Candle Magic

Buddha Day
Have you ever made a wish before blowing out candles on your birthday? Placed candles on the table in your home for a special dinner with family? Lit a candle at a Buddhist temple, or seen them burning on the altar at a Catholic church?

That's candle magic. Candle magic can happen any place, any day, any time. Spanning religions, cultures, and societies – candle magic is an ancient ritual practiced by witches, brujas, and probably your grandmother. At its core, this ritual honors our human connection with the natural element of fire. Lighting, burning, and reading beeswax candles can connect you with all kinds of magic: your own intuition, ancestors and spirit guides, spells, and manifesting dreams or desires, to name a few. 

Kristin Eriko Posner NourishCO
Kristin Eriko Posner NourishCO

For example, the weekly practice of gratitude, Shabbat, invites the practice of lighting candles, which bring peace and festivity into the space. A religious and cultural ceremony on what is considered a holy day in Judaism, Shabbat (also known as Sabbath or Shabbos) begins at sunset on Friday and ends on Saturday evening. 


Aarti, the Hindu worship ritual also known as a "ceremony of lights," calls for the daily lighting of an oil lamp. The burning flame, wick, and oil each represent significant elements of the ceremony. The ritual itself – which can happen at home or in a temple – affirms gratitude, love, sacrificing for the good of others, and knowledge or inner wisdom as a form of abundance and wealth that cannot be diminished regardless of material success. Though the exact practice varies, the warm glow of a flame or light remains at the heart. 

Buddha Day
Buddha Day, or Wan wisakha pucha, is a major holiday in Thailand. People celebrate together and create enormous candle processions with homemade, elaborately carved candles, sometimes 40 feet tall. Ubon Ratchathani, where thousands of people gather for Buddha Day, is also home to an annual candle festival in July with all kinds of candle activities – including workshops on how to carve wax candles using ancient techniques.
What are your favorite ceremonies, holidays, or times of year to light candles? Do you light candles daily or weekly as part of a spiritual practice or paying tribute to cultural traditions? Do you savor the moments when you get to join with family and friends for massive celebrations, made all the more jubilant by the burning of colorful candles? Tell us about your candle rituals in the comments below. 



We invite you to see candles as an opportunity to pause and reflect. Just as candles can be part of big holidays or societal customs, they can also be a quiet way of honoring and caring for yourself. Light a candle today – set an intention and offer yourself a positive affirmation. 


Learn about the native plants in your region and take that research one step further – whether it is finding out who collects seeds, supporting farmers and beekeepers who help to care for local wildlife, or becoming a land steward yourself! Valuing the lives of our plant family members is vital to protecting the future of our interdependent, interconnected ecosystem.

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