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What is the message of a black candle?

What is the message of a black candle?

The black candle has been used for centuries in various spiritual and religious practices as a powerful symbolic tool. Though the specific meanings and messages associated with black candles vary between different belief systems, there are some common themes that emerge surrounding protection, banishing negativity, healing, and connecting with the shadow self.


One of the most prevalent symbolic meanings of a black candle is protection. The color black absorbs and contains, rather than reflecting light. Therefore, black candles are often used in rituals and spells aimed at creating a protective barrier or warding off negativity and evil.

Lighting a black candle before beginning an important endeavor or moving into a new home is thought to form an energetically protective force field. Placing black candles in the four corners of a space creates a contained energy grid that repels lower vibrations from entering.

Carrying or wearing black candles or their leftover wax can serve as a protective amulet. Drawing sacred symbols on a black candle with oil and burning it is believed to activate the sigil’s unique magickal guarding powers.

Banishing Negativity

The absorptive, containing nature of the color black also makes black candles ideal for banishing negativity – spiritually cleansing a space or person by removing dense or unwanted energies.

Lighting a black candle while visualizing dark shadows of fear, sadness, anger, etc. being sucked into the flame and destroyed is a simple act of candle magick for banishing. Burning black candles coupled with herbs like sage, frankincense, or sandalwood exponentially amplifies the banishing effects.

Writing issues needing to be removed from your life on a black candle with oil or carving symbols of things to be banished like bad habits, illnesses, addictions, etc. and then burning the candle dresses the candle’s flame to burn away those afflictions specifically.

Healing & Purification

In a similar vein, black candles are incorporated into rituals for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing and purification. The candle’s flame is thought to burn away disease, negative emotions, bad luck, curses, and other energies creating imbalance.

For physical healing, black candles may be anointed with therapeutic essential oils or inscribed with medicinal sigils before burning. For emotional healing, names of emotions needing release are carved into the candle.

Cleansing rituals for purification might use black candles engraved with runes or prayers burned with cleansing herbs like white sage, mint, or rosemary to energetically scrub away impurities.

Connecting with Shadow Self

The color black represents the unknown, the unconscious, the shadow self. Working with black candles is believed to illuminate one’s inner darkness, bringing hidden feelings, desires, faults, and strengths to conscious awareness.

Meditating in front of a black candle while exploring your psyche gives the shadow self a vehicle for expression. Gazing at a candle flame in a dark roomAllows subconscious aspects to emerge so they can be integrated.

Some witches and spiritual practitioners even use black candle divination to delve into their unconscious minds by interpreting black soot left on a plate or in the melted wax.

Breaking Bad Habits

In hoodoo and other African-based folk magic traditions, one use of black candles is breaking bad habits. This practice derives from the color black absorbing and destroying negative energy.

The person seeking to get rid of their bad habit first dresses the candle with oils, herbs, or symbols targeting their specific affliction – such as jinx oil or hot foot powder for temptation and addictive behaviors.

While the dressed candle burns, the person concentrates on the habit they want to break and speaks their desires aloud as the candle flame consumes the candle.

Blocking Magic

Practitioners of various magical systems like Wicca, Santeria, Vodou, and witchcraft may use black candles specifically for blocking or reversing malicious magic that has been cast against them.

Black absorbs spells and dissipates their power. Burning black candles combined with rue, agrimony, or black salt and reciting a binding incantation is believed to catch and destroy curses or hexes working against you.

Sticking black candles in the freezer or burying them at crossroads or the target’s home blocks their magic from manifesting after a candle burning spell.

Binding Spells

In addition to shielding from black magic worked against you, some magical traditions like Wicca and Stregheria utilize black candles in binding spells – magic aimed at restricting someone else’s power to prevent them from harming you or others.

Binding rituals use black candle flames to absorb and dissolve the target’s strength. Practitioners may bind a photo or poppet representing the person to a black candle dripped with binding oil as it burns.

Binding black candles incorporate herbs like wormwood, black mustard, and devil’s shoestring or symbols like runes painted on in ritual oils. Disposing of the wax remnants buries the binding magic.

Removing Obstacles

Hoodoo conjurers light black candles dressed with 5 finger grass oil, High John the Conqueror, or other commanding formulas when petitioning the spirits to remove obstacles preventing them from achieving their desires.

As the candle burns, the rootwork practitioner focuses on their specific blocked goal while vigorously rubbing 5 finger grass or another herb in their hands to symbolically “grasp” the barrier and tear it away. This rids the path ahead of hindrances so they can succeed.

Carving a symbol on the candle representing the obstacle like a dollar sign for money issues, a broken heart for love problems, or an anchor for stagnation also focuses the candle’s power.

Communication with Spirits

Those seeking to communicate with spirits of the dead sometimes use black candles specifically due to their connection to shadows and the unknown realms beyond mortal sight.

Black conjuring candles burned on spirit altars or at séances helps draw ghostly entities near so they can deliver messages to the living. The black smoke transfers communication between realms.

Offering memorial candles for passed loved ones on the Day of the Dead provides a direct path for their souls to briefly return. Burning black candles can also invite voodoo spirits like the Gede loa to possess participants at rituals.

Connecting with Deities

Certain pagan deities have strong associations with the color black and nighttime darkness. Burning black candles is thought to attract their presence and aid in connecting with their energy.

Goddesses like the Crone, Hecate, Lilith, Morrigan, and dark aspects of the moon goddess are linked to black candles when engaging in witchcraft and ritual magic.

Underworld gods like Anubis, Hades, Loki, Osiris, and Pluto are also associated with black and invoked by burning black candles when seeking their guidance from that realm.

Funerals and Memorials

Black candles hold a traditional place in funerals and memorials across many cultures. The black color represents grief, mourning, loss, and the stark finality of death.

Lighting black candles at vigils, gravesites, altars, or shrines offers a symbolic invocation of the spirit’s journey into the afterlife. The candles provide guiding light for the departed one’s spirit in transition.

Keeping memorial black candles burning for the dead during Day of the Dead and the traditional 49 days after a death in Buddhism similarly lights the way for their soul’s safe passage.

Breakups and Divorce

Magick workers and root doctors prescribe black candles for rituals focused on ending romantic relationships or marriages. The absorbing and banishing attributes apply when seeking closure after a breakup or making a clean final break with divorce.

Carving the couple’s names on a black candle joined with binding or separation herbs and burning it releases the relationship’s energy. Burying the leftover wax symbolizes decisively separating for good.

Similarly, burning black candles on top of divorce papers or photos reinforces and finalizes the permanent dissolution of the marriage. Black candle spells bring a sense of finite closure.

Endings and Transitions

Beyond losses through death or divorce, black candles are used to process or ritualize any ending where someone is transitioning into a new phase of life.

Students burning black candles marked with graduation symbols spiritually close one chapter before moving ahead. Someone moving away from home may light black candles representing where they came from.

Retirees sometimes incorporate black candles into retirement parties to honor closing out their careers. The black wax absorbs the energy of the ending to allow full presence in the new beginning.

Dark Moon Magic

Pagan rituals aligning with the dark moon phase utilize black candles to attune with the moon’s dark, waning energetic vibrations.

Dark moon magic works well for banishing, removing obstacles, communicating with spirits, introspection, accessing the shadow self, or releasing the old to make way for the new – all meanings embodied in the black candle.

Lighting black candles during the dark moon amplifies these symbolic properties. The dying moon phase enhances metaphysical rituals requiring the energy of decrease, dissolution, retreat, and endings.

Saturn Magic

Black candles amplify the astrological influence of Saturn. Saturn governs time, karma, adversity, melancholy, wisdom through experience, solitude, harvesting the fruits of long labor, and the crystallization of material forms.

Those utilizing astrological magick light black candles when seeking Saturn’s gifts of patience, self-discipline, introspection, responsibility, perseverance, and resolved determination when facing trials.

The black candle’s saturnine energy helps in manifesting strong structures and foundations built to last over time. It brings gravitas and weight to rituals invoking Saturn’s cosmic powers.

The Witching Hour

Witches and ceremonial magicians favor black candles specifically when performing rituals at midnight, the witching hour. Midnight is a convergence point when the dark supernatural world and mortal plane overlap.

The black candles’ vibes intensify shadowy witching hour magic for conjuration, communing with spirits, divining the future through arcane symbols and omens, or catalyzing profound transformation through embracing one’s internal darkness.

The thin veil between realms at midnight means the black candle’s aura of the otherworldly strongly activates. Burning black candles lengthens the midnight convergence window.


Whether used in elaborate formal rituals, simple folk magic spells, or meditative spiritual practices, the black candle carries a constellation of powerful symbolic meanings. The color black paradoxically illuminates the shadow self, fortifies protection against harm, dispels negativity, creates pathways to higher wisdom, and grants access to realms beyond the mundane.

Black candles allow deep integration of the whole self by embracing the unconscious and the unknown. Their mysterious essence serves as a conduit to profound transformation when wielded with focus and intention.