voodoo candles


The practice of using candles, oil lamps, or a flame of some sort to accompany prayer is universally accepted by most religions. While candles are used in many traditions, the act of burning a candle as a focusing tool in prayer is nothing more than an act of devotion.


Candle magick is a primary activity in New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo. The intermingling of Catholic, Spiritualist, and African traditions in New Orleans resulted in an evolving form of candle magic that incorporated the saints, psalms, devotionals and vigils, alongside making gris gris, doing séances, Voodoo rituals and laying tricks. Eventually, the New Orleans style of candle magick spread to other areas of the south to the degree that it became a standard practice among practitioners.




Candles are available in all kinds of colors, types and shapes. Some of the Hoodoo candles are multicolored, some are one color or specialized, such as the lucky lottery candle. Some of these candles are made for specific orishas and saints. The most common candles are the seven day glass-encased candles, self-standing candles and figural candles. Thanks to Henri Gamache’s (1942) classic book The Master Book of Candle Burning, the use of small altar candles and setting lights rose in popularity and their use by rootworkers has remained popular to this day.