Hydromancy or Water Scrying
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2007

John William Waterhouse, Oil Painting 1902, The Crystal Ball

Scrying is a practice that dates back to the ancient Arabs and Egyptians which makes it one of the oldest forms of divination. Scrying using a Crystal Ball is one of the best known forms of fortune telling and often one of the first images stereotypically used regarding Divinatory practices. We are not restricted to the Crystal Ball as a tool for scrying: shiny stones, mirrors and any reflective object or surface can be utilized. Nostradamus used a brass bowl of water on a tripod and this method is called Hydromancy. The tool utilized to scry is called a Speculum. Scrying is used to answer questions, resolve problems, find what is lost or to solve criminal acts.

Water scrying was very popular with the Celts and other Shamanistic traditions. The Cup of Jamshid was used in Ancient Persia to divine. The liquid in the cup was said to be an elixir of immortality and looking into the cup allowed you to view the seven layers of the universe and deep truths were revealed. The Mirror of Galadriel in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" was used to see past, present and future: the mirror was a pool of water.

If you would like to try your hand, or your eye, at Water Scrying, it is relatively simple to set up, getting results is somewhat more complicated. You need a bowl of water. A brass, silver or glass bowl would be nice but you have to use what you have on hand, so your favourite cereal bowl or tea cup is also a nice option here. I think a Tibetan Singing Bowl would work well for scrying as well. It is preferable to use water collected under a Full Moon from a stream or river. I am not a purist, tap water while the moon is full would certainly be adequate. If you are able to construct a tripod to set your chosen bowl on, please do. If you have access to laurel, bay or hazel branches use them to construct your base. If you aren't construction oriented, don't worry about it, a nice flat spot on your table or altar will do - like I said, I'm not a purist. A couple of candles appropriately coloured or charged for the issue you are scrying on should be placed about a foot from your scrying bowl.

Colour the water with dark green or dark blue food colouring - or whatever colour or combination of colours has appeal for you. It has to be dark enough that you can't see the bottom of the bowl. If you have a magic wand or a favourite crystal, you can wet the edge of the bowl and use your wand or crystal to rub the edge of the bowl - following the edge of the bowl all the way around. You can even just use the index finger of each hand and do alternating circles around the edge of the bowl. Each of these methods will create ripples in the water and energize it. You can use your hands to energize the bowl if you prefer. Using your left hand first, then your right, pass your hands, palm down, in a clockwise circular motion over the water an inch or two above to the surface - do three passes with each hand before switching (a bit of an upper body cardio workout, you always have to look for the hidden benefits). Pay attention to your breathing, breath slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on your intuition and your issue while watching for any images reflected in the water. You will have to trust your own intuition for interpretation. Keep it as simple as possible.

Don't be discouraged because it may take time to actually see anything. View it as a form of deep meditation and relaxation. Make sure you have grounded and protected yourself properly as you would before undertaking any type of divination. A nice cup of tea before and eating something of the earth after to return you to ground will round out the divination.


This page was created February 2, 2007.