What is Psychic Ability?

An Introduction to the Tarot

Choosing the Right Tarot Card Reader

Hydromancy or Water Scrying

Not an Exact Science

Developing a Code of Ethics

Hydromancy or Water Scrying

Hydromancy, also known as water scrying is the art of divination by observing water. The word derives from the Greek Hydro, water, and Manteia, divination. Water represents the collective unconsciousness, (also known as the Akashic Records), and matrix of experience in this reality. It is the continuum the flow of all things back to one source - and it is a natural medium for psychic visions. The practitioner gazes into water by a softened light source - usually moonlight or candlelight - and interprets the images he or she sees. Sometimes a film of oil is added to the surface of the water.

Hydromancy is an ancient form of divination, still used by many indigenous people. It is common amongst shamanistic cultures due to its strong connections with nature. In early times, hydromancers would watch and interpret the colour, ebb, flow, and patterns produced by the ripples in a calm body of water. Later they used sacred pools. Hydromancy was practised in ancient Greece where nature spirits were believed to dwell in fresh water. They would gaze for hours into sacred vessels filled with water, hoping to receive divine messages or visions. The Celts and the Incas used large bowls of water for the purpose of scrying (or remote viewing).

The famous seer, Nostradamus (1503-1566) used hydromancy (and other methods) to receive messages and predictions. He observed the movement of water in a bowl set upon a brass tripod, by candlelight, and recorded what he saw, likening the visual impressions to a "burning mirror". Nostradamus predicted many future events with amazing accuracy.

Hydromancy requires time and the ability of the to focus within. It can be practised indoors or outside on a calm day. Some people like to gaze into water at night by the light of a full moon, a symbol of wisdom and intuition, to incorporate the lunar energies. Water is strongly linked to lunar cycles. You can also use candlelight. It's nice to gaze into a natural body of water such as a pool or a lake. If you are lucky enough to have a pool on your own property, you may wish to bless and protect the site. If there is no natural water available, set a plain, deep bowl of water on a flat surface.

Theoretically, any vessel can be used and the water can come from any source - even a bottle or a tap. However, don't under estimate the importance of atmosphere. Tap water in a bucket seems, somehow, disrespectful and is not conducive to psychic inspiration! You can buy beautiful scrying bowls together with their own stands or tripods, or use an old treasured bowl that=s been in the cupboard for years. So long as you feel the bowl is right for you, it can be of any colour. Many people like to use a black bowl, as it is more like the depths of a natural lake. A glass or metal bowl can be painted flat black if you have trouble finding one. Metal bowls carry harmonic frequencies. Ideally, the water should be collected from a natural source - a lake, spring or stream, at night. Water collected by the light of a full moon or after standing in the sun is thought to have great energy. It may be stored and re-used for the same purpose, but it should be replaced regularly. If you like the water to be dark, add black India ink to it. Some people like to add a crystal. You can also make the water special by adding herbs and a little sea salt, and leaving it outdoors for 10-14 days in a spot where it will be exposed to both sunlight and moonlight. Top it up if necessary. Strain off this "tea" and use it for water scrying. Experiment to find what works to create the right atmosphere for you.

Have a notebook handy, as you are now ready to begin gazing. Play soft music or nature sounds in the background and relax. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose hold for a few seconds then release slowly through the mouth. Repeat. Feel the energies around you. Now open your eyes. There is only you and the night and the softly illuminated water. Gaze into the water. If you like, you can drop a pebble into the water, or use a twig of bay, hazel or laurel to disturb it so that ripples form on the surface. Ask a question if you wish, or just gaze. Focus and meditate until you (hopefully) begin to see images in the water. They may start as vague shadows at first. Larger images are closer to us in time; smaller ones further in the future. The images may be patterns, pictures, symbols or words. Thoughts or feelings that come to you unbidden may accompany them. Write it all down in your notebook. When you feel the time is right, stop gazing. If you intend to re-use the water, leave it out overnight to charge it; otherwise, pour back into the earth as an offering.

Receiving message is one thing, but understanding it quite another. Sometimes a message comes to us and we don't recognize it - sometimes the messages are cryptic. Trust your intuition, and be open to receive guidance. Books and articles can explain the methods but the gift of divination comes from the Divine. If you've seen something that doesn't seem to make sense, just leave it for a few days and there's a good chance that it will eventually fall into place. Also, don't rule out the possibility that the message could be for someone else in your circle of friends.

What I've described above is the most usual way that hydromancy is practised today, but there are other methods. Del Rio, writing in the 16th century, mentions several ways that hydromancy was performed. One way was to hang a ring on a string and dip it into the water, then shake the bowl. The hydromancer then made predictions depending upon how many times the ring hit the sides of the vessel. Another involved dropping three pebbles into still water and watching the circles, which formed on the surface. This ancient method of hydromancy has survived to this day as a children=s game, in which stone is "skipped " across water. If it skips three times, your wish will come true. One strange custom amongst ancient Germanic tribes was to throw a newborn child into the Rhine, in the belief that if the child was legitimate he would swim. This may have been an ancient origin of the Anglo Saxon 'trial by water' and the later practice of "swimming witches".

Hydromancy is very similar to divination using a mirror. The water of a smooth lake in the moonlight is, after all, like a mirror. In a very old method of water scrying, a little oil was dropped onto the water, to produce a mirror-like surface through which images would appear. A variation of this type of hydromancy is recorded in the Old Testament (Gen. 44:5, 15). It seems a natural step to use the more convenient alternative of a mirror.

By Sylvia Richards July 17th 2009

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About the Author: Sylvia Richards is a well known natural psychic who can provide you with a psychic reading using Tarot cards by email. To know more about Sylvia and how to book an email reading, please visit