28 April 2008


Your eyes focus as you enter a darkened room. Noticing the design of the dark wallpaper and have a seat on the overstuffed antique chair. Suddenly you notice a woman. She’s sitting there behind a round table. A silk scarf around her head, large hoop earrings in her ears and way too much makeup. As you stand and walk toward her you notice her hands waving over a clear sphere. “Sit….I have much to tell you!”, she utters as you cautiously follow suit and have a seat across the table.

Is this what you typically think of when you think of divination? Does the image of a mystical Gypsy enter your mind? If so, that is only one small minor aspect of divination and scrying.


A Pendulum, in its strictest definition is an apparatus consisting of an object mounted so it swings freely under the influence of gravity. I, personally, think of a Pendulum as more than just an object that moves under the influence of gravity. I think of it as an object that can assist the Working Witch (or anyone that understands Pendulums or anyone interested in learning about scrying) in finding out about the future or looking for answers. I call this process scrying. However, if you want the literal, and actual, definition of scrying it consists of the following:

Scrying: Gazing into or contemplating a shiny, luminous, or reflective surface with the intent of seeing visions or representations of distant places, things, or times.

Not to say that when I scry with other objects that I’m not following the more “literal” definition; however, I add the following to the definition:

Scrying: Gazing into, watching, observing, or contemplating a shiny, luminous, or reflective surface (or object mounted to swing freely) with the intent of seeing visions, representations of distant places, things or times.


The ancient Romans were renowned for pendulum scrying and their methods were detailed in the writings of Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus. It is also thought that Nostradamus used the same Roman method of scrying from a basin by means of a pendulum to produce individual letters that formed intelligible prophetic verses.

Historically, the bowl used was made of electrum. That is, an alloy of gold and silver. The worker would then tie a thread to their wand and tie a ring (or another metallic object) to the other end of the thread. Typically, the ring (or metallic object) was engraved upon as well as the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet were engraved into the flange of the basin. The basin was then placed in a tripod which was made of branches of laural.

Another option was to tie the ring to an end of a thin string and display inside a regular water goblet. This method included a typical “yes” or “no” question format whereby the ring would tap the side of the glass once for yes or twice for no. More than two taps indicates the spirit was uncertain of the response and for the questioner to ask again.


Because this section is called “Modern Day Scrying” does not mean these old methods should be abandoned or that these “newer” methods are better. This section is merely to describe more recent methods aside from using a basin or goblet to get your answers.

In modern times we have become more aware of geomancy and use gems or crystals for our pendulums. However you choose to create your pendulum, you should purify it.


Fill a clear bowl with fresh, pure water, light a white candle and light incense. Say a cleansing prayer. An example of which is as follows: “Clarify me, purify me, create in me a pure heart, renew my spirit within”. Imagine the water in the bowl as bright white light. Dip the pendulum into the water and leave it for a few moments. Sprinkle salt into the water and allow the salt to cleanse. Imagine the white light enveloping and filling the pendulum and the salt clarifying as the pendulum sits. After a few moments remove the pendulum from the water and pass thru smoke of your incense (I would recommend sage or hyssop to burn for their cleansing abilities). Say another prayer. Perhaps something like “Sage (or hyssop or whatever incense you are choosing to use) dance over, around and thru this pendulum adding your clarity, your renewal and your vision.” Lastly, pass the pendulum thru the flame of the white candle. Say something like “Candle of white, purity, light and energy add yourself to the pendulum and allow me to find the answers I seek, the clarity I crave and the purity I request.” On the night of a full moon place the pendulum and thread in the moonlight and leave for several hours. NEVER allow your pendulum to be placed in direct sunlight.


Once you’ve fashioned and purified your pendulum you’ll probably be quite anxious to begin using it. Sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet planted to the floor with your knees slightly apart, hold your pendulum in your dominant hand (the hand you write with). Dangle the pendulum above your dominant knee and ask for the pendulum to show you “Yes”. Observe the pendulum looking for a “spinning in a circle” motion or a “rocking forward and back” motion. This motion will be labeled in the affirmative. Dangle the pendulum between your knees and ask to be shown the “neutral” (or “unsure…ask again”) motion. NOTE: Typically, this is motionless. Moving neither in a circle nor back-and-forth. Moving the pendulum over your recessive knee ask to be shown “no”. You will observe that this motion is the opposite of the affirmative. Here is your beginning to using a pendulum!! Does this mean you cannot use your pendulum in your recessive hand? Absolutely not; however, to begin with I recommend using your dominant hand. MOST people have an ability to keep their dominant hand more motionless than their recessive hand.

In the next lesson I will include different methods of scrying with a pendulum as well as discuss other scrying methods themselves.


I titled this section this way because it seems to me that a lot of people who are novices to scrying (either with or without a pendulum) are seeking the affairs of the heart. In this section I’m going to provide insight on how to use a pendulum to get those “yes” and “no” answers.

Needed: Paper, Writing Instrument, Purified Pendulum
Fold a piece of paper in half and write “YES” and “NO” on opposite sides of the fold. Holding your Pendulum above the fold, ask your question. You can watch for your pendulum to swing toward the “YES” or “NO” side of the fold.

Needed: Wheel of Fortune Card, Tower Card, Purified Pendulum
Placing the two Tarot Cards next to each other in front of you, hold the pendulum between them and ask your question. Much the same as the Paper method above, watch for the Pendulum to move toward the Wheel of Fortune Card or the Tower Card. I chose these two cards for their definite opposite nature – even though the Tower Card does not have to have a negative connotation. Feel free to use the two cards that would be “opposites” to you.

There are many other methods to find “Yes” and “No” answers most based on the above principal of one side vs. the other. Try these two methods and invent your own. Most importantly, when you begin scrying you should begin a journal of your experiences. Include in this journal the time you began working with the pendulum, day, date, phase of the moon, any other astronomical anomalies, your feelings, your findings and your interpretation of your task.


This method of scrying uses water in a bowl. I have found that an earthenware bowl with clear, spring water works the best with this method. Go outside (or if you need to stay in sit at a windowsill) and pour the water into the bowl. Begin relaxing with deep breathing exercises and by decreasing loud music and lights. Best would be to put some light music on and illuminate the area with white candles. Close your eyes, take a deep breath thru your nose, and exhale completely thru your mouth. Allow your body and mind to relax. Once you feel completely at peace you can add a few drops of ink into the water (if you so choose) to turn the water black. Sometimes when you are working with Moon/Water Scrying the darker the water is the more clearly you will see the images. Position the bowl so you can catch the reflection of the moon on the surface of the moon. Ask a question in your head or just gaze into the water looking for random images. The images that you see may appear hazy at first, but then become clearer. The larger the images appear the sooner those images will manifest themselves. Smaller images may take longer to appear, thus take longer to manifest themselves. You will be shown images and hear things (in your head) that day that you are meant to hear at this time.


This method of scrying is one that has been used by Witches for generations and generations. Fire scrying can be used to see events of the past, present and future. There are various methods whereby you can use fire scrying ranging from extremely elaborate to the most simple. Let us start with the most simple since that is what most will be able to do. In a darkened room, or outside, light a single pillar candle. You can choose to use any color candle; however, I use white candles when scrying just so the images come from a pure source. Light your candle and close your eyes. Use the same deep breathing, relaxing techniques discussed in the water scrying description. Once you feel relaxed open your eyes and look into the flame. Ask a question in your mind and watch for images. With practice and with time these images will appear clearer. The more elaborate method is burning pieces of driftwood by the sea once the sun has gone down. I’ve used this method back home in Scotland quite a few times with tremendous success. Once the driftwood has begun to burn, I throw in cedar chips and various herbs such as rosemary, sage, juniper and sandalwood and sit back watching the smoke and flame. The images here can appear quite large and quite powerfully; however, once the embers have died there is a completely different method of scrying which can be quite magickal. Normally I use a large, long fallen limb from a tree to move around the dying but hot embers and watch. I have had experiences where actual scenes will play out; however, more often there are symbols that appear in the embers that need further examination and interpretation. This method of scrying is more typically called “The Fire of Azrael”.


Smoke scrying is a technique that can be quite useful and can be added to your Samhain celebrations. Before I discuss this technique, I feel it necessary to describe a scrying mirror or black mirror. This object is a mirror that has had the glass removed and painted black and replaced back into the holder. Often a silver backing is added to the mirror and a round or oval mirror is used; however, I have found that an inexpensive compact mirror with the glass painted black can work just as well. Black mirrors can be traced back over the centuries and were often made of obsidian. You do not want to look directly into the mirror for your scrying, lay it on a table and look from an angle. Spirits can show scenes, images, speak and even touch the scryer with this method. Now, back to smoke scrying. Lower the lights in the room, or better yet light two pillar candles on either side of you. Taking your favorite incense, light and allow it to smoke for a few moments. Position the black mirror so that the smoke dances over the surface easily while the mirror lies on a table. I find stick incense works best this way; however, cones do produce adequate images as well. Loose incense causes you to deflect your attention away from the mirror and the smoke too often to keep placing the powder or resin on the briquette. Once the incense has burned for a few moments, close your eyes to relax. When you feel centered, grounded and relaxed look into the black mirror lying on your table from various angles. Watch and interpret the images you see, hear, smell and feel.

As I said, you can use this technique on Samhain to help summon the ancient spirits or ancestors. I use red candles for this purpose and use sage incense. Once I’m feeling centered I hold my arms into the air and say something like, “O Great Spirit, Great Maiden, Mother, Wise One, you who created all. Bring to us the old ones, the ancient spirits, and the ancestors to celebrate with us, to teach us, to allow us to understand where we came from so we can understand where we are yet to lead the future”.


I love this method! This is what most people think of when they think of scrying. Crystal ball scrying and its popularity in things ranging from art to literature to television to movies attributes to the fact of the material creating an energy in the reader’s mind’s eye. How big does your crystal ball need to be? Do I have to have one as big as I have seen on televisions that are the size of a small child's head? Absolutely not! The best crystal balls (and easiest to hold, manipulate and work with) range from between 3 to 5 inches in diameter.

Relax, center and ground. Light one or two candles on your working space making sure that the reflections of the candles are not showing in the crystal ball. The ball should be placed on a blue or black cloth so as to assist in hindering the reflection from items in the room to be visible in the ball. You can either hold the ball while working with it, place it on the stand on the cloth or place the ball directly on the cloth itself. My crystal ball is quite heavy! I prefer to keep it on it’s crystal stand on top of the cloth, both because of it’s weight and because I don’t want to run the dropping it or having it roll off the table while I’m working with it.

Center yourself. Gaze into the crystal ball trying not to blink but do not just meaninglessly stare into the ball either. Relax your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and look into the center of the ball. As you begin doing this you should do this task for fifteen minutes each time you practice then increase in increments of 5 minutes until you feel like you have mastered how to look into the crystal ball. Eventually, with practice, you will begin to see a small “fog” in the center of the crystal ball. This is where your visions will appear. Gaze into the fog and watch for pictures, scenes, symbols. Oftentimes you need not even ask a specific question, the crystal ball will lead you to a scene that will greatly assist you.

Colors of objects you see can have specific meanings.
RED – Fire, Passion, Love, Ego, Courage, Strength
GREEN - Nature, Growth, Prosperity, Luck, Fertility, Changes, Envy
BLUE - Emotion, Mental, Calming, Tranquility, Loyalty, Purity, Protection
BROWN - Earth Energy, Grounding, Centering Consciousness, Soil
YELLOW - Thought, Mental, Sun, Sunlight, Memory, Creativity
GRAY - Neutral, Calm, Peace, Darkness with Light
GOLD - Fortune, Rich, Power, Strength, The Sun, Fire
WHITE - Purity, Protection, The Moon
PINK - Emotions, Creativity, Marriage, Friendship, Beauty, Compassion
ORANGE - Mental, Business, Legal, Problems, Ambition
SILVER - Purity, Protection, Ice, Heavenly, Stars, Potential
PURPLE - Justice, Royalty, Psychic, Meditation, Idealism, Divination
BLACK - Absorption, Quiet Power, Self-Control, Restriction, Changes

Shapes you see can be things you recognize or can be symbols of other things connected to yourself or the person your reading.

The larger the image appears the closer in time for it to manifest itself and the more important that information is.

Images can appear stationary or as in a movie. They can be flat or three-dimensional. It’s all in your experience, practice, willingness to see and the ability to try.

Everything you see and hear should be recorded in some manner. Something you may want to try the first few times is to record your sessions and play them back later. I have done this a few times and quite amazingly sometimes, you hear things that you do not recall hearing during your reading.

Scource: WitchSchool.com

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