Human beings, it seems, have an irresistible attraction to the color red. Rubies are the most precious of all gems, wearing red has been shown to increase attractiveness in dating studies, and marketing experts tell us that red-hued ads get more clicks than any other color. It should come as no surprise that red candles are among our best-sellers here at the Grove!
Most beginner Witches can tell you that a red candle is used for spells of power and passion. In our advanced candle magick series, we go deeper into the meaning of each candle color to help you refine your candle choices.
What can you conjure up with a red candle? Here’s a big ole list of the red candle’s magickal uses:
To achieve fame or power
To attract a sexual partner
To ignite vitality in oneself
Drawing wealth and good luck
Increasing passion in a relationship
Root Chakra work/connecting with the physical body
Triumph over rivals in love or business
To get over a bad relationship or job
To return negative magick to its sender
To keep an enemy away
Increasing willpower and confidence
Invoking Fire gods/goddesses
To make a fresh start
Correspondences of Red
Red belongs under the dominion of the warlike planet of Mars. In Mars, we find the energy and courage to seize what’s rightfully ours. Mars magick is aggressive, arguably self-centered, and fueled by the pulse and throb of the physical body.
Red is the color of danger and of rage. In many cultures around the world, red symbolizes victory and martial power. Red evokes the spilled blood of the martyr or vanquished foe. Danger and disruption are signaled by the color red in warning signs and desktop alerts.
However brutal that sounds, its wise to remember that Mars (and his Greek counterpart, Ares) is also a lover, not just a fighter. The physical prowess and charisma of Mars is enough to woo the most beautiful of the goddesses, Venus/Aphrodite. It’s not surprising then, that the color red has a prominent place in sexual magick.
As the color of the element of Fire, red expresses all the sharpest, quickest emotions. Lust and anger, but also pride and excitement. Red can be a powerful partner in a whole range of spellwork: Strong emotions and deeply-felt needs are at the heart of all successful magick.
Bold, sexy, and in charge, red finds its zodiacal match in the sign of Aries. Because of red’s association with Fire and ego, a secondary planetary correspondence is the Sun.
Planets: Mars, the Sun
Deities: Ares/Mars, Seth, Sekhmet, Durga, Lakshmi, Hephaestus/Vulcan, Morrighan, Babalon
Zodiac Signs: Aries
Tarot Card: The Tower
Variations of Red Candles
True red is by far the most popular of the red spell candles. Red is such a primal hue that to mix it with any other color feels like it dampens its impact.
Red-pink, ruby, or rosy red candles are occasionally used in love magick. These candles combine the sexual urgency of red with some of the sweetness and tenderness of the color pink—a kind of compromise between love and lust.
Red-orange candles are suitable for spells of power, victory, and motivation. Fiery red combined with Airy yellow suggests success in business or creative ventures.
Berry red or burgundy candles contain mostly red with a hint of blue and/or brown. Choose these colors when you want the energy of your red candle spell to be tempered by wisdom and grounded in the element of Earth. Burgundy is an excellent choice for spells of manifestation, courage, loyalty, and earned success.
Dual-color or reversing candles are half-red, half-black. This type of candle is used for reversing negativity and undoing spells cast by another. Commercially made reversing candles are available from metaphysical shops—but I’ve heard of resourceful Witches sawing off two pillar candle to make their own. Red candles are unscented but can be dressed with Reversing Oil before use.
The reversing candles we sell are black on top and red on the bottom—which is the proper way to construct a reversing candle. The black portion burns first, and neutralizes/absorbs the curse or bad juju. The red portion burns second, and its function is to empower the magick worker to fight back and/or return the spell to its origin.
Red candle scents
All of our spell candles are unscented. Wherever you shop for magickal supplies, you will usually find this to be the case. Most Witches prefer to add their own scented oil to suit the working, or to skip the scent entirely.
Still, there is nothing wrong with using scented candles for spellwork, if that’s your preference. Just remember that scents (just like colors) have their own meanings that work on your unconscious magickal mind. The sensory input can either amplify or weaken the energy of your spell.
Red candles are popular for holiday décor, and retailers trot out red candles every Yuletide season. The best of the holiday scents (for candle magick) is cinnamon. Cinnamon corresponds to Fire, Mars, passion, and protection magick—so it is a perfect match for most red candle spells. Other red candle scents in the holiday category include Christmas spice, cranberry, apple cider, and occasionally, peppermint.
Most people either love or hate holiday scents. If smelling them makes you feel like a sparkling sugarplum, then go for it! If you have emotional baggage around the holidays, though, don’t let Christmas spice anywhere near your red candle spell.
A second category of red candles scents is florals. Red rose, honeysuckle, hibiscus, and other red blooms make an appearance on the red candle aisle. Red flowers stand for attraction and seduction. Their sweet aromas are perfect for spells of romance, but less appropriate in spells of protection.
And then we have the food category: Cherry pie, candy apple, blood orange, strawberry, tropical punch. In general, foodie-scented candles are better for mundane use than for candle magick. However, if one of these fruity flavors is particularly appetizing to you (or to your intended partner), why not try it for your next love spell?
Red candles for protection/power
As the color of the warrior, red is an obvious choice for protection spells. Red emboldens and fortifies the spell-caster to stand up against any adversary. A human being’s automatic reaction to the color red seems to be innate and cross-cultural. Studies have shown that just viewing the color causes increased heart rate and breathing—physiological responses associated with both sexual arousal and anger. “Seeing red” is a real visual phenomena that some people experience while overtaken with rage.
Red is linked to the element of Fire, the fastest-acting and most overtly destructive of the four elements. It’s also—as we mentioned earlier—attributed to Mars, the planet of aggression and conflict. A burning red candle can be used to cast a powerful circle of protection and fight back against wrongdoers. Many protection spells combine red candles with other Martial ingredients: Iron nails or chili peppers, for example.
Anger gets a bad rap in some spiritual communities, where everyone is supposed to be made of rainbows and white light. But to reject anger entirely is to leave a powerful magickal tool on the shelf. Warriors of bygone days understood that raw fury is a way to tap into special reserves of courage, agility, and strength—similar to what science now calls the fight-or-flight response. The magickal adept is never consumed by anger, but he or she knows how to manipulate anger to create a desired outcome.
Red candles for wealth and good fortune
Red is considered an auspicious color, especially in Asian countries. Brides in China, Japan, and India wear red on their wedding days. Holiday decorations often include red and gifts of money are given in red envelopes.
It’s not just an Eastern tradition to associate red with wealth and power. In the west, red garments signified majesty and authority as early as the Byzantine Empire. Rich red dyes (often sourced on the Asian continent) were a favorite status symbol of the merchant class in European cities.
By this logic of symbols, red candles are a fine choice for spells of good luck, success, and prosperity. Choose the most vibrant, saturated red candle you can find, pair it with a gold candle holder, and dress it richly with Frankincense or Dragon’s Blood oil.
Red candles for love
"Red candles for sex, pink candles for love." It seems corny, but there is some truth in this old folk magick adage.
I love red lipstick. When I was working as a chef, I’d wear it every day, because the bright kitchen lights and white jackets washed out my complexion and made me look like a ghost. And as a novice manager, I noticed that people paid more attention when I was talking if my lips were red.
Anyway, I had been at a new job for just a few weeks when an older lady, a dishwasher from South America, brought me a gift: A tube of pink lipstick. She explained that red wasn’t a flattering color on me—and later, when pressed, that red wouldn’t help me meet “the good kind” of men.
I tell this story because it’s a perfect illustration of the sexual power of the color red. Red has the ability to alert, unnerve, arouse, and intensify. Prostitutes once wore red to advertise their profession, and many cities around the world have red-light districts. Red evokes human sexual responses: Engorged genitals, flushed skin. Many people have a sense that red is just not proper. Pink is offered as a substitute—it’s the same thing, only toned down a notch with pure, spiritual white.
Some people are looking for a lifelong love affair…other people want to get laid without commitments or attachments. No judgment here! Just keep in mind that candle magick gurus usually reserve red candles for the “extra spicy” type of love-drawing spell. I should note here that some people have ethical objections to love spells…but red candle magick is not for the timid.
Red candles for new beginnings
Do you have a bad relationship or crappy job you’d like to leave in the past? Need inspiration to start a project or kick a bad habit? Does it just feel like its time for a clean start? A “new beginnings” spell might be just the thing to drum up some fresh energy to get your life moving again.
Most of the time, I recommend white candles for this sort of magick. But don’t forget about red—an inspiring, high-energy hue that’s also, as we’ve mentioned, the color of elemental Fire.
Evoking Fire invites rapid transformation into any spellworking. Fire is aligned with life-force energy, the source of all creative endeavors. Fire creates as it destroys, it provides as it consumes. It’s the perfect helper for forging new pathways—especially when there’s some old crap you need to burn up first.
Red is also associated with the Root Chakra, and so carries a practical, back-to-basics vibe that’s useful for starting new projects on a firm foundation. Contemplating the Root Chakra puts you back in touch with what really matters most to an incarnate creature: Your safety and your body’s happiness. When you meditate or do yoga, you start by grounding and awakening the Root Chakra.
Why? When the lower chakras aren’t whirring along, the upper ones quickly get out of balance. It’s hard to accomplish anything if you don’t start from a strong position, with a sense of possibility and well-being.
Herbs and oils for red candle spells
Combining your candle-burning spell with the appropriate herbs and oils can amplify the working by engaging even more of your senses. Typically, the candle is anointed (or “dressed”) with a matching oil prior to being lit for the ritual. Herbs can be sprinkled over the top of a burning candle or laid around the base. Whether you like to work with fresh/dried herbs or distilled oils, here’s a few herbal suggestions to amp up your red candle spells.
Spiritual protection: Cinnamon
Power: Dragon’s Blood
Banishing/revenge: Chili pepper
Willpower: Lemon or Orange
Gemstones for red candle spells
Red candles can be used alongside these stones in ritual:
Tiger’s Eye (red or gold)
Now that you know a bit more the magickal energy of red candles, you can easily craft your own candle spells for love, wealth, power, and protection. Here’s a few examples of red candle spells to get you started!
Celtic Love Spell
String six horse chestnuts on a red cord, with three knots between each one. When the moon is full, burn a red candle and say (thrice)
O Diana, goddess of love and of the hunt,
I pray to thee!
I pray these knots will tie up the heart of [X].
May she neither rest nor sleep
Until she sleeps with me!
Until she submits to my will, my love.
O Diana, bring about our love, and bless it!
Then throw the charm into a blazing fire. She will come to you, one book assures, “before the embers grow cold!” – Leonard R. N. Ashley, The Complete Book of Spells, Curses, and Magical Recipes
To Increase Willpower and Finish Projects
You will just need a red candle, a tablespoon of almond oil, three drops of lemon oil and it must be full moon. You must go outside under the full moon and so combine almond oil and lemon oil. Anoint it into your wrists, inhale the scent and so concentrate on the energy that the smell could give. Light the red candle, close your eyes, and repeat this chant five times: “Fiery candle, bloody red, clear the slowness from my head. Mother moon of glowing light, give me fierceness through the night.” – Dayanara Blue Star, Magic Candle Spells: Guide to Witchcraft
To Stop A Couple from Arguing
When two lovers are quarreling it is best to etch both names into the side of a PINK or RED CANDLE, and coat it with Honey. Burn the candle on a Friday evening to increase love and soothe the quarreling couple. – Kyle Brandon Leite, Firewolf’s Simple Spells for a Happy Home
Read more articles in the archive!