Shadow work helps you gain an intimate understanding of your inner self. It’s the process of exploring the dark, interior realm of your subconscious mind to shine a light on the parts of yourself that are hidden within the Shadow Realm.
Uncovering these hidden aspects of yourself is often easier said than done. But by engaging your intuition, you can connect with your subconscious mind. Using this crystal elixir recipe for shadow work will bring important messages and wisdom to the surface. Once there, your conscious mind can be made aware of them. It’s in these messages that we find the gifts that our Shadow side holds.
One of my favorite methods of retrieving Shadow wisdom is scrying divination.
Scrying is an ancient divinatory art that can be practiced with a number of mediums. From fire to crystal balls, to clouds, to water and more. In my Crystal Shadow Work Master Class, I teach my students how to uncover the hidden meaning of Shadow Work symbols. We do this through the art of crystallomancy (working with crystal balls – especially Obsidian Scrying balls). Today I’d like to share another method for revealing these important Shadow Realm messages… water basin scrying.
This method of divination involves scrying, or focused gazing, into a shallow dish of water. For this very sacred practice, it’s important to engage your intuition AND your subconscious mind. This will bring hidden messages and wisdom forward where they can be consciously absorbed and integrated for healing and balance. To help connect you with your intuition, we won’t be scrying with ordinary water – we’ll be using a special energy-infused blend.
To create your intuition-boosting scrying water, you’ll need:
- A clear, glass bowl
- About a cup of spring or distilled water (tap water will work in a pinch)
- Your favorite intuition crystal (I recommend Labradorite or Black Obsidian). Just be sure it’s safe to put into water and won’t react, rust, or dissolve. Why not try one of the 5 Best Crystals for Shadow Work?
- A Bay leaf (or another non-toxic, intuition-boosting herb of your choice)
- A marker or pen
- Something for cleansing (a bell, an herbal bundle, or even a Selenite wand)
Begin creating your Shadow Work scrying water by choosing a night to prepare it.
Consider the energy of the Moon Phase on that evening and what magical qualities it will bring to your water. NOTE: I highly recommend creating this Scrying Water during the upcoming Full Blue Moon on Samhain (October 31st!). This is when the veil is the thinnest and when you can more freely walk between the worlds of Shadow and Light.
In general, when it comes to Shadow Work:
- New Moon: A great time to commit (or re-commit) to your Shadow Work Practice
- Waxing Moon: A time when you’re drawing in what you seek from your Shadow Work
- Full Moon: A time for heightened intuition
- Waning Moon: A time for release and letting go of trauma or wounding that doesn’t serve you
- Dark Moon: A time deeply connected to the subconscious and to the Shadow Realm
On your chosen evening, place your glass bowl on a tabletop near a window where it can be charged by the energy of the moon.
The bowl doesn’t have to be in direct moonlight for this to work. Just get it as near as possible to the window. You can even place the bowl outside if you’d like!
Pour the distilled or spring water into the glass bowl. Work with your cleansing items to remove any unwanted energy from the water, crystal, and herb. If you’re working with a bell or singing bowl, chime it a few times over the items. If you’re working with an herbal cleansing bundle, get it nice and smoky and use the smoke to cleanse everything. Or if you’re working with a Selenite wand, wave the wand over each item and comb any unwanted energy away. Feel free to use any other cleansing method you feel drawn to, just so long as you’ve purified the water, crystal, and herbs before continuing ahead.
Next, add your intuition crystal directly to the water.
I like to work with Labradorite or Black Obsidian because they’re great for intuition, but they’re also connected to Shadow Work. However, you can use whatever stone you feel called to use. In a normal gem water I’d use the indirect method of preparation and keep the stone separate from the water, but since we’ll be scrying with this water and not ingesting it, it’s fine to put the stone directly into the glass dish.
Just be sure you’re using a stone that won’t react with the water or that’s too soft and could dissolve. If you’re unsure, just set your stone on the table next to your water, making contact with the glass bowl (or you can even use the indirect method of preparation and put the stone in a separate small glass container inside of the larger container with the water so that the two aren’t touching).
Now it’s time to add your intuition-boosting herbs.
I like to work with Bay leaf for this ritual. Use your marker or pen to draw an eye, a symbol of intuition, on the Bay leaf and add it directly to the water. If working with a different herb, you probably won’t be able to do this step as the leaves of many herbs are too small to draw a symbol on them. Again, if you were drinking this water you would need to be extra cautious about the herbs you were using AND you would definitely not want to add the ink from the pen or marker to the water, but since you’re just going to be gazing into this water, this practice a great way to add a little extra magic to the process.
Hold your hands above the bowl with your palms facing the water and close your eyes.
Visualize drawing energy into the top of your head from the moon above you and see it moving through your body, down your arms, out of the palms of your hands, and into the water. This process will activate the water for your scrying practice.
You may choose to let the water sit in the energy of the Moon for a few hours (or overnight), or you may use it right away. You can even bottle your water and preserve it so that you can continue this practice in the future.
If you’d like to bottle and preserve the water for future use, allow the mixture to charge under the moon overnight, then strain it and fill a small, dark glass dropper bottle about halfway with the water. Fill the other half of the bottle with a preservative like Vodka or Brandy. Shake it well so that the preservative mixes into the water. Label the bottle with the purpose (Shadow Work Scrying Water), what crystals and herbs you used to create it, and the date it was bottled. This should keep for 3-6 months if stored in a cool, dark place.
If using your water directly after creating it, strain it into a shallow basin for scrying.
A dark colored basin works best for this. If using your preserved water for scrying, fill your scrying basin with distilled or spring water (again, tap water works in a pinch), and add a few drops of your preserved Scrying Water to the basin.
Once your scrying basin has been filled (leaving a bit of room at the top so you don’t spill), set it on a table or desk and make yourself comfortable so that you can gaze into the bowl with ease. I recommend practicing your scrying by candlelight at night or in a dark space. The darkness not only connects you to the Shadow Realm and to your subconscious, but by dimming the light, you’re more inclined to utilize your inner eye rather than relying on your physical sight.
Set a candle (or a few) off to the side so that just a bit of the light will be reflected on the surface of the water in your scrying basin.
I recommend using a black candle for this practice because it’s connected to the Shadow Realm, but anything you have will do. This is less about following a specific recipe, and more about diving into the practice without judgment or concern about it being “perfect.”
Once you’re comfortable, light your candle.
Hold your hands in front of the candle (between yourself and the candle – not over the candle flame – safety is key here!) and infuse it with intention – this candle represents the illumination of the Shadow Realm and the discovery of the wisdom and gifts held within your subconscious mind. Take a moment to think about what messages, wisdom, or information you’d most like to uncover or unlock about your Shadow Side. What gifts are there waiting to be discovered?
When you feel ready, begin to gaze into the basin.
Allow your eyes to go in and out of focus, and let your gaze soften as you watch the flame dance on the surface of the water. Keep your intention in your mind and allow yourself to just be present with this experience.
Remember, messages and information may come to you in many ways. Though this exercise is a bit more on the visual side, the act of scrying engages your subconscious mind and your intuition so messages may come through in the way that best aligns with your intuitive gifts. If you’re clairvoyant, you may see images, symbols, or words. If you’re clairaudient, you may hear messages being spoken to you. Or if you’re clairsentient you may feel certain parts of your body or energy centers draw your attention. Or if you’re claircognizant, then you may have an inner knowing about what is being shared with you.
There is no right or wrong here, so even though scrying is done with your sight, messages can come to you in any form.
If you find that you’re struggling with this process and you’re not getting any information, you can engage your intuition in a slightly more active method of scrying – wax divination. Once your candle has been burning for a bit, it should have a bit of melted wax collected in it. Carefully and slowly (so as not to spill the wax or burn yourself) pour the melted wax into your scrying water.
When the hot wax hits the cool water, it will begin to solidify. Allow it to rest for a minute or so and then remove the cooled wax from the water. Looking at the hardened wax, what images or shapes stand out to you? What could be the meaning or symbolism behind this?
When you feel intuitively that your scrying session is complete, blow out your candle.
If you’d like, you may wish to cleanse your ritual tools and your space once again. Take some time to journal about your experiences and any wisdom, guidance, or symbols that were shared with you. What does your conscious mind tell you about why this information may have been unlocked at this time? What is the deeper meaning behind these messages or symbols? How does this relate to your Shadow Work Practice?
Write down every detail and insight you can, and do this without judgment – just let the words flow onto the page. Put this journal entry away for at least 3 days, and then return to it with the intention to reveal the deeper meaning behind what you’ve written. Re-read everything you wrote and write a follow-up entry with any new insights you have.
Making this Scrying Divination a regular part of your Shadow Work practice is an excellent way to engage with your subconscious mind and keep your intuition involved in the process.