How To Use 7 Day Candles

How to use 7 day candles

They have various names… “novena” candles, prayer candles, 7 day candles and whatever you call them, they’re pretty awesome.

Novena candles are usually about 8″ tall and over 2″ wide and they come in a glass encasement.

Sometimes, it’s clear glass but many have some sort of image and/or words on the glass or a label  is on the glass.

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Glass Novena Candles; How To Use 7 Day Candles

The Art of Wax

The wax color is vitally important to the candle’s purpose and some have layers of several, specific colors. The color you choose must match the nature of the work at hand and the word Novena literally means work.

The choices are many, but a few examples are Pink for love, Red for sex and Green for money or issues of fertility. Purple is the color of power and White is for general blessing work. The list goes on and on.

Get In The Know

Consult an experienced practitioner who does this stuff regularly and find out what color is right for you and what herbs and oils you need.

If you want to go deeper, consider taking a course, such as The Nascent Magician. There, you’ll learn all about this art but the material goes way beyond just candle magick.

Plain candles are fine but it’s better if you dress it with oils and herbs. Dressing a 7 Day Candle is simple to do and the only real trick lies in knowing what to choose.

Numbers are Forces

The general rule is:

Use prime numbers… no higher than 13

With novenas, it’s best to keep that number small, with 3 and 7 being the best choices.

For severing or binding works, 3, 5 and 9 are good numbers.

While 11 is technically prime, avoid it like the plague. It is a sacred number but set apart, not for general use, and thus unlucky. 11 is lucky in certain games of chance (like craps) but otherwise, stay away from it.

In the Hebrew Qabalah, 11 is the number of the Qlippoth, the “shells”, who are sort of “God’s little mistake”. The mythos here is that during creation, the original forms for housing the Divine Energy were unfit and they shattered.

They are now what we refer to as demons, incomplete entities of perpetual hunger. They create strife in everything they touch and while they will promise you the moon, they deliver only madness.

The number 13, while it inspires fear in many, is a perfectly useful number that simply has a bad reputation. In Christian theology, the twelve disciples, plus the Christ, is 13 and hence, a number of perfection.

A sample formula for blessing work:

Just A Trim

It’s a great idea to trim the wick of the candle, before you light it. This makes the candle burn more smoothly, because it’s a smaller flame. That means that it won’t burn faster in the center than it does at the edges.

Some workers, including myself, like to clean the candle before enlisting it into spell work. For this, you generally use Florida Water, a unisex cologne that has a long tradition in southern Hoodoo.

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Florida Water

Grocery Sack

Use a piece of white paper ( 3-4″ square) to write your petition on. Always use clean paper that has not been previously used for anything else.

A piece of brown paper, torn from a grocery sack is a Hoodoo standard for petition papers. If you have a bag that has no other printing on it, all the better.

Because of the tradition of grocery sack petition papers, don’t worry about a bar code or a few words of printing on the bottom. Just use the part with no print.


To dress the candle, simply sprinkle in a tiny bit of the oils and herbs that you have chosen for the  effect you desire. Only a few drops of oil (like 3 or 7 drops) and you say your prayers, as you add the dressings.

If you like, take something thin, like a small screwdriver or a letter opener and make holes in the wax. This allows the oil and herbs to seep down in, providing a steadier burn. This isn’t essential but feel free to try it.

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Steps to burning a 7 Day Candle

1) Write your name and what you want on the Petition Paper. Fold it in half, toward you for drawing in, or away for banishing things.

2) Tape the Petition Paper to the side of the candle with scotch tape. Place the candle over a picture of yourself or the person it’s designed to affect.

3) Place your power (writing) hand over the candle (closing it off) and hold the candle with your other hand.

4) Say a pertinent Psalm or prayer to whoever you’re addressing to help you.

5) Speak to the Spirit (that’s whatever God or Goddess, Saint or Spirit you’re petitioning) and state your need. Speak it in terms of what you want and avoid any negative what you don’t want language.

6) Knock the candle on the altar, 3 times.

7) Light the candle.

Knock Yourself Out, Kid

And that’s it!

Let the candle burn itself completely out but if you need to put it out for any reason, DO NOT blow it out! 

Blowing a candle out ends a working and using a candle snuffer or pinching out the flame is a much better method for pausing the spell. But it’s always best if you are able to to just let it burn and there are ways to make sure you can.

Safety Third

Always observe fire safety and keep children and pets away from your candles. That means you make certain they can’t get at them and you put the candle on a surface where it is isolated.

Keep them away from anything flammable, avoid curtains and other combustible items. If you need to leave the candle unattended, put it in a bathtub or a sink, where it will not be bothered by anyone.

Be aware that sometimes (very, very rarely) the glass will crack or (worse case scenario) explode.

So, put it in a sink or a tub or maybe in a fireplace and shut the screen. These are some of the only “safe” places to leave a candle burning without supervision but remember that supervision is always better.

A human being, with eyes and ears and a fire extinguisher is the best possible preventative measure there is.

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You Have Choices

If you prefer, simply pinch it out or snuff it (do not blow it out) and when you return, relight it, focusing on your intention.

Some say you should redo the prayers and the knocking, others say skip it. Pick the method that you feel is right and stick with it, consistently.

Test Results

Make note of how the candle burns. Does it burn clean and complete? Did the glass crack? Is there black soot anywhere? Did it explode? Did it go out and any point? (if so, relight it and pray over it). Are there any herbs or resins stuck to the side?

Anything the candle does is a sign of whether your spell is successful or not and the signs tell you what to do next.

It’s important to make note of how your candle burns and you can always contact me for an interpretation.

Once the candle finishes its burn, either bury the petition paper or store it somewhere safe. Some spells call for specific actions like burning the petition paper or putting it in a certain place.

If your working is successful, you may destroy the paper via burning or burial or whatever seems right but always recycle the glass jar.

How Long? Oh, How Long?

While we usually refer to them as “7 Day Candles”, they rarely (if ever) last that long.

A short burn is about four days, a typical burn length is five days and a long burn is six days.

How long the candle burns matters as well. Short burn time is usually good but can also mean that more work is needed than just that one candle.

It might be more spiritual work, it might be a sign that you are overlooking some aspect of the mundane world that you need to pay more attention to.

A long burn might indicate that the outcome will not be quick and the meaning depends on the circumstance. It’s a case by case basis and consulting a reputable practitioner is your best bet.

candle divination is a complex art and one should resist the temptation to assume by cookie cutter rules.

Wrap It Up, I’ll Take It!

That’s more than enough to get you started. Now all that remains is to pop over to the shop page and get yourself some CANDLES! Don’t forget the oils, incenses and other items I mention here. Have fun and make some stuff happen!