Seeing the unseen // Scrying 101

December 11, 2020 3:58 am Published by

Scrying is an ancient divination practice where you connect with your intuition and work to make the unseen seen by gazing onto a reflective surface.

Scrying is a broad practice, therefore mentions of it pop up in a variety of places throughout history. Scrying is referenced in ancient Egypt, England, Greece, and Persia (to name a few.) Nostradamus reportedly relied on scrying for many of his predictions as well. 

The tools you can use for scrying are as vast as its history. You can use crystals, water, the moon, fire, smoke, a mirror, or really any reflective surface. 

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Artwork copyright Cassie Uhl 2020-infinity, please credit if shared.

Though clear crystal balls work for scrying and are commonly shown as a scrying tool, it is not the only kind of crystal used for this practice. Black obsidian mirrors are commonly used for scrying, but really any crystal with a reflective surface will do. You may even decide that you’d like to use a specific crystal in alignment with your desires for a scrying session. Sphere, larger palm stones, and flat mirrors or slabs all work well for this practice. 

As varied as scrying is, the piece that remains consistent is the desire to reach an altered state to receive visions. The visions you receive from scrying could be from spirit or your subconscious. That’s for you to decide. 

I love scrying for its power and simplicity. In this post, I’ll be sharing how to scry! Keep reading for five steps to try scrying for yourself.

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A note on working with the moon. The full moon and the dark moon are ideal times to try this practice. I like scrying with the full moon to help illuminate and the dark moon for going within and accessing intuition. Don’t let the phase of the moon stop you from trying this practice; these are just suggestions. 

Getting started with scrying:

  1. To begin your scrying practice, create a ritual space for yourself, and gather your bowl and water. (As I walk you through scrying, I’ll be using the example of a bowl of water, but remember that there are many other ways to scry that I shared above.) 
  2. You’ll want to be in a dark room with only one or two candles lit. 
  3. Once your space is ready, enter a trance state through meditating, energy work, drumming, chanting, breathwork, or any other practice that helps you drop into your subconscious mind. 
  4. Once you feel like you’re in an altered state of consciousness, relax your eyes and gaze into your bowl of water. Breathe deeply, let yourself soften, and ask a question silently (for example, what is holding me back in X situation? Or what do I need to know about Y?). 
  5. Gaze into the bowl and let yourself see what you see. It may take time for images to come up, but if you stay focused and present, they will. Allow the images, words, and sensations to flow, rather than holding on to them tightly.

When you feel like you’re done, you’re done! Spend some time journaling about what you felt and saw to help you answer the questions you came to receive answers for. 

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Remember, the subconscious mind works with symbolism, so don’t discount anything that you see even if you’re not quite sure what it means at first! Think of the information you receive, like the symbolism in dreams: sometimes we are left with more questions than answers. Sometimes the questions are the answers. Sometimes a thread is what you are offered, and you can choose to follow it or not. Sometimes symbols may not mean anything at first but are asking to be engaged with over time. 

Let the process unfold, and see what comes up for you! 

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About Eryn Johnson

Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at and @erynj_ on Instagram.