Scrying involves gazing or staring at or into objects and surfaces to induce a psychic or intuitive state of mind as a popular divination practice.
Several forms or types of scrying are used by Witches today. The most popular include water, fire, and crystal gazing, and mirror scrying.
This page briefly describes this practice using water, candles, crystals, and mirrors before discussing how to scry.
Water gazing or water scrying often involves a black bowl filled with water or a silver bowl with water dyed dark blue or black. An alternative used today is a glass bowl filled with water that is then held against a black cloth.
I tend to be partial to using any natural body of water, such as a creek, lake, or even a puddle.
You can certainly use any body of water available to you, even if it's just a cup of water before you drink it. What's important is that you are gazing into the water itself.
When scrying bodies of water outside, some practitioners prefer to focus on the shadows (such as that of trees) reflected on the water's surface instead of into the water itself.
Scrying with fire traditionally uses a roaring fire (ex: small bonfire, fireplace, wood stove, etc.). More modern practices typically use a candle flame instead.
When fire scrying or candle scrying, do not stare directly into the flame! Doing so will damage your eyes at worst and cause retinal burn at best. Try looking below, above, or off to the side of the flame instead.
When scrying candle flames, I generally begin by focusing at the wick and wax just below the flame. As my consciousness shifts, my gaze softens and the flame remains in my vision even though I'm not focusing my eyesight on any particular object. You can use a similar approach with any fire.
Although not required, some practitioners prefer to keep a special candle for their scrying work. This scrying candle, ideally, will be charged and blessed specifically for the purpose of inducing psychic sight. This may be a throw-back to traditional flame scrying involving sacred fires in some traditions.
Crystal gazing generally involves the use of round crystals of various sizes and types.
Some claim that the crystal spheres should contain no occlusions and be perfect. However, not only are such crystal spheres rare--particularly in the natural world--but also aren't favored as highly by many who regularly perform crystal scrying.
Occlusions and abnormalities, such as mixed crystals, in a crystal may add character or assist in triggering the shift in consciousnesses that comes with tapping into psychic skills and heighten the gazer's intuitive awareness.
Preferences in the types, sizes, and shapes of crystals used vary widely among practitioners. I've sometimes found myself pulled spontaneously into a trance-like psychic state just admiring a particularly interesting crystal or stone that others might have overlooked.
Mirror scrying uses different types of mirrors depending on tradition. Today, the most popular to use are black mirrors. These can be bought ready-made or constructed in several ways.
Black obsidian is commonly used to craft black mirrors and are widely found in most metaphysical stores specifically for the purpose of black mirror scrying.
Some practitioners suggest taking any mirror or piece of glass and using the soot produced by a fire--typically a candle flame--to create a black surface for scrying.
However, some traditions maintain that Witches of the past used only silver-back mirrors for magick and scrying and that use of black mirrors is a modern invention. Although I've been known to feel "drawn into" a good piece of black obsidian, I agree silver-backed mirrors in a darkened room are most effective for mirror scrying.
How to Scry
Gaze into--not at--the object. Blink as needed to avoid straining the eyes.
The object may "cloud" (appear cloudy or blurry like mist or fog rising) and symbols will appear. When you get to a point that you begin to see symbols, continue gazing until the images stop.
This technique will take time to master. When you first start, avoid spending more than 5-10 minutes gazing to avoid eye-strain.
To master the art of scrying takes a considerable amount of patience, concentration, and practice. Don't be frustrated if you're not successful in your first few attempts.
Keep in mind that scrying works differently for everyone. Although the description of the scrying tool clouding over with symbols appearing seems common among practitioners, other results are common.
Some find that the tool is merely a method to tap into their innate psychic abilities and will see images in their minds' eye. Others receive emotional impressions or hear words or thoughts.
Depending upon your psychic strengths and weaknesses, you may have different experiences with scrying.
If you find scrying difficult or confusing, you may want to start with meditation and mindfulness practices which can help you in achieving the calm state of mind needed first to develop this skill.
© 2004-2020 by Evylyn Rose