OCTOBER 16, 2023

How to Use
a Scrying Mirror

Learn About Black Mirror Scrying

Before we can dive into what a scrying mirror is and how to use it, you must first understand the nature of Obsidian itself. Mysterious and powerful, this volcanic glass forms when molten lava is quickly chilled upon making contact with cooler air or water. Since it does not have a stable crystal structure, it is not technically a crystal, but it is still included in many crystal collections due to its practically palpable energy.


Lustrous Obsidian is rich in silica, one of the main components of Clear Quartz and many other crystals, and is typically an opaque black. There are specimens available that have a silver, rainbow, or golden sheen as well as reddish brown Mahogany Obsidian and Snowflake Obsidian that’s peppered with white specks. This is due to trace minerals or air bubbles that become trapped in the lava as it cools.

Obsidian is brittle and can be easily broken and shaped into tools or weapons with razor-sharp edges. Which is exactly what early human civilizations did for thousands of years. Evidence found in South Africa indicates that it has been in use for nearly two million years before homo sapiens (or modern humans) existed. It is named for the Roman explorer, Obsidius, who “discovered” it less than 2000 years ago.

Obsidian had another very special use besides tool making. Many civilizations used it as a mirror, one of the first of its kind. It was especially important to Ancient Mayan and Aztec peoples and they used black mirrors and tools in many of their spiritual rituals. Tezcatlipoca, an Aztec deity whose name means ‘smoking mirror,' was often depicted with an Obsidian either in his headdress, on his chest, or in place of his right foot as if it were an extension of his leg. It's possible that Obsidian was first used as a scrying mirror during these very rituals.

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Obsidian is associated with the root chakra and is an excellent stone to use for grounding whenever you’re feeling disconnected from the earth or reality. It is a stone of protection and is said to protect against negative energies by absorbing them and blocking any negative vibes that might be lurking nearby. Additionally, Obsidian is a stone many turn to when they feel they are lacking clarity and want to get to the truth of a situation or task.

Large obsidian sphere that can be used for black mirror scrying


The word ‘scrying' comes from an Old English word, ‘descry,' meaning ‘to catch sight of,' or ‘to make out dimly.' In the simplest terms, scrying is peering into a surface, usually one imbued with mystical energy, to see images or symbols that you then interpret meaning from. Traditionally, scrying is depicted as a form of fortune-telling, a way to peer beyond the present into the future to see what lies ahead. 

It calls to mind an image of a hermetic crone, bent crookedly over a crystal ball, hands rubbing its surface or swirling around it in the air. Or maybe the wicked queen and her magic mirror in Snow White is a little more familiar?

Throughout history, certain individuals have become legendary for their scrying abilities. Names like Nostradamus, John Dee, and Joan of Arc come to mind. Their remarkable insights and prophecies have left an indelible mark on the world of divination.

Recently, a more modern school of thought has taken hold and many now view scrying as a tool of self-reflection, much like Tarot. I am personally inclined to agree with the latter. So, instead of seeing future riches or doom, you're more likely to gain a new perspective on someone or something by peering into the depths of the scrying mirror's reflective surface and yourself. Under this school of thought, it could be said that the symbols, visions, and images you see, are manifested by you as you struggle to resonate your understanding between your conscious and unconscious.

Large obsidian sphere that creates a black mirror for scrying

WHAT Tools Do I Need for Scrying?

As its name implies, ‘to catch sight of’ what you seek, you must choose something you can focus your gaze upon and black scrying mirrors are an ideal material. Though some other popular items include crystal balls or scrying bowls for water scrying in combination. You’ll also need a candle to use as a source of natural light.

Scrying also required the ability to enter a light trance-like state. Those that regularly meditate or do other mindfulness exercises might find it easier to slip in and out of a trance state. If you’re new to scrying or mindfulness, be patient; with practice, it will become easier. Anyone can learn to scry if they are willing to devote the time to it.

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How to Scry with a Black Mirror

Beginning Your Scrying Journey

Preparing Your Mind and Space: Creating the right atmosphere is crucial for successful scrying. Find a quiet, sacred space where you can focus your energy and intention. Calm your mind through deep breaths and meditation.

Choosing the Right Scrying Tool: Selecting between an Obsidian mirror or a sphere depends on your preference. Mirrors offer a reflective canvas, while spheres concentrate energy. Both hold the potential for profound insights.

Techniques for Scrying: Explore various scrying techniques, such as clouding the mind and allowing images to form, or concentrating on a specific question while gazing. Trust your intuition and let the process flow naturally.

Essential Tools Checklist: Make sure you have these essentials at hand:

  • Obsidian mirror or sphere
  • Candle for ambient lighting
  • Incense or smudging herbs for purification
  • Journal and pen to record your experiences
  • Patience and an open heart

Prepare Your Space and Gather Your Tools

It is widely believed that it is best to scry at night as the practice is closely tied to the energy of the moon. Plus a calm, dark night is perfect for focusing as there are fewer distractions around. Whether you are inside or outside, it's best to find a dark, quiet place with as little light as possible. 

Make sure you have your scrying mirror, candle, and if you'd like to write about your experience, a journal, and pen. Light your candle (and some incense if that's your thing) and place it out of your direct line of sight but where it is still visible on the surface of the black mirror. Some prefer to place the candle immediately in front of their mirror or even stare directly into the candle flame. Try different places and arrangements to find what you like best.

Start With a Breathing Exercise or Meditation

Next, settle into a comfortable seated position and begin to focus on your breath with your eyes closed or open. In and out. In and out. Each time try to breathe more slowly deeply filling and emptying your lungs. Let the thoughts of your day and to-do lists drift away. It's okay if they come back, let them move across your mind's eye and drift away again. (As I said, this will take some practice and your first session isn't likely to be perfect.)

Black mirror scrying in obsidian orb

Peer Into Your Crystal Ball or Scrying Mirror

You may at this point begin to feel a sense of calm and relaxation that indicate you are entering a more trance-like state. Now it is time to focus your gaze upon the Obsidian scrying mirror. If your eyes were closed, slowly open them. If they were already open, shift your gaze to the inky black surface.

Maintain a soft gaze that allows the mirror to remain just slightly out of focus. Keep an open mind and make a mental note of whatever ideas, flashes of inspiration, or objects come up for you. It's okay to not understand them in the moment, you can revisit them later.

When you're first starting out try to maintain this state for at least 15 minutes. As you grow more comfortable, you can scry for longer periods which may allow you to reach further inside yourself and gain greater insights.

End Your Session

When you're ready you may end your scrying session. There are no rules or guidelines around how you may choose to end your session. I personally like to close my eyes and say ‘It is done' before blowing out the candle and slowly beginning to move out of my seated position. Be careful when getting up or moving around afterward to avoid tripping in the dark or feeling light-headed.

If you brought your journal and a writing tool, write down what you saw or any thoughts that came to you during your scrying session. It's best to write things down while your thoughts are still fresh.

Black Mirror Stands

The Benefits of Self-Reflection

If you're feeling a bit skeptical of the magical aspects of working with crystals and scrying, there are several very non-magical benefits of practicing self-reflection. Self-reflection leads to a greater sense of self-awareness.

A heightened sense of self-awareness makes it easier to make decisions, allows you to communicate more clearly and honestly, can lead to less stress and anxiety, improves your sleep, and strengthens your relationship with others. So, if you haven't found other means of introspection helpful, it can't hurt to try one that falls a little outside your comfort zone. Remember, scrying is a tool and humans wouldn't have reached this state of modern civilization without tools.

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Meri is a Chattanooga native, currently residing in Memphis, TN. She is always looking to check out the newest spots in Chattanooga when she comes to visit. She is a project manager by day and a stained glass artist by night.