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Creating a Black Mirror


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#1 Caliban

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 03:20 AM

This is a simple means of creating one's own black mirror for scrying or evocation. It's pretty basic, but entirely effective.

You will need:

  • A relatively simple picture frame, with a glass pane.
  • Black acrylic paint
  • A decent paint-brush
  • Newspaper, craft paper, a drop cloth, or a work surface you do not mind getting black paint on. Maybe also a smock, or "art clothes", as acrylic paint can permanently stain clothing.
  • Optionally, any ingredients you wish to add to the paint for magical effect.

The picture frame can be any shape, and the only limitation on design is that the frame not be so ornate as to distract one's attention from the mirror, and that it be a style that one would feel is compatible with its use in magical work. Size is not especially important, either. For my own, I used a plain, brushed-metal finish oval frame about as large as the palm of my hand.

I recommend acrylic paint because it dries quickly, and is water-based for easy clean-up. It is also readily available at craft stores, and usually inexpensive. Other kinds of paint will certainly work, but may take longer to dry between coats.

To start, disassemble the frame, setting aside the back-piece (which will usually have an integral stand) and frame proper. You should just have the glass which rests between the two. Put this face-down on the newspaper covering your work-surface.

You can squeeze out the paint directly onto the glass. Start with a little - it's possible to use too much. Brush this out into as even a coat as you can manage. It will look a little streaky at this stage, and that is fine. Rinse out your brush while you wait for the first coat to dry. A thin coat, under ordinary circumstances, should be dry in an hour or two.

So, come back in an hour or two. Squeeze out a bit more paint, and brush it out in an even coat. The second coat will take a little longer to dry, but let it.

To clarify, you are only painting the glass on one side. You will leave the "front" of the glass unpainted. The end result of the black paint on the other side will make it darkly reflective from the front, which is the effect one wants.

If one wants to fancy things up a bit, the third coat of paint is where you can add some particular ingredients to help make your mirror more congenial to magical work. This can be powdered mugwort, to enhance psychicism, powdered lodestone (magnetite), to "attract" spirits, or whatever else suggests itself as appropriate.

Whatever one adds should be able to be reduced to a fairly fine dust, in order to not make the paint too chunky, or to scrape the previous coats when it is painted on. Just mix your herbs or ingredients in to the paint in a little cup, and paint on your third and final coat as smoothely as possible. Allow this to dry overnight.

After that, one simply re-assembles the frame, with the shiny, unpainted glass surface to the front. One can even put a spirit seal between the painted side of the glass and the back-stand section of the frame when using this for evocation.

One can cleanse and consecrate the black mirror as one would any other magical tool. When not in use, it should be stored somewhere that it won't receive sunlight. This can allegedly disrupt the subtle etheric charge of a scrying mirror, and will certainly degrade acrylic paint over time.


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


#2 Angeni

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:42 AM

Thanks! I've been wondering about this for awhile.
I'm soo confused, but at least I have my friends to help me.

#3 Michael

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:19 AM

Now here's an odd cooincidence - not two weeks ago I made a set of scrying mirrors using almost the same methods... the exception being that I used a spray paint. I made one small mirror to take camping, and another larger one for at home - both received about 6 light coats of paint. Since then, I've been reading up on "condenser fluids'; something I'd never even heard of before googling "scrying"..

Any thoughts or observations on condenser fluids ??

Thanks

Michael

#4 TOLKA

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:40 PM

To add some rather mundane Astrological detail... I would do this on A Wednesday with the Moon in MC and Trine with Mercury, or else Mercury ascending, though both can be the same depending on what system you use. It would also help if Mercury was in a good sign like Gemini or Virgo or Aquarius.

I mean it will work fine anyway, and there are lots of placings which are suitable, thats just what I would recommend for something of multi use like a mirror or a wand etc.
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#5 KaguMasubi

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:06 PM

An awesome guide thanks for posting this, but may I ask why several coats, if one can be enough?

I am using transparant glass paint right now, it has a deep dark black color, and coats the glass smooth and easy. And I think this one coat may be enough, but I never made one so, I can't really know why more coats are necessary ;)

#6 voidgazing

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:03 PM

Might be interesting to do some brush work using the same paint, applying symbols such as sigils or runes (before applying the second coat to be sure they are not visible or before applying the first if you want them to maybe show a very little bit.). This is a bit like the logos version of mixing substances with the paint. Non-visible but you know they are there, providing protection or amplification...

#7 EtuMalku

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:19 PM

Perhaps some of us can share our processes of divination with the Black Mirror?

I sit in the dark, musiq, two candles on either side of the mirror and stare at my face's reflection. Soon your Daemon will appear and within in time other symbols/images will emerge.

EM

#8 Qryztufre

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:46 PM

I would love to hear of other methods on creating a magick mirror. If people are willing to share step by step instructions, I'm sure Caliban would not mind it if I linked up the individual posts up in his initial thread starter.

I certainly plan on sharing my how-to once I can get some pics of it.

I also have a few methods from various other resources, as well as a few tips & tricks...

#9 zonova

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:03 PM

i feel like my post was deleted >.>


I have a question. so, this is an easy way to make a dark mirror. how is a dark mirror normally made?

#10 Whispers

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:22 PM

A very pratical method indeed Caliban.
The first person that thaugth me about magical/black mirror used a very different method/mirror. She used to grind coal until it become a very fine dust and applied it on the floor, in a thin even layer. After that she (or me) would scry, and after finishing would simply sweep the floor.

#11 Caliban

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:42 PM

KaguMasubi said:

I think this one coat may be enough, but I never made one so, I can't really know why more coats are necessary :P

Acrylic applies to glass (which is not porous) in a streaky manner. Multiple coats help assure an even, thoroughly black coating.

Spray paint would also work, but is harder to personalize with ingredients.

The matte black surface created by coal dust is interesting, and certainly permissible, but doesn't create a reusable object, nor a mirror in the traditional sense.

Zonova, the only variants I know of for making a dark mirror otherwise involve "smoked" glass, or creating a special frame to hold a convex clock-glass (expensive and hard to find) which is then painted black in the same way.

A pool of india ink in a bowl (or in a more elaborate, near-eastern variant, in the palm of the hand of a virgin boy, into whose ear the magician utters names of angels as the boy scryes and reports what he sees) can be used in the same way as a black mirror, as can a black-surfaced bowl or vessel filled with water.


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


#12 voidgazing

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:04 PM

Quote

She used to grind coal until it become a very fine dust and applied it on the floor, in a thin even layer. After that she (or me) would scry, and after finishing would simply sweep the floor.

I would avoid doing that- black lung disease is no fun.

#13 Caliban

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:08 PM

Shouldn't be a problem if one isn't making coal dust in a space with poor airflow with fifty other people for twelve hours a day, six days a week. But yes, nothing one wants to breathe regularly.


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


#14 vulnera

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:33 PM

im gonna deviate from the recipe, and make a dark mirror using only blackened soot from a ritual candle flame...

im imagining it working not just for skrying, but also as a medium for the spirits to record something, written, or sound. kinda like an etch a sketch.

somewhat related, the first known recording of a human voice was done by blackening piece of glass with soot.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Phonautograph

kewl stuff.

:thumbup:

#15 Xophier

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:18 AM

I am trying to create a wooden stand for my black mirror. I want to create this, with the center most oval the black mirror and flip the design so "Orient," "Occident," and "Midi" are actually facing the correct way as we know the compass now.

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#16 grbree

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:09 PM

I have heard that black obsidian is extremely useful for a mirror not quit sure why though maybe because it's so good at conducting spirits, anyone feel like clarifying this for me?

#17 Riva626

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Does it matter if the picture frame is rectangular? I think I'd prefer to look into one that was, and if anyone found it they would (hopefully) recognise it as just a picture frame ;). Most of the scrying mirrors I see are oval shaped, is there a reasoning behind this?

Also, which magical ingredients would be best to use and why?

#18 Caliban

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:37 PM

View Postgrbree, on 27 August 2010 - 09:09 PM, said:

I have heard that black obsidian is extremely useful for a mirror not quit sure why though maybe because it's so good at conducting spirits, anyone feel like clarifying this for me?

In precolumbian Mesoamerica, obsidian was used to create flat, polished mirrors, reputedly for divinatory or magical use. We have no clear details on what exactly they were used for, and far less what the practitioners thought about it, because the practice seems to have been confined to priestly castes and did not survive Christianization.

John Dee had an obsidian mirror, given to him by Francis Drake who had stolen it from a Spanish treasure ship. It is now kept at the British Museum with some of Dee's other things, in London.

As far as the shape of the mirror, I don't think it matters. I have two, one round and one oval, but I have worked with rectangular mirrors (and quite ordinary mirrors) magically as well and they work fine.

As to what ingredients one would additionally use, that depends on what you believe would help. Some folks I know use the herb mugwort (artimisia vulgaris) for visionary work, sometimes using a decoction of the herb to clean scrying implements or as a tea to drink before scrying. If I were adding the herb to paint, I would grind it to a very fine powder first, and use it sparingly. In actual practice, I just used straight up paint, myself.

Edited by Caliban, 12 January 2013 - 11:42 PM.


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


#19 Riva626

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:25 PM

Just finished the second coat. Waiting for it to dry. I've never scryed before but I plan on getting started this weekend. Might even place a spirit's sigil behind the pane and see what happens.

Edited by Riva626, 18 January 2013 - 11:01 PM.


#20 Ihrlaa

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:09 PM

I read somewhere that you can use a black glazed dinner plate that you place in a stand. Would be pretty easy to get a hold of on a pretty low budget.





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