by timrel

February 8, 2022

Why Do Candles Flicker When There Is No Wind

It’s not unusual for candles to flicker when there’s wind. But why do candles flicker when there isn’t any wind? There are a couple of common reasons for this:

  1. A disrupted flow of oxygen or wax

    The flame from a candle keeps burning as a result of a constant oxygen flow and the melted candle wax. The wick draws liquid wax upwards around the flame to keep it burning. If there is a change in the amount of oxygen or wax reaching the flame, this can cause it to flicker. 
  1. The wick is too long

    When the wick of a candle is too long, the wax takes too long to get to the flame through capillary action, resulting in flickering.
  1. The presence of impurities in the candle wax

    If there are impurities in the candle wax, such as dust or soot, this can hinder the wax from reaching the flame, causing the flame to flicker.

What Does it Mean When a Candle flickers?

Candles flicker for a number of reasons: wind, a disruption in the flow of oxygen or wax, an overly long wick, or the presence of impurities in the liquid candle wax.

For some, a flickering candle has a more spiritual meaning. In the world of candle magic, also known as pyromancy, a flickering candle flame signifies the arrival of a spirit. Traditionally, flickering candles are associated with strong emotions and arguments. 

However, not all flickering candles mean the same thing. The direction in which the candle flickers plays a large role in understanding its message. According to DJ Conway, author of ‘A Little Book of Candle Magic’, the meaning of a flickering candle is interpreted using the four points of the compass:


A flickering flame tilting north signifies that the cause of the flickering is physical and not from a spirit


A flame that flickers to the east indicates your spell is working (specifically referring to the mental part of the spell).


A flame that flickers towards the south symbolizes that a lot of physical energy encircles your intent.


If the flame flickers towards the west, this can be a symbol of the deep and strong emotions that are involved in the spell.

Why Do Candles Flicker When There Is No Wind PIN

How to Stop a Candle Flickering?

There are a few ways you can get your candle to stop flickering:

1. Decrease the Amount of Wind Present

If there is a drat or too much air near your candle, this will result in a flickering flame. To fix this, try to locate the air source and block it off.

For example, fans, heating vents, or an open window may be creating a breeze and causing the candle to flicker. If you are unable to reduce the amount of wind, try to move the candle as far away from the air source as possible.

2. Cut the Length of the Wick

When the wick is too large for the candle, the flame will flicker. Long wicks take too long for the liquid wax to get to the flame, disrupting the flow of oxygen, and wax the flame needs to keep burning steadily.

While a long wick can lead to flickering, a wick that’s too short can cause tunnelling (where the area of the candle around the wick sinks and resembles a tunnel). The wick should be between 0.25 and 0.5 inches long.

3. Clean your Candle Before Lighting it

Impurities in the liquid wax, such as soot or dust, can cause a flame to flicker. So, cleaning the surface of the candle before burning can resolve this issue.

Simply take a clean, dry cloth and wipe away any impurities on the candle (make sure it’s cool before cleaning). Regular cleaning, especially if the candle doesn’t have a lid, will prevent the buildup of wax impurities and stop the flame from flickering.

Is a Flickering Candle Dangerous?

Yes. A candle with a flickering flame could potentially be dangerous. If the flame flickers too much, it could cause a fire. To avoid fire hazards, always follow these safety rules:

  • Keep lit candles away from flammable surfaces and objects such as fabric, curtains, or wallpaper
  • Never leave candles unattended
  • Keep candles out of reach from pets and children
  • Get rid of matches safely by running them under cold water before discarding them (matches may still have a lingering residual flame after striking them)
  • Check fire alarms regularly
  • Make sure you put candles out properly, especially candles such as votive or vigil candles that are designed to burn to the wick. Put candles in the sink or metal tray or place them inside a glass, like a hurricane glass to stop the flame from moving

Once your candle is placed in a safe place away from objects that could catch fire, a flickering flame shouldn’t be a cause for concern. 

Does a High Jumping Flame Have a Spiritual Meaning?

Yes. In the spiritual world, a high jumping flame is a symbol of anger, mostly in a love spell. A strong, high flame symbolizes perseverance. As the flame grows tall and pushes its limits, it indicates that you can achieve big things.

About the author


I am passionate about health and wellbeing and have writing for over 10 years on the subject. I have a BSc Hons Degree and undertake vigorous research to help people improve their lives and live more a healthy and happy life.

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