It's probably one of the most common fortunetelling clichés in pop culture: a flamboyantly dressed woman gazes ominously into a large crystal ball, waves her hands around and makes predictions about the future. This image has even made it into our language as a figure of speech. How many times have you heard someone say, "If I had a crystal ball … " in the process of explaining that they don't have the answer to a question.
You may or may not have a crystal ball, but you can learn to practice the ancient art of scrying. Scrying generally refers to receiving psychic visions or impressions with the aid of a crystal ball, pool, or water, mirror, or some other reflective surface. Although this is the most commonly understood definition of scrying, author Donald Tyson has a slightly different take. In Scrying for Beginners, he defines scrying as "the deliberate act of perceiving events that lie beyond the range of the physical senses by using the agents of the unconscious mind."
If you've never tried scrying, this book is an ideal place to start. Tyson, whose grandfather was renowned in Nova Scotia for his scrying abilities, gives you more than a dozen methods to try, including ink, oil, lamp, and dream scrying; mirror and crystal gazing; fire watching; and some methods that you wouldn't necessarily consider traditional scrying, like shell hearing, aura reading, automatic writing, and even using Ouija boards, dowsing rods, and pendulums.
If you already own a crystal ball, I recommend picking up a copy of Crystal Balls & Crystal Bowls by popular author Ted Andrews. While narrower in scope than Scrying for Beginners, this book is ideal for anyone who wants to become more closely attuned with crystal energies and their amazing capacity for amplifying psychic visions.
Crystal balls can be made from various types of crystals, including clear quartz and rose quartz. Ted Andrews explains the differences between various types of crystal, what to look for when choosing your own crystal, and how to care for this sacred piece of the Earth. Exercises designed to facilitate clear visions help you prepare for scrying, and you'll even learn how to use candles, fragrances, and flower and gem elixirs to enhance your visions. You can also learn to perform healings with crystal bowls, vessels with unique properties created by superheating silica sand as it is spun. The sand melts into a crystal bowl that resonates with healing energies. Crystal bowls can be used for creating sacred sound, cleansing the chakras, empowering flower essences, and shamanic journeying.
Anyone can learn how to scry, and looking into the future gets easier with practice. Good luck!
Stormy summer nights can create natural scrying pools. The following excerpt from Crystal Balls & Crystal Bowls by Ted Andrews describes how you can create your own rainwater scrying pool.
Pools of water after a rain provide temporary windows into the faerie realm. Even rainwater captured in a dark bowl or cauldron becomes an open window to heightened perceptions for those who know how to use it, so it should not be surprising that water divination has had such widespread influence and popularity.
Begin by setting a bowl out in the rain, or by digging a small hole in the yard. Locating the hole near, but not directly under, a tree is an effective way of creating a window or doorway to the faerie realm. When it fills with water, you have created an intersection between the worlds.
Find a position near the puddle, or if you are using a bowl place it in front of you. Make sure you will be undisturbed, while still being able to look within it. Close your eyes and take a few moments to relax. You may wish to perform a brief meditation and familiarize yourself with nature. With your left hand make several passes over the bowl or puddle, your watery window. This imparts sensitivity to the water and it is also a gesture of invitation to those spirits or beings associated with it.
Be patient and concentrate when gazing into the water. Do not stare intensely. Allow your gaze to be soft and half-focused, as if staring blankly, such as you do when daydreaming.
As with crystal gazing, the phenomena will vary. You may see a fogginess, like clouds or mist passing by. This is positive. It means that the window is opening—your vision is being awakened. With time, colors, images, faces, and entire scenarios will appear. Each time you use a rain pool, bowl, or crystal for gazing, your results will increase.