By Phoenix the Elder (Compilation and additions) – My intention with this article is not magic, but to inspire being conscious when it comes to rituals, practices and dreaming, especially if these are natural gifts. Since we all have past life karma, the complexities of dreaming or those applied to waking dreams (signs, synchronicity and mirrors of self) always needs protection.
A dreamer need to develop skills to see a reflection in in their life that is soul oriented rather than mind body oriented. Learning a dreaming language to understand imagery within the order of symbolism, is mandatory in order to “mirror back” what is unseen navigation in our journey, be it in waking or at night in dreaming.
Somethings we can protect ourselves from by practices and healing work, disciplines and sobriety to live a healthier life, but other things we cannot control of the non physical reality, nor undo fate or the power of life, death and rebirth.
Magic is always associated with mirrors, but so is buddhism and since buddhism is a defined practice of mirrors and magic is not, there is much to learn. There is a dark and a light side to the reflections of one’s life and by no means are we perfect. Where we are imperfect is thinking that the spiritual path is about any thing other than the self.
We all struggle, we all learn and we all grow within that fate of life and the deeper the karma to purify, the more wisdom one attains. How we grow spiritually in order to be accountable for our shade, behaviors, addictions or shadow is a matter of facing the “mirror”, the obsidian mirror and then the collective mirror in that order. Most people cannot master the mirror.
So what is the mirror or mirror work? It is reflection of our blindness, it is the awakening process to see the self clearly through one’s observations of what comes to the doorway of their everyday life. Its all the small messages and syncronicities of any kind that come to us directly, that are a reflection of the self or our karma.
Most people just get angry or upset at others for being a mirror of something that triggers their impatience, addictions, attitude, hate. Stopping that cycle is very difficult, and the mind is a million pound burden in doing such things as mirror work. Therefor mastering Zen meditation is the medicine.
Not chanting meditation, not guided meditation, not yoga meditation, not pot meditation… but mastery of the most difficult meditation to master… Zen. Start there to begin to work with mirrors. The mind must be controlled and trained for the observer mind to be turned on and work in our living life.
Many times that shade (shadow) of self is unconscious and making choices comes with consequences whoever we are, or wherever we are in our life (at what stage). Spiritual energetic matters of mirrors, mirroring and reflections of karma, astral related issues, or the more serious healing journey that bring up more detoxes than you can imagine. In our 20s and 30s we are pretty innocent and blind to the depths of who we are, both our light and our darkness of past lives or our present life.
Our life plays out in very ordinary ways emotionally as humans. But now on earth, we are entering an energetic age, side by side with our physical reality, and sometimes that reality is not forgiving. Mirrors in this way, can be scary or feeling like we have no control over the energetic or non-physical aspects of our life, even within the protection and love from nature and natural things.
One of the simple signs in life with mirrors, is the synchronicity in waking life or dream life is broken glass, breaking or shattering glass, cups, plates, things breakable as a sign of “breaking through” an issue that we may have been working with. This has always worked over the decades but now I have a progressed Gemini Moon, its brought up some mirror issues that are very complex.
Because Gemini rules both mirrors and magic, both its light side and its dark, the last time I had a progressed Gemini Moon was 30 years ago it was total chaos and its chaos now. Old issues are that started thirty years ago, are now completing in my life and relationships, in my mystical and spiritual life. I cannot say these are easy, far from it. But I have accepted that life is mysterious in both the bad things that happen to us and the good things. I’ve just had to live a life of karmic purification and its been pretty bad and a lot of pain, not only living it but also on a healing journey to heal karma.
I have been doing and teaching mirror work for a long time now, and of all the things I’ve mastered in self-enlightenment, has been the most complex and most difficult. I would say in all journeys we take, there is the beginning, the middle and the end or the transition into death and rebirth in mirror work (in regards to reflections of synchronicity and signs and symbolism,self awareness of our own shadow sides or karma, and this relationship to dream work and complex spiritual work.)
After mastering both Zen and the Bardo, when you move beyond basic dreaming and into self healing at much deeper levels, the dreaming will change. The differences are subtle but obvious. When you turn thirty you sense a great difference internally and are no longer that seventh grader, but memories of what happened to you in the seventh grade may still feel powerful or an associated misplaced feeling and complex behaviors association with them. Dreaming as we get older and mature feels has the same effect.
Most people try to live their best life or work at healing themselves if they are spiritual in order to be a better person or change and modify self destructive behaviors. This is a part of self healing. But the deeper you go into your issues, the more you have to navigate what surfaces in your life with some self love. That is why forgiveness, self acceptance, love and respect to self and others is so important and part of the wholeness of the difficult parts of our life. These mirrors show us our environment, our fears and our weaknesses.
Mirrors of life and Mirrors of dreaming should be the same self awareness and self love and development of the observer self. Both in self observation in waking and dreaming and it our interpersonal relationships. We are creatures of lessons in life and nothing will change that. We must go through our life and the weaknesses in order to find where our strength is.
If not, then we are trapped in the sleeping dream, even if its during the day. Even if you are lucid in your dream. In life, we come to work out our issues, the more issues we have, the more we need to work at them. Lucidity in dreaming is a beginner stage, just like that seventh grader. I always say master the mirrors of regret, confusion, depression, loneliness, regret, ego, frustration etc here in the waking before attempting to read with clarity, the dream mirrors (symbolism) of your soul. The two go hand and hand.
Dream mirrors (reflections of what you actually see in your dreams) with help us know how to heal or how to move forward in our life. Otherwise the dreamer waits a long time for us to wake up and pay attention instead of playing games in your dreams.
There is a popular practice to look into a mirror in dreaming. What happens when you look in a mirror in dreams or a dream mirror? Nothing, its just a projection from your mental astral body dreamer. Its not real, nor has it anything to do with the Soul which dreams outside the protective bubble that the projecting mental astral body exists within.
Dreams are not based on your memories and expectations, they are based on the truth and what is hidden in our waking life that we cannot see, which are revealed in our dreaming. Dreaming them is the mirror itself and we look at it, we project it and we must learn to deduct the symbolism as a language in order to understand them.
The Mirror Experiment that is out there in dream writers books and dream organizations do not let you literally look your unconscious in the face. What is happening is your inner dreamer is “projecting” an image into the mirror of the dream. Its called the smoking mirror.
Its a projection reflected back. Because in dreaming, only energy exists, there is no form, no human form exists, only an energy body. We project what we know in waking into a form in dreaming. But in reality dream planes are just vast energy without light, like the night sky.
The Mirror Experiment is what you project, but behind that puff and smoke is what the soul looks like and that is frighting because we all have karma. So those seeing themselves in mirrors in their dream experiment is only the surface glass of the mirror itself. We can see some shadowy and ugly things about our self but its flat, because we are protected from the real energetically.
Remember, dreams are symbolic, so if you look into a mirror in dreaming and your right eye is huge, its the same symbolism of the soul eye, just like the left eye is the human eye. If the right soul eye is huge and sick, this means that your soul eye is blocked (sick) and you are not seeing only with your mental body in life, not deeper into the issue within.
They say if you look into the abyss, the abyss will look back at you. Seeing the vastness of your past, past lives and karma when not prepared, can make “mental” and “mental astral dream body” impressions that cannot be forgotten. If one is not on a healing journey (of letting go), then that shadowy impression of the self becomes stuck in the dreamers projection of self. It takes a lot to train the mental body in waking, ask anyone like myself who has mastered zen. I would never take an untrained mind through the mental astral body into dreaming and play with things without being prepared.
Its unwise to take drugs and hallucinogens and look into mirrors in the waking life, the same is true in dreaming. The abyss in dreaming when it comes to dreams, lucid dreaming, astral travel and even out of bodies, is to balance this completely with the waking life with a purpose. If you have no purpose to heal and better yourself in dreaming with your waking life, or your past life karma, then you are playing a very dangerous game.
Doing practices in dreaming just for fun, is youthful play, but over forty you may find that these dreaming games of the past may have negative effects to your personal development in waking because you cannot build a practice of seeing syncronicities of your own souls communication during the day in the mirrors of life.
I have taught my apprentices over the years to focus on your issues, your shortcomings, your ego and heal those with the mirrors of waking life. Then let the mirrors of the dreaming life develop on their own from the foundation work you do in your waking life within relationships, purpose, self healing, self love, self respect.
Glass Mirrors, Volcanic Obsidian Mirrors and polished stone Mirrors are all over the ancient world and were used in sacred temples and circles. Places like Egypt and Greece had many mirrors and sacred mirrors and the collections in museums show this. Early archaeologists from the 1900s – 1950s gave simpleton explanations when it came to these mirrors, associated with woman and her past.
Thinking that mirrors were for beauty. Of course now women in the last 40 years, know better than to trust anything written for 4000 years under a strict male privileged scribe and written his-story.
Ancient mirrors are about reflection, about symbolism, about peripheral viewing, all falling under the greatest mirror: The Moon. The moon, its lunar phases and its reflection of the sun’s light was the foundation of the feminine teachings long before they were destroyed when men’s pagan and religions took over around 800 bce.
The symbol of mirrors has to do with the soul, souls memories, soul’s past lives, and their remembrance in both waking and night dreaming. For a dream is a mirrored reality, inside out and backwards and rare does a symbol in dreaming have to do with mind body, but more about the reflections of the self without a body. After all that is the environment in which we dream at night, and that is what the imagery and symbols mean in its own natural dreaming environment.
Our dreams are literally “an energetic mirror of our soul and its life” since our soul does not live in this world (except for the 20% of our light that we get to be able to ‘reincarnate’. Mirroring or mirrored reflections then, are the soul in its light states, its profaned states, its interaction states with others on the middle-world dream planes, or our darkest karma or having to deal with other dreamers dark karma and even demon astral bodies.
That which reflects back in our dreaming, is only cyclical and will not reveal our karma unless we are fated to experience that, which many “do not”… Thus what we cannot see is this oldest divination on earth called dreams, dreaming and lastly which no one enters unless they master death, is the dreamtime is a journey and a hidden and repressed one. Those who take shamanic plants are not dreaming nor visioning, they are “projecting” from their 20% of their soul within.
What moon cycles, lunar seasons and self enlightenment work is all about when it comes to the feminine principles and the soul is to slowly, safely, step by step with common sense, is the opening of your soul to experience your karma. Many many dream teachers are all beginners, because they deal with the imagery and imagination parts of dreaming and work that into creativity to solve common relationship problems etc. That is a good foundation and beginner level, even the most advanced within that foundation.
But there is so much more, an entire universe inside you and all your past lives good and evil that dreaming will find these doorways. But without strict sobriety and purity, and disciplines over the mental body (mastering zen), one never gets past beginner dreams, even if they astral travel.
The unwritten languages of our ancient past, still include clues within art, about mirrorism, mirror self reflection work, and rituals based on mirrors. Mostly witches work with mirrors, but there is a whole other reality besides that craft or magic side, but into the soul of yourself so you can begin to heal. Real mirror work is never about anyone but you.
Mirror history of the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were quite fond of mirrors and often manufactured mirrors from polished copper and bronze. Glass mirrors were first produced during the third century ce and were quite common in Egypt, Gaul, Germany and Asia. The invention of glassblowing method during the late 14th century led to the discovery of convex mirrors, which increased the popularity of glass mirrors.
A major mirror component is glass. Because glass is a poor reflector, it must be coated in order to make a mirror. The most appropriate materials for making metallic coatings are silver, gold, and chrome. The concepts of the soul are often associated with mirrors, which results in a wealth of superstition surrounding mirrors after the 12th century ce. For instance, breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck but is actually good luck because you’ve broken through something.
Mirrors also have a strong connection to spirits especially in the witch communities. Mirrors are covered when some dies, because according to some superstitions, a mirror can trap the soul of the person who dies.
Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡)
This is a sacred mirror that is part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. It is said to be housed in Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, Japan, although a lack of public access makes this difficult to verify. The Yata no Kagami represents “wisdom” or “honesty,” depending on the source. Its name literally means “The Eight Ta Mirror,” a reference to its size and octagonal shape.
Mirrors in ancient Japan represented truth because they merely reflected what was shown, and were a source of much mystique and reverence (being uncommon items). Japanese folklore is rich in stories of life before mirrors were commonplace. In Shinto Buddhism, the mirror was forged by the deity Ishikoridome; it and the Yasakani no magatama were hung from a tree to lure out Amaterasu from a cave. They were given to Amaterasu’s grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, when he went to pacify Japan along with the sword Kusanagi.
In the year 1040 (Chōkyū 1, 9th month), the compartment which contained the Sacred Mirror was burned in a fire. Whether that mirror was irrevocably lost or not, it is said to be housed today in Ise Grand Shrine, while a replica is enshrined in Three Palace Sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
April Holloway: Magic mirrors are not just objects found in fairy tales. An experiment conducted on a replica bronze mirror in Kyoto’s National Museum shows that the original may be an example of an actual magic mirror that has been linked to a mysterious Japanese shaman queen.
The Magic mirrors have a slight unevenness to their surface – something the naked eye cannot note – which creates patterns on the back as light reflects off of the front. In Japan, magic mirrors were to help their users to conjure up images of divine animals or wizards.
Ryu Murakami, head of the museum’s curatorial board, said “Someone apparently noticed the phenomenon and intentionally shaped mirrors in this way. I believe they have something to do with moon worship.” The mirror examined in the study belongs in the “sankakubuchi shinjukyo” (triangular-rimmed deity and animal mirror) category of mirrors.
This magic mirror is called a Himiko’s Mirror because stories say it was owned by Himiko, a shaman Queen who ruled the kingdom of Yamatai in the 3rd century ce. The mirror was found in the Higashinomiya tomb in Aichi, Japan and has been associated with the queen because some of the other mirrors found in the tomb have the date 239 inscribed on them – the year a Chinese emperor supposedly presented 100 bronze mirrors to the Queen’s emissary.
The gift may seem strange by today’s standards, but at the time mirrors were valued presents and were used to create or cement political alliances. Queen Himiko is not actually mentioned in Japanese sources – her story is only known through a Chinese historical text written in the late third century. Called ‘Records of the Three Kingdoms’ and compiled around 290 AD, this text is regarded as one of the most reliable of the Chinese dynastic histories. While the existence of Queen Himiko and her kingdom of Yamatai have mostly been accepted, the exact location of this site is still ambiguous today.
The Americas | Mesoamerica
The use of mirrors in Meso-american culture was associated with the idea that they served as portals to a realm that could be seen but not interacted with. Mirrors in pre-Columbian Meso-america were fashioned from stone and served a number of uses, from the decorative to the divinatory.
An ancient tradition among many Mesoamerican cultures was the practice of divination using the surface of a bowl of water as a mirror. At the time of the Spanish conquest this form of divination was still practiced among the Maya, Aztecs and Purépecha. In Mesoamerican art, mirrors are frequently associated with pools of liquid; this liquid was likely to have been water.
Early mirrors were fashioned from single pieces of iron ore, polished to produce a highly reflective surface. By the Classic period, mosaic mirrors were being produced from a variety of ores, allowing for the construction of larger mirrors. Mosaic pyrite mirrors were crafted across large parts of Mesoamerica in the Classic period, particularly at Teotihuacan and throughout the Maya region.
Pyrite degrades with time to leave little more than a stain on the mirror back by the time it is excavated. This has led to the frequent misidentification of pyrite mirror backs as paint palettes, painted discs or pot lids. By the Postclassic period obsidian mirrors became increasingly common.
The peoples of ancient Mexico used polished obsidian mirrors, or tezcatl (mirror), as instruments of magic. Obsidian is a kind of glass formed during volcanic eruptions, and it shares all of the basic physical properties of ordinary glass. By gazing into a mirror’s smoky depths, sorcerers traveled to the world of gods and ancestors. Obsidian mirrors are an apt metaphor for images of ancient Mexican sites and objects: they reflect the viewer as well as the object.
Yucatan Mirror Displacements, his resulting art piece, exists as three interrelated but discrete works: the physical placement of the mirrors in the landscape; photographs of the mirrors; and an article in Artforum whose was text modeled after Stephens’s Incidents of Travel in Yucatan (1843).
Smithson photographed mirrors near Maya ruins, in the jungle, and beside the sea. His images do not show tangible artifacts; rather, they capture the mirrors arranged in the natural elements and as they reflect their surroundings.
Smithson’s term “mirror-travel” describes how the reflective surfaces of the mirrors highlight the displacement of time and space. Yet, as Smithson reminds us, art does not truly reflect life. Yucatán is elsewhere.
Auguste Génin, a Mexican collector of French descent, assembled a large collection of Pre-Columbian objects in Mexico City at the turn of the twentieth century. Ancient Mexican mirrors, such as these from Génin’s collection, survive today in many shapes and sizes. They were sometimes reused after the conquest—placed in Christian crucifixes or remounted as symbols of vanity, an aspect of the Catholic deadly sin of pride.
In some German and Dutch cultures in the past, mirrors were covered up after a death because it was believed that catching a glimpse of yourself after a member of your household died meant that you would go next (and soon). Some historians have documented an older Chinese superstition that held that if a corpse is taken past an uncovered mirror, they will become a ghost.
Some old Irish beliefs also held that the soul of a dead person could become trapped inside a mirror that was brought near the body. Rituals involving the covering of mirrors after death were also found in some Indian, English, and Scottish cultures.
In Victorian culture, the practice of covering mirrors became non-denominational; supposedly all the mirrors were covered when Abraham Lincoln’s body was laid out in the White House.
The root of Civilization is always focused on both northern, central and south Africa and because the culture is the oldest of earth, their ancient ways may seem perplexing to modern individuals. Mostly the Military and Christians have destroyed the root of these balanced traditions, causing more shadows to have powers, but that is true everywhere on earth in the last two-thousand years.
The cradle of civilization is a highly complex continent with both its light and dark sides. For example in ritual traditions windows and mirrors showcases African people and their cultures, rituals and religions. Ancient customs are adapted in many South African urban funerals.
When someone has died in a house, all the windows are smeared with ash, all pictures in the house turned around and all mirrors and televisions and any other reflective objects are covered. The beds are removed from the deceased’s room, and the bereaved women sit on the floor, usually on a mattress.
Traditionally, the funeral takes place in the early morning (often before sunrise) and not late in the afternoon, as it is believed that Sorcerers move around in the afternoons looking for corpses to use for their evil purposes. Because sorcerers are asleep in the early morning, this is a good time to bury one’s loved one.
The fears of mirroring life back to us, has created a complex superstition system that involve mirrors…
• If a new couple first catch sight of each other in a mirror, they will have a happy marriage.
• To see an image of her future husband, a girl was told to eat an apple while sitting in front of a mirror, then brush her hair. While doing so, an image of the man would appear behind her shoulder.
• If you feel sorrowful or troubled while home alone, with no one to talk to and no apparent way to control your depression, stand before a mirror and gaze into your eyes. Your anxiety should disappear.
• Ancient Chinese believed that mirrors frightened away evil spirits who were scared by their own appearance. If the mirror was broken, the protection would be lost. When dealing with mirrors in this way, putting a symbol of capture across the mirror is a sure way to trap whatever enters or keeps locked in, whatever wants to come through.
• If a mirror falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will soon die or experience a near death, or the symbolic transformation, death and rebirth.
• Someone seeing their reflection in a room where someone has recently died, will soon die themselves.
• Actors believe that it is bad luck to see their reflection while looking over the shoulder of another person.
• No mirror should be hung so low that it “cuts off” the tallest household member’s head (doing so may cause headaches).