Reflecting On The Art of Scrying
Ancient divination with several applications.
Scrying is the first divination technique most people become aware of. The crystal ball is an enduring symbol for spiritual workers and is often used as shorthand for all manners of divination. When a person is scrying, they use a reflective medium to ease themselves into a meditative state. By gazing into a crystal ball, pool of water, mirror, or piece of glass, a diviner can push aside their ego-driven, critical thinking and tap into the intuitive mind.
Some see this as communing with spirit, others believe they’re unlocking answers from the deep subconscious. Most diviners experience some combination of the two, and neither result is less magical than the other.
Who Can Scry?
This method of divination is ideal for beginners because, unlike runes or tarot, there is minimal study required to begin. As you become comfortable with scrying, you’ll become better at calling forth and interpreting messages. It’s a skill that you can always improve on and learn more about.
A Word of Warning
If you are new to scrying, be sure to cleanse your space, set an intention, and move into this practice respectfully. These are ancient and sacred practices. If you treat divination like a parlor trick, there are plenty of spirits who will be happy to put on a show. But they will not have your best intentions at heart.
Let’s explore the most common forms of scrying, and how to get started.
Pools of Water
Also known as hydromancy, scrying can be done very effectively with a bit of water. This can be done outdoors under the moonlight, but it may be best to start at home. There are plenty of variables outside that can be distracting to a beginner.
You Will Need:
- A bowl, preferably dark-colored and made with a naturally occurring material (wood or glass are perfect.) If you are using a clear bowl, you may place it on a dark altar cloth to amplify its reflective qualities.
- Water. (If you’ve been charging water under the full moon, this is an excellent use for it.)
- A Candle or Candles
- Water safe crystals to match your intention.
- Music that will help you achieve a trance-like state.
This is best done in a dimly lit space where you can see the water’s surface, but it isn’t reflecting any objects in the room. If you’re comfortable, a completely dark area lit by candles is best.
Some people like to place crystals in or around their scrying bowl. This reaffirms your intention while adding an earth element to this very watery practice.
How to Scry With Water
After cleansing your space, sit comfortably with the bowl of water in front of you. Gaze into the water’s surface and practice deep, meditative breathing. In through your nose, and out through your mouth.
Be patient, and allow yourself to become absorbed by the water’s surface. It may help to picture a long tunnel descending farther and farther into the water. If music helps you focus, play something instrumental in the background.
Some people like to create ripples on the surface with pebbles. These ripples can shimmer in captivating ways, which helps relax the mind. Take your time and experiment with a technique that feels right to you. If you become distracted or have intrusive thoughts, don’t punish yourself. Focus on your breathing and observe what comes up naturally.
Eventually, you may see images or begin to interpret a message. These may not make sense at first, so keep something on hand to write everything down when you feel the session is over. Spend some time contemplating these images. What is their symbolic meaning, and what do they represent to you personally?
Mirrors are surrounded by mystery and superstition, and for good reason. They’ve been used in ritual magic for hundreds of years and can be a powerful portal. The mirrors used in scrying are normally black mirrors. A black mirror will still have reflective qualities but are less distracting than a traditional mirror.
Dark mirrors are available in most occult shops, and are often made of polished obsidian glass, or materials with their own spiritual properties. If you are a beginner and want to save up for a proper witch’s mirror, you can easily make a beginner scrying mirror yourself.
How To Make A Black Mirror
You Will Need:
- A picture frame
- Black paint. Be sure to check if your paint is suitable for glass.
- A paintbrush
Remove the glass from your picture frame. Apply your black paint to one side of the glass and let dry.
When the paint is dry, re-install your glass with the unpainted part facing out. This will create a black mirror effect.
How to Scry with a Black Mirror
The process of scrying with a black mirror is nearly identical to scrying with water. Set up your mirror so that you can, sitting comfortably, gaze into it by candlelight. Your vision may feel that it is blurring or becoming foggy, but don’t be alarmed. That is a natural part of the process. Allow yourself plenty of time to get used to this practice, and don’t rush. It will likely take you a while to see anything.
Some people can scry with plain glass rather than a mirror. This may take a little more practice, but if you feel connected to a particular piece of glass, start working with it and see what develops.
A person’s relationship with a crystal ball is a little more personal than water or mirror scrying. Because crystals have powerful frequencies of their own, it is a collaborative relationship.
The spherical shape of a crystal ball is helpful because the reflections you may see in it are distorted and diffused. It’s harder to become distracted this way, and some witch’s mirrors even have a convex shape for that reason.
You may feel drawn to a clear crystal ball, or you might like an obsidian one for that black mirror effect.
There are crystal balls in virtually every crystal available, so start browsing and see what calls to you.
When you first acquire your crystal ball, spend some time with it before scrying. Roll it around in your hands, and contemplate its energy. Every ball will have its own personality, and taking the time to foster a relationship with help in your divination efforts.
How To Scry With a Crystal Ball
You Will Need:
- A crystal ball
- A stand
- An altar cloth
As with any scrying practice, dim candlelight is your friend. Begin by moving your hands around the ball, connecting with its energy. Lose yourself in a trance-like state.
You may continue to encircle the ball as you scry, or you may eventually rest and gaze into it.
Some people like to cradle the crystal ball in their palms, or may even hold it above a candle to observe the way light moves across the surface. Take your time with each approach, and see what unlocks your intuitive mind.
Be sure to put your crystal ball in a sacred place when not in use, and express your gratitude for the messages it brings forth.
A well-practiced diviner can scry with anything. As you develop your second sight, you may be able to tap into “scrying mode” by gazing at the clouds or even a plain white wall.
With any divination method, Don’t be discouraged if you do not see anything right away. Our egos are powerful things, and the critical mind can have a stranglehold over the intuitive. Practice regularly and go easy on yourself.
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