Mirror Mirror in my hand,
Whose the fairest in the land?
Mirrors, particularly black mirrors, are one of those tools which is often snapped up in those early, heady days of learning about Witchcraft but they are then not used to their full potential.
Modern Witches Mirrors are usually black glass tiles which provide a passable reflection in which scrying is possible. More traditionally any polished surface set aside for the purpose could be used be it an actual mirror or metal polished to a high sheen, in fact the opaque quality of metal mirrors may be benificial to the scrying process. The mirrored surface doesn’t even have to be old or rustic. A modern mirror will work just as well, particularly when it is set aside for purpose of Witchcraft and nothings else. So long as it is flat, or flat enough to stand objects on should you wish to, you are good to go.
Speaking from my own experience I had owned a black mirror tile quite some time before realising that there were more uses for it than just scrying. Energy working, spell component or portal to another dimension the mirror is a rather versatile tools of Witchcraft and given that scrying was a subject recently discussed I am going to concentrate on some of these other uses.
There is a whole community out there seriously discussing the possibility of an invasion by the Mirror People. It’s like Alice Through the Looking Glass on a conspiracy theory high. Picking apart the theory there is a less nurty conversation to be had about the subject in relation to Witchcraft fairly and traditional folklore.
Have you ever heard the tale of indigenous people refusing to have their image recorded in photography? Well that’s because they believe that the image will capture a little bit or all of their soul and the person who holds the photo will have power over them. The same belief was held about mirrors, especially as the quality of reflection increased with technology. A blurry image i a partially polished metal disc or wavering reflection in water is one thing but a perfect reflection was something else entirely.
But back to portals, given that the mirror reflects that which is but not (in the same way that a mirror image and photograph of a person never look quite the same) there are some folk traditions which refer to them as portals to the Spirit World. this can happen anumber of ways, for example it is suggested that the mirror can turned into portals which will allow ghosts and spirits to pass into the realm of the living. This may be achieved by accident, with a mirror which has been in place a long time eventually providing a weak point for allowing entry, or through spiritual practiced used as using Ouija boards and scrying for ghosts in a particular mirror over and over. Another peice of lore states that any mirrors in the room or house of someone who has just died shpuld be covered or turned to face the wall to stop the spirit of the deceased becoming trapped or taking up residence in it.
How can one protect their mirror then? Well moving wall mounted mirrors or a regular basis is one way. The suggestion is that the presence of a mirror in one location for extended periods of time allows portal to establish itself. An alternative is to draw protective symbolson the back of the mirror before it is hung to ensure that the portal can not establish. But what if there is already a spirit within? The first method for dealing with this is good old salt and water with maybe a bit of cider vinegar added for a cleaning whoosh. Any cleansing or excorsim process can be used, but if this is not effective the final option is to break the mirror.
I can hear the screams of ‘7 years bad luck’ from here but let’s just review that concept. The idea of a broken mirror bringing seven years bad luck stems from the Romans. The Romans believed that life renewed itself every seven years and that any misfortune, such as the breaking of an expensive metal object such as a mirror would taint the remainder of the seven year cycle. Add to this the belief that mirrors could be used to confuse and confine spirits, either by accident or design, the act of breaking the mirror would cause the spirits to be released and wreak revenge upon the living.
Speaking to a few Witchy Friends around the country one told me about an incident in their locality relating to mirrors. Someone had carried a large mirror into a grave yard and smashed it. Now this was a strange act of apparent vandalism for a number of reasons. Firstly, no other rubbish or items had been dumped or broken at the same time, in fact such an act was out of character for the location. Secondly, when I say ‘large’ I mean one of those big, couple of meter square, mirrors you hang over the fire place that requires two full grown adults to carry let alone a couple of yobs. To carry something of that size to such a location indicates purpose and my friends suggested that the reason was to release trapped spirits from the mirror in another liminal location in order to cleanse a house. Perhaps they were hoping to obtain some protection against any bad luck by choosing a consecrated site, who knows but it is interesting to speculate.
Ghost ScryingI don’t actually know the proper name is for this process so Ghost Scrying will have to do. It is not scrying in the traditional sense of seeking to glimpse the future but rather as a way of allowing spirits surrounding a person or location. It is a process I was introduced to by a medium on a ghost hunt and it can be done by individuals or groups.
The scryer, or subject, sits directly opposite the mirror so that they can see their reflection. If someone else is ‘scrying’ they should be stood so they can’t see their own reflection but that of the subject only. The lighting should ideally be soft and natural but so long as the light isn’t visible in the mirror a dim/muted electric source will do. The next thing is to achieve ‘soft’ vision. Relaxing the eyes and reducing your rate of blinking are all part of this process.
In time the details of the face being observe will begin to blur. Features shift and details change including the appearance of gender, hair colour and length etc. This is interpreted as a spirit imposing their own likeness over that of the scryer/subject. Where a person is performing this on themselves they should note the changes but remain as motionless as possible, recording the detail at a later time. Where there is a subject and a scryer the information can be relayed out loud for someone to record in the moment as a written description, or even as a drawing where possible.
Now I will let you decide on the value of this process for yourselves, I have had and seen mixed results myself. I’ve mentioned it here because it was suggested that by using this methods the mirrors used, particularly wall mounted, would eventually become open portals allowing any spirit to enter the setting.
After scrying one of the primary uses of mirrors is for the directing of light and energy as part of a ritual or spell. Often it is the light of the moon or the sun which is reflected in the mirror, directing the energy and associations within the light upon a given object or person. Most often this is done in order to empower or bless objects, particularly tools which are be consecrated.
Mirrors are useful in this way where it is not possible to leave items in direct moonlight firstly because it allows you to find what light is available and direct it to where it needs to go and also because the mirror intensifies the light reflected. Think of the magnifying glass and the ant, but with moonlight and less death (and science). The mirror deflects and intensifies the light giving the object being charged a concentrated dose of energy.
When I started writing this blog I was struck by the idea of a Lunar Mirror Ball. The idea of hanging a mirror ball (aka disco ball) where it can catch and scatter moonlight was immediately appealing, especially as the moon shines straight into my bedroom ob rising and sets in the landing window (which is visible from my bed). Not that the British weather often allows me to enjoy this double edged sword I really liked the idea in dancing under the scattered moonlight, but ny husband says I can’t buy a mirror ball so boo. I wonder how effective it would really be…
Anyway moving on…
Spells and Magic
Mirrors are sometimes included in spellcraft as a component, particularly in protective spells or in bindings. The reflective quality of the mirrored surface is used to deflect energy and intent away from a target and back towards the sender. The same process of sympathetic magic can also be applied to protective visualisation, where you encase yourself in an armour or box of mirror in order to protect yourself from the energies of others.
There is nothing more satisfying that strapping someone, or their sympathetic representation, between two mirrors to give them a healthy dose of their own behaviour in return. The ethics of binding of course apply, but those ethics are your ethics and you alone know the nature of your situation and those involved. You will not hear the call ‘no mirror spells please’ from me, nor will any nonsense of karma and threefold pass my lips. Mirror spells are easily made and easily broken, just remove them from between the mirrors with a few words. That’s not to say they should be used frivolously or for childish kicks, nor should they be seen as being less than any other form of bind or hex. Hex approximately and use the appropriate hex, that’s the best advice I can give you whrn it comes to deciding on whether or not to use a mirror spell.
Mirrors in personal protection should be less contentious when used correctly. The visualised mirrors should allow through all that is good and positive and reflect back on the sender on that which is *intentionally* negative and harmful.
We all know someone who can be perceived as being on a downer, even pulling down those around them with their negative perception of self or situation. They are not intentionally attempting to harm, they are just in a bad place so whilst it is right and fair to protect yourself it is not right or fair to deepen their suffering by reflecting their negative attitude back at them. Rather than second guessing intent allow that which is good, deflect that which is not and return all that is intentionally negative. The same rational could be applied to mirror spells, though I have not tried it myself. Let me know what you think or how you get on.