About Scrying

The word 'scry' comes from the word 'descry,' meaning to see or perceive. Mirror gazing, or scrying, is one of the oldest known forms of divination, dating back to antiquity. The famed prognosticator Nostradamus used a form of scrying to make his famous predictions, employing a dish filled with ink as his method. Yezidi mystics use a concave, polished bowl. Mormon prophet Joseph Smith contacted angels using a 'seer stone.'

The infamous magician John Dee and his partner Edward Kelley used an obsidian crystal in their experiments, and we get the popular conception of a 'crystal ball' from the popularization of their methods.

There are almost endless surfaces suitable for scrying use. Mirrors and crystals are the most popular, but any item that provides a deep, reflective surface will do: water in a shallow dish, ink, a dark crystal – even a darkened television set!

One traditional belief about scrying is that it allows access to the Astral world, and makes communication with its inhabitants possible. Others believe that scrying produces a trance-like state, in which the scryer has easy access to his or her subconscious. Neither of these truly explains the experience of the 'Astral,' although there is a belief in some circles that the apparitions, angels, and other beings encountered are manifestations of the super conscious – messengers from one's own higher self.

Constructing a scrying mirror

As I mentioned earlier, there are several acceptable scrying tools. It is not important to follow any of the usual (and often quite silly) requirements. You do not need a 'pure' crystal or a 'charged' mirror. There are rationales supporting various methods, the purpose of which is usually to get the potential seer to put a certain degree of effort into the proceeding – but none of these is an absolute. All you need is an object that provides a dark, reflective surface, patience, and a comfortable place to sit. The most inexpensive to create is the black mirror, and there are several simple methods which can be used to create one.

Getting started

Purchase a large, inexpensive picture frame with a glass insert (of course, you can choose any frame that catches your fancy), and a can of flat black spray paint. Believe it or not, both items can be had from a large discount store for about five dollars all together. Next, remove the glass from the frame and clean it with window cleaner- make sure to wipe off any lint or dust particles. Spray a light coat of paint over the glass and let it dry completely. Repeat with several more coats of paint, until no light shows through when the glass is held up to the light. When it is completely dry, simply replace the glass in the frame, with the painted surface on the inside.

Another method is to ask a glasscutter to make you a circle of glass (be sure to have the edges sanded). Paint it as described above, and then glue a piece of felt over the paint (be sure to use white glue or another non-solvent glue to prevent marring the painted surface).

Learning to scry

Scrying is not a hobby for the impatient. It takes a lot of practice, so don't get discouraged if you don't get immediate results. The first task is to create your space. You'll want a block of time without interruption, a room that can be darkened, and a place you can sit comfortably for long periods. You'll need a comfortable chair, preferably with a back on it, or a wall to sit against. You'll want to position your mirror (or whatever object you've chosen) at a comfortable angle; place it so that it does not reflect objects in the room. You need to have very little light – a small candle, a night-light, etc. A flickering candle creates a strobing effect that you might find useful or distracting, so experiment a little to discover your preferences. (If you are using candles or incense, I strongly recommend that you use a timer or alarm clock, in case you fall asleep)

Next, create a consecrated space, using whatever method you prefer – smudging, a banishing ritual, casting a circle, etc. This helps to create a sense of protection, and to focus awareness on the task at hand.

I would discourage the use of music, incense, et al., until you are comfortable with this technique. Both can be useful, but for now, they are more likely to create a distraction.

Relaxation is essential – the more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to have success. Take a warm bath or a hot tub before beginning, or use a progressive relaxation technique – breathing, or whatever method you're most comfortable with – to achieve a state of relaxed awareness. This takes practice as well, so you might want to work on this for a few days before you go any further.

With that accomplished, sit comfortably. Breathe deeply and slowly, and let your eyes go slightly out of focus while gazing at the mirror. Concentrate on your breathing – not on the mirror. Keep your gaze relaxed; it's okay to blink.

Concentrate only on your breathing. If thoughts or fantasies intrude, don't worry – just dismiss them and go back to your breathing.

Eventually, you may begin to see what appear to be sparks of light, or a 'foggy' effect. Don't concentrate on these phenomena – just remain relaxed, and allow them to develop. At some point, the images will become stronger – you may see pictures, shadows, or lights and colors.

The ability to “see”

This is a very important exercise to master if you are new to scrying or are having trouble receiving images. It will aid your "visual imagination," which allows your psychic and physical eyes to see clearly together. It gives clairvoyant strength.

Sit before your mirror and begin to imagine objects on its surface, one after another. You should try to see these images clearly in the mirror with your eyes open, just as if they were there in reality. Try simple shapes or colors first. Hold onto the image of each shape, object or color one minute before dissolving it and going on to the next. For example, use a red triangle, a yellow square, a blue circle and silver crescent; see them appear in the mirror using your firm imagination. For best results, do this exercise every day for 15 minutes until it is mastered.

This exercise is well worth the effort; it gives magickal discipline and strengthens the inner eye so visions can come with clarity and ease.

Consider the reality of the Akashic records, in which all ideas, actions, influences and vibrations are stored. With practice, you can develop the ability to "read" these records and focus on this vast source of timeless knowledge with the aid of the mirror and a strongly directed imagination. Guides from the world of spirit often lead the scryer in astral travel and mental journeying through the black mirror or crystal sphere. Scrying develops one's clairvoyant abilities and is especially helpful in strengthening the third eye.

Remember that the inner eye sees inside the mind, through the magickal imagination. Most people when scrying do not see the images appear with the physical eyes on the mirror's surface but see within the mirror and in the mind's eye. The mirror acts as a focal point, a gateway within.

Other ways in which the black mirror can be used

To contact spirit guides
To access knowledge
For healing and self improvement
As a magickal transmitter and receiver
For divining the past, present and future
As a portal to the astral plane
For shamanic journeying
For ritual invocation and evocation
To improve visualization skills
Preparing to work with the black scrying mirror

Always keep the surface very clean using alcohol and a soft cloth. Never use it for anything but its intended magickal purpose.

Continue for as long as you are comfortable. When you begin to feel restless, it's probably a good time to stop.


Don't worry if what you see makes no sense at first. After a session, write down your impressions, and make a note of your general state of mind. It is also a good idea to keep a record of any dreams that occur after a session – in fact, it is a good idea to record all of your dreams, as this will strengthen the lines of communication.

Incense for psychic work

The best incense to use when working with the mirror or any scrying device is lunar or psychic in nature, representing the sphere of Yesod. These types of blends may be purchased or created by yourself and must be burned on self-igniting charcoal disks.

Here are some excellent recipes for fine-quality magickal incense to be used for the rites of scrying.

Lunar blend incense

A base of white sandalwood powder
Orris root and myrrh in equal parts
Oil of jasmine and jasmine flowers
Oil of lotus and synthetic ambergris
A small pinch of refined camphor
Poppy and cucumber seeds

Blend together sandalwood, myrrh, and orris root, and crush them together into a powder. True refined camphor is hard to come by, but if you should have some available, add a pinch to the powdered base. Also add at this time the poppy and/or dried cucumber seeds. Put this mixture aside in an airtight jar.

Next, blend the jasmine, ambergris and lotus oils together in equal parts. Coat the dried jasmine flowers with the blended oil and set them aside in an airtight jar.

Let these sit until the next full moon. On the evening of the full moon, mix together (in a silver or crystal bowl if possible) the oil-soaked flowers and the powder base with your hands, meditating as you mix on the beauty and wisdom of Mother Moon. Ask her to bless this incense with Her magick.

Scrying incense (psychic blend)

A base of mastic gum, myrrh, galangal powder and frankincense
Mugwort and wormwood herbs
Rose petals and lavender buds
Green cardamom pods and star anise
Bay leaves
Oils of mimosa and lotus, and dark musk

Blend together mastic, myrrh, galangal and frankincense in equal parts and grind to a powder base.

Add a few cardamom and star anise seeds to the base and put aside in an airtight jar.

Now mix equal parts of ground mugwort, wormwood and bay, about half the amount used in the powder base.

Coat this mixture with dark musk oil, and put it aside in a sealed jar.

Mix the lavender and rose petals together, coat them with mimosa and lotus oil and put them aside in a sealed jar.

Let the ingredients stand for nine days during the waxing of the moon.

Then blend all ingredients together by hand.

As you mix, meditate upon your spirit guide and developing your psychic abilities. Know that when the incense is burned, your inner eyes will open and a link will be formed between you and world of spirit.

(It is best to remove anise and cardamom seeds from the incense before burning; their scent will have been absorbed by the incense base.)


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