(as I mentioned before) candles are not necessary.
As Lucas POC says - what's best is the symbolism, meanings, and objects (or not) that you hold dear, or make sense to you. And yes - simple prayer recitation can be just as effective.
Prayers - ARE spells. Think about it - you're going through all the same motions and ideas with a prayer (be it maybe a lot simpler. Your believing in the power and protection of a higher source and asking that higher source to intercede. Whether it's actually there or not - belief drives the magick).
I love ritual and regularly delve into the world of Magick and spell-making with Tarot.
However, it doesn't always include all the paraphernalia that is "traditional" for my
spiritual path of Wicca (which might include candles. I use night lights in coloured holders. Anything bigger, and I can't hide my use of them.
My partner is paranoid that I might burn the house down. But often instead - I use a bedside lamp which has a coloured LED in it. That's wonderfully mood-setting and fun.).
In fact - I was first introduced to the idea of using a deck of tarot cards and NOTHING ELSE for magick in the book "Portable Magick, tarot is the only tool you need" by Donald Tyson.
(N.B. In his book the cards substitute all the paraphernalia that might usually be used in ceremonial magick so it's quite detailed. i.e. cards representing the magick circle and the zodiac, cards representing the 4 quarters/elements, cards that create the triangle that holds the space where invoked entities reside for the duration, and cards representing the goals/outcomes/people etc. Having read and digested this as my introduction to Tarot as a spell tool - I simplified it down into my own versions.)
So...now I'm just waffling on here...
Build your Magick spell structure:
1) What is your intent?
2) What Source if any, are you going to petition (you might not be petitioning anyone specific - but rather making an affirming statement that X is what you wish to achieve and the mindset that you wish to foster henceforth from the spell.)
3) What ritual format and tools are you going to use?
Being Wiccan - it's a challenge to suggest a format that is outside of what I usually do.
Sorry about that.
Here are my personal basic ingredients (I don't always include them all - and as you see there is some detail. LOL):
1) I ground and empower myself . Grounding by repeating a mantra or using a visualisation about being rooted to the earth. Empowering by visualising being energized by Universal light. Now - this can just be summarised into "taking a moment to breath deeply and become centred and calm for the ritual".
2) I clear the working space. Imagining it being energetically cleared/ ringing bells, bowls or tuning forks in all four corners (lots of people would smudge or use incense here) / sometimes I might just clap in the room. I enjoy sound as a cleanser.
3) Clear my own energy and/or clear the energy of my working tools.
My own, perhaps by calling on my spirit guides and asking them to take up their places beside me - fortifying my aura. Often I decide the empowering part in 1) has done this already.
My working tools, by ringing the bells over them. Or again - they can be done already when I cleared the working space in 2).
4) Cast the circle. By imagination, drawing my magic circle to work in. I might physically get up and walk around drawing it with my finger or my wand.
5) Call the quarters and invoke the Deity.
Calling the quarters by standing in each corner and inviting each to come and guard the space (Earth in North, Air in East, Fire in South, Water in West). Or I might sit where I am and just look at or imagine each quarter. Here's where I may use Tarot cards, setting down ones chosen to represent each quarter as I invite them.
Invoking the Deity - asking them to attend and listen to the petition - if you like.
Here, I may use a Tarot card to represent the Deity in question.
Then sitting in the middle of the circle - I lay out the Tarot cards that represent the spell and
meditate on them/ visualise the goal/ say the spell. I may write the intension on a small piece of paper and burn it (can use cigarette paper which burns nicely) in a wide dish - or whilst leaning out my window with the little scrap of paper held firmly in a pair of tongs.
I wait until it's burned through and dead - and let the ashes float off outside. i.e the intention/spell is given "up to the Universe/Deity" - and I am trusting that, with the good of all in mind, it will be achieved.
THEN (LOL) - I'll "unwind the circle" - by saying goodbye to the Deity, and the quarters, and
opening the circle. And then gathering up all my paraphernalia.
[Aside example of Prayer: I had an acquaintance who moved in to a listed building in the country. i.e. - the house had a lot of history. Try-a-she-might - she couldn't get the downstairs bathroom to stay warm (and I mean TRY. Heating, changing the fittings, etc.) Finally she decided it might be "otherworldly" and took a look at the old blue prints of the house. She discovered the bathroom was actually an extension that was built over the path that the village would take to go to church. It appeared - she had "sick building syndrome" - i.e. when there's "a ghost in the building work" - vibrational memories trapped from the past, if you like, of people constantly moving up and down along that stretch of space.
She cured it... by holding a prayer meeting in her house. That was her spell.
Mine might have been quite different following along the lines of a more Wiccan approach
and perhaps using a "sick building syndrome" dowser].