Setting Intentions for the New Year with Candle Magic

woman holding a glittered candle

It’s been a tough few years, hasn’t it? As we move through the holidays and toward another new year, I’d say this is the perfect time to ignite a little extra magic in our lives.

So, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite ways to set intentions for the New Year and that’s to create a Candle Magic Ritual. I’ve offered it in my women’s circles for over 25 years, in my kids’ elementary school classes when they were young, and even in public “First Night Celebrations” on New Year’s Eve.

Candle magic is one of those rituals that I refer to as “sacred play.” With any powerful ritual, you start with a clear intention, in this case, declaring what you want to manifest in the New Year. Then, through the use of symbols and by activating all your senses, you literally create a magical arts and crafts project!

Here’s how you can do it for yourself – and anyone else you’ll be with on New Year’s Eve.

1) First, you’ll need these supplies:

  • 3” or 6” pillar (fat) candle
  • Pen or big nail
  • Paper plate or paper towel
  • Little bowl of honey
  • Essential oils (more on that later)
  • Glitter in lots of colors!

2) Once you’ve collected all of your magical items, the next step is to carve out sacred space and time for your ritual. That means sitting in a quiet place (no digital distractions, please), maybe with some favorite music playing in the background. I’ve done this with kids of all ages and I can tell you that if you take the time to set up your space in a special way, you’ll really feel the magical vibe.

3) Make sure you have all your supplies within reach, then take some time to reflect on what you’d like to manifest in the year ahead… more fun, better health, greater confidence, more stillness? One meditation technique I often use to do this is to visualize in your mind’s eye a big, blank movie screen. Allow images and scenes to appear on the screen that represent what you want in your work, your family life, your friendships, your community work, etc. Just see what bubbles up.

4) Now comes the yummy part. Before you grab your candle, dip your ring (fourth) finger into the honey and take a taste. That will sweeten your magical work to come! And in ancient times, there was a belief that the vein of the fourth finger led straight to the heart… that’s why we wear wedding rings there.

5) Now, using your pen or nail, you’re ready to carve into the candle words and/or symbols that represent all of those dreams and wishes you envisioned… just be sure to have a paper plate handy to catch the shavings. By carving visual symbols and words into our candles, we trigger the deep unconscious to continually re-focus our intentions and manifest them in the real world.

6) At this point, your candle has served as a pallet for you to transfer all of your visions on to. If you really want to take magical arts and crafts to the next level, you can anoint your candle with yummy oils and different colors of glitter. You can choose specific essential oils to attract success, money, love… whatever you desire. Likewise, each color glitter has a different meaning, too — red for love, gold for wealth, etc. I’ve included the symbolism of the colors and different oil blends you can create yourself at the end of this article… just scroll down

And by the way, the glitter goes on after the oil and you can remove both from your hands by running them through your hair! 😊 Who doesn’t want sparkle-y hair this time of year?!

Once you’ve created your magical candle, then what?

In order to release your wishes into the world (and thereby allow them to manifest), it’s important to burn the candle all the way to the end.  You may burn it for short periods of time, re-stating your intention with each re-lighting, or you can burn it all at once, taking care to place it in a safe place.  When it is finished, dispose of it respectfully — it has worked hard on your behalf!

The act of creating “magic” is both mystical and practical, other-worldly and firmly grounded in reality.  Magic is simply focusing one’s will to produce a desired outcome and candles are just one tool with which to weave our magical intention. Since ancient times, the most powerful ways to reach the gods have been through fire and scent.

Even today we burn incense and light candles in our special ceremonies, both sacred and secular.  With candle magic, we use these mediums and several others to manifest our wishes. Add to that the element of “sacred play” and you have a perfect – and powerful – way to launch your New Year!

BONUS: If you’d really like to jump in and do a full-fledged Candle Magic ritual, you can watch the recording of the New Moon SisterCircle I facilitated through the Wellness for All program at The Wellness Universe! Get all your supplies together and join us HERE. (Donations are always appreciated. 😊 )


GLITTER COLORS                                                       MEANINGS

RED                                                                             passion, courage, strength

GREEN                                                                   growth, independence, fertility

BLUE                                                                            calm, protection, blessings

SILVER                                                                        self respect, inner peace

GOLD                                                                      prosperity, security, goal-setting

PURPLE                                                                     spirituality, power, success


MAGICAL OIL BLENDS                                                     ESSENTIAL OILS

GOOD HEALTH                                                                      eucalyptus, lavender, pine

WISDOM                                                                                  sage, lotus, lily of the valley

LOVE                                                                                          rose, freesia, ylang-ylang

JOY & HAPPINESS                                                              clary sage, bergamot, lemon

MONEY & ABUNDANCE                                                      patchouli, ginger, vetivert

PEACE, PROTECTION, BLESSINGS                          black pepper, chamomile, juniper

(** For the oil blends, use almond or jojoba oils as a base and add as many drops of the essential oils as desired.)

Reference: Magical Aromatherapy, by Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn Publications, 1996.



Healing — Lavender, eucalyptus, sandalwood

Courage, protection — black pepper, ginger, clove, parsley

Clarity, focus — sweet basil, sage, dill, rosemary

Creativity – bergamot, neroli, grapefruit, geranium, tonka

Sexual energy – Ylang-ylang, patchouli

Love — jasmine, rose, vanilla

Prosperity — cinnamon, nutmeg

Psychic awareness — lotus, yarrow, mugwort

Happiness — lemon, orange, freesia

Peace, relaxation –bergamot, chamomile, clary sage

Spirituality – frankincense, gardenia, jasmine, myrrh, sandalwood