Scrying is a fascinating practice in that it enables you to literally "see" the future (or present or past). Almost any reflective surface can be used for scrying (pronounced to rhyme with "crying"). A crystal ball and a gazing mirror are two of the best. Let's look at the crystal ball first.
The crystal should be without flaw—no scratches on its surface or bubbles within (the new acrylic-plexiglass "crystals" work quite well, but scratch very easily). Rest the ball on a background of black. A black velvet cloth is ideal. This can, in turn, rest on a table in front of you or can cover your hand(s) if you wish to hold the crystal. This black background is to ensure that you see nothing around the ball to distract you as you gaze into it. Initially you should work alone, in a room that is quiet and dark. Your temple, of course, is the ideal place. Have just one small light, preferably a candle. Place the light so that you do not see it reflected directly in the crystal. Burn a pleasant-smelling incense, since it will help you concentrate. Work in a consecrated circle, at least to begin with. Later, if you should want to use the crystal elsewhere, you can simply imagine yourself surrounded by, and completely encompassed in, white light; though even then I would strongly advise casting a small circle about yourself with your athame. Start by saying some protective prayer (such as the Seax-Wica Psalm), then ask the Lord and the Lady for their guidance and their protection.
Now sit and gaze into the crystal trying to keep your mind blank. This is not easy and will take some practice. Do not stare at the ball unblinking; this will just cause eyestrain! Gaze—blinking your eyes naturally, as necessary. Do not try to imagine anything in the ball. Just try to keep your mind blank. After a while (anywhere from two to ten minutes) it will seem that the ball is filling with white mist or smoke. It will gradually grow more and more dense until the ball seems full of it. Then, again gradually, the smoke will thin and fade, leaving behind a picture—almost like a miniature television picture. It might be in black-and-white but is more likely to be in color. It might be still or it might be moving. It might be from the past, present or future. Also, it is very likely to be a symbolic picture, requiring some interpretation—much like a dream.
Initially you have no great control over what you see. You must just take what comes. As you become more adept, you may meditate for a few moments before gazing on what you wish to see. Then, when you start to gaze, clear your mind and try to keep it blank. Most people seem capable of success at scrying. If you get nothing the first time you try, then try again the next night, and then the next. It may take a week or more before you get anything, but keep trying. Do not, however, try for more than about ten minutes or so at each attempt.
If you can't obtain a crystal, it is possible to use a regular convex magnifying glass lens. Polished carefully and laid on the black velvet, it will work almost as well as the ball. Whichever you use, ball or lens, keep it purely for your scrying. Let no one else use it or even handle it. Keep it wrapped in a cloth (its black velvet or a piece of black silk) and do not permit sunlight to strike it. It is traditional to "charge" the crystal by holding it up to be struck by the light of the full moon, once a month.
A black gazing mirror seems to work better for some people than a crystal. It is not difficult to make one for yourself. You need a piece of glass, free of flaws and imperfections. Make it opaque by coating one side three times with asphaltum. To make the asphaltum stick to the glass, first clean the glass well with turpentine, then lay on the asphalt with a camel-hair brush.
A much easier method is simply to spray the back side of the glass with a good black enamel paint (it may not seem very magickal, but don't forget, the mirror is merely the focal point for your concentration. The actual "images" are projected by your powers; they do not come from within the mirror, or crystal, itself). A concave glass is the ideal. It is sometimes possible to find a convex glass from an old clock-face, in an antique store, and simply reverse it so that it is concave,
Place the glass in a frame. The shape is not important: round; oval; rectangular; square. Carve, or paint, onto the frame the names of the Lord and the Lady, in runes or one of the other magickal alphabets. As you are doing this—indeed, throughout the whole operation of making the mirror—concentrate your thoughts on the purpose of the mirror ... the projection of scenes from the past, present and future.
Consecrate the mirror in your circle, using the consecration ritual given in Lesson Five, naturally substituting the word "mirror" for "knife". When not in use, keep the mirror wrapped in a black cloth. To give you an easy start to scrying, before investing in a ball or making a mirror, try it with a glass of water. Just take a regular, clear water-glass and fill it with water. Gaze into that in the same way as described above. It should work quite well.
This Wicca How-To and much more can be found in:
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft has influenced and guided countless students, coven initiates, and solitaries around the world. One of modern Wicca's most recommended books, this comprehensive text features a step-by-step course in Witchcraft, with photographs and illustrations, rituals, beliefs, history, and lore, as well as instruction in spellwork, divination, herbalism, healing, channeling, dreamwork, sabbats, esbats, covens, and solitary practice. The workbook format includes exam questions at the end of each lesson, so you can build a permanent record of your spiritual and magical training. This complete self-study course in modern Wicca is a treasured classic—an essential and trusted guide that belongs in every Witch's library.