Psychomantium » 13 December 04

A psychomantium (also spelled psychomanteum) is a darkened room with black walls containing a mirror into which a person gazes and sees prophetic visions. It is commonly built in the form of a black felt tent containing a large swivel mirror tilted slightly to show only a featureless blackness of indeterminate depth. A small lamp or set of candles illuminates the space just enough to distinguish the mirror.

Rather than go into the history or use of a psychomantium, I’ll briefly go over how and why it works, then suggest links for further reading.

The psychomantium is designed to induce an open-eye trance in the viewer, allowing the conscious mind to perceive visual impressions from the subconscious and other realms beyond normal waking perception like an open-eyed form of dreaming. There are several factors helping induce such a trance.

First, the room is dim and featureless. This acts as a form of visual sensory deprivation, a condition helpful to trance induction. Second, the uniform color of the setup is a prerequisite for creating the Ganzfeld Effect, a hallucinogenic state of trance induced by a uniform field of vision. Third, the lamp or candles are often recommended to be flickering, and strobing/flashing light is a strong catalyst for trance. And fourth, the indeterminate depth of the mirror’s darkness allows the eyes to focus outward to infinity, a relaxation that sympathetically lowers one’s state of consciousness.

An open-eye trance allows the mind to perceive visual information that is normally filtered out during waking beta brainwave activity. When using a psychomantium, brainwaves drop into the alpha and theta range, easing the generationg of hypnogogic imagery. What science calls noise or hallucination may in fact be meaningful perceptions. Just as in dreams, the subconscious can create visual symbols and vignettes that the perceiver can then remember for conscious analysis after the psychomantium session. With practice, this can be done during a session.

More interestingly, however, open-eye trance is necessary to view behind the 3D linear visual matrix. As known from quantum mechanics, observing a wave function collapses it into a single state. This single state arises from one’s highly focused engagement with a chosen slice of that wave function. When the observer softens the focal point of his awareness, that slice likewise broadens or delocalizes. This allows perception of things beyond our assembled singular material reality.

Anticipation has the opposite effect, turning awareness upon the next moment in time and collapsing it, thereby shutting out any delocalization effects. This is why using a psychomantium requires non-anticipation of results. The ego being a creature of linear time and thus anticipation naturally hinders such efforts, though the very nature of trance involves temporary dissolution or forgetting of the ego.

Besides viewing images of the subconscious, a psychomantium also encourages viewing other realms and entities within them. This happens both through images in the mind’s eye overlaid upon the visual field during light trance, and vivid “hallucinatory” images during deeper levels of trance akin to lucid dreaming with the eyes open.

The possibility that one can view other realms through scrying is supported by the fact that it works better during new and full moons – times when the veil between realms is naturally thinner.

More Practical Alternatives

Now, the problem with building a psychomantium is finding room to build a large felt tent and gathering the material to sew one together. Fortunately, once you know the basics of how a psychomantium works, you can optimize with alternatives.

  • Instead of a swivel mirror, try a black scrying mirror. These consist of large picture frames whose glass has the inner side spray painted black. This creates a shiny black surface on the front equivalent to a standard mirror pointed toward dark felt, but is a lot cheaper to make.
  • For the flicker, electric candles or some kind of mobile phone random flickering app may be used. [Note: there may be something to a chaotic rhythm to the flickering, as Peruvian Whistling Vessels – when whistled as a group – produce a chaotic beat frequency that strongly induces trance. The chaos, unpredictable by the linear mind, tires its anticipatory tendencies. This principle was also demonstrated in the movie Suspect Zero for use in remote viewing].
  • And lastly, binaural beats or shamanic drum sounds can help entrain brainwaves for quicker trance state, although one must be careful about the lingering effects of such induction methods. The danger is in this inducing a form of self-hypnosis and a lowering of awareness that hearkens back to the ‘atavistic clairvoyance’ of the old days, as Rudolf Steiner would call it, which is a primitive and backwards state of consciousness that we shouldn’t engage in. Instead, we should raise our awareness and maintain its sharpness while the body falls asleep (or while the psychic organs of perception, discussed below, start doing their thing). Putting oneself into a spaced-out, suggestible, “out to lunch”, delirious trance is not the same as “mind awake, body asleep”. The latter retains one’s awareness, self-awareness, volition, memory, and sense of time.

If you’re thinking about trying scrying, better read up on the subject as scrying out of ignorance can lead to the same problems as using a Ouija board out of ignorance. In all likelihood you’ll give it a shot, get frustrated after a few failed attempts, and give it up. Luckily no harm comes of that. Just remember that patience and non-anticipation are essential to getting results.

What’s Really Involved in Scrying

For most practitioners, scrying requires entering a “mind awake, body asleep” state of consciousness with eyes open. This isn’t simply lying still until your body goes numb with boredom. As long as you are awake, you will see nothing in the mirror. You must fall asleep with your eyes open, thereby entering a heavy immobilized state. This is very difficult. See my research note on Active Dreaming for more on this.

To walk, you first have to learn to crawl, and crawling consists in lying down, closing your eyes, and attempting to fall asleep while remaining aware throughout that transition. Books like the The Silva Method can help with this, or else see this excerpt from Theun Mares’s book Cry of the Eagle on the topic of Active Dreaming.

Once you can do that reliably, especially if you’ve created a mnemonic trigger that puts you into that hypnopompic state rapidly when enacted, then you can try it with eyes open. And once that is achieved, try it while sitting up in front of the scrying mirror. Only then will you have reliable use of the mirror. Therefore try not invest in any equipment until you can at least enter this state with eyes open while lying on your back in bed. Then you won’t even need the flickering lights or sounds.

Psychic Organs of Perception

Now, in the above state, you are detaching from your body slightly. It’s a slight OBE (out of body experience) that detaches your etheric eyes from your physical eyes, thereby bypassing the limitations of the physical body. This is the other side of the coin of what I explained earlier about quantum delocalization — the body is always phase-locked with the environment because both are physical, but the mind can defocus and thus detach from not only the environment (the current linear timeline and space-time coordinate) but also from the body. Either way, you are then able to see things that the physical eyes cannot see. So in the “mind awake, body asleep” state you peek out from behind the curtains of your five senses.

Notice, however, that successful clairvoyants aren’t just sitting there in full sleep paralysis while they’re slightly detached from their bodies. They are animated and talking and relatively awake. How can this be? Well, instead of leaving their bodies, they have actual extensions of their etheric/astral bodies that act as antennas or periscopes that feed them ESP while they are still in their bodies.

These psychic organs grow out of them through repeated use and nourishment by overactive etheric energy emissions and circulations in and around their bodies. In other words, they don’t have to achieve “mind awake, body asleep” — rather, they have made themselves psychic by developing new psychic organs that reach beyond the confines of the physical senses. And that should assist with scrying, allowing quicker and more reliable results.

Developing these organs is no trivial task and those who know what’s involved say it’s fraught with dangers including damage to one’s biology and neurology if one is not genetically suited for such abilities, as well as attraction of malevolent entities who are drawn to the energy emissions like sharks to blood. That said, if you wish to pursue this route then look into Robert Bruce’s N.E.W. Energy Ways and/or the meditational practice of Vipassana, and combine it with the Silva Method.

An Etheric Mirror

Franz Bardon in his book Initiation into Hermetics (see the link at Amazon) stated that spraying a scrying mirror with some chamomile tea and letting it dry enhances its powers, for chamomile tea is a “fluid condenser” as he calls it. By fluid he means etheric energy, and condenser means accumulator.

If this is true, then it’s possible that the mirror isn’t just a device to relax the eyes, but may rather act as a physical substrate for the growth of an additional etheric energy layer, and the latter acts as a kind of etheric mirror or screen. Thus a psychic person, or someone in the “mind awake, body asleep” state, may perceive guided perturbations in this etheric layer which the mind then turns into visual imagery. Stated another way, it becomes an externalized etheric sense organ that functions like a CCTV screen. It’s a crude form of etheric technology.

Interestingly, clairvoyants like Stuart Wilde claimed to see the “morph” just by lying on his bed and staring up at the ceiling. He said the morph looks like a layer of undulatory static about an arm’s length away. Well, I think that static noise is just phosphene noise in the retina perceived to be some distance away for the same reason that white noise played in each ear creates a wide stereo effect. However staring into this nebulous visual void can induce a scrying effect and allow dreaming with the eyes open. Wilde’s method is even simpler then, since it just uses the ceiling. Though again, whether it’s merely a Ganzfeld effect, or whether Wilde created an etheric screen above him that he was peering into, remains to be known.

Alternatively, an etherically charged mirror might merely function as a magnet that can assist in pulling you out of your head/eyes, or help extend/energize the psychic structures that allow for extrasensory perception. Bardon said that concave mirrors are especially effective, and we know from Feng Shui that concave mirrors have a “sucking” or “condensing” effect on subtle energies thus their pull would be greater than flat mirrors.

The above is just speculation, but such possibilities must be taken into account.


It’s tragic when instructions merely state “keep staring, and you will eventually see something.” People do that for years and see nothing. Maybe if they knew what they were doing, it wouldn’t take so long! Here I’ve explained what’s involved (either “mind awake, body asleep” or psychic sense organs) and that should hopefully help interested readers narrow in on the goal.

Keep in mind that what one sees may be a combination of what is projected internally by your mind (including your own subconscious content) and what the mind decodes of external objective etheric data patterns. Both of these are converted according to your subconscious’s visual lexicon into formats you can understand. I strongly caution people from taking these images at face value and interpreting them all literally. Sometimes they are literal, like a precognitive dream; sometimes they are symbolic; sometimes they are just internally generated subjective nonsense.

Being absolutely calm and dispassionate about what you see can reduce contamination of the signal by your own energies. Non-anticipation likewise keeps you out of the way of yourself and what you receive. It’s the excitable, manic, anticipatory, wishfully thinking folks that, if they are unfortunate enough to be ‘blessed’ with clairvoyance, end up building a schizophrenic hell for themselves and wind up merely staring into a mirror of their own insanity.

The integrity of your mind and soul play a big part in the fidelity of what you perceive, just as a cheap broken radio might only produce noise versus a high end radio that gives crystal clear reception. Impeccable logic and discernment are needed to not get led astray by false conclusions from half-baked perceptions interpreted erroneously. That’s why clairvoyants like Stuart Wilde go off the deep end eventually. Don’t let it happen to you.

Further Reading

Mirror Scrying – from Shaman’s Cave
Making a Black Mirror

Initiation into Hermetics – Franz Bardon
How to Know Higher Worlds – Rudolf Steiner
The Silva Method – Jose Silva
Astral Dynamics – Robert Bruce