Experts Explain The Meanings Of Different Candle Colors & How To Use Them
Candles are often incorporated into various rituals, everywhere from churches to temples to at home in your own sacred space or altar. But candles themselves can actually be at the forefront of your rituals and spells, with different candle colors being ideal for different things.
Here's everything to know about candle magic and what different candle colors mean, according to experts.
What is candle magic?
Candle magic involves adding candles to spells and rituals for different effects. Different colors, as well as scents, can be used for specific desired outcomes, which we'll touch on in a bit.
As color therapist Walaa AlMuhaiteeb tells mbg, candles give us a way to couple color frequency with fire frequency. "When you combine these two things, you are creating a big frequency exchange and cleanse."
And according to modern mystic and author of Astrology SOS Imani Quinn, candle magic is also great for communicating with spirits, guides, and the universe. Similar to receiving a reading, you can watch the candle burn and gain insights, she says.
"With candle magic, you're going to have an intention set," she adds. "So, candle magic can help with facilitating manifestation, and it's a ritual practice that allows you to connect with the divine."
Candle color meanings.
Red candles can be used for many different things, but in particular, red is associated with things like lust, passion, and energy. AlMuhaiteeb explains that red candles are also great for calling in material things. "If you've had all these goals and concepts and ideas, a red candle and a red frequency can help you materialize that and make it happen in the physical," she says.
Orange is the color of creation, so this is a great candle for boosting creativity, as well as releasing anger and frustration, and embracing the feminine creator within all of us, AlMuhaiteeb says. "An orange candle can also be used to call in new relationships, such as friendships that have deep emotional connections, and also to heal the mother wound," she adds.
Yellow, as you might have imagined, is very stimulating. AlMuhaiteeb explains that for this reason, it's excellent for calling in focus, as well as doing inner child work and embracing your imperfections. She notes that it can also help you embrace the duality of the world "because duality comes from the mind, and yellow will help you work with your mind."
When you think green, think growth, AlMuhaiteeb says—so if you're looking to level up, this is a good candle color to consider. Green is also commonly associated with money, though she adds that if you don't use U.S. currency, that may not resonate with you.
According to AlMuhaiteeb, light blue has two frequencies: acceptance and truth. If you're working with either or both of those themes, whether you're having trouble accepting a situation or you want to tap into truth, a light blue candle is a good option.
Indigo, characterized by its dark blue, nearly purple hue, is all about intuition and breaking through illusion. "It's also a frequency of opening new doors to uplift the world in a different way, or looking at the world in a different way," AlMuhaiteeb says, adding, "To use an indigo candle would be to call in a higher frequency life purpose—things that are not only for your benefit but also has the collective in mind."
A true purple, unlike indigo, is going to be ideal for accessing the dreamworld, and specifically, vivid dreams. "If you're looking to explore dreams, or even access a cleansing frequency, violet is great," AlMuhaiteeb tells mbg. This is also another good one for accessing intuition.
If you're looking for love, pink is the candle to go for, according to AlMuhaiteeb. She adds that pink is better than red when it comes to true love, as red is more about physical love or lust. "But a pink one is calling in a pure connection, so it really depends on what kind of lover you're looking for in this moment," she adds.
The color black has an association with protection, and this is true for black candles as well. You don't want to use them all the time, AlMuhaiteeb says, but rather use them for a certain amount of time for a specific thing you want protection from, and then let it go, releasing that energy. Black candles are also used to destroy negative habits and patterns, she says.
White candles are ideal for new beginnings and fresh starts. "They're great for cleansing your house, so after you cleanse the house, you can light new white candles to elevate and keep that cleansed energy," AlMuhaiteeb says. White is also a good color for promoting peace and tranquillity.
And last but not least, if you're looking for a high-vibrational frequency, consider adding a gold candle to your collection. AlMuhaiteeb says this candle can really be used for a variety of goals, as it will help amplify whatever your intention is. She also recommends pairing gold candles with other colored candles to really amp things up (i.e., gold and orange for a new relationship).
How to do a candle ritual.
The beauty of candle magic is you can really make it your own and adjust your spells and rituals depending on your intention or goal. But here are some foundational basics to get you started.
Set an intention (and the scene):
Before getting started, just as with any spell or ritual, it's important to set an intention, as well as energetically clear the space you're in. Quinn recommends always writing your intentions down to bring them from the mental realm into the physical. You'll also want to use something like sound or smoke to clear the space.
Go for tall glass candles that are clear, so you can closely watch the flame and the wax as it burns, she notes, adding to recite your intentions aloud whenever you light your candle.
Tap into your intuition:
As you prepare to sit for your spell or ritual, take a moment to get comfortable and centered, and start to tap into your own intuition. This is also the time to call on any deities, spirits, or guides you like to work with, Quinn says.
Proceed with your ritual/spell:
Now that you're ready, it's time to do your ritual or spell. There are so many different options to go through here, but the idea is to keep your intention in mind, and use a candle that corresponds to that intention. Check out the following list of options from Quinn and other experts if you need some inspiration:
- Use a purple or indigo candle for tapping into your intuition and listening to spirits, guides, and the universe for guidance.
- Incorporate a red or green candle into manifestation rituals.
- Try a candle-gazing meditation with a colored candle that corresponds with your intention.
- Set and write down an intention on the new moon and light a fresh candle (that's the color corresponding to your intention). Keep working with this intention until the full moon, repeatedly lighting and working with the candle. Notice any blocks that come up, and on the full moon, write down what you want to release, burning the paper with the candle under the full moon.
- Use candles in your morning practice, if you have one, by lighting it in the morning as you set your intention for the day, meditate, or pull tarot cards.
- Use a red or pink candle in a love spell or ritual (again, remembering that red is good for lust and passion, while pink is more suited for pure loving connections).
- Simply keep the candle burning while you're home to remind you of the goal you're working toward.
- Use the Sator Square spell in tandem with a black candle for extra protection.
- Take a ritual bath (perhaps with moon water, if you like) and light your candle of choice that goes with whatever you'd like to get out of the bath.
Close out the ritual/spell:
When you're ready to close out your ritual, Quinn says it's important to snuff your candles rather than blowing them out. That's because when you blow them out, you can energetically clear the work you just did. Once your candle is out, close out your practice and thank any guides you worked with.
Analyzing the flame.
One of the biggest parts of candle magic is understanding how to read the flame, as well as the wax, and even the glass surrounding your candle.
Quinn tells mbg that the flame size can tell you a lot about how much energy you're working with. As you can imagine, a big flame means this is a very energized reading. If it's small, it could indicate you're dealing with a "slow burn" issue that may take some time to move through.
This is also true of the speed at which your candle burns. "If a candle burns really fast and really clean, then there aren't a lot of limited belief systems or energy blocking that intention. If it takes a long time to burn, that could mean that you're moving through some different challenges in order to get to that intention," Quinn explains.
If the candle burns black on the clear glass, she adds, that also means there's a lot of energy and belief systems to move through to help you get to your intention. (Just don't confuse this for black on the glass left from your lighter—always use a long candle lighter and light it from above to keep this from happening.)
Pay attention to the wax as well. When wax sticks to the sides of the glass, aka "tunneling," this can indicate that you have resistance or "stuckness" on the way to your intention, Quinn says (or you're just burning your candle incorrectly).
And lastly, keep an eye on the candle wick as well. If it starts splitting or you notice it's moving in a certain direction, Quinn recommends asking your guides what they're trying to tell you.
Can you combine colors?
Yes, as aforementioned, you can absolutely combine different colors of candles in your spells or rituals depending on what you're looking for. For example, AlMuhaiteeb says, if you want a new relationship, you could start with an orange candle, bringing in those emotions and energy, and then work on moving it into love with a pink candle or elevating the love with a gold candle.
What are some candle magic tips?
We previously mentioned that you should always snuff your candles, so as to not "blow away" your intentions. And again, always light the candle directly from above, to avoid any grime getting on the side of the glass that's not from the candle itself.
Quinn also recommends placing your candle in a shallow bowl of water (not fully submerged, of course), to help alchemize the energy, coupling water with fire.
She also adds that while it can be tempting to keep a candle burning in an effort to reach your goal faster, that's not actually how it works. "That won't necessarily make the intention come sooner. If you're doing candle magic so you can receive as many messages as you can from your guides, you're still going to have to work through everything that you need to work through," she explains.
Are the colors associated with any chakras?
Yes, if you're working on healing any (or all) of your chakras, here's a quick rundown of the colors associated with each chakra. You can use colored candles to correspond with your chakra work.
- Red: Root chakra
- Orange: Sacral chakra
- Yellow: Solar plexus chakra
- Green & pink: Heart chakra
- Light blue: Throat chakra
- Dark blue & purple: Third-eye chakra
- Violet & white: Crown chakra
The bottom line.
You're probably already using candles in your own spiritual practice, so why not ensure you've got the right colors to work with your intention? Whether you want to call in love, abundance, or protection, there's a candle color (and a ritual) for that.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.