Scrying is a type of divination. To scry or descry is to spy out or discover by the eye objects at a distance. In occult literature, the term is used to describe the act of gazing at a shiny stone or mirror or into a crystal ball (anything which reflects will do), to see things past and future. (When a crystal is used, scrying is called catoptromancy or crystallomancy.)  Occultists claim that if one concentrates hard enough while gazing, one can conjure up the dead. This is possible because, we are told, scrying clears out the consciousness and makes it possible for a direct line to the other world.

Scrying is considered the most difficult method of divination for several reasons.  Unlike the Runes or the Tarot, scrying demands that you have a working knowledge of your subconscious's symbolism and the ability to interpret those symbols reliably.  Though most methods of divination lead you to look outside of yourself, scrying requires that you look within yourself to find the answers you are seeking.

Learning to Scry

1. Select your scrying object.

There are no rules for this process. Allow your imagination and feelings to guide you to your instrument. Some prefer crystals that are perfectly clear others with choose ones with inclusions, seeing them as "windows" or "doors." A deep dish in a dark color, or silvered will work well.

Whatever you choose, take time to bond with it. Scrying tools become a direct extension of the scryer so it is best that you develop an understanding of the tool. For example, taking the time to meditate with your crystal is a good way to get to know it.

2. Positioning

It is always best to scry at night, because this method of divination is closely related to the Moon and all other Lunar correspondences.

Choose a place where you are not likely to be disturbed. The amount of light in the area should be no more than that emitted by a single candle. The light source should be placed low and behind you. This positions your body between the crystal and the source of light, eliminating the chance of direct reflection of the light by the crystal. Dim light enhances concentration and eliminates distractions. As you become more proficient at gazing, you will be able to do so in direct sun light if you wish.

Placement of the crystal in relationship to the scryer is also important. Keep in mind you will be looking intently into the crystal for at least twenty minutes at a time. Therefore, you do not want to position the crystal in a way that will cause physical discomfort. Remember, as your skill with scrying increases, so will the time you spend in front of the crystal.

Physical discomfort will break your concentration and turn scrying into a chore. So pick a comfortable chair, get relaxed, place your crystal at the proper height and distance for best viewing, sit back and enjoy the experience.

3. Practice

Take a few deep breaths. As you do this, look intently into the crystal. Staring promotes tearing of the eyes causing you to blink. Try to think of unfocusing your eyes, relaxing them. You aren't trying to 'see' anything specific, so allow your eyes to relax and unfocus.

Rest your gaze on the crystal. You may find your eyelids wanting to close about half way, go ahead an let that happen. Consciously develop a link between your third eye and the crystal - one way to do this is to visualize a ray of light coming out from your third eye and entering the crystal.
Look for a 'clouding' of the crystal. A small light will appear and from that light, clouds will form and spread. There may even appear a tiny light show within the clouds. You are well on your way. Eventually the clouds will clear and pictures will emerge.

4. In general

In the beginning, try not to judge the pictures or control the flow. Trust that you will see what you need in the sequence that promotes understanding.

I find that the most difficult part of scrying is figuring out and understanding what you are seeing. Keeping a log will facilitate a better understanding of what you are seeing and experiencing. Just as with dreams, there is a specific, personal system of symbols.

Above all, scrying requires patience.  At the beginning, visions will come sporadically and they will be very vague.  Only practice and time well spent will enhance your abilities and enable you to rely on your talents.

5. Assorted Tips

If you are having difficulty, a short meditation session before you begin to scry can help get you into the mood and release some of your tension.  You must be feeling as relaxed and receptive as possible.  Make sure that you are sitting as comfortably as possible.  It is quite frustrating to be on the verge of perceiving something when a leg or arm falling asleep breaks your concentration.

When you look into your scrying tool, try to look past the surface and into the center of it. Try to keep your eyes fixed on one spot, but don't prevent yourself from blinking.  Since you are in a dark room, the need to blink might lessen as your body relaxed, but don't try to force yourself not to.  That will only cause discomfort and distraction.

Limit your sessions to a set period of time.  Don't be discouraged if you can not remain focused during the entire session or if you feel the need to stop before the session is over.  If you are not used to meditating, try to start out with a 15 minute session.  I have found that scrying sessions should not go longer than an hour at a time - its too exhausting otherwise. Don't set a timer or try to keep track of time, it creates a distraction -- and you don't a particularly vivid image shattered when the timer goes off. An exception may be my method: I have an alarm that is a single chime. I find that if I put it in another room I can set the alarm and its quiet and far enough away that I can emerge from my scrying state naturally.

Although the words "vision" and "scry" imply information perceived with the eyes, this is not necessarily true for all scryers. Information can come to you via all five of the senses as well as in flashes of intuition. 

If you are puzzled by a scrying session, you can use other divination tools to interpreting the information. Simple one card/one rune spreads are the best to give you an overview of your vision's meaning. Tarot readings can give a wealth of detail.
~from Maat's Book of Shadows

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