According to most occult traditions, Ceroscopy is a form of Hydromancy, developed by the ancient Celts and Romans, and at one time commonly practiced in Britain, Sweden, and Lithuania. It appears that the candle burned during the Druids' vigil was poured into a bowl and then into a clear pool of cold water. The auguries for the future would then be read.
This new version gives a shamanic spin to the ancient divination tool.
Several types of Ceroscopy have been historically recorded. In the most common form of Ceromancy, wax was heated in a brass bowl until it was a liquid. The diviner then slowly poured it into a container of cold water. This action created shapes of hardened wax, forming distinct patterns, letters, numbers and/or symbols, for the skillful interpretation of the Carromancist. Standard interpretations were compiled over the centuries, resulting in a system anyone could learn. The same interpretations were later applied to Tasseomancy and its many variants.
An alternate method uses boiling water, and the shapes are read after the water cools. Another technique involved the study of an ordinary candle burning. The movements and erratic actions of the flame and the shape of the melting wax were observed for divining the past, the present and the future.
Customarily, the diviner, after listening to the inquirer's questions and pondering about it, speaks it loudly. He then carefully melts wax or paraffin in a Balneum Mariae (double-boiler), never using an open flame for the task, to avoid igniting the fumes and causing a dangerous explosion. Finally, the melted wax is poured into cold water, where it congeals. The shapes and meanings are then interpreted.
Contemporary candle divination is based in ancient Ceroscopy traditions and techniques, but in it, candles color and shape play a part in the divinatory process. The preferred method uses a black candle with the question for the wanted answer written on its side. The candle is then anointed with three drops of myrrh oil. After these first preparatory steps, the candle is lit. The melting wax can be dropped into a bowl of cold water or into a white piece of paper. The symbols formed by the hardened wax in the water or paper are then interpreted.
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