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Candle Wax Reading: Revealing Hidden Meanings and Magic Symbols

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A candle wax reading is a type of scrying divination called ceromancy. Have you ever wondered if there was meaning in the shapes, drips, and forms left behind in your residual candle wax?

Maybe you’ve seen spiritual practitioners pouring wax into water, looking for magical symbols and deeper meaning. In this article, we’ll learn all about this fascinating practice and how to understand the messages hidden in the wax.

Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout this article.

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Candles symbolize light. Their wick melts the wax and thus the wax shares the flame, emblem of the flesh and the spirit.

Witchcraft and Magic in Europe The Middle Ages

What is a Candle Wax Reading?

A candle wax reading is a VERY intuitive type of candle magic divination where a witch or spiritual practitioner observes the delicate drips and folds of wax to understand messages from the spiritual realm.

According to Collins Dictionary, the word mancy originates from the Greek word manteia which means soothsaying (prophecy).

When candle wax melts, it can make a variety of shapes, patterns, and symbols. Each drip and curve carries hidden messages. The moon guides the tides, stars whisper ancient tales, and a candle wax reading pulls us to an otherwordly realm where the mundane and spiritual come together to reveal the secrets of the cosmos.

Candle Wax Reading Alternative Names

  • Ceromancy
  • Ceroscopy
  • Carromancy

Molybdomancy [is] a system of divination based on the shapes produced by dropping melted lead or tin into water. Interpretations depended upon the psychic ability of the diviner, much as in tasseography (divination by tea leaves).

A related system of divination was ceroscopy (or ceromancy), in which molten wax was dripped into water and interpreted in a similar way.


YouTube video
Check out my video for step-by-step Candle Wax Reading!

Candle Wax Reading in Water

There are two different ways to do a Candle wax reading in water. The first method involves holding a lit candle over a cold bowl of water and allowing the wax to drip until shapes, symbols, or patterns appear. This can be a very slow method as you wait for each drip to fall into the water.

The second method involves the use of a double broiler (aka balneum Mariae or Miriam’s bath, which I discussed in the Magical Elements article). Place the wax in a double broiler and heat until it’s completely melted. Then slowly pour the melted wax into a cold bowl of water and watch as it forms symbols and unveils hidden secrets. I’ll discuss these further in the section below – Interpreting Wax Patterns.

Divination with wax has long been replaced by divination in tea leaves and coffee [grounds], but it has the advantage of superior antiquity over these methods, and is further removed from the commonplace.

Wax of the purest quality was melted in a brazen vase and stirred into a liquid of uniform consistence. It was then poured into another vase filled with cold water, but slowly, and in such a manner that it congealed in tiny discs upon the aqueous surface.

A variety of figures were thus presented to the eye of the seer, and interpreted according to the impulse of his intuitive powers. This is an exceedingly harmless practice, which might be productive of clairvoyant results…

Waite, Arthur – The Occult Sciences
My Candle Wax Reading in Water
My Candle Wax Reading in Water

How To Do a Candle Wax Reading

In more modern times, many types of witches or spiritual practitioners read the remaining wax left behind from a melted candle instead (however, this can vary from practitioner to practitioner, especially when it comes to doing a cord-cutting ritual). To begin, a few supplies and a heart full of curiosity are all you need. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help get you started (and you’ll see how it differs from smoke divination).

Supplies Needed

  • Candle of your choice (choose a candle color based on your question)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Journal or paper to write down what shapes you see
  • A fire-safe flat surface you don’t mind potentially ruining with candle wax (I typically use a 6″ cast iron, but you can also use a mirror, plates, or any other flat surface. I’ve seen some spiritual practitioners use thrifted or antique metal trays)

Things to Avoid

  • Stay away from small candle holders that don’t allow the wax to melt and spread naturally
  • Uneven surfaces can make the wax spread in an unnatural way and taint your reading
  • Let go of any preconceived ideas and allow your heart and mind to be open
  • High-traffic areas, open doors, or windows will affect the flame, affecting how the candle wax melts. (Always consider the mundane before the magical to keep your readings accurate)

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Prepare and cleanse your sacred space, allowing the atmosphere to be free from distractions and filled with calming energy.
  • Set Your Intention Light the candle with a sense of purpose. Feel the flame as it kindles your intentions, creating a bridge between the spiritual and earthly realms.
  • Take a moment to sit quietly, allowing your mind to quiet and your heart to open. Breathe in deeply, hold for a moment, then exhale slowly while visualizing stress leaving your body as well.
  • Watch as the wax begins to melt and transform, forming symbols or shapes. Pay attention to the wax as it drips. Do any images appear to you as it melts? Write down anything you see.
  • Once the candle has burned down completely, study the remaining wax. Observe the shapes and symbols that formed. Does anything immediately stand out to you?
  • Record your observations, thoughts, and interpretations in your journal or grimoire. This creates a sacred record allowing you to track patterns and connections over time.

Remember, a candle wax reading is a gentle divination art that whispers rather than shouts. Approach it with patience, respect, and an open heart. Be willing to listen to any stories the wax wishes to share.

The candle is representative of the passage of time and the brevity of the human existence, which will eventually burn itself out.

Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings
How To Do a Candle Wax Reading

Interpreting Wax Patterns

Interpreting a candle wax reading is very similar to doing an egg cleansing reading. Slow down and examine the melted wax (or congealed wax if you put it in water). If you see a shape, image, symbol, or sign that immediately stands out to you, that’s a message meant for you directlyOnly you’ll know how to interpret it.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all reading, and many people get upset when they see conflicting meanings online.

  • What does the image or symbol mean to you?
  • How do you feel in your body when you see it?
  • What emotions do you feel? 
  • Use your own intuition before anything else you read online!!

Here are some symbols to watch out for to help get you started, but remember, don’t let this list limit you. Let your intuition guide you!

If you’d like to do a more formal reading, I recommend checking out Hearthwitch’s video Beginner Candle Wax Reading.

The magician is one who has access to secret knowledge, often derived from ancient, foreign, or supernatural sources.

Evidence from the early Middle Ages of pre-Christian Scandinavian and Germanic practices often associates women with the art of knowing or finding information, as with the Norns who weave fates.

Witchcraft and Magic in Europe The Middle Ages

I hope this article about how to do a candle wax reading was helpful! Lots of love to you, and remember, as always…


DK. Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings. DK. 16 June 2008.

Jolly, Karen. Catherina Raudvere. Edward Peters. Witchcraft and Magic in Europe The Middle Ages. University of Pennsylvania Press. 12 March 2002.

“Molybdomancy .” Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. 25 Jul. 2023 <>.

Waite, Arthur. The Occult Sciences – A Compendium of Transcendental Doctrine and Experiment. Obscure Press. 13 June 2019.

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