Historical beliefs

Believer or skeptic, how methods of spiritual communication came about is an interesting subject. Here we look at beliefs of days gone by and the methods used to protect or communicate.

How To: Scrying

Posted by Stuckie on Saturday, April 16, 2011 Under: How To:

"Scrying" comes from the English word "descry" which means "to succeed in discerning" or "to make out dimly," it is a very ancient practice that has been used by many cultures and notable people throughout history.

Scrying can be described as the action of gazing into or upon a surface, be it a pool of water, a mirror or a crystal.

The most famous person to practice scrying in popular culture is Nostradamus (Michel de Notredame; 1555 - 66) the French physician and astrologer

During Elizabethan times in England, another practitioner of scrying, which is John Dee who was born in 1527 and died at the very good age of 81

Scrying is one of the most ancient of divination techniques and was practiced by Arabs, Magi, Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. In fact it is reputed that the witches of Thessaly were supposed to have written their oracles in human blood on mirrors.
Problems, lost objects, People and questions have all had their answers sort by looking into mirrors or Scrying through out our history

Any shiny object can be used to scry, bowl of water,

The mirror is found in the folk law of many Countries, including England and Russia. However, all these folk stories all have something In common, they all agree, that mirrors, are something of which one should be weary.
When a person dies It’s common for all the mirrors in the house to be turned around so the deceased doesn’t see themselves in the mirror. Should they do so, their soul will be trapped inside and will find no rest.
This ability, for a mirror to suck out the soul, was once described in the story of Narcissus, who saw his reflection in the water and stood for so long, gazing and pining at his own reflection, that he died.

In many traditions if the living catches the reflection of the dead in a mirror, they run the risk of having their own soul sucked into the mirror and having it carried away by the dead. It is also though, that If you’re ill, you should remove all the mirrors from the room, as your soul is at its weakest when you’re unwell, and at risk of being pulled into the mirror. Not forgetting of course, that breaking a mirror is very bad luck, as once it holds the soul, breaking the mirror will break the soul not to mention 7 years bad luck. 

Your mirror should be charged before use. light of the three separate full moons. Some people consecrate their mirrors by putting a drop or two of their blood on the reverse, However, if you do this, you should make sure that you never give, sell or trade your mirror with anyone, as they would have a direct link to you, Your mirror would also benefit from a recharge now and again, but you would only need the light from a single full moon for this.
When you are using the mirror you should sit in a dimly lit room with the light only coming from a few candles or a single low watt bulb, you certainly don’t want bright sunlight or a blazing light bulb above you.

Try not to stare at the mirror or into it, just gaze through it and let your mind wander. Don’t try and force any kind of image, just wait and see what comes into your mind.

When you’re tuning into your mirror you must relax! Sit in front of your mirror keeping your feet on the floor. This will keep you grounded. Wait for your eyes to relax and just allow them to defocus, try not to gaze at your image we don’t want to bring you into sharp focus, infact you can if you wish, hold the mirror at a slight angle so that you cant see all of your features. After some time you may find your awareness shifts, and you may see visions in the mirror, your third eye or in your peripheral vision.
Don’t get upset if you don’t see anything practices makes perfect

Methods of Scrying


This is probably the root of all scrying, that of looking into pools of water with a dark background and reflective surface, this was the method employed by Nostradamus.

Tradition states that the water used should be natural and not drawn from the tap, this comes from the ancient Greek belief that nature spirits dwelled in fresh water. Once again remnants of ancient ritual beliefs survive to this day and are practised by those who use water scrying as a means of divination.

A low cost water scrying vessel could be made by the following method. Select a new or unmarked deep glass bowl that has an even surface i.e. not ribbed, patterned or marked in anyway. Clean the outside with mentholated spirit or good quality glass cleaner and kitchen towel, allow to dry. Turn upside down on old newspaper and spray the outside with black aerosol enamel or car touch up paint in a well ventilated room. Careful spraying will result in an even, consistent finish if the paint manufacturers instructions are followed. Fill with clear water and the requirements of a pool of water with a clear optical depth will have been fulfilled and you can begin scrying at the kitchen table.


We have looked at the basic methods for doing this when discussing the Babylonians. A black ceramic or polished metal bowl could be coated with sesame seed or similar oil, placed on its side and adjusted to form a concave magic mirror. Ancient practitioners also reflected candlelight off the surface


Also known as Crystallomancy. Once again we apply the same principles as above. Some prefer as near perfect surfaces as possible, others like a smoky or imperfect surface that they can fix their attention upon.
As always it is down to personal choice and what ever works for you. Of all of the methods of scrying this will be the most expensive to start because it will involve the purchase of an expensively worked piece of crystal and stand on which to keep it. Tradition states that this should be about the size of an orange, kept clean and in a suitable black cloth, both are then placed in a box to protect from damage.

The black cloth can also be used to place the crystal and stand upon when in use, as this will give an even non-reflecting surface with which to work upon. It is also said that the crystal should be cleansed from time to time by leaving out on a moonlight night, washing in pure water or boiling in water? (Not sure if we would try that personally)
This is done to release or clear energies or vibrations that it may have picked up when working. There is also a very good practical reason why the ball should be kept covered and that is clear or near clear balls act as very strong magnifying lenses in sunlight. A crystal ball left on a windowsill on a sunny day could very quickly result in a house fire. There have been several reported incidence of crystals causing exactly this type of situation in the press over the last few years as the collection of crystals has gained in popularity


Whichever method you use for scrying, the workings of it will be similar. The first stage of learning is to experiment with different the "tools" to establish which works best for you.
Start with the cheapest, the bowl of water, black painted glass or light bulb before committing yourself to expensive crystals. Working at home will provide better opportunities to try different lighting conditions, daylight, subdued electric light, candle light and so on. (Dim light from behind may be found to be best for working; some suggest this should be no more than one candle.) You can then experiment with placement of the light source in relationship to the tool and yourself.
Finally, try placing the tool or yourself at different angles to be able to create the best conditions for scrying. At all times you should feel comfortable and take care if working with a naked flame.

Create the correct conditions to be able to work in. This should be free from disturbance, have the light conditions set up so that you can easily experiment. You should be seated in such a way that you will not be distracted by visual stimulation. People passing the window, the cat etc.

When you are ready for work follow good practice and begin with an opening prayer asking for guidance, protection, that those who draw close are only of good intent. Finally state in which way and for what reason you wish to work with your mirror. Those whose attunement is more established may also ask if it is okay for them to work with the mirror at this time.

Take some deep breaths and allow your breathing to stabilise. Restate your intent and anything you would like information on during your working. Look intently into, or through, the surface of the mirror. Allow your eyes to relax without the need to constantly blink. (Staring promotes tearing of the eyes causing you to blink.) If you feel the eyelids beginning to close, go with this but, but do not allow them to close fully. Try to develop a conscious link between your third eye (Mirror of the Mind) and the scrying mirror.

After a time you may become aware of clouding or misting up the mirror. This may change to a tiny light source after a while. Eventually this will change, the mist begin to clear and images will form.
This may startle you at first and you could lose the impressions or you could find yourself trying too hard. Endeavour to stay with the images, even if they are jumbled or meaningless. After all the images may only be experimentation to begin with. As always do not try to evaluate or judge the images whilst you are working, they may not have meaning for you personally and therefore your interpretation will most likely be wrong.
note down your findings after you have finished working so that you can evaluate things at a later date.

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