Can fire be a proyectable surface?

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My mother is a devoted religious woman. She sends me pictures of signals in the sky and other miraculous events whenever she sees or hears of one. As I have distanced myself from religion, I usually point out to her the reasons of the events and apparitions she so often marvels about.

For instance, in the image named Incendio-Notre-Dam-Jesús-3 I told her that the image the falling debris took in her and thousands of people´'s eyes was the result of coincidence and shape and form associations the human brain is able to create.
In the image virginwall, she saw the shape of virgin mary, which, after I noticed it was being produced right above an outlet and electric devices, I deemed simply a result of heat or fumes coming from the device and causing that slight decoloration of the wall's paint.

The last image is posing a bigger challenge for me though. In the image named virginflame, we see the formation of a dark shape inside the candle's flame, which accoring to my mother would be the figure of the virgin mary. I considered many things: candle's material, steam bubble, angle of the observer in relation to the flame, and photoshopping. Naturally all of these were discarded as: that is just a regular candle you can buy anywhere, a steam bubble would cause the flame itself to flicker (and my mother wasn't ready with her finger on her phone to take that instantaneous event), and finally it can't be photoshop because my mother doesn't even have her own computer. So I went back to the photo.

I noticed by following the candle's shadow that the figure also casted a cross shaped shadow on the glass of the frame behind it, so I assumed that the candle might have had a shape or a figurine stuck in it, and it is around this shape the flame is burning, which is why the cross shaped shadow is so defined. But that wasn't it either, as I said, this was a common candle and my mother doesn't "cheat" when it comes to showing divine signs. I realized that the black and white image in the frame was from a humanoid, a male, and it was very similar to the shape produced in the candle flame. So I switched my thinking. What if the shape in the flame was the shadow of the white and black image being proyected onto the candle flame by all the relatively polished items around it (the glass of the frame, the polished wood, the plastic diamond, and the cover of the book behind it all)? It'd be a little like the proyection of a "negative" hologram.

But honestly, this is the only conclusion I could come up with, without relying on supernatural explanations.
Below I list what I read to come to this conclusion.
I don't know much about physics and I am currently trying to remember the most basic of concepts.





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The density in a flame will be smaller than in air, making the index of refraction different, so it should act like a lens.

But the non-physics phenomenon of pareidolia is likely a big part of this

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Thanks! So it had something to do with the light and air density, not with the candle itself. I will see if I can recreate this event at home with other shapes.

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Sometimes the 'fuel' evaporating from the wick of the candle ( paraffin ) is too rich to support combustion.
As it moves further out and gets diluted with oxygenated air to a favorable stoichiometric mixture, it can, and the flame results.
The area immediately surrounding the tip of the candle's wick will stay dark, and be surrounded by a bright flame.

You see this in fires sometimes. When the explosive limit is too high ( or too low ) combustion/explosion will not occur.
But open a door or a window to dilute the 'fuel' and...
Remember the movie Backdraft ?

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