Here is some candle magic for you. Did you know that you can read your candle flames? Candle reading is the act of observing the signs and omens in the candle's behaviour while the candle is burning.

Candles have long held a significant place in religious and spiritual events for thousands of years. We all have them in our homes, and they have many different uses for us from home decorations, meditational and prayer uses, ambience, fragrance, romance and self-expression. It symbolises light in the darkness, the spirit of truth and faith, and illumination to humanity’s celebrations for over 5,000 years.

We have all observed the different types of candle flames. Some can be tall and heavily flickering, some fires are short and tame. According to popular beliefs and spiritual gurus, each different type of candle flame has a specific meaning. The way a candle burn tells a lot about the invisible energies that are happening all around us.


Numerous popular practices and thinkings have sprung up that observes the burning of candles during rituals and spells. Many believe that combining the candle reading art with your intuition can give you insight into your ventures as to whether you will be successful or not. But first, you need to understand what your candle it is trying to tell you!

Sceptics and experts in the candle making technique would disagree and consider these practices based on fiction and imagination. For them, the magic in the candle, making it dance so delightfully with its messages from beyond are simply untrimmed wicks or random breezes. But as important as physical properties and the environment of the candle is, one must believe in magic to find it. This article takes you down the rabbit hole of candle magick.

There are mainly three types of divinations when interpreting candle signs or reading your candle. 

  • Pyromancy which is divination by fire. It involves seeing shapes within a flame and using them to predict future events. The word pyromancy comes from Greek pyr, “fire,” and manteia, “divination.”

  • Ceromancy or Carromancy. It comes from the Greek word carro, 'waxen', and manteia, 'divination'. - prophecy by wax. A standard method of carromancy is to heat the wax until melted, then to pour it directly into cold water.

  • Capnomancy, also known as libanomancy, is divination by smoke. This practice involves observing the movements of the smoke after you light a fire. An example of this is interpreting large plumes of smoke to be a negative omen while having a thin straight plume of smoke is considered a good indication. 

Having so much information on this topic available, we will start small and focus here on a couple of the divination by the fire and smoke.

Lets read those flames!

Intense high flame: There is a lot of power and energy behind your intentions or prayers. It is a positive sign and means typically that you will be successful in your endeavours. Intentions/prayers may also start strong and be met with resistance after so a good tip is to keep an eye on the candle flame to see if the high torch continues for the duration of its burning. It is common for a high fire to weaken or tame but then pick back up after.

Low/weak flame: This can mean that there is a lot less energy driving your intentions. Resistance is at work here. A slow and steady fire is not necessarily a bad sign; it merely means more focus and diligence is needed to achieve your goal and that there may be a delay in your gratification. Be mindful that that flame can grow and if this happens, it means the energy behind the prayer or intention is increasing. A fire can also become weakened if there is resistance behind the intention/prayer. If the candle goes out altogether, this can mean to start from fresh and try your intentions again and be mindful of what you are trying to manifest as you have not appropriately focused on it. 

On a logical candle making expert note, make sure the wick is not too short before starting as this will cause it to yield a low and weak flame as well.

Crackling/hissing flame: The spirits are trying to talk to you. Can you hear them? It often means communication or interferences by outside forces/energies. An ancestor may be trying to get your attention, work with you or answering your question. 

Dancing flames:  This is a tricky one as dancing flames generally means high energy and the goal you are after is attainable. The size of the dancing flame has a lot to say about the prayer or intention. A large dancing flame can mean that there may be complications along the way to success while a small dancing flame can indicate opposing forces may overwhelm your intentions. These forces can be others intentionally or unintentionally working against you. Watching the flames closely while they dance can also help reveal any shapes or motions to you that may help in identifying these opposing forces.

White smoke: This is a good sign of blessings and benevolent spirits. When your candle sputters a puff of white smoke especially at a meaningful moment of intent or prayer,  your prayers will be answered. Please note that it is not instant manifestation when white smoke is seen, sometimes time must past for the divine alignment to happen before your prayers are answered. 

Black smoke: Black smoke, especially dense black smoke coming from your candle generally represents negative energies. This may not be the best time to try to put forth your intentions to the universe. Spend time first doing cleansing rituals and deep prayers before proceeding as opposing forces or conflict surrounds your candle spellwork.  

These are just a few of the ways you can read your candle. There is so much more to it but we can’t go into all of them here. However, this should get you started in your new candle reading hobby. Magic and answers to your questions are everywhere if you believe and look. Have fun on your manifesting journey.