Scrying media generally either suggest images directly (such as figures in fire, fluid eddies or clouds), or else they distort or reflect the observers vision confusingly, in the manner to be seen in crystals or transparent balls. Such fancies have long been satirised by sceptics, for example in Hamlet III II:
Bell, Vaughan.The strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion.
Alternatively the medium might reduce visual stimuli to thresholds below which any clear impressions could interfere with fancied visions or free association. Examples include darkened reflections of night sky, or plain shadow or darkness.7
Scrying has been practised in many cultures in the belief that it can reveal the past, present, or future.56Some practitioners assert that visions that come when one stares into the media are from thesubconsciousorimagination, while others say that they come fromgodsspiritsdevils, or thepsychicmind, depending on the culture and practice. There is neither any systematic body ofempirical supportfor any such views in general however, nor for their respective rival merits; individual preferences in such matters are arbitrary at best.5
TheShahnameh, a 10th-century epic work narrating historical and mythological past ofPersia, gives a description of what was called theCup of Jamshid(Jaam-e Jam), which was used by the ancient (mythological) Persian kings for observing all of the seven layers of the universe. The cup was said to contain an elixir of immortality, but without cogent explanation for any relevance of the elixir to the scrying function.
. These glass candles give off an unpleasantly bright light that does strange things to colors. It is claimed that when the glass candles burn the sorcerers can see across mountains, seas and deserts, give men visions and dreams and communicate with one another half a world apart. These candles have not burned for over a century, but have started burning again with the reemergence of magic in the world.
. Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon.ISBN0-19-861271-0.
The Britishastrologerandpsychicknown asMystic Meg, who came to national attention as part of the UKsNational Lotterydraw in 1994, was often portrayed with a crystal ball.
Another form of the tale, involving the same actions of gazing into a mirror in a darkened room, is used as asupernatural darein the tale ofBloody Mary. Here, the motive is usually to test the adolescent gazers mettle against a malevolentwitchorghost, in a ritual designed to allow the scryers easy escape if the visions summoned prove too frightening.12
Caputo, G B (2010).Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion.
This page was last edited on 20 June 2018, at 07:34
Some content in this article was copied fromGlass candleat A Wiki of Ice and Fire, which is licensed under theCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA 3.0) license.
All articles with unsourced statements
. Owlswick Press. p. 101.ISBN0-913896-06-3The term scrying better describes this pseudo-science, because genuine crystal is not necessary. Glass, or any shiny object, will do as well. Scrying has been practiced with mirrors, jewels, little pools of water or ink, and (in medieval Europe) with polished sword blades.
The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca
Traditional healers from theYucatn PeninsulaandGuatemalause stone crystal balls for scrying. These are known as sastun or zaztun. Originally, they wereMayanantiquities that they used to collect in archaeological ruins.
. London: Longmans. pp.83104.
Scrying is not supported byscienceas a method of predicting the future or obtaining information unavailable to empirical investigation. Some critics consider it to be apseudoscience.514Skeptics consider scrying to be the result ofdelusionorwishful thinking.15
Paranormality: Why We See What Isnt There
Northcote Whitridge Thomas. (1905).
This Halloweengreeting cardfrom 1904 satirizesdivination: the young woman hoping to see her future husband sees the reflection of a nearby portrait instead.
Crystal Gazing: Its History and Practice with a Discussion on the Evidence for Telepathic Scrying
The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother
Nowadays they are mostly modern objects. It is unknown what was the original use of thejadeballs found in ancient Mayan burials.
There is no definitive distinction between scrying and other aids toclairvoyanceaugury, ordivination, but roughly speaking, scrying depends on fancied impressions ofvisions in the medium of choice. Ideally in this respect it differs from augury, which relies on interpretations of objectively observable objects or events (such as flight of birds); from divination, which depends on standardized processes or rituals; fromoneiromancy, which depends on the interpretation of dreams; from the physiological effects ofpsychoactive drugs; and from clairvoyance, which notionally does not depend on objective sensory stimuli. Clairvoyance in other words, is regarded as amounting in essence toextrasensory perception.
Scrying is neither a single, clearly-defined, nor formal discipline and there is no uniformity in the procedures, which repeatedly and independently have been reinvented or elaborated in many ages and regions.23Furthermore, practitioners and authors coin terminology so arbitrarily, and often artificially, that no one system of nomenclature can be taken as authoritative and definitive. Commonly terms in use areLatinisationsorHellenisationsof descriptions of the media or activities. Examples of names coined forcrystal gazingincludecrystallomancy,spheromancy, andcatoptromancy. As an example of the looseness of such terms, catoptromancy should refer more specifically to scrying by use of mirrors or other reflective objects rather than by crystal gazing. Othernames that have been coinedfor the use of various scrying media includeanthracomancyfor glowing coals, turifumy for scrying into smoke, and hydromancy for scrying into water. There is no clear limit to the coining and application of such terms and media.4
. Greenwood. pp. 55-56.ISBN978-0-313-35507-3
. Senior Scribe Publications. pp.184194.ISBN978-0-9630919-0-1.
Rituals that involve many acts similar to scrying inceremonial magicare retained in the form of folklore and superstition. A formerly widespread tradition held that young women gazing into a mirror in a darkened room (often onHalloween) could catch a glimpse of their future husbands face in the mirror or askull personifying Deathif their fate was to die before they married.
Articles with unsourced statements from June 2014
Crystal-Gazing, Theodore Besterman, Cosimo, Inc., 1 Jan 2005, pg 73
PsychologistLeonard Zusnesuggested that scrying images arehallucinationsorhypnagogicexperiences.16
The Dr. John Dee Theater of the Mind research institute, founded by parapsychologistRaymond Moody, uses crystallomancy as a medium in which he claims to enable clients to see apparitions of the dead.
InJ. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe ofMiddle-earth(especially in
. Facts on File. p. 319.ISBN0-8160-7103-9
Whitridge, Thomas Northcote and Lang, Andrew. Crystal gazing: its history and practice, with a discussion of the evidence for telepathic scrying. De La More Press 1905
List of topics characterized as pseudoscience
. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. p. 116.ISBN978-0-805-80507-9
While, as with any sort of folklore, the details may vary, this particular tale (Bloody Mary) encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards, holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husbands face. There was, however, a chance that they would see theskull-face of theGrim Reaperinstead; this meant that they were destined to die before they married.
InChristopher PaoliniInheritance Cyclethe use of a mirror to view people and places the viewer knew in the present was possible with the drawback of not being able to see anything to which they had no knowledge. The attempt to scry the future would cost the user their life.
Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture
Robertsons Words for a Modern Age: A Cross Reference of Latin and Greek Combining Elements
. Career Press.ISBN978-1-56414-908-4.
Divination, magic & occultic activity in the Bible.
Articles with unsourced statements from July 2013
Many practitioners say that the scrying medium initially serves to focus attention, removing unwanted thoughts from the mind in much the same way as repetition of amantra, concentration on amandala, inducingthe relaxation response, or possibly byhypnosis. Once this stage is achieved, the scryer may begin free association with the perceived images. The technique of deliberately looking for and declaring these initial images aloud, however trivial or irrelevant they may seem to the conscious mind, attempts to deepen the trance state. In this state some scryers hear their own disassociated voices affirming what they see, in a mental feedback loop.
Crystal Visions, Savage and Civilised
Aleister Crowley, Adrian Axwirthy. (2001).
Crystal Gazing: Study in the History, Distribution, Theory and Practice of Scrying
In many Fairy Tales, for example in Snow White, the Evil Queen uses her magic mirror to see where Snow White is.
(University of Kentucky, 2004).ISBN0-8131-2289-9
Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL
Lang, Andrew. Cock Lane and common-sense. Longmans, Green, and Co. 1894
Nostradamuspractised scrying; he would stare into a bowl of water or a magic mirror to see the future while he was in trance.6
Folklore superstitions such as those just mentioned, are not to be distinguished clearly from traditional tales, within which the reality of such media are taken for granted. In the fairytale ofSnow Whitefor example, the jealous queen consults amagic mirror, which she asks Magic mirror on the wall / Who is the fairest of them all?, to which the mirror always replies You, my queen, are fairest of all. But when Snow White reaches the age of seven, she becomes as beautiful as the day, and when the queen asks her mirror, it responds: Queen, you are full fair, tis true, but Snow White is fairer than you.13There is no uniformity among believers, in how seriously they prefer to take such tales and superstitions.
Practitioners apply the process until they achieve a satisfactory state of perception in which rich visual images and dramatic stories seem to be projected within the medium itself, or in the minds eye of the scryer. They claim that the technique allows them to see relevant events or images within the chosen medium.
Crystal Gazing: A Study in the History, Distribution, Theory and Practice of Scrying
Scrying for Beginners: Tapping into the Supersensory Powers of Your Subconscious
A 2010 paper in the journalPerception17identified one specific method of reliably reproducing a scryingillusionin a mirror and hypothesized that it might be caused by low level fluctuations in the stability of edges, shading and outlines affecting the perceived definition of the face, which gets over-interpreted as someone else by theface recognition system.18
Contemporarymass media, such as films, often depict scrying using a crystal ball, stereotypically used by an oldgypsywoman.
, the sisters scry with a crystal and a map to locate people.
, the Wicked Witch of the West, played byMargaret Hamilton, uses a crystal ball.
Scrying the Secrets of the Future: How to Use Crystal Balls, Water, Fire, Wax, Mirrors, Shadows, and Spirit Guides to Reveal Your Destiny
, Patrick Galloway (the player) is shown in possession of a green crystal, The Gelziabar Stone, which allows him to scry visions and sounds from the past, that are vital to the various missions.
The New shorter Oxford English dictionary on historical principles
From discard to divination: Demarcating the sacred through the collection and curation of discarded objects
A Symbolic Representation of the Universe: Derived by Doctor John Dee Through the Scrying of Sir Edward Kelly
(also known by various names such as seeing or peeping) is the practice of looking into a suitable medium in the hope of detecting significant messages or visions. The objective might be personal guidance,prophecyrevelation, or inspiration, but down the ages, scrying in various forms also has been a prominent means ofdivinationorfortune-telling.It remains popular inoccultcircles, discussed in manywebsites, and books; both modern and centuries old.
Zusne, Leonard; Jones, Warren H. (1989).
The media most commonly used in scrying are reflective, refractive, translucent, or luminescent surfaces or objects such ascrystalsstones, orglassin various shapes such as crystal balls,mirrors, reflective black surfaces such as obsidian, water surfaces,fire, orsmoke, but there is no special limitation on the preferences or prejudices of the scryer; some may stare into pitch dark, clear sky, clouds, shadows, or light patterns against walls, ceilings, or pond beds. Some prefer glowing coals or shimmeringmirages. Some simply close their eyes, notionally staring at the insides of their own eyelids, and speak of eyelid scrying.
In the late 1820s,Joseph Smithfounded theLatter Day Saint movementbased in part on what was said to be information obtained miraculously from the reflections ofseer stones. Smith had at least three separate stones, including his favorite, a brown stone he found during excavation of a neighbors well. He initially used these stones in various treasure-digging quests in the early 1820s, placing the stone in the bottom of his hat and putting his face in the hat to read what he believed were the miraculous reflections from the stone.10Smith also said that he had access to a separate set of spectacles composed of seer stones, which he called theUrim and Thummim. He said that, through these stones, he could translate thegolden platesthat are the stated source of theBook of Mormon.11
The silver chalice that is placed in Benjamins sack when he leaves Egypt is described as being used by Joseph for divination. This is mentioned to reinforce his disguise as an Egyptian nobleman. Though divination is forbidden according to the Torah, at the time of Joseph the Torah had not been received yet. This is how he was able to ply his trade as a dream interpreter for Pharaoh.89
Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking
Divinationrituals such as the one depicted on this early 20th-century, where a woman stares into a mirror in a darkened room to catch a glimpse of the face of her future husband while a witch lurks in the shadows, may be one origin of theBloody Mary legend.
One class of methods of scrying involves a self-inducedtrance, with or without the aid of a medium such as a crystal ball. Some say that the sensation is drug-like, some that various drugs can potentiate the experience; others categorically exclude any connection with drug usage, claiming that it invalidates any images observed.
Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia
series, there exist a paltry number of obsidian candles, referred to by academics & mystics as
), thePalantris a stone that allows a viewer to see what any other Palantr sees, and theMirror of Galadrielis used as a scrying device to see visions of the past, present, or future.