Was Whitby Jet used in Scrying Mirrors?

Whitby Jet scrying mirror used for divination
Was Whitby Jet used for Scrying?

🔮✨ Peering into the Mystical Abyss: The Allure of Whitby Jet Mirrors ✨🔮

Let’s step into the realm of divination and ancient mysticism as we explore the fascinating world of scrying mirrors. These captivating tools have been used for centuries to unlock hidden truths and connect with the ethereal realms beyond. As an academic researcher, I often do talks on Whitby jet and jet magic. During these talks over the years, I have discussed the use of Whitby jet in regard to divination and have suggested that it would be possible to make a mirror from Whitby jet. Therefore, Whitby jet could possibly have been used to make scrying mirrors and therefore be used for divination.

Reflection of Whitby harbour in a Whitby Jet mirror
The perfect reflection of Whitby harbour in a Whitby Jet mirror

Now, it seems that others authors have decided that Whitby jet was definitely used for scrying. As a result, there are now articles springing up all over the internet claiming this to be an established fact. Let’s be clear however, there is no confirmed archaeological or literary evidence whatsoever to confirm this to be true. It is once again, a case of Whitby jet knowledge being little more than Chinese whispers!

The Crystal ball by John Willian Waterhouse
The Crystal ball by John Willian Waterhouse

What is scrying?

The art of Scrying, is also known by various names such as “seeing” or “peeping”.

The practice of scrying has deep roots in various cultures and traditions throughout history, in which seers and mystics have utilised reflective surfaces to access higher knowledge and communicate with otherworldly entities. It is believed that the mirror acts as a gateway, allowing us to tap into our intuitive abilities and perceive hidden messages.

The dark, reflective surface of a scrying mirror serves as a blank canvas for the imagination to unfold, our consciousness to expand, and the boundaries between the seen and the unseen blur. It is a moment of communion with the subconscious, where symbols, visions, and insights may arise.

We are all perhaps immediately envisioning a crystal ball in the hands of a fortune teller of the C19th but scrying has experienced somewhat of a resurgence in interest and remains a popular subject of discussion and practice today in modern pagan circles.

Can you make a mirror from jet?

Now, Whitby jet does indeed make an excellent mirror due primarily to its mirror-like lustre. It also has the benefit of being jet-black in colour and we have probably all heard about black mirrors throughout history. They are of course way more mysterious and indeed considerably more sinister than a lovely shiny silver-backed mirror.

Whitby jet mirrors in archaeology

Occasionally, archaeological assemblages contain flat polished Whitby jet artefacts. The purpose of the polished items remains lost in time, however, it is just possible that these items could have been used as mirrors. After all, Whitby jet mirrors give a perfect resolution, full-colour reflected image in sunlight, starlight, moonlight or firelight. Were these devices ever used for scrying? Well, we will never know for sure, so I will leave that to your interpretation…

A Roman Whitby jet artefact from Binchester
Could this be a Roman jet mirror?

Is scrying the same as divination?

There is no clear distinction between scrying and other forms of divination. However, scrying generally relies on visions appearing on the surface or within the shiny media utilised. Much of the terminology used by the scrying practitioner is arbitrary to say the least. Often terms utilised in the art of scrying are Latinised by the addition of the suffix ‘mancy’ derived from the Ancient Greek manteíā, meaning ‘divination’ to give such terms as ‘crystallomancy’, ‘spheromancy’, and ‘catoptromancy’.

Jet Scyring or Catoptromany?

As an example of the looseness of such terms, catoptromancy should refer specifically to scrying by use of mirrors or other reflective objects. Therefore in the case of The Ebor Jetworks mirrors, the correct term should perhaps be ‘Whitby jet catoptromany mirrors’

John Dee and scrying mirrors

When it comes to scrying, perhaps the most famous black mirror of all is that which belonged to the Elizabethan astrologer, mathematician and magician John Dee. The ‘spirit’ mirror was used as a ‘shew-stone’. It was one of many polished and lustrous things used by Dee to carry out his occult research into the world of spirits.

The mirror is currently on display at The British Museum More information. Recent gemmological research has proved that it is made of obsidian (volcanic glass), and was brought from Mexico to Europe between 1527 and 1530 after Hernando Cortés’s conquest of the region (see Smithsonian for more info). Mirrors such as these were used by Aztec priests to conjure visions. They were connected with Tezcatlipoca, god sorcery, whose name can be translated from the Nahuatl language as ‘Smoking Mirror’. I was able to capture an unearthly image of myself in John Dee’s mirror recently (see photo below).

Scrying mirror in obsidian owned by alchemist John Dee
Me in John Dee’s scrying mirror!

As you can see from the photo above, the lustre on Dee’s Aztec mirror is less than optimal. If he had used Whitby jet, the image might have been significantly clearer although of course in the art of scrying, we are looking into the shadow world, so do not necessarily expect to see clearly…

The Ebor Jetworks Whitby Jet Scrying Mirrors

In my capacity as a manufacturing jet jeweller, I do create Whitby jet scrying mirrors. We repurpose Edwardian sterling silver chatelaine mirrors, removing the old glass and replacing it with a piece of Whitby jet ‘glass’.

Each scrying mirror therefore holds a unique energy, shaped by the silver, the stone and craftsmanship used in its creation. A Whitby jet mirror holds a unique advantage to other reflective surfaces as its properties for millennia have been believed to enhance spiritual connections and provide protection.  Each mirror therefore offers its own distinctive essence.

A Whitby jet scrying mirror used for divination and fortune telling
An Ebor Jetworks Whitby Jet Scrying Mirror

The images below show two Ebor Jetworks scrying mirror in comparison to an original Edwardian glass mirror. The second photo shows the quality of the reflection of a lightbulb in the different media.

Two Whitby Jet crying mirrors used for divination and a normal glass mirror
Whitby Jet mirrors and a silvered glass mirror
The reflection of a lightbulb in Whitby Jet mirrors and a silvered glass mirror
The reflection in Whitby Jet mirrors compared to the silvered glass mirror in the centre

How magic practitioners use scrying mirrors today

While scrying mirrors are historically associated with divination, their use extends beyond fortune-telling. They can be employed for meditation, introspection, and even as a form of artistic expression. The mirror becomes a portal to explore our innermost desires, fears, and aspirations—a journey of self-reflection and transformation. Modern practitioners believe these mirrors to be a powerful tool for self-discovery and spiritual growth. They encourage us to tap into our intuition, trust our inner guidance, and explore the depths of our subconscious mind. With patience and practice, we can develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us, unveiling hidden truths and gaining insights into our life path.

When engaging with a scrying mirror, it is essential to create a sacred space, free from distractions. Dim the lights, allow your mind to quiet, and let your gaze soften as you fixate on the mirror’s surface. Release expectations and let your intuition guide you, as images, impressions, or emotions may emerge.

Remember, scrying mirrors are tools that enhance our own innate abilities and connection to the unseen. They provide a glimpse into the mysteries of the universe and offer a channel for profound spiritual experiences.


In the case of our Whitby jet scrying mirrors, the purchaser assumes all risks and liabilities in the use or misuse of these products. The Ebor Jetworks Ltd takes no responsibility for invocations, demonic possessions or angelic manifestations resulting from the use/misuse of these devices in the hands of a less-than-qualified wizard. Likewise unfulfilled prophecies also fall outside the conditions of our public liability insurance. If you still need Whitby jet for divination purposes, check out availability Here

Spirit mirrors in Whitby in jet
Warning: be careful what you wish for!

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