Ceromancy ~ A Folk Witch’s experience on scrying by wax.

Date: 13th February 2022.

Moon phase: Waxing Gibbous (Next full moon in three days time).

Time and weather: 2:25pm, 9 degrees, Overcast and raining.

Place: Lancashire, U.K.

Once again, it is cold and wet here in the North West of England. The recent Mercury Retrograde has ended, Imbolc and the New moon have come and gone, and now we look to the full moon.

Where other parts of the country are seeing snowdrops in flower and other symbols of the Earth beginning to awaken from a winters slumber, I am yet to be so fortunate.

Living in the North West of England, and so experiencing a slightly colder climate, many of us have not yet seen a snowdrop in flower (viewed to be associated and sacred to the goddess Brigid), or felt the sun begin to awaken the Earth. But, I have observed both the bluebell and the snowdrop finally begin to poke their leaves through the ground. Signs that us in the North are perhaps not that far behind our Southern friends after all.

The weather, still being very cold and damp, has meant I am still spending much of my time in the comfort of home. After having caught Covid-19 in the first week of November, I have found myself facing a long and arduous recovery. Where I never ended up in hospital (thank goodness!) I have found myself trying to recover from the absolute arse-ache that is “Long Covid”. Once again though, I am thankful. Thankful that my version of long Covid-19 is seemingly only mild-moderate, and that I have been able to access help from both the NHS and a wonderful fellow local Wise Woman, who is a trained medical herbalist. Between both sources of help, and the use of other folk healing methods, I seem to be making a slow and steady recovery.

My experience of Covid-19 is the main reason why I have not written a blog in several months. Where my entire family came down with Covid-19 at the same time, my young son and I were certainly hit the hardest! My blood oxygen saturation kept dropping, I could not reach the NHS hotline number for help or advice, and I experienced vivid fever dreams and visions. But I digress… my journey into recovering from Covid-19 and using mainly folk ways to do it is a story for another blog. However, I mention Covid-19 to offer context as to why I have not blogged in four months and why much of my folk magick and folk ways have occurred in the comfort and warmth of my home.

Living, working and carrying out my spiritual practice of Druidry and that of my every day practice of Folk Magick has had it’s frustrations and limitations. I have not been able to get up to my beloved Pendle since October, I have only been strong enough to visit my local woodlands twice, and as for visiting the coastlines of North Wales or the beautiful Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala) to connect with the Goddess Cerridwen… well, that also has had to be paused.

Covid-19 restrictions have also meant that I have been unable to travel to the Isle Of Man – a place heavily associated (obviously) with the Celtic/Manx God, Manannan.

Instead I have found myself largely at home, quietly connecting from a Witch’s central point of power; the home and hearth.

During my recovery time, I have focussed on journaling and writing (I hope to submit my book on psychic protection to possible publishers later this year). I have increased the herbal medicine shelf in the pantry by making tinctures of Devil’s claw (for my husband’s aches and pains) and Osha root (for respiratory infections, asthma etc). As well as this, I have focussed on expanding my Wise Woman skills by completing various online trainings relevant to my birth and end of life Doula work (Hypnobirthing training etc).

Perhaps one of the things I have been most busy with is that of carrying out readings and various forms of divination for friends, family and clients.

This is largely in the form of Tarot, Ogham or intuitive distance readings. However, occasionally I will be asked to journey deeper for clients and those close to me. In these cases, rather than divination, I will sometimes journey for the inquirer (often via a drum journey with my self made Doula drum – made at a Drum birthing workshop with the wonderful Jason and Nicola Smalley at The Way of The Buzzard ).

If I am not completing a specific journey for answers, I may use another divination technique, such as candle/fire scrying, water scrying, crystal balls, psychometry or staring into my obsidian black mirror, or ceromancy.

Ceromancy is the practice of dripping wax (usually into water, onto glass or another hard surface) and assessing the set wax dripping shapes.

The origins of Ceromancy (Or Carromancy) are unclear. The term itself is of Greek origin, but the practice itself seems to be fairly universal. With cultures such as the Celts, The Viking’s/Scandinavian’s and the ancient Romans being said to have used this technique. There are two possible reasons for this:

  • Ceromancy originated in Greece and then gradually fanned out across the world via the empire building activities of the Romans, Persians and similar.
  • That ceromancy is an instinctual form of divination that many people from various cultures found that they can utilise.

If one thing can be said of those of us who are skilled in the arts of Divination, it is that we are resourceful! If we don’t have the reflective surface of a crystal ball, we may use a mirror or glass orb. If we do not have a mirror, we may look to the cards (Tarot), and, if we do not have the cards, then we look to the places in nature or every day tools such as cloud shapes, reflections in bodies of water, how sticks fall to the ground (bundling), inspecting the innards of sacrificed animals (historically anyway), or, how a candles wax drippings forms shapes that are likened to other things.

Instead of using ceromancy for someone else, I found that I had my own need for the practice.

I set my four scrying candles up upon my scrying table. Lit the candles and spoke an awakening verse over the flames (a personal way of setting intention and asking both the candles and spirits for assistance). At the end of the awakening verse, I spoke aloud what it was I needed advice and clarity on and then spent time watching the flames.

I then left the candles to burn and the wax to drip (note: When I write ‘Left the candles’ it is important to note that I did not leave the candles unsupervised. I have seen someone close to me loose their home and nearly their life from leaving candles unsupervised. Instead, I sat down in the same room and did some writing, studying and so on).

Later in the evening, I blew the candles out and left the wax drippings to harden.

The next day, I went back to the scrying table to assess and interpret the wax upon the table.

Now, where the images seen within scrying are usually subjective to the person who is interpreting the images, I was amazed to see the two wax pieces I had (one in particular) resembled animals that are viewed as sacred or symbolic within Celtic spirituality and Folklore.

Wax dripping shape, similar to that of a Stag. Oracle card is that of the Stag (Damh) from the Druid Oracle deck.
Original photography by ZBK 2022.

The first wax dripping (seen in the photograph above) strongly reminded me of the Stag. A powerful spirit ally that is often associated with the Horned God (One of the Deities I work with), masculine power, strength and personal integrity. As well as this, the Stag is often associated with Protection. A wonderful confirmation for me as one of my protection allies is that of a great Stag. When I crossed references with the Stag card of the Druid Animal Oracle deck, I noticed that the Stag is pictured standing in front of two birch trees (Symbolic of new beginnings within the Ogham). The two birch arch together to form a gateway like entrance to the landscape beyond. Perhaps indicative of an initiation or new opportunity (new beginnings). On a stone beside him is the effigy of the horned god. From both the Wax dripping and the Stag card, I came to the conclusion that I am well protected on my new venture. Hard work may be ahead, but the strength to overcome this and succeed is within my grasp. A new start and new possibilities are open to me.

However, the division of the cliffs in the background of the card, the two trees, the two engraved stones and the two elements of masculine and feminine within the cards imagery suggests that there may be two paths open to me. Two possible opportunities and two possible outcomes. I found the aspect of duality also was reflected within the wax dripping as the stag only had two legs instead of four. Another thing worth noting is that the Stag is often seen as a spiritual messenger and ally from the Celtic otherworld of Annwn. The stag is one animal (like the crane, owl etc) which is often viewed as a bridge and guide between worlds. As someone who works a lot with spirit, I view the Stag as an auspicious sign. One of deepening psychic gifts, and being protected while I journey or use the second sight.

Second Wax dripping, one that reminded me of the Heron/Crane. Next to the Wax dripping is the Crane card from the Druid Oracle deck.
Original photography by ZBK 2022.

The second wax formation immediately reminded me of both the heron and the crane. But it was the crane who pulled at me most of all. The crane within Celtic folklore and spiritualty is very important. The God Manannan (who I mentioned earlier, is one of the four deities I work with) is said to have created the Crane Bag from the body of poor Aoife (daughter of Dealbhaoth). Aoife had been cursed by one she thought to be her friend, Iuchra (daughter of Abhartach) in a jealous rage over a boy (how many young girls fall out over a crush? Many. Thankfully though, not all end up in being cursed).

It is said that Aoife, in her crane form, flew around the Isle on Man for two hundred years; weeping and squawking. Manannan and Aoife formed a close friendship and would often sit watching the sunset. Aoife desperately hoping that with each passing day, her curse would be lifted. Sadly though, this would never be. and on the 200th anniversary of Aoife being turned into a crane, Manannan Mac Lir turned to look at his friend to see that she was a crane no more. But now in the form of a fair and beautiful maiden laying dead upon the sand. As Manannan gazed upon Aoife’s beauty, she began to wither, leaving only the corpse of an aged woman. For Aoife had now been a crane for two hundred years.

In his sorrow, Manannan decided to immortalise Aoife forever, by using her skin to make a Crane Bag. Within that Crane Bag, all of the treasures of the Celtic lands would be held.

Many Druids (myself included) keep their own variation of a crane bag. Mine is not leather, it is thick canvas fabric. Nor does it house the many sacred treasures of the Celtic lands; but it does keep things that are sacred to me. Things such as my bone knife, pendulum, chosen stones and whatever else I may need. In many ways, the modern Crane Bag has similarities to that of the Folk Charmer’s bag. Both are bags where tools and charms are kept for both safe storage and easy access.

If we look at the crane symbology, it often reflects aspects of sacred femininity; hidden beauty, depth and secret wisdom. One might use the phrase ‘still waters run deep’ when describing the crane.

In fact, when we look at the corresponding card within the Druid Animal Oracle deck, we see that the crane stares deeply into the still waters. There she watches and waits, as the full moon above her (another symbol often associated with women and their cyclic natures) casts light down into the water. Here we see the patient crane scrying and looking for secret knowledge. She, like the Stag, bridges the gap between this world and the next.

Behind the crane stands an entrance to the underworld (another reference to Annwn). Due to the story of Aoife, her curse, and then death, the crane is sometimes viewed as a guide into the underworld, or a companion at either life’s end or a significant life transition. The crane also represents patience and perseverance. She knows what she wants and she is willing to seek it out wholeheartedly.

If I was to interpret this card I would conclude she holds two messages for me.

  1. To continue with my Doula work and training – and definitely also being available to be an end of life Doula/Companion, as well as a birth Doula. To hold both equally, for as we are all born, so too do we all die.
  2. To be aware of my own psychic gifts. That some areas are stronger than others, but all are held within the greatest Crane Bag of all – the self. Within all Folk Witches are individual gifts and talents. Gifts that are often used to help and support members of the community. This is after all what the Wise folk have always done; helped with births, life transitions and held the hand of the dying (as well as all the typical bits like finding lost objects, fertility spells, protection workings, readings etc) . In many ways, the word Doula is just a reincarnation of the term Wise Man/Woman. A 1970’s re-working that was slightly more palatable to the outside world. A world who had so far done it’s best to distance itself and look down upon folkways. Perhaps my message from the Crane is to be both the Witch and the mainstream Doula. That both are two sides of the same coin – after all, most Doula’s I know are either Witches, New Agers or generally “Spiritual” people.


  1. I do not usually use cards alongside Ceromancy, It just happened that it was applicable to this reading.
  2. Some reading this blog may be confused as to why I reference both Druidry and Folk Magick/Witchcraft. This is because I see Druidry as my faith, but Witchcraft and Folk ways as my practice. I personally do not see my practice of Witchcraft as a religion. However, both often cross over and intertwine as they are often lumped under the Pagan umbrella.
  3. Several Celtic Deities have been mentioned in this blog, that is because I largely work with four deities; Brigid, Cerridwen, Manannan and the Horned God.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today and I hope you enjoyed it. If you did like it, please feel free to subscribe or follow me over on Instagram @Diaryofafolkwitch

Through the time, mists and distance between us, blessings from me to you.


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