Ever since Narcissus was first bewitched by his own image in Ancient Greek mythology, mankind has been fascinated by the ethereal facets of mirrors and the worlds they reflect. As a result of this fascination an inordinate number of myths and legends have been attached to mirrors by countless different cultures throughout history.
Here at MirrorWorld we’ve had our interest piqued, so over the next few editions, we thought we'd explore some of the more weird and whacky myths out there.
Mirrors have long been associated with magic rites and rituals. This stems back from as long ago as the Ancient Greek times. One of the foremost uses of mirrors in magic has been for divination; the art of fortune telling and predicting the future.
In Ancient Greek times, this was known as either catoptromancy or enoptromancy, and involved the witch or magician who practiced the art dangling a mirror on a thread, until its lower edge touched the surface of the water. Then, by looking into the mass of reflections created by the mirror and water reflecting each other, the future could be told.
Another of the many magical practices that mirrors have been used for across the years and cultures is that of scrying.
Scrying is one of the oldest types of divination in recorded history, first appearing in China in 3000 BC, then later in Egypt in around 2500BC and Greece circa 2000BC.
The word, 'scrying', comes from the English word 'descry' which means 'to make out dimly' or 'to reveal'. There have been multitudes of uses for scrying mirrors throughout history, most commonly; to see the future or past, to find lost objects or people and to track criminals, or others if your purpose was less savoury.
In Ancient Rome, diviners known as 'blindfolded boys', were known to gaze into mirrors to experience hallucinations of the future. According to the 4th Century text, 'Scriptores Historiae Augustae', the death of Julian the Apostate was correctly prophesised by blindfolded boys using this technique.
The famous 16th Century French apothecary and supposed seer, Nostradamus, is said to have used a mirror made from black obsidian for his divinations.
More recently, 1853 Brothers Grimm fairy-tale, Snow White, makes use of a magic mirror, showing that these superstitions, if not entirely believed, have certainly survived the test of time.
Some believe an alternate use for scrying mirrors made from obsidian is to view yourself in parallel or past lives. By standing in a dark room with a candle (torch these days) below your face, after staring into the mirror for a while, you will see your features repeatedly change.
At MirrorWorld, we can't predict the future, but we can make you the fairest mirror of them all!