The desire to know and thus affect the future, or even attain information about past or present, through spiritual means , spawned so many forms of mantic art or divination. People had always, and still are, trying very hard to see clearly the truth, using spiritual methods, to get precious information about future, guidance, and read omens, all to increase the quality of their lives and uplift themselves.
From a silly teenage girl, doing one of them sappy love divinations to find out If that guy likes her, over that guy gazing into a bowl of water that reflects the full Moon in order to foresee the upcoming events, to a serious necromancer invoking ghosts to get information from them, divination is what they all are engaging in.
I’ve already written about how to use playing cards in divination method known as cartomancy before, and today we will focus on a more “spiritual” method. Divination using the element of water, also known as hydromancy.
|Galadriel and her magick "mirror", a speculum made with water|
Hydromancy and hidroscopy
Hydromancy, often also referred to as Hydroscopy is an art of divination using water as medium, scrying surface or tool. Term hydromancy ( Old Greek “hydros” – water and “manteia” divination ) was more often used for those methods that were more “mystical” in nature , and “modus operandi”, such as let’s say water scrying. The term Hydroscopy ( Old Greek “scopein” – to observe ) was rarely ever used, and when it was, it was used to describe those methods which had more scientific procedures about them, like the methods with ring pendulum and glass, or casting stones on steady/calm water surface to cause ripples.
In Renaissance magick, Hydromancy came to be one of the seven “artes magicae “ or “artes pohibitae” that is one of the “seven forbidden arts”, according to canon law , as expounded by J. Hartlieb in 1456th 
Water is an element associated traditionally with feminine, intuition, psychic powers, emotions, and Moon ( among other things ) , hence it makes an idea medium for spiritual work known as divination. It’s also associated with Archangel Gabriel, harbinger of important news and Archangel known to guide people and advice them.
So other than observing the water behavior itself, and effects it caused on other objects, water was seen as one of the ideal scrying surfaces, which meant that gazing upon in, in near-trance-like state would give practitioners visions and symbolic insight. Therefore, we can freely say that water scrying , or gazing was what inspired catmoptromancy, or divination by mirror reflections, for water surfaces were the first mirrors available and known to humans. Later the two were even often combined in divination, like in example described by Pausianias, an second century Greek traveler:
“Before the Temple of Ceres at Patras, there was a fountain, separated from the temple by a wall, and there was an oracle, very truthful, not for all events, but for the sick only. The sick person let down a mirror, suspended by a thread till its base touched the surface of the water, having first prayed to the goddess and offered incense. Then looking in the mirror, he saw the presage of death or recovery, according as the face appeared fresh and healthy, or of a ghastly aspect” 
Various ( both ) diverse and similar methods of hydromancy spin the globe.
In Ancient Greece, there was a custom to hold a mirror just bellow to water surface , on the “holy” oracle hill of Zeus in Dodona ( 14th century BC ) , though it’s wise to note here that the Zeus mentioned was not the Olympian Zeus, which came considerably later. 
Divination observing the mirror or the water surface, was common practice in Ancient Egypt, and was dedicated to their goddess Hathor, who was reputed to had possessed a magickal shield or mirror which had been able to show to true nature of any person or object, and was hence a feared item, for few were ready to deal with what they would see in it. Whatmore , legends say that Ra’s “holy” eye was given in custody to Hathor ( or even “in form of goddess Hathor” ) and that using it she was able to see anything in the world. It’s no surprise then, than in Heka, it was/is customary to observe water surface placed in orange bowl , which reflected flame or the Moon , while burning Rose incense and petitioning Hathor for inspiration and visions .
In early French traditions it was customary to use spring water for divination, poured in a dark bowl. Saffron was burnt as an incense, and the sprigs of Ash, along with flowers of Verbena or/and Wintergreen were placed all around the bowl, which was then used as speculum. When the scrying was completed, and needed information gained, the contents were poured on the ground, to preserve the link with the Earth.  It is said that Nostradamus often practiced hydromancy, and that he had a brass vessel with water, placed on metal tripod, used for such occasions.
Calm lake surfaces are often, by Pagans , called Diana’s mirrors, and are used to gaze upon, and entice visions , in nights when they reflect Full or waxing Moon. Lake Nemi, in Lazio region in Itally, nearby the town also called Nemi, is sacred to pagan goddess Diana. It’s a beautiful, small volcanic lake, that , in times of Ancient Rome , was where the festival called Nemoralia ( 13-15th August ) had taken place. The lake was called “speculum Diani” ( lat. Diana’s mirror ). Ancient Roman priests that would conduct readings , using mirrors and water surfaces for divination were called “speculari” .
Often, other substances such as ink ( traditionally in India, and some other Eastern cultures ), dyes, or oils, like done in Italian folk magick , were added to help entrance the mind and the eye of beholder, and form ominous symbols. In Italy, one of the methods of diagnosing evil eye effect in someone’s life was to pour olive oil in bowl with water, drop by drop, while reciting incantations, until certain, auspicious symbol would appear, most commonly an eye.
In Enochian magick, Angels are often evoked, to appear in the glass with water, using prayers, incantations and words of power, after which they would provide guidance. Archangel Uriel is traditionally evoked this way, and in some methods “innocent child” is required to perform part of the ritual.
Ceromancy ( divination by using wax, most often candle wax ) if another method often combined with hydromancy , in which case the candle wax was dripped , from a burning candle, into a vessel with water, and the symbols and shapes forming, were interpreted.
Here are a few practical methods You can use to divine using water :
Water ripples technique
Best done outdoor, it requires but a few pebbles and a steady, calm water surface. Lakes were most preferred for this, though really, a small pond, a fountain, even a puddle could do.
· Water to fill the glass, naturally J
The diviner asks the question, aloud, but not yelling. Some say three times. The question should be formulated /phrased in such manner that it can be answered with either yes, or no, or “positive” and “negative” outcome. Then one is to cast a small pebble and count the number or the ripples. Odd numbers were considered a “yes” or “positive outcome” answer, and naturally, even numbers were interpreted as a “no”, or “negative outcome” answer. Splashes, strange intense sounds produced when casting the pebble, also indicated “explosive” , swift development. Long distance between the ripple circles, or absence of the same was a call to caution, warning about obstacles on someone’s path, or slow development of the things that were to unfold in future. Plainly put, it often meant, the diviner, or the one whom the reading is being given, should take charge of things, they question about.
The Jesuit M.A. Del Rio ( 1551-1608 ) describing several methods of hydromancy , said that three pebbles are to be used for this method, in which case You could either sum all the ripples You’ve gotten, or interpret each as “yes” or “no” answer , and the definite one being the one that appears twice.
Ring and glass method
This is the method most teenage girls know J It’s a simple, yes or no answer-giving method, that requires :
· A vessel with water, preferably a tall narrow glass· Ring hung on a string, like a pendulum
· Water to fill the glass, naturally J
The diviner is to place the glass with water in front of themselves, dip the ring in it, wait until it becomes steady. Then, the diviner asks the question, and then gently swirl the vessel couple of times. Number of times the ring hits the side is indicative of yes, or no answer, same rule applied to water ripple technique ( the previous one that was suggested ) goes here as well. Loud strikes of the ring, were considered to foretell a negative outcome, whereas the quiet, and / or dull strikes were ominous of an desired, positive way the issue would unfold.
This is a simple and traditional method, calling for a simple vessel of water, and some dye, or ink. I like to use Indigo ink, or Dragon’s blood, but virtually any ink will too. Furthermore, I found that certain tea infusions, like that of green/black tea, which appear with that oil-shiny active components layer, on the surface, can serve as well.
In any case, preferred time is night, or sunset. A dark glass bowl is filled with water, and placed so that it does not reflect the diviner, but instead, reflects some light, be it natural, like that of the Full Moon, or a candle’s flame. From there, there are various variations of the technique.
· One can add few drops of ink, after they have asked the question, observing the shapes that will the ink form in contact with water . In India, the pour the ink on their palm, and then let it drip from the palm into the bowl.
· One can add drops of oil in similar fashion, and interpret in similar fashion.
· One can observe the clean water surface, fixing on it, gazing. After a while one closes the eyes and opens them again, looks at the water in the bowl, and starts blinking swiftly. The images will appear, and other than their shape and symbolism , the diviner observes how do the images move and where do they appear. Images that appear to be approaching to the diviner, speak of event or person appearing in near future. If the picture is moving away from the diviner, it’s about something that had already taken place, or someone who’s slowly going away from their life, or some past issue that is still bothering person in question. Images appearing on the left speak about concrete things, money, possessions and so on. Those appearing on right speak in symbolism. If the images appear near the surface, they speak of the issues that require quick action, and those appearing “bellow” the surface , or near the rims, are considered “not so urgent”. Larger images are considered of , obviously, larger importance.
Any of the methods mentioned can be cunningly combined. What most of the water scrying methods have in common is that they should be done in darkened rooms, illuminated by only candlelight, sunset or moonlight to get the best or the reading. Also, the diviner should take care not to let their own image get reflected in the bowl with water.
I place a print of “Sigilum Dei Aemeth” bellow the bowls I use for scrying, so any seal that has to do with truth, clarity, prophecy and similar can be used to “empower” the ritual even further.
Herbs, powders and crystals are also sometimes arranged around the bowl/vessel with the water, things like Verbena, Sage, Clarity powder, Amethyst or Quartz crystals, and so on.
Water agitation method, or “Resonance” method
As described on another site:
“In some rituals people use a wand made from the branch of a bay tree, hazel tree or the laurel. The end of the wand should be covered in dry tree sap or resin. Dip the end of the wand into the water until it becomes wet. Wet the rims of the bowl. By gently drawing the rim of the wand around the bowl it will cause it to resonate. The action of the resonating basin will cause circular ripples to form in the basin. The water may seem to breathe with the sounds.” 
I’ve heard this being done with a crystal point, and even with a finger. Loud and unpleasant noises would indicate negative outcome, and vice verca, gentle and melodic sounds would foretell positive outcome. Disturbed and uneven ripples are ominous about some danger or urgent issue, harmonic, and even ripples foretell about period of wealth, and luck, or speak of success which comes from hard work.
It would be extremely interesting to me to experiment adding few drops of Indigo ink when using this method. J
NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself. If You wish to use any part(s) of it elsewhere online, feel free, but add credits: Shadow of Shadows magick place, Shadowemail@example.com or a direct link to this post.
CREDITS AND REFRENCES:
 as stated on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_magic
 more about Dodona and Zeus’ oracle and sanctuary You can read here: http://pargablog.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80
 Eason , Cassandra, Encyclopedia of Magic and Ancient Wisdom: The Essential Guide to Myth, Magic and the Supernatural , pages 137th, and 138th
 according to information given on here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydromancy
 retrieved from : http://www.crystalinks.com/waterscrying.html
IMAGE CREDITS: The first image; Galadriel’s mirror image is from http://s.cghub.com/files/Image/463001-464000/463099/917_max.jpg used here for illustrative and explanatory purposes, without any ill will, and same goes for the second image, which is from http://www.cardensdesign.com/photography/ripples.jpg edited digitally, by myself , for posting here