In an iron vessel burn
St. Johnswort fresh,
Wild lettuce green,
Red cedar new:
While the living smoke ascends,
Let it wind about your hands
And shape it thus:
Breath and substance
Death and issue,
Fly and flower
Set it free and watch it rise:
Discover fate in this disguise.
From: A Crone’s Book of Magickal Words
Copal is popular in magical, healing and spiritual uses. It makes a great meditation incense and increases psychic insight. Inhaling its aroma is said to enhance the powers of clairvoyance. It is also used to provide systematic oracles.
A means of divination by copal fire is as follows:
- With your left hand, toss corn kernels into a fire.
- With your right hand, toss copal into the fire.
- Observe and analyze the meaning of the resulting smoke and flames.
Source: Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells
The art of reading a candle’s melted and hardened wax is called Carromancy. Carromancy is one of the most ancient types of divination. Wax drippings provide hints into how effectively your magic is working and if your messages are being blocked or thwarted. Divination by dripping hot wax in water is called Ceromancy or Ceroscopy.
How to Read the Signs of Carromancy
The way that a candle deconstructs as it melts can be extremely significant. Uncovering the hidden meanings of your candles wax can be done in two ways. The first is to examine and interpret the natural forms left after your candle has burned. The way the wax pools when the candle burns down, the way it drips on the sides of the candle, or if the wax “drowns” the wick all have meaning.
During the burning process, the wax melts and forms images. Transient images are the forms that the wax takes as it is melting. These images can appear as droplets or “tears.” If the tears melt and disappear by the time the candle is finished burning, it is believed that any sorrow you carry will pass quickly. If the tears harden and remain on the sides of the candle, you may be burdened with your sorrows for a long time to come before you achieve your desired goal.
The shapes taken on by the solidifying wax are called persistent images. After a candle burns, the puddle that is left should be observed for any significance to the spell it was used with. For example, if you have conducted a love-drawing spell, a heart-shaped wax puddle is a good sign. If you are burning a candle as part of a money-drawing ritual and the wax spills over onto your altar and dries on your monetary offering, the spell is working and the money has been blessed.
If you are conducting a marriage spell and incorporating a Marriage Candle into the ritual, observe which figure – the bride or groom – burns more quickly. It can be said that this partner is the more eager of the two to get married and may dominate the other after the marriage ceremony has been performed.
Novena or glass candles are often used in Hoodoo spellwork. When you are burning an encased candle, the waxy residue left behind can offer you clues. If there is a lot of wax remaining at the bottom of the glass after the candle has burned, there may be some unfinished business left for you to explore and address. A second ritual may need to be conducted to fully resolve any lingering issues. Wax left on the sides of the glass could mean that you are subconsciously blocking yourself from achieving your desires.
Look for any black soot left behind after your glass candle has burned. If the soot is mainly at the top half of your candle, the obstacle you were trying to overcome has been unblocked. Soot appearing the entire length of the candle or at the bottom of the candle should be taken as a warning that there is negative energy that is blocking your path. You may want to consider performing an uncrossing ritual to counter the negativity.
Any white soot left on the glass is a positive message from the spirits. It is a method of spiritual communication letting you know that your request has been received and your prayers have been heard.
Wax on Water: Candle Drip Divination
Another way to observe and identify the messages from the candle’s wax is by tipping the candle over a shallow bowl of water and letting some of the wax pour into the water. This is the form of divination called Ceromancy. When you drip candle wax in water, it hardens and forms images. These images can be decoded and clarified, similar to the art of reading tea leaves.
A candle wax reading is similar to reading tea leaves, but instead of reading symbols and messages formed by wet tea leaves inside your teacup, it’s the candle drippings formed in water that we interpret. No matter what type of divination tools you use, two basic elements are required:
- A Question
- An Answer.
What You Need
- Scrying Bowl – You can use just about any type of container in place of a scrying bowl. It is best to use a cup, bowl, or shallow dish made from natural materials. Ceramic or glass are good choices. You can also use an abalone shell if you like. Avoid using plastics or aluminum containers.
- Water – You can use tap water or fresh water. If the water is drinkable, then it should be just fine for your candle wax reading.
- Candle /w matches – A plain white candle is fine, or you can use a color that corresponds to your question, for example, green represents success and abundance.
- Pencil and Paper – It is important to write your question down, this will help you to decipher the answers you might be given.
- Anointing Oil – This is optional, and the oil used would depend on the type of question asked.
Performing the Divination:
Sit with your thoughts. Meditating for a few minutes before you begin will set the mood for quiet reflection. Write your question down on a piece of paper or notepad.
Fill your scrying dish with clear water. The water should be cool or room temperature. Sit at a table with the dish sitting in front of you. Alternately, you can place the dish on the floor if you wish to sit in the lotus position during your reading.
If you are using an anointing oil, start by dressing your candle. You can also magically charge your bowl of water with three drops of the same oil with which you anointed the candle.
Light the candle wick. Hold the candle upright over the water for a moment, focusing on your question. Allow a good amount of wax to pool around the wick. When the flame is fully burning and the wax has begun dripping, tilt the candle about an inch away from the water’s surface. Holding the candle over the dish allow the candle wax to drip into the water. Pour the molten wax flow from the lit candle while you ask the question.
Find your patience and let the candle get a nice pool of wax rather than a few drips. Don’t move the bowl or touch the water. Let the wax and water blend naturally.
Allow the wax to drip onto the water. The tiny drops should merge together into shapes. If they do not, you must focus harder on your question. Wax will move in the water and will continue to float around during the reading, giving you an interesting interaction between drips of wax. After a minute or two, a definitive shape will appear on the water. As it hardens, snuff out your candle. Look at the shape. Study it to see what it looks like and touch it to see if you receive any messages from the wax.
Sit quietly while you peer into the water to review the candle wax drippings. Take care to look at the shapes and the fluid movement of the floating wax particles. Individual clumps of wax may look like an animals, objects, or numbers. Also, look at the drippings as a whole to see if they are forming a complete picture. It may appear like a piece of abstract artwork that speaks to you. Allow your intuitive self to form impressions about the various wax formations. Thoughts and impressions can be fleeting so consider writing them down as they come to you for future scrutiny.
It’s kind of like staring up at the clouds, using your imagination to “see” things in the clouds … like a dragon, a house, a dog… etc. You will get your answer if you really look and put these shapes together.
If you use a clear bowl for your wax divination, you can place an astrological chart at the bottom of the bowl to give you a quick reference as to what house or part of the querent’s life the symbol floats. The closer to the center, the further away the issue is (or in the past); the closer to the edge of the bowl, the closer it is to arriving.
Numbers can indicate days, weeks, months or even years. Letters can represent clues to a person’s name or place. A circle could indicate the end of a cycle, such as a completed project. A cluster of dots might indicate a group of people. If there is one formation sitting a distance from the rest of the drippings it could represent isolation or going off on a distant trip. There are no right or wrong ways to interpret the candle wax… have some fun with it!
Once you read the wax in the bowl and it is fully cooled, pick it up. The bottom of the wax dripping will hold even more symbols and interesting messages. Wax reading is very three-dimensional!
Sometimes you will receive a little “surprise” in the wax. A special symbol that has great meaning for you. This is a gift that will bring amazing luck and miracles to you. If you see one, carefully break the shape off the glob of wax and place it under your pillow for 7 days. You’ll be amazed at what happens.
An Alternative Method:
An alternative method is to melt the candle completely and pour it into a bowl of ice water. The candle can be melted using a microwave oven, a conventional oven, or on the stove top using a double boiler. Be very careful when using any of those methods because candle wax is extremely flammable.
The candle can also be floated on top of the water, and then allowed to melt completely down. As the wax melts, it will pool on the water and create shapes. This method is best used with smaller votive candles that will melt fairly easily.
The most popular form of divination in Poland is pouring hot wax onto cold water. The wax is first melted over fire in a small mug, and then poured through a keyhole. People wait until it hardens properly in the cold water, then the pieces of wax are held against a candle to produce shadow on a wall. Its shapes symbolize things that will happen in the upcoming year.
Instead of a key, in the old days people used woven straw or a horseshoe. Those who find it impossible to get a proper key sometimes cut a shape of a key out of hard cardboard.
You can also melt crayon wax and use that instead. Put the pieces of crayon in a spoon, and hold the spoon over a candle flame until it melts. Then pour the melted wax into the bowl.
Do your best to be confident in your findings. Try not to dismiss them as implausible or ridiculous. Remember that images can mean different things to different people. A star may be a happy image representing freedom and faith, or it can be a sad image representing loss. What you see in your wax drippings is a very personal thing and should not be influenced by anyone but you.
- Choose a candle color that contrasts with the color of your scrying bowl to better see the wax formations.
- The more you practice the better you will become at intuiting the answers to your questions.
- Candle waxing can be used as a sun and moon ritual. Set the water-filled dish outdoors under the moonlight overnight to soak up lunar energies. At sunrise or early morning do your reading outdoors in the sunlight.
There are many resources, including online sources and books, that can help provide meaning into the images that you see during your candle reading. It is important to remember that the most important interpretation comes from within you. Trust in your instincts and tap into what a particular image means most to you. Start with your own intuition and experience before looking up a symbol.
A Sampling of Symbols and What They Might Mean:
- Airplane – A trip of a disappointment
- Anchor – Your loved one is true
- Arrow: direction, focus
- Baby – Troubles are coming
- Ball or Balloon – Your problem will not last very long
- Beans – Money difficulties
- Bed – A vacation would be good for you
- Bells – A wedding
- Bird: vision, clarity, news will reach you soon
- Book: imagination, tradition
- Boot: travel, work, industry
- Bridge – Take a chance
- Broom – Make a change
- Candle: search for truth, spiritual growth
- Cat: impetuousness, curiosity, a friend is untrue
- Chain – Go ahead with your plans
- Chair: marriage, stagnation
- Circles: great success, reconciliation
- Cloud – Something or someone threatens you
- Coins: material security
- Crown: leadership, ego
- Cross: religious quest, do not fear for you are protected
- Crown – Sickness
- Cup – Bitter quarrel with a friend
- Dog: loyalty, dependability
- Ear – Be alert for an opportunity to advance in your work
- Egg – New developments soon
- Eye: soul, introspection
- Fan – A surprise is in store for you
- Feather: flight, independence, wanderlust, the problem will be solved
- Fish – Someone will betray you
- Flame: creativity, art
- Ghost – Someone from the past is looking for you
- Grass – Good fortune is approaching
- Hand: helpmate, relationship
- Hat – A change of location is indicated
- Heart: love, emotion, partnership
- House – Better times are coming
- Key: knowledge, education, opportunity
- Kite – Your wish will come to naught
- Ladder – Take steps to change your attitude toward an old friend
- Leaf or leaves: fertility, nature, energy, things will be changing soon
- Letters: references to the names of friends or relatives
- Lion – An unpleasant situation is developing
- Moon: denial, female intuition, more money
- Mountain – Good friends are willing to help you
- Numbers: indicators of spans of time, such as months or years
- Owl: wisdom, isolation, nocturnal
- Pants – You will be tempted
- Pen – Expect a letter from a relative
- Pin – Your lover may be attracted to another
- Pipe – Peace and comfort
- Ring – Marriage may be possible in the near future
- Scissors – Separation
- Shoe – Be suspicious of a new acquaintance
- Shovel: manual labor, hidden depths
- Snake – Be on guard against an enemy
- Spider web – Pleasant happenings
- Squares: the need for caution
- Star: spirituality, popularity, happiness
- Sun: enlightenment, happiness, children, good fortune
- Table – An abundance of blessings
- Tree: family, stability, a good time for new undertakings
- Triangles: good karma
- Umbrella – Trouble is coming
- Vase: material concerns
- Walking stick – Get out of the house and visit friends
- Wheel – One who has been away will return soon
- Witch – Danger will pass you by
- Worm – Business troubles ahead if you are not careful
Most of us watch clouds images at one time or another. It is as if we are guided to look up and watch the patterns unfold at a given time. Fluffy cumulus clouds bring messages, which sometimes seem to tell an unfolding story. While flying on an airplane, it is fun to watch the clouds from above as if celestial art. You may receive telepathic messages while watching cloud images, coming from a spirit guide.
If a wind is present to keep them moving, so much the better. You also need to have a question or issue, a purpose for the inquiry. Do not ask about frivolous things to test the oracle, but instead ask about something you really need help with, a problem you have not been able to resolve. Treat it with respect and you will receive a response you can respect.
You do not have to, but laying on the ground will provide a better view of the sky and also be a lot more comfortable If you do not want to lay on the ground, find a pool or fill a dish or bowl with some water, so you’ll be able to see the sky reflected in the liquid, like a mirror. This will also be advantageous for the “reading” as it will limit the field of observation for the prognostication.
Next, close your eyes and try clearing your mind of all distracting thoughts. When you feel ready, open your eyes and scan the sky for clouds. It is really important that you do not try to force the shapes you see to fit the answer to your question. Sometimes the clouds will offer shapes that have nothing at all to do with your query. The secret is to be patient, being sensitive to the moment you can gradually define the reading until it becomes clear. If you feel youdid not receive an answer, wait for a while and try again, always being careful to phrase the question as exactly as possible.
Signs are usually open to more than one interpretation. Be also attentive to mirror shapes in your field of vision, instead of concentrating solely on the obvious ones. The position of the clouds also have meaning: are they low or high on the horizon, are they traveling south, north, east, or west? What kind of clouds are they? Thick, thin, sispy, heavy, full of rain?
When you have finished, clearly define this by thanking the oracle clouds and taking a few moments to consider the answers received. In time, and with practice, your cloud reading skills will improve.
Nephomancy or Nephelomancy is divination by studying clouds. This involves observing and interpreting the color, shape and position of clouds in the sky. The Celtic Druids made extensive use of nephomancy, which they called neladoracht.
Celtic shamans sometimes practiced a form of Nephomancy that was closely related to Hydromancy and Scrying. After finding a hollowed stone or other depression that was filled with rain water, priests would look into it studying the cloud formations reflected on the water’s surface.
To practice Nephomancy today, one should ask specific questions and then observe the shape and disposition of the clouds. This is easy enough to do in most parts of the world and requires only a basic understanding of the forces involved.
Obviously to attempt the performing of Nephomancy you need a day when the sky is clear and cloudy, a day when the sky is sufficiently clear to define the shapes of the clouds.
Throughout history symbols of political or religious importance have been seen in the clouds. In A.D. 312 when Emperor Constantine was marching against the army of Maxentius at Rome, both he and his entire army saw a shining cross of light amid the clouds. It was said the cross contained the Greek words “By This Conquer”. Later that night Christ appeared to Constantine in his dreams bearing a cross in his hand ordering Constantine to have a military standard made in the same image. Under this standard his outnumbered army was victorious. Down through history entire military battles have been witnessed in the clouds.
A Medieval form of nephomancy involved summoning ghosts and specters to project images of future events onto clouds.
François de la Tour Blanche wrote that aeromancy (a form or nephomancy) was the art of fortune-telling when specters materialize in the air, possibly with the aid of demons, projecting images of the future onto clouds like a magic lantern.
Modern nephomancers observe the ever changing shapes of cloud formations as a form of meditation.
Follow this simple 6 step procedure to read tea leaves for yourself or a friend. Tea leaf reading is easy, fun and possibly a little bit enlightening!
Step 1: Make a cup of tea.
Choose a white or light colored teacup. Almost any leaf tea will do nicely. My personal preference is Earl Grey. If avoiding caffeine, you might even choose an herbal variety. The herbal options are delicious: jasmine, peppermint, chamomile… the list goes on and on.
If you do not mind the tiny floating bits, you can open a tea bag and sprinkle the tea into a cup of hot water. A middle eastern option is to sprinkle coffee grounds into a cup of coffee.
Step 2: Steep your tea and quiet your mind.
Steeping time is a personal preference. Green and black teas are usually ready in a minute or two, while herbal teas may take longer.
This is a time to quiet your mind and relax. What you are about to exercise is your mental creativity. Pattern recognition and symbol recollection will require focus and concentration. Distracting conversation, music or activity will detract from your experience. As in beginning meditation, attempt to empty your mind of all thoughts.
Step 3: Sip tea while you find your focus.
Once your tea is cool enough, begin sipping. Leaves may be floating, so do the best you can to avoid consuming too many. If you are right-handed, lift your cup with your left. If left-handed, drink with your right. If ambidextrous, reach for your cup, stop, and then use the other hand.
Now that you are quiet and relaxed, identify the issue foremost in your mind. In meditation practice, one attempts to empty the mind — blocking out all thoughts. As you attempt to think of nothing in particular, is there a stubborn thought that keeps returning to your attention? If so, that is the subject of this reading. Focus on that thought.
If nothing in particular comes to mind, then this will be a general tea leaf reading. Focus on your breath and the taste of the tea. Leave a small amount of tea at the bottom of your cup.
Step 4: Swirl three times and dump.
Hold your nearly empty teacup in your hand and give it three good swirls. The tea leaves will disperse around the interior of cup. Gently dump out the remaining liquid by turning your teacup over into a saucer.
Wait at least three breaths before turning your cup back over. You are ready to begin reading your tea leaves!
Step 5: Identify symbols and jot them down.
Tea leaf reading is a highly personal and subjective process. Because abstract pattern recognition keys into our subconscious, self analysis produces the most relevant reading. One person may see an egg, while another sees a beetle in the same spot. Tea leaf reading is very much like a Rorschach (Ink Blot) Test. We are most likely to recognize symbols having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand. Therefore, you are the most qualified person to read your own tea leaves.
If your cup has a handle, begin there and read clockwise. If your cup has no handle, begin reading from 12 o’clock. Make a notation of the first symbol you see. Mentally divide the cup into three sections: rim, middle and base. The rim area is above the tea level when you first poured your tea. The base is the level of tea left before you dumped out the remainder. The middle section is the area between the rim and bottom. Note where the symbol is located and if it is next to another symbol. Note whether you see bubbles, twigs or droplets in your cup. Work with quiet concentration and take your time.
Step 6: Create your tea leaf reading.
Translating symbols into meaning is just as personal and subjective as their identification. Individual language, cultural exposure, experience, knowledge and mental state contribute to interpretation of symbols. For example, the letter “K” might first bring to mind your friend Kurt rather than your sister Kirstin. Next to each symbol you wrote down, jot down the meaning that comes to mind first.
Again, abstract pattern recognition keys into our subconscious, so self analysis produces the most relevant reading. You are the most qualified person to read your own tea leaves. That being said, this site provides an extensive symbol lexicon to assist you in identifying and recalling symbols.
The first symbol you saw represents your dominant character or someone near or influental. Symbols in the rim section apply to this moment in time. The middle section represents the near future — usually no longer than a fortnight. Both the rim and middle section represent influences in your outcome. The base of your cup represents the ultimate answer or conclusion.