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