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Smoke Divination: The Art of Capnomancy

Smoke Divination

I didn’t know all an excessive amount of about smoke divination, or capnomancy up till a 12 months or so in the past.  I actually didn’t understand how correct and intimately it could be in regard to my life till I had a studying from Rissa Miller.  A author, tutorial and lover of nature, Rissa additionally has been doing tea leaf divination and smoke readings for various years.  There are many totally different ways in which smoke divination might be approached, and we will additionally incorporate particular plant allies in relation to burning herbs.  You don’t discover many people who find themselves actually adept at capnomancy, however Rissa is among the most interesting, and I’m excited that she was prepared to share extra about it!

Photograph offered by Rissa Miller


“The soul which can’t endure hearth and smoke received’t discover the secret.” Rumi 


Historic and evocative, smoke blends the commonplace with an edgy aspect of hazard; in spite of everything, the place there may be smoke, there may be at all times hearth. Fireplace is pure power and smoke is the embodiment of its huge pressure, making caponancy, or smoke divination, a robust reflection for these searching for steerage.


Smoke’s magic is in its lightness, the way in which it stretches skywards, lifts our needs, even shifts the power of the lifeless. Smoke has traditionally been used to move the stays of the deceased, lifting their souls from the bodily world throughout cremation. In lots of cultures, it clears the air and eradicates negativity with energetic clearing and rituals akin to smudging. Smoke occupies a place in all main religions and most Native cultures. Fairly actually, smoke connects the earthly world with refined power.


In divination, capnomancy falls beneath the class of pyromancy, aka hearth divination, and dates again to the earliest fires created by humankind. Folks gathered round a hearth, observing its flames, embers, and smoke stretch skyward, and appeared therein for messages. The primary recorded capnomancy was in historical Babylon, roughly 2000 B.C., when cedar burned in ceremonial fires was translated by monks. Delphi’s oracles had been additionally reported to make use of smoke of their seeing, in addition to historical Greeks, who most well-liked animal sacrifices of their smoke studying fires. Druids are believed to have used oak and mistletoe for capnomancy.  One other variation was practiced by Etruscans, who threw numerous seeds into hearth and omens had been interpreted based mostly on the audible sounds of the popping seeds as they burned.


Time handed, and regardless of numerous adjustments in society, each hearth and smoke have remained fixed of their nature. To learn mystical swirling vapors is like seeing shapes in clouds or scrying from water. It’s randomized divination, and readings rely upon the ability, imaginative and prescient, and talent of the reader.

Photograph by Kirsten Weaver

Divination, as I observe it, is a deep reflection on the current, how your previous shapes it, and the how future will likely be rolled out, in addition to the midpoint – now – when you have got management.


Smoke paints a vivid scene, transferring in actual time with the practitioner’s ideas and questions. Through the years, I’ve transitioned from studying smoke within the air to smoke drawing. Utilizing a candle with a standard wick (ie, not smokeless) I move a clean web page via the smoke till it fills with shapes fabricated from soot from the smoke. The actions of the smoke create patterns and I take advantage of my instinct and analytical skills to watch and interpret messages within the smoke seize.


The soot tends to supply a deep dive into the seeker’s questions. Usually, full photos of relationships and enterprise endeavors unfold, full with probably successes and really doable challenges. There are incessantly specifics: I’ve foreseen a guide membership disintegrate resulting from poisonous members; a divorce involving two daughters; upstart small companies that obtained going; and sadly, even self-destructive addictions and abusive relationships have proven up within the smoke.

Photograph Supplied by Rissa Miller

I normally observe the smoke from the candle earlier than starting, getting a way for the studying earlier than it begins. It units the stage for the bigger message that unfolds on the paper. I take advantage of the overall observations listed under to get an preliminary vibe.

When studying smoke on the web page or within the air, I look for a similar symbology language I take advantage of for tea leaf readings, which I began creating 30-ish years in the past in my teacups. Animals, human figures, letters and numbers, faces, geometry, and different particulars which are fully private to the person studying present up on the common. All the time, a narrative unfolds.


Due to its etherial nature, smoke divination is right for reaching throughout the veil and into the spirit realm. Wish to speak to an ancestor, information, handed cherished one, or resident ghost? They’ll converse with the smoke, because it’s simpler for them to govern such an etherial medium. Make sure, nevertheless, to set protecting wards, in case an surprising entity makes an look. Not joking after I say this: smoke cleanse your studying space first.


Prepared to provide it a attempt? It’s crucial to belief your self and let your instinct stream. Smoke might be sourced from incense, burning dried herbs (like sage), outside wooden fires, chimney smoke, or candles with out smokeless wicking. Sadly, gasoline fires aren’t efficient for this.

Photograph offered by Rissa Miller

Sensible ideas:

~ All the time take a look at smoke when it’s backlit, which implies it’s brighter behind the smoke than the purpose from the place you’re looking. Having a darker background additionally helps.


~ Studying to see smoke might be aided by fashionable expertise. Use your cellphone to seize a collection of photographs documenting adjustments within the smoke, and even movies. Research the shapes within the photos, that are simpler to see in a photograph, and shortly, you’ll acknowledge them extra readily as they float within the air.


~ By no means observe capnomany outside on a windy day or inside close to vents or open home windows. Firstly, it’s not secure. Secondly, the atmosphere will completely change your studying, rendering it void. Security is at all times key when handing hearth! Maintain sufficient water available to place out unintended fires. By no means observe capnomancy on carpets!


Libanomancy is particularly studying smoke from incense. It’s a comfy approach to observe smoke divination and simplifies getting used to smoke patterns/conduct. Strive a number of manufacturers of sticks and cones to seek out the one you want greatest. Even higher, make your personal! Some industrial incense incorporates harsh chemical substances, and respiratory them too usually might be unhealthy on your well being/your pets. If you happen to plan to make use of candles, keep away from smokeless wicks.


~Just a few easy smoke gestures to get you began:

Straight up in a single line: Issues are transferring steadily in your favor

Damaged line: Watch out, issues not as they appear

Skinny smoke: Clear path, regular progress

Thick, heavy smoke: Anticipate delays, power is caught, languishing

Proper transferring: Constructive, you’re heading in the right direction

Left Shifting: Unfavorable, rethink your path

Downward rolling: Enormous disruption; just like the Tower in tarot

Rolls in the direction of the reader: One thing is coming in the direction of you

Rolls away from the reader: A scenario is ending or transferring away

If the flames leaps/seen hearth soar: Scenario goes to explode, for higher or worse

If the flames exit on their very own: Power is just not aligned; failure probably

Swirls or spiral patterns:  Confusion; intentions aren’t clear

Ladder going upward: Onerous work forward, however you’ll get there

Smoke splits: Multiple particular person is concerned or there’s a related selection level

Smoke in all instructions: Chaos, put together for distraction/disruption

True Circle: Success arrives in surprising methods; completion of cycle

True Coronary heart: Love from spirit/departed cherished one; steerage from different facet


Learn my unique interview with Rissa on tea leaf studying HERE.

If you’re curious about experiencing a distant smoke studying by Rissa, or wish to have her educate the observe to your group through Zoom, go to her at www.teaandsmoke.com

Comply with on Instagram @teaandsmoke_byrissa


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