What Does It Mean If My Candle Burns Fast? (And Other Signs to Know)

Candle Signs and Flame Meanings

Whether it’s your first time doing candle magic or it’s your 50th, one thing you’ll learn quickly is that no candle burns the same. (This is true even if you’re just burning candles because you want your house to smell good.) Some candles burn fast, some burn with a double flame, some get knocked over by the cat.

Are these signs or omens? Some people (including myself) believe there are meanings behind some of these candle signs. Reading the flame behaviors may give you more insight into what is to come from your candle spell or manifestation.

Candle Signs and Flame Meanings - High Flame


Should I Read the Candle Signs?

I’m always a big proponent of you doing what feels best for your spirituality. If you are called to read the signs, read the candle signs! If not, don’t. Trust your intuition.

There are at least two schools of thought here. On the one hand, it’s possible to say that the candle burns the way it does because of how way it was made. And, that’s true. If you burn a candle with a long wick, it might burn faster. If you burn it near an open window, it might burn down on one side faster than another.

But, I think there’s a second level at work here. You chose that particular candle for a reason. Perhaps subconsciously, your intuition guided you to it because of the way it was made. Or, perhaps something higher was guiding you towards that particular tool.

Candles encased in glass, chime candles, and freestanding taper or pillar candles all burn differently. Once you start working with the same type of candle regularly, you’ll discover what’s “normal” for that type so you know what to pay attention to and what you might be able to ignore.

Here are some of the common candle signs and flame meanings. These divination signs are derived from a variety of cultures and belief systems and may use one of three types of divination:

  • Pyromancy: Divination using fire
  • Ceromancy: Divination using wax
  • Capromancy: Divination using smoke
Candle Signs and Flame Meanings - Woman Holding Candle
This candle burning approach probably won’t give you the most accurate results.

Pyromancy Signs (Candle and Flame Meanings)

Dancing, jumping, or flickering flame. This means that there is a lot of energy around your spell. Pay attention to other signs to see if this energy is moving in your direction. Make sure to check for drafts as well.

High flame. Either your wick is very tall or your wish is supported and may come to fruition.

Small weak flame. Either your wick is too short or your spell is facing a lot of obstacles.

Blue flame. If your candle is burning hot with a blue flame, the energy is on your side. This is a good sign.

Dual flame. This generally means another presence has entered the working, and generally not in a good way.

Popping or crackling.  It’s said that if your candle is popping or crackling or otherwise making a lot of noise, that spirits are trying to talk to you. It’s up to you to figure out if their intention is beneficial or malicious.

Candle wick curling. A curled wick is generally a good sign. Your intention has probably hit the mark.

Candle won’t light. If your candle refuses to light, if your match keeps going out before you light it, or if it won’t stay lit, this is not a good sign for your workings. It means you’re being blocked for one reason or another. It’s essentially candle equivalent of the eight ball message “try again later.”

Candle burns quickly. If your candle burns very fast, your intention is likely to come to fruition. It may, however, not last as long as you wish.

Candle burns slowly. If your candle burns slow and steady, this is a good sign things your workings will be granted. If it’s very very slow, it may mean that there is an obstacle in the way or that it might take much longer for your desire to manifest.

Candle is destroyed or glass breaks. If your cat, an earthquake, the wind, or some other entity or natural force knocks over your candle or destroys it, this is generally a good sign to stop your work. If your candle explodes, go find somewhere else to live and mind the plates your friendly poltergeist is hurling at you. But, seriously, these are all signs the universe is begging you to please stop.

Candle Signs and Flame Meanings - White Smoke

Capromancy Signs (Soot and Smoke Meanings)

Candle glass gets black around the top. When you’re working with candles, it’s pretty typical for them to get some black soot around the top. You know, because science. If there aren’t many additional ingredients (oils, herbs, etc.) on the candle and the top is very dark, it can mean there obstacles or blocks in the way of your intention.

Black soot all the way down the jar. This generally isn’t a good sign. Something might be working against you and if you want your intention to manifest you might have to do additional personal, interpersonal, or magical work.

Black soot on one side of the glass. I tend to interpret this that there is a block in the element the soot appears on. If, for instance, it’s only on the West side, then I wonder if I’m bringing an emotional block to the situation or, if the candle if connected to someone else, they are.

White soot on candle. Some believe that if you see white soot, this means the universe or spirits are supporting your intention. The more white soot, the better.

Smoke from candle. I look at what direction the smoke is heading in. If it’s moving in the direction that needs the most help, then I interpret this as a good sign. Others believe that if the smoke moves towards you it’s a good sign, and if the smoke moves away from you, less so. If this feels correct to you, go with it. If you’re working with undoing a curse or removing something negative, look for smoke to be heading away from you. Just make sure to check for drafts if you’re using this as a sign.

Black smoke from candle. If you dressed your candle with a lot of herbs or oils, you’re probably going to see a lot of black smoke, at least at the beginning of the burn. Otherwise, it can mean something is blocking your spell.

White smoke from candle. This as a sign your intention has been received and will be granted.

Lots of smoke. Some people believe that if the candle is letting off a lot of smoke, this is a sign your guides, spirits, or the universe is trying to communicate with you. If you’re working with an energy or someone connected with the air element this could also be a good sign. Some examples of this could be doing a spell during Gemini season, manifesting something related to a Gemini, or doing working connected with someone who has one of the sword court cards as a significator.

Black soot around flame. Did you touch your candle wick? Did you? This happens to me when I get annoyed that there’s wax on the sides and instead of just being patient push it down and then I spill the candle wick soot into the candle. Signs I have Sagittarius rising include… If you didn’t do this TK.


Ceromancy Signs (Wax Meanings)

Candle doesn’t burn all the way.  Most candles don’t burn without any leftover wax, and glass encased pillar candles rarely do. If there’s a lot of wax left, usually half an inch or so in a glass encased candle, this could mean you have things to work through before you can complete working.

Clean burn, no wax left. If you have no wax left and all other signs are good, then your spell was successful. Be patient for it to come to fruition, but it should be on its way.

Candle burns on one side only. Your intention is blocked by all elements or forces except the one on the side that is clear.

Candle burns on all sides but one. The energy of that element (earth, water, air, or fire) is blocking your ask. Ask yourself if there is an emotional (Water/West), physical (Earth/North), communication (East/Air), or will-based (Fire/South) obstacle in the way of your intention.

Candle crater. Sometimes only the middle of the candle burns. This happens regularly if you’re not working with a pillar candle, but it can mean your intention wasn’t strong enough to work through the blocker.

Wax signs. If wax remains after the burn, take a look at it to see if there are any shapes or symbols within it.

Clockwise candle wax burn. This is a good sign and means that your intention is on its way to you.

Counter clockwise wax burn. If you are doing an uncrossing or banishing, this is a good sign as it’s moving that energy away from you. Otherwise, this is not a good sign.

Candle Signs and Flame Meanings - Pin

The Pagan Grimoire
  1. I had two candles burning at the same time for a spell. One (for me) is burning significantly faster than the other (other person). What does this mean

  2. Hello! I was trying to clean the energy of my house with candles, I anointed them with rosemary and laurel and placed one candle in each room. One of them started kinda catching fire like it was burning from the whole top not only the match so I moved it to the kitchen and placed it under running water but as I was doing it, the candle was making popping noises. I think it was because it caught fire with the laurel leaves but now I have a weird feeling and almost feel like a not in my stomach. Do you think I’m reading too much into it and it was just the laurel?

    1. You’re better off cleansing your house with either a floorwash (for stone, wood, vinyl or other non-absorbent floors) or a powder (for carpet and rugs). For the wash, bless the herbs and boil them into a tea, then use them in your mop water once a week. For the powder, bless them, then crush them into powder and sprinkle them on your floor before vacuuming them up. If you felt no knot in your stomach before trying with the candle, only after, then it’s just your own anxiety. If you felt it before as well then potentially there is something present making you on edge. Nothing non-physical can affect you physically though. And if you’re going to be doing magic, you need to get ahold on your own emotions first and foremost. Otherwise every spirit will attach to you. So put your fears aside, don’t use fire if you think there is a bad spirit around, and keep cleansing. Make sure to add protective energy too.

  3. Not long ago, my sister mentioned she’s interested in trying out spells with candles. She’s been reading a lot about healing crystals, tarot cards, and voodoo lately, so I think she’ll find your post helpful. Thanks for explaining what it means if your candle’s flame jumps or dances a lot.

  4. I did a cord cutting spell on the full moon tonight. The person I was cutting out, their candle went out 2x then restarted. From there the burn was really good. His went out half way down the candle after burning the cord. Mine however has burned all the way down and then has kept going. It has been 30mins with it still burning. It was a pillar candle. There is nothing left to burn. My friend and I do not understand why it’s still burning.

  5. Hello this is to any one who can help give information. I had a 7 day candle which represented love and good luck. The first candle burned and was black on the top but faded into white with some. Thin wax on the bottom. I was told to get another candle and did. Same candle and same intention. I wrote on paper what i wanted just like previous candle and this candle flame burned quite high and was as if it was dancing. The top of the glass turned black. More blacker than the previous candle and then turned off the candle didnt even burn half way through.

    I have no idea what this means im sure its a blockage of some sort

  6. Did a release spell. Wrote a part of it on the candle. The candle split in half right through the middle of what was written on the candle. Now the curls are curling up to look like horns. Like a mountain goat. What does this mean? My intuition says it’s me and my bf being opened up to release our fears. But…….. I’d like a more experienced practitioners input

    1. Dear Jayde

      I am wondering if you can tell me what it means when smoke starts to swirl around similar to a tornado. Thank you in advance.

      Sincerely mariah

  7. Did an Adam & eve’s candle love spell and my flame went out was burning strong and beautiful and first … his flame stayed burning strong and high what does that mean?

  8. I tried to do a cord cutting for the first time. The candle for the other person melted away and stopped burning but there were two other flames that caused that candle to be destroyed so quickly. One of the additional flames burnt out but the third continued to burn and became more intense. Was even burning over top of one of the crystals I used. It started to make the salt around it pop and spark until I realized I had to put it out. When I tried, it burst into this huge flame before it finally extinguished. What does this mean? It was very intense!

  9. I used a pillar candle with no glass and I checked it and it was 1/4 of the way burnt after about an hour of it burning. I checked 10 minutes later and it was completely at the bottom but obviously in a huge pool of wax. It was a reversal candle and had a huge dancing flame. First time doing a candle with no glass anyone know what it means?

    1. I’m using a black pillar candle to break a spell, and I noticed that the wick is not centered, it must have moved around during the wax pouring process and there is oil mixed in the wax; does this mean that the candle is obsolete? It is causing the candle to have black soot be more concentrated on one side. Currently the black soot is concentrated at the top portion of the candle as well.

  10. The black soot …. I was using a reverse spell prayer candle pre-dressed I was told the amount of soot was a sign of how much magic was don’t against me
    It had soot through most of the jar minus 2 inches from the bottom… no wax left n the candle was high and flickering through out … what does it me

    1. Hi. I am not the owner of the page. But I think I can help with your question. When I first started my candles were black. I had a black protection from enemies candle. Not only was that turning all black but it literally exploded. I was sleeping when I heard the loud band and was like WTAF. I spent a lot a money on candles but I couldn’t stop for some reason. I felt like I had a mission. Lol I brought a book to write all the work I have done using date, name of candles, what I used in it. How it tuned out. Those same candles are now turning out clear with no wax to the bottom. Or black soot on top clear all the way down. I suggest to keep doing the same candle over again until it comes out clear. I did many block busters. My last one a few weeks ago finally came out amazing. According to how much you have Been blocked in life. It often takes a few repeated candle work for it to clear. Root work does the job too. And wrote down your progress.

    2. Hi, I usually burn plain white pillar candles for my intentions. We just burned 2 candles with my boyfriend and after it burned it left white rings on the glass I never seen this before and I’ve burned many candles. I was trying to figure out what it this means anything as I couldn’t find it on the internet. Does anyone know?

  11. Hi ! So idk but I have my white glass candle which I lit first then I lit the second one which is a red st Michael glass candle so with the white one it burned into the shape of a half a moon or a little less than a half a moon it didn’t make it to half the glass I’d say a quarter then it burned down regularly and the flame it dances but flickers and its light grey at the very top and my second candle is doing the same with the flame but my red candle has dark grey close to black but me facing it its on the right back side of candle also this is the second time that I light the same colored candles back to back and the reason is because the first set i lit and burned the red was dark grey all the way down about half way fading and the white one was light grey just almost about half way I let them burn all the way but this time its less dark on both compared to my first 2 sets please help for the one who gave me my gifts thru generations is no longer here to help me understand what I don’t comprehend thank you in advance.

    1. When I see rings this means to me that these are minor obstacles that I will need to work through. I will see results of my spell but there is work spiritually I need to do. I would do some divination do the work spiritually then try again. Hope this helps.

  12. So I did a cord cutting the candle representing me is burning slow but the person I’m cutting ties with their candle burned fast broke a little close to the end but fully burned not sure what I means

  13. I’m burning a white pillar candle in a glass jar. the flame is low and dancing with a hint blue on the bottom. But the melted wax is not clear- it has a brown tint to it and brown/ black coloring spots (maybe soot) on the unmelted part… what does this mean?.

  14. I have been burning different pink and red candles for some time now, and I noticed that all of the glass encased 7 day candles are burning pretty strong and clean, with no wax residue, however the flame dances the entire time. I spend about 10 min two times a day, before and after work with the candles setting my intention/ affirmation In 2 separate occasions, while doing this, I felt a rush of warmth go through me while the flame rose high and hot. Not sure what it meant but it felt good and positive at the time. Some have a blue flame at the bottom too. The regular Pilar candles have a strong steady flame rather, with no movement, some wax overflow, mostly towards the back and running to the front from the right, but not a lot of dripping. Couldn’t figure out any shapes. One of the pillar candles did break the crystal candlestick right at the very end, but I think it was because I noticed the wick had moved to the back and it became very hot for the glass. A small portion on the back of the stick broke off while the candle kept burning for another 30 min until it was completely done. Not sure how to interpret all this. My lover has gone to a 5 month academy training in Feb leaving a lot of uncertainty between us, and we had minimal but positive communication since. However, none of it is about where we are heading I know he is focused on his training which is his top priority now and should be done soon, but I stay positive. Any thoughts?

    1. Oh, and just to add to all that, every one of the wicks so far has curled up, some to a perfect bullseye…..

    2. I lit a candle for love and an inch or so did remain after it was done burning, however I noticed there was tiny black soot by the wick in a shape and when I looked closer I saw that it actually spelt the word love…wondering if this is a good sign. The wax also melted around it almost in the shape of rose petals. Any thoughts?

  15. A moth fell into my candle and it drowned in the wax so candle went out. I removed the moth and re lit the candle but it’s crackling what does this mean?

  16. My husbands court case candle was burning well. It has white soot on the glass, the wick split into 2 then turned off but he has another court candle burning by it. What does this mean?

    1. Up above within the paragraph it states;
      Dual flame(double/two). This generally means another presence has entered the working, and generally not in a good way.

      Also; White soot on candle. Some believe that if you see white soot, this means the universe or spirits are supporting your intention. The more white soot, the better.

      *Try again burn another candle even though you had another one burning besides it. Set your intentions, cleanse it with sage too.

  17. I was trying to ccomunicate and I was using a sigil this was my first time doing candle work and everything was good the flame was high and steady but then I looked away and it freaked out like it was mad the flame went real high I’m talking huge like 6in and was flicker rapidly and a lot of black smoke was being created it scared me so I put it out but does anyone know what this means

    1. Up above within the paragraph it states;
      Black smoke from candle. If you dressed your candle with a lot of herbs or oils, you’re probably going to see a lot of black smoke, at least at the beginning of the burn. Otherwise, it can mean something is blocking your spell.

      Dancing, jumping, or flickering flame. This means that there is a lot of energy around your spell. Pay attention to other signs to see if this energy is moving in your direction. Make sure to check for drafts as well.
      High flame. Either your wick is very tall or your wish is supported and may come to fruition.

      *Its suggested you should burn another candle. Set your intentions and cleanse it with sage and let it burn. Do not but it out as long as it’s not by anything that will catch fire.

  18. Hello,

    My seven day candle has completed with some white shoot at the top, the wax is very low I can barley see it… Shouldn’t the flame burn out on its own? The flame is still very high, what does this mean?

  19. Hi, I just started doing candle magic and i had lit two (birthday)candles at once on my hand. One candle was blue and the other was white. The blue one was for communication and the white for clarity. They were burning at a pretty normal pace and once they started to almost burnt out and got closer to my hand they started to make crackling sounds though the flames where pretty tame the whole time.
    Does the crackling mean anything??
    After a bit i decided to light another (White, birthday)candle again for clarity(though i carved the word “clear” onto it instead) and let it stand on a notebook and i lit it. The flame was almost perfectly still the whole time and it took maybe about 1-2 hours to burn out completely.
    What does the abnormally slow burn mean?

    1. I lit my blue candle for spirituality and communication and i saw a huge wax all over it until it burned out.what could this mean🤔

  20. My spiritual person told me to burn a candle upside down to get rid of negative energy but it keeps turning off or it’s has a low flame and I also see dual flames which looks like they are fighting each other or dancing. What does this mean? Does I go back to my spiritual advisor?

  21. So i usually light a red medium/small circle candle its kind of thick not like the stick candles and i often use these for my Monday ritual for elegua but this time the candle burned 12-13 hours from about 7ish pm to early 8am and usually it never burns that long especially for a candle thats not big…does this mean anything? I did ask for something new and now im flooded with choices, is it connected?

  22. Hi I’m new to this candle burning, tonight I-burned two candles and the tall we candles flame is high and flickering, their are wax drips dripping in the front of the candela I’m lighting these candles in honor of my aunt who has stage four cancer what does it mean will she be ok if the candle flickers high but it has wax drips ?

  23. For two days straight my protection candle and my positive energy candle burned still hardly flickering. Today when I first lit them my black protection candle sparked a few times and started to pop for a few seconds before calming down. Same with my yellow positive energy candle. After I blew them out for a little bit I decided to light them again when coming back upstairs and my positive energy had black smoke for a few seconds before settling down and flickering/dancing around. My black protection candle had white smoke before calming down and flickering/dancing around as well. So I decided to light my normal green candle to see if anything happens with that one and this candle is flickering/dancing as well. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

  24. Today, my candle created a second candle beside it, on the right. It looked like I had intentionally lit two twin candles – but there had been only one.
    Both burned together with one flame, and evenly. I haven’t seen that before, so it struck me as unusual. Does anyone have any thought to interpretation? The intent of the candle was guidance and protection.

    1. It happened to me for the first time too but what I did I controlled the flame by positioning the two wicks to burn together, what I loved was the high flame that had a steady and silent burning and I just took it as a factory fault

  25. I did a cutting cords for the new year. I’ve done candle work many times however when I woke up this morning. (Candles did burn all the way down before I sent to bed). There was a lot on water vapor/condensation droplets on my plate. I tried to read google I can’t find the meaning? The burn was good. Not slow flam little chattering but I did burn a cord and
    Used some oils. I use salt in my circle for my craft. Wax is left behind not a lot or tunneling. Just the water vapor. It’s never happened.. thoughts?

    1. hi. the cord won’t stop burning. (from both sides). and the candle threads too. wax still remains after the burn. can I put out the fire ? what do I do?

  26. while working tarot my pillar candle fell (thankfully i caught it safely before it hit the ground). alas, i’m not sure what that could mean, as well as getting wax only on the king of swords in reverse. anyone have an idea?

  27. Hello,
    I was burning 2 red candles tied together. The flames were very high and flickering together and at one point it was one high flame, very bright glowy orange. Throughout the burning, flames stayed high, flicking, steady and jumping straight up. One burned out first and second within seconds of the first one. Left a small amount of wax and the ribbon

  28. My court case candle is low but blue flame. I thought maybe too much oil turned it out the first time so I relit it and it’s still low and I’m nervous it’s going to turn out again. Please help!

  29. Hi. I lit a candle yesterday and the flame was still and high. I woke up in the middle of the night to see that the entire top of the candle was in flames, obviously the tip of the candle had turned black as well. It had only melted about 2 inches and then the flame went out. Lots of white smoke after. What does this mean? I’m scared to relight it.

  30. What if you do soulmate spell and all the the sides didn’t burn all of the way and made a shape. Is that great or bad

    1. My wick twirled counterclockwise, it kept burning without wax and where it twirled another flame came up, both flames from the same wick were half blue and half red. What would that mean? The intention was health and prosperity for someone close to me.

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