The symbolism of candles has recently taken on a whole added significance as people re-explore religion and belief more thoroughly. They have always signified illumination, wisdom, strength, beauty and now signal the end of darkness or ignorance. Lit, they suggest the enduring flame of life and the use of power. Unlit, they signify potential held in reserve.
Psychological / Emotional Perspective:
Psychologically candles can represent knowledge or wisdom that has not yet fully crystallized. Used as tools, they mark our control of personal magic and dreams will often give information as to their best use. Lighting a candle to Bridget to welcome her in was transposed in the Christian church to the celebration of Candlemas on 2 February when new candles were placed in churches signifying the end of winter.
Everyday Material Aspects:
In Pagan times, the candle or taper represented the ritualistic dispersing of darkness and a way of worshipping power. To dream of candles indicates that we are trying to clarify something that we do not understand. Candles on a birthday cake can therefore indicate that we are marking a transition from the old to the new. Lighting a candle represents using courage and fortitude or asking for something which we need.
Gender / Specific Meanings:
It has been suggested that the candle epitomizes masculine power (candle) and feminine passion (flame), the one being useless without the other. In a woman’s dream, therefore, extinguishing a candle might suggest control of a perceived power, whereas in a man’s dream it will suggest control of external factors.
You might like to consult the entries for Fire, Light and Wax as well as the information on Phallus in Sex / Sexual Images.