Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Samhain Scrying Brew and Scrying Meditation
Samhain is the prime time for deep seeing, divination, magical workings and
rituals of all kinds. Instead of making Halloween a holiday focused on
sugar and scariness, we can remember the sacred roots of this night and try
the following magical recipe.
The ancient Celts knew that spirits were abroad on Samhain, that magic was
as thick as sweet-smelling smoke, perfuming the air with possibilities.
This Celtic New Year's Eve is the perfect night for divination. The loving
ancestors who surround you like a warm cloak to keep away the winter chill
will look into the future with you to see what gifts and lessons lie in
store, what choices you can make to ease the way.
While many of us spend time with our runes and tarot cards tonight, there is
an even simpler way to dialogue with the inner self, something that doesn't
require any purchased cards, stones, or other props. It's called scrying,
and it's something our own ancestors knew how to do. Scrying is simply
gazing at any dark surface until mental chatter ceases and consciousness
shifts. Wisdom may come in the form of actual images that seem to take
shape on the surface, or pictures or words that form in your mind. Just
about anything can be used as a scrying surface--the much-touted crystal
ball is one possibility, as are elaborate scrying mirrors. But even simple
country people knew how to scry using pools of water, bowls of broth--or
cups of tea. The special tea below will actually help you to scry. Its
primary ingredient, the herb mugwort, is the divination ally of choice; so
you can drink most of what's in your cup and then scry in the remainder.
The herbs used in this tea are available from your local natural foods store
or from herbal companies by mail.
1 cup water
3 tablespoons or more dried mugwort (not only good for helping us to contact
our inner wisdom, but also very relaxing)
1/4 cup dried oatstraw (good for the nerves; if the Halloween partying and
trick-or-treating have left you feeling frazzled, oatstraw will be a
1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 3 inches long (for its delicious flavor)
Maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar (optional)
Boil the water, then add to a teapot into which the mugwort, oatstraw, and
cinnamon stick have been placed.
Steep for at least 15 minutes. Strain and pour into a dark-colored mug,
preferably black. Sweeten with maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar, if
Now, sit comfortably in your Power Place with your mug. Sniff your Scrying
Brew, feeling the steam, warm as breath, on your face. Take a sip and savor
the earthy taste. As you sip, become aware of your breathing. Is it
shallow or deep, quick or slow? As you drink, be with your breath without
attempting to change it. When the tea is nearly gone, gradually turn your
attention to the surface of the liquid remaining in your mug. Gaze at it
without effort, simply letting yourself be wit the mug and the tea. The
disk where tea meets air may look silvery if it catches a light's reflection
As you look, pay some dreamy attention to the thoughts that flash through
your mind like fish. What are they? All over the world, people are scrying
and dreaming tonight. What images do you see? take as much time as you can
You may want to leave the remainder of the tea in its mug on your kitchen
altar as an offering for your long-forgotten kindred who knew how to perform
this ancient ritual.