Hello Ms. Q,
"Why do we use candles of certain colors?"
I know. There has been a very big deal on using certain color candles to do candle magic. But this is a modern invention especially when it was discovered how to put dye into candles.
Even the Bay Berry Candle in it's natural state is whitish but with a slight green tinge, a true bayberry candle is made from the wax on the berries of that tree, and is used for money or prosperity rituals but was time consuming to make and expensive to buy. Even in the 1940's most candles were white, either from beeswax or paraffin, the common ones were paraffin while bees wax was used for churches and religious uses.
In the late 1930's novelty candles slowly developed but they would have a wax color coating and not be the same color all the way through, for example around Christmas especially in the 1950's you'd fine these cute choir boy candles but when they melted it would be mostly white with just the thin color wax coating, this was to save money as the dyes were at that time expensive and especially during World War II color candles were rare, one used only the basic white candles if the lights when out in emergencies or blackout conditions.
I asked my Granny one time about using color candles and she said to me that it was silly really, because in her day the candles would be white and you'd carve symbols on them to represent what you wish was. But the symbols had to be something that you constantly referred to in your magical workings, the most obvious is the Dollar sign $ for money, or drawing a heart for love. Sticking pins or square nails into a candle with the name of one's victim carved on it and then lighting the candle and letting it burn down as the nails would drop out one by one, so that the victim would waste away was another form of candle ritual magic.
But using color candles was out of the price range for most folks and it was not unusual to buy plain white candles in her day. She knew of some people who'd make their own candles, simple pain molds were easy and they would mix into the wax either bits of pine needles for prosperity, bits of red paper or thread or cloths for love, black for hexing, blue cloth for peace, a few items from the victim into the wax like hair or nail clippings, blood was always good, but hard to obtain for hexing again.
As a child when she was growing up it was not unusual to make one's own candles even if Kerosene was available sometimes it would be expensive or inconvenient to buy so using candles was perfectly acceptable.
But usually they would carve into it what they wanted because it intensified the ritual.
Now a days its easy to buy color candles in grocery stores and the inexpensive dollar stores, most of the time they will have a saints picture on it, and the glass enclosed ones are safest, you can use either the small hobby paint to paint symbols on the glass, like the stuff to paint model cars, but with all the different color nail polish that's out there, it is not unusual to use nail polish to paint symbols onto the glass.
The bottom line is this---If all you can find is a white candle then use the white candle and it will be just as effective, it is really your intent and the strength of your energy to put into the ritual that carries it as well as the strength of your focus.
But the one thing my Granny cautioned is never take a used candle to do a ritual. If you have a half used candle for a love ritual and you plan to use it in a hex ritual it won't work and will backfire on you and negate the previous ritual.
Any candle that is used for a ritual should burn down to the bottom, then take what is left over and dispose of it, most people say bury it, but if it's a glass enclosed candle, just recycle the glass, the heat of the recycling process will burn away any residual effects. But each type of ritual or spell has different means of disposing the remaining workings.
I will research this through my notes and post that at a later time. But for now, if all you've got are white candles---go ahead and use them.
Blessings, Ms. Q