Pyromancy: Candle Flame Meanings

Candle Flame Meanings: 3 Methods to Start Reading Candles

Candle Divination Methods

Did you know that there are actually three different divination methods that you can perform by burning a candle?

The first divination method is pyromancy. This method involves studying a flame closely and determining its meaning based on the action, intensity, and direction of the flame.

The second method is capromancy. Using this method of divination, a medium can intuit messages from the smoke that a candle (or even a stick of incense) creates.

Once your candle is melted, you can use the third method of ceromancy (also known as carromancy) to divine messages from the melted wax.

1. Pyromancy

Because of the importance of fire in many ancient civilizations, it is quite possible that pyromancy was one of the first methods of divination used by occultists, priests, and priestesses. For example, in Greek society, it has been said that the Virgins at the Temple of Athena in Athens may have performed pyromancy. It is even possible, depending on your interpretation, that the story of Moses speaking with the burning bush in the Bible could have been a form of pyromancy.

Some pyromancers may look directly to the flame for their messages, interpreting signs and symbols they may see within. While this practice is valid, not everyone has the ability to intuit messages this way. Many others instead choose to gauge their answer by carefully watching the size, movement, and shape of the candle flame instead.

What does my candle flame mean?

Candle Flame Meanings PDF

Here’s a printable page that can go along with the printable Tarot spreads or the Lunar calendar on your Book of Shadows.

Find more printable grimoire pages to add to your Book of Shadows here!

In pyromancy, both the intensity and the motion of a flame are taken into account to determine its meaning. Your candle’s flame may not fit into just one listed category, and that’s okay. You’ll just need to combine some of these descriptions to intuit the deeper meaning that your reading holds.

It’s also important to note that pyromancy can be very subjective. There are also many variables that can affect the way a candle burns. Sometimes a candle flame has a magickal meaning and other times it doesn’t. Only you can determine this. If it feels important to you, trust your intuition.

A red candle is lit with a bright steady flame.
What does my candle mean?

Steady, Bright, or High Flame

A steady, bright flame is a surefire sign of success or good luck! If you burned this candle during spellwork, your endeavor is lucrative. If used for divination, this flame portends success and happiness in your life or your question.

Flickering Flame

If your flame is flickering, it prophesizes a wavering future. If performing spellwork, you may wish to take additional measures to ensure your success.

Small & Dim Flame

A weak or dim flame can be an omen of disappointment. While it doesn’t necessarily indicate a total failure, there will be obstacles ahead. If your candle was difficult to light and the flame remains dim, then you should wait to perform the ritual – the time isn’t right yet.

Sparking, Popping, or Crackling Flame

If your flame is sparking, it often means an important message is on its way to you. It may be positive or negative, depending on if your flame is bright and steady or small and dim. You’ll want to follow up with another divination session to receive this message.

Jumping Flame

A jumping flame is a sign of very high energy. This result shows that a great force of energy has lent itself to your divination reading, or that a powerful surge of raw emotion has dedicated itself to your spellwork.

Dancing Flame

Sometimes your flame seems like it’s flickering, but its movements are much slower and more graceful. This is what is called a dancing flame, and it indicates that change is coming your way – for better or worse.

🕯️ Witches in the Online Coven ask: What is the difference between flickering, jumping and dancing?

Spiraling Flame

A spiraling flame is a bit easier to identify, but you may have reason to worry if you encounter it: this is a warning sign. Much like when you see a sparking flame, you’ll want to perform another divination session to see if you can determine what all the fuss is about.

What if my candle goes out?

First, you should determine that there are no environmental factors or issues with your candle that would prevent it from staying lit. If not, then your candle is telling you that it’s not a good time for spells, or that the answers you seek aren’t available to you just yet. In this case, put your candles away for now and try again at a later time.

2. Capromancy

A candle has been snuffed out and smoke wafts in the air.

You can also intuit messages from the smoke of a candle or incense. You can easily determine the success of a spell based on both the color of the smoke and the direction in which it wafts.

What does my candle and incense smoke mean?

Smoke Moving Towards You

When the smoke of a candle or incense travels in your direction, it’s seen as a sign of good luck. According to some cultures, the opposite is true! It is most important to follow your intuition on the matter.

Smoke Moving Away From You

When smoke tends to avoid you, it’s not seen as a good omen. This can also vary depending on the culture and folklore.

Black Smoke

If there are any additives in your candle such as herbs or oils, then they may cause black smoke. If the black smoke persists even after these elements are burnt away, then it’s likely that something is blocking your spell, whether it be energy or entity.

White Smoke

White smoke is typically seen as a good omen. In spellwork, it indicates that your intention will be fulfilled.

Excessive Black Soot

While it’s very common for soot to form on the rim of a candle jar, an excessive amount of soot without cause (i.e. chemicals, oils, or herbs added) means there are obstacles in your path. If the soot runs to the bottom of the jar, then there may be certain forces working against your intention.

White Soot

This peculiar result of burning a candle represents that the universe is working in your favor! You are likely to have good luck or success in your intention.

3. Ceromancy

In this method, the practitioner lights a candle and allows it to burn for several minutes. During this time, the querent focuses on the question they would like answered by the wax. Once the candle begins to melt, the practitioner drips the wax into a bowl of cold water. Once enough wax has gathered in the water, it is examined for shape forms and symbols. Others may divine messages from the leftover wax of a burned candle right where it lies; your practice is valid no matter which method you choose.

What does my candle wax mean?

Shapes in Wax Remains

Whichever method you use, you can look for shapes that have formed in the wax. You’ll want to conduct further research into the symbols that appear to ensure you’re not missing anything.

Candle Burns Cleanly (No Wax)

Congratulations – this is a good sign that your spellwork was successful! *Note: Some chime candles are sold as dripless meaning they will not leave any wax residue.

Leftover Wax That Won’t Burn

When this happens, it means the spell is not ready to be performed yet. You may have to work on yourself a bit, reframe your mindset, and prepare a new spell when the time is right.

Candle Avoids Burning One Side

If your candle seems to avoid burning only one side, determine the cardinal direction that your flame avoided – the side of the candle with remaining wax. This will indicate the element that is blocking your spell. (i.e. North = earth/physical, East = air/communicative, South = fire/will, West = water/emotions)

Candle Burns Down One Side

In this case, all elements are blocking you except for the one that burned. You can determine the meaning using the same method mentioned above.

It’s time to practice!

The easiest way to get better at any divination method is to practice. Here are some candle spells you can try! Read the wax when you’re done for insight into your spellwork.

Protection Spell Candle

Phoenix_Dawn posted a wonderful protection spell in the forum. Create a sigil, dress your candle, and cast this spell for protection over your life and home.

Get the instructions!

Anxiety Be Gone: Purple Candle Spell

Banish your anxiety and boost your confidence with this simple candle spell. Purple is associated with deep cleanses, transformation and contacting the spiritual world. All you need is a purple candle and your intentions!

Read more »

Red Candle Spells

A red candle is ideal for when you need a push starting a new project, or igniting a fiery love. Other uses include protection, fire, fertility, quick action, power and lust.

Cast-along with us!

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