Bonfire FlamesThe 5th of November is associated with Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder plot, and up and down the country celebrations will take place on the weekend of the 4th/5th November, many of which will have fires as part of their display.

The historical significance of Bonfire Night has been somewhat lost against modern celebrating with large organised bonfire and big firework displays, so if you are looking at ways of celebrating the evening with a more spiritual twist then why not turn your hand to Pyromancy?


Pyromancy describes an ancient form of divination using fire to predict future events, search for good and bad omens, as well as foretell good and bad health. Using fire as a form of foresight is probably one of the earliest forms of divining.

-          If a fire burned vigorously and crackled then the future was considered promising

-          If a fire was clear (transparent – non-yellow/red flames), that would be a good omen

-          An unfavourable future may be marked by a fire that was difficult to light or that burned silently or that was blown a lot by the wind

Pyromancy is really an umbrella term, and under that there are specific names for different ways to divine whilst using fire, for example:

  • Alomancy is where salt is cast into a fire.
  • Botanomancy uses tree branches or herbs within the fire, and the fire and smoke patterns are interpreted.
  • Capnomancy divines from the smoke as opposed to the fire itself, reviewing movement, direction and consistency.


You can practise Pyromancy all year round at home by using a fireplace or even candles. But Bonfire Night does bring a fantastic opportunity to try your skills on a larger scale fire.

Why not try a Tibetan Fire Divination ritual?

-          Set your gaze upon the fire, whilst trying to summon the guidance of the Fire Deity.

-          Concentrate on a question that you need answering.

The answer can be interpreted in the following way (Tibetan meanings do differ slightly from Western traditions):

-          A ‘yes’ or positive affirmation to your question would be displayed with a bright and long-lasting fire. You would see gold and orange coloured flames. Smoke and crackling would not be present. A single pointed flame or a fire burning to the right is what you want to see.

-          To decipher whether past sins or omissions have been atoned for you would want to see a gentle flame that is white in colour.

-          If the fire illicits smoky, dark flames then ill health or some sort of misfortune is being foretold.

-          Power and wealth is represented by a yellow flame.

-          Success is dictated by a red flame.

-          For excellent health you should expect to see clear, smokeless blue flames.