Some may have attempted scrying with a crystal or perhaps a makeshift device such as a glass of water with some ink added to darken the water. Here are some basic instructions on practical scrying which I have found effective.
1. The room in which you conduct your sitting should have a peaceful atmosphere. Many scryers burn incense to help alter the state of their consciousness, incense however works better for some than others - it is up to you to decide which suits you best.
2 You should also make sure there is no chance of you being disturbed. Also allow adequate time for a long sitting.
3. The room should be darkened and lit only by candles or a low wattage light bulb. This will prevent the crystal from reflecting items in the room.
4. How you hold the crystal is, again, a matter of what feels comfortable for you. Some hold it cupped in their hands, on their laps, or on a stand in front of the seer. Most scryers also cover the ball with a black or dark coloured cloth - this will also help cut down images from objects already in the room.
5. The way you sit is also important. Many people prefer to sit in a straight backed chair when scrying. However, it is important to remember that these tips are for guidance only - you must adapt yourself to your available environment and work in the way that feels right for you.
6. Before embarking on a sitting, you are well advised to enter a few minutes of meditation. At first this will be merely to slow down your thoughts to put you in the right frame of mind for your session. However, as your ability develops you can use this period to contemplate the question that you wish to be answered by the crystal.
7. When you feel ready to begin, stare firmly at the crystal and here lies the trick to it all: try to look beneath the crystal's surface rather than merely gazing at the surface. Then put your eyes slightly out of focus. This should make the crystal slightly blurry in appearance. The next important key is to put yourself in the right frame of mind. You should gaze at the crystal with an air of expectancy; will an image to appear; know that without a doubt the visions will soon begin to appear before you. This geeing yourself up should produce an expectant feeling within you and you should not have to produce much effort to bring it about. This is important and soon you should be able to keep this mental attitude up for long periods of time. It goes without saying that mind wandering must be checked at all costs.
8. Do not take your scrying too seriously to begin with. Also be patient - you will succeed with perseverance because the gift is in all of us. You will be asked to give written proofs of clairvoyance before you offer yourself up for upgrading to the second degree in Wicca. In some witches this gift comes through immediately, whilst in others it may take up to 19 months, but you can be sure of one thing: come it will.
9. Many people speak of the crystal appearing to cloud over. This is a sure sign as it means your consciousness is altering and is starting to receive clairvoyant images, messages, etc. You should find yourself in a dream or semi-trance state as you begin to make contact with the ethereal realms. When you do break through you will see symbols with the Third Eye - not an easy concept to describe. Usually after the clouding over effect occurs, the crystal will clear and gradually the seer will see images form in the crystal, sometimes in black and white and sometimes in colour. Once a vision is seen however, it becomes much easier in future and is simply a case of letting yourself go, so to speak. With practice you will find the altering consciousness gets easier and easier and will become as natural as relaxing before you go to sleep.Another phenomenon you may experience is that you may see the vision in your mind's eye and not in the glass at all. In this case the visions are just as valid, except here the crystal is used to maintain the hypnotic effect of attaining consciousness, as opposed to a screen for the images to form on. Your first visions will probably be vague or incoherent. It is up to you to decide what is void and what is valid, and this is a knack you will acquire with practice and experience. Also remember what you see are your own visions, and only you can interpret them. You should not come to others to interpret your symbols - it is not for others to tell you what they mean.
10. It is always a good idea to keep a record of your scrying sessions. Remember, visions will at the time mean nothing, yet weeks later its meaning may come to light. Notes will prove invaluable in cases such as this, especially when the vision has taken the form of a symbol rather than a pictorial image. At first keep your sittings to a limit of about 10 minutes. This is to avoid psychically straining yourself, and to avoid overdoing it. It is best then to gradually increase the length of your sittings, eventually taking as long as necessary. If you do feel drained after scrying it is often a good sign as it indicates your ability beginning to develop. You should, however, rest if this is the case until you reach your energized state, especially if you intend scrying again later on. To end the session thank the Goddess with a small prayer, thank her especially for any visions or passages received.
11. How you store your crystal is really up to you, though it is best to keep it wrapped in a black or dark coloured cloth, as this will insulate it from any psychic energies that may interfere with future readings. However, you may permit other people to handle your crystal if you are going to do a reading for them. Many psychics claim that the crystal then picks up 'vibes' from the questioner, so to speak, thus making the reading easier; this is particularly advantageous if you are good at psychometry.
12. A good way of charging you crystal is to leave it out of doors where the light of as waxing or full moon will shine on it. This not only charges the crystal but exorcizes it of any evil or negative psychic influences that it may have picked up. Avoid physically washing the crystal - if you have to, use a little salted water and do not wax or polish.
13. Some may like to experiment with using the crystal for ritual purposes, and this can be most rewarding. Those with a flair for ceremonial magic may find that the use of ritual also enhances and improves performance when scrying. The ritual use of the crystal is much the same as the ordinary scrying use. Your intended ritual appropriate to the question you seek to answer, e.g. if you wanted to know something concerning a loved one, you would use a ritual of Venus. For something concerning books or knowledge you would use Mercury, and so on.
Exactly how you form a circle for your divination is up to you; it can be as elaborate or as simple as you see fit. You should, however, employ the four elemental weapons and some incense appropriate to the influence being invoked. Other uses of the crystal include using one to imprison spirits or elementals in, after ritual invocation. For a detailed set of instructions on this theme I would suggest anyone interested to consult Francis Barret's 'The Magus'. In this, Barret describes the evocation of angels and demons into the crystal where they can be made to do the operator's bidding. It can also imprison other psychic energiesand then stood in a room where it will continually emit psychic energy rays.For purposes of healing, exorcism, etc. you can even will yourself into the crystal and go into the astral plane or ask the crystal to project images into the astral, thereby influencing people and events on the physical. A magic mirror is also capable of these functions.
The previous uses listed, however, are advanced techniques and for the time being you should concern yourself only with using the crystal for scrying purposes. But it does no harm to discover what your crystal ball is capable of. Exactly what type of crystal ball you acquire is up to you, but it is best to buy a proper one, although a glass of water is an effective substitute to begin with. Neither is the size important, although some seers maintain that larger crystals are less of a strain when used over long periods of time. The larger crystal however, looks more impressive. You can even now buy crystals that are blackened inside, which is a tremendous advantage bearing in mind the pints discussed earlier about reflections. If you do keep in mind the points I have mentioned you should not go far wrong, and soon clear vision should be coming to you. These are important, especially considering the tests that much be taken for the second degree. As with everything, you reap what you sow. Good scrying!