Beginning Fire Scrying

Spell candle with curled flame and wax spillage.

Fire can be an incredibly expressive tool for divination. You can scry with everything from a small candle flame to a large open bonfire. When respected, fire is a friendly divination method. Additionally fire’s natural light provides some measure of built-in warding, and almost all human beings have a touch of the Fire element within them, making fire scrying a safe and approachable tool for beginners.

As always, choose a safe place where you will be undisturbed, and ward the space you intend to scry in. Consider saging the area, or using a specialty spray for this purpose. Take a moment to bless the area and your flame source before beginning; invoke any spiritual entities or deities you trust to protect you. If you intend to scry regularly, try creating a paper ward to keep under your candle holder(s).

When working with fire, make sure there is adequate ventilation and you are not in danger of inhaling smoke or other fumes. Additionally, make sure your flame is on a heat-safe surface, or otherwise in a container that is safe from tipping over, and not overheating and damaging objects around or under it. Keep children, pets, and loose items away from the flames. (This can be particularly important for magic users who work in ceremonial robes, use feathers, dried plants, and other highly flammable ritual objects!)

When you are ready to begin, light your flame with a prayer or word of intention. Treat the flame with all the respect of a living being; while not necessarily sentient, Fire is a powerful element with its own magical personality. Ask the fire to help you, treat it as a friend, and thank it for its assistance. Sit comfortably in front of the flame and enter a state of meditation. Focus on breathing regularly, and gazing directly at the flame, but without letting your eyes be fully focused on it. Observe the height of the flame and the brightness, whether it flickers or burns steady, if it seems to dance more in one direction than the other, or if you can discern any symbolic shapes in the flickering flame.

Let your intuition guide you; ask focused mental questions and see if the fire responds. You can try establishing a “code” to communicate with the fire– flicker left for “no,” right for “yes,” burn high for good omens, low for warnings, or whatever feels correct to you and the questions at hand. Watch for any wax drippings, and study the shapes of any wax leftover at the end of the burn. Losing a lot of wax from a scrying or spell candle can indicate something is “bleeding,” or otherwise causing pain, negativity, or blockage. (Alternatively, this can mean great success if your goal was to “slay” an existing problem with your candle!) Trust your observations, and your abilities to interpret what you see. The Light wants to connect with you, the universe wants to communicate, and the fire wants to help– be open to receiving insights, and trust that your magical heart will understand what it is shown, even if your intellectual mind may struggle with abstract scrying practice at first.

When scrying with a spell candle, allow the flame to burn down completely even if you are not meditatively scrying for the entire burn time. If you must extinguish a spell candle before it burns out, snuff it gently with a word of respect, and relight it to finish burning at your earliest convenience. If you are performing ongoing work or magical journeying, keeping a stub of your scrying candle and using it to light the next one can be a great way to keep your energy going from ritual to ritual. When scrying with larger fires, always make sure you (or someone else) fully extinguish the flames before leaving the area. It is also a good idea to make some gesture of closing when you are finished scrying (such as a prayer, hand motion, or bow) so as to not unintentionally leave any psychic channels open.