Scrying and Divination
The word scrying [to scry] comes from the English word descry which means to "reveal" or "To make out dimly". Scrying is an art of divination or psychic reading. The book 'Witches Bible' describes scrying as a process of "triggering" the conscious mind into focusing on receiving psychic or clairvoyant images. The practice of scrying into objects reveals psychic images either on the surface of the object, or within the mind of the one who is scrying. Methods of scrying include the use of tools or natural events as a focal point for divination. Some of the materials for scrying include the Crystal Ball, and the Magic Mirror which is a concave black mirror used to gaze into for psychic visions. Other methods include Tea leaf reading, fire and smoke scrying, scrying into running water and swirling pools, or any other random pattern in nature or any shiny dark surface where clairvoyant images can be seen.
The source of this psychic imagery is sometimes explained as originating from the Jungian concept of the Collective Unconscious, the Astral or Akashic, from Spirit Guides, or from the subconscious. Images that are from the Collective Unconscious are known as the collective information from the past, present and future that are available through the consciousness of humanity. This is similar to the Astral, or the Akashic which is known as a record of deeds, thoughts and worldly actions which can be accessed by those who are clairvoyant. Some may use spirit guides as a form of divination, by contacting and communicating with a personal guide who provide psychic information to the seer. Psychic knowledge, or knowing arises from within the subconscious where it is then recognized and interpreted by the conscious mind. Since the imagery from scrying comes from the subconscious, it may need to be carefully interpreted from a personal perspective.
One magician who was famous for his use of scrying to obtain ritual and magic material was John Dee. Described In the book by Donald Tyson,'Enochian Magic for Beginners', Dee was known to use three main tools of scrying. One of these scrying items that Dee used was an obsidian mirror which was suspended or hung from the ceiling. The other tool that he used was a crystal globe that is said to be the size of an egg. He also used a small crystal for scrying which Dee claimed was given to him by an angel for the purpose of scrying. It is said that he used his angelic guide to interpret the information that he gained by using his scrying instruments.
Crystal Ball Scrying
Scrying with a crystal ball is called crystallomancy. This art of divination is practiced by those who use a hand held crystal ball or a crystal ball on a stand. Psychic visions can be seen as the seer looks into the crystal. Crystal gazing has an ancient history which has been practiced for centuries. According to the book, 'Divination for Beginners' by Scott Cunningham, crystallomancy was a common practice in England in the 1300's, used to discover thieves and recover property that was stolen. The art of crystal gazing most likely developed from hydromancy, which is the art of scrying into water. Because of the clarity and coolness of crystal stones, the ancients believed that Crystals were created when water was frozen permanently.
Some of the best crystal balls are made from clear quartz crystal, amethyst or any other clear stone which is known to contain magic properties and qualities of divination. A popular choice is the Quartz stone, because of its natural energy acts as a focus and an amplifier for the seer. It is said that a larger stone produces more area for divination and visuals. Some may say that the images appear on the surface of the stone, but others who use crystallomancy may feel that the imagery comes from the subconscious mind then are subsequently projected onto the stone.
Some may say that the best results from crystal gazing come at night when the mind is most receptive to psychic influence. It is said crystallomancy is best done at the time of the full moon in a quiet area with dim lighting. Candle light may add some effect for mood and focus, and the reflection can act as a trigger for psychic trance. Placing the crystal against a dark background may aid the visions to come forth or appear. The images appear from clouds or darkness which are visualised from inside the sphere, not upon the surface reflections.
Scrying by Water
The art of scrying by using water as a reflective surface is called hydromancy. This is said to have originated in Greece from a creation of the god of the sea and water known as Nereus. According to Greek legend, divination using water was usually performed at night. They scryed by using a tub was filled with water where lit torches were placed around it. From the reflections in the water they were able to see the scenes of the past, present or future. One method of hydromancy is to watch flowing water and receive visions while listening to the sounds which seem to 'speak' to the magician.
Some methods of water scrying are to fill a blue or dark colored bowl with water, and look into it to see the visions. If a light-colored bowl is used then dark ink can be added to the water so that it creates a deep reflective surface to scry into. Another method of water gazing is to use candlelight as a focus for water-gazing, or to use the reflection of the moon to enable the seer to enter into the trance state that is necessary to receive visions.
Scrying by Fire
Pyromancy is the ancient art of fire-scrying, where images, thoughts and or visions are seen within the flames of a burning fire. Psychic images can also be seen within the embers or even within the smoke of a burning fire. Another method of fire scrying is to watch the way that the fire burns to determine the answer from a question that is focused on. One approach to fire scrying is to write the answer on a piece of paper and then set it alight; if it burns fast, or completely then the answer is 'yes', and if it only burns halfway, then the answer is 'no'. This same technique can also be used with burned objects, where the speed, duration and nature of its burning determines the type of answer that is received.
The Art of smoke scrying is called Libanomancy. In smoke scrying an answer can be determined from the behaviour of smoke. This practice is said to have begun with ancient cultures who offered burnt sacrifices to their gods. The smoke from the burnt offering would be used as an indicator of the future that was ahead. Scrying can also be determined through burning incense. For instance, if the smoke drifted to the left, the answer is 'no', and subsequently if it drifted towards the right, the answer is 'yes'. Even the way that smoke rises from extinguished candles can be used as a method of divination.