Scrying is a form of
divination, but is also much more than that. By gazing into a
crystal, pool, mirror or other reflective medium, a Witch is able
to enter altered mind states and gain access beyond the veil.
Because every person you meet will have a different way of
accessing their mind states, you will hear many different scrying
techniques. Some of the techniques I've come across border on the
realms of superstition (which I define as fear through lack of
knowledge and/or acceptance).
You might read that unless a crystal sphere is true quartz
crystal, it will not work. You might hear that a perfect sphere
without any visible flaws is necessary. You may hear that your
scrying mirror or crystal must never be touched by sunlight. These
are simply not true. There are legitimate reasons for each of
these 'rules' but it doesn't mean that you have to follow them in
order to scry effectively. Let's break down scrying into the
basics so you can understand why these rules exist. In this way,
you can determine for yourself if you wish to adhere to them, or
toss them aside as rubbish.
If you wish to begin scrying, you will need some sort of a
reflective surface. More about this later, lets look at what you
will actually be doing with this reflective surface first.
Scrying works on the principles of what is named by some as the
Ganzfeld effect or state. If you have ever had to sit in the
corner as a child, staring at a blank wall until you began to
hallucinate and have stories, patterns, or images appear to you,
you know what the Ganzfeld effect is. If you've ever stayed awake
in bed staring at the ceiling until these same things happened,
then you also know what a Ganzfeld state is.
Ok, so maybe I've spoiled the mystery of scrying by breaking it
down into the basics and telling you what it really is. However,
scrying has a very occult side. It isn't how you get to the mind
state of scrying that's important, it's the mysteries that are
unveiled to you once you are there that are important.
Interpreting what you see when you scry is very much like dream
interpretation. There are many books that will define each image
you glimpse, but essentially it boils down to what those images
mean to you.
A key element in quickly attaining the correct state for scrying
is flashing light. (If you are epilectic, disregard this section,
if you eliminate the flickering but keep the gaze similar, you
should still be able to scry.) Place flickering candles around the
room you are working in. Keep them out of your direct line of
vision, but at the same time, be certain that the reflection of
the flame can be seen in the scrying surface. To get these
'flickering' candles, you can open a window a crack to let a draft
help you out. Or, there are some candles you'll find on the
market, especially inexpensive ones, which have a flame that rises
and falls rhythmically. These work quite well for scrying. (I got
some from a botanica in New Orleans [ F&F Botanica ] that smell
strongly of petroleum. Not very attractive sounding I know, but
they flicker nicely. I've also gotten some good flickeries at drug
stores when they are having their after holiday sales. They go are
usually 5 for a $1....black and orange after Samhain and red,
green and white after Yule. These cheapies flicker nicely sans
Black Mirror Instructions - Picture Frame:
To make a
black mirror from a picture frame is incredibly simple. Remove the
glass from the frame and clean both sides. Decide which side of
the glass is the back and which side the front. Use the paint pens
to paint any symbols you like on the backside of the glass, keep
the design to the perimeter. Once this has dried, use the sponge
to dab black acrylic paint all over the backside of the glass. You
may need to apply several coats for complete coverage, and allow
the paint to dry in between coats. (A sponge is best for applying
the paint as it allows a streak free coat of paint. Remember to
dab the paint, do not drag the sponge across the glass. Use
liberal amounts of paint, and several coats.)
Once the final coat of black paint has dried cut a piece of your
felt to the size of the glass (you can use the chalk to draw the
guidelines on the dark fabric). Spray the back of the glass with
the spray adhesive and apply the felt. This will protect the black
paint on the backside of the glass so that it doesn’t scratch off.
Decorate the frame if you choose. Replace the glass into the frame
and you are all set.
Black Mirror Instructions – Sun-catcher:
To make a black
mirror from a blank sun-catcher you will follow most the same
steps as above. Clean the glass and determine which side is back
and which is front. Paint any designs you wish to on the backside
of the glass. When it is dry dab several coats of black paint on
the backside of the glass. Cut a piece of felt to protect the back
of the glass and apply using spray adhesive. You may wish to
replace the metal chain on the sun-catcher with some ribbon or
leather. You can also add embellishments such as feathers, beads
and charms to the mirror, and even hang it on a wall if you
Try this example for example:
You will need:
A black mirror, a cauldron filled with water (or an herbal
infusion such as mugwort), or a crystal, or a shallow dish of
water (made black by the addition of ink), a ring with a nice
stone (like moonstone) a black stone like obsidian, a black tile,
or whatever reflective medium you wish to use.
Place the scrying medium on your altar so that you can look at it
from approximately a 45 degree angle while in a very comfortable
position. Arrange the candles throughout the room so that they are
elevated above the scrying medium but remain outside of your
direct line of sight. You may wish to cast a circle at this time
or recite a blessing or charge over the medium and over the entire
Breathe deeply and rhythmically while gazing at the medium.
Imagine you are looking through a red lens so that everything you
see is tinted with red. Move on through the chakra colors in a
"Crytal Countdown" fashion (in The Power of the Witch by Laura
Cabot) The color sequence is as follows: red, orange, yellow,
green, blue, indigo, violet. (The rainbow, easily remembered with
the initials as a name...ROY G. BIV)
When you feel that you are relaxed, keep looking at the medium.
Your first sessions may last 10 to 30 minutes, but work up to hour
long sessions. Do not be critical of yourself or your results. If
you fall asleep that's ok, if you daydream that's ok too. Just let
whatever happens, happen. In this way you will quickly refine your
skills. Relax your gaze as if you were attempting a 3D magic eye
hidden picture. If you have trouble with those darned 3D things,
don't worry, scrying is similar only in that you relax your eyes
and don't really look AT the surface.
After you have completed your session, jot down a few rough notes.
Do what you need to do to ground yourself or clean up the area.
Sometime during your day, go back to your notes and fill in more
details as you remember them. I use two columns, one for the
description of images seen, and one for my translations.
Go over each image that you saw. You might consult a symbol
interpretation list for dreams, you know, the kind that say a bird
is an omen, a knife is a......well, you get it. You could also
analyze each image by checking what it means to you. For example,
a red rose may mean passion in the books, but if your best friend
requested them in the hospital, your personal associations are
going to be different. The conclusions you draw from your scrying
sessions must eventually be your own and as you continue to
practice, you will understand yourself and your visions more and
With practice, the mind becomes
more comfortable in the state of mind used for scrying, and you
can maintain the state for greater lengths of time with practice.
There are also tools that can help you become more familiar and
comfortable with the state. They can also speed the achievement of
the state so that practice is more convenient and frequent.
These tools can range in price from free up to thousands of
dollars. One of the lower priced tools we've used specifically for
the Ganzfeld field effect is a set of 'glasses' or goggles.
These tools are non-invasive sensory depravation devices designed
to create a smooth, monochromatic field of light. We (Volute &
AbaKus) have enjoyed comparing these modern tools to some of
Gardner's Eight Paths or Ways to the Center or Eight Ways of
Making Magic in our personal Book of Shadows. If you purchase
these, they can cost around $60 U.S. but you can also make a
similar tool for next to nothing!
The color chosen for the field of light can be selected according
to color therapy, magical references, or whatever you are drawn to
and what works best for you. After a few minutes using this type
of tool, you won't 'see' anything as your optic nerve becomes
paralyzed and you 'see' black. With your mind's eye however, you
will see much more!
A simple Ganzfeld 'goggle' can be made by slicing a ping pong ball
in half and smoothing the cut edges with sand paper. (You can also
pad the edges with headphone cushions with the centers cut out.)
Paint both halves of the ping pong ball the color you have chosen.
Place them over your eyes and lay down under a bright light (or
the sun with sunscreen on :) ) Keep your eyes open and stare
straight ahead. After a few minutes you should no longer be able
to see the color. Don't be afraid, this is normal.
Avoid making imperfections in the paint, allowing any cushions to
be visible (try without them at first) or any flecks of darkness
on the halves. Experiment with different variations of light
brightness. Your eyes shouldn't feel any pain or sensitivity to
the brightness, but there should be even, bright light.