What Is Scrying?

What is scrying?

Often referred to as the ancient art of second sight, scrying is said to date back to the 10th Century and was first mentioned in an Ancient Persian text called the Shahnameh.

The Shahnameh is a lengthy poem that was written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi and is widely known across Greater Iran. The poem mentions the Cup of Jamshid, which was used by the mythological Persian kings to observe the seven layers of the universe.

If you’ve always been intrigued by this divination technique and want to understand how it can be used to peer into the future or understand the past, here is what you need to know.

What Is Scrying?

Scrying is a form of divination that incorporates reflective surfaces. The word “scry” stems from the Old English word “descry”, which, at its core, means “to see”.

But, what is scrying exactly? Scrying requires you to stare into a reflective surface such as a mirror and wait for images or visions to appear.

Scrying is most often used to predict the future, but it can also be used to understand the past. This is done by tapping into your unconscious mind and soul, which is why many practitioners also turn to scrying as a self-reflection tool.

Mediums often use scrying to help clients better plan for their futures. However, it can also be used by those who are feeling lost and want to gain more clarity on the direction they should take in life or a particular situation.

How Scrying Works

Nostradamus is one of the most well-known psychics to practice scrying, but everyday people who are spiritually inclined use it too. From predicting real-world events to finding a lost object, scrying is a powerful divination tool.

There are only two things you need for scrying or psychic gazing: a trance-like state and your scrying tool of choice.

Here are some of the tools you can work with:

Crystal balls

Over the years, crystal balls have been associated with gypsies, witches, mediums, and unfortunately, a number of con artists. However, a crystal ball can also be an excellent scrying tool, as is an obsidian ball.

The crystal ball exercises the part of you that sees your intuition expressed in a visual form, while keeping a safe boundary between your psychic practice and your everyday life… As you practice, you may find that the actual tiny flecks that inspire you to see shapes in the crystal ball allow you to see other fleeting visions within the crystal ball itself that are more akin to real visions right before your eyes.” – Alexandra Chauran (Llewellyn)

Water scrying

Some practitioners won’t even use a physical tool for scrying as water is sufficient. Whether you want to stare into a lake or simply fill a bowl with water at home, water is an effective divination tool.

Often referred to as hydromancy, water scrying involves slightly disturbing the surface of the water to create a ripple effect. This is best done with a natural tool such as the branch of a tree. These ripples are then used to bring about visions in a meditative or trans state.

Scrying mirror

Mirrors are by far one of the most popular tools you will find a scrying medium using. They’re practical and can easily be transported.

A scrying mirror generally has a black backing, which is what makes it more reflective. However, this is not a prerequisite.

Scrying with a mirror requires you to enter a trans-like state before staring into the reflective surface and writing down your thoughts and visions.

Mediums will often receive multiple messages, some of which are meant for other people.

Fire scrying

The final tool that a psychic medium may use for scrying is fire. By staring into the flames, they are able to see visions. Pairing these visions with their intuition is what allows them to guide their clients.

As the flames flicker and dance, it can create pictures when someone is in a meditative state. Even the sounds that the flames or wood make can trigger a message. In fact, some of the more experienced mediums have even reported hearing voices or singing when staring into flames.

How To Conduct A Scrying Session

If you’ve always had a vivid imagination and don’t find it difficult to drift off into a more relaxed state of mind, you may just have a natural scrying ability.

Scrying abilities, also called soul gazing, are said to also be quite common among people with a Celt, Native American, or Romani heritage.

Even with a natural ability, it should be noted that scrying takes time and patience to perfect. It’s also recommended that you conduct your scrying sessions at night or in a darkened room.

Here are the steps you would follow to conduct a scrying session:

  1. Select a tool for scrying: You may already know which scrying tool you would prefer to use. The other option is to experiment with a few different tools to decide what feels right for you.
  2. Choose a quiet place: A scrying session needs to be conducted somewhere quiet where you can relax. You can sit on the floor or in a chair – whatever feels most comfortable. Candles and incense can also help get you into the right frame of mind.
  3. Quiet your mind: Next, you want to get into a quiet headspace. You can do this by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. Your mind should be free of worries, questions and expectations.
  4. Focus on your shiny surface: You can now gently open your eyes and focus on a crystal ball or mirror, or peer into a bowl of water. Keep your mind open and quiet.
  5. Start scrying: You should now start receiving images, ideas, words and even songs. Make a note of the information you receive on a piece of paper or in a journal so that you can put together stories and messages as you go along.

Keep in mind that you won’t always get scrying right on the first try. You will need to learn what messages feel, look and sound like to you before you can start making sense of them in a more accurate way.


What is a scrying medium?

A scrying medium is a man or woman who pairs their psychic abilities with a reflective surface in an effort to receive messages and divine guidance. A medium works with clients who are looking for answers or need help navigating a particular situation in their lives.

What are esoteric practices?

Esoteric practices generally incorporate mysticism, spiritualism and alternative healing practices. Esoteric people believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Except, many people have forgotten how to connect with this side of themselves. These practices are designed to reconnect us with our spiritual nature.

How do I know if I have psychic abilities?

There are a number of ways that you can tell whether you may have a psychic ability.

Psychics will often experience deja vu and rely on their gut feelings to make decisions. People with these talents will also have high empathy, which is what allows them to connect with others on a deeper level.

If you often predict things before they happen or have dreams that tend to come true, these could be additional signs that you have these types of abilities.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know a little more about this ancient practice, you can use scrying, or crystal gazing, to navigate different situations in your life or become a medium yourself.

There is so much to learn from the spirit world and scrying is just one tool you can do to receive divine messages and guidance.

Whatever form of scrying you decide to use, remember to protect yourself and know when you need to stop.


Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!