Jun 19, 2014

Ceromancy, the oracle of wax

Divination, using wax,  and sometimes wax and water, as mediums  to draw  oracles about  past, present or future events is called ceromancy ( sometimes also Ceroscopy ).  The word itself comes from the Greek words “keros” ( wax  ) , and  “manteia” ( prophecy ). [1]   
Candle  forming "arms" and engulfing lump at the
base, during candle  magick work

It can be understood as a form of Hydromancy    , in a sense that melted wax is being poured, or rather dripped into the  bowl of cold water,   forming all sort of hardened-wax shapes and “images” thus.  But strictly speaking, ceromancy would be interpretation of waxen shapes, formations, pillars and alike, that candles form as  they burn, or that remain when the candles extinguish. In such case it can also be seen as a form of pyromancy.   

 This, later example,   is how ceromancy is understood in Hoodoo, African American folk magick. Also, in Hoodoo , Ceromancy is hardly ever used as a single divination method,  rather, it’s combined with Capnomancy ( divination by smoke ) and Pyromancy ( Divination by flame ). What more, in  Hoodoo, ceromancy is most often  integral part of spiritual work, or rather integral part of “setting lights”  for someone, which is candle magick , and is used to attain invaluable information about ( future ) perspective of the work, and it’s efficiency. [2]

The very use of wax in divination is undoubtedly of ( relatively ) newer date, for the candles are a commodity of the 20th century, more so those made from wax.   It could be that   the wax has replaced tin or lead tablets and chips, which ancient Romans  used to melt, and pour into cold water watching the shapes forming , as the liquid metal would once again, harden.  As strange as it may sound, such metal waste material was in ancient Rome easily obtainable, while the candles were an extremely rare luxury.

In this article, we will be dealing with both the:

·          Ceromancy sensu stricto – or divination by candle wax

·         Ceromancy sensu lato – or divination by ( melted ) wax and water

Ceromancy sensu stricto

Divination by observing the candle wax behaviour is something I do quite often, being that I do a lot of Hoodoo candle magick. It’s brilliantly pragmatic, and a handy tool to monitor the success of Your candle magick spells, and thus, accordingly,  influence or “fix” them, as You are performing them. 

Of course, a rootworker will  also observe the smoke behaviour, flame movements, even other things such as glass cracking ,  in the  case of glass encased candles, or label scorching or burning,  also sounds that candles may produce,  appearance or sparkles etc.

We shall focus on the ceromancy part here, since this is an post about ceromancy. And in this case we observe:

·         The speed by which candle burns.  Essentially,  if the candle burns fast it’s ominous of a good outcome, desired outcome,  and if it burns slow, it indicates that there are some forces or obstacles opposing to, or slowing down the work. Finally a candle that goes away way too fast ( let’s say in half of the time assessed by manufacturer  )    foretells success, but most often a very short-lived or temporary one.

·         The “efficiency” of candle burning. Meaning if the candle lumps, goes out frequently, makes a lot of cascade drip-lines from sides, burns slowly, it’s sending a message that something is  defying the influence of the spell or countering it, also slowing it down. In such case some people light new candles,  yet other “remedy” the candle ( relight, trim the wick, add some condition oil or even some cologne used in spiritual work, etc. ), and thus also affect the outcome of the spell.

·         The Shapes the wax forms.  If the wax drips a lot, and forms hanging pillars, “waterfalls”, “frozen drops”,  cascade flows , it’s usually taken as a sign that the success will come, but with a lot of effort and tears possibly,  preceding it, and more so if these remain after the candle has burnt down.  These wax  formations are often seen as transitive, because they rarely remain after the candle has burnt all the way down, naturally.   The other kind are the “permanent” wax shapes , that had formed in residual wax, remaining after the candle has naturally extinguished    itself.  For example the leftover wax can form a new moon shape, which is indicative of new beginnings, or the shape of an eye, which could be a warning about the “evil eye” or “glance of malice” influence. To interpret such symbols, You are to consult the analogical part of mind  , and listen to intuition, rather than use some kind of symbol – meaning  (correspondence) lists.

It should be clear that this “universal” doctrine of signatures symbolism  will vary depending on the type of candle used and therefore also , the purpose of the candle magick ritual.

For example, let’s say we are using a spell to influence two people, who are, or should  be romantically involved, and we are using  figural candles for the spell. The wax melts, and connects them firmly at their basis. 

This is a good omen, If it was some kind of reunion, or marriage, or other kind or love or friendship spell. But If we were actually trying to do a separation spell, this would  indicate that the two people will fight and overcome the spell, and remain together.   Likewise, If one is doing some kind of marriage spell, or fidelity spell with the bride and groom figural candle,  and one party ( bride or groom ) drips intensively over another,    we can safely say  that the given party is more  eager on getting married and that it tries to “cling” onto  the other party.

If we are working with glass encased candles, and the glass breaks, spilling  wax,  it can either indicate bloodshed or tears of some kind, or it can mean blessing, for example If it was a money spell, and the wax “escaped” and became firm around the coins You’ve placed around the candle.

So, obviously, while some general  doctrine of signatures symbolism  applies here, we still must take in account the purpose of the candle used, as well as it’s nature, and sometimes even color. 

And of course, any “omen” is really an omen, only when we  can exclude the possible physical causes. If You drench the candle in exaggerated amount of oil, it will burn down way too fast, If You have a draft in the room where  You are doing the  work, and the candle flickers…well it’s obviously not some of entities  who are causing this. Also an unstable candle, tilting or shaking,  will drip all over, from sides to the base. It means nothing other than that You  need to affix it J
Candle wax that remained  from naturally  extinguished candles in candle work for protection
Second one in the first image  ( upper half ) is the same as the first one if the second image, they are just different sides ( wick side, bottom side ) . Same goes for the first candle in the first image, and the second candle in the second ( lower  half ) image

Therefore, “Ceromancy sensu stricto” is a bit more demanding, when it comes to analysis and interpretation than “Cereomancy sensu lato”  , which is though a bit more complicate to do , in the plain, physical sense of performing it .


Cermonacy sensu lato

Ceromancy can also be achieved, for the sole purpose, of a broader spectrum divination , rather than being part of candle magick. In fact,  today, in the occult community , this is one of the most popular methods of divination.  It can be seen as a form of hydromancy, and scrying .

It’s as simple as melting some wax, and letting it drip into water, until the questioner intuitively  ( or otherwise ) feels it has been enough. Touching the cold water surface , the melted wax, hardens, forming auspicious shape, which are henceforth analysed  and interpreted just  like the tea-patterns in tasseography ( divination using the tea leaves ) are . The symbolic meanings are the same.

So the very process is generally uniform,  more so among the modern practitioners. Some may drip wax from candle directly, into a bowl with water, while others will melt wax in some vessel, using double boiler and then pour it into the water.

And that’s fine,  though I myself, when using this method, like  to do it traditionally.  Which means I pay attention that the candle or wax I use is brand new, and that I’ve ( preferably ) consecrated it.

Some traditions require either brass vessel or a glass one specifically. In Turkey , ceremony is a communal ceremony , where two or more people hold the spread white clothe above the head of the questioner, and some other person holds a vessel ( bowl ) with water over the cloth and pours wax in it.

In Italy, they place the candles, in the  bowl with water and allow them to drip, while in the bowl. This is usually achieved by tying the  two  candles together , as explained in the following  example , by Judika Illes :

Ceromancy, an Italian method

1.       “Place three Rose hips, three Nettle leaves,  some Cumin seeds and a few springs of Rue, in a bowl or pan of icy water.

2.       Bind two candles with scarlet ribbon.

3.       Place those candles within a pan of water.

4.       Light the candles and observe the wax dripping into the water.”  [3]

Author further suggests that the lucky shapes, should be preserved and  kept in  a red  charm bag like an amulet. 

The shapes that form in water can be interpreted as If they were tea-leaves pattern . You can consult any tea-leaves  reading book, and here are some  suggestions  I’ve  found online on this very helpful Examiner page :

AEROPLANE - A trip of a disappointment
ANCHOR - Your loved one is true
BABY - Troubles are coming
BALL or BALLOON - Your problem will not last very
BEANS - Money difficulties
BED - A vacation would be good for you
BELLS - A wedding
BIRD - News will reach you soon
BRIDGE - Take a chance
BROOM - Make a change
CANDLE - Spiritual growth
CAT - A friend is untrue
CHAIN - Go ahead with your plans
CIRCLE - Reconciliation
CLOUD - Something or someone threatens you
CROSS - Do not fear for you are protected
CROWN - Sickness
CUP - Bitter quarrel with a friend
DOG - Your self-esteem is too low
EAR - Be alert for an opportunity to advance in
your work
EGG - New developments soon
FAN - A surprise is in store for you
FEATHER - The problem will be solved
FISH - Someone will betray you
GHOST - Someone from the past is looking for you
GRASS - Good fortune is approaching
HAT - A change of location is indicated
HEART - A friendship will turn into love
HOUSE - Better times are coming
KEY - A setback in plans should be expected
KITE - Your wish will come to naught
LADDER - Take steps to change your attitude
toward an old friend
LEAF or LEAVES - Things will be changing soon
LION - An unpleasant situation is developing
MOON - Indicates more money
MOUNTAIN - Good friends are willing to help you
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
SCISSORS - Separation
SHOE - Be suspicious of a new acquaintance
SNAKE - Be on guard against an enemy
SPIDER WEB - Pleasant happenings
STAR - Happiness
SUN - Good fortune
TABLE - An abundance of blessings
TREE - A good time for new undertakings
UMBRELLA - Trouble is coming
WALKING STICK - Get out of the house and visit
WHEEL - One who has been away will return soon
WITCH - Danger will pass you by
WORM - Business troubles ahead if you are not
careful  [4]

Hope this post was informative and interesting and that it may have inspired You to try Ceromancy.

Many Blessings from Shadow J
NOTES: This article was written/composed by myself, hence, If You wish to use any part of it elsewhere online, feel free but do add credits Shadow of Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post
[2] According to  Lucky  Mojo’s page on ceromancy: http://www.luckymojo.com/candlemagicdivination.html
[3] Retrieved from   “The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 spells” by Judika Illes, used here for explanatory, educational , and illustrative purposes without any ill will
[4] Retrieved from : http://www.examiner.com/article/ceromancy-or-how-to-tell-fortunes-with-candle-wax  for illustrative and explanatory purposes, without any ill will
IMAGE CREDITS: Images were taken and edited by myself



lee woo said...

Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon absolute truth. See the link below for more info.


Sunita Gupta said...

The first shape in the first figure means what ?
If possible can you plz give pic of the shapes mentioned by you .
Thanks a ton.

Sunita Gupta said...

The first shape in the first figure means what ?
If possible can you plz give pic of the shapes mentioned by you .
Thanks a ton.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could show a pic,I used a black candle to try n banish, it almost extinguished it self in the water which the spell called for but with the smoke and a wiff of my hand,tho I did not touch the candle... It fell over and is floating. The strange thing but I feel peaceful about it, is that the candle I used to banish a hex looks like it has white wings on it and a pretty mystical sky over it :))) like a wing on each side of the candle, white wings. I am not gonna get excited cause I did use a black candle, first time I have been hesitant. Feeling hopeful, I can send a pic to anyone if you want to see or care to comment, I am still not completely sure what the meaning is just yet, it was a reverse hex vex spell to the sender.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Can I email you a picture of my peace candle for your interpretation of the shapes formed?
Thank you!

Graham Booth said...

Hi, I have an Aligator that has formed in the wax residue, along the side of the candle, towards the bottom. It's a glassing case vigil candle. What does this mean?

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