The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Astral and paranormal experiences, dreams and visions.
obnoxion
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The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby obnoxion » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:22 am

In Kashmir Shaivism, I've read, the esoteric practice is, at least to certain extend, aniconic. The anthropomorphic sculptury on outer surfaces of the temples aren't cultic, and public anthrophomorphic idols are never concecrated with the secret mantras. The sacred items for esoteric practices are small, portaple and often inconspicuous and easy to hide. Often they might be abstract symbols on pieces of fabric, on stone or bone - or on mirror or blade of sword.

Especially the mirrors and blades are among the most common bases for the Kami-entities worshipped in Japan's Shinto-religion. These bases for the presence of the numinous are not seen in public worship, but are hidden under the altar structures.

Shinto ja Nondual Shaivism are examples that are very dear to my heart, but reflecting surfaces are important for spirituality in all eras and around the world. The first such surfaces must have been of still water, and this might be one of the more common aspect to shared symbolism. But it is specially remarkable, I feel, how a reflecting surface retains (or perhaps even increases) its potency when hidden out of sight.

Do you have a piece of mirror-lore or some uncanny experience with reflecting surfaces that you would like to share? When it comes to your own experiences, remember to take a moment before deciding to share. Sometimes it might lead to long-lasting feelings of regret to share something very personal on a public forum. But sometimes it can be a poisitive experience.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby Nefastos » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:30 pm

Very nice topic. In the last weeks I have thought whether I should take back, in some form, my earlier use of mirror as an altarpiece. I used it in the days when I was living in a smaller town eight years ago. It was more – or differently – introverted time in my life.
obnoxion wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:22 am
Do you have a piece of mirror-lore or some uncanny experience with reflecting surfaces that you would like to share? When it comes to your own experiences, remember to take a moment before deciding to share.


I have an anecdote of an occult kind to share, and I asked a permission from a person concerned.

This happened about seventeen years ago, when I was living together with my ex wife. One evening she was away somewhere, and I was studying grimoire magic at our place. I am usually very careful about the use of prayers and spells, but this time I read aloud the conjuration from the Black Bible (the 6th and 7th Books of Moses) just to learn the text, having no intention of summoning whatsoever, nor any kind of paraphernalia besides of what was naturally present. Thus I decided that I would not need to use the usual banishings after the reading. After some study, I went someplace else, to meet a friend or a relative, I think. Some hours later, my spouse called me in terrible fright. She had come home perfectly happy, but after some time felt a presence, and when walking past a mirror, she had in seen in it a burning man. She is not hysterical by any means, but a calm person, and was understandably scared and puzzled what was going on. Shamefully, I went back home and went through the needed valedictions, and things went back to normal. So this story has a moral, and by learning it, I added the "Student's Prayer" in Fosforos (p.201) to help avoid this kind of mishaps.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Insanus
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby Insanus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:49 pm

Perhaps ten or so years ago I had a small party in my home with a few friends. I had just busted out of a casual poker tournament we played and went to other room to calm myself down a bit because i tended to get pretty upset when I lost :p
From there I saw a bright flash of light in a mirror that also seemed to knock it to clearly different position on the wall. I asked others If they saw it too, but they didn't. Shortly after one person asked me about what have I been doing to the house, claiming that she saw a somehow demonically shaped shadow coming from behind the mirror that moved on other room's wall before disappearing in the window.
Actually she had also lend The Black Bible to me at some point and didn't want to have it back, and since I was not very careful with anything at the time, perhaps the book played a role here as well. Can't really remember if this happened before or after.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby obnoxion » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:24 pm

Nefastos wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:30 pm
Black Bible (the 6th and 7th Books of Moses)
Insanus wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:49 pm
The Black Bible
In Finland, The Black Bible is paradigmatic book of black magic. I remember my father warning me about it as a child, telling me dark hints relating to the book and his parents. In Finland there was also a loose sect of grave-robbing witches in the 20's that used the book, and they got much publicity. The 6th and 7th Books of Moses were untill quite recently the only grimoire translated in Finnish. And they were called The Black Bible apparently because the first printings were done with white letters on black pages. So it is a talismanic book, and I think there are many quite rational people who would be bothered (in more or less superstitious way) by having the book in the same house with the.

So this book does condense in its talismanic aura much of the sinister connotations of mirrors - sinister as ominous, mystical, other, lesser but polluting and hence unpredictibly powerful.

I feel that there is a strong connection with mirrors and the Moon. In the examples I gave above the mirror was used as a private item or completely hidden, and yet considered powerful. In the same way, the moon is often considered most ominous when growing dark, that is, becoming hidden.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby obnoxion » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:44 pm

I think I will share a little thing of my own, too.

In my late childhood, there was an urban folklore that you would see the Devil if you'd take a black candle and go in front of a mirror in a dark room, and read aloud from Revelations 13:18.

"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six."

Since I can remember, I've always been up for a thing like that, so I naturally tried it the first chance I got. Although I did expect to see something, I was astonished of how much there was to see in a simple play of flame and shadow against a mirror. Now, I am more drawn to the short-form folk magic than the lengthy cerrmonies. I sort of amplify these little things, untill the vastness is unveiled. I believe - like Vincent van Gogh, though left-handedly - that humans need the endlessness and miraculous like we need bread, and if we can find them from our front yards and our furniture (like our looking-glasses, which are among the most philosophical of all our furnitures), we have a daily feast set up before us. And I do think that I did find some of that endlessness from the mirror. And without that find, I doubt if I could have ever found it from Christianity, too, in later life.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby Crepusculum » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:20 pm

Interesting topic and also very interesting experiences shared.

Reflecting surfaces have also had a strange presence in my younger years.
obnoxion wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:44 pm

In my late childhood, there was an urban folklore that you would see the Devil if you'd take a black candle and go in front of a mirror in a dark room, and read aloud from Revelations 13:18.

"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six."

Since I can remember, I've always been up for a thing like that, so I naturally tried it the first chance I got. Although I did expect to see something, I was astonished of how much there was to see in a simple play of flame and shadow against a mirror.
Somebody in my family also told me something similar only that you would see multiple demonic facets of yourself. If you could endure long enough it would stop. With dimmed or little light this was indeed the experience, as the warm and never steady glow of the candle moves I could see but also sense the presence of many shadows appear and transform. There was a period I was obsessed with reflections in water pools especially if it created an image of a great deep as with reflected trees and natural formations but also tunnels, urban constructions and the vastness of the sky. This image would as an archetype awaken a level of unconsciousness I had not confronted yet. As like in myth and fairy tales it becomes a portal to other worlds. Many things happened that I could not place or even grasp the meaning of but stirred me on a very profound level. In retrospective I see it had a ritualistic effect on me. But because I did not apply it consciously I felt very lost at times as if in a Deep where I had forgotten my path to the exit.

I do not remember the source but have read that in certain forms of traditional witchcraft mirrors are used to trap entities for specific types of sorcery. I think in Indonesia and the Philippines there is also a tradition of imbuing through ritual bladed weapons with certain spirits for protection and invincibility. These cultures are still quite superstitious in such matters and remains quite popular among common folk there.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby Cerastes » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:43 pm

I believe that there is a great magical potential in both reflective and absorbing surfaces that can basically be broken down into essential principles of being. Consciousness, for example, is nothing other than the ability to sense a reflection of the self. I remember a very fascinating university lesson about the reflecting and absorbing function of the human psyche as a return of the subject from the perceived object to his own perceptions and thoughts. In a certain way, just about anything is only recognizable as a reflection. That said, it is easy to imagine how a mirror would reflect different layers of being or in other words, show the dept of being. My own experiences regarding mirrors in occult practices, however, I prefer to keep to myself.
Crepusculum wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:20 pm
These cultures are still quite superstitious in such matters and remains quite popular among common folk there.
My catholic grand-grandmother was convinced that if you look in a mirror too long you fall into sin. It had something to do with the female vanity which, regarding to this believe system, is a demonic way to tempt men and lead them into the cardinal sin of lust. As a result, I always tried to find that demon in the mirrow as a child who tells women to tempt men.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby Aquila » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:59 am

I don't remember using mirrors in any magical activity, except some meditative experiments, but I've always been somehow terrified when I see a mirror reflecting some seemingly random object or corner of the room or another mirror on other wall of the house, especially in the evening or when it's getting dark. These moments remind me of a brief discussion on the Finnish forum where Sod obnoxion mentioned the paintings of Hammershoi. It's difficult to explain as it was part of another discussion but there is certain similarity in these feelings that arise and I think it has something to do with these reflecting surfaces here and the sudden awakening in between the most everyday moments of life that share some of the same potency. This kind of potency can be very terrifying in a way that is difficult to turn into words.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby obnoxion » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:18 am

Crepusculum wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:20 pm
Somebody in my family also told me something similar only that you would see multiple demonic facets of yourself. If you could endure long enough it would stop. With dimmed or little light this was indeed the experience, as the warm and never steady glow of the candle moves I could see but also sense the presence of many shadows appear and transform.
This is basically what will happen, and it depends on the intention of the practioner what benefits or harms she will gather from the experience. My relationship to my experience changes with time, but since it has proven to be in harmony with my permanent life choices, it forms a vital link to my childhood. And that is a very precious thing.
Cerastes wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:43 pm
In a certain way, just about anything is only recognizable as a reflection. That said, it is easy to imagine how a mirror would reflect different layers of being or in other words, show the dept of being.
There is a concept (at least) in Jungian thought, that much of youth culture's trappings correspond to aspects of tribal initiations. In some cases, such practice of mirror-lore could be seen, I think, as actions of self-initiating youth in a social context where initiations are radically unavailable. And if we remember the saying that the one who is without a master gets Satan as her master, this sort of confrontation with the mirror is mirroring quite faithfully the spiritual situation of the operation as well.

Since I've begun to find my early intuitions about teligion and spiriruality in more mature form in nondual shaivism, I've come to relate my childhood experience to the concept of bimba-pratibimba: that the Divine consciousness is mirrored in the universe, and the universe in the Divine Consciousness in an expansion. But in the end there is no bimba nor pratibimba, but full freedom (svatantrya) of the the Divine will, like the play of flame and shadow in the mirror. And the trinity of the actual flame, the flame in the mirror, and my mental concept of the flame form the triden of Wisdom, that rises equally in my consciousness, in the illusive mirror, and as the phyisical flame - becoming a living symbol of the panentheism of Shiva. So in this way, there was a metaphysics in seed form in this early experience.
Aquila wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:59 am
These moments remind me of a brief discussion on the Finnish forum where Sod obnoxion mentioned the paintings of Hammershoi. It's difficult to explain as it was part of another discussion but there is certain similarity in these feelings that arise and I think it has something to do with these reflecting surfaces here and the sudden awakening in between the most everyday moments of life that share some of the same potency. This kind of potency can be very terrifying in a way that is difficult to turn into words.
There is a strange potency in mirrors, that is quite easily available if not resisted. This is potency is very much the presence of the Shakti in such a child-like opetation with the mirror as discussed above. It lends the maginal energy, if you will, to quickly alter one's state of mind receptive.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: The Potency of Reflecting Surfaces

Postby Polyhymnia » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:50 pm

I am very uncomfortable with mirrors, in both a physical and metaphysical sense. I've never enjoyed looking at myself in one, and I'm also afraid to use them in ritual practice because I feel fear clutch at my heart at even the thought. I'm not sure where this fear comes from. Could be something as simple as being freaked out when playing Bloody Mary as a child (where you summon Bloody Mary in the mirror by calling her name three times while holding a candle) and then I pushed the aversion to the back of my mind until reading this thread. We recently bought two mirrors for our house after years of not owning any (except the ones over the sink in the bathroom, of course), and perhaps I should take the opportunity to dig a little deeper into this irrational fear I have.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran

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