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Dangers of Scrying?


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#1 Qryztufre

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:28 PM

I know that using a talking board is just rife with potential dangers. I also know that using cards (Tarot, oracle, etc) is pretty safe. But what of using Mirrors, pools, or crystals?

I used to have a black mirror that I have used in the past for various magickal purposes and didn't put much stock in the dangers, but now I am making a new one (after not having one for years) and the thought came to me that there could be dangers involved.

so a few questions:

  • Are there dangers in using a crystal ball, mirror etc for scrying?
    • If so, what?
    • If so, when?
  • Are there dangers in meditation with one?
  • When does one cross the line between scrying and e/invoking?
  • Is a pre/post banishing suggested?
  • Any other protections/precautions needed?
  • Any other tips/suggestions (concerning danger/safety)?


#2 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:07 PM

The danger of scrying, or any other magical practices, is relative to the stability of the individual doing it. The potential danger lies in confronting aspects of yourself that you may not be prepared to confront. For this it is good to have some grounding. If banishings do this for you then sure, use them.

That's the simple version.;)

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#3 Qryztufre

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:45 PM

*nod* That much I have thus far taken for granted, so thank you for posting it, as I didn't mention it and it likely should have been mentioned!

Nalyd Khezr Bey said:


That's the simple version.;)
Being grounded (and centered) is likely a good prerequisite for any magickal operation... so I'd love to hear the medium or even longer version.

#4 Jehu A.:U.:

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:56 PM

I'm a fan ov using a TV that is not connected to cable. Staring into that much visual white noise while listening to actual white noise can cause heavy gnosis and is good for divination.

Now, onto thee dangers. I don't really think there are any from my experience. It's always seemed to be safe.
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#5 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:44 PM

The complex version, at least in my opinion, is a discussion of the dangers of practicing magick in general which is why I didn't go further. Regarding scrying by itself I personally would recommend using a more formalized ritual context (modelling) in order to concentrate your effort, and energy, into getting what you intend to get.

The only real downside of scrying is the same as what one gets with the casual use of the talking board you mentioned. If you open a gateway to anything and everything that is what you're going to get and this may result in confronting things you may not be prepared for as I already mentioned. There are uses for such practices but I wouldn't recommend doing something like that unless you're fairly adept at getting what you intend first.

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#6 Caliban

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 09:33 PM

Qryztufre said:

a few questions:

Are there dangers in using a crystal ball, mirror etc for scrying?
  • If so, what?
  • If so, when?
Yes.

The old-fasioned term is "obsession" by the the spirit. In practical terms, this means that one's mind becomes unbalanced due to the contact acting through one's own subconscious mind, like an artificially occasioned neurosis.

This is most likely to occur when the magician is insufficiently self-aware, and has not made any effective effort to assimilate repressed or rejected impulses.

Are there dangers in meditation with one?

Meditation should be safer, and is in fact a good method, via free association, for making a survey of the more obscure contents of one's own psyche.

When does one cross the line between scrying and e/invoking?

When one requests the intercession or manifestation of an entity conceived of as independent from or exterior to the Self.

Is a pre/post banishing suggested?

Yes. It is a useful method by which to center one's energies and attention, and to demark the magical working from ordinary daily activity.

Any other protections/precautions needed?

An appeal to a benevolent aspect of Deity for protection and assistance might not be amiss, if one believes in such.

Any other tips/suggestions (concerning danger/safety)?

Don't overdo it. "Obsession" in the conventional sense of the word can be an indication that one is not as fully in control of the situation as one really ought to be.

If things get uncomfortably weird, cleanse, banish, and take a break from such work at least until the Moon is new, or until the next Equinox if things feel really bad.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#7 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:13 PM

You know Caliban, I was going to mention obsession in my last post but I consider it one of the primary and obvious dangers of almost everything to do with practicing magick in its various forms so I didn't bother. I have always kept in mind the three "abysses" that Pete Carroll mentions in his PsyberMagick:
  • Paranoia
  • Sophistry
  • Obsession

Probably one of the few bits of useful info I've kept from that book.:)


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#8 Caliban

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:30 PM

Well, looking at what can go wrong with scrying in particular, it seemed a pertinent danger to mention. I am working from the old G.D. lingo (although I am not entirely on board with Mathers' teachings as a whole) in this case.

I haven't read PsyberMagick, however, so do not know in what sense Carroll uses the term "obsession". If it is worth a look, I'll try to track it down and give it a read.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#9 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:47 PM

You probably won't get much out of PsyberMagick Caliban as it will more than likely be redundancy for you. It played its part for me back in the late 1990's and I've retained what is useful. The above is one of those things.

Obsession in Carroll's sense seems to be meant more as a general term that will depend on how you model your experiences. It can be applied in the way you meant it.

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#10 voidgazing

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:37 AM

One safety mechanism (in addition to effective banishing ability) is to define the terms of your operation very clearly:


  • This is looking, not touching. Just like being in an aquarium- even if the shark could somehow get through the glass, it would just flop around uselessly and maybe get my shoes wet.


  • Much like plugging in a phone line, this operation begins when I [light my candle/say the words/open the box/uncover the mirror]. The operation ends when I [put out the candle/say these other words/close the box/cover the mirror] and much like unplugging a phone line utterly severs the connection.
Be consistent with these behaviors. Be dogmatic in your view of them until you don't need it anymore.

#11 Caliban

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:52 AM

Good points, and good techniques.

Nalyd argues similarly for "a more formalized ritual context" which, in addition to fine-tuning one's focus, also gives one the desireable "off switch" if things go bad.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#12 Gandridur

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:38 AM

Caliban said:


I haven't read PsyberMagick, however, so do not know in what sense Carroll uses the term "obsession". If it is worth a look, I'll try to track it down and give it a read.

I haven't read that book either. But obsession in magic doesn't differ too much from mundane obsessions. Obesession is attachment and a magician is struggling for his liberation and can't afford to get caught in a attachment. Struggling to liberate from mundane attachments and end up getting caught in a magic attachment, that's even worse than the mundane ones. Obsession swallow too much energy that should had been used on his liberation. And if one get obsessed it stagnate the magician from his real goal and forget that all magical techniques are nothing but tools. That is one of the reasons why buddistic monks and many yogis doesn't use those magical tools. But hey they're missing all the fun!:P
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#13 Gandridur

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:40 AM

In what sense is Carroll using the term sophistry?
My magic memory stretches back eons. My everyday memory no longer than the nose.

#14 Der Eremit

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:38 PM

For the longest time, the tarot has been my primary method of divination, but I've always been far too dependent on the book/web sites for the interpretations of the cards. I'm beginning to look into scrying as an alternative method. I have a beautiful black crystal ball which my dad acquired for me a few years back, but it's been sitting on my dresser collecting dust ever since. I'd love to put it to some use. But I have a couple of questions.

First of all, I'm not expecting any images to play out on the crystal ball like a color movie. But what should I expect to see? Shadows? Faint images? What things should I look for, and how might I know when I see them?

Secondly, and this is where it ties in to the 'dangers of scrying' theme of this thread, and hence why I posted here instead of making a new thread, how will I know if what I am seeing is a true vision, and not my mind showing me what I want to see? I would think there would be a real danger of self-deception using this method, especially if you have a lot of vested interest in the question at hand, which, in my mind, you should have a vested interest, otherwise why bother asking the question?

#15 Caliban

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:50 PM

[quote name='Der Eremit']I have a couple of questions.

What should I expect to see? [/quote]
Some people claim to see very clear images. In my experience, as one's mundane vision is distracted and conscious thought diverted, the scrying surface seems to fog, and then imaginal imagery can suggest itself. It may be best to think of this as "controlled hallucination".

Secondly, how will I know if what I am seeing is a true vision, and not my mind showing me what I want to see? [/QUOTE]
By knowing yourself, your desires and your fears. By knowing how to distinguish between self-delusion and inspiration. By centering yourself in a state without expectation or anxiety, and by having attuned yourself to a state in which you can receive the messages of your Higher Self, through which true intuition is mediated.

This is why self-knowledge and self-awareness, groundedness, centeredness, and non-attachment are vital skills for the magician. These skills take practice. How will you know when you get there? That's hard to say. It is best to take any divination result as tentative until you learn what works for you well enough to know when results are solid.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#16 Der Eremit

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:04 PM

Thanks, I'll have to give it a good shot tonight. This is a method I'm pretty excited to try.

The question that's been on my mind is a question I've sought clarification on through other means as well (primarily the tarot). But I've had mixed results, partially from my own failings at becoming familiarized with the card meanings, and partially from the variety of cards that have appeared. At first, the cards seemed to reflect the outcome I desired to happen. Now, they seem to reflect something else, which has all led to a lot of confusion and frustration. I'm particularly worried about self-deception, because if I see the outcome I desire, then I will automatically worry about if I am showing myself what I want to see. However, if not, I may worry that my fears have hijacked the scrying session. It's difficult to know if I can trust what I may see.

#17 Caliban

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:09 PM

It is very difficult to read for yourself on matters in which you have an emotional investment. I strongly recommend you have another reader take a look at it, instead. The Three-Card Reading Swap thread has served me pretty well in this regard.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#18 Der Eremit

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:16 PM

I actually have utilized the 3-card reading swap. Of course, it has only added to the confusion. I've had one reading done which concerned the outcome of a sigil I had constructed. The 3-card reading seemed to indicate a success. Perhaps a week later, after things seemed to be getting worse instead of better, I asked for another reading concerning why I am having so much difficulty manifesting my desire. The reading said I had already lost and the situation was out of my control. The two readings seem completely contradictory to me.

#19 voidgazing

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:55 PM

There is not a contradiction in results.

Remember that manifestation is not instant. Having properly fired your sigil, you asked if it would work. This is, in many methodologies, a mistake. You poked at it instead of forgetting it. You hadn't poked much.

Later, you asked again, indicating you were probably thinking about it (poking at it) in the intervening time. You had reduced the chances for success to 0.

This makes sense given that the future is not fixed.

#20 Der Eremit

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:09 PM

I thought the thing you had to forget was the sigil itself, the picture. I didn't think you had to convince yourself that the operation was never done.





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