By Michael Forde
Now a very many people are familiar with different coloured candles used in ceremonies and religious rites. Marriage colours are white, red, pink; birth of children blue, yellow, white, pink; Easter colours are white, gold, purple, red; Christmas colours are red, green, gold, silver; Autumn harvest is red, orange, gold, brown etc. It is very easy to see that these colours are being used due to some association with the time of life or ritual.
Again we go back to the knowledge we humans had since ancient times on the metaphysical meanings behind colours. In terms of using candles in any spiritual exercise colour is very important. Many folk would say just use white as you can get any vibration from it and thus one can finish any task with a white candle. True but I still like my colours. There are many fine schools of thought on the area of colours in candle magic but most are actually based on kabbalistic associations of planets, angels ruling over them and time of year. This stems out of the fact that white light can be split into its 7 major component parts with a suitable prism.
These seven colour regions were long ago assigned to the seven “planets” visible from the earth and thought to have influence on earthly occurrences. Of course these “planets” are not at all planets and the word really refers to the idea of G_D or sphere of the divine emanation. For example the “sun” is not a planet and refers to the energetic centre of our region of the universe as the “son of god” or centre of the tree of life which is the numeral attribute Tiphereth meaning splendour and beauty. Tiphereth comes under the name Eloha ( ee-low-ha) which means Strong Hero. From this it is not hard to see what the colour yellow is associated with the Sun and is used for works surrounds life, success, money, domination, beauty, splendour.
According to the Gra version of the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation given by the blessed Abraham to us) the colour black belongs to the domain of Saturn and is appropriate for works involving peace and holiness. I also share this association and always tell people that black is ruled by the name JAH (Yod-He in Hebrew) which can swing both to the positive and negative side. Traditionally many folk do not use black candles thinking it associated with “witchcraft” or “black magic” or “voodoo” etc.
It is appropriate to use black candles for peace works in that it can be used to throw a veil over a heated situation, to hide oneself or ones situation from prying eyes and ears or to bring a deep stillness which equates to peace. Black candles are used by many in hexing rituals, revenge work, to bring drastic changes, for reconciliation, protection, necromancy (work with deceased people’s spirits and especially those not at rest), entertaining intelligent beings and forces, meditation on higher spiritual planes.
You see the great usefulness of a black candle. Of course the specific use is tailored by the devotee with other spiritual materials but the basis is the association with Saturn, the wise teacher and stern disciplinarian. A favourite of mines in ‘binding work’ where black candles can be used to form a binding force-field around a person or object for any purpose, though not usually for love matters. For the purpose of creating peace use black candles in the direction west and for binding people/situations use the north.
This colour candle is a bit technical to explain its associations. It carries the connotations of royalty and discipleship moving into mastery. I usually associate this with jubilant Saturn (mastery) or the dark side of Jupiter (royalty). As a jubilant Saturn dark purple candles can be easily used for divination, spiritual exploration, closing ongoing issues, celebrating ancestors.
It is also appropriate for memorial service and working with souls at rest. As the dark side of Jupiter dark purple is appropriate for inciting passion (business related), for dominance of people and employment situations, for return of possessions (again business related), to quickly acquire honour and esteem from others. Work carefully with dark purple candles as they often bring a lot of responsibility and physical restrictions when used for the before mentioned purposes.
Purple and black tends to cause the devotee to be distanced from society if constantly used. Personally I only use these colours when absolutely necessary and never in a Saturn or Jupiter retrograde that has put these planets in disharmonious angles with others in my birth chart which may be affecting life in the present. For example if one were doing a work for quick dominance in employment then you would be using the purple candle on the dark side of Jupiter and possible need to be working with Mars (strength) and Mercury (intelligence, communication and charm).
Thus if Jupiter where in retrograde and squaring or opposing any of these planets in the current astrological cycle, and especially if these planets are in unfavourable alliances on your birth chart then it’s not a good idea to do rituals of this sort. I would them recommend to reduce the negativity first by some other ritual or use a power or fast money or abundance instead.
According to Gra this colour is associated with the Jupiter sphere and works to increase attractiveness, grace and personality improvement. It is ruled by the name EL (ah-yel). This is one of my favourite colours. It is most appropriate for petitions involving family, sick people (working with the angel Rapha-el), receiving blessings and honour, spiritual development, working with water spirits, obtaining special favours, working with female deities and Saint Anne, Mary, St. Peter. This is a powerful colour for protection and psychic work.
Generally red is assigned to Mars and represents strength, power, dominance, aggression, war, activity. According to Gra it is appropriate for love and wealth, both of which stem from the before mentioned associations. Many workers use red candles for inciting passion, romance, domination, courage (though better with orange), drawing luck and good fortune, drawing in a lover, binding others to one’s will, ‘heating-up’ a situation positively or negatively.
Notably most afro-centric workers associate this colour with St. George, St. Michael the Archangel, St. John Divine, St. John the Baptist (the beheaded one) and Angel Camael (ruler of Mars). All of these saints (recognise they are ancestors) and angel Michael are used for protection, victory or success in all things and quick answers in financial matters.
Many associate this colour with the Yoruba ancestral representative King Chango and the Ifa Orisha a deity Ogun, who represents intelligence and the element metal or earth. Again they deal with victory, power, money, love (estranged or flighty love).
This colour is generally associated with the Sun and solar workings. It is useful for bring prosperity and success. Interestingly it is also used for working with the Air element and Raphael (ruler of the Mercurial sphere). Many say the colour denotes money (as gold), wealth, grace, joy and beauty.
It is a very versatile colour for working with the Hindu Deities; in particular Lakashmi, Vishnu and Ram. In the Yoruba Ifa and related traditions it is the colour most associated with Oshun the goddess of beauty, wealth, love and the sweet waters. There are also connotations to Osa-yain who is the primal forest spirit and healer. St. Francis of Assisi is also invoked with yellow candles.
According to the Gra version of Sefer Yetzirah this colour is used with the Venus sphere. It is most known for attracting money and success. Green is a colour that represents life, peace and blessings. It enlivens any work and can be used for domination and fertility as well. When using this with Venus it is appropriate for inciting love and lust and bringing people together.
Festivities do well with the colour green in the midst. Green is also healing colour especially useful when medical help is being sought. The angels Hanael (Anael) and Uriel use this colour. The Ifa spirits of Ogun, Oya, Shango and other forest spirits use this colour frequently. It is also associated with St. Catherine, St. Philomena, St. Simon, St. Peter, and St. Expedite.
The traditional association of this colour is with Mercury. Orange invokes the ability to change, bring abundance and power. Many use this colour for courage and success when incorporated as an additional candle in their rituals. Personally I know orange and peach to be a great door opener/closer and very good for bringing victory in difficult cases. It has also been used for the Sun and Mars. Some people use it with brown for mental stimulation and increasing imagination.
This is the colour of oaths/promises, sanctity and spiritual learning. It represents covenant and deep internal peace. The planetary associations are Jupiter and Venus. This colour can be difficult to use as it brings everything to a slow pace and sometimes gives the negative side of Jupiter in business matters.
It is a good colour for meditation and reaching higher levels of understanding being linked to the sphere of Binah, the good mother. This is a favourite colour of St. Anne and St. Joachim, St. Raymond and St. Joseph (for family matters). It can be used for all wiser water spirits and for Lunar Goddesses. In the Ifa tradition it is used by Yemanja, Erinle and Olokun.
This colour represents the earth and labour. Many say it is a colour only to be used by those who are accustomed with labouring hard for what they want. Others say it brings plenty of everything quickly. I know this colour to be associated with spiritual healers, use of plants and men devoted to work in the sanctuary. It is associated with Mercury and Venus. Many associate dark brown with Saturn.
Brown is a prosperity colour in most traditions. In Ifa it is used by Shakponna, Yemanja, Mama Letta (from the French Maman de la Terre). St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Peter, St. Anne also uses this colour. The Earth Goddess (Gaia) also used this colour.
This really is the absence of colour or harmonious blend of all the colours of the rainbow. It is not hard to see why this colour has been traditionally used to bring peace and harmony. It can be used to replace any coloured candle. White candles are mostly used for purity, prayer, meditation, special requests, dealing with the dead, new life.
It is the colour most associated with the Moon sphere and in particular the New Moon and Crescent Moon. It is the colour of the Holy Family, the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child of Antoch.
Peach candles are not very often seen in magic works but from my experience they are great for creating situations of joy and opening doors. A skilled person can also “lock down” a place spiritually with this colour candle. In this aspect it works through the Mercury sphere as Mercury controls the air element through which all celestial vibrations are communicated and is the messenger of the gods.
This colour is also appropriate for working with female entities and children.
Pink is a mixture of red and white and as such it is associated with love work. Lighter shades of pink are useful for prosperity rituals, especially when used with green and brown candles, for creating romantic love or general passion. It is also great for cooling anger and “sweetening” people. It works with the water element and all benevolent deities.
In some traditions light pink has been associated with St. Philomena a powerful virgin- martyr. In others is it used with brown to represent King Shakponna who is the Deity of Healing, Bread and Smallpox amongst Yoruba Ifa. In the Caribbean and South America it has been used with the Virgin Mary as well.
The brilliance of fuchsia pink is associated with passion and prosperity in the form of goods. This colour relates to spiritual passion as opposed to erotic passion. The colour has no known long standing saint/deity associations in my experience though some people use this colour exclusively with Oshun (Ifa river goddess), St. Philomena and Isis. There are some Goetic spirits which use this colour as well.
This colour is good for bringing peace and money prosperity. It is a colour of good luck and useful for job hunting. This is a favourite colour of the Chinese deities, especially the female ones.
The shade of purple can be used with Saturn but in my experience is best when working with Jupiter for dominance, advancement and material gain. This a favourite colour of many Goetic spirits including Lucifuge Rofocal, who is said to distribute wealth being the right hand man of Lucifer!
Lilac is used also for necromancy works, spirit contact, spiritual advancement and celebrations of both happiness and grief. This is a good colour for Sagittarians.
This colour is used by Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn. Sometimes it is used by Venus spirits when doing works of lust. It can be used to invoke melancholy and discontentment in others. Some folks use this for special petitions involving troublesome people or difficult situations. It is a good colour for dominance and returning owed possessions.
Gold (& bronze)
These colours are appropriate for all solar workings and deities. It represents material wealth, spiritual enlightenment, holy kingship and spiritual grace. A very many saints and deities use gold as a trim colour for this reason. Leos are particularly enhanced by burning gold candles. Money rituals should always have a gold and silver candle.
Silver (& grey)
These colours belong to the Moon sphere. They are used for attainment of Wisdom both heavenly and earthly, for abundance and peace. Some people use this colour for meditative purposes. Personally I find silver a great colour for invocation and balancing. It represents purity as well.
Yule – red, green and gold
Imbolc – white and silver for purity, green for life
Ostara – bright green, yellow and purple
Beltane – green, red and white/silver to represent fertility, passion and clarity
Litha – reds, yellows, golds, purples
Lammas – green with all shads of orange and dark yellow
Mabon – brown, gold and red
Samhain – black, orange and purple