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Black Mirror / Magic Mirror

To: alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.occult.methods,alt.lucky.w
From: Catherine Yronwode 
Subject: Re: Black Mirror / Magic Mirror
Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2003 18:48:26 GMT

Danny ( wrote:
> Hi all. I've never posted anything here before, but I thought I might hop
> on to see if anyone might be interested in passing on their experience/
> opinions about a project I'm working on.
> My great grandmother was a witch and, though my parents did try to get me
> into the Christian church thing, I consider myself to have "grown up 
> Pagan" from the summers and such I would spend with my grandmother. She
> was a solitary, though would occasionally meet with others for ritual. I
> learned a lot from her, being included in those rituals, and from her
> teaching me everything from herbs, stones, and crystals to ritual,
> anthropology, and archetypal super-psychology. Anyway, that's my
> background. She passed on just a couple years ago, and I inherited her
> spells and many wonderful ritual tools with her loving energy to add to my 
> own tools.
> For a while now, I've been thinking about crafting my own black mirror.
> It's been on the back burner because I've been busy and also because I
> consider divination and such to be somewhat of a weakness for me. My aunt
> and I have gone through her grimoire and continue to find loose leaf
> papers as well with grandma's spell work. I've recently come across some
> papers for constructing a black mirror. They are somewhat incomplete,
> though. Also, I tend to like to research things out and know precisely why
> I'm adding this symbol or why I'm burning that herb or what have you.
> At this point, I've exhausted what the internet has to offer on black
> mirrors (not too terribly much) and have read the applicable Giambattista
> della Porta, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and Donald Tyson on the subject.
> I'm particularly intrigued with Tyson's ideas on fluid condensers, an idea
> evolved from the theory of animal magnetism. I've studied the history of
> black mirrors starting with the historical use of pools of water as
> divinatory tools in ancient times.
> I've also read the simple instructions for making a black mirror which are
> basically to take a piece of glass, paint one side black, put meaningful
> symbols on it, consecrate/energize it in an appropriate Moon ritual, have
> a Coke and a smile, and shut the hell up. LOL I think that's perfectly
> fine for some people with stronger powers of visualization and whose
> interests run a different course than mine. I do honestly believe that
> this method can produce a more-than-adequate ritual tool for some people.
> I understand the school of thought that all the rest may not be of such
> great importance and that a black mirror may be simply made without such
> effort as looking into the historical background of such mirrors. If my
> grandmother taught me anything, though, it's to find one's own path. My
> tendancies are to need a little more in the physical plane to link me to
> the inner planes and to the higher planes. My powers of visualization are
> not the very best. Besides that, I very much enjoy the intellectual and
> academic challenge of trying to wrap my mind around the whole of black/
> magic mirrors through history before deciding on a design that I consider
> to be compatible with my own path.
> That said, my plans so far are: (1) To create a mirror using appropriate
> pulverized stones/crystals and herbs as fluid condensers in both the
> construction of the mirror and in its periodic recharging and (2) To
> choose appropriate symbols to place on and around the mirror. I'm
> comfortable with my choices of stones and herbs. My problem is this: I'm
> not quite sure of the ancient alphabets / runic systems to use. I'm not
> sure of the applicability of Moon symbols derived from qabbalistic
> writings, for instance, or from magic squares. In some of what I've read,
> the various symbols proposed for use in a black mirror seem hodgepodged 
> somehow.
> I understand that these are somewhat minor considerations in the grand
> scheme of things and that it may seem as though I'm being "manic" about 
> it. More than anything, though, it's that I not only want to create a
> black mirror that's right for my path but that is as "historically sound"
> as possible. It's how I get my kicks. I'm sort of at an impass in my
> research and am wondering if anyone out there has thought along these 
> lines as well. I'd love to hear from you, whoever you are.
> One of my specific concerns is about the ramifications of using regular
> plate glass for the mirror. The greenish tint along the edge of cut glass
> is actually an indication that the glass itself has a greenish tint. This
> can normally not be detected with the naked eye because any given piece of
> glass is usually thin enough that the greenish tint is not apparent. Such 
> "green"glass is the most common as it is the least costly to manufacture.
> I'm worried about what this might mean to the success of such glass being
> used in the construction of a black mirror. The fact that the glass has a
> greenish tint to it means that it doesn't let all green wavelengths
> through and that some of the green is actually reflected back. There is 
> "ultraclear" glass available which eliminates this tinting, but such glass
> is 8-10 times as expensive, and I'd like to not have to go that route if
> it's not necessary.
> Is this greenish tint important in a magickal sense? I don't have the
> background to answer that question for myself, but I fear that it might
> make a difference.
> If it does make a difference in a magickal sense, would there be a way to
> construct the mirror using this common glass and then somehow compensate
> for the greenish tint magickally?
> Should I just bite the bullet and pay the extra for the "ultra clear" 
> glass?
> Thanks to all and blessed be,
> -Danny

Speaking historically, and with respect to the greenish tint in most
glass, the first thing i would like to offer is that you use obsidian
stone or black stained glass. But i do not think the green tint is a
serious issue, and i would like to offer some hisorical data to back
up  this opinion:
Have you investigated the life and works of Pascal Beverly Randolph,
the great mirror scryer of the 19th century? Between 1850 and 1875 he
both made black mirrors of his own and imported so-called "Battah"
scrying mirrors to America from India. He also wrote a classic book on
the subject of how to work with scrying mirrors.

The reason i mention Randolph is that he was a friend of the deposed
and exiled Maharajah of Mysore, Dalip Singh (also spelled Daleep
Singh), who lived in Paris, and who was also a user of divinatory
mirrors. According to Randolph (and others) Singh had in his
possession a fabulous Indian scrying mirror -- which  Randolph
considered the finest he had ever seen or used -- and it was not black
glass, but rather a large green emerald. In other words, it was green.
So obviously in Randolph's opinion, an opinion i would consider both
expert and highly opinionated, the green tint was not a drawback. 

By the way, you mention "Tyson's ideas on fluid condensers"  -- but if
i understand what you are referring to, then those ideas are more
generally attributed to Franz Bardon than to Tyson -- and Bardon in
turn obviously got them from Pascal Beverly Randolph. Randolph makes
it fairly clear, if you read between the lines of his autodidactic
Victorian prose, that in the 1850s, at least, he sold mirrors of his
own making and consecration in which the the sigilic fluid condenser
of his mirrors was "painted" with a compound made from a mixture of
hashish and other plant-derived materials combined with the mingled
sexual fluids of himself and his wife Mary Randolph. Later in life,
when Pascal and Mary had divorced, it can be presumed that the mirrors
he sold utilized the combined sexual fluids of himself and his second
wife Kate Corson Randolph. 

Recipes for the plant materials used by Pascal Beverly Randolph in
making the "paint" for the sigils on the back of his mirrors have been
passed down orally and no one is quite sure at this date what all was
in his fluid condensers beyond hashish and sexual fluids -- but
several sources point to lettuce sap as an ingredient. (This sounds
funny only to people unfamiliar with herbalism: lettuce contains opium
in small amounts.) An alternative would be actual opium poppy juice --
and in fact some recipes attributed to Randolph call for the sap of
all three plants -- marijuana, lettuce, and opium poppies -- as well
as the sap of other plants  with psychoactive or poisonous principles,
such aconite and absinthe (wormwood). 

As for what kinds of sigils Randolph indicted on the mirrors he made
for sale, that remains unknown; they would not likely have been
goetic, given his background and training. It is possible that that he
:signed" his mirrors with his personal sigil of a winged globe and his
motto "TRY!" -- but the sigils may also have been Rosicrucian, since
"The Rosicrucian" was one of his preferred pseudonyms.  

If you are not familiar with Randolph, i heartily advise you to buy
the biography by John Patrick Deveney, "Pascal Beverly Randolph" -- or
at least get a taste for Randolph's work at the web page i have
written about him at

Also, i wonder if you have contacted Poke Runyon of the CHS/OTA? He
is, in my opinion, the most erudite living authority on mirror
scrying. He has produced videos on the techniques he uses and is quite
helpful to people new to the subject. 

I am cross-posting this into alt.magick, a newsgroup Poke reads
regularly, in the hope that he might have further comments on the
green tint of glass and the types of sigils that are appropriate for
use in mirror scrying. . 

Good luck. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic

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