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Scrying can be done with a number of different surfaces, from tea leaves to crystal balls to shag carpets; the basic technique is similar in all cases. Gaze steadily into the scrying surface (feel free to blink or allow your point of focus to wander a bit; this is not a method of self-inflicted torture). Eventually, you should be able to pick out shapes or images in the scrying surface; these may appear as crude sketches, or occasionally with the clarity of a photograph. You will actually see these images with your eyes.

Once this happens, images may begin to form in your mind, no longer projected onto the scrying surface. When this happens, allow your attention to focus on these mental images. From this point forward, the scrying surface is irrelevant; do not be distracted by it.

As the images become clearer, you will find that you know things about what you are seeing background information will come to the surface of your mind. Pay attention to what you know about the images you are seeing.

Surfaces which provide a random, high contrast visual texture, such as black tea leaves in a white cup or orange sparks in a black ember, are particularly good for the first stage of the scrying process. However, the vividness of the visual images formed in this way may tend to pull your attention back from the purely mental images that should follow, thus disrupting the natural flow of ideas. Smooth, neutral surfaces, like the surface of a dish of water, a crystal ball, or a black mirror, provide relatively few visual cues to get you started, but if you can make the transition to mental imagery quickly, the visual surface will obligingly fade into the background.

Scrying exercise Cast a circle. Seat yourself comfortably, breathe deeply a few times to relax and center yourself. Gaze into the scrying surface for a while. Write down:

What you saw What images came to mind What you found you knew about the images Ground. Close circle.

Tea leaves: Use black tea leaves (peppermint works reasonably well if you're decaffeinated) in a white tea cup.

Embers: Use embers (a wood fire outdoors or in a fireplace) at night.

Water: Use a dish of water in a darkened room, lit from the sides by two candles. The dish should be a solid, neutral color.

Crstal ball: Use a crystal ball, as above (or a mirror, turned slightly so you are not reflected in it -- try to fill the view with a blank wall)