Quick and Simple Guide to Scrying: Parting the Mists

October 31st, 2023

By Nikki Harper

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

If you’re looking for a simple, fun but uplifting and meaningful spiritual activity to try this Halloween season, think about having a go at scrying.

This ancient form of divination has long been associated with Halloween. Traditionally, English maidens would gaze into the mirror in a darkened room on All Hallow’s Eve and hope to catch a glimpse of their future lover in the reflection. Pagans believe that the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest at the time of Samhain, and scrying is an easy way to hone or develop your mediumistic skills too.

You don’t need much of anything to get started – just lots of patience, and preferably a darkened or candlelit room.

What is Scrying?

Scrying is a form of divination in which the seeker gazes into a reflective surface and either discerns images therein or allows their own higher consciousness to project images there. These are then interpreted – in traditional ‘fortune telling’, these images are said to foretell the future, but in scrying as I use the term, the images are likely to speak to your current or past preoccupations. I do not believe that anyone can predict the future, so please don’t get turned off by that concept.

What to Use for Scrying?

You could use:

  • An ordinary mirror
  • A black scrying mirror – you can make this yourself, or buy one, often made of black obsidian
  • A crystal ball
  • A bowl of water (a dark coloured interior to the bowl works best)
  • A pond or lake
  • A smooth polished stone or a highly polished crystal
  • A piece of polished metal

Technically, scrying should be one on a reflective surface, but there are also other methods such as flame scrying or smoke scrying using:

  • Flames in a fire
  • Candle flames
  • Smoke patterns created on card held above a candle (known as fumage – this is a lot of fun, and very easy to do, but take sensible precautions against fire).

You will also need:

  • A notepad and pencil/pen to make notes

How to Perform a Scrying Divination

Darken the room. You need enough light to see what you’re looking at, but only barely. Candlelight is ideal.

Sit quietly for a few minutes and relax into a semi-meditative state.

Have your notepad with you. Get comfortable in front of your scrying object and start to gaze at it. The idea here is to relax your eyes. You’re not starting at the object – you’re gazing, and that’s different.

If you’re familiar with Magic Eye pictures, you’ll know what I mean when I suggest you use an unfocused gaze. If you’re not familiar, think of it as focusing on a point behind or beyond the object, not focusing on the object itself.

Just relax. You’re not going to suddenly see crystal clear images (if you do, let me know what you’re on and I’ll order some). But gradually, over time, you will start to discern shapes, symbols of sometimes, if you’re lucky complete but fuzzy images.

Don’t judge whatever you see. Let the images come and go, lingering as they will or won’t.

Don’t look away if you can help it; try to gaze for several minutes at a time uninterrupted.

When you feel that you need to rest your eyes, look away and close your eyes. Blink several times and if necessary wrinkle your facial muscles to rest your face.

Note down what you think you saw. Don’t try to make sense of it for now, just note it down.

When you’re ready, start again.

If you can manage to do this several times in one evening, you’ll be making good progress.

How to Interpret Your Scrying Divination

Scrying interpretation, like any kind of divination interpretation, is best done some time after the event, or even the next day.

Patterns or links between what you saw will be more evident when they’ve had more time to lodge in your subconscious.

It’s up to you how you interpret what you saw. Symbols mean totally different things to totally different people; if you saw a cat, that will mean one thing to you and something else entirely to someone else. It’s your divination; it’s your meaning.

If you get stuck with your interpretation, try asking yourself questions such as:

  • What does this image tell me about my current worry?
  • If I link these three images into a story, what’s the moral of their tale?
  • Does this image spark a particular memory link for me? How does that relate to what I’m going through now?
  • If someone else presented these images to me for interpretation, what advice would I give them?

Scrying and Mediumship Development

If you are mediumistic, or would like to develop mediumship, scrying is a good introductory exercise. It helps you to free your mind of preconceptions, so that what you later receive from spirit can be correctly interpreted and passed on. It also teaches you a lot about stilling your mind and raising your vibration, both of which are essential for good mediumship.

If you are a medium, you may – rarely – receive images from spirit during your scrying. These can be difficult to tell apart from ordinary divination images, so it’s probably best at first to treat any images you see as having come from your own higher mind rather than from spirit. The obvious exception to this, however, is if you see faces.


If you do see a face from spirit then a) don’t panic! (most people do, if they’re not used to this!) and b) be thankful. Look at the image of the face just as you would look at any other image, and reach out to this spirit in your mind. This is the one time that you may break your gaze to reach for your pad and pencil, perhaps to sketch the face you see, or to note down any information which spirit brings you during this visitation.

Be aware, however, that most people will not experience mediumship during scrying. It’s a divination exercise, first and foremost, so don’t go into it expecting to see your dearly departed nearest and dearest; you almost certainly won’t.

Persevering with Scrying

Like most kinds of divination, scrying takes practice before you become confident with it. Even if you try it out this once and think your images are garbled figments of your imagination* I hope you won’t give up. Give it another go and see what you can discover.

*Yes. Quite probably (unless it’s a rare instance of spirit visitation in mediumistic scrying, as mentioned above). But your imagination is linked to your intuition, which is linked to your higher consciousness, which is linked to the divine. Just because you imagined an image doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful or useful. Understanding this is pretty much key to understanding all kinds of divination. The images you see come from within you, mostly – and that’s as it should be.

About the author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.