There has often been the argument made that Christianity stole many of it’s practices from paganism, but the truth of the matter is that knowledge can be shared and adapted to however it is needed. I am specifically referring to the traditionally Catholic use of Novena aka saint candles for Pagan use.
Practitioners of Santeria have been applying this practice for centuries by using the names of saints to represent various deities due to their traditional faiths being made illegal. The symbolism can be seen even in the novena candles that you buy in a grocery store. I know this because I collect them and have such fine examples as a black virgin Mary holding a skull and standing on a snake.
Now I understand that many people are uncomfortable with the idea of transference/archetypalism in their workings but the simple matter is that the stickers peel off and can be replaced with other pictures, sigils etc. These candles often come in varying colors which doesn’t mean much in Catholicism outside of aesthetics but can be used for modern paganry to achieve various results. Below are a few examples of how colors can be used.
Black, protection, safety, reversing, uncrossing, unhexing, repelling black magic, banishing negativity,shapeshifting, defense, scrying,
Blue, Communication, will power, focus,patience, astral projection, water element
Brown, animal/pet magic, earth magic, concentration, material goods, stability, earth element,
Gold, Masculine divinity, great fortune, abundance, prosperity, male energy, divination, fast luck, solar/sun energy, luxury
Green, Prosperity, abundance, money, physical & emotional healing, growth, luck,tree/plant magic,
Indigo, Spiritual guidance, psychic ability, divination, meditation, ambition, overcome depression
Blue,Spirituality, tranquility, peace, protection
Orange,Creativity, self-expression, intellectual matters, overcoming addiction, vitality, fun, action, opportunity, celebration,
Pink,Love, compassion, nurturing, femininity, friendship, romance, partnership, protection of children,
Purple, Wisdom, influence, spiritual power, contact with spirits, drive away evil,
Red,Passion, vitality, strength, survival, fertility, courage, sexual potency, war, fire element, independence, assertiveness, competition
Silver,Feminine divinity, stability, psychic awareness, intuition, dreams, victory, meditation, communication, moon magic,
Violet,Spirituality, connection to higher self, Goddess, insight, clarity
White,All purpose, unity, purity, cleansing, peace, balance, spirituality, healing, innocence
Yellow, Pleasure, success, happiness, inspiration, imagination, solar magic, charm, confidence, air element,
In addition to the colors there are things to watch for while the candle itself is burning. Pay attention not only to the candle but also to the shape and clarity of the glass tube as the candle burns. I will go into some detail on various aspects below.
First the basics of the flame. If you have a very high flame it often means that your working is succeeding and that you have the attention of something. If the candle is high but flickering very erratically it often means that while the spell is working you have the help of something darker or more malevolent (don’t panic demons aren’t so bad). If the candle is crackling and sparking it means that something is trying to communicate with you, if you are trying to work with ancestors and this happens then they wish to speak with you and you should begin your ritual of communication. Now if the candle just burns very lowly in the glass then it means that you are being met with opposition, a candle that goes out means that your spell has failed or else the help you are seeking has been refused.
The next thing to take into account is black soot buildup on the inside of the glass. If there is no soot and the candle burned all the way down then it means your working was successful and met little to know resistance, this is a best case scenario. If there was soot at the top half (beginnings of the burn) and the rest of the tube is clear then this means that there was an obstacle but the spell was able to break up or clear it away. Black soot the whole way down means that you met resistance and need to repeat the spell. I should of stated this earlier but black soot traditionally signifies the presence of an obstacle or dark entity in your path.
There is also white soot which sometimes builds up, however in my experience this is more rare. White soot traditionally signifies the help or presence of a guardian or helper spirit. Black soot in the beginning and white soot at the bottom means that you were met with resistance but were then aided by a helpful spirit. A mixture of black and white soot means that there is a battle going on and you will need to do more work.
The final thing and usually the most dramatic to watch for is damage to the glass tube itself. If the glass cracks it usually means that whatever you were attempting has just broken through the defenses or in the case of unhexing, you are cleared. Now if the glass fully breaks or explodes it means the opposite, it means that you met and were overcome with resistance. In this case you may need to develop a new strategy to achieve your goal.
While candle magic may not be for everyone, it is nonetheless a useful tool to incorporate into your practice. To me at least the truth of any magic practice is that these are all tools to help focus your will anyway.