Wicca is an earth-centered religion that draws heavily from western European folk practices. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t an ancient practice — Wicca as we know it came into being in the mid 21st century. Regardless of its age, it is a widely practiced religion with a well-defined set of beliefs and practices.
It’s so popular, in fact, that Wicca magic has formed the basis for many other Pagan and reconstructionist magical systems.
If you are new to Wicca, it can seem a bit daunting. There’s a lot to learn, and many Wiccans consider it important to be well-read. Here are some of the basics of Wiccan magic:
The Threefold Law and the Wiccan Rede
Before getting started, it’s vital to recognize that many, though not all, Wiccans hold themselves to: The Threefold Law. This describes the way that spiritual energy circulates — namely, that whatever you put out into the world will return to you multiplied by three.
The Wiccan Rede is a brief descriptor of Wicca’s moral system. It is adapted from a much longer poem, and can be summed up as, “An harm ye none, do what thou wilt.” This is often shortened simply to, “Harm none.”
The way this is put into practice can vary from person to person, but it still forms the basic moral underpinning of the religion and governs how many witches use their Wicca magic.
Candle magic is generally the first kind of spell that a beginning Wiccan — or any witch — will learn. Candles effectively serve as a way to store and deploy magical energy. The user selects a candle, carves or dresses it in an appropriate fashion, empowers it, then lights it.
A lot of thought goes into each stage of the process, from the color of the candle, to the oils and herbs to use, to when to light it, to what to do with the remains when the spell is through.
Colors have power. All colors are considered to have different magical associations, which make them more or less appropriate for different spells.
These associations can vary from culture to culture, or even person to person. For most Wicca candle magic, they go like this:
- Red is a color of power and passion. It’s used in spells for physical strength, protection, sensuality, sexuality, and passionate love.
- Orange is associated with creativity, energy, and joy. It’s used in spells for happiness, artistic pursuits, and to uplift.
- Yellow is for inspiration, knowledge, and understanding. It’s often used in spells for educational success, scholarly pursuits, and the communication of ideas.
- Green is for growth and prosperity. As the color of newly sprouted plants, green brings abundance, fertility, and good fortune.
- Blue is a color of peace and healing. It is used in spells to soothe arguments, heal, and bring peace to a place or people.
- Purple is a color of royalty and spirituality. It’s often used in spells to improve psychic abilities, for divination, and to increase personal power.
- White is associated with cleanliness, and serves as an all-purpose color. As the presence of every color wavelength, white is used for purity, cleansing, and to substitute for a candle of any other color.
- Black is associated with protection and banishment. It’s often used to repel or protect against negative energies or entities.
Inscribing a Candle
Inscribing a candle means to carve it with words, names, or symbols related to its intended use. A love-drawing candle might be covered with hearts, a healing candle might be carved with a caduceus, and so forth.
There are no real rules here — if a symbol or word feels appropriate to the situation, it can only help.
Anointing a Candle
In candle magic, anointing a candle means to cover it with herbs and oils. Like colors, all herbs, oils, and symbols have their own magical associations. For example, you may wish to anoint a money-drawing candle with basil oil and dried cinquefoil leaves.
Anointing candles with oil is done in a specific fashion. First, you apply a drop of oil to the middle of the candle. Then, using the index finger of your dominant hand, you stroke that drop of oil upward, toward the wick, in a clockwise direction. Finally, you repeat the process moving downward, toward the base.
Another method is to start at the wick and move toward the center, then repeat the process starting at the base.
Wicca Crystal Magic
As an earth-centered religion, Wicca uses everything that comes out of the Earth — including crystals.
Each crystal has its own magical associations. For a beginning witch, clear quartz is considered the crystal of choice. Like white candles, its clarity lends it an “all purpose” quality. Quartz is also regarded as an energy amplifier, so it can be used to lend power to any spell.
Choosing a Crystal
If you want to use crystals in your magical workings, you need to pick one first. If you can, try to source stones from within the United States or other areas where they are ethically harvested.
Ask your crystal dealer where their stones come from, and how much they know about the sustainability of the mines.
When it comes to picking the stone itself, it’s important to choose one that resonates with you. Some people can pick up a crystal and immediately feel a tingling or “buzzy” sensation. Don’t worry if you don’t — this can take time.
If you’re drawn to a crystal because it looks striking to you, that’s a sign that it’s trying to forge a connection with you.
After choosing a crystal, it needs to be cleansed. Crystals are great at picking up, storing, and sending out energy. Your crystal should be cleansed before use to get rid of these vibrations.
This can be done in several ways:
- Playing music.
- Setting the stone in sunlight. This is not suitable for all stones, as some may fade in strong sunlight.
- Burying the stone in the ground, or a planter. (Make sure to mark where you buried it!)
- Rinsing in moving water. This is not suitable for all stones. Some, like selenite, may dissolve.
- Burying in salt.
- Setting the stone in moonlight.
Consecrating, Programming, and Charging
Consecration is the process of dedicating a tool to a purpose. It can involve cleansing a tool of old energy, programming it with your intent, and charging it with new energy.
Consecration can involve a full ritual, or be as simple as performing a visualization and saying a few words.
To do this, hold the crystal in both hands. Picture it filling with a bright, golden energy. This energy fills the stone like a cup. As it does so, say, “I bless and consecrate this stone.” When it feels ready, or you can feel the energy pulsing within it, set the stone down and shake out your hands.
Crystals and Color Magic
Not all crystals were widely available when the old Wicca magic grimoires were written, so not all of them have historic magical uses. That’s okay! Many people choose crystals the way they do candles: by color. Following the color guide above, you can choose and use crystals no matter whether they were historically a part of Wicca crystal magic or not.
Herbal magic could be an entire novel onto itself. Every herb that grows has its own magical associations, dictated in part by when it grows, whether it produces fruit above or below ground, what color its flowers are, and even what shapes the leaves form. All plants are also associated with astrological signs and specific deities.
Herbs are used to dress candles, to fill poppets or sachets, in brews and potions, to infuse oil, to drink in tea, or to burn as incense. Burning herbs is a very common way to cleanse a person or area.
Traditionally, this was called fuming or reekening. While it shares a few similarities with the Native American ritual of smudging, the two are not the same.
Essential or infused oils are a big part of Wicca magic. Oil blends are used to anoint candles, people, or objects, and are made with a specific purpose in mind.
Essential oils are produced by distillation of various plant parts. They’re very strongly-scented and concentrated, and can only be made with a distillation apparatus. Infused oils are made by steeping herbs in a neutral carrier oil, like sunflower seed oil. They are less strong, but can be made by anyone.
Infusing an oil is fairly simple. All you need are the herbs you want to use, a neutral oil, and a clean glass jar with a lid. Add the herbs to the jar, fill it the rest of the way with the oil, put the lid on, and shake it thoroughly. Allow the oil to sit for up to a month, shaking daily.
Some witches choose to make the infusion process part of their Wicca oil magic by beginning and ending it on a certain moon phase, or allowing the oil to sit under the light of the sun or moon. When the oil is done, strain it into a clean, labeled bottle. It’s now ready for anointing.
Wicca magic works with the cycles of nature, including the lunar cycle. For eons, the Moon has been associated with different gods and goddesses, and Wiccans allow its energy to guide their spells.
- During the dark moon, when the moon disappears from the sky, many witches avoid working any Wicca moon magic. This is a time for rest, reflection, and closure.
- The new moon is a time for spells to initiate new projects. Since this is the beginning of the waxing portion of the cycle, it’s also good for increasing things.
- The waxing moon is the right time for growth and increase. It’s used to draw things in, improve health, and promote abundance and prosperity.
- The waning moon is a time of decrease. It’s used for overcoming obstacles, banishing, and getting rid of the things that no longer serve you.
Tarot is a divination system based on 15th century playing cards. Like regular playing cards, the tarot has four suits:
- Pentacles or Coins, associated with the element of earth, material wealth, and stability.
- Wands, associated with fire, creativity, ambition, and vitality.
- Swords, associated with air, thought, and logic.
- Cups, associated with water and the emotions.
- 0. The Fool
- 1. The Magician
- 2. The High Priestess
- 3. The Empress
- 4. The Emperor
- 5. The Heirophant
- 6. The Lovers
- 7. The Chariot
- 8. Strength
- 9. The Hermit
- 10. The Wheel of Fortune
- 11. Justice
- 12. The Hanged Man
- 13. Death
- 14. Temperance
- 15. The Devil
- 16. The Tower
- 17. The Star
- 18. The Moon
- 19. The Sun
- 20. Judgment
- 21. The World
Wicca magic is a beautiful and complex magical system that encompasses every facet of the natural world, from stones, to herbs, to the planets.
Candles, herbs, crystals, and oils are only the beginning, and diving deeper into studying them can be an immensely rewarding experience.