by Hayley Arrington
One of my favorite activities at Hallows is to perform divination for others and myself. The liminality (it is the Celtic New Year, after all) and the thin veil between the worlds, make Halloween an especially auspicious time for all manner of divinatory work. Scrying with a black mirror (popularly called a witches’ mirror) is also very witchy and fun. Scrying is a form of divination that involves staring at or into something to induce psychically perceived visual images. As far as we know, viewing images in a reflective pool is the oldest form of divination there is.
There is also a belief that spirits actually speak through the mirror to the one scrying. This hearkens back to fairy tales where the Wicked Queen entreats a spirit in a mirror for knowledge about her own beauty and about Snow White. Some say that black mirrors, as opposed to regular reflective ones, are best for speaking to spirits who can advise or inform you of things you wish to know. Either way, using a black mirror is a great way of focusing your mind and being open for visions to come.
Making your black scrying mirror:
~Glass pane. Choose a piece of glass you would like to use. I found a really cheap round clock that, while plastic had a glass pane covering the face.
~Black acrylic paint and a brush
~Craft glue like Elmer’s Glue-All
1. Thoroughly clean your piece of glass with warm water and soap. Let it dry completely.
2. Using your black acrylic paint, make long broad strokes across the side of the glass that will be the back of the mirror.
3. Once it is completely covered, allow it to dry and reapply the paint until you can no longer see through it.
4. Cut the black felt around your mirror so that it is its exact size. You can use the glue to draw divinatory and magical symbols on the painted side of your mirror; they will not be visible when dry. Place the sized felt onto the glue side. The felt will keep the paint from chipping.
Storing your mirror:
Keep your mirror wrapped in soft black cloth somewhere safe. You can also keep it on a small wooden or plastic stand as a metal one may damage an edge of your mirror. I prefer to keep mine out of sunlight once it has been consecrated.
Consecrating and dedicating your mirror:
Like other magical tools, you may find it important to consecrate your witch mirror. Here are several ways of doing this:
~ Simply visualize it as cleansed.
~ Cleanse by charging beneath a full or dark moon.
~Clean it with a mugwort infusion. Say, “Blessed be, my tool of divination,” or something similar, in order to bless it, as you wipe the infusion onto the glass.
~Consecrate it by the four elements: Say, “Blessed be, my tool of divination! I consecrate this witches’ mirror with the power of the four elements.” Bless and imbue your mirror with the attributes of each element as you pass it through, or above, that element: for instance, incense, candle flame or smoke, water, salt.
~Dedicate it to a Goddess: You may want to do any of the above before dedicating it to a Goddess, perhaps one associated with divination. Light a candle and/or sit in front of a statue or picture of your chosen Goddess. Say something like, “I dedicate this, my witch mirror, to you, Goddess of the Far-Seeing Eye!” (or whoever).
Using your black mirror:
~It is best to use your black mirror at twilight or at night, illuminated only by candle or moonlight.
~Some people like to gaze into their reflections, as this may aid in connecting with their higher selves, but this is not necessary for scrying. You may not like to see yourself; perhaps you like candle flame reflected back, perhaps not. Experiment to see what works best for you.
~Mugwort is a great psychic aid. Anoint your mirror with mugwort infusion before and after your scrying. Anoint your third eye with the same infusion or oil. Place dry or fresh mugwort on your altar, or wherever you will be scrying. Drink mugwort tea sweetened with honey to aid in prophecy. Burn mugwort, sandalwood, or wormwood incense.
~Talk to your mirror. Ask it to aid you in learning that which you wish to know.
“Queen of Faerie, Lady of the Sidhe
Open my eyes that I may see” (p. 93).
“Golden Lady, silver boughs
Sparkling crescent at Her brow
Lady Moon, Mother Sun
Tell me now what’s to be done” (p. 95).
~Invocations by Yasmine Galenorn from Embracing the Moon: A Witch’s Guide to Ritual Spellcraft and Shadow Work
“Find a dark place where you only have enough light to make out your own reflection on the mirror’s surface. Close your eyes for a moment and allow your mind to relax. Concentrate on the past and focus on seeing what and who you were/are.
Close your eyes, and allow your mind to slow and detach itself from your everyday reality. Then begin softly chanting about your goal. As you do this, feel yourself slipping backwards through time with each rhythmic beat. Try one of the following couplets, or create your own:
Mirror’s face in dark of night,
open the past bringing dark to light.
Darkened misty hidden past,
open your secrets to me at last.
Across the veil of time and space
show me myself in another place.
When you feel sufficiently in the right frame of mind, open your eyes and gaze into the dark surface of the mirror. Do not try to force images—wait for them to come to you. Some people see only the face of who they once were; a few will see entire dramas from their past playing as if on a movie screen. Most experiences fall somewhere between these extremes. As with any occult endeavor, the more you practice, the better you become.”
Excerpted from Lady of the Night: A Handbook of Moon Magick & Rituals
by Edain McCoy
Witch mirrors are an interesting and very effective way of changing consciousness and diving.
Happy scrying and Happy Halloween!
Hayley Arrington earned her M.A. in women’s spirituality from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where she wrote her thesis on Celtic sun goddesses. Her interests include mythology and folklore as sacred text, writing essays, fiction and poetry, and discovering women’s myriad ways of knowing. Her writings have been included in the poetry collection Folk Horror Revival: Corpse Roads, The Oracle, SageWoman Magazine, and Eternal Haunted Summer. Initiated into the Twilight Wiccan tradition, she is very active in Twilight Spiral Coven. Hayley was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, where she still lives with her husband, David and their son, Stephen.
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