Let's Try It: Scrying

Your humble Guide attempts scrying - staring into a crystal ball - to see what visions might appear. And I got some interesting results!

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What Scrying Is
Scrying is a method of divination (fortune-telling or seeing the unseen or unknown) by gazing into the shiny or reflective surface of an object. The scryer stares into the object until a vision is seen in his or her mind's eye. It's an ancient art that dates back to early Egyptian and Arab civilizations, and throughout history has been used by wizards, witches, clairvoyants, and psychics to look into the future, answer questions, and even find lost objects or people. Nostradamus is perhaps the most famous scryer.

A crystal ball is the most well-known scrying tool - or speculum - but other devices have been employed in the art, including black or dark mirrors, the waters of a still lake, or bowls of ink, water, or blood. Nostradamus used a bowl of water set upon a brass tripod. Jeanne Dixon, the late American psychic, used a crystal ball, while other clairvoyants have used black obsidian mirrors, crystal skulls - even light bulbs. If you need a crystal ball or some other kind of scrying tool, you can find them online at Shadows and Light.

Some scryers say that it's best to use a crystal of some kind because they have certain "vibrations," whatever that means. Others say it doesn't matter much what you use because what you're tapping into are your own powers of divination, and that the speculum is just a tool. So experiment and find whatever works best for you. Since I happen to have a crystal ball, that's what I'll use. You may also need a candle or two.

I'm going to try to see into the near future. Actually, I'll be satisfied with any vision I see.

Preparation and Procedure
The room. Now for the set-up. At night, choose a room or area of your house or apartment where it is quiet and where you are not likely to be disturbed. Dim the lights or completely turn them off. Low light is recommended to reduce distractions and allow you to concentrate on the speculum. I chose to set up on my kitchen table just after midnight when the house had finally quieted down for the night.

The light. To quickly attain scrying results, I've read, it's best to darken the room and set up some kind of dim flashing light. (Epileptics are advised not to do so.) But who has a flashing light around the house? Not me. So I opted for a flickering candle, which provides better atmosphere anyway. To make sure the candle flickered properly, I turned on a ceiling fan. After blowing out a few times, I finally got the candle in the right position where it would flicker without extinguishing. If you don't have a fan handy, perhaps the air coming through an open window would provide the air flow you need. The candle should not be in your direct line of sight, but near enough to provide illumination and reflection on the scrying surface.

Bonding. For best results, some scryers recommend that you take time to "bond" with your speculum. Since I was eager to get on with the experiment, I didn't take time to get intimate with my crystal ball. But I figured it's been sitting around the house long enough, so it probably already knows me pretty well. Other scryers advise that you consecrate the speculum with salt water or charge it in the smoke of burning wormwood. I was fresh out of wormwood (you always seem to run out of it just when you need it most), but salt water I could manage. Nostradamus is said to have anointed himself with the water from his speculum before going to work. If I tried to anoint myself with the three-pound crystal ball, I'd be seeing visions through a concussion, so I skipped that part.

Get comfortable. Since you'll be gazing into your speculum for at least 20 minutes, get comfortable. Find a position in which you can gaze into your speculum for an extended period without moving. My kitchen chair did just fine.

Breathe and gaze. Following the instructions I've found, I took a few deep breaths and gazed into the speculum. I allowed my eyes to relax, unfocused my vision, and allowed the images to come.

Record the images. You'll want to remember what you see in your speculum, so it's best to record the many images as they appear. A friend or family member can jot down what you report seeing, or you can simply talk into a tape recorder, which is what I did.

Scryers say that after a few minutes you'll see the speculum cloud over, after which the images will begin to emerge. Indeed, after two or three minutes, the crystal ball did appear to fill with a light gray haze. After several minutes more, I began to see things. Again, it was my intent to see the near future. This is what I recorded:

"Shapes trying to come into focus..." (Recalling them now, they looked like tightly grouped figures of light that remained just out of focus.) "A mask..." (It could have been the reflection of my own face in the crystal, but I'm not sure.)

Long pause.

"A mouse-like image... shifting shapes... something just out of focus... Like the surface of a planet..." (Here's where I began to see a barren landscape, as if viewing it straight down from a great height. It was mostly a flat plain with a few irregular shapes on its surface.) "Like a pyramid on Mars..." (One of the shapes looked like one of the "pyramids" at Cydonia.) "Looks like the surface of Mars... [unintelligible]... A profile of a face..." (The mask was back, only this time in profile.) "Turning toward me..." (The face seemed to turn and look at me.) "[unintelligible] face... [unintelligible]..." (I was whispering to try and remain focused, which is why some of the remarks are unintelligible, but this last one didn't even sound like English.) "Giant tower..." (I don't even remember that one.) "[unintelligible] face... primitive... mouth dividing in two..."

Long pause.

"My own face..." (This did not appear to be a reflection, but it seemed that I was looking at my own face.) Pause. "Black triangle..." (This was a big black triangle with rounded corners and a dim light in the middle.) "[unintelligible] images... mailbox... G7..."


"European train, explosion..." (This I said emphatically, as if the image were very clear - it looked like a European-style train exploding.) "Fire... " Pause. "Missile... It's on fire..."

"[unintelligible] It's Egyptian..." (I recall this being a door or something with Egyptian styling.)

"Calendar... fork... guitar... [unintelligible] diver... cattle... [unintelligible]... television... dart..."

The session lasted about 45 minutes to an hour and, frankly, I was surprised that I saw anything at all. It was a unique experience. At times I was so focused on the crystal ball that I seemed to move into it or be enveloped by it, and I wasn't even certain if my eyes were open or not. If I were to try it again, I think I'd either have someone take notes or try to talk louder into the tape recorder as too many remarks were later unintelligible.

Did I see the near future? Or was it all my imagination? I'm not sure what any of it means, if anything, although scryers say that the images are often symbolic, like a dream's, and can be interpreted in the same way. It's easy to read into a lot of what I saw, except for that last set of images, which makes no sense whatsoever. But if there's a train crash in Europe in the near future (and I certainly hope there isn't), I'm going to freak out! In any case, if you are going to try it, my only advice is not to take it too seriously.



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