To carve or not to carve, that is the question. No, not pumpkins for Halloween, I am taking about your spell candles. It is an ancient practice to scratch or carve your intent into a candle before lighting it for a spell. The slow and tedious act of doing this builds the intent of your spell.
Now for some basics in candle use: First off, your candle needs to be cleansed in salt water to remove all influences and then consecrated to the energy you intend to request help from. Most practitioners do a number of candles at the same time and wrap them in white cotton for later usage. They are stored in a cool, dark place. If they are unwrapped or exposed to light prior to using them, you get to start over.
Now, you are ready to carve them. When I started there were lot’s of books that gave you instructions to heat a needle and use it for carving. Do not do this. The tip of needles gets hot and so does the end you are holding. You will have nice little needle shaped burns on two fingers. The absolute best tool I ever had for carving was a biology kit sticker. It was a stainless steel two inch needle (didn’t bend) in a wooden handle. You could heat that baby up and not burn yourself. It was tough as nails. I lost it in a move and still mourn it. A couple of years ago I found a set of tool advertised on the auction site as wax carving tools. They were really wood carving tools but they work really well. You don’t need to heat them. They are SHARP. I also bought a set of metal letter stamps that are used with a hammer to stamp metal and wood at the tool store and they press into candle wax fantastic but they are packed in oil to keep them from rusting. For protection spells you won’t mind a little rust getting in there. You don’t need a hammer to use them.
If you want to have an intricate design like a veve or sigil on a candle, carving may be way to difficult. Try carving a circle into a round candle some day. However, I found an easy way to achieve the same results: Sharpies. The ink in them dries and adheres to the wax after a few minutes. They even work on glass candle holders. I am really fond of a set of votives I dedicated to Papa Legba.
The main thing is, you have to love what you are doing. If carving or drawing on your candle is a nuisance to you, so will your spell be a nuisance and it won’t work or it will backfire. I knew someone who thought money spells were boring and they never worked for her. Me, I love to do money spells and they always bring me money, just not the great amount I would like, but a survivable amount. It’s the intent, not the artistic ability so don’t sweat it.
After carving or drawing on the candle, you can replace it in the wrapping for later usage but the carving and the usage must occur at equivalent times. You also can’t stop and answer the phone in the middle of your work. If you are going to do it, do it right.