Samhain Crafts: How to Make and Use a Scrying Mirror
A scrying mirror, also known as a 'black mirror', is a modern tool for divination. It's one of the easier tools to make yourself.
Scrying is from the Middle English word descry, which means 'to divine', and was most commonly done by crystal gazing. When you gaze at a shiny or blank surface, it opens up the door to the subconscious mind that taps into extra-sensory perceptions. The tool itself is just a tool and holds no inherent powers-- just like a paint brush has no inherent powers but in the hands of the right person it can create masterpiece.
The image of the seer peering into the crystal ball is the most well known example of scrying, but you don't actually need a crystal ball. In fact, it doesn't even have to be a crystal at all. All you need is something to gaze at-- some people scry into bowls or pots of water, some scry into still water bodies like ponds. Some people scry into flat crystals or objects of shiny, polished metal. Still others prefer fire scrying, gazing into the dancing flames.
A scrying mirror is one of the most accessible tools that you can make yourself, and for very little money. Its also no more or less difficult to learn to scry into a mirror than it is into a crystal or fire-- the technique is the same.
My Scrying Mirror
Ever try scrying?
The Aztec Scrying Mirror of 16th Century Occultist, John Dee
How to Make a Scrying Mirror
Go to a thrift shop and search for a picture frame that you like. Most people prefer a round frame for scrying. Mine is oval and I've known people to use square with great results, I don't think the shape of the reflective surface makes that much of a difference.
Purchase the frame you like. Come home with it, clean it and polish it up. Remove the glass or acrylic out of the frame.
Lay the glass on newspaper. Clean it thoroughly with a window cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Allow it to air dry. Make sure it's streak and smudge free.
Paint the surface of the glass with metallic or glossy black paint. I like acrylic because they dry so quickly. Do as many thin coats as you need, getting them as streak-free as possible. You want complete coverage. Just let each coat dry a little in between.
When it's completely dry, put it back into the frame, painted side on the inside. Spray and wipe the front of the glass now to remove any smudges and streaks.
Wrap it in a soft cloth and store it where no one can bother it.
Famous Pop Culture Example of the Magic Mirror
What's your scrying tool of choice?
Using Your Scrying Mirror
Learning to become proficient with your scrying mirror will take far more time and practice. If you've been meditating regularly and are skilled in other forms of divination, or if you seem to have a natural psychic twinkle, you may find success more quickly than you realize. It's really hard to tell who's going to have a knack for it, but don't get discouraged if it takes time.
The first thing you might want to do is cleanse, consecrate and charge your scrying mirror (which I explain here in my hub Wicca Basics and the 3 C’s: Cleansing, Consecrating and Charging). Through this process you essentially banish any negative or old energies that the object may have picked up over the years, bless it for spiritual use and infuse it with energies more conducive to it's new use. I personally recommend allowing it to absorb the light of a full moon, and keeping it with a moonstone crystal.
Now, you're ready to use your mirror.
Prepare your altar or ritual space. If you wish you can do a full-blown ritual, casting a circle and invoking your deities, but this isn't actually necessary. If you prefer, skip the formalities and just clear a quiet place.
Stand your mirror up (that's why I like picture frames with a stand in the back). Put one candle on either side of it and light the candles. Dim the lights. Arrange the candles and mirror so they reflect light on the surface, but so that you can't see your own reflection.
Get into a meditative state. If you have a particular issue to which you're seeking answers, meditate on that for a while. If not, just be mindful and go into an altered state of consciousness.
When you're ready, gaze into the reflective surface. Soften your gaze, so that you're almost looking past the surface, peering deep into the mirror.
Just let your consciousness drift-- don't try to think of anything in particular. Don't try to clear your mind. Just see what comes.
You may get actual visions, either in your mind or in the mirror. You might hear your spirit guides, get impressions or simply gut feelings. Don't analyze it at this point... just allow it to come and go.
Let the session last as long as you feel is necessary. It can be as little as 15 minutes or as long as several hours. Again-- don't even think about time. It's irrelevant.
When you're done I recommend writing down your impressions immediately as they have a way of fading. Once you've opened yourself to messages, don't be surprised if they continue to come through signs or in dreams for the next few days.
This is a perfect quiet activity for Samhain night for anyone looking to perform divination but is not trained in more complicated systems-- you'll probably have more luck at this time of year, so ripe for these kinds of energies.