Scrying is an ancient art, which has been practiced for thousands of years in many cultures.

It is the ability to see and feel information clairvoyantly by focusing your gaze intently upon an object. Some believe that scrying is a form of divination, while others believe that the visions merely come from the subconscious.

The word “scry” comes from the Old English word descry meaning “to make out dimly” or “to reveal.”

It is most easily practised with a reflective surface to look into, such as a crystal ball, (crystallomancy) or a mirror, (catoptromancy or enoptromancy).

As with many of the intuitive arts, many cultures used a form of scrying at a time on this planet when none of these peoples knew that the others existed.

The earliest references to scrying are with liquids. Ancient Egyptians would scry with a pool of ink in the hand, or with shallow pools of water, which were highly prized in a desert climate such as theirs.

Ancient Polynesians would use a hole filled with water, and using water in a vessel was a scrying tool of the ancient Britons from at least 2000 BC, along with the Zulus and Siberians.
Nostradamus was known to have used a small bowl of water to assist him in his visions too.

Ancient texts have referred to another method in the Mediterranean whereby a ring hanging by a string was dipped into a vessel of water which was then shaken. A judgement or prediction was made by the number of times which the ring struck the sides of the vessel. Another documented method was by dropping oil into a vessel of water and observing the patterns on the surface.

The Ancient Britons often used beryl, crystal, black glass, polished quartz and water, with early crystal balls made from Beryl, and later the clear quartz still used today.

The Apache used quartz crystals, as did the Incas, and the Euahlayi of New South Wales in Australia. A smooth slab of polished black stone (possibly obsidian) was favoured by the Huille-che of South America.

Mirror scrying was used in classical Greece and across Europe from the Middle Ages. Crystal balls were also used, known as shew stones, with stones or crystals also called seerstones or peepstones.

There is a polished black obsidian scrying mirror in the British Museum in London dating back to the 16th century. The British Museum’s description of the mirror is as follows:

“This mirror was used by the Elizabethan mathematician, astrologer, magician and consultant to Queen Elizabeth 1 John Dee (1527-1608/9) as a ‘shew-stone’, one of many polished translucent or reflective objects which he used as tools for his occult research.”
”The mirror, made of highly-polished obsidian (volcanic glass), was one of many Aztec cult objects and treasures brought to Europe after the conquest of Mexico by Cortés between 1527 and 1530. Mirrors were associated with Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of rulers, warriors and sorcerers, whose name can be translated as ‘Smoking Mirror’. Aztec priests used mirrors for divination and conjuring up visions. Dee had an interest in optics and optical mirrors or ‘glasses’ as described in his private diary and works. he was also interested in psychic phenomena and, from 1583, worked with Edward Kelly as his medium. Kelly would see visions in the ‘shew-stones’ of ‘angels’ that communicated by pointing to one square after another in tables of letters and unknown symbols, which Dee and Kelly transcribed.

The case, made to fit the obsidian mirror with its projecting handle, has a paper label with the handwriting of the English antiquary Sir Horace Walpole, who acquired the mirror in 1771. The text begins ‘The Black Stone into which Dr Dee used to call his spirits …’.

John Dee also used a smoky quartz crystal ball, also now in the British Museum.

Scrying with crystal balls, crystals, precious stones, polished quartz or any kind of “crystal gazing” is known as crystallomancy. Any clear quartz is the ideal choice for crystal scrying. Crystals without reflective surfaces but with transparent qualities can also work well in scrying as images can still appear to you from the internal structures of the crystal, especially if viewed through water. Scrying with water or another liquid is known as hydromancy, whereas scrying with crystals dropped into a bowl of water is known as Lecanomancy.

Crystal ball readings have been much parodied in modern times, and now suffer from the image of the fairground Gypsy fortune teller but crystal ball reading is an ancient practice with much to offer us, and is still very much a valid divination tool today.

Scrying is one of many effective psychic development tools for bringing through information from the ether – it gives the mind a point of focus, allowing clairvoyance and mediumship to flow more easily.

Traditional scrying should involve some preparation and blessing of the tool to be used, and asking for protection and help in its use depending on whatever entity/god/goddess you believe is protecting you. This can be as important to the process as the actual scrying itself, as safe working practice will bring forth better and clearer information in my own experience.

For me, scrying during the hours of darkness works best, and candle light is essential – it provides great imagery and shadows and allows you more opportunity to interpret what you see. Symbols, images, colours and movement will appear, but there is a degree of interpretation required but with practice it becomes easier to see any and all of these things.

Some people can actually view images upon the surface – or use the shadows and light patterns reflected upon it to read symbols placed upon it – with practice you will find a single comfortable method – or many! Try not to allow the conscious mind to override or interrupt what you see and feel.

A short relaxation and protection exercise as part of your preparation will help, and will allow you to focus clearly and interpret imagery quickly and clearly.

Scrying – A Step by Step Guide


A candle (preferably unused)

Notebook and pen


And of course – Your chosen scrying tool

Some scrying tools and methods I have used:

A clear quartz, smoky quartz or honey calcite crystal or crystal ball.

A black bowl filled with water with obsidian or quartz crystal tumblestones added

A bowl of water outdoors at full moon with the moon reflected in it and a single drop of jasmine oil, or jasmine flowers floated on the surface.

Mirror – this isn’t for the faint hearted – scrying for the purpose of spirit transfiguration (you will see changing of your own facial features to reflect the appearance of the spirit attempting to communicate)

A psychomanteum – This is a mirror positioned in a darkened room at such an angle that you cannot see your face reflected in it. The faces of spirits may then be seen in the mirror after a period of gazing.

Scrying Method:

Light a candle, (a tealight will do) or sit outside under a bright moon and place your chosen scrying tool before you. Close your eyes, place your feet flat on the floor and breathe in deeply. On the exhale, picture the excess energy flowing out of your feet and into the Earth.

Keep doing this until you feel calm. Breathe deep from your root chakra (at the base of your spine) or even visualise yourself breathing up through your feet. Feel and “see” the earth beneath your feet, you may even wish to imagine the smell of the earth.

Visualise roots growing from within the earth, wrapping firmly around your feet and ankles, up around your calves to the knees. See these roots anchored securely around a black crystal sphere deep within the earth. Be safe in the knowledge that any energy that isn’t yours will leave you and will travel down these roots into the earth and be transformed into positive energy.

Visualise a strong, beautiful white expanse of pure light far above you. See a ray of this light extend down to you – the light comes from the same essence as life itself, it is Universal life force energy from the source of creation, pure and filled with love, warmth & great protection.
You feel the light surround your body, covering you, filling you up from top to toe, totally enclosing you in its protection. Feel the warmth, the love and safety the light brings.

Now the light forms a bubble, extending to about 2 feet around your whole body starting at the top of your head. It is a strong elastic white bubble that is full of the same universal energy you surrounded and immersed yourself in, and brings the powerful protection. Every cell of your body is being bathed by the light, you are safe here, no harm can come to you.

Take a long, deep breath and feel the peace and love as your body completely relaxes now in its protective bubble of white light, feeling very calm and peaceful. (If you have trouble visualising this feeling, try to recall a memory of being immersed in a nice hot bubble bath!)

Now ask for protection. You may word it as you wish, here’s an example:
“I come in search of wisdom and truth, for within the pure light of truth and safety I know no harm can come to me. Please protect me and my loved ones in your power (chosen deity/Universe).”

Reinforce your bubble, feel the sense that you can send thought out and move around freely, but nothing can come inside your bubble to harm you.

You can reinforce your bubble at any time by blasting out a shockwave ring of white light from your inner reserve – see it firing out from either your solar plexus or the dantien energy centre (just below the navel) in a ring of energy.

I find it useful to visualise an eye opening in my mind and focus on my brow chakra opening up with purple light when I am ready to scry. Focus your attention on the centre of your brow. You can open your mind to spirit communication in a variety of ways and can see this as anything that resonates with you.

For example :
A third beautiful eye on the centre of your brow, any colour you like,
A rose or any flower you love blooming petal by petal,
A sunrise, stage by stage
A tap being turned on and water flowing from it
A dam opening
A beam of pure light emanating from your eyes and/or from your crown chakra upwards.
A door opening into a room of light
Curtains opening onto a brightly lit movie screen

Your visualisation of opening up is your own, so you may visualise anything positive that helps you, or any combination of things.

Keep your breathing deep and even, feel clean and pure energy rushing in with each breath and protection all around you.
If you feel at all scared or unsafe at any time then close down immediately by reversing the visualisation you used to open, and reinforcing your bubble.

Now feel the connection reaching out from you, stretching out and expanding outwards and upwards to spirit – feel your aura expand outwards and upwards as you do.

This is raising your vibrational energy – imagine every atom and molecule in your body speeding up as they vibrate in place, faster and faster..
Feel with your mind and heart together. Some people experience a mental shift, or click – others experience numbness of part of the face, arms or legs which indicates for them that a connection is made.

Reach outwards and connect with spirit. Feel safe in the knowledge you are protected and loved, that any communication is in love and light with pure intent only.
Ask for loved ones and your guide to draw close and ask for any experience to be only for your greater good.

It is a good idea to have a notebook and pen handy to write down what you see feel and hear afterwards.
When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and look upon the reflective surface, turning or moving the item until you have as few reflections as possible on the surface, then allow your eyes to tune out – look through the item rather than at it. If you remember those “Magic Eye” pictures from a few years ago, it’s the same relaxation of gaze that is required here.

Try not to stare or push things too much – let images and emotional impressions unfold slowly and be prepared to try a few times before you get any results at all. Sometimes it does take practice before we are ready to truly see anything.


I hope you find this article useful, and do always remember to place protection visualisation around you before scrying with any method.

(c) Rachel Keene