Mystery of Mirrors: A bridge to another World

Mystery of Mirrors: A bridge to another World


Mirrors have been, throughout history, a source of fascination for different cultures and peoples.

Undoubtedly, there is something quite peculiar in the mirrors.

They give us the opportunity to “see ourselves as others see us” , in addition to allowing us to practice our sexiest face and important speeches, or get our fear into the body in the dark.

For millennia, mirrors have been used to tell the future, see the past or seek the truth.

In Venice, for example, wealthy rich families used them to show off their wealth. Others believe that breaking them can truncate your future …

But the mirrors hide more history and beliefs than they show.

Here are seven curiosities that you may not have known.

1. Window to the future

Baroque mirror
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption What can you see?


In Ancient Greece, the witches of Thessaly from the third century BC C used the “magic mirrors” to later write their oracles with blood.

The speculators , ancient priests of Ancient Rome, also used them to see the past, the present and the future.

The traditions of catoptromancy, the use of mirrors for divination , have endured throughout history and have been included in stories and popular practices around the world.

2. Bridge to another world

Tezcatlipoca mask
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption The Aztec god Tezcatlipoca used mirrors to cross between the earthly kingdom and the underworld.


Nowadays, the mirrors are made with aluminum powder , but the Egyptians used polished copper.

Copper was associated with the goddess Hathor, who was the female personification of the sun, and represented beauty, love, sex, fertility and magic.

The Aztecs used highly polished obsidian, a black volcanic glass , to make their mirrors, and believed they were linked to the god Tezcatlipoca.

Tezcatlipoca was the lord of the night, time and ancestral memory, and used mirrors to cross between the earthly kingdom and the underworld .

3. Source of professional success

Image of a chess piece reflected in a mirror with another image.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption What if a mirror reflects what you really hide? There are cultures that think so …


In China, mirrors were used to channel and capture energy , mainly that of the Moon.

Apparently, one of his emperors came to power for knowing how to intelligently use a “magic mirror”.

Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty in the year 25 d. C, claimed that his mirror allowed him to see the internal qualities of whoever was looking at him.

4. Revealers of truth

Antique illustration of the Snow White tale mirror.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption A German city was known for making “talking mirrors” in the 18th century.


It was often believed that the mirrors absorbed and stored what they reflected for later use and it is believed that this could be the origin of the famous Snow White mirror story.

It was believed that the real Snow White was actually a Bavarian baroness of the eighteenth century, whose father remarried in 1743.

The new stepmother, who favored the children of her first marriage, received a mirror from her new husband as a gift.

It was said to be a “talking mirror” , since the mirrors made in the Bavarian region of Lohr, in modern Germany, were of such quality that it was believed that they “always told the truth”.

The real mirror of this fairytale can still be seen today in the Spessart Museum, in the Lohr Castle.

5. Bearers of (bad) luck?

Broken rearview mirror on an old orange truck.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption There are ways to break the seven-year “curse” by breaking a mirror.


There are many superstitions related to mirrors, including one that says that if you break one, you will have seven years of bad luck .

The Romans are to blame for this, as they believed that life was renewed in cycles of seven years . They argued that if you broke a mirror, your soul would be trapped between the pieces and not be released until the next life cycle.

But there were also ways to break the curse : picking up all the pieces and burying them in the ground or throwing them into a river with a strong current, letting the water take away the misfortune.

But in Pakistan , for example, breaking a mirror or a glass in a house is a good omen . It means that evil is leaving your home and good luck is approaching .

The actors, famous for their superstitions, believe that it brings bad luck that another person looks into the mirror over his shoulder while preparing for a performance.

And the mirrors on the stage are practically forbidden. There is a fear that they will break and therefore, the curse will involve the actors on stage and the entire theater.

Everything is based on the old superstition that mirrors are a gateway for evil spirits .

On a more practical level, the mirrors are not the best friends of the set designers because they reflect the light and ruin the games of lights.

6. Veiled mirrors

Antique mirror
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption It was believed that mirrors could trap the soul of recently deceased people, who could still be wandering.


In Victorian Britain , when the dead were exposed before the funeral was held, all the mirrors in the house were covered with a veil to prevent the soul from being trapped .

However, this practice was not exclusive to the British. It was practiced all over the world, from the United States, to China, Madagascar, Crimea and Bombay.

The custom still persists today among the Jews when they practice shiva , a period of mourning that lasts a week.

7. The true image of the soul

Conceptual photo of a man looking at himself in the mirror, in his reflection there is no face.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption A mirror never lies, says the belief.


Some ancient cultures believe that the mirrors reflected the ” hidden soul  or the true nature of the person.

This could have been the origin of the belief that vampires and demons do not have a reflection because they also have no soul to reflect.

Now that you know these things, the next time you look in a mirror you can ask yourself what the reflected image really says …

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.


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