Dressing a Candle

In Anna Riva's words:

Light your candle, and may it shine triumphant.

Who knows how far it may throw its beam, shedding its light of understanding far and wide.

In order for candle rituals to be most effective, the candles must be prepared by someone who believes in the powers of such devotions. While candles can often be purchased from those who offer them as being blessed and dressed, it is my belief that the person who is conducting the ritual should be the one who personally cleanses, blesses, and dresses the candles.

It is believed that the close contact of the hands on the candle bring it to the thoughts which are foremost in one's mind. Even if no oil is used, a candle should still be charged by holding it between your hands and concentrating deeply on your intention.

During these prepara­tions, the mind should be focused on the intention for which the candles are to be burned. The deeper the concentration of the petitioner, the greater force which can be transmitted to the candle.


First, candles must be cleansed to remove any dust, dirt, foreign matter, or negative influences with which they may have been in contact. Any soft, clean cloth or sponge can be used, along with any pure soap, detergent, or cleanser such as alcohol or baby oil.

Some practitioners recommend cleansing the candles with Holy Water, and this is certainly an excellent purifying agent.

Whatever is used to clean them, simply rub gently all the surfaces of the candle and then place it on a clean, flat surface until it is completely dry.


The clean candle is then blessed with a short prayer of the petitioner's choice, or this can be used. "Holy Spirit, I ask Thy blessings upon this instrument which I use in Thy name."


After the blessing, the candles should now be labeled. This is best done by taking any sharp thin object-the tip of a knife, a nail, pin, needle, pointed quill, or a ball point pen which you do not plan to use again for writing-and inscribing onto the candle's surface its representation in the rites.

Or, the label can be made on a slip of paper that can be placed in front of or under the candle. Write the description of its representation on a piece of parchment and place the paper on the altar in the position where the candle will be placed above it.

If the candle is to symbolize a person, draw that person's name or initials onto the candle. If the person's name is unknown, a description will do-"my rival", "unborn baby", "one who I fear", "husband to be", "bad neighbor", etc.

If the candle is symbolic of an objective not related to a person, a designation such as "job I need", "my wish", "peace of mind", "new home", "lose weight", "sell house", "more business", and such, just write these intentions on the candle as concisely as you can. In money spells, the actual amount of money needed should be noted on the candle.

The only candles which do not require labeling are the altar candles.

Choose Your Oil

When the designation of all candles to be used in the rite is completed, the candles are now ready to be anointed.

The anointing is termed dressing the candle and is the most essential part of the preparation, for it is believed that the close contact of the hands on the candle bring to it the energy of the petitioner's mind forces.

It is very important at this point that one concentrate on the purpose for which the candle is to be burned, for it is in this manner the candle is magnetized with your faith and belief.

The oil which Anna Riva has found most beneficial in conducting similar rituals is suggested, but one can choose their own particular suitable oil if they have had good results with its use. Many oils are quite similar in formula and purpose, so one's personal choice can obtain the same results so long as the oil's intent is close to the objective of the ritual.

Anoint and Charge

Once the oil to be used is decided:

Hold the candle in one hand and apply the oil lightly over the candle's outer surface.

Begin at the middle or center of the candle and apply toward each end, covering the center upward to the tip, then from the center downward. The oil is never applied in one stroke from top to bottom or from bottom to top-always from the center upward, and from the center downward.

While the oil is being applied, concentrate deeply on the purpose of the rite to charge it with your intention.

Clear the mind of all distracting thoughts and focus solely on the objective you wish to accomplish. The more energy expended toward the candle, the more likely the chances of success.

If more than one oil is used for the various candles on the altar, be sure to wash and dry the hands thoroughly after one oil is used and before using the next oil. You do not want to transfer the properties of one oil onto a candle which needs an entirely different element.