What Is Scrying?
The term scrying comes from the word descry in its sense of discovery. This in turn is thought to originate from the French words descrier and descrie.
Traditionally the use of the word scrying was restricted to divination via the medium of a crystal or reflective surface such as mirror or water. Today the word scry is often used to refer to any method of divination through psychic, occult or other paranormal means. That is the sense in which I’ll use the word on this site – with my apologies to the traditionalists.
Note that divination does not necessarily mean learning the future (that in itself opens a whole debate about determinism and free will!). Scrying can equally well be used to discover what happened in the past, what is happening now and how best to react to it.
Does Scrying Work?
There is, of course, great debate as to the value of scrying.
Some believe that divination genuinely taps into an occult or psychic force. Either the scrier or the materials possess genuine power, possibly some form of psi power. Sometimes it is an external power that is being channelled during the reading.
The Skeptics on the other hand reject it all as nonsense. If it appears to work then it is simply coincidence. Such a blanket refusal to accept facts doesn’t sit well with those of us who’ve experienced the power of divination (and, before any Skeptic jumps in, I’ve also studied statistics and understand terms like “confirmation bias”).
A middle way might be to say that neither the scrier nor the materials contain any inate power. Instead they are a simply a channel through which the “psychic” gets better attuned to their subconscious and taps into information that was already there but undiscovered. This is sometimes called “eyes shut” divination, a derogatory term indicating lack of self-awareness on the part of the worker.
Whatever the mechanism, the fact remains that for many people some form or other of divination works. And that’s really all that matters.