What is a Scrying-glass?

​Scrying is the most elemental form of divination, of which there are so many different types of scrying it would be impossible to cover them all here. Scrying is usually done via a reflective surface such as by water, metal and crystal. Divination by fire, for example where visions are sought in the flames rather than their movement interpreted, is also referred to as scrying however we will not be covering this today.

Black Mirror by Mickie Mueller

Most of scrying techniques do not require anything dramatic in terms of tools. A candle, a dark bowl of water or even natural pools are all that is needed in addition to technique and ability. The most popular tools used in scrying are the black mirror, also known as scrying-glasses, and shew stone (that’s crystal balls to me and thee) may require you to make or buy your equipment.

Scrying in a Reflective Surface

Scrying is in effect the process of divination in a reflective surface. If you can see your reflection in it then there is no reason that you can’t use it for scrying.

There are some mediums that are preferred however. Scrying by water, particularly moonlit water, is a method commonly suggested. Water held in a dish with a dark or black interior is the best medium however any body of still water which has a dark surface can be used.

Oil can also be used to the same effect, particularly thick, black, viscose oil though Black Mirrors are more common and readily available, being easier and more pleasant to handle than crude oil.

Crystal/ Ball Scrying

The archetypal tool of scrying is the Crystal Ball. The image of the fortune teller sat hunched over a unblemished, spherical ball of clear quartz crystal is synonymous with the term of scrying.

The use of perfectly clear quartz crystal is not in truth a necessity. You can purchase stones made from a variety of differ crystal types with dark and solid stones such as obsidian also being popular. It’s always a good idea to know what you are buying however.  Lead Crystal balls will serve your purpose just as well as any semi precious stone, and will be perfect in form (aka contain no inclusion) however you should only pay what they are worth, and of course when buying gemstones it is always important to purchase from ethical sources.

Nor is it critical that the stone used is perfectly spherical nor free from inclusion. People will give you lots of woowoo reasons why a sphere is important but in truth what is important is that it works for you. The presence of inclusions can, for some people, aid the scrying process and the shape of the stone is more of an choice based on aesthetics and finance than anything else.

Size is, however, important, well at least size relative to vision. It needs to fill your vision comfortably whilst still allowing you to keep your reflection out of sight. This can have more to do with position of both yourself and your chosen stone as anything else. It’s important to remember that scrying takes both time and practice so you need to be comfortable.

Seens as though we’re moving in to the realms of technique let’s move on to talk about them in more general terms.

Scrying Technique

Just as with meditation it is important to think about your comfort during any scrying session, regardless of medium being used. Your environment wants to be comfortable in terms of temperature and your position one you can hold for a protracted period of time. It also needs to be safe so ensure that any candles you may use do not create a fire hazard.

Georges de La Tour, The Penitent Magdalen (1638-43)

Georges de La Tour, The Penitent Magdalen (1638-43)


As said above your room should be temperate and private, try to minimise any external noise by turning off/unplugging your phone. It is best to scry using natural light sources or by candle light.

When you set up your scrying device there are a couple of things to remember.

Firstly the device dominating your line of sight. Try a minimise the number of objects in your peripheral vision.

Secondly you shouldn’t be able to see your reflection in the medium, you don’t want to be looking directly back at yourself so off set everything slightly.

You also don’t want to see your light source reflected in the device so off set that as well.

Lastly, remember you need to be comfortable. Sitting is ideal but remember you are going to be seated awhile so a well cushioned chair in which you can comfortably get both feet on the ground is ideal.

Once you are ready you can begin to prepare your mind for scrying.


Scrying is very similar to meditation in a sense. Both processes require a clear and calm mind as well as time, patience and practices.

Once you are sat your your medium calm your mind and begin to gaze at it. Progressively soften your gaze, reducing the frequency at which you blink. If you are one of those lucky souls who can stop blinking  (think Dr Who and the Weeping Angeles) then go for it. If, like me, you have dry eyes or other issues which might stop you from doing this the trick is to slow your blink rate right down so your eyes remain comfortable but your vision doesn’t revert to normal.

I will admit that I find scrying hard because of my eye issues but little and often has seen me improve. Keep at it dear reader.

Pauline Frederick as Potiphar's Wife, c.1912.

Pauline Frederick as Potiphar’s Wife, c.1912.

Again I’m going to diverge from traditional wisdom. Many scrying instructionals would be telling you that about you will begin to see mist form and fill your medium, even describing it as ‘sea’ of mist and that images will begin to appear within this mist. Perhaps it is because of the afore mentioned eye problems but I never experience this.

For me I experience images fading in and out. Shapes and images will appear and disappear along with impressions and understandings. When I first started to practice scrying I would throw my hands up in utter disgust because the ‘mist’ would not form for me but I persisted and I found the way it worked for me.

Allow the images and impressions to come and go, not dwelling on any particular aspect in detail but acknowledging the image and and allowing it to pass.

As the images cease to come and/or the mist clears allow your focus to return to normal and record the date, any questions asked along with your vision and impressions.

Notes on Ritual Context

I haven’t included any particular references to rituals associated with scrying as I think this is particularly personal. You may wish to engage in cleansing rituals ahead of your scrying session, or even partake in a tea which promotes intuition and psychic abilities. Many people like to invoke guiding deities or spirit guides ahead of time and make offerings in thanks after the session. Whatever you decide to do make it relevant to your practice.

Other Tricks and Tips

Between scrying sessions you should store any permanent tools (mirtors, crystals etc) in a black natural cloth, be it a simple length of cloth or dedicated bag. This protects the object and marks is as something that is used for general reflective use. You could also was the surface of mirrors and crystals both before and after use.

In preperation for scrying you way want to consider drinking herbal tea’s to promote second sights and higher forms of awareness. Mugwort is commonly cited as a herb to consider however a tea made from the flowers, roots and/or leaves of the humble dandelion can also have the same influences. As ever, when taking herbs herbs internally carefully research the plant in question and/or take professional advice.


If you take one thing away from reading this then it should be that we do not all experience things in exactly the same way. You may need to tweak the tried and tested instructionals as I have on occasion but just remember that whatever way you decide to work scrying is an art and takes time and devotion.


Black Mirror by Mickie Mueller
Georges de La Tour, The Penitent Magna pen (1638-43)
Pauline Frederick as Potiphar’s Wife, c.1912.

About knotmagick

Weaving Magick and Crochet in the madhouse I call home. I am a devotee of Hekate and a follower of Pan.
This entry was posted in Defining My Craft, Divination, Magick, Tools of the Trade, Witchcraft and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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