Carromancy: Ancient Greek (keros / wax )
The Fine Art of Reading the Candle and the Flame
Ceromancy is one of the world’s most ancient forms of divination. Starring at a flame and viewing wax drippings is a great method of determining if your magic is working effectively. Additionally the way a candle unfolds or deconstructs as it melts can be very significant. I will provide information on how to read glass encased candles, free standing candles, how to read the flame, how to read the smoke, and how to dispose of candle wax. It is important to note that candles poorly made will burn badly no matter how you dress them, pray over them, etcetera… . Also the environment such as the temperature in the area, the presence of wind or a draft, and other factors can play a large part in how a candle will burn.
How to Read the Signs in Glass Encased Candles
Novena or glass encased candles are commonly used in the Hoodoo and Santerian tradition. However many who practice candle magic who create their own candles use mason or other glass jars to pour their homemade formulas into. I prefer the use of glass encased candles over freestanding candles.
A clean even burn from the top to the bottom: This is an indication that all will go well with your spell and that you will get what you are petitioning for. Please be certain to choose the correct spell, the correct novena, and use the correct timing. For if not, even though your candle may burn clean, the expected results will not manifest. On a positive note, a clean burning candle does imply all will be well although desired wishes do not manifest speedily.
Black smoke on the glass, a dirty sooty burn:If the soot does not travel all the way down the glass, and is only at the top or perhaps stops in the middle, the negative influence or obstacle has been unblocked.
If the black goes down the entire length of the candle it means your working has been blocked and there are still forces preventing you for attaining your desired result. It could also indicate someone has casted a spell against you or has significant spiritual protection. If this is the case burn another candle to break through their defenses.
If the soot is at the bottom of the candle it is a warning that negative influences are being sent to you. There are many challenges facing you and there is a tough road ahead. Someone(s) may be working against you. At the top of the glass on the inside, take a sharp object and inscribe the symbol of your spiritual comfort – such as a cross – all the way around or in front and back. I recommend accelerating your protections and start a series of uncrossing rituals.
White smoke on the glass:White soot is another matter all together. This can indicate spiritual communication, purity, and exorcism. It could indicate that the spirits have heard your prayers and removed the negativity from the working. This is especially true in unhexing or uncrossing rituals. Look to the amount of soot to tell you if it is completed or not.
If the soot only goes half way down or less, the cleansing was successful.
If the soot is carried through the length of the candle you may need further cleansing and spiritual work.
If the soot is at the bottom of the candle, it signifies the presence of outside aid or help either spiritually or physically.
If the candle burned half black and half whitethis means that one aspect is overriding the other. Look to which is on top to see what was undone. If black is on top, your spirits cleared it. If white is on top the spirits of another have combated your attempts.
If thesoot is on only one side of the candle, this is a sign that what you are doing is incorrect. Either the candle fixing wasn’t appropriate or the spirits aren’t happy with the candle itself.
When the glass breaks or explodes: If the glass cracks but does not break it means there was some opposition that was broken. It may have been sent to the spell to try to deflect it or it may have been encountered along the way. If it does not break or shatter then the spell is protected and was successfully defended.
However, if the glass breaks or shatters it means you are up against something larger than yourself. Malicious forces have either protected your target or have been attracted to your working and are trying to interfere. It can also indicate someone is casting against you and you are not spiritually protected or strong enough as what was thrown at you was larger than what you were sending out. Either way, do a stronger working and light another candle to try to combat it.
Blockages could be the result of someone coming up against you, however you could be creating the blockage yourself thus sabotaging your spell. Examine all possibilities.
When a candle leaves wax residue: If there is around 1/2” (1.27 cm) or more in the bottom, the spell needs to be repeated. Wax on the sides of the glass indicates where there are personal hindrances to the progress of the spell.
Accelerated Burn: This is considered a good sign, however the rewards may be short lived and the spell will need to be repeated.
Signs on the glass: It is good to look for signs on the glass, particularly those left in soot or wax residue. For instance if there is heavy black soot and a skull is imprinted in the soot – naturally this is not a good sign. If it is white soot and there is a dove – this is a good sign.
Use your own intuition to come to a conclusion regarding the significance of your desired outcome.
Reading Freestanding Candles
The way a candle unfolds or deconstructs as it melts can be very significant. It is wonderful when the candle seems to collapse outward or unfold like a flower. I consider that to be a sign that your wish will be granted. It represents possibilities and paths opening for you. A candle that is too lopsided in one direction or another universally means that you are dealing with a situation that is way out of balance. If the flame is buried by the wax, to me that is often a sign that the wish will not be granted.
If they do burn cleanly and leave no trace other than a circle and a bit of charred wick, then the spell worked very well indeed. Flat smooth wax puddles means the spell worked well.
A free-standing candle runs and melts a lot while burning: This gives you an opportunity to observe the flow of wax for signs. For instance, if you are burning a bride-and-groom type candle for love, and the man’s wax runs all over the woman’s, then the man desires the woman more than she desires him. If you are burning an abundance or prosperity candle and the wax melts and runs down onto the monetary offering, the spell is working well and the candle is blessing the money. Some people try to intentionally influence the way melting wax runs with the intention of increasing the likelihood that things will go favorably for them. Most practioners allow nature to take its course and watch running wax for signs, without interfering in its movements.
A free-standing candle burns down to a puddle of wax: When this happens, examine the shape of the wax for a sign. You may see something of significance there, for the shape may suggest an outcome regarding present or future matters. Wax puddles come in all kinds of shapes; most candle-workers treat them like tea-leaves when they interpret them.
There is much lore in the Mexican tradition regarding the wax remains – they leave messages such as: long serpent-like strings indicating evil intent being neutralized and probably a repeat spell is required.
Heart shaped wax puddles of positive when working love spells.
A Coffin shaped puddle indicates success when burning a candle against a nemisis.
Flat wavy papery remains usually with two claw-like projections are read as scorpions which mean malicious gossip and back biting that is being neutralized. Repeat the spell until wax burns clean.
Twisted pillars of wax, bizarre shapes or monsters is read as turbulence and further healing is required.
Wax remains in the shape of sex organs usually means some sort of infidelity or a venereal disease.
A hooded figure means the “Santa Muerte” Holy Death has been invoked and requires a further ritual to neutralize this.
Shapes of animals, cats, goats, domestic animals and fowls can mean that an animal sacrifice took place to strengthen a spell against you. A further ritual is called for to neutralize the spell (the source, usually Santería or Palo Mayombe). Many make or buy tallow candles for uncrossing and unhexing spells. On a positive note, it could be an animal spirit that is close to you.
A free-standing candle lets out a lot of smoke but burns clean at the end: Signifies hidden trouble or someone working against your wishes. Things will not go well at first, but with repeated work you will overcome.
Reading the Flame
( Pyromancy )
The flame represents the source of our creation, your inner light. It speaks to us of the soul spark that is above and below, within and without, that which links us all together originating from the same source of thought consciousness. Each flickering candle flame contains ‘millions of tiny diamonds, roughly 1.5 million gems are created every second, however they disappear in the blink of an eye. The flame is powerful indeed!
If the candle lights and splits into two or more flames:this indicates the presence of others, either spirits, deities, or human, getting involved. Look to the rest of the candle to interpret whether this person is good or bad. If you are trying to split up a couple and both flames stay lit, the couple will stay together. If you are doing a working for attract a lover and the second flame seems to rise out of the wax your working will be successful especially if both flames grow into one large flame.
If the candle does not light: this means that this type of working will not work for what you need and another type of spell should be used
If the candle flame is high:it means there is a lot of power behind the spell and little resistance. If the candle burns low it means there is a strong opposing spiritual force and a cleansing and or banishing may be needed
If the flame makes a crackling or popping sound:it indicates conversation. Either the spirits are trying to talk to you or the target is talking about you. Look to the purpose of the candle and the other actions of the flame to determine which is which.
If the flame flickers:there is a spirit around. If the flame pops while flickering it is the spirit trying to communicate to you. Open yourself up to it. If it is a devotional candle and it is flickering it means you are in contact with your deity and any prayers or petitions will be heard.
If you attempt to blow out the flame and it does not go out: this means the spirit does not want you to extinguish it. The same can be said if you blow it out and it flicks back on. Let the spirit complete its work, something important may be in the works that you do not want to interrupt. If you are uncomfortable ask the spirit to protect the candle or ask for permission and try to extinguish it again.
If the entire top of the prepared candle catches fire:it means all the resources of the prepared candle are being used due to spiritual influences creating obstacles. Look to the other signs to see if the candle was successful. If the preparations do not collect along the glass as the candle burns, but remain pooled together, it means all the resources are needed and will burn at the end of the candle. The soot, flame, and glass should be read for the outcome.
If the flame burns high and calm and produces no soot:you are in the presence of a larger entity or guardian spirit, most likely benevolent. The same can be said for high aggressive flames that flicker in large strokes . These tend to be darker spirits and deities, both are there to listen or aid you.
If the flame goes out while burning: this means the spirits cannot help you and the answer you seek is already determined. This can also happen if you unexpectedly get the result before the candle is finished.
Burn marks on the glass: Where the flame burns the label with the Saint (Santo) can indicate that there is a nemesis or frienemies that are stabbing you in the back and/or casting you the evil eye.
A healthy flame: has a bright red core, surrounded by a blue halo and then a yellow color. A blazing red center tells you that spirits are getting to the heart of the matter. A red center that is dim or just a pinpoint reveals a situation that may not be motivated by the heart. If the wick of the candle starts building a little bulb at its tip, chances are that you have opposition or a third party working against you. If there is a lot of blue in the flame, I take that as a sign that angels and spirits are protecting you from a possibly unhappy outcome.
Extinguishing a flame: Use your thumb and index finger to put out the wick, or use a candle snuffer, a plate, — magical or spiritual candles are never blown out.
Reading the Smoke of the Flame
( Capromancy )
The candle smoke wafts towards you it means that your prayer is more than likely to be answered. If it wafts away from you, then it means that you will need a great deal of perseverance in order to have your prayer answered.
If the smoke blows to your left “you are getting too emotionally involved with the situation and are in danger of subconsciously sabotaging your own prayer so that it will not be answered. If it blows to the right you will need to use your head rather than your emotions to pursue the situation.”
Disposal of Candle Wax
If the formula you are using dictates the proper disposal of wax remains, follow the instructions. If not, when the spell is of a positive nature discreetly bury the remains in your yard. If you don’t have a yard wrap in a white paper napkin and place in the trash receptacle. If the spell is of a negative nature take the remains away from where you or people you love reside in addition to your place of employment and bury or throw into a dumpster and do not look back.