Introduction To Scrying
Putting your magickal space to work
By the time you have worked the exercises in the previous sections for a few months, you will have established a solid foundation for all your future magickal work. Practically every magickal and meditation technique you will ever encounter is a variation or extension of the skills you have learned in building your magickal space.
Every person will have a different level of “peak performance” with these techniques. Only a rare few are able to enter wholly into the magickal space, and become entirely unconscious of their physical body; for these people, the end result of this work is indistinguishable from the classical descriptions of astral projection. Most people will find that a certain portion of their awareness remains “outside”, and that the intensity of the sensations they have never attains the brightness and clarity of normal perception. I fall at the low end of this latter category myself; in my visions, colors are more implied than they are perceived directly, and most of the time I need to focus intently to perceive fine details.
Being able to put all of your awareness into the magickal space is not necessarily an advantage. What matters more is that you make the best use of the level of skill you do have. It is the meaning you can extract from your experiences, the insights you gain into yourself and the world, and the uses to which you can put them, that count the most. Bright and glorious visions are nothing, if they have no useful content or if your awareness and understanding are not (gradually but permanently) expanded thereby.
Having established the basics, in the following sections we are going to look at various exercises, all of which are forms of “scrying”. Before going into the details, we need to consider — in a general way — the nature of the things a person experiences while scrying.
Dreams, it is often said, are the realm of symbols; the same is true of scrying. But while the symbols of dreams are usually expressions of processes happening below the conscious level of awareness, the symbols seen in scrying are often (in an ideal world, always) the expression of processes and events occurring _above_ the level at which consciousness resides. They are the lowest and most readily apprehended aspect of processes that the consciousness can not yet completely encompass. In a sense, the symbols you see are no more than anchor points; a convenient means by which your awareness is given a connection to something coming from outside its current scope.
The form of the symbol does not necessarily bear any direct relation to the nature of that to which you are being connected. Some symbols — such as the Greek gods or the cabalist’s Tree of Life — have forms that directly reflect some aspect of the inner reality. Others have connections that are largely a matter of convention; they relate to particular aspects of the inner reality only because we habitually use them in such a way. The cabalistic color attributes are in this category. And others yet are seized upon to serve the needs of the moment, and have no particular meaning outside the context of the vision in which they occur.
But in all these cases, when a symbol is seen in a vision it has a direct connection to some magickal power, archetype, thought-form or entity. In order to get the greatest benefit out of your scrying, you must continually attempt to sense _beyond_ the symbol, to extend your awareness along the path it provides and apprehend that which it embodies.
Accomplishing this is a delicate task. The relaxation exercises described previously again become important, this time the portion of them dealing with quieting the mind. This is important in two ways: first, because the mind’s internal chatter will tend to overshadow and conceal that which is being communicated through the symbol, and second, because active parts of the mind will attempt to twist the meaning of the symbol to fit with their own preconceptions.
This is especially the case where the practitioner has personal desires that relate to the information being conveyed, or where the person’s self-image feels threatened. If your conception of yourself is dependent on a particular world-view and the information does not accord with that view, it will be almost impossible for you to see it clearly.
To reduce the possibility of this happening, you should also work consciously to develop a mental state of unattachment towards the content of your visions, a deliberate disregard for any personal significance they contain, and a deliberate refusal to evaluate the contents for truth or falsity. Critical evaluation of the results of a scrying session is definitely necessary, but the time for that evaluation is _after_ the session is completed. While the work is proceeding, you should seek to be in a perfect state of suspended judgment; neither believing nor disbelieving anything that you see or sense, simply seeking to receive the symbols and their attached meanings precisely as they present themselves.
When using scrying techniques in magickal work, you are always trying to penetrate unknown “territory”. Any work that can result in a spiritual advance will be, by definition, at least partly outside the scope of your current perspective and understanding. Like anything truly new, it takes the mind a while to adjust and be able to see it clearly. Further, the meanings behind any symbol can have many different levels; it may take a long time for these to “soak in” to your awareness, and the final significance may be very different from the first, superficial appearances. In my own work, it has sometimes taken up to a year and a half, with repeated exposures, before I fully comprehended what I was being shown. Thus, no evaluation you make should ever be so definite that you cannot change it; all meanings should be tentative until they have been repeatedly reinforced by additional experiences.
I cannot give any assurance as to the manner in which the meanings attached to a symbol will appear to a particular person. I do not have enough information from other people to characterize any particular way as “typical”. In my own case, they come in two or three ways, depending on the amount of power I have managed to invoke and how high above my normal level of consciousness I have managed to raise my awareness.
Usually, they appear as groups of thoughts or associations that appear simultaneously in my mind with the words spoken by some entity, providing a detailed context for the words; it is as if the thoughts out of which the entity produced the words were being transmitted along with the words. If I am looking at a visual symbol rather than hearing words, then they appear as sudden detailed “realizations” of what the symbol is intended to represent, which appear instantly in my awareness.
Less frequently, the hidden meaning of symbols appears as an entire storyline, a long series of events that appear in the mind as if some part of myself had been taken away, taken on a long tour through magickal spaces, and was then returned to the exact moment in time from which it had left. The complete tour is instantly “remembered” as it happened, even though for my conscious awareness, no time at all has passed.
In the rarest case, the meaning appears to my awareness as a tightly-bound packet of mystical energy, which sits in my mind and gradually “unravels” itself into words, images, and meanings over a period ranging from minutes to weeks. These “packets” seem to be some magickal equivalent of books. Their content usually does not seem to be directed at the particular person receiving them, but rather at some general audience; and the content is often radically different from the perspectives and ideas the seer would normally be interested in.
You should not take these as being the only ways in which the meanings behind symbols can present themselves to you; you may find that some other means is more typical for you. But if you do happen to receive information in any of these ways, you can feel confident that you have had some success in this matter.