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Scrying 101

Hi and hello fellow Witches! In this post, we’ll be talking about scrying. What is it? Who does it? Can you learn how to do it? All of this and more will be covered, so let’s get started!


scry (v.)
“to see images in a crystal, water, etc., which reveal the past or forebode the future,” intransitive, 1520s, a shortening of descry (v.1). Compare Middle English scrien “to describe” (mid-15c.), short for ascrien or descrien.



scrying using a bowl of water

As you can see from the word’s etymology, scrying comes from the word ‘descry’ meaning ‘to catch sight of’. It is peering into a medium and interpreting what is seen or the messages received by the seer. It’s a form of divination that focuses on staring into a reflective surface and collecting answers.


the history of scrying

As far as we know, the earliest scrying event occurred in 3000 BC China. There, scryers cracked eggs open and interpreted what they saw. Since then, a myriad of scrying practices emerged crossing boundaries of culture and religion.

Our forebears utilized things like clouds or the moon’s reflection in a pond to scry. Young boys in ancient Egypt would scry using oil-filled vases. The Oracles of Delphi, employed by their emperor, would gaze into a particular spring looking for outcome predictions associated with upcoming battles.

Before our current modern day conveniences, like cell phones and the Internet, there was nothing else to rely upon but spoken word or written messages. As such, looking to the other side for answers spurred the continued use of scrying to see how loved ones were and how their situations were likely to end up. The world prior to technology was much more vast and connecting and traveling was a lot different than current day.


where do scrying answers come from

This is an ongoing debate amongst witches and mystics. There is the camp that believes scryed answers and messages come via resident spirits in the beyond. Then there are folks who claim that scrying results are really the seer’s own subconscious.

I suppose the most important aspect of this debate really isn’t WHERE the messages come from, but what it means to you. When we practice scrying, there’s a couple of things to remember:

  1. There is no “official” method
  2. It is distinctive because of its open-ended nature
  3. Anything that takes meaning from possibility is a type of scrying

All in all, the answers or messages you garner from your scrying efforts and whatever level of importance they hold is what’s really significant at the end of the day.


different scrying techniques

The nature of scrying itself is why there are so many different ways to perform this type of divination. The following is in no way a comprehensive list, but rather a short index to demonstrate different ways it is carried out.

  • Water
  • Wax
  • Mirrors
  • Clouds
  • Crystals
  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Oil
  • Eye


Scrying is a wonderful form of magick and fairly easy to get into. It’s pretty straightforward and accessible, which makes it a great practice for beginner practitioners. Let me know in the comments if you practice scrying and your experience! Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!

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