Welcome back to my series on divination. I feel strongly that there is not a totally right or completely wrong way to go about any form of divination, especially if the end result of your efforts is the guidance you seek. It took me a long time to gain that understanding. I read books, took classes, and watched tutorials to learn the “right” way to go about divination, but they just didn’t seem to feel quite right. More importantly, they were not effective for me. Everything felt forced. To do things the way I was supposed to, I had to ignore what my inner voice was telling me what to do. This, I feel, is pretty much the only thing you can do wrong when it comes to things of spirit. That inner voice, your inner voice should always be your guide.
Today I want to talk about using candles in divination, and how I go about the practice. When we use a candle to obtain information, we are actually using three forms of divination. Ceromancy, the reading of the wax; pyromancy, the reading of the flame; and capnomancy, which is the reading of the smoke. There are so many areas that provide insight here and this makes it one of my all-time favorite forms of divination.
There are many thoughts on how to go about this and while I don’t follow any steadfast rules in my own practice, there are resources available that can provide a more structured “how to” and meanings – if you prefer that sort of thing. Like all communication with spirit, I leave interpretations and symbolism up to the individual moment. I study symbols and meanings while I am not divining. The more references you have inside of you, the more references spirit has to work with during a reading. What certain wax formations mean in one reading will mean something different in another. This opposes what many like to do during readings, but this is what works for me. You do you.
I do have some “guidelines” to build off of.
I do typically have a starting point. I break the area surrounding the candle down into “zones” so to speak. Once the candle has been placed in front of me, the portion closest to me is the “front” of the candle. These are all things I am conscious of. The physical world stuff. These are things that have my awareness. Things of the present.
The backside of the candle, the side furthest from me, is the stuff I don’t see. The subconscious stuff, and things of spirit. The hidden influencers make themselves known in this back section. Emotion is something that can be found in this section. Emotion is complex and typically plays a bigger role in our physical world than we realize sometimes. The area of spirit is anything that is not of the physical world.
To my left of the candle is the past. Everything that has happened already is there. If it falls in the back section, it is something pertaining to the unseen, or spirit. If it falls to the front area, then this is something I am aware of and likely something that has influenced the current moment the reading is about.
Everything to my right of the candle is the future. The same logic applies here. The back is things of “spirit” and the front is the things of the physical.
These are normally the only things that never change. There is wiggle room in these guidelines. They are a guide not a set-in stone rule. I do not take a measuring device to determine where one starts and the other ends. This is far too controlling. Divination is a thing of faith and trust. Control opposes these things. To get the answers I seek, I have to just go with the flow here. I roughly make a cross in my mind to set my loose boundaries, but I know there is room for blending here.
How can I possibly get answers if I have no rules?
If I have no list of defined meanings, how can I know what anything means? I understand this way of thinking. This is where I was stuck for so long. There are times when I am unsure of what to make of something I observe. When this happens, I might consult the thoughts of others, and having a list of “suggested meanings” can prove helpful. The more of these you know in general, the more they will be utilized by spirit. What I have come to learn is that spirit communicates with us in a way we can understand. Spirit has no issue understanding us, it is us with the communication trouble. If we do not own the knowledge of all the candle formations and their predetermined meanings, then that is not how spirit will deliver the message you seek. If I encounter something in my candle that I know I have read about, me remembering I read about it is one of the ways spirit can get the message to me. People’s opinions on certain things will always vary. One person’s butterfly of transformation will be another person’s harbinger of doom. Where you take the information is where your message lies. My best advice here is read. Read what many people have to say about the different formations that can occur and then you think about what they mean. You decide. Put it in the back of your mind and you will recall it if it is ever relevant. Otherwise, determine your meanings at the moment they occur.
I typically do not embrace the idea that everything is a symbol. Why? Well, because spirit is always present. Every single moment of every single day we can find symbols and signs. EVERY SINGLE ONE. This is an exhausting way to live. It also is not healthy because when we do this, we are not fully present in the physical world. So, in everyday life, I will ignore 99 percent of the “signs” I encounter. However, the moment I decide to engage in divination, everything is fair game. I ignore nothing, unless I deem it is interference. Not all spirit has our best interests, so I take notice of all things, and then I discern what is relevant for me. From the selection of the candle to placement of the items on my table, every single thing I take notice of. Once that candle is lit, I become more aware of everything, but most importantly I am aware of myself. My thoughts are almost always where the answers I seek are hiding. I will give an example of what I experience, and you take what is helpful for you, leave the rest behind. Remember we all operate a bit differently. Know yourself and how your senses manifest. You hold the answers you need. No one else can tell you exactly how you work with spirit.
How it works for me.
In this example, I selected a blue candle because these particular candles were made for protection, to raise the frequency of a space, heal, and reinforce strong high vibrations. It is a bonus that blue aligns with truth. This all suits the needs of my application as the effort in question is a blessing ritual. I set the candle on the designated plate and since my intention was already set prior to the selection, I don’t do anything extra here. If I selected a standard candle from the store, I might dress it in oils or herbs, but I tend to make my own candles, so it is not needed this time. I take a deep breath and light the candle. This is the first “real” thing to take note of. While everything leading up to this was relevant if something caught my attention, this moment is when I will usually get my first official response from spirit.
The lighting of the candle.
If the candle lights normally, I simply work to keep my mind still and pay attention. I make no effort to control my thoughts, I do not try to find any answers. I will take one moment to focus on my intention. Be it the question or area of concern I have, or the goal of my manifesting effort; I put that in my mind and then I wait.
If the candle lights easily, I usually feel positive and optimistic. I feel little to no resistance. In this case, I continue to be still.
If the candle lights quickly, I slow down my breathing, I center, and ensure my focus is completely on my intention. To me, this is a “Pay attention” or “Don’t get ahead of yourself” moment. Some will take this as a sign of support from spirit. I do not. I feel spirit is always supporting us in some way, so this line of thinking doesn’t feel right to me. You do you though.
If the candle has a difficult time lighting, here is where I dig deep and harness that inner fire. I will light this candle, and this is happening. I see my goal or my question with clarity and think of nothing else. Many will see this as a moment to reevaluate. Some say this is a sign of opposition from spirit. This can be true I suppose. However, “Who is opposing?”, is what I always think. Spirit is not just energies that have our back. Spirit is everything. The universe doesn’t just give us what we want, sometimes we must stand firm. I feel, if the work or divination effort should not be taking place at that time, spirit that has my back would have made that known prior to this moment. They would have been involved in the selection process. They would have shown their opposition before I set my mind to what I was doing. So here in this moment, I do not easily accept a no. I stand firm and say, “I am in control”.
To me, this is important. To others, I am seen as disrespectful and arrogant. I feel you have to do what feels right for you. I can’t say either way because I don’t know the lessons you are learning. For me, I know spirit was a part of every moment that led to the current one, so I have faith that if this action is wrong, it would have been brought to my attention before the lighting of the candle; or if I somehow missed the message and it is not something I should be doing, I trust that I will be made clear in the next few moments. It has only happened a few times that lighting the candle was not the best idea. Those times have proven to me that if you pay attention and are mindful leading up to the moment prior to deciding to perform a ritual or reading, you will know if it is right to do or not. If you are planning to engage with spirit, you should know that spirit was with you long before you chose to acknowledge their existence. As I said earlier, spirit is always present, the signs are always there.
Again, these are not rules, they are just what happens more often than not for me. I don’t look for any one thing here, I just pay attention is all. Now I am watching for anything significant. Puffs of smoke, noises from the flame, various formations of wax, how it burns, how quickly it burns; all of these areas hold information. How do I know what each one means? When something catches my attention, the first thing I do is quiet my mind and watch. My “extra” senses will already be amplified so I just wait. Having an understanding of “self” here is imperative. If you know how your senses manifest, you know what to listen to and what to ignore. I tend to get strong visions, emotional influences, and I hear spirit quite easily. I can’t say how it will be for anyone else, I only know how it is for me. I don’t usually full interpret until the end. I do take notes of anything significant.
The flame flickers. This is one of those “pay attention” moments. I silence my mind. This silence only lasts as long as I focus on it, and then the conversation begins. I don’t speak, I just listen. The wax begins to pour to the back of the candle, it is more to the left than the right, so I know this information pertains to something of the past that is influencing the energy of the present. Be it fear, emotional baggage, unaddressed dreams, or aspirations; the moment in question pertains to things of “spirit” that have already occurred. Remember, the area of spirit is going to be anything that is not of the physical world. I see the wax creating a long drip off the candle. It is not connected to the body of the candle, it is offset and only connected at the top. It hangs off and almost makes a second pillar is going to develop. I think this is unusual and take a closer look. When I do, I pay attention to how I feel. I feel curious.
Upon inspection, I see a snake. I reserve all judgment and just watch. The snake begins to move, it slithers down the candle and looks towards the pile of wax in the past, then it turns and looks to the future and stops just before touching the ground. It peers around the candle looking at me and I can see only its head. I know it’s there, but I can’t quite make it all out without putting some effort into finding it. I have to try to see it all.
At this moment I have to ask myself what it means. I think snakes are knowledge and typically the kind that is “forbidden” or unknown. It calls me to look at the wax in the past, those tears that have been shed, and the energy that was left behind. That pool of past experience that has gone unaddressed, that I know is there, but I refuse to look at, this is influencing my current work. This is what prevented me from having what I want up until now.
This is one example of how the most insignificant things can connect us to what we need to know. You get out of a reading what you put into it. Having the “What does this me?” mentality is very helpful if you want to gain clarity. You must try to think for yourself and not just wait to be told. Trust that you have the answers already.
Does that mean my candle will not be successful?
No. “Issues” that arise are not a sign of failure in my opinion. Success is never in question if you ask me. We determine our energy. We create our life. No one gets to deny us success. I do not waiver from this belief – ever. I am not asking the universe for anything. I am equal to all other beings, and I know I am worthy of a balanced, safe, and prosperous life. Since I am never asking for more than this, I know I do not require permission from spirit or anyone else to have success. I feel embracing this is imperative. If your intentions are asking for unreasonable requests, perhaps this logic will not hold true. I try to remain gracious and realistic here, so my own experience can’t really lend much to the applications that require spirit to give us something we can ‘t provide for ourselves.
These symbols that might alarm me simply mean I need to follow the story that my candle is giving me. I need to take the journey. I need to learn something. So, I watch, and I wait. The candle sputters and spits. Depending on the scenario, this could be good or bad. Every sign can be good or bad. This is something I had to get over because there are some predetermined things that are said to be “bad omens”. I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I do not incorporate this way of thinking into my way of being. You do what is right for you. People who believe these things are not wrong, it just is what suits them. A rainstorm might ruin someone’s wedding day, but that same rain might be a blessing to a farmer down the road. Perception is everything! Use your own judgment to determine if something is positive or negative. Try to also remember that something negative will almost always follow with advice.
The bad omen.
My candle now puffs black smoke. This is for sure a bad omen, right? Well, given that I have just acknowledged that there is something emotional and likely of a painful nature influencing my situation and I need to address it, black smoke makes sense. For me, black smoke is an indication of “negative” energy. What does that mean? We say negative energy and we associate it with more than we should sometimes. We all hold negative energy. Negative energy does not mean a negative spirit is influencing our work. It can mean that, but often we are the negative spirit influencing our work. This is why our skills of discernment are important. In this situation, I am bringing my awareness to my own past emotional baggage that must be addressed so I can achieve my goal of balance, strength, blessings, and protection in the future. What happens in the coming moments determines how I take this symbol.
Following the puff of smoke comes some crackling and a dancing flame. I think of the issue that I have not released and healed. I know I must find my way to acceptance and forgiveness. I have to find the beauty in what is. I watch the flame and I know spirit is with me. The black smoke is gone, and the flame burns bright and still. I hold compassion in my heart for the parts of myself that are less than perfect. I remember that even those moments of pain, hold strength and love. As I think this, wax pours to the left side of the candle. It is center, not too far back not too far forward. I feel a weight lift and a sense of peace. I take a deep breath and I feel this is a sign of balance and release. That the issue in question will not be influencing in an unbalanced way going forward. It will always be there, but now I keep the lesson and leave the rest. While it might not be all healed, I am very aware it is something that bothers me. I have acknowledged it’s influence so when the issue carries weight in everyday life, I will remember this moment and change my behavior. Looking at my candle now, the lesson is the pool of wax that remains in my past. It is on my path and in my awareness, but no longer influencing from the shadows.
There is now what seems to be an uneven burn. Some say this is a roadblock or obstacle. Depending on the reading, it can be. Not here though. I don’t see this as a problem exactly but more like a feeling of “Where do I go from here?” The road ahead of me is not blocked but I can now choose the path I take without interference from what I have just addressed. That baggage is gone, I don’t have to carry it with me.
To some, climbing a mountain is not something negative. Some people train for that sort of adventure. This is how I see it now because that is what came to my mind. How will I tackle the adventure ahead of me? “The journey is always long, there are always challenges, how we face them determines the experience we have.” I think all of these things; only, I know when I am thinking this is not just my thoughts. Remember, I have cleared my mind and I am not trying to influence my thoughts. This is one of the ways my senses manifest. I know this, I have gained a level of trust in how I interact with spirit. Personal proof is one of those things we really can’t describe to others. Find your personal proof and trust you already communicate with spirit. Right now, I know all thoughts that enter my mind hold some level of insight. As I look at the right side of the candle, I notice it starts to melt away, and the top evens out. Patience is what I take away here. Patience and optimism. There will be times that challenge me, how I face those challenges will determine my energy and my experience. I make a note of that so that when those moments come, I can breathe deep and remember this advice.
I continue this way and follow the candle where it takes me. I address each thing I notice but I don’t do it with any urgency. This is important I feel. Sometimes things feel urgent. These are the things I ignore. Spirit that has our back will not make us panic. This holds true pretty much across the board. It just is not helpful and in my experience is not necessary. So, if it feels urgent, if it causes panic, if I feel like I must understand now, I ignore it.
The final burn.
We get down to the last bits of the candle and this is my favorite part usually. Things to look for here are the last moments of the burn. Is the flame strong, does it pitter out slowly, does it flicker? Watch for these things and see how it makes you feel None of these are inherently bad or good. If you are looking for balance and peace, a candle flame that slowly and gently fades out is a good thing. If we are looking for our own strength, maybe a flickering flame would be a great sign that we have the spark we need within us always. Every situation is different and how you feel at the moment it occurs is where your answers lie.
The other thing here is the smoke at the end. There are many thoughts here. Some think if the smoke goes towards you this is a sign that you will attract what you seek. If the smoke goes away some say you won’t have success or others say your petitions have been carried off by spirit. Some feel smoke that goes directly up is a sign there will be no interference in the future. To me, something like lots of smoke is a moment to pay attention to. Not be afraid, not a warning, but pay attention. There may be one last bit of advice spirit has to lend. Be still until you have gained the insight. Just notice what happens and then think about what it means to you.
Last, we can read the wax that is left. To do this, I just stare at it. Have you ever looked at the clouds and imagined they looked like something? I feel most people have done this. This is exactly what we are doing now. What you see will have insight for you. What you see and what I see will not always align. There is no wrong here. Trust that what you see is what you are supposed to see. I have seen some really weird stuff come through here. I write it down. I do not try to understand what I see just yet. I write it all down, no matter how strange. I see a hippo pushing a shopping cart, so I write that down. I really mean no matter how strange. Once I feel good about the information I have collected, I then try to understand it. This is usually the advice portion for me. The how to apply change, how to proceed.
How could a hippo pushing a shopping cart ever be a message from spirit? Some say the hippo spirit is one of confidence, courage, and inner wisdom. I also happen to think a hippo is quite the force to be reckoned with, one that many underestimate. A shopping cart is used to hold items while you prepare to purchase them. This is obviously very profound, I know. However, when we put them together, we see the characteristics of someone who is strong but is often underestimated. To understand the shopping cart, I ask myself “What would a hippo ever need to purchase?” What could they need from a store that could make their goals easier to obtain? Nothing. The answer is nothing. The hippo pushing a cart looking for things it doesn’t need, draws parallel here in that I already have everything I need inside of me if I want to align with my goal. If you recall, my original intention was to raise my frequency and feel protected. The hippo that is deceivingly strong and powerful looking outside of itself for what it wants, gives me a moment of reflection. Perhaps the thing I need most as I prepare and collect what I need on my journey, is my own inner self. I am a force to be reckoned with and it doesn’t matter one way or another how anyone else perceived me. I have the power and wisdom I need inside me. This is the reinforcing message I gain from spirit. This is very helpful as a reminder going forward because we all hold these strengths and we all easily forget them.
Find your way!
This example of how I read candles is certainly not for everyone. What I hope to demonstrate here is that it is effective for me. It is not the right way, but it is my way. I urge you to find your way! We all can divine the answers and guidance we need. Every single last one of us can do this. All we need is faith in ourselves and trust in the connection to spirit that we all share.
One thought on “DIVINATION”
Thank you for breaking this down into terms we can all understand! Once I started to read I couldn’t stop it’s so very insightful and informative Thank you for taking the time and sharing❤️