While researching books on crystal-ball divination and lining up my finances to buy something worthwhile. I’ve been spending some time with the scrying section of Israel Regardie’s Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Although, according to Regardie, the Golden Dawn used Tattwa images and not reflective surfaces for “scrying in the spirit vision,” the principle of coaxing subconscious awareness into vivid visual expression was the same. Where I part ways with the traditional GD practices is in the area of ritual preparation: the concepts of solemnly erecting pentagrams of invoking and vibrating the applicable god-names as a way to summon and control the entities who inhabit the astral plane assumes an intent to manipulate those entities in some way for the seer’s own ends (while avoiding being manipulated in return). Regardie also briefly discusses Edwin Steinbrecher’s Inner Guide Meditation, which dispenses with the pomp and ceremony; I have a copy of that here somewhere and will have to dust it off. I’m also overdue to buy a set of Tattwa cards.
While I’m well aware of the risks of blundering around in the Lower Astral without appropriate psychic protection, I’m more interested in the mystical experience of scrying than in the practical working most magicians seek. That may come later (I’ve performed ceremonial magic before and know the ropes), but for the moment I want to cautiously open myself to whatever impressions I can muster from the gazing sphere. The key thing is not to take anything at face value and remain impassive in the face of any blandishments, however seemingly innocuous and tempting. The Lower Astral is home to mischief-making elementals and disembodied spirits of unknown temperament as well as more noble denizens, so care is advisable. I do agree with Regardie that there is danger of sliding into a mediumistic trance; aspiring to open the Sphere of the Moon courts illusion and deception, so the tools of the Path of Saturn must be keep close to hand. Since I’m mainly interested in passive “ghosting” and not active engagement with whatever I happen to encounter, the prospect of challenging or rigorously “testing” my contacts strikes me as excessive; this won’t be serious astral projection but only imaginative psychic tourism with my eyes half-open. I just need to keep my exit strategy firmly in mind. I should probably rehearse my rusty Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram skills as a precaution. Wish me luck!