Mirrors - Tools of Witchcraft

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Tools of Witchcraft

Modern mirrors are commonly crafted from glass but ancient mirrors were usually created from smooth metal, usually copper, highly polished to be reflective.

Magic mirrors are popular in many traditions including ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Western Ceremonial, Aztec, and Italian folk magic. They are used for the following purposes:

Image Divination and scrying

Image Love magic

Image Lunar magic

Image Protective spells

Image Spirit-summoning

Mirrors are frequently found among the remains of Scythian priestesses and/or queens. (We don’t really know exactly who they were, only that they were people of importance based on their grave goods. No writings or explanations survive.) Mirrors were also found among the grave goods of women at Çatal Hüyük.

Mirrors are identified with specific deities:

Hathor, among the most primordial of Egyptian deities, presides over beauty, love, sex, fertility, romance, cosmetics, magic, and copper, the material from which ancient Egyptian mirrors were crafted. She and copper share the same essence: to hold a mirror in your hand is to hold Hathor. This was made explicit in ancient Egyptian mirrors, which very frequently incorporated an image of Hathor’s face and characteristic flip hair-do into the mirror’s handle. To hold a Hathor mirror and gaze into it is to absorb a little of the goddess’ own beauty, power, and essence.

Tezcatlipoca is known as the Lord of the Smoking Mirror. The omniscient, all-knowing Aztec Lord of Sorcery, Tezcatlipoca observes everything in his obsidian mirror. He is the equivalent of the All-Seeing Eye, similar to The Lord of the Ring’s Sauron. Tezcatlipoca was the sponsor of Aztec shamans and sorcerers. We know that pre-European-conquest Aztec wizards used magic mirrors for divination and spiritual communication; the practice remains popular in Mexico and Central America. The most famous of the Aztec obsidian mirrors belonged to Dr John Dee and is now in the collection of the British Museum.

Magic mirrors remain popular with witches, spiritualists, and Pow-Wow artists.

Because magic mirrors derive from the tradition of scrying in water, they are associated with feminine, lunar mysteries and energy. Ancient mirrors were most commonly crafted from copper, traditionally considered a feminine metal. Copper is identified with the planet Venus and with powerful goddesses of love and beauty like Aphrodite, Hathor, and Oshun, but this feminine identification applies strongly to modern glass mirrors as well which bear even stronger resemblance to the moon or to a body of water like a lake.

Mirrors frequently serve as protective amulets as they are believed to repel the Evil Eye. Small mirrors are sewn on to clothing and furnishings. They are hung from the rear view mirrors of automobiles. Mirrors repel the malevolent forces that Feng Shui terms “poison arrows”; the ba gua is an octagonal mirror placed outside the house to repel these dangerous forces and provide safety, security, and stability for the inhabitants.

See DIVINE WITCH: Oshun, Tezcatlipoca; HORNED ONE: Hathor; PLACES: Groves: Nemi.