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Candle Dressing

Step 1. Applying oils, herbs, and minerals

After you have properly carved and marked your candle, it is time to apply the herbal materials you are using to strengthen the work. This may consist of one, or multiple oils, powders, minerals and / or dried herbs.

If you are going to use multiple oils on one candle, wash your hands in between applications with a strong alcohol based perfume like Florida Water. Then layer the second oil over the first one you applied to the candle.


By now you should understand what your intentions are for the candle you are using. If you are drawing or removing something, I suggest applying oils using theUp or Down Technique.. Some disagree with this, so I have offered the two most common alternate methods - The Middle and Out and Witches' Triangle techniques.

If you are manipulating a person or institution i.e. - bend over, break up, controlling, come to me, commanding, compelling, court case, marriage, money release you will want to employ the twisting method for applying any oils to the candle.

The Up OR Down Technique

sThe UP technique is used to DRAW something to you. Taking the oil or perfume on your index finger, you move from the base of the candle to the wick, rotating the candle until it is completely covered in oil.

cd2Logically then, dress the candle DOWNWARD when they want to remove something.

The Middle and Out Technique

cd3 A lot of Spiritualists believe you should begin dressing a candle in the middle, working UPWARD at first, until the entire top half of the candle is anointed and then go from the middle again DOWNWARD to the base of the light. In this way your prayer is sent from the “heart” of the candle into the Universe.

Witches’ Triangle Method

cd4 This is one of the old methods we often hear about in the store. You begin by dressing the “front” of the candle at the base - moving from left to right. Then move up the candle to the top on the right side—visualizing one side of a triangle. This should be done in one stroke. Go back down to the bottom and “pick up” your line at the base on the left side and move Upwards again— completing the triangle. Now turn the candle over and repeat on the “back” side.

Twisting Method

Twisiting Method Apply a fair amount of oil to the palms of your hands and then rub your hands together visualizing the target of the candle. Pick up the candle and begin twisting the oil into it - using a motion like that used to wring water out of a towel. Move from the middle outward until the entire candle is covered in oil. You may need to add more oil to your hands to get good solid coverage. During this process, talk to your target and command them to do as you desire.


After you have oiled your candle, you might apply herbs to it. It is good to do so at this point if you decide to. Simply pour your herbs into a plate and then roll the candle in them.


Powders are the last material that should be added to the candle. The traditional African means for distributing powders is to blow them. There are a couple of very good reasons to blow the powder onto the candle.

First, blowing provides a very even coverage and limits wasting expensive material. Secondly, breath has strong spiritual symbolism to it. Blowing on the candle makes it come alive. This is a particularly effective method for candles representing people.

When blowing powder, hold the candle by the end in one hand . Put a pinch of the powder in a spoon. Slowly rotate the candle while blowing the powder onto it until evenly covered.

Once your candle has been dressed in herbal materials, it is time to divide the candle up into sections so that it can be burned over the required number of days.

Step 2. Dividing a candle

Not so long ago, if a Spiritualist was trying to encourage marriage between a couple he/she might burn one marriage figural candle a night for nine nights. But, if the client did not have much money and the work really needed to be done, the Spiritualist would divide the candle up into nine sections for nine days of burning.

Figural candles have always been expensive. Any molded candle is difficult to produce. With today's rising petroleum prices, wax is more expensive, as is the transportation to ship the candles from points around the world. In the above example, a modern-day Spiritualist would pay over seventy dollars ($70) for nine marriage candles. Most cannot afford this. So, the technique of measuring a candle is still relevant to most practitioners.

Measuring a candle is the the traditional term for dividing a candle into a predetermined number of sections by inserting needles or pins into the wax. This is the actual practice that became the legend of "voodoo dolls" in New Orleans. Reporters, not comprehending what they were seeing, made the assumption that the needles inserted in a wax figure were for doing harm. In actuality, the figures were being measured for work.


Breaking the eye of a needle

Dividing the candle up into sections is easy. You might measure the length of the candle with a ruler and divide it up by the number of sections you need. But, you are setting yourself up to deal with fractions of inches. It's just too tough of a job. The sections don't have to be exactly even to the centimeter. If they look evenly spaced to the eye when you have finished, it's a fine enough job.

One needle or pin should be inserted right at the point where the wick sprouts out of the wax. If you are doing drawing work, this is the last needle inserted because you insert them from the bottom to the top of the candle. If you are removing, the "wick needle" is the first one placed. It's an easy process.

Remember, that it takes an even number of needles / pins to make an odd number of sections. However, we always want to work with an odd number. This is why the needle is inserted at the wick.

Breaking the eye of a needleNEEDLES OR PINS, DOES IT MATTER WHICH I USE?

It doesn't matter if you use needles or sewing pins. Many sewing pins have plastic balls on the tip, so they are easier to push into the wax. When inserting needles, I end up using needle nosed pliers. Needles are rough on the fingertips - something akin to sticking a hundred cloves in a ham!.

For love work I like to pick out all of the red capped pins from a package of multicolored ones. You might use all green for money work or all yellow for success, etc.

Ideally, use needles for works designed to remove bad luck, crossed conditions, hexes, jinxes and witchcraft. They are also used in protection work.

Many folks from the South and Caribbean break the eye (see above illus.) on the needle when they are working on or against another spiritual person. The belief being the worker and their actions are spiritually obscured from the enemy. Abroken eye makes it more difficult for the target to find out who is causing their problems via a reading or spiritual consultation.

Needles with broken eyes are used for break up, confusion, crossing, revenge and reversing spells. They might also be used for uncrossing or protection when a Spiritualist feels it's better for the client's enemies not to know they have sought out help for their condition.

Seven Needles
A Double Cross Pattern is used to dispose of seven candle needles.


When burning a measured candle, allow the first needle at the wick to fall out, and then let the candle burn to a point right above the second needle. It is important that you pray or meditate for the entire time the candle is lit. Each day, burn through one needle - allowing the needle to fall and up to the next needle. Remember, NEVER BLOW OUT A CANDLE you are doing work with. You can pinch the candle out or use a proper candle snuffer.

The needles or pins should be reserved for use at the end of the candle burning ritual - so keep them in a safe place. I like to cover them with herbs or powders and leave them on my altar until I am ready to work with them.

Nine Needles
A Triple Double Cross Patternis used to dispose of nine candle needles.

In most cases, the needles should be inserted into the name paper (parchment) or petition that was sitting underneath the candle. For a "seven needle" work make two "X's" on each side and a "double cross" in the center of the paper. The double cross consists of one vertical needle and two horizontal needles (see above illus.). Since this pattern is used for drawing work, you will want to place it with your other ritual remains - the incense ash, bath water, candle wax, etc. Many drawing or love spells instruct you to keep the ritual remains. Some may call for remains to be buried at the front door of your home or even in the backyard. I have been told that in love drawing work, this paper should be placed between the mattress and box springs of the bed. If your spell does not offer instructions on how to dispose of the needles and or name paper - do what feels right to you.

To finish a nine needle candle work, use three needles to form three double crosses. Once again this paper is disposed of with the rest of the ritual remains. One exception I am aware of is when using war water in a spell. If your intention is to cause havoc in a home, and you plan on breaking or leaving ritual remains on an enemy doorstep - add the needles independently to the contents.

Now that you have the basics of working with needles and pins and know how to properly measure a candle, we can move to the final step of candle dressing -

Step 3. Naming a candle

Once you have marked, dressed and measured your candle, it is time to baptize orname your candle. The act of baptizing a figural candle, used to represent a person, brings the candle alive.

If you have not written a petition or name paper, you should do it at this point in the ritual. Some people have their "paperwork" completed ahead of time, but I prefer to do it within the ritual process. Hopefully, you have altar candles lit and incense burning. Stopping to write your request or reaffirm the name of your target, helps to build a strong connection between the candle and the person it is designed to represent.

It is also at this point, that I insert personal concerns into the bottom of the candle. While it would be easier to do this when carving the candle, doing it now makes it part of a three step naming ritual:

  1. Write a name paper or petition and place it under the candle
  2. Make a hole in the bottom of the candle and insert any personal concerns
  3. Baptize the candle

Baptizing the Candle

How you baptize the candle depends on your spiritual beliefs. It is a short and simple process.

If you are Christian / Spiritual, you can state:

I baptize you as [target's name] in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Make three signs of the cross over the candle in Holy Water while stating the words.

If you are Pagan, you can state:

Blessed be, thou creature made by art. By art made, by art changed. Thou art not wax but flesh and blood, I name thee [target's name]. Thou art this person, between the worlds, in all the worlds. Blessed be.

Some people further consecrate the candle with the four elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Here is a simple method for doing this:

  • Sprinkle some dirt or sand on the candle and say, "By Earth I baptize you as (target's name)."
  • Sprinkle some water on the candle and say, "By Water I baptize you as (target's name)."
  • Quickly pass the candle through the flame of your altar candle and say, "By Fire I baptize you as (target's name)."
  • Pass the dressed candle through the incense smoke and say , "By Air I baptize you as (target's name)."

Remember, this is an optional practice and there are many, more involved ways to perform it. Now you are ready to light your fully marked, dressed, measured and named candle! Remember to state your prayers and or affirmations over the candle and then visualize the effects of your work on the target until the candle burns to the second pin or needle.

Good Luck with candle burning rituals. With faith and patience, you will see the results you desire.