Scrying Divination Magic Beginners Need To Know

Scrying Divination Magic Beginners Need To Know

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The art of scrying has been used for centuries by psychics, witches, and others in the spiritual community with crystals, water, mirrors, and more. It can be a powerful tool for divination, but if you’re a beginner, there are a few things you need to know.

Scrying is an ancient practice that goes back thousands of years and is found in all cultures around the world. This means there are numerous techniques and methods available for use today.

It’s hard to find a good beginner’s guide about scrying, and you can spend hours or days trying to figure it out before getting so frustrated you give up.

I’ve put together this guide to cover the basic principles behind scrying, different types, and some great tips to improve your results with this divination magic. You’ll be scrying like a pro in no time!

What is Scrying?

Scrying is an ancient divination technique in magic, where the scryer gazes into a reflection or object to receive symbols, guidance, or images from the spirit realm. 

You don’t have to be an experienced medium to incorporate scrying into your spiritual practice. Beginners can practice this type of divination, and you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment!

Scrying is heavily focused on identifying symbolism in reflective surfaces. This can be water, crystals, black mirrors, fire, smoke, etc. Here’s a list of Pagan, Witch, and Wiccan symbols to help get you started.

Crystal gazing, also called scrying, divination of distant or future events based on visions seen in a ball of rock crystal. Divination based on an analysis of reflections in water, on polished metal, or on precious stones was practiced by early humans, who probably interpreted these phenomena as a vision of the spirit world.

Scrying became widespread by the 5th century AD and was condemned by the medieval Christian church as the work of the devil.

Britannica – Crystal gazing divination
What is Scrying?

How To Scry

When you begin scrying, you’ll want to find a room or sacred space where there are no distractions.

Each practitioner has their own preference when it comes to lighting while scrying. Some prefer daylight, others prefer candlelight, and others find moonlight works best.

Whichever you choose is perfect, but keep in mind that you’ll notice the lighting in your surroundings influences your mood and perhaps the information you receive. You can also play music, use essential oils, light candles, or incense to help you set the atmosphere and raise your vibrations.

I find it helpful to meditate before starting; this helps relax your mind and let go of any distracting mundane thoughts, stress, or negativity. Many practitioners will also use this moment to ground and protect themselves from any unknown energies from the spirit realm.

Remember to take a few deep breaths. Calm, rhythmic breathing can help you relax your mind and focus your concentration. This will help you reach an altered state of consciousness or trance.

You’ll know you’ve entered a trance-like state when you feel relaxed, calm, focused, and spiritually grounded.

Imagine a white light or powerful color of your choice surrounding and protecting you. Some practitioners imagine the color red for grounding due to its association with the root chakra. Depending on your spiritual practice, you can continue a protection ritual of your choice.

Don’t scry looking to find a specific answer or something in particular; instead, clear your mind of any preconceptions you have. This will help ensure you don’t misinterpret any messages or symbolism that appears to you.

Relax your gaze, which will enable your subconscious mind to glimpse symbols and other imagery. Do not overwork yourself or strain your eyes to see something. Allow images to come to you naturally.

Record Your Scrying Messages

I strongly encourage you to immediately write down what images appear to you in your grimoire or spiritual journal. This way, you won’t forget small or specific details. Some practitioners will even record themselves with their phones to quickly speak aloud what appears to them in real-time!

Try to be as precise as possible! How did you feel? Were you scared, happy, or sad? What colors appeared to you? What position was the image facing?

Don’t underestimate the power of your personal connection! Do you have any strong emotions about what you observed? Did the image make you think of something else immediately? What does it instinctively represent for you?

Many people see animal symbolism in their readings, and paying attention to the small details is essential. For example, if you saw a butterfly, what color was it? Was it dead? Was it changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly? These details can help you figure out the messages you’re receiving.

These are just a few examples to look for, and over time, you’ll be able to hone your skills. Follow your intuition for the spiritual meaning that best applies to you.

Scrying Mirror

Mirrors are a popular and convenient magical tool to practice scrying. You can use a regular mirror or a black one. The choice is entirely up to you!

What is Mirror Scrying?

Mirror scrying is also called catoptromancy and is done by relaxing your eyes and gazing at your reflection. Symbols and visions will begin to emerge when the eyes soften.

How to Use a Scrying Mirror

Start mirror scrying by looking through the mirror’s surface as though you’re peering into a deep or pitch-black tunnel. Shapes, symbols, or colors will emerge after a while; continue to relax and be patient until they do.

Sometimes, images will develop and form outside the mirror edges. Relax and receive them as they come to you.

Scrying Mirror

Black Scrying Mirror

A scrying mirror is sometimes black, which many believe improves its reflecting capabilities. You can buy one like this Obsidian Scrying mirror, but it’s not difficult to DIY your own, as I’ll discuss below.

How to Make a Black Scrying Mirror

Making a black scrying mirror is easy, fun, and straightforward. Plus, you can find a relatively inexpensive frame at a thrift store!

If you cannot remove the frame from the mirror, tape it off to avoid getting paint on the frame. Spray paint the mirror a flat black with several layers for an even but thick coating. Place back into the frame once the paint has dried. 

Buy or make a special cloth to cover it. This helps keep your mirror sacred and honored while you’re not using it. 

Also, if you use a mirror, crystal ball, or glass of some kind, make sure to keep it covered when not in use. When exposed to the sun, these can behave similarly to magnifying glasses and possibly start a fire.

Water Scrying

Water scrying is also referred to as hydromancy, and it’s a prevalent form of divination. It’s also one of the easiest because you can fill a bowl with water.

There are a few variations and techniques when water scrying. One method is to stare at the water’s surface while images and symbols form.

However, you can also drop objects into the water or use your fingers to create ripples and interpret the symbols or images shown to you on the water’s surface.

You can also use a much larger body of water like a lake, creek, or pond. Sea witches often love to use ocean water for scrying. For your corresponding divination rituals or purposes, you can utilize different moon phases like a dark moon, full moon, or new moon.

Water Scrying

What is the Water Method of Nostradamus?

Michel de Nostredame, often referred to as Nostradamus, was an astrologist and medical practitioner celebrated for his progressive methods during the plague of 1546 to 1547. Instead of utilizing the common practice of bleeding patients, he practiced good hygiene and encouraged the disposal of sick bodies from the streets. What a crazy idea, huh?

When the plague ended, he started making predictions and prophecies in the form of poetry.

Even more famous was the French physician and astrologer Michel de Nostredame, or Nostradamus. He began producing an annual almanac in 1550, and his reputation as a prophet soard after he apparently predicted the death of the king, Henri II, in a jousting accident in 1559.

His predictions were collated in The Prophecies, written in obscure poetic quatrains that mask their meaning. These verses are said by some to have foretold events from the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century to the 9/11 attacks against the US in 2001.

A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult

It’s believed his prophecies were intended to be vaguely written and in the form of poetry to avoid any religious persecution from the Roman Catholic Church.

So, what does this have to do with scrying? Well, along with numerology, water scrying was Nostradamus’s favorite type of divination to interpret his prophecies and predictions.

He’s reported to have spent hours each night sitting in front of a bowl filled with water and herbs in his home office. This is why you’ll often hear him referenced when discussing water-scrying divination. If you’d like to know more about him and his life, check out this article.

Alternative Methods and Types of Scrying

Mirror and water scrying are the most popular forms of scrying. However, there are many alternative methods and different types of scrying, and below are some brief descriptions of each. Feel free to try incorporating them into your spiritual practice!

Scrying Ball

Scrying with a crystal ball is the most well-known type of scrying, bringing many images from Hollywood movies. Using a polished or natural crystal shaped into an orb or sphere, gaze upon its reflection to interpret images. Some practitioners prefer to use clear crystals, while others prefer dark crystals like the black mirrors referenced above.

Scrying Crystal

You can also use the surface of a crystal in any shape or form! Typically, spiritual practitioners prefer to use natural crystals like quartz, black tourmaline, amethyst, or selenite, but the choice is entirely up to you, my peculiar friend!

Nature Scrying

Nature scrying is a beautiful technique that uses the natural world around you. You can use whatever element calls to you. This may be the rhythmic waves of the oceans, studying the movements of ants, or observing the leaves dancing in the wind.

Scrying in Oil

Oil scrying includes spreading, smearing, or rubbing oil onto a surface or your own skin and deciphering light reflections to see images and symbols.

Fire Scrying

Fire scrying, also known as pyromancy, is peering into a flame for visions or messages. Any form of fire can be used for this technique, including a candle, bonfire, or fireplace.

This technique involves looking into the flame to see what images appear. Remember to protect your eyes by looking at the flame’s base, or keep it in your peripheral vision by focusing on the left or right side of the fire.

Some practitioners will also use the shadows the fire casts to interpret messages.

I often practice fire scrying when burning my Pagan Yule log and look for clues and hints about what the new year will bring.

Smoke Scrying

This is usually done with smoke from a flame, fire, or incense, and spiritual messages are observed in the smoke.

Eye Scrying

Eye scrying is also called soul gazing. This is the only scrying technique that requires another person to be involved and consists of peering into another’s eyes or retina for messages and images.

Some practitioners prefer gazing into their own eyes with a mirror and find it a profound and very personal technique.

Candle Scrying

Candle scrying is a beautiful way to incorporate candle magic into your practice. It can be done in a few ways, including the smoke and fire scrying techniques referenced above.

However, the last technique involves pouring wax into a bowl of water. The scryer then analyzes the images or symbols produced when the wax dries.


YouTube video
If you’d like to learn more, I highly recommend checking out my Beginner Candle Reading Divination video!


Aeromancy, also known as cloud scrying, involves finding images in the clouds and is a beautiful way to incorporate air element magic into your spiritual practice.

I hope you found this article helpful! Lots of love to you, and remember, as always…


Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Crystal gazing.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 10 Oct. 2007,

A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult. Penguin Random House. 2020

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