Candle Colours


A candle is a self-contained healing system,  it represents the Fire element. It contains basic elements of healing:

  1. Earth is represented by the unburned wax of the candle,
  2. Air is the smoke,
  3. Fire the flame and
  4. Water the melted wax. Thus is created Spirit.

There is debate over whether you should blow or pinch out candles that you do not wish to burn completely away. The act of blowing out a candle is itself a healing release of power, for, rather than holding the light in a snuffer, you can send it towards all who need it. This is an excellent way of releasing and directing power at the end of a rite.

Practitioners of Faith healing say that you should never use a candle that has been lit for another ritual or purpose and should not use these afterwards for household purposes.Candles for harmony and healing purposes may be used in quiet areas of the home, and candles for energy and success in work or study areas. Both for ritual healing and for your informal candle spells and meditations, you will need a supply of candles in a variety of colours.

If you are an experienced umelaphi noma umthandazeli some of the ideas may suggest new directions for your personal and Impande work.

Imibala nezincwazelo

Colour is of great significance in healing, and colour symbolism is used frequently with candles, and also with crystals, flowers, foods and coloured water, as a way of focusing on and activating the different qualities inherent in the colours.

The Elemental Candle Colours

Each of the four elements – Air, Fire, Water and Earth – is represented by a single candle colour – yellow, red, blue and green.

A coloured candle representing each of the elements can be placed at the four main compass points eMsamo/Shrine to mark the quarters – East, South, West and North. Some practitioners invoke Fire to conquer floods and Water to conquer drought but I believe that each element can most effectively counter excesses of itself.

Green-  Hlaza – (Environment) Green is for Earth.

Earth is the element of order, both in nature and institutions such as the law, politics, finance, health and education. It also represents the female, nurturing Omame aspect, Mother Earth, the home and family, as well as money and security, and is a good element to invoke when you have matters of property or money that need attention. It is also a focus for all rituals against famine, deforestation and land pollution and  devastation through unwise industrialisation or building, and for caring for animals and their natural habitats.

Yellow – Phuzi – Yellow is for Air.

Air represents life itself, logic, the mind, communication, health, new beginnings, travel, learning, okhulu  in the form of Esibhakabhakeni. It is a good element to invoke if you are seeking change or when communication is proving difficult with either an individual or  family and to clear imicabango entengantengayo.. It is also a focus for energy against air pollution, devastation and storms, and for the protection of birds, butterflies and insects.

Red /Bomvu – Red is for Fire .

Fire represents light, the Sun, lightning, power, joy, ambition, inspiration and achievement and also effective against drought, global warming, all pollution caused by burning fuels or chemicals, forest fires and the ‘slash and burn’ policy in rainforests. Like Air, Fire represents the okhulu in the form of the Sun .Fire rituals are good when you need power or you have an important issue that needs energy.

Blue – Blue is for Water

Water represents love, relationships, sympathy, intuition, reconciliation, harmony, healing and the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  It is also potent for fighting floods, cleansing seas, lakes and rivers of pollution, in campaigns to provide fresh water in arid places, in all initiatives towards world health. Like Earth, Water represents the female ancestors in the form of the Moon Ancestors.

WhiteIn healing, white represents light,

The lifforce and clear vision and so is helpful where a new beginning or a sudden burst of energy and enthusiasm is needed. White is a good colour for work involving rites of passage, especially for birth, marriage and welcoming new family members by marriage or adoption. Use white also for protective healing, for replacing darkness with light, in meditation,  ukuphahla rituals, for increasing spiritual awareness and contact with spirit guides, angels and nobuwena / the higher self.

 Pink – Pink is the colour for family relationships, affection, friendship matters, children and for the growth of new love and trust, especially after betrayal or a setback. Pink rituals are excellent for restoring self-esteem and healing wounded emotions, for letting go of past hurts involving family or childhood, for quiet sleep and for the mending of quarrels.

Brown – Brown is a colour of peace and plenty. Brown is good for protection, for healing concerning animals and especially household pets, for locating lost objects, learning new skills, for the home, property, practical matters, security and having enough resources for one’s needs. It is also the colour of all who work with their hands. Brown is also the colour of Mother Earth and the Earth spirits and so is good for environmental matters and conservation, especially as an impetus for practical conservation projects. Brown is good for grounding rituals.

 Grey – Grey is used primarily for neutralising or erasing negative energies or feelings. It is the shade of compromise and adaptability, of lowering one’s profile in times of danger, and offers protection against both physical and psychic attack. It is a colour for keeping secrets and for smoothing down potential conflict and keeping one’s counsel when to do otherwise would be unwise.

 Black or dark blue- Black is the colour not only of death, but also of regeneration. This belief goes back to Ancient Egypt when the annual flooding of the Nile carried with it black silt, which brought new life to the land each year. In healing, black is the colour of endings that carry within them seeds of new beginnings. It can be used for banishing negativity, for leaving behind old sorrows; for acknowledging grief, for rituals of partings, for breaking hexes and for psychic protection. In a positive sense, black, like brown, is a colour of acceptance, whether of a restriction or of the frailties of self and others, and so it is a candle colour of forgiveness.

 A Black And White Candle Ritual

This is a ritual for a new beginning after sorrow or loss. You can carry out this ritual for yourself or someone you know who is grieving or unhappy after a betrayal. It is especially healing if you are feeling angry over unjust or cruel treatment, because it can stop any guilt, blame or pain turning inwards and slowing the healing process.



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