This ancient technique can produce surprising results. Sit before a roaring fire. Ask your question. Gaze into the flames while the fire burns down. Within the flames, or in the sparkling, glowing coals below them, images of the future may appear. Interpret them with symbolic thought. It's best to limit gazing time to about five minutes, but there's no need to check your watch. Allow the images to come to you for an appropriate time.
Write a question concerning the future on a small piece of paper. Place it face down on a flat, heat-proof surface. Light one corner of the paper with a match. If the entire paper burns, the answer is yes. If only part of the paper is destroyed, the answer is no.
To perform any of the following rites, choose a room not usually subject to winds or drafts. Night is the preferred time, and it's best to lower the lights. Use whits candles except where otherwise indicated.
Light a candle and place it in its holder. Sit or stand before it and search for signs from the flame itself and its wick. If the flame seems dim, it may be best to hold off on plans for the time being. An extremely bright flame is a sign of good fortune, but if it quickly grows smaller, the luck will be temporary.
If the flame waves about, bad weather may be coming, or a great change in circumstances is foretold. A spark visible in the wick indicates the imminent arrival of good news. If the flame turns in a circle or seems to form a spiral, danger is forecast. Finally, a halo around the flame indicates an approaching storm.
Another method of reading candles involves watching the manner in which the molten wax drips down the candle sides. Place the candle in a holder. Ask a yes or no question while lighting the wick. Watch it for some time. If the wax drips only on the left side, the answer is no. If on the right, yes. If equally on both sides, no response is possible. If no wax drips down, ask again later.
A rather unusual form of candle divination involves the remarkable properties of fresh lemon juice. Obtain a clean, non-ball point or felt-tip pen. (The type used for calligraphy). Since neither an ink-filled pen nor a pencil can be used, a sharpened, short stick may be substituted.
Squeeze the juice from a lemon into a small bowl. Lay three, five or seven pieces of paper on a flat surface. Dipping the pen into the lemon juice, (write) a possible future on each piece of paper with the juice; the juice here acts as the ink. Since lemon juice is invisble and difficult to write with, reduce these futures to just a few words. Allow them to dry.
Light a candle. Place the slips of paper into a bowl. Mix them with your left hand, then choose one at random. Hold the chosen piece of paper close enough to the flame to heat it but not enough to burn it. The heat will reveal the future written on the paper as the lemon juice darkens. This will determine the possible future.
One method is known as "smoke reading." Light a candle. Pass a plain white card through the flames three times while asking a question. (do this quickly to avoid setting the card on fire.) Interpret the resulting carbon deposits left on the underside of the card with symbolic thought.
There are many older techniques. For example, build a fire outside in a safe place while asking a yes/no question. Watch the smoke. If it rises straight and lightly into the air, a positive answer has been received. If, however, it hangs heavily around the fire, the reverse is true.
Collect ashes from dead fires or the fire place. Outside, in a place where the wind usually blows at some time, scatter the ashes to a good depth in a rectagular shape on the ground. While asking your question regarding the future, use a finger to write the word yes in the ashes to the right and no to the left. Leave them undisturbed overnight.
In the morning, study the ashes. If both words are clearly legible, no answer is possible at this time. If one has been erased by animal tracks, the wind or by some other force, the remaining word reveals the answer to your question. If both words are gone, again, no answer has been given.