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
Spring is the time of nature, revelation, and discovery. Just as plants peek out of the ground, so do snakes and other creatures that have rested over the winter. March is the time of Isis, moon mother, and mother of the sea. Snakes are one of her symbols. This ritual respectfully conjures her symbolic reptile, paying tribute to her while invoking her spirit.
- Draw a bath.
- Into the bath, pour 1/4 cup Epsom salt, 1/4 cup coarse and 1/4 cup fine Dead Sea salt.
- Put on a piece of moonstone (ring, necklace, bracelet, or anklet).
- Light a blue candle and place on a fireproof container near the bathtub.
- Bring a crystal ball (or clear quartz crystal) with you into the bath.
Gaze at the candle as you breathe deeply and very slowly until you are very relaxed. Realize that you are breathing in the smoke of Isis.
Call her name quietly but deliberately, drawing it out slowly like a snake’s hiss. “I-sis, I-sis, I-sis.” Breathe in and with the exhale whisper, “I-sis.” Do this for about five minutes.
Lift the crystal ball into the air once you feel the spirit of Isis within the room. Hold the ball in front of the candle flame. See what is in store as you divine by scrying both fire and crystal.
Found in: Four Seasons of Mojo
Queen of the Meadow is also known as Meadowsweet, is a perennial herb that grows in damp meadows. It is native throughout most of Europe and Western Asia (Near east and Middle east). It has been introduced and naturalised in North America.
- Place a Queen of the Meadow root inside a glass of water.
- Place this glass beside a burning white candle.
- Gaze into the flame, to obtain visions of the future.
To have a question answered, or to ask about your life in general, perform this ritual on the Dark Moon night. You will need the following:
- Black Candle
- Tarot Cards and./or Rune Stones
- Wand (or something to serve as a wand)
Take a ritual cleansing bath and dress in a dark robe or go naked. Cast your circle as usual, or at least bless salt and sprinkle it around your working area. Light a black candle on each side of the altar. Have ready an appropriate incense. Place your tarot cards or rune stones in the center of the altar. Lay your wand beside the cards. Stand with your arms outstretched and say:
The cycle of the Moon has turned once more.
The Moon hides her light from the uninitiated.
Those who follow the Ancient Paths know that her power
is not gone, is not diminished.
The wisdom of the Dark Mother is there for all who truly seek her.
Tap the altar three times with your wand:
Hear me, O Carrier of Wisdom.
My voice flies through the night to you.
Show me new pathways I must tread
To change my life and make it new.
Light the incense and lift it high over the altar:
I bring an offering, fine and fair.
The scent will rise upon the air
To reach your realms. Bless me soon,
O Lady of the Darkened Moon.
Tap the cards or rune bag three times with the wand, then circle them clockwise three times with the wand. Tap them three more times, to equal the number nine, a Moon number. Lay the wand aside and shuffle the cards or stir the runes.
Divide the cards into three piles, moving from left to right; or lay our three runes in the same pattern. The left pile is the past; the middle the present; the right the future.
Turn up the top card on each pile and contemplate what you see. Be open even if you don’t understand the message. It will become clear later. Turn up a second card on each pile and think about what you see. Then do this a third time. What was not clear with the first card will probably be clarified with the others.
If you want to use both tarot and runes, turn up the first round of cards. Then choose a rune stone and lay that next to each upturned card. Finally turn up the second round of cards.
This also works with more than one tarot deck or type of card deck. For example you might use a standard tarot deck, the Medicine Cards, and Star-Gate cards.
Write down what has been revealed to you. In this way you will be better able to remember and understand when things begin to happen at a later date.
From: Moon Magick
In the aura of candle light
string a needle on a thread of white
then let the needle hang in the air
asking any question that you dare
Watch the needle swing back and forth
And should it swing from South to North
then the answer is clearly yes
if it circles its anyone’s guess
If the needle swings West to East
the answer is no to say the least
when you’re done put the oracle away
to be consulted another day
April 5 is Lady Luck Day. It is dedicated to Fortuna, the Roman goddess of good fortune. Here is a nice divination ritual that makes for a fun get together.
- Color: Purple
- Element: Air
- Altar: Upon a purple cloth lay nine purple candles, a great cup of wine, the figure of a ship, deck of Tarot or other divinatory cards, and the figure of a Wheel of Fortune.
- Offerings: Take a chance.
- Daily Meal: Potluck, with everyone contributing one dish, which is not discussed beforehand.
Lady of the whirling wheel
That throws some up and flings some down;
Lady who both wounds and heals,
Lady who spins us round and round,
We beg you, Fortuna, for your bounty,
And pray you will not cast us aside,
For we cannot let go of your magnificent wheel,
But we all must hang on for the ride.
Maker of chances and opportunity,
Tradition says you are bald behind,
That seizing you by the oncoming forelock
And hoping that you will be kind
Is the only way to win your favor,
But we know what they do not.
You are never kind, yet many times
You will give the slow ones a second shot.
Stormy lady, sailor’s mistress,
Tormentor of the ship at sea,
You come to us like a gypsy’s laughter
And leave us almost silently.
We spin the wheel, we roll the dice,
We patch our wounds across the rift,
We call for you once, we weep for you twice,
We honor you and your ambivalent gift.
(Each comes forth and draws a card; it is a message from Fortuna. Unlike other divination sessions, on this day each must reveal to the others what card was received, and it can be discussed among the participants. Such is luck.)
Found in: Pagan Book of Hours
The Three Mothers (Maiden, Mother, Crone) are not just symbols of the cycles of growth upon the Earth, they also represent phases we physically go through, cycles of events within our lives.
Sometimes we are uncertain as to where we actually are in a cycle of events. This can be frustrating and depressing. We may have to endure until the completion of the cycle, but it’s comforting to have some idea of where you are in that cycle. If you are observant, wise enough to seek guidance, and willing to make changes, however painful, you can often shorten the cycle.
This divination ritual (which uses tarot cards) is best done during the waxing or Full Moon, but in a pinch can be performed any time. If performed during a Crescent Moon, it will predominantly point out the root beginnings of the cycle, possibly what started the events in motion. The Full Moon will tell you how the events went, or will go, during the height of the happenings. The Dark Moon reveals the outcome or ending of the cycle.
Spread a nice cloth on a table where you can sit and spread out your tarot cards. Light a white candle on each side of your working area. Burn a good divination incense. If you use charcoal and a burner, add mugwort to the incense. Sit for a few moments with the tarot cards in your hands. Breathe out all negatives, and breathe in positive energies.
Shuffle the cards three, six, or nine times, while thinking strongly about the cycle of events you wish clarified. Six and nine are multiples of three and therefore powerful. Divide the deck into three piles from left to right. Tap each pile three times with your fingers and chant:
One for the Maiden, free as the air;
One for the Mother, lovely and fair;
One for the Wise One, in her dark hall;
Harken, Great Ladies! Listen to my call.
Turn up the top card on the left-hand pile. Think carefully about it, as this card represents what set the cycle in motion. Turn up the top card on the center pile; this symbolizes the full-blown activity of the cycle. Turn up the top card on the right-hand pile; this is the ending, the winding down of the cycle. From these three cards you should be able to determine where you are in the cycle of events.
If you feel you can endure through the rest of the cycle, you need do nothing further. If, however, you wish to change or end the cycle, you will need spiritual guidance as to which steps to take. In this case, turn up another card on each pile, moving from the left to the right. These revealed cards should give you clues as to what action, if any, to take.
It is a good idea to make a note of the cards you turned up, in their proper order. In this way you can think about the things you need to do or change, and refer back to it if you have questions, or as things begin to unfold.
From: Moon Magick
Epiphany or Twelfth Night falls on the 12th day of Christmas, Jan 5. Here are some old divinations and predictions for this night.
If a Danish girl wishes to see her future husband, she must repeat the following verse before going to bed on the eve of Epiphany: “Ye three holy kings to you I pray, That ye to-night will let me see, Whose cloth I shall spread, Whose bed I shall make, Whose name I shall bear, Whose bride I shall be.”
Here are some more:
- Whatever is dreamed during the twelfths will come to pass in the twelve months of the year.
- Those who wear linen made from yarn spun during the twelfths will be devoured by wolves.
- On twelfth-night in Scotland a board is covered with cow’s dung, candles set in it, and sprinkled with ash to make them light easily. They are then lighted, each being named for someone present, and as each dies, so will the life of the owner.
- The twelve days after Christmas make the almanac for the year.
- Tis thus believed in Trinity Bay, New Bedford, Mass., and Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia it is said that the first seven days of January foretell the first seven months of the year.
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