Scrying

Scrying

Scrying is the ancient act of divination for the purpose of clairvoyance. It is usually achieved by concentrating on or staring at an object having a shiny surface until a vision appears. Magicians and witches have practiced scrying throughout the ages. The typical stereotype of a person scrying is a Gypsy fortune teller looking into her crystal ball.

Scrying comes from the English word “descry” which means “to make out dimly” or “to reveal.” There have been and are many purposes for the activity; to see into the future, to find lost objects or persons, and track criminals, among others. In the Middle Ages a wise woman or a wise man, perhaps also called a witch, with a natural gift of second sight was called upon for scrying purposes.

Although the object used for scrying usually has a shiny surface, innumerable objects have been used for the practice over the centuries. The Egyptians used ink, blood and other dark liquids. The Romans used shiny objects and stones. Water has been used for gazing into. Mirrors are often used.

There is an example of the interior of a cauldron being painted black, then filled with water at night, a silver coin was dropped into the water so to reflect moonlight. Such means have been employed to see visions and read mystical signs.

Many witches scry in a magic circle to prevent outside influences from distorting their visions. Also, this is why most scrying is done at night in order to receive better psychic vibrations. As a general rule most diviners work at night in order to avoid the excessive psychic vibrations that are generated in the day due to the confusion of everyday living. The methods of scrying differ but after a period of concentration on the speculum visions, mental images, or impressions appear. Frequently the visions are symbolic and the scryer must be trained and skillful in interpreting their meanings.

Introduction To Scrying – The Magick Mirror

Introduction To Scrying

The Magick Mirror

The next method is very close to a “classical” scrying method, save that the appurtenances are astral rather than physical. The method is capable of endless variations, of which only a few will be described.

Pick a convenient location within your magickal space. If you intend to scry in conjunction with invocations of magickal forces, a temple or magickal workroom would be the best place; otherwise, any place where you feel most comfortable and secure.

In that place, imagine a frame, as for a large mirror. This should be at least your own height, and of a width such that all of it can be in your field of vision at the same time. Now imagine that this frame contains a sheet of glass. But rather than being a silvered mirror the glass appears to contain a deep, transparent blackness; as if behind the glass were a void of indefinite extent.

You can get an idea of the correct appearance — and construct a physical magick mirror at the same time — by taking a piece of half-silvered or quarter-silvered glass (from a scientific supply house) and laying it on a piece of good-quality black velvet. Look into this under very low illumination and it will seem to have an indefinite depth; that is, it will seem to have depth, but you will be unable to tell exactly how deep it is.

You should at the same time imagine, and _feel_ a total confidence, that the answer to anything you look for will appear to you in this mirror. Don’t get bogged down in _how_ the mirror does this, simply generate an emotional confidence that it works.

The basic use of this mirror is fairly simple. You hold the thought of what you want to know about in your mind, and then you imagine that the mirror is “tuning in” to that thought, using the thought to make a connection to some place where the answer can be found. Once you feel that the mirror is tuned, release the thought and wait in mental silence for images to arise out of the darkness of the mirror. And as with the “mystery tour” technique, the images will be accompanied by meanings that you will be able to “hear” or sense in your mind.

There are several variations on the basic method for different purposes. Once you get accustomed to the basic method, you can make use of those described or invent your own. As you come to be familiar with the method, your own intuition will become a better guide to its use than any “official” technique; do not be afraid to experiment.

For psychometry, hold an object in your (physical) hand, and imagine that there is a link between it and the mirror. Then look to the mirror to reflect the “impressions” contained in the object. If it is an object that is connected by use to some person, you must specify that it is impressions of the person that you want, not impressions of the object itself; otherwise you may get some odd results. For example, I once tried to psychometrize a flint knife-blade, and got a geological history of the stratum from which the flint had come. It’s connections to its rocky origins were stronger than its connections to the persons who had made and used it, and these came across most intensely.

You can also “psychometrize” a person — give them a “life reading” or answer specific questions — by holding their hands and looking to your magickal mirror to reflect impressions you get from their spirit. This is more difficult, takes more practice, and works best when you have no personal relationship with the person in question. It should _never_ be done with people with whom you have an emotional entanglement of any sort.

To get basic ideas and meanings related to visual symbols, imagine the symbol drawn on the face of the mirror in glowing lines. Then imagine that you are pushing the symbol into the mirror, so that it recedes in the distance and eventually vanishes from sight. Sending the symbol into the mirror “tunes it in”; wait in mental silence for images to arise, and these will bear in some way on the symbol.

Magickal invocations can be used to enhance the power of the mirror. As an example, you might want to explore the nature of the element of Fire. You could begin by performing the Lesser Pentagram ritual to banish extraneous influences, directing that the banishing include the mirror. Then you could use the Greater Pentagram ritual to invoke the element of Fire. When you have a strong sense of the element’s force being present, direct that force into the mirror, simultaneously imagining that the force is not only tuning the mirror to the element, but is also charging it up and clearing the channels so that the mirror works with its best effect. Or alternately, you could request that the archangel or angel of the element appear to you in the mirror and answer your questions.

With any of these methods, the images you get will at first be vague and static. But with practice the images will sharpen, expand and become active, presenting whole landscapes and long storylines that dramatically present the answers you are seeking. The mirror will seem to become a window opening on the part of the astral plane that relates to your search.

Once you achieve this, the mirror can be used as a “gate”, an opening through which you can travel directly to the plane being viewed, to experience events there first-hand. From the standpoint of initiatory magick, this is the preferred mode of operation, since it immerses your consciousness in the power you are exploring. Immersion increases the potential for real and lasting changes in awareness and enhances your power to achieve insights and realizations from the power.

To convert the mirror to a gate, imagine that the image in the mirror becomes three-dimensional, as if you were actually looking through a window at a real place instead of just seeing a picture of it. Then imagine that the glass of the mirror dissolves and vanishes while the image in the mirror remains in place. Or if it is easier for your mind, imagine that the glass is in fact a hinged window in a frame, and open the window.

You will usually find that unless your being is totally in tune with the force you have invoked, you will have some difficulty passing through the frame and into the world on the other side. The Golden Dawn’s “Sign of the Enterer” will help to overcome the resistance. Stand just short of arm’s length from the gate; raise your arms directly above your head, and then bring them down and forward with the fingers straight, while at the same time taking a step forward. Alternately, pull your hands back so that they are close to your body at shoulder level, and then extend your arms sharply forward while taking the step. Imagine that these gestures are punching a hole in whatever is resisting your entry, and that the momentum of your forward movement is carrying you through the gate and into the world beyond. If you still feel resistance once you are through the gate, repeat the gestures again.

Once you are though the gate, look around and make note of everything you see. Start with the major features of the landscape, then focus in on the details. If you have invoked the power correctly, you should see objects and events that reflect parts of the power’s nature.

It is good practice to test the world you enter, and any beings you encounter, to ensure that they are in fact related to the power you invoked, and are of a good nature. The means of testing will be discussed in detail in the next installment of this series.

If you find that you have difficulty turning the mirror into a gate, or that the mirror won’t give you images of complete landscapes and storylines, a variation on the magickal practice of “pathworking” will help. The practice as described below is halfway between scrying a simple symbol and doing a freeform exploration of an invoked force, and will thus assist in the transition between them.

Introduction To Scrying – The Magickal Mystery Tour

Introduction To Scrying

The Magickal Mystery Tour

The first scrying technique is very simple, and can be very entertaining. The results you get with this method can range from silly to sublime, from inconsequential to important, depending on the conditions of the moment. This method lets you acquire a feel for the ways in which your unconscious mind symbolizes things, and gives it some practice in doing so in a non-critical situation.

Enter your magickal space and re-affirm your safety there, using the method previously described. Then go to some familiar outdoor location in your space, and look around to establish your bearings and the relative positions of the other familiar regions.

Having done this, imagine that these familiar territories are surrounded by vast areas about which you know nothing as yet, in which anything at all might be happening at any given moment. Decide that you are going to take a walk and look around some part of those areas. Then look around you again, pick a direction, and start walking. As you move out of your familiar areas, don’t try to imagine that you will find any particular features in the landscape, and don’t try to look for any particular thing. Let the your imagination fill in the features of the areas you pass through without interference.

Move around in the wilderness until you find some interesting item. It might be an interesting natural feature, an object, a building, a person or animal. Examine the object or explore the building, remembering that everything unusual has some sort of meaning in a magickal space. If nothing clear comes to you, move along in the direction you were going. Sometimes it happens that several locations in sequence tell a story that isn’t clear until you have been to all of them; other times, the first locations you come to simply aren’t very important.

Talk to a person or animal as if they existed independently of yourself; treat them with the respect and politeness you would give to any stranger you encounter in an isolated place; try to maintain a friendly and unthreatening attitude no matter what the being does, and remember that since all this is taking place in your private world, you are perfectly safe. Don’t try to script their actions, just let them speak and act spontaneously. Asking a person you meet to tell you about himself and what he is doing will nearly always get a positive response.

If the person does not acknowledge your presence, or does not respond to your queries, then watch what they are doing for a time, until you don’t see any point in continuing to do so. Then move on to another location. If they do respond, when you have run out of questions then ask them if there is anything else interesting to see in the neighborhood, and follow any directions they might give you.

Usually such explorations will tell you something about yourself, your life-situation, or your current magickal environment. It will all be in symbolic form, of course; the obvious meaning of the events won’t always be their deepest significance. But once you understand the symbolism, the results usually turn out to be something useful or interesting, though not always important.

This method is particularly good for those times when you know something important is going on in the magickal side of your life, but you can’t tell what it is. It is also very good for any situation where you aren’t certain what questions you should be asking. To use the method in such a way, hold the idea that you need information or answers in your mind while you are picking the direction for your tour, and try to sense the direction in which the answers lie; there will always be such a direction. Then go in that direction and continue finding interesting things until you feel like you have received all of the answer; this will usually manifest as a sense of relief or a reduction in some vaguely-sensed pressure. Then consider the things you have seen in relation to your current situation; the meanings they contain will usually provide essential clues you need.

Introduction To Scrying – Establish the boundaries

Introduction To Scrying

 

Establish the boundaries

Until your magickal space is well-established, you should begin every session by affirming its invulnerability. Imagine that your space is invisible to any being but yourself, and is impenetrable by any force or person without your express, conscious permission. Think up an image of your space’s boundaries that reflects these ideas. I imagine my magickal spaces as “pocket universes” that, seen from the outside, are so tiny as to be lost in the immensity of our own universe; seen from inside, they are as big as I want or need them to be. Other people I know of imagine theirs as surrounded by an adamantine shell, or by a science-fiction force field that “bends” all forces so that they bypass it.

Once you have the boundary of your space established, imagine yourself inside it. As you enter into it, feel all the pressures and demands of your daily life being locked out behind you, unable to follow you in. Imagine that they became completely disconnected from you at the moment you entered your space. They are not trying to force their way in; they can not even sense your space or yourself inside it and are drifting away without anything to attach themselves to. Feel yourself to be totally safe, totally free of any connection to the mundane world.

This matter of feeling safe is very important. As in the relaxation exercises, the feelings you generate are the way you tell the unconscious parts of yourself, the “sub-minds”, what to believe and how to act. As far as they are concerned, what you feel is what is real; tell them something often enough, and they will begin to cooperate in making it so, to an extent you could not manage with your conscious resources. If you feel safe and free from pressure in your magickal space, then in a short time you will actually _be_ safe and free there.

Introduction To Scrying – Creating a magickal space

Introduction To Scrying

 
 
Creating a magickal space

The foundation of all magickal work is the imagination. The part of the mind that creates images serves as a meeting ground between the conscious mind, the unconscious parts of our being, and the magickal universe at large. Visual symbols are the primary means by which meaning is communicated in the magickal worlds. The more flexible you make your imagination, the more effective your magickal work can be.

The best exercise I know of for developing the imagination is called “creating a refuge” or “creating a magickal space”. The Vietnam veteran from whom I first learned it said that the U.S. Army Special Forces taught it to him as a means of maintaining a sense of privacy, personal integrity, and personal space under conditions — as in Viet Cong POW camps — where these things would be deliberately denied to him by his enemies. When I encountered the Fellowship of the Inner Light a few years later, I found that they were teaching essentially the same technique for purposes of self-mastery and spiritual development.

Once you become practiced in the method it requires no special physical place; it is completely “portable” and can be done anywhere you can sit and relax for a moment. I have used it effectively in many “un-magickal” environments; e.g., a crowded government office, a busy commercial hotel, and in the middle of the Las Vegas COMDEX show.

The basic idea is very simple. You make up an imaginary world that you would enjoy being in, and then you imagine yourself walking around in this world. Not much different, in principle, than what people do in any ordinary daydream. But here the idea is to work for consistency, so that it appears the same every time you enter it, and to continually add details to it. With practice and familiarity, this imaginary world will begin to take on a sense of being a “real” place; not real in the same way as the physical world, but having a permanence about it nonetheless.

For purposes of illustration, I am going to describe one of my own magickal spaces, one which I no longer use. It is important to understand that at every step, the images you use should be those that feel right to _you_; this is to be your own private space and its contents should always come out of yourself and be meaningful to you. Your space may resemble mine in some aspects; if so, that is all right. More likely it will not, and that too is perfectly appropriate.

The steps described here should be done sequentially, but you do not have to be perfect at any step before going on to the next. Right from the beginning, you can work on several steps in a single session. However, in any given session most of your attention should be given to the earliest steps in whatever group you are working on. As each step becomes more familiar it will take less practice to reach a satisfactory level and you can naturally give more attention to the next.