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Skrying is an art that is almost a required skill for any serious magician, in fact, it is hard to imagine any form of magic not employing this practice in some form or other.
Unfortunately, it has been maligned off and on by the general public for nearly two thousand years, and so has been misunderstood by many a beginning student of the occult.
Skrying, also called "reading (or traveling) the aether", is accomplished by focusing one's attention, concentration, and Will on a reflective or semi-reflective object. Although nearly any object can be used, the best results are obtained by using a naturally reflective mineral (such as an emerald or quartz). The infamous Crystal Ball is the most famous skrying device, but they tend to be quite expensive, and can be discouraging to the beginning student.
The next most famous skrying device is called a Magic Mirror. After a brief introduction to the art of skrying, different methods of construction will be discussed.
SKRYING IN THEORY AND PRACTICE:
The most widely known, most difficult, and least useful (for the magician) aspect of skrying is that of foretelling the future. The use of skrying to see the future is like using a Ferrari to tow a camper...it can be done but it is not very good.
The "real" use of skrying is either
1) Travel the various planes of existence, or
2) Contact other intelligent entities.
Both of these can be dangerous for the beginner, but must be mastered by any serious student of Magic.
To begin skrying, gather your device and whatever instruments your method of magic requires. Raise your circle as you know how, relax, concentrate on the mirror (or whatever device you should choose to use), and wait.
Do not let your mind wander. Do not think of anything. Keep your mind open and free of thoughts, and gaze into the mirror.
Seeing something in the mirror is rare, except for the well-practiced, but if you are successful, you will "see" something. It will more than likely be either an unfamiliar landscape, or some kind of entity. In either case, slowly let go of the image and "back away".
Your goal at this point is to see if you can use the mirror. After you have become more adept at it, you can travel around a bit, or speak to the entities you encounter.
This short article is not a compleat lesson in skrying. If you have never worked with the occult before, and are interested in skrying, please pick up a more in-depth book on the subject--or at least become proficient in the basic exercises outlined at this web site.
If you have enough knowledge to raise a protective circle, concentrate your Will, etc., you should have no problem skrying from these instructions, but skrying does require some form of protection--especially for the beginner.
The Term "liquid condenser" is held over from the time when it was believed that a "liquid" called the aether permeated the physical world around us. Skrying, through various methods, has been found to be related to the Moon, and so, liquid condensers that collect the Moon's "energy" are used to construct a Magic Mirror.
It should be noted here that there are many occultists who do not believe in the aether. The term is still used to describe occurrences that otherwise prove difficult to discuss. Liquid condensers are still employed by these occultists, since the making of the condenser demonstrates your intent and helps focus your Will, and by so doing provides, at the least, the sub- conscious knowledge of what the device is for. This may be all there is to liquid condensers, the subject is very much debatable. All that counts is that the liquid condensers work.
The first Mirror we will discuss is basically a "toy". It is not as expensive, time-consuming, or difficult to make as the next two. It is also not as powerful.
It is, however, adequate for the beginner, who does not know how to skry, or for those who do not know if they wish to use a Magic Mirror. If you are successful, you should move on to one of the other Mirrors described.
1) Find a photo frame, between 6 and 12 inches in size. The shape should be circular if at all possible, oval is okay and square will suffice. Do not use a rectangular frame.
The frame should be made of wood, if at all possible, and should be of a dark color. If a metal frame cannot be avoided, make sure it is silver, or at least the color of silver.
The glass should be free of flaws. This is very important. There should be no bubbles or scratches anywhere on or in the glass.
3) Paint the back of the glass black. Use either spray paint, or be very careful to make the coat even and free of brush-strokes.
After the first coat is completely dry, paint it again.
4) When the second coat is dry, put the drawing against the painted side of the glass, and seal the glass in the frame. You will not be able to see the drawing, but it will do it's job.
If you cannot find a suitable frame, find a piece of glass the appropriate size, and follow the instructions as given. After the second coat of paint is dry, put on a third coat, and CAREFULLY position the drawing face down on the wet paint. Smooth the drawing out carefully, and let the paint dry. Put a fourth coat of paint over the picture and let it dry. Cut a piece of cardboard or wood the exact size of the glass, and glue it over the drawing.
Use black cloth or tape to cover the edges of the glass, so it will not cut you....electrical tape works fine.
You now have a very basic Magic Mirror. It is not very powerful... it is like hunting with a BB gun--but at least you will be able to tell if you can do it or not before you move on...
Once you have tried the simple Mirror, or if you already have some experience at skrying or magic, you should move on to one of the following Mirrors. The difference between the previous Mirror, and those following is the extent of the use of liquid condensers, and the amount of effort put into the actual crafting of the Mirror itself.
For the second
Mirror, follow the instructions for the mirror above,
of finding a frame, it is better to make your own. A simple example is
Also: After the second coat of paint is dry, apply
a third coat and sprinkle one or more of the following liquid condensers
in the wet paint. Try to make the layer as even as possible, and when the
paint is dry, apply another coat to dry. Mount the drawing behind the Mirror
in your frame, as directed above.
A short list of liquid condensers:
Fine silver filings Powdered quartz (or amethyst or beryl) Powdered salt Powdered dried willow leaves Powdered dried peony leaves Powdered dried toadstool Powdered dried moss Powdered oyster shell (or pearls, or clam shell) Finely cut cat hair Powdered white eggshell (NOT from a brown egg) Powdered fish bones (or scales) Fine stag horn filings (or cow bones or steer horns) Finely cut crow feathers (or duck or other waterfowl) Spider web Powdered wasp nest Powdered silver dogwood leavesThere are many other things that can be used as a liquid condenser, a "book of correspondences" (such as Aleister Crowely's LIBER 777) will have plenty of other things listed.
The optimum use of the "natural" liquid condenser would come about by an even mixture of nine or thirteen of the items.
This is not so much a description of a third Mirror as it is a discussion of various other possibilities. This is intended for the serious student, as some of the suggestions can get quite extensive.
One popular device for skrying is the athame, or ceremonial dagger. It is suggested, if you decide to go this route, that you consecrate a second blade exclusively for this purpose, as some of the skrying operations will generate energies that will need to be purged before the knife is used for its normal functions, and constant cleansing and reconsecration defeats the purpose of the original dedication.
If you do decide to use a blade for this purpose, cleanse the blade as you normally would, but anoint it with a mixture of either nine or thirteen of the natural liquid condensers. Let the condensers set on the blade while you charge it (as explained below) and clean the blade of the residue with salt water mixed with nine drops of your own blood.
Another popular Mirror can be made with a silver bowl. Consecrate the bowl as you would a dagger, mixing the liquid condensers in distilled water which you will leave in the bowl to charge. When using the bowl for skrying, fill it halfway with distilled water which you allow to charge the night before the actual skrying. You can also mix ink in the water (or use ink exclusively) when skrying.
Any kind of flat silver plate (not silver-plate) can be used as a Mirror. Simply engrave the symbolic fluid condenser on the back of the plate, and consecrate as you would a dagger.
Many other things can be made into a Skrying glass...I have even seen a cat's skull painted black on the inside and set with a polished crystal as a lens. But items such as these require skill and knowledge beyond the scope of this simple treatise.
There are several methods of "lunar charging", which the student should know. For those for whom this introduction is a first step, the following procedure will suffice until a book or manual on the subject can be obtained.
During the waxing of the Moon (and preferably during the Full Moon), on a cloudless night, place the Mirror in the full light of the Moon. It is preferable that this be outside, but a window will suffice. Concentrate on the Mirror (or whatever device you desire to charge) until you can see a bluish light emanating from the Moon's surface and striking the Mirror.
This should be begun when the moon is at its highest point in the sky, and the Mirror should be left where it will receive the lunar rays for the rest of the night. Be sure to remove the Mirror from its location before the sun hits it, or the lunar charging will be ineffective.
There are many books available that deal with skrying. Any of these will be sufficient introduction to help you with your Magic Mirror, however, there is one that I know of that deals with Magic Mirrors in particular. It is called
It is published by Llewellyn Books at $3.95*, and should be available either in stock or by special order through your local bookstore. Llewellyn also sells directly to the public :
LLEWELLYN PUBLICATIONS P.O. BOX 64383-831 ST PAUL, MN 55164-0383* This information was correct at the time of this writing. The price may have increased or the book may be out of print now.