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.

Advertisements

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 – Create the landscape

Introduction To Scrying

 

Create the landscape

Once you have established a secure space, take some time to think about the general layout of your world. Decide on the major features of the landscape, what sorts of buildings or other structures you want. Make a mental “map” of the areas in your world that you will want to visit most often. Once you decide on these major features, they should not change.

A few ground rules for inventing your world:

— You should keep the contents of your world absolutely private. Do not speak of them to anyone, and do not write them down anywhere. This first world is going to be your secret refuge and workplace, and much of its protection comes from no one knowing what it is like. Once you have the technique down, you can build other magickal spaces for public purposes.

— Make your world much bigger than you could maintain by conscious use of your imagination. Create as many detailed areas as you want, but surround these with regions whose landscape is only known in a general way, and whose specific content is unknown. These allow room for expansion, and for the “surprise me” exercises later on in this paper.

— Make the world a place where you feel comfortable and safe, so that it reinforces the impressions established in the previous step, and make it a place where you can have fun.

— You can populate your world if you wish, but DO NOT, under any circumstances, use images of living people in your world. For some time, all of the contents of your world will be a reflection of yourself in one way or another. There is a possibility that images of people will be “taken over” by some unconscious part of your mind as a vehicle of expression. If you use images of real people, the behavior of the image may carry over into your relationships with the real person, with ill effect.

Begin to build your world by picking one location within your “map” of it, and imagine yourself standing at that spot. Fix the relationships between various landmarks in your mind, and see them surrounding you at the proper angles and distances. Fill in the details to the degree that you would actually be able to see if you were standing at a similar spot in the real world.

For example, one of my magickal spaces has a landscape of hills and ravines covered by a thick forest like pre-colonial America. The central area contains a rather utilitarian castle on a low bluff overlooking a large river meadow. A small tame river meanders along one edge of the meadow. Various outbuildings and special-purpose areas are dispersed in clearings in the nearby forest.

I began to build this world by imagining myself standing in the meadow, looking north. I can see the green grasses, small colorful wildflowers, and an occasional cowpie nearby. Animal paths wander about, and a more direct human-made path goes from the bluff to the river. The bluff appears to be made of a flaky granite, and the castle is right on the brink of it; a couple of winters’ worth of erosion to the bluff might undermine the nearest wall. I can only see all of one castle wall from this position, and part of another; I can just barely see the top of a tower above the wall. All of the walls are made of dressed gray stone without mortar. Below the castle a tunnel or gate is cut into the bluff at the meadow level.

Turning to the east, I see that the bluff gradually reduces in height towards the south, coming down to the meadow somewhat south of my current position. I can see the end of a dirt road where it curves off the bluff and into the meadow. More forest rising behind the road implies that the ground beyond is higher. I know from my “map” that there is an area of grassland a mile or two in that direction.

Looking south I see that the river continues in that direction, and passes through a cut in the hills several miles away. Sunlight glares off the entire length of the river in that direction, and a haze prevents me from seeing anything beyond the gap.

Looking west, I see that the river is fairly shallow at this point; small ripples cover its surface as if it were flowing over a gravel bar. The forest beyond it is edged with undergrowth, mostly honeysuckle bushes, which has been tramped down in places as if by animals coming for water. Paths leading into the forest quickly disappear into the shadows of the trees.

You do not need to fill in all the details of the scene consciously; in fact, it is better to encourage your imagination fill in many of the details by itself. Give it the general outline and let it show you what you should see in such a location. E.g., instead of trying to imagine each blade of grass and wildflower in the meadow, I would let my unconscious do so. If I liked what it did, I would send it a feeling of approval; if I didn’t like it, I would tell it to try again, and turn away for a moment to let it change things.

Once you have the view from a particular location fixed fairly well, move to other nearby locations — twenty to thirty yards away, for outdoor locations — and imagine what things would look like from this new position. What does the changed perspective reveal that was hidden before? What was unseen from the previous location that can be seen now? (Note that perspective in magickal space is never quite the same as it is in the physical world, though the difference is hard to quantify; you will not be able to make things appear in precisely the way you see natural objects.)

Keep moving to new locations and build up an image of the scene as it would be seen at each one, until you have a good sense of the place as an actual “space”. In the example space, I spent some time going to various positions in the meadow, noting that less of the castle was visible close to the bluff, more of it from farther away; noting the colored gravel in the riverbed, and how it made a ford across the river, etc. Then I went up to the castle and looked outward from positions on every side of it, seeing the wider landscape, filling in the positions of various known places in the forest, deciding how far the grasslands extended behind the castle, and so on. Do this for your own space.

When you have established the perspective from several locations, try moving smoothly between them, with the parallax of the surroundings changing continuously, as it does when you move about in the physical world.

At first you will find that your vision of your world has a tendency to “withdraw” from the scene; your imagination will try to view it as if seen through a window, or on a movie screen, or like a tableau in a museum. Whenever you notice this has happened, firmly place your viewpoint back inside the scene, and fix it there by turning and looking at what is in every direction around you.

Also at first, your world will tend to be still and tableau-like, a frozen image. Once you have the appearance of things fairly well established, try bringing some action into the scenes. Let grass and tree limbs be blown by breezes, and hear the sounds the wind makes. Watch water move and hear the sounds it makes. Add some living creatures to the landscape and let them move around in ways appropriate to their natures.

It is also important that you stay relaxed throughout the exercise; doing this work should be like a relaxing daydream, not requiring fixed concentration and alertness. Do the relaxation exercise before starting each session, and do it again if you find yourself getting tense at any time during the session. Let your mind do as much of the work as it can without conscious decisions on your part, and encourage it to do more.

You should spend at least several weeks on this exercise, and as much more as you want. Take your time, relax, and give as much work as you need to filling in the details in all the important locations in your world. Indoor locations should be given as much time as the general landscape. The more thoroughly you do the work in these early stages, the more effective your scrying will be later.

Introduction To Scrying – Establish a body in the magickal space

Introduction To Scrying

 

Establish a body in the magickal space

The final step in the basic process of creating a magickal space is to create a body for yourself within that space. Up to this point in the exercises, you have been pretty much a naked viewpoint, seeing the world but not interacting with it to any great extent. Now you need to build up an image of your body within the space, and learn to use it. To do this, you need to develop a conscious awareness of the sensory surface of your body and of its kinesthetics, and duplicate these in an “astral” body. Judging from accounts by students at the Fellowship of the Inner Light, this part of the work gives people the most difficulty, and people will have widely varying degrees of success in it.

Before entering your magickal space, stand up and relax, preferably without any clothes or jewelry. Close your eyes and put your attention onto your skin. Even without anything touching you, you should be able to feel a sense of activity or sensitivity in your skin, a “readiness to feel”. Note the way your body’s shape is outlined by the skin sensations.

Next, plan out some series of movements that will move every part of your body in turn, through most of its range of movement. Tai Chi or Yoga exercises are good for this if you know them. Still keeping your eyes closed, go through the movements and note how each part of your body feels in different positions, and note what your kinesthetic sense tells you about the positioning of your limbs as you move.

Finally, do the same sequence again with your eyes open. This time pay attention to the way what you see of your body changes as you go through the movements. Pay particular attention to your hands and arms. Try to consciously associate the image of your body with the sensations you get as you move.

Each of these three steps focuses on one of the major aspects of your body image: your sense of the body’s boundaries, its internal sensations, and its appearance to your eyes as you interact with your surroundings. Under normal conditions, these sensations are half-unconscious, and are always secondary to whatever activity you are engaged in. You need to be aware of them consciously in order to build yourself a second body inside your magickal space. If you wish, you can do these exercises separately from your practice in your space, until you are ready to make your magickal body.

Once you are ready, sit down and go through the relaxation exercises, and enter your magickal space. Once there try to feel as if you have a body in the magickal space that feels exactly like your physical body, but is completely separate from the physical. Go through the three steps in your imagination, and try to duplicate all the sensations you had while doing them physically. By doing this you will, over time, gradually build up a perception of your “astral body” as a distinct entity, within and a part of your magickal space.

After finishing this exercise in each session in your magickal space, spend some time just moving around your world, touching and manipulating things as if they were physical objects. Things you touch should give sensations appropriate to their nature; bricks and stone should feel hard and rough; metals should feel cool, with textures appropriate to their shape; wood should feel warm and grainy, etc.

If you have rituals that you do on a daily basis (and haven’t already started doing them in your magickal space) create a dedicated place in your magickal space for ritual work and begin doing them there as part of this practice. The regular, repetitive movements of ritual work will serve to reinforce your body image, and doing the rituals will begin to turn your space from a mere refuge into something useful for your magickal work. In particular, I would recommend practicing the Golden Dawn’s pentagram and hexagram rituals; these will be important later, as a means of testing the visions you obtain when you start scrying.

Introduction To Scrying – Preliminary Considerations

Introduction To Scrying

Preliminary Considerations

To start with, the reader should understand that scrying is as much a learned skill as is reading or ice skating. Persistent practice is necessary to teach the nervous system how to do it, even where the person has some innate talent. And as with other learned skills, there is a “learning curve”. At first there will be a long period when you don’t seem to be making any significant progress. Then things will suddenly fall together and your practice will improve markedly in a short period before leveling off again at something close to your highest level of skill.

It is best to expect a learning period of at least several months; don’t expect quick results. It is likely that you will have occasional sessions where things work much better than usual. Don’t be too encouraged by these, as it is likely you will fall back to a lower level in the next session. When an improvement lasts for a week or more, you are justified in judging it a genuine advance.

Before getting to scrying techniques as such, I want to discuss the various kinds of distractions that can cause trouble for beginners, and suggest some solutions. Distractions can be generally classified in three types:

  • Physical distractions. E.g., itches, muscle aches and twitches, etc.
  • External distractions. House and street noises, other residents of your home, etc.
  • Mental distractions. The internal “chatter” that we are all prone to.

Four of the traditional practices of yoga are intended to reduce and eliminate such distractions. Asana and (to a small extent) pranayama deal with physical distractions; pratyahara with external distractions, and dharana with mental distractions. These high-discipline practices are more than most people will need for our current purposes; perfection isn’t necessary, just something “good enough”. But those who find they do need more than the simple techniques described here may wish to look into them.

Traditional asana practice seeks to eliminate physical distractions by training the body to remain in a single posture for long periods of time. The muscles are trained to maintain a state of tension such that the body remains locked into the chosen posture. The lack of movement reduces the intensity of the body’s sensory signals to the brain. That is to say, repetitive, unchanging signals are completely processed at the pre-conscious level and are never brought to the attention of the conscious mind. Unfortunately, the traditional practice usually produces extreme pain for a long period before the muscles are trained to a given posture.

The same effect can be produced without the painful intermediate stage by achieving a state of profound physical relaxation. The nervous system doesn’t care why it is getting repetitive signals from the body, but only that it is so. Lack of movement engendered by relaxation is just as good at producing such signals as is lack of movement produced by muscle locking.

The practitioner should begin by choosing a comfortable posture that can be maintained without muscular tension. A sitting posture is recommended over a supine position, since relaxing while lying down easily leads to sleep. I preferred to sit cross-legged on a bed, with my back supported by a pillow against the wall. A high-backed easy-chair is as good. All that matters is that you can be perfectly relaxed in the position without falling over.

A certain type of breathing can help promote relaxation. Take a deep gulp of air through your mouth, breathing from the belly; don’t strain to take in the maximum. Hold it as long as comfortable, and then release it, allowing the weight of your ribs and the natural tension of your diaphragm to push the air out of your lungs without forcing it. Relax for a moment at the end of the breath. Repeat for one minute, or until you start to feel dizzy. You will find that as you release the breath, all your muscles have a tendency to loosen. (This type of breathing is, perhaps not coincidentally, identical to the way one tokes a joint of marijuana.)

Once you are comfortable and have done the breathing, begin to work at relaxing each muscle in your body individually. Start with the scalp and face, and work your way down the body, working outwards from the spine at each level. Complete relaxation of any muscle will be accompanied by a pleasant “melting” sensation; try to make your whole body feel as if it has melted into a puddle of warm pudding.

By the time you have reached your feet, you will probably find that your face and scalp muscles have tensed up again, just from your concentration on the task. Start again at the top and work your way down, repeating as often as needed to get to a state of complete relaxation. When the physical relaxation is complete, try to extend it to the inside of your head as well, letting your awareness float in a warm internal glow.

While this exercise is simple and easily mastered, it is very important. Most of the other forms of distraction practitioners encounter are accompanied by tension reactions in some part of the body. An extreme example is the “startle” reaction, in which some small noise triggers a state of high alert in your body; your heart suddenly jumps and increases its rate of beating, and every muscle in the body suddenly tenses. The parts of the mind responsible for these reactions and distractions are often not directly accessible to consciousness; but since body and mind influence each other, you can begin to subvert and eliminate the reactions by eliminating their physical manifestations.

The other aspect of controlling distractions is to understand the nature of the human mind. Each of us is not a single being, but a multitude. Our minds are composed of many “sub-minds”, each with its own special functions. Some of these (the visual sub-minds, for instance) are so intimately connected with our consciousness that we never notice their functioning unless something goes seriously wrong. Others act with greater independence.

But while they are not accessible in the same way that, e.g., the language forming parts of the mind are, there is communication back and forth between them, and between them and the conscious mind. The conscious self, the part of the mind which calls itself “I”, is supposed to function as a mediator, arbiter, synthesizer and director between these other aspects of our being. Its function is to take the results of their work, compare and evaluate them, make use of them to act in the world, and direct their future work on the basis of the results obtained. When there are conflicts between different sub-minds, the conscious self is supposed to “keep the peace” by balancing their respective needs and viewpoints.

Unfortunately, human evolution is not yet at the point where the consciousness automatically functions in the best way possible. The capability for it to do so is there, but it requires training and experience to develop its proper relationship to the other sub-minds. Lacking that training, we too often end up acting as censors and tyrants rather than mediators, suppressing troublesome messages from these parts rather than dealing with them. And as often as they are suppressed, they leak up through some other channel, producing distractions and what Crowley called “breaks” in one’s practice.

The key to permanently relieving both physical and mental distractions is to deal with them in the right way, _immediately_ as you become aware that they are occurring. You have to re-condition yourself into the desired response while the distracting sensations or thoughts are still present in your mind, and the physical tensions are still in your body. The sub-minds aren’t particularly time-conscious; they understand what is happening “now” much better than events in the past or future.

Once you have achieved a state of physical relaxation, try just sitting in the relaxed state, with your mind not focused on any particular thing and with no intention of doing anything else for a while. It is a sure bet that after a few minutes, some part of your mind will take the opportunity to bring its own concerns to the surface, and you will start talking to yourself mentally about whatever it is concerned with.

As soon as you realize you are following some line of thought, stop and assess your body’s state. Do the relaxation exercises until you are back in a completely relaxed condition. Then imagine that you are extending that relaxation to the part of your mind that brought up the thoughts you were thinking; imagine that part enveloped and permeated by a warm, melting glow, while simultaneously you talk to it, telling it: “Relax, be still, there is nothing you need to do right now.” Successful relaxation of a sub-mind through this procedure will produce a sensation of a sudden, mildly pleasurable energy-release in some part of your brain, sometimes accompanied by a sensation of “clearness”.

It is likely that by the time you get one sub-mind quieted — or even while you are still working on it — another part will pop up with a different thought-train. Keep working on the first instance and ignore the new one. Don’t be concerned if you don’t get to everything that comes along during this practice; the things you miss are certain to show up again at a later time. Do one thing at a time and don’t jump around. If you forget what you are doing somewhere in the middle of things, just start over with the relaxation exercises, and unfocusing your attention.

This same technique can be applied to external disturbances. The only difference is that when telling the disturbed sub-mind to relax, you tell it that the noise or other distraction is unimportant and not worth attention.

The Fellowship of the Inner Light teaches a slight variation on this method, which some people may prefer. They use a particular biblical (?) phrase when speaking to the sub-minds; it is almost a mantra in their version of this practice. The phrase is: “Be still, and know that I Am god.” The intent of this usage is to consciously and deliberately assert the conscious self’s rightful place as director and decision-maker, while at the same time acknowledging the existence of the sub-minds as quasi-separate entities.

And rather than just sitting with one’s attention unfocused, they prefer that the practitioner use a mantra: “Eheieh”, meaning “I am”, the highest name of God in the Hebrew cabala. The mantra should be spoken internally, in a relaxed and casual manner; i.e., whenever the practitioner happens to think of it, rather than in steady repetition. I personally find that the use of a mantra tends to produce tensions rather than alleviate them, but this may not be the case for others.

Continued use of this simple practice will, over time, result in a profound reduction in the amount of verbal “noise” your mind produces, and make it substantially easier to concentrate on the visual images of the “magickal space” techniques to be described in the next section. You don’t have to be proficient at this before going on to create a magickal space; the two efforts can be done in parallel, with each reinforcing the other.

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.

Water Gazing

Water Gazing

 
The simplest of these is known as gazing or scrying, in which water is used to create symbols of the future. To perform this ancient rite, pour water into a blue ceramic bowl. Ask your question. Sitting with your back to the light in a darkened room, gaze into, but not at, the water. (Some people add a few drops of blue food coloring or ink to the water to darken it; this is particularly useful when using a light-colored bowl.)
 
As with a crystal ball, the water may cloud. Eventually you may begin to see symbols within its cool depths. Make a note of any such symbols. When no further symbols are seen, begin the process of interpretation.
 
Some water gazers prefer to have a candle’s light reflected on the water’s surface. Others take the bowl outside on a cloudless night and, capturing the moon’s reflection, divine by its appearance on the water. All three of these techniques can be used.
 
A method related to water gazing involves wine. Pour wine into a clear glass. Place a candle behind it and light it. Sitting before the glass, ask your question (if any), gaze into the illuminated wine, and search for symbols to appear. This is known as oinomancy.
 
Sycphomancy is defined as the use of cups or glasses in divination (as in the above technique). It is of uncertain origin. The following procedure allows the reader to discern the past, present, and future. Three cups of three various materials are needed.
 
Old instructions state that the weather must have been calm for three days prior to the divination, and that the diviner be dressed in white. Fill a silver cup with wine, a copper cup with oil, and a vessel of glass with water. Scry in the silver cup to view the past, in the copper cup to see present events, and in the glass to discover the future. Use of these three scrying tools is ideal when the past, present, and future all pertain to the question-which is usually the case.
 
Gold cups filled with water were also sometimes used for gazing, but these have always been out of the reach of most diviners. A variant of this practice consists of placing a gold ring in a glass of water. Set this glass before a mirror and gaze into the ring’s reflection in the looking glass.
 
Natural bodies of water provide excellent gazing tools. A calm lake or a small pool that is continuously filled by a running stream is ideal. Sit before the lake or pool. Shut out all distractions and gaze into the water. If appropriate, ask a question. You will see what you need to know.
 
Finally, toss a lump of gold into a well. The water will become clearer and, thus, more conductive to scrying. (Silver was probably more often used in this rite than gold. This is a relic of the day in which well were considered to be sacred and the gold or silver was an offering to the well’s spirit or attendant deity.)
 
Other methods of water gazing include watching the waves at a beach, gazing into the sea from a high point that juts into it, scrying in the reflections of the sun sent up by water against a flat surface, and many other techniques.
 
Divination For Beginners
Reading The Past, Present & Future
Scott Cunningham
ISBN 0-7387-0384-2

MIRROR SCRYING

MIRROR SCRYING

 
 
Mirror scrying is an evolved form of water scrying. When it became possible to build mirrors they were regarded as being like water that was fixed into one place.
 
The early mirrors were made of polished copper, brass, marcasite, tin foil or mercury behind glass, polished silver and obsidian. All types of mirrors may be used for scrying and the size is not important.
 
Because mirrors are linked to the moon mirrors should be backed with silver. Try and use a round or oval mirror instead of a square mirror.
For the frame try and use a mirror that has a silver frame. Old mirrors also seem to work better than new mirrors.
 
Most seers prefer to use a black mirror. Because this is difficult to buy you may have to make one.
Just simply take out the glass and paint it black. You may have to give it a few coats of paint though. When you put it back in the frame make sure the glass part is to the front. The use of black mirrors may be traced back over the centuries. John Dee used a black mirror of obsidian.
 
When using the black mirror for scrying you do not want to see your reflexion. The best is to leave the mirror on a table and look at it from an angle.
Look into the depths of the mirror as though you were looking into a bowl of water. At first it may appear grey than colours will come and go.
With time and practise you will be able to see scried images like still photographs or moving film images. Spirits may sometimes look at the scryer, talk to the scryer or even touch the scryer.
The visions may even exist outside the mirror and surround the scryer on all sides.

Creating A Magickal Tree

You can create your own, albeit more modest but nevertheless magickal, world tree in your garden.

Although you might have a small garden, you can still create a magickal tree in the centre of it, it can be used to circle round for spells and rituals and as a focus of power. It changes it energies according to the seasons and you can sit close to it in Sun, Moon and Starlight to absorb their different powers.

You can use any tree or a large bush as long as it has plenty of branches. Indoors, you can use a large ornamental tree or bush. Alternatively, use large, stripped wood branches indoors or set them in soil. Wherever it is located, your magickal tree acts as a protective force to repel harm from your property.

You can start the tree with just one or two items. You will need some of the following:

  • A witch ball or coloured glass fishing float that reflects the garden and shines in sunlight. These are both protective and empowering. Witch Balls resemble huge Christmas baubles and come from the American folk tradition. You can make one by painting a glass sphere with metallic paint or buy one from a New Age shop or website. You can also find them sold as disco balls in gift stores.
  • Fishing floats made of transparent glass are on sale in antique stores or garage sales, but increasingly in gift shops and housewares stores. Hang two or three of these from the tree. You can have a rope with three fishing floats, each of different coloured glass on your tree, better yet use your imagination, it’s your tree be creative.
  • Mirrors. These need only be small to reflect the flow of life force round the garden and repel all harm. You can use ordinary round mirrors or Chinese lucky Bagua mirrors that display the old Chinese symbols for eight natural forces that together energies the universe and our lives. Convex one that curve outwards are especially protective.
  • Outdoors, nets of seeds and nuts or fat ball bring wild birds to the tree. This is especially important if the tree itself is not living.
  • Symbols of fertility and prosperity. Fill small raffia baskets with long handles with coins, sparkling crystals like yellow citrine and clear crystal quartz or dried herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme that bring abundance to the garden and your home. You can often buy ornamental baskets set with wooden or ceramic fruits and flowers.
  • Small metal birds (you can sometimes buy them made of recycled metal). They will gleam in the light and encourage the circulation of positivity.
  • Feathers on cords to encourage positive change and the free-flowing life force.
  • Seasonal flowers, again especially important if the tree itself is not living. These can be weaved into circlets or used as garlands secured with twine. Keep these fresh and replace regularly.
  • Sun catchers, crystals or polished glass stones on chains.
  • Ribbons tied on the tree for different wishes. Secure the ribbon with three knots or to the tree and make your wish. Use ribbons that are not synthetic.
  • Use the following list when choosing the colours of items to put on to your magickal tree:

Blue:  Justice, career, travel and house moves.

Brown:  Animals, property, finances and officialdom

Green: Love and fidelity, for gradual increase in health, alternative healing, prosperity and to heal the planet

Orange:  Creativity and fertility

Pink:  Children, new or first love, peace, peaceful dreams and reconciliation

Purple:  Psychic awareness, peace, alternative healing and for protection

Red:  Passion and change

Yellow:  Learning and anything that needs to happen first or temporarily in your life: also for conventional healing.