Ironically, this is a difficult question for me to answer as candle magic is part of my DNA. It is like asking me what air is. I immediately jump into the science and history of magic with big explanations when, really, we can start with the obvious of answers:
Candle Magic is the lighting of a candle as you say a prayer, set an intent, or make a wish.
Every candle can be magical. Every person can be magical. The only special formula required is wax and wick. The only initiation needed is an intention for change in your heart. Your first candle spell was a birthday wish when you blew out the candles on your cake. Ideally, it was a magical moment that was all about you. And the people surrounding you were lending their energy and joy to the success of your first candle spell.
This, however, is not the origin of candle magic. That honor goes back to setting lights and saying prayer in temples to the gods. More recently it was continued in churches through votives; small candles said with prayers. Votive literally means prayer and people would go to church and light one daily until their prayers were answered. But why candles? Why is candle magic such a draw?
Candles represent the meeting of heaven and earth with the flame being the blessing of the holy spirit or the magic quickening of your intent. As the candle burns down, it is the prayer coming closer and closer to earth to manifest. This beautiful imagery reminds us that we co-create with the divine and, when called upon, the higher powers of heaven will hear our call and help us in our time of need.
Candles are alchemy. They are the joining of elements to create something different. Flames are spirit. They are the mirror of the moving essence of our soul and to gaze into them is to gaze into our own divine self. Flames have been a meditative visual throughout time and in today’s non-stop, over-informed world, they are a moment of peace and focus that will allow your spirit to awaken your magic. This magic energy connects to your belief of what is possible and aligns it with thoughts, actions, and emotions to make your intention (wish) come true.
Candle magic can be the simple lighting, intention setting, and meditation on a candle at hand. It can be a special blessed candle, at a chosen time and place, lit with a blessing. It can be a full-out ritual with all the special trimmings. That is the beauty of candle magic. It is flexible to your need, available supplies, and expertise of the moment. It can then evolve with you while keeping you grounded in your foundation.
Next time you light your scented candle for a relaxing evening, set an intention or a blessing for yourself and feel the magic that is possible between you and that flame.