SIGNS FROM CANDLE-BURNING
Not every magical practitioner takes heed of the manner in which ritual or spell-casting candles burn, but for the most part, in my experience, it is people who work in African-American and African- Caribbean traditions often pay attention to the way a candle burns and can draw conclusions about it. In particular, spiritual workers who set lights for clients make a habit of noticing the manner in which the candles burn.
Of course, it is important to note that some candles are simply poorly made and will burn badly no matter what you do with them (for instance, if the wick is too thick they may burn sootily). Also, the temperature in the area, the presence of wind or a draft, and other external factors may play a part in how candles burn. The novice should not worry over-much about how candles burn until he or she has burned a lot of candles and gained some perspective on the matter.
All that having been said, here are some of the things to watch for when burning candles:
The candle gives a clean, even burn
This means things will go well with the spell or blessing and that one will most likely get what one wishes for. If a glass encased candle burns and leaves no marks on the glass, that is best. If a free-standing candle leaves little or no residue, that is best.
The flame flares, dips, gutters, and flares again, repeatedly
This is often seen as a sign that the person on whom you are working is subconsciously aware of your actions and may be responding partially, then fighting off your influence, then responding again. Be sure, however, that this behavior of the candle flame is not caused by the mundane fact that you have set the candle in a draft. If necessary, move the candle somewhere else and see if the repeated flaring up and dying away stops; if it does not stop, then it is to be considered a sign, and not simply a physical coincidence.
A free-standing candle runs and melts a lot while burning
This gives you an opportunity to observe the flow of wax for signs. For instance, if you are burning a bride-and-groom type candle for love, and the woman's wax runs all over the man's, then the woman desires the man more than he desires her. If you are burning a green money candle and the wax melts and runs down onto the monetary offering, then the spell is "eager to work" and the candle is "blessing the money." Some people try to influence the way melting wax runs. They do this as an intentional part of the spell-work, to increase the likelihood that things will go the way they want. Others prefer to let nature take its course and to watch running wax for signs, without interfering in its movements.
A free-standing candle burns down to a puddle of wax
When this happens, most workers will examine the shape of the wax for a sign. You may see something of importance there, for the shape may suggest an outcome regarding the matter at hand. For instance, a heart-shaped wax puddle is a good significator if you are burning red candles for love spell -- and a coffin-shaped wax puddle is a good significator if you are burning a black devil candle against an enemy. Wax puddles come in all kinds of shapes; most candle-workers treat them like tea-leaves when they "read" them.
A glass-encased candle burns half clean and half dirty
This indicates that there is hidden trouble with the person for whom the lights have been set or that someone is working against your wishes. Things will not go well at first, but by repeated spells you may get them to go better.
A free-standing candle lets out a lot of smoke but burns clean at
Again, hidden trouble or someone working against your wishes. Things will not go well at first, but with repeated work you will overcome.
There is a dirty, black, sooty burn (especially one that messes up a
This means things are going to go hard -- the spell may not work, the blessing may fail, the person is in deeper stress or trouble than you thought. If the work is being done against an enemy and the enemy's candle burns sooty and dirty, then it is likely that the enemy is fighting your influences.
The candle goes out before completely burning
This is a bad sign because it indicates that someone very strong is working against you or against the person on whose behalf you are setting the lights. You will have to start the entire job over from the beginning and you may need to use stronger means than you first employed.
The candle tips over and flames up into a fire hazard
Not only will the spell probably fail but there may be increased danger ahead for you or the client. In order to accomplish anything, you will have to start the entire job over from the beginning -- but first do a thorough Uncrossing spell for everyone involved and Ritually clean the premises before setting any more lights.
The candle burns up overly fast
Generally a fast burn is good, but an overly-fast burn (compared to other times you have used the same kind of candle) means that although the work will go well, it may not last long. You might have to repeat the job at a later date. If you have set lights for several people and one person's candle burns faster than the others, then that person is most affected by the work, but the influence may not last long enough to produce a permanent change.
DISPOSAL OF CANDLE WAX
In European-American traditions, many people bury candle wax and other ritual remains after a spell is cast. Burial toward the appropriate quarter of the compass is considered a thoughtful way to go about this. Some neo-pagans dispose of ritual or spell remains in a bonfire or fireplace.
In African-American hoodoo candle magic spells the disposal of left- over materials follows other patterns, usually dependent upon the type of spell.
If the intention of the spell is good and it involves matters around one's own home, like blessing, love-drawing, money-drawing, or home protection, one can wrap the materials in a cloth or paper packet and bury them in the yard. It is important to never bury remains from negative spells in one's own yard.
If the intention of the spell is not centered on matters close to home, or if one does not have a suitable yard, one can wrap the materials in a cloth or paper packet and throw them in running water over the left shoulder and walk away. Alternatively, one can take the materials to a crossroads- any place where two roads cross -- and throw the packet into the center of the crossroads over the left shoulder and walk away. The crossroads is also the preferred place to throw bath-water before beginning a spell; it is often used for throwing out the remains of candle wax if the spell does not personally involve the practitioner or if the spell is negative or influence-removing.
If the intention of the spell is specifically to get someone to leave town or leave one alone, one can divide the materials (e.g. 9 needles used in a spell and 9 pieces of wax from a candle) into 9 packets and add Hot-Foot Powder to each packet. One starts at a crossroads near to where the person lives and throws out the first packet. Then one travels in a direction away from the enemy's home, toward where one wants them to go, and drops a packet at each crossroads one passes until all the packets are gone. In the country this might carry one several miles. In the city it would only be 9 blocks, so city folks only count major intersections (with a light) when they do this, or they may count freeway interchanges to get some distance worked up between the packets.
If the intention of the spell is seriously, irreparably harmful (like causing another person grave illness), especially if it contains graveyard dirt or goofer dust, one can dispose of the material in a graveyard. The wax and other remnants are placed in a miniature coffin, buried, and marked by a miniature headstone with the enemy's name on it. When setting such a spell to rest, many workers also sprinkle a mixture of sulfur powder and salt around the grave, then walk home and don't look back.(BE AWARE OF NEGATIVE KARMA IF YOU INSIST ON PERFORFING HARMFUL MAGICK)