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Korean Folk Magic: Candles

We as a people have often used candles, in religious and non-religious situations. The action of lighting a candle is thought to bring and instill a sense of peace, determination, strength. Examples are the Lantern Festival for Buddha's Birthday and the vigil of the Sewol Ferry tragedy.

In jusul, candles are powerful tools. The spirit of the flame is often strong willed and must be monitored.

Korean mugwort-infused soy pillar candle, Firelight Lotus e-shop

How can you prepare? What is it good for?

Like with most other candle magic you might read about, colors, symbolism, herbs and more can be associated with the candle to further influence and empower your work. I have typed up associations for you below.


  1. Red - Success, protection, passion, strength. Success because red is the most fortunate color. Protection because the color scares away ghosts and negative entities. Passion and strength because the color is connected to yang-ki (yang energy). This color is connected to the sun (and as such, is connected to samjoko, the Great 3-Legged Crow as well as bonghwang, the Phoenix), and the mountains.

  2. Blue - Prosperity, clarity, business/career/aspirations, health/fertility/spring. Prosperity because blue is connected to the sea and rain, and with water, we had bountiful harvests and thus fertility as well. Clarity because water clears the mind and spirit. Business/career/aspirations as it is connected to our Prosperity God. Health due to the trait of water being healing. The color is connected to the Sacred Azure Dragon and the ocean, rivers, and rain.

  3. White - Cleansing, peace, protection, celestial energy. Cleansing because the color is one that is presented as a clean slate. Peace because the color brings inner peace as it cleanses the spirit. Protection as the color acts as a type of energy shield. It is connected to the heavens and the moon, and due to the color, is associated with white tigers, known to be the most powerful creature of the mountains as well as eum-ki (yin energy).

  4. Yellow - Ancestral energy, reflecting energy, prosperity. Yellow is the color connected to our ancestors. It reflects energy in that it is like a protective barrier against negative energies. It is connected to prosperity due to the color connecting it to precious metals like gold and bangjja. It is connected to the yellow dragon, central to all things, and royal energy.

  5. Green/black - In antiquity we had used the black color to signify disease and death, but over time this shifted to the color green instead. Grief, mourning, death, illness, endurance, winter, nights, eum-ki (yin energy). The first four are all interwoven and connected, due to the original symbolism of black. Endurance is tied in with winter and the night, as we need to endure through the cold/barren seasons and the night time, in order to face the sunrise. This is connected to the snake (baem) & tortoise (namsaengi).

EXAMPLE: Let's say you are in a situation where you need money, and fast. I would advise my students to utilize a yellow candle primarily (such as the one imaged below) along with a ring of ginger around it, a tiny sprinkle of the dried herb itself by the flame at the top, while chanting your prayer/intention.

Korean yellow beeswax pillar candle, Firelight Lotus e-shop

But Mudang Seonmi, what do I chant?

What do you feel in your heart? That sounds like boring answer, but since antiquity, this is what's important for us all. Being sincere and honest. Jusul is a serious art and practice, not one to utilize loosely.


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