Magic Mirrors

For today’s post, I have decided to discuss the magick of mirrors.   Mirrors have always had magical connotations from Snow White’s Evil Queen gazing into her mirror asking “Who is the Fairest One of All?” to the Lady of Shalott whose mirror “Crack’d side to side” after she became enamored by Lancelot.   The magical mirror can also be found as a portal to other worlds, making it a liminal place.   It can become a portal into Faerylands (my readers will know Faery of all sorts are favorite topics to discuss here on White Rose of Avalon).    It can even be viewed as a portal through which someone or something can come out.   This is iconically the case when we think of the urban legend of Bloody Mary, who is said to come if summoned when staring into a bathroom mirror and chanting her name a set number of times (three or thirteen varying from telling to telling).   In Alice Through the Looking Glass Lewis Carroll takes readers on a journey into a mirror world that is twisted in interesting ways, being backward or just plain off for unique reasons.   Later Neil Gaiman would take a similar concept when he wrote his great novel, Coraline.   The world of the “Other Mother” is a twisted Faeryland and a mirror world that reflected a slightly disturbing otherness to Coraline’s mundane world.

Real magical mirrors have been used across many cultures for centuries.   Obsidian is the traditional material for scrying mirrors, but other black materials can also be utilized.   The mirror scryer will divine meaning by staring deeply into the depths of the obsidian.   Obsidian is a lava rock that has a high shine quality, making it a good surface to see things within.   Obsidian comes in different colors, but traditional black obsidian is the ideal choice for mirror scrying.   Scrying within a mirror can help one divine the future, shadow work, answer personal development questions, and astral travel to other realms (like those of Faery)!

The reflective nature of black mirrors is also ideal for travel to other realms, as mirrors show us a reverse perspective.   That also exemplified the mirror lands utilized in Alice Through the Looking Glass and Coraline as I mentioned above.   The cracking of a mirror can lead to the ending of an illusion, which is what happened to the Lady of Shalott, when her mirror cracks after she turned away from it she lost her illusions.   The nature of mirrors leading to alternate mirror worlds and to the cracking of them leading to the end of illusions show the darker nature of mirror magic.   

I personally also see mirror magic as related to water magic, as one can also scry and divine by staring into a bowl or pool of water.   A frozen lake becomes like a silvery frozen mirror that can hold much of the magical mirror connotations!   That also leads to a further connection between mirror magic and water as mirrors can be used to travel to realms of faery and traditionally there are also portals to Faerylands underneath lakes.   The liminality of the space surrounding bodies or pools of water makes it ideal for portals into Faery.    

Mirrors have an almost essentially Fae nature in that they are portals to Faery and hold great natural magical abilities and like much we know of Fae, they can be symbolic of great positive and also great negative energy!    Just as Faery and Fae-beings must be respected above all else, the innate magic of mirrors must be approached respectfully.   With respect for yourself (and inner development and shadow work) and with respect for the mirror itself!      

I hope you have enjoyed my short exploration of the uses of mirrors in magic, both from a literary and real-world perspective.   I also hope that I have given a deeper perspective of the power of mirrors rather than just the mundane assumption that they are just objects of vanity.   What are your thoughts on mirror-related magick?   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Further Reading

  • Grimm’s Complete Fairytales
  • Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Crystal Witch by Shawn Robbins and Leanna Greenaway
  • Magickal Faerytales: An Enchanted Collection of Retold Tales by Lucy Cavendish (She writes about obsidian mirrors and uses one as the Evil Queen’s mirror in her Snow White re-telling.)