For some reason, family members and people sharing accommodation don’t appreciate occult practices at home….

Lots of people don’t have full privacy to do spell-casting in their homes. In big cities where rent is expensive, you maybe living with 3, 4 or 5 other people.Some people may live with their parents, or they may live in shared housing such as a dormitory. This can pose a massive problem for the modern witch who needs privacy and the ability to focus on the task on hand.

Or — tough as it is — they may be performing a spell that is intended to directly affect a family member in the home, such as a spouse, child, or in-law. Unless the family or room mates know about your practice, they will not understand what you are doing and feel scared, or think you are crazy. Pretty much every system of magical working can be adapted to function under conditions of secrecy, but candle-burning is the most difficult form of magick or conjure to hide, for obvious reasons.

One method used by many practitioners to conceal candle work is to burn the candles for a short period at a time and hide the candles between burnings.

It is customary to burn candles for at least 15 minutes when working your spell– just long enough to get them going well and to spend some time over them in prayer or petition before putting them out.

Never blow out the candlehow to blow out a candle between spells

In order to keep one’s link to the candles continuously strong during the switches from “on” time to “off” time, practitioners long ago developed two further traditions, “pinching them out” (for all candles) and “wrapping them up” (for candles that are hidden away).

If you don’t like the idea of pinching this candle, you can also “snuff” out a candle with a candle snuffer, or a spoon.

To pinch out a candle, just lick your thumb and first finger and — sffft! — put out the wick.

Pinching or snuffing out the light is done for all candles burned in sections — that is, both for candles that will be left on the altar and for those that will be hidden away.In hoodoo, one oft-heard piece of advice is,

“You should never blow a candle out if you want to return to it, because that ends the spell, but if you pinch it out, you can come back to it any time.”

This is a customary, but not compulsory, way to deal with candles that are to be burned in sections. When i say “customary but not compulsory,” i mean that you may work differently, but you will be in the minority, since most hoodoo practitioners prefer to pinch out candles when a spell is ongoing and the candle must be stopped for a time.

FYI – Burning candles in sections does not “ruin the work.” it is a common, practical, and useful way to work.

candle magick

When hiding away candles or any other altar objects, it is the custom in hoodoo to wrap and tie them. This secures their spiritual energy, and marks them as still being in use. The most common way to wrap candles that are being burned in sections is to place them in a brown paper grocery bag and twist the top shut. They may also be rolled up in a flat piece of brown grocery bag paper and tied with cotton packaging twine.

These days, old shoe boxes work well, and can fit the contents of a spell or ritual into the box after you are done for the day. Boot shoe boxes are ideal for putting in your entire altar. For example, the altar in the picture below is easy to assemble on a side table or desk – do the spell or ritual – and then pack it away in the shoe box. No one would be any the wiser.

hoodoo altar


Another way to burn candles in secret is to have spiritual practitioners, Hoodoo Workers, Witches, set lights for you, but you will enjoy hoodoo more and learn to become a sharper practitioner if you try working candle spells on your own.

Remember, too, if you are new to candle magic, to be careful and safe with fire — don’t set lights near wind-blown curtains, nor where pets can knock them over.