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Candles Book Page

Long has mankind used fire for protection, survival and religious devotion.  In 1942, Henri Gamache published The Master Book of Candle Burning which introduced "The Philosophy of Fire" to the rootwork community.  Candles have long been a part of religious and magical practice. Historically, the most common type of candle used in Hoodoo was the white utility candle. With the introduction by Henri Gamache, conjure doctors began to make use of both colored candles and figural candles.

Candle Colors

Candles are used for prayer, magical spell casting and wax divination.  The candle colors became an important part of the practice.  Today, the community of Hoodoo doctors recognize a standard set of colors for different kinds of work.  This is the same list published by Henri Gamache in 1942.

  • white -- spiritual blessings, purity, healing, rest
  • blue -- peace, harmony, joy, kindly intentions, healing
  • green -- money spells, gambling luck, business, a good job, good crops
  • yellow -- devotion, prayer, money (gold), cheerfulness, attraction
  • red -- love spells, affection, passion, bodily vigour
  • pink -- attraction, romance, clean living
  • purple -- mastery, power, ambition, control, command
  • orange -- change of plans, opening the way, prophetic dreams
  • brown -- court case spells, neutrality
  • black -- repulsion, dark thoughts, sorrow, freedom from evil
  • red and black (Double Action) -- remove a love-jinxing spell
  • white and black (Double Action) -- to return evil to the sender
  • green and black (Double Action) -- remove money-jinxing

Types of Candles

Offertory Candles come in a variety of sizes; two of the most popular sizes are the 4" also known as Altar Lights and the 6" also known as utility candles or "household candles". 
  • Offertory candles are straight and not tapered.
  • Offertory candles come in a wide range of colors.
  • Offertory candles are inexpensive.
Jumbo Candles and Reversible Candles are generally 9" tall and about 1.5" wide.  Jumbo candles are traditionally burned in 15 min time periods over several days. Reversible candles come in four styles; white above black, red above black, green above black, and black dipped over red.
  • Jumbo candles are used for long term work that you wish to keep going for many days.
  • Jumbo candles come in a wide variety of colors.
  • Reversible candles are cut and butted at the bottom and reversed to burn, so that the black burns first.
Figural Candles come in a wide variety of shapes such as; 7 knob wishing candles, bride and groom, crucifix, devil, divorce, female (lady), male (gentleman), nude female (eve), nude male (adam), female genitalia (vulva), male genitalia (penis), lovers, pyramid, skull, and more.
  • Figural candles are preferred because they create a secondary connection to the person the work is being performed for. Wax figures can be named and baptized for the person. (You can name and baptize a plain offertory candle, but many feel the work is stronger if you use a figural candle.)
  • Figural candles do not come in as many colors as offertory candles.  Red, White, and Green are the most common, while some figural candles come in light blue and pink.
Glass Encased Vigil Candles are a more recent addition to Hoodoo yet have become a popular choice for those practitioners who set lights for their clients. Glass encased vigil candles are also known as 7-day or 9-day candles. 
  • Vigil candles can be burned in sections or continuously.  If they are burned in sections you will need fireplace matches to relight them when the wax gets low.
  • Vigil candles are an excellent choice for fire safety as the flame is inside the glass jar.
  • Vigil candles can be bought plain, labeled and fixed.  Fixed candles have been dressed with herbs and oils for a client's specific needs.
  • Vigil candles come in a wide range of colors

Tea Lights are smaller candles used in rootwork.  Tea lights do come in a variety of colors, but the most common color is white.  Tea lights are an acceptable choice for most kind of quick spell work.
  • Inexpensive and available from many stores.
  • The cup which holds the candle is easy to remove and load with herbs and petitions.
  • An excellent choice for a quick offering to spirits and ancestors to thank them for their assistance.


Votive candles are used for devotional work and ancestor offerings.  Votive candles come in a variety of colors. 
  • Many beautiful votive candle holders available to use with these votive candles.
  • Perfect for working with the saints or other devotional prayer work.

How Candles are used in Conjure Practices

Setting Lights - When you set lights for yourself or hire a rootworker to set lights for you, the candle is anointed with Hoodoo ritual oils and dressed with herbs and/or sachet powders.  Candles of all types are used to "set lights" in the Hoodoo Tradition. Today, vigil candles are most commonly used as they burn for a long time and are safer as they are enclosed in glass. Standard offertory and jumbo candles may also be used for work requiring a faster harder burn. 

Moving Candle Spells - Henri Gamache published The Master Book of Candle Burning where he documented the process of performing a moving candle spell.  Moving candle spells are characterized by the process of "moving" the candle towards or away from the other candles to draw or send away the people or conditions in the work.

Other Spellwork - There is a wide range of what is considered spellwork in Conjure practices.  For the most part spell work assumes a series of actions in addition to candle work and is done over a course of days. Most spell workings include lighting candles; for power, for prayer, and for the condition, such as love, money, lucky, uncrossing, cursing, success, etc.

Sealing Container Spells - Honey Jars, Hotfoot Jars, Sugar Boxes, Sweetening Spells, and Coffin Boxes are all forms of container spells that are traditionally sealed with a candle burned on top of the jar over a period of days.  Candles may also be set while a rootworker is making a mojo bag, baby doll or other type of container spell.


Candles and Curios is a Lucky Mojo Authorized Affiliate.  Purchase quality Spiritual and Conjure Supplies directly from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

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Hoodoo and Conjure Books
Offertory and Figural Candles
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Altar Tools and Supplies

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