells a funny story, about needing a brown candle for a spell, and ad-libbing it with a white emergency taper and the beige foundation in her purse!) You can also decorate a candle with a ribbon or cord of the appropriate color, or simply use your powers of visualization.
Here are the most common candle colors and their suggested uses:
The color of purity and new beginnings. Use a white candle for rituals involving healing, new beginnings, and spiritual growth. Also appropriate for Lunar and Goddess workings. Church candles are usually white, thus white candles are associated with prayer, remembrance, and devotion. White may be substituted for any other color candle when that color is not available.
A strong, banishing color, black is associated with transition and rest. Burn a black candle to absorb negativity, break a bad habit, or mark the end of a phase in your life. Many protective spells include a black candle.
Red is the color of sex, love, power and vitality. A red candle draws these qualities to you, and aids you in any spellwork that requires strong, fiery energy. A red candle is often used in conjunction with black--burn the black candle first to banish negativity, then the red candle to draw in fresh energy. (So-called "dual action" or "reversible" candles combine red and black into one candle.)
Blue helps you call upon the peace and patience of the element of Water. Blue carries a gentle, but powerful energy. Choose a blue candle for spells involving emotional healing, truth and justice. A very spiritual color, blue can help awaken and heal the psychic mind.
Yellow is associated with the element of Air and the powers of the mind. Burn a yellow candle for success in school or the arts, or to enhance communication in a relationship. Yellow also increases focus and intuition. Yellow is a great choice for business spells, especially when you need fresh ideas and inspiration.
Traditionally the color of money magic, green symbolizes growth in every sense. A green candle attracts abundance and earthly well-being. Use for prosperity, health, and workings involving Nature. Green is also a popular choice for luck-drawing spells.
The vibrant hue of orange evokes ambition and creativity. Orange candles are well-suited for career workings, or any other time you need to assert your strength and individuality.
The color of mystery and magic, purple is associated with psychic matters. Use a purple candle for divination, astral travel, and to strengthen your connection with the unseen realms. Historically the color of royalty, purple is also suitable for magic related to wishes, ambition, power and authority.
Pink is the color of emotional well-being, sensuality, and matters of the heart. Choose a pink candle when you wish to grow in compassion and self-love, or attract the love of others. Forgiveness and reconciliation spells also call for gentle pink.
Resting halfway between white and black, grey is the color of neutrality and balance. A grey candle may be used in protective magic, when you wish to neutralize negative energy that may be directed at you. Also used to gain discernment and wisdom.
The calming, cleansing energy of light blue is used for spells of healing, and also to dispel anger. Light blue invokes the soothing qualities of the element of Water without its deeper, more dangerous properties. The color of unclouded daylight, light blue is also good for truth-seeking.
Turquoise is a greenish tint of blue. It is the color of the famous desert gem, or the Caribbean sea. Turquoise shares many of the calming, healing qualities of light blue. Turquoise also stimulates creativity and the spirit of exploration. Sea-blue candles are sometimes used to connect with Undines and water Fae
Lavender combines the innocence of white with the spirituality and passion of purple. Lavender candles are used for spells of love, intimacy and friendship, as well as wishes of all kinds.
Similar in meaning to white, but with a tinge of earthy brown. Ivory is good for Full Moon workings, initiations, or any time you want an alternative to bright white. Because it corresponds to precious things like ivory, pearl, and cream, this color is also used to attract luxury and abundance.
Light Green is used to invoke the lighter qualities of the Earth element--good luck, prosperity, and celebration. Light green is a good choice for Faery workings and rites of Springtime.
Magenta, dark pink, and hot pink candles take the loving energy of pink and kick it up a notch! While pink candles draw compassion and tenderness, stronger pinks are all about the passion. Use a dark pink candle for spells of sexuality, sexual confidence, and flirtation. Dark pink candles are used to attract a lover (especially a female lover).
Brown is a strongly grounding, Earthy color. It aids in emotional stability, balance, and building trust. Some Witches also use brown for manifestation magic and connecting with the realm of animals.
Half-way between the two colors, burgundy tempers the passion of red with the practicality of brown. Use burgundy for magic related to determination, strength, and personal power. Burgundy resonates with the blood, and helps in grounding and bringing your passions to fruition.
Silver is associated with the Moon, psychic receptivity, dreaming, love, rest and healing. On a Wiccan altar, a silver candle is often used to represent the Goddess.
Gold corresponds with the Sun, wealth, confidence, willpower, generosity and optimism. A gold candle may be used to represent the God. A grey or white candle may be substituted for silver, but there is really no substitute for the eye-catching gleam of gold!