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As you read about rituals, candles, ritual tools and altar supplies, you've likely come across hundreds of opinions (all correct, of course) about what to do with candles. You've likely seen lots of information telling you to "dress" your candles prior to ritual.

So what does "dressing your ritual candle" entail? Do you make a cute little hat and dress for your ritual candle? Can you find some cute little shoes and a blouse? While you COULD do that, it would then be a bit difficult to burn the ritual candle, so perhaps this article should cut to the chase and tell you how to dress your ritual candle.

There are as many opinions on how to properly dress a ritual candle as there are on what color or style candle you should use for each working. In other words, as many opinions as there are ritual candles. These techniques are suggestions that you should take or leave depending on your own personal ideas. Don't let anyone tell you there's only "one true way" to dress a ritual candle. "One true way" ism is not my idea of Wicca.

The ritual candle's flame is the "head" of the candle, and signifies you. The bottom of the ritual candle is the "base" and signifies the world outside of you. This makes it easier to think about, at least from personal experience.

If you want to bring something to you, whether it be good health, happiness, positive thinking, or whatever it may be, dress the candle from the outside (base) to the top (head). I like to make a spiral by taking a drop of oil on your finger (make sure it's not overly strong essential oil that will burn your finger) and working from the bottom of the ritual candle to the top in a spiral. Go clockwise for drawing spells, and does them in the waxing part of the moon phase. You might wish to affirm your intention as you do this, and ask that it manifest.

Conversely, if you want to draw something away from yourself, such as negativity, someone else's energies from a tool, sickness, unhappiness, etc. all you need to do is reverse the process. Start at the head of the ritual candle, and sprial down to the candle's base, counter clockwise, during the waning part of the moon phase.

Of course, if you find something that works better for you, by all means use it. There is no "one right way." If it feels right to you, why not use it. The worst that can happen is that you offend the powers that be and get smitten with a lightning bolt :-).

- Kestra Imani is a Wiccan Priestess, Master Herbalist, and Reiki Master
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