“We should be a mirror of being: We are God in miniature.”
In the sixteenth century, Swiss alchemist Paracelsus put together an elaborate formula for making a magick mirror. This process included heating lead and adding mercury, gold, silver, copper, iron filings, and dry herbs. Each ingredient had exasperatingly precise measurements, and the steps for the process were each to be performed at specific times when the planets would be most auspicious. This took several weeks, after which an appropriate time had to be chosen for polishing the mirror before it would heed the wizard’s questions.
This process speaks of ritual magick and folklore all in one historical tidbit. About the only item that seems odd the use of iron, since so many magickal creatures (like fairy folk) disdained the substance. Perhaps that was the whole idea−to keep unwanted spirits from tinkering with the outcome.
Magick Mirrors vs. Regular Mirrors
To make an effective magick mirror, you first need to understand what it is that sets this implement apart from the one in your bathroom. It boils down to the skill, focus, and willpower of the witch or mage who constructs it. Without that energy flow, a mirror is just, well, a mirror.
A properly contrived magick mirror works both in this world and in the astral. While all things have a presence in the astral world, not everything functions in that realm. Once created, blessed, consecrated, and empowered, the mirror opens that doorway to the user. It can be used to communicate with individuals or spirits over vast distances (with individuals, typically several mirrors are created-all of which are identical). It can become a window into time, and it can be an effective amulet or ritual tool. Better still, the mirror can be turned “on” and “off” as needed, thereby conserving energy.
Any implement that has such a diversity of applications also has some caveats. In particular, an active mirror is a bit like an Ouija board. The mirror creates a bridge between realities (a portal, if you will). You’ll want the capacity to safeguard the portal from unwanted company (who may or may not have your best interest at heart). So, some Witches create a sacred space before they scry.
When a Mirror is not a Mirror
Before getting into a more formal process for making magickal mirrors, our ancestors used many other reflective objects when no actual mirror was available. On their list, we find things like polished coal, a black glass bowl, and a slice of obsidian. Similarly, there are simple items around your house that could work as a mirror if you’re in a pinch (like the backside of a fork).
Just walking around your home, Do you see surfaces with enough reflectivity to function in scrying? Here are a few ideas:
- TV and computer screens (turned off).
- Stapler back.
- Glass doors on cabinets.
- Plastic surfaces with a smooth finish.
- Metal measuring cups.
- Black ink poured into a cup or other holder.
- Cooled wax.
- Polished cabochons (in particular obsidian).
If you plan on making your own magic mirror begin with a review of the purpose of the mirror. For what function is this mirror intended? Does the creation include the proper components and incantations supporting that function? With that information in hand, you can prepare yourself for making your tool by:
- Creating a spiritually positive working environment with candles, incense, or music.
- Donning a special item of clothing or jewelry to jazz up the energy.
- Praying, meditating, chanting, dancing, or drumming.
What’s most important here is that whatever steps you take should improve your focus and put you in the right frame of mind.
A Simple Scrying Mirror
Let’s begin with the steps for making a very straightforward magical mirror:
1. You’ll need a glass picture frame. The frame can be any size, shape, and material you wish, but a lot of people say that darker frames make the scrying process easier. If you want, get several frames in various sizes and shapes for a variety of magickal purposes. For example, a leafy or green-toned frame might work for attuning to Earth energies and animal spirits. Or, a round wooden frame into which you’ve carved elemental symbols could become a tool for your ritual space.
2. Get High gloss enamel paint. The best choices are Black, dark purple or very deep blue.
3. Put the mirror on a cardboard surface larger than the size of the glass (this protects your work area from spray paint).
4. Spray the paint on the mirrored glass using even strokes. Cover the gloss completely, taking care that the paint doesn’t run. This paint must dry completely before you do a second coat. Some people prefer just one coat of paint; others seem to favor two or three so you might have to experiment a bit. If you want lo odd a little fine glitter into the paint, now is the time to blow it gently onto the surface.
5. Put the glass into the frame, gloss side out (watch your fingerprints).
6. Bless and charge it.
You can fancy this up, but those 6 steps are the fundamentals.
Themed Magick Mirrors
Different cultures and different faiths treat mirrors, well, differently! Exploring these options can provide wonderful ideas for your own mirror magic.
Magickal Cabalistic Mirrors
Cabalists have been known to make themselves a set of mirrors for scrying, each of which is inscribed with a planetary symbol and used on one day of the week. For example, a moon mirror made from polished silver with the symbol of the moon etched upon it would be consulted only on Monday, the moon’s day. The rest of the week went as follows:
Tuesday: Made from iron and marked with the symbol for Mars.
Wednesday: Made from mercury and marked with Mercury’s sign.
Thursday: Made of tin and marked with Jupiter’s sign.
Friday: Made of copper and etched with an image of Venus.
Saturday: Made of lead and marked with Saturn’s sign.
Sunday: Made of gold and marked with an emblem of the sun.
It might seem nearly impossible to make something like this yourself, but with a little adaptation, it’s entirely plausible. Rather than make an actual gold mirror, use high-gloss gold paint on a glass surface and etch it with a symbol of the sun before it dries completely (or pre-paint the image on the surface before doing your final coat). Similarly, use iron colored paint for Tuesday.
As you make your mirrors on the days of the week for which they’ll be used, don’t forget to add in ritualistic overtones, focusing your mind and energies. Consider burning incense that matches the mirror’s function or planetary ruler. Here are some correspondences for an aromatic boost:
Moon: Coconut, jasmine, lemon, and lily.
Mercury: Bergamot, lavender, lemon verbena, and marjoram.
Venus: Apple, cherry, hyacinth, and rose.
Mars: Basil, ginger, mint, and pine.
Jupiter: Anise, clove, nutmeg, and sage.
Saturn: Comfrey, morning glory, and pansy.
You might add incense, burn candles, chant, pray, play spiritually uplifting music, wear special clothing, and so on. Here’s a list of the planetary colors for your reference. Use the color correspondence in choosing the hue in painting each day’s mirror, or the colors for your candles and clothing.
Sun: Red, pink, gold, bright yellow, and orange.
Moon: Silver and white (also silvery blue).
Mercury: Dark green and grassy hues.
Venus: Royal blue, pure white, and opalescent.
Mars: All shades of red.
Saturn: Brown and blackish blue; generally dark colors.
Once the mirrors are made, how do you use this system correctly? Gear your questions toward the overall energies of a particular day of the week. Here’s a list of correspondences for the subjects over which each day of the week rules:
Monday: Spiritual progress, fertility, growth, creativity, intuition, and the Goddess.
Tuesday: Logic, reason, conscious thought, skill, legal questions, learning, and health.
Wednesday: Inventiveness, resourcefulness, insightfulness, and originality.
Thursday: Energy, zeal, dedication, honor, loyalty, longevity, obligations, and power.
Friday: All relationships, matters of love, effectiveness, and communication.
Saturday: Outcomes, resolutions, cause and effect, motivation, perception, and judgment.
Sunday: Knowledge, education, truthfulness, leadership, and authority.
To put this information into an example, if you had a question about how trustworthy someone was, you might consult Thursday’s mirror (on Thursday, of course). Or, if you wanted more insight into a potential relationship, you’d consult Friday’s mirror.
Elemental Magic Mirrors
The elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are essential to magickal practices. A German manuscript from the 1600s talks about an Earth mirror created by merely placing mirrored glass about two inches above a paper or wooden surface on which a question was written. The mage places salt in his mouth (purification), prays, makes sacred signs over the mirror, and then breathes on the mirror to open it. Blowing on the object is done with the intention of giving the mirror “life.” Bear in mind the mirror is not an Air mirror because the mage breathes on it. The object is an Earth mirror because of the glass materials used to make it.
Any question you pose to an elemental mirror should be suited to that element’s personality. The dominion of Air includes imagination, education, creativity, new ideas, luck, revelation, motivation, transformation, whimsy, and hopefulness. The attributes of the other elements are as follows:
Water: Intuition, instinct, empathy, cleansing, sensitivity, health and wellness, fertility, generative energy, psychic and spiritual attunement, growth, slow and steady change.
Earth: Financial matters, abundance, consistency, dedication, foundations, tenacity, common sense, practicality, and well-grounded solutions.
Next, create a Water mirror. The simplest Water mirror begins with a stoneware or clay bowl. Paint the interior of your bowl in midnight blue-purple (perhaps with a little dark green), so it looks like the depths of the ocean. Bless the mirror and then fill it with water from a live water source such as a stream or spring. Hold the bowl in your left hand and drop a bit of ink or wax on the surface of the water. Observe the patterns in the wax, and ink until all stop moving.
A wonderful old Water Mirror begins with nothing more than a handy cup. Put a silver coin within. The coin has links to ancient beliefs about wishing wells. Pour water on top. Sit quietly and see what develops.
The Fire mirror is energized by sunlight and candlelight. Use a handheld mirror for this project because it makes the energizing process easier to control. Returning to our simple mirror construction, you’ll want gold-tone paint for this mirror and an emblem of the sun in the middle of the glass. Hobby shops carry metallic-colored paints. If you can afford it, you could also make this mirror with gold leaf, which is quite lovely.
“Fire without, fire within,
Be my will the magick begins,
The fires of life, the fires of light,
Let nothing be hidden from my sight.
Spirit of spark, spirit of fire,
Raise the energies ever higher,
By the glow of the candle and the shine of the sun,
This mirror is blessed, the work is done!
So be it.”
Wellness Magic Mirrors
Because our ancestors associated the image in a mirror with the soul, it’s not surprising to find mirrors being used in folk healing practices. A beautifully simple approach comes to us from India. To try this, you’ll need a finely polished silver bowl or basin. Fill it with water and hold it beneath the full moon. Next, look into the water and relax. Drink the lunar-charged water from the reflective bowl to aid in healing.
By way of personalization, time this endeavor for the waning moon to improve the symbolic value−so sickness diminishes. If you’re feeling really creative, fill the cup or bowl with a healthy herbal tea, like ginseng, rather than plain water. This way you can internalize both the moon’s blessing and the helpful energies of the tea.
Amuletic and Protective Magick Mirrors
Let’s look at other ways of creating amulets, charms, and talismans using a mirrored surface as a component. From the time of the Greek myth of Perseus, there’s indeed been a long-standing tradition of using mirrors and mirrored surfaces as protective devices. Also, mirrors were once used for signaling to people across distances-the reflective light communicating in code. Both make for great magical potential. How you prepare your mirror depends on the specific goal. Just make sure the finished amulet can be transported easily.
Consecrating and Charging Your Mirror
Depending on the mage you consulted, the exact how-to’s of consecration varied. For example, in the sixteenth century, the recommended procedure included buying the mirror and burying it in a grave for three weeks so spirits could inhabit the glass. Next, the actual “awakening” of the mirror took place during the first, eighth, fifteenth, or twenty-second hour of Tuesday (hours associated with Mars). Alternatively, it would be soaked for three weeks in baptismal water remaining from a firstborn son; then the water was poured over a grave while incanting verses from Revelation. Finally, the mage commanded that nothing on Earth or in heaven be hidden from his eyes. Interesting, but not really modern-minded.
Anointing a Magick Mirror
Anointing has long been a means of blessing in many religious traditions. In this case, the oil actually serves two purposes: the herbs in the oil (chamomile, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon) have psychic-enhancing abilities. Also, the oil creates a hazy surface that makes it easier to un-focus your eyes.
Creating your anointing oil isn’t difficult. First, choose up to four herbs. These herbs should somehow honor the mirror you’ve made and its function. For example, if you make an Earth mirror, the best herbs might be those with an Earth correspondence.
Oil is not the only way to bless and energize your mirror, by any means. Leave the mirror in the moonlight. Because the first mirrors were typically surfaces of water, and water is related to the moon, mirrors also became associated with the lunar sphere. And (wait for it) a witch’s powers are, likewise, connected with the moon.
Moonlight Mirror Energizing
To bless and energize your mirror by moonlight, begin by taking it outside on the three nights of the full moon (for the fullness of power). If the weather does not permit being outdoors, find a clear window where you can sit comfortably and remain undisturbed. Next, dab the mirror with a mugwort tincture. Why mugwort? Mugwort is a lunar herb that’s been used for hundreds of years in blessing and energizing mirrors, probably because of its association with the lunar goddess, Diana. Also, mugwort harvested on St. John’s Eve improved true seeing.
On each of the three nights, sit beneath the moonlight with the mirror. Meditate on the energies of that sphere and draw them into yourself. When you feel wholly connected, introduce the mirror to the moon by raising it up to the heavens much as you might lift a child. Draw the same energy into the mirror that you’ve brought to yourself. Now bring the mirror down and touch it to your forehead and heart chakra. The third eye chakra improves the psychic rapport between you and your mirror. The heart Chakra encourages you to use your implement with pure intent, that is, in perfect love.
On the third night, carefully cover the mirror in natural cloth and put it away for future use. If possible, wait until the moon cycle before using the tool. This gives the mirror’s energy time to settle and take root. It also gives you a chance to switch gears spiritually.
Activating Your Magick Mirror: Where’s the Off Switch?
You can give your mirror activating words. The key words act like the on-off switch for your tool, similar to the way in which opening and closing a Circle generates and dissipates specific energy forms. You can actually use the words “open” and “close” if you want, accompanied by hand movements akin to opening and closing a curtain. The first time you use the tool, whisper the command for “on” into the surface of the mirror thrice, then begin your scrying effort. When you’re finished, whisper the “off” word three times and cover the mirror. After the first time, you will need to use your power word only once to turn on the switch.
While this seems like a simple procedure, it’s essential and a proper safety precaution. Your mirror is a gateway. It’s not prudent to leave every door and window in a home open to strangers. Similarly, leaving your mirror “open” could invite unwanted energies and guests into your space. The command words avoid that issue altogether.
Working with Your Mirror
The information that follows will give you ideas about effectively working with your new magickal tool based on the specific process you’re undertaking. However, these general rules of thumb will help you no matter what your methods.
- Keep your mirror’s surface clean. This helps to avoid distraction and also implies that your tool is purified so energy can flow freely.
- Focus on your mirror’s function from start to finish. Always understand what role your mirror will play in the magick you’re making.
- Recharge or bless the mirror if it seems to begin working poorly after a while.
- Work at night during a full moon. This seems to improve the overall effect for many people (especially when scrying), but this is not an edict.
- Burn incense to heighten spiritual or psychic awareness while you work.
- Turn off all lights or dim them, except for whatever candles you’ve chosen (if any). Note: This isn’t necessarily true if you’re not using a speculum (the old word for eyeglasses).
- Remember, any images you “see” forming really happen in your mind’s eye. Focusing too much on the mirror’s surface can seriously hamper results, especially in scrying.
Storage Your Mirror to Keep Its Energies Pure
When your chosen or personally made mirror is completed, keep it safe. Most people prefer not to let other individuals handle or use the tool. It’s like giving anyone who asks the keys to your front door−it’s simply not wise. Create a soft mirror cloth cover and have a special, safe spot in which to store it.
Based on the “Little Book of Mirror Magic,” by Patricia Telesco. All Rights Reserved.