How black mirrors work [science and spirituality]

You gaze into the black mirror, and within a minute or two, visions start to appear. But where do these visions come from? Are they all made up in your head, or are you truly connecting with the spirit world?

Black mirror scrying visions are believed to be created by psychological mechanismsThe reflection is blurred and the brain fills in the gaps thus creating an illusion. The spiritual explanation is that the scryer passes through the veil of the conscious mind and enters the spiritual realms. 

How the scryer receives messages from the mirror

How does the mirror work? What enables the scryer to see into the future or receive messages from the dead? Let’s take a closer look at what we know.

Black obsidian is a hard and brittle stone; even if the surface seems perfectly polished, there are imperfections. The dim lights and the slight imperfections create illusions to make sense of the information. The brain tries to adjust for these “gaps” by creating visual hallucinations to fill in the gaps.

The spiritual explanation for the visions is that you can pass through the veil of the subconscious mind. This gives the scryer psychic access to the Ether. The black mirror acts like a portal and can be used in spirit communication and fortune-telling.

It is important to remember that scrying is not scientifically proven to work. We have no proof of the existence of psychic powers or the ability to look into the future. Many swear by this practice, but we must stay grounded and take everything with a grain of salt. There are no definite truths when it comes to the paranormal.

Related article: What are black mirrors made ofOpens in a new tab.

The scientific answer to how black mirrors work

Let’s take a deeper look at the scientific reasoning behind the visions you might see in the mirror.

Due to the dim lights from burning candles, the brain fills in the gaps and thus creates illusionary images in the mirror. This is how the visions scientifically appear. We are so hard-geared to see faces and shapes that when the brain gets confused, it starts to make things up to make sense of the situation.

The flicker from the light creates a situation where the reflection constantly changes. The brain tries to compensate for this and yet again fills in gaps with imaginary images.

The flicker from the light creates a situation where the reflection constantly changes. The brain tries to compensate for this, and yet again fills in gaps with imaginary images.


The psychological mechanism is much like sleep paralysis. If you want to learn more about this, I invite you to read the article at the end of this section.

Receiving messages from the spirit world through scrying is not scientifically proven. There is no proof that you can use a mirror to see the future or receive messages from a ghost.

No psychic powers have ever been fully proven or understood. With this said, paranormal activity might not even be possible to measure with science as it might be connected to other realms. We don’t know – yet.

Many swear by the scrying practice. The prophecies of Nostradamus, who used scrying as a technique, are sometimes chillingly correct. But as with everything paranormal, it is best to take everything with a grain of salt.

Related article: Can ghosts attack you when you sleep?Opens in a new tab.

The spiritual answer to how the black mirror work

Let’s look at the spiritual answer to how the black mirror works. The scientific explanation is found in psychology, but the spiritual one is found in our beliefs.

The belief is that the mirror helps the scryer to move through the veil of the conscious mind into the realm of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind, in turn, is connected with the Ether. The Ether can be seen as another dimension where spirits and entities exist.

Depending on the culture, there are different nuances to this. There is no one answer to how we communicate with the spirits. From a spiritual standpoint, how and why things happen is not as important. The focus is that it happens and that we receive messages from the beyond to help us in this life.

In many practices, the scryer goes into a self-induced trance. This is done through meditation and breathing exercises. The aim is to open the third eye.

The purpose of black mirrors

A black mirror is used for mirror scrying, also called mirror gazing. The scryer into a dark mirror to retrieve messages from spirits or to see future events. The scryer uses the mirror as a tool for spirit communication or fortune-telling.

If you have seen the wicked witch in Snow White, you know what mirror scrying is. She looks into the dark mirror on the wall, and suddenly a mist starts to swirl, and she can see who is the most beautiful. Scrying is, of course, not limited to fairytales. It is an occult practice that has been used for ages.

A black mirror is often made of a polished disk of black stone. The stone is traditionally made of black obsidian but is available in many materials, such as acrylic and glass. If you want to learn more about the materials used to make mirrors, I invite you to read the article at the end of this section.

A mirror creates a gateway to the sacred world

The Aztecs used polished black obsidian mirrors to expand their vision and see this world and the sacred world. When the world was created, humans and deities had the same vision.

The deities started to envy the humans and cast a spell on them. Their vision became blurred; they could no longer see the divine. Some of the humans were gifted and could see a little bit longer. These individuals were taught to use the obsidian mirror to look into the sacred world.

This concept has also transferred into other cultures, and I see many correlating things with the idea of psychics we have today.

Final thoughts

There are so many things we don’t understand regarding the spiritual part of mirror scrying. The scientific part is explained chiefly through psychological mechanisms.

I believe that humans are both spiritual and rational. I think this as everything you see around you is a duality. Bad and good, rationality and religion (spiritualism), dark and light, and so forth.

I have a hard time thinking that science has all the answers to the spiritual side of our beings. This is why I don’t want to say that scrying is only a hallucination created by psychological factors. There might be more to it than we can measure with gadgets and formulas.

The answer to how the mirrors work will differ depending on what kind of person you are, more rationality geared or spiritual. Either way, it is a fascinating tool for spiritual work and gives us a sneak peek at what the brain can achieve.

If you want to try mirror scrying yourself, you find a step-by-step guide in the link below.

Related article: How to use a black mirror: Step-by-step guide

Claudette Beaulieu

A certified paranormal investigator, accredited demonologist, and psychic stuck in the Victorian era.

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