Janey: Now remember, Wanda, whatever shape the wax takes, that's what your husband's job will be.
Wanda: [disappointed] It's a mop. My husband will be a janitor.
Lisa: That looks like an Olympic torch to me. Your husband could be an Olympic athlete who will go on to have a great acting career!
Wanda: [lets another drop of wax fall] It’s a dustpan.
Lisa: The wax never lies.
The Simpsons, "Flaming Moes"
Original Air Date: November 21st, 1991
Commentary: Ceromancy, the art of divination by means of dripping candle wax in water, is a very old practice in the tradition of magic. However, some people also define Ceromancy as interpreting the behavior of a candle flame, or the remains of wax left behind after a spell-candle has burned out.
Unlike other forms of divination, such as the I-Ching, ceromancy isn’t particularly difficult to perform. One has only to light a candle while thinking of their question (or it may be spoken aloud) and then tip the candle over a basin of cold water so that the wax falls into the water forming distinctive shapes. The wax is observed for signs or symbols which are then interpreted in relation to the question which has been asked.
The more difficult part in the practice of Ceromancy is in interpreting the shapes which have been observed. Ultimately, the interpretation is completely up to the observer and his or her relationship with the sign or symbol which has been spied out. For example, a person who has survived an airplane crash will look upon the symbol of n airplane much differently than a person who has never flown before.
This procedure has been used to discover all manner of knowledge, such as
- The identity of a thief
- The success or failure of a spell
- The name or likeness of one’s future spouse
- A lucky number
- The gender of an unborn child
- The name or likeness of a hidden enemy
- The location of hidden treasure
That being said, I think this scene (which was probably written for a laugh) illustrates the concept and practice of traditional Ceromancy perfectly.