I had been thinking about mirrors lately. I remember when I was little being afraid that my reflection would not mirror mine but take on a life of its own. I even spooked myself into thinking it had on occasion. That it remained looking at me while I walked away. Particularly in one mirror in my grandmother’s house. Needless to say my vanity turned self-loathing as far as mirrors went by the time I was ten. The thought that mirrors are portals to other worlds are ancient and innate to me. I’m not sure if I fully believe it but there are enough cases of mirrors holding and releasing energy and spirits to make you wonder.
Tiny hand prints at the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana to the full length mirror at the Roosevelt hotel in California are just two famous spooky looking glasses. There are tales of spirits appearing at the Chelsea Hotel in New York and the dining room at the Crescent Hotel in Arkansas in various mirrors. Neither place realized a glimpse into a different world for me but it was unnerving looking in those mirrors and half dreading and half hoping to see something. The infamous Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells Texas has a ballroom filled with mirrors reported to be rife with spirits flitting about and even Bonnie and Clyde upstairs. Maybe. Because then who is haunting their death car?
I didn’t realize until recently scrying was done in mirrors, water and crystal balls sure, but mirrors? I saw it used to try to communicate with the dead but it is also used to see the past and predict the future. Not a true believer in this but you’d be crazy to try it. The whole Bloody Mary legend is based on this practice but it took me this long to connect the dots with scrying. I thought it was a vanity cautionary tale. Scrying is a form of divination or foretelling that makes me nervous. Even if I do think it is, on the whole, hooey con carne or incarne if you please.
But could a mirrored wall be more than hideous interior design choice? A mirrored ceiling more than a kinky touch? A disco ball more than a boogie aid? Does it hold some passport to wandering souls or trap yours? According to people who believe in this not always. It would have to be mirror that captured some trauma, an antique, or one that has been used to call up such things. I know I have an aversion to mirrors, like the one at my grandmother’s long ago, and an affection for some. I have an antique hand-held mirror that is a treasure to me. Even with or maybe especially because of the engraved initial is not my own. The connections of objects to the past can be charming and wonderful. But it can be dark and mysterious and sometimes terrifying for some. Go ask Billy Bob Thornton.
The art of feng shui dictates no mirrors facing your bed because it drains energy as you sleep and many cultures cover the mirror after death not to confuse the soul. And old wives have their say as well:
Do not look into a mirror to see your face by candlelight it will bring bad luck.
Cover a mirror with a blanket during a thunderstorm because they are known to attract lightning.
If a mirror falls from the wall with unseen hands, a person in the home will die soon.
When you see your reflection in a mirror, it is seeing your soul. This is the reason that a vampire cannot see his reflection; he does not have a soul.
To have a happy marriage a couple must first catch sight of one another in a mirror.
It is believed that the devil created mirrors to trap souls of the departed, so it is best to cover all mirrors in a room when someone dies so their soul cannot be trapped in the mirror.
If you look into a mirror in a room where someone has just passed away you will die soon.
Babies should never look into a mirror until after their first birthday.
It is bad luck to see your reflection in a mirror over someone shoulder.
You can see the image of your future husband by using a mirror. You will need to sit down in front of the mirror and eat an apple, then brush your hair, and the man who you are to marry will appear behind your shoulder.
Basically never own a mirror or look into one. Thank you. I know a lot of mirror lore originated because they were costly and should be handled with care. Servants were warned of seven years of bad luck should they break one. Others superstitions may just be a safe-guard against vanity for the good-looking set. Just in case you were feeling too pretty. Where truth begins and control ends is a difficult call to make with any rules and regulations. The mystical beliefs in mirrors and the magic they can bring are culturally diverse. Wiccans use a black mirrors to divine in modern times and make-up is a sort of magic that would go horribly wrong without a mirror. The magic is even referenced in Snow White. The Wicked Stepmother so relies on its powers that she sets out to kill her stepdaughter. Clearly she was more gorgeous than Snow White in the Disney version. The soul is the truest image and the mirror in that fairy tale could see it. The true beauty that lies within is the only one worth possessing. Lost on the Evil Queen and the fault of the mirror that merely reflected the physical but told of the metaphysical. Can a mirror trap it or hold our image or essence? Can it be a gateway to the afterlife or a place where the future can be seen? Or is it really only paint and glass? My favorite mirror story is Through the Looking Glass. Everything is contrary and contrary-wise. Some days I think I step through the mirror by mistake. Otherwise how could one make sense of the Jersey Shore?