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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The word scrying, or skrying, means "seeing" and is the term used for crystal gazing. Indeed, it can apply to gazing into any reflective surface for the purpose of divination.

In the Villa of Mysteries at Pompeii, one of the scenes depicted in the frescoes around the walls of the Initiation Room shows the neophyte scrying. As Professor Vittorio Macchioro says in The Villa of Mysteries, "The neophyte is born again in Zagreus; she has begun to live the life of the god, but terrible tests await her. Silenus seated on a double plinth shows her a hemispherical silver case on which a youth gazes in ecstasy while his companion holds on high behind him a Dionysiac mask.... The hemispherical case at which the youth gazes ecstatically is a magical mirror; (he is seeing) in the mirror a series of visions which have their center and starting point in the mask and life of Dionysus. . . he gazes on the mirror as Dionysus did, so as to become as Dionysus and die with him."

Any reflective surface will serve for scrying. Polished copper or other metal, water, a mirror, a crystal ball, even an ink blot have all been used successfully. The Cherokee and Apache use crystals, as do the tribes of Borneo and New Guinea and the Australian aborigines. The Maya used a variety of polished stones. John Aubrey (Miscellanies, 1696) suggests that a green-tinted glass such as beryl is best. Others favor an aquamarine coloring. Some use a polished obsidian ball.

In the sixteenth century, Edward Kelley gained a reputation for scrying. This reputation reached the ears of Dr. John Dee (Queen Elizabeth I's astrologer), whose own scryer, Barnabas Saul, had recently left his employ. Kelley took over the position, allowing his powerful imagination to describe incredible sights he said he received from the "great crystalline globe" that Dee possessed. By his enthusiasm and fertile imagination, he quickly won Dee's confidence and established himself as a needed associate. Dee carefully recorded all the conferences he held with the spirits, courtesy of Kelley's crystal ball gazing. In 1659 Méric Casaubon published A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits. Together, Dee and Kelley traveled around Europe amazing the nobility with what they presented.

Some of the old books of Ceremonial Magic, the grimoires, give detailed instructions for the stand that should hold a crystal to be used for scrying. They prescribe intricate sigils and words of power to be engraved on the stand. In fact, none of these is really necessary. The grimoires would again lead one to believe that a great deal of preparation is necessary before the act of scrying. Some suggest periods of fasting, the saying of lengthy prayers, and the summoning of various spirits. Again, none of these is strictly necessary. It is a good idea to do some sort of psychic cleansing of oneself and of the area before starting, however. Witches generally do their scrying within a magic circle. One then only needs to quiet the mind, relax, and concentrate on looking at the reflective surface. It is a good idea to place the ball, or crystal, on a piece of black cloth so that there is nothing in its immediate vicinity that will detract. It is also important to try to keep the mind blank, so that anything may come into the vision. The gaze should be relaxed, not an unblinking stare. Most scryers say that the ball (or glass of water, or whatever) seems to slowly fill with smoke. This gradually fades away, leaving a scene that must then be interpreted.

References in periodicals archive ?
It, the ultimate tragedy, was surely all there constellated in the participants' nativities; all there for the scrying - the extispicy - in the wire-snared cony.
To Walk a Pagan Path: Practical Spirituality for Every Day" by Alaric Albertsson (a practicing pagan and member of the Druidic organization ar nDraiocht Fein) is a 288 page instructional guide to living in adherence to basic pagan spiritual principles in daily life including following a sacred calendar, enacting quick and easy rituals, connect with the earth by producing some of the food to be eaten, and engage in such craft projects as candles, scrying mirrors, solar wreaths, and more.
One cannot help but wonder if their regular jobs involved more than a bit of scrying.
Healing spells, love spells, candle burning spells, herbal lore, divination by means of Tarot and scrying - looking into a Witches Mirror or bowl of black inky water to see the future.
This practice blended a traditional means of divination known as scrying with medieval optical theories.
38) And it is clear from previous examples that the showstone's curtain did function as a device for opening and closing scrying sessions.
For a more extensive history of scrying and other forms of divination related to scrying, see Besterman; and Delatte.
has produced "Becoming An Oracle: Connecting To The Divine Source For Information And Healing", a seven-disc instruction manual that explains in depth and detail what an oracle is, the role of 'pathworking', utilization of the 'heart-breath' technique and visualization practices, guided inner journeys to mystic destinations, and the use of such oracular tools as the Tarot, Nordic runes, and scrying bowls.
Experiments using scrying range from Besterman's early studies (1924) to Moody's (1993) recent revival of the "psychomanteum.
We might, as Raymond Moody has recently attempted, be able to reproduce aspects of the near-death experience, through scrying and inducing apparitions of the dead.
Such magico-religious procedures for the prediction of future events include both reliance on individuals with ostensibly precognitive abilities, as well as reliance on such divinatory procedures as astrology, palmistry, iridology, examination of entrails, examination of wax droppings, tea leaf reading, tarot card reading, scrying, fire gazing, meteorological interpretations, fortune telling, and others.
He thought that the general technique of crystal-gazing or scrying, long associated with occult practices, could be adapted for laboratory use (see also Kelly & Locke, 1981); and, indeed, it has now been used to some degree, in the ganzfeld technique.