Himalayan Art Resources

Ritual Object: Mirror

Ritual Object Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Mirror Description (below)
1. Offering Object
--- Five Qualities of Enjoyment
--- Eight Bringers of Good Fortune
2. Ritual Object
--- Plain Mirror
--- Letter Marked Mirror
--- Crystal & Mirror
--- Divination
3. Hand Attribute
4. Ornament of Attire
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

- Video: A Question on Mirrors in Himalayan Art

There are four main uses for the mirror in art - as an offering object, ritual object, ornament of attire and a hand attribute. For the offering object there are two sets of objects that are commonly found in the foreground of peaceful compositions, Five Qualities of Enjoyment and the Eight Bringers of Good Fortune.

As a ritual object the mirror is used in initiation rituals both as a real mirror or as an initiation card. Mirrors can also be used in divination and purification rituals.

A number of different deities hold a mirror however the meaning of the mirror can change depending on the function and purpose of the deity.

Many of the Tibetan worldly protector deities wear a silver mirror as a breast plate. Sometimes the center of the mirror is marked with a Sanskrit letter written in a Tibetan script.

Jeff Watt [updated 2-2019, 5-2020]