Dressing & Loading Candles

Dressing and Loading Novena, Figure, Jumbo, or Taper Candles

Dressing, fixing, blessing, and loading candles are done with oils, powders, herbs, curios, inscriptions, petition papers, and prayers. There is not just one right way to fix a candle, whether it is a 7 day glass encased vigil novena candle or a plain taper candle. It depends on the work you are doing, the purpose of the candle or ritual. Here are some simple basics to get you started with developing your own style and techniques. Pick up a copy of Henri Gamache’s “Master Book of Candle Burning”, and become familiar with working with candles. There are many good books on candle burning, but I personally prefer this book as a good ground cover to build upon. Develop your own technique and rhythm magically in working with candles, soon enough it will become part of your routine and like second nature. Use your creativity and instincts when working with candles, you will be amazed at how simple a candle burning is but how powerful the invocation will be to manifest the things in your life that you need.
Dressing or Fixing a candle- Inscribe, anoint it with oils, powders, herbs, and curios.
Loading a candle- Making a hole in the candle and filling the hole with powders, papers, herbs, and curios.

If you buy your 7, 9, or 14 day Novenas at a local grocery store or botanica and it has not been loaded or dressed for you already, you should first clean it thoroughly with a spiritual cleanser such as Florida Water, Chinese Wash, or Holy Water. After purchasing an unblessed, undressed candle, sprinkle the cleaner on the candle while focusing on the spiritual gunk removed from it. Let it dry a minute.
On top of the wax around the wick you may either inscribe with a sharp needle, nail, quill, or some other utensil that you use for inscribing or scratching into the wax of candles, the name of the target, or simply an equal arm cross to represent the 4 cardinal points and elements that you call upon to aid you in your work. You may inscribe small sigils or symbols in the wax as well. Next, you want to write out any petition papers or name papers to attach to the outside of the glass or on the bottom out of sight. Some workers like to paint sigils, names, or specific pictures to the candle as well. At this point it is time to dress it with oils, powders, and/or curios. For the top of the wax, take a long screw driver or hand held knife sharpener and poke three holes in the wax around the outside of the wick to form a triangle. In these holes, you may put tiny amounts of your herbs and curios (load the candle). On top of the wax, add a few drops of ritual oil and/or powder. Use a small paint brush or stick to draw a cross with the oils across the wax. If you attached a photo or name paper or drew on your candle, anoint it with a cross or a 5 point anointing.
Your candle is ready to light and prayers said over the candle. Once you light the candle state your prayers and let the candle burn continuously. If you must leave the candle and you want to extinguish it and relight it at another time, snuff it out with a candle snuffer. Never blow out candles during a working unless the ritual calls for it. If your flame is too high and creates a lot of black smoke, trim the wick for a better and even burn. Learning to read the candles, ceromancy, will become a part of your work as well.


Working with figure or regular candles such as jumbo 9 inch candles, male figure or female figure candles, and tapers are very similar to glass enclosed candles. To dress these candles, first inscribe the candle with your targets name/s and prayer. If it is for uncrossing or reversing, write the petition in a mirrored reversed direction. After the inscription on the candle, you can load the candle with herbs and curios, and oil the candle with a good quality hoodoo ritual oil appropriate to your work. If you are using drawing in energies, rub the oil on the candle from top of candle towards the center and down towards you. Rub the oil the opposite direction away from you if you are cleansing, uncrossing, or banishing. Write out your petition paper or name paper if you are working with any and set it with your candle. Now you are ready to light the candle and speak your prayers of choice. If you are performing a spell where it requires multiple days to burn your candle, snuff it out with a candle snuffer. Never blow out candles unless the ritual calls for it. Sometimes the ritual will require to be extinguished in graveyard dirt, toilet, or some other method, otherwise, snuff out the candle.
If your flame is too high and creates a lot of black smoke, trim the wick for a better and even burn. Learning to read the candles, ceromancy, will become a part of your work as well.
The remains of the candles, whether they are glass or figure candles, depends on the intent are disposed of in places like the crossroads with thanks to the spirits, graveyards, churches, banks, running water, tree hollows, the ocean, or the target’s property. Love candles can be left at a holy place such as a church or chapel, unless the ritual specifically says where to place all the remaining wax. Uncrossing and cleansing work can be disposed at a crossroads or running water. Money candles can be disposed at crossroads or banks, again unless the ritual says where to put the remains. Glass candles in these situations are difficult sometimes to dispose of in public places. In a situation like this, I prefer to either recycle the glass for more candles for the work or bury in my own yard (except uncrossings I prefer to put in running water).