The Oil and Dressing Your Candle
You'll need oil to anoint the candle. This is called "dressing" the
candle and it's a very crucial part of every candle spell: you're
"addressing" it so its message is delivered accurately. Sure, you can
buy perfumed candles that are already scented: please, save them for
relaxing in the tub. You can even buy candles that are already dressed,
but since the point is to personalize the candle exclusively to you,
what good does it do to have the candle dressed by someone else?
Dressing your own candle assures that you are attuning that candle to
your intentions, personalizing it, enlisting it as your ally.
What kind of oil? Ah, more decisions! Many metaphysical shops and
botanicas (the wonderful herb shops located in Spanish speaking
neighborhoods throughout the country) sell oils suitable for candle
dressing. Some are attuned (through the herbs they contain) to certain
colors, some have colorful descriptive names like "Come To Me" and
"Fast Luck." Select these oils based on color and/or purpose, and pick
a scent you find pleasing. A small vial will suffice for starters: you
can gradually collect a variety of oils for different candle occasions.
You can also make your own oils, using specific herbs, essential or
perfume oils and small amounts of any mild-scented vegetable oil, such
as grapeseed or almond. (See Oil Recipes)
How to apply your oil to your candle is determined by your intention:
When your aim is to call something to you and bring it into your life,
apply the oil first around the top of the candle (in a clockwise
motion, looking down at the wick), the bottom (again, clockwise, with
the candle upside down), and then center (that is, around the candle's
"waist", clockwise as you hold the candle upright). Then rub more oil
from the top in toward the candle's center and from the bottom up to
the candle's center. As you do this, hold a clear mental image of
drawing good things to you, pulling them in toward your own
When your intention is to move stuff out of your life, reverse this
process: apply oil in a counter-clockwise motion to top, bottom, and
center, then rub out and away from the candle's center, keeping a clear
picture of things departing as you do so.
For Novenas (tall candles in glass): These burn for days and many
people feel safer about leaving them unattended (still in a bathtub or
sink, please). Obviously you must dress them in a different manner.
To write directly on the candle, reach down with your tool and scratch the words into the wax around the wick.
Then, apply your oil around the wick and on the glass around the bottom
only, working clockwise to draw to you, counter-clockwise to send away.
With novena candles, petitions can be fastened directly around the
glass jar itself, so the light of the candle's flame will shine through
the paper as the candle burns.
While a number of books suggest always applying oil from the center out
(what I consider the banishing stroke), I learned the
inviting/banishing methods that I use many years ago and they've always
felt right to me. Does that mean the books are wrong, I'm wrong, or
that it really doesn't matter how it's done? No, it means that what
ultimately makes these things "right" is one's own intention. Do what
feels right for you and be consistent with your intention.
White Rose, White Garden Lily, or Gardenia
Pine, Carnation, or Honeysuckle
Lily of the Valley, Lavender, or Bayberry
Magnolia, Sandalwood, or Sage
Primrose, Thyme, or Lilac
Water Violets, Black Orchid, or Hyacinth
Rosemary, Rue, or Cloves
Fragrances Ruled By The Moon
Fragrances Ruled By Mars
High John the Conqueror
Fragrances Ruled By Mercury
Lily of the Valley
Fragrances Ruled By Jupiter
Fragrances Ruled By Venus
Adam and Eve
Fragrances Ruled By Saturn
Fragrances Ruled By The Sun