Gazing into a crystal ball hoping to see the unknown there is called scrying, and scrying is the reason diviners of all kinds are called “seers.” It’s a Druidic form of fortunetelling now practiced around the world.
Not all scrying is done with crystal balls. Scrying can be done by gazing into mirrors, glass, clouds, or water. People hope to see ghosts or spirits like the legendary Mary Worth, access arcane spiritual information, or envision a future event. An old European superstition advises unmarried young women to dim the lights on Halloween night and then perhaps light a candle, and then stare into a mirror because on that night it’s possible to see their future husband there. The “gazing balls” used to decorate backyard gardens are Victorian cousins of the crystal ball.
Why You Don’t Want a Perfectly Clear One
Scrying is concentrated focus. The best-known form of scrying involves intense concentration on a crystal ball. Ideally, a scryer obtains a sphere of natural quartz crystal, professionally tumbled until it’s perfectly round. We all know natural quartz crystals, as they come from the Earth, have facets and points; spherical quartz does not occur in nature. A “natural” crystal ball shaped from genuine quartz probably includes bubbles, cracks, impurities, or clouds, sometimes reflecting prismatic rainbow colors. Most transparent crystal balls now sold are glass, not quartz. If the seller or scryer insists his transparent crystal ball is genuine quartz, it is probably pulverized quartz melted down and reshaped, with all impurities removed.
The impurities are important and desirable. To a seer, they are a backdrop and inspiration. From every angle a crystal ball with impurities will appear different. During a scrying session a seer can slightly turn the ball to discover new insights or impressions. That will not happen with a transparent ball. Those work best for simpler purposes such as meditation or decoration. It’s actually harder to “read” a ball that is clear all the way through.
You don’t have to be a gypsy or witch to do scrying. Anyone can. But the more you do it, the better you get at it. If your concern is very serious—meaning it’s deeper than personal spiritual growth and understanding— please don’t try to scry for yourself. Consult a professional.
The typical fortune-teller image, although grossly outmoded, to this day remains the emblem of the entire world of the occult. A gypsy or witch in robes or rags and a turban or other head covering sits with a glowing crystal ball so large that the fortuneteller’s two hands wrapped around it will not meet. Crystal balls available for sale today are measured in millimeters. A solid 200mm ball about eight inches in diameter weighs approximately 25 pounds. It’s heavy, like lead crystal! If you intend to use one mostly for meditation or feng shui, choose a small size.
Reading a Crystal Ball
While genuine Rom (gypsy) fortunetellers were mostly females, the most famous crystal gazer of all time was “Alexander, the Man Who Knows,” who made a fortune in the days of vaudeville. Perpetuating a totally false impression regarding crystal gazing and its powers was the Wicked Witch of the West character in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. She used it as if it were a webcam, to see remotely what her enemies were up to; she used it to conjure a poppy field; she used it to scry Dorothy’s future. Notice that the witch never touched the ball, only motioned with her (green) hands to stir and raise its energy. Some crystal gazers still believe it’s important not to touch the ball while consulting it.
Most occultists today acknowledge that a crystal ball cannot tell the future or spy on what others are doing. It can, however, provide insight and guidance. Any images that appear in the ball while you are scrying come from your unconscious mind, and, like nighttime dreams, are symbolic. For example, seeing in a crystal ball that doesn’t mean you’re going on a cruise. A boat symbolizes many things, and it’s greatly in your favor to have studied mythology, religion, and classic symbolism before interpreting what you see, because your personal unconscious mind is also tapped into the collective unconscious. In the collective unconscious, thousands of years of thought, devotion, and experience are compiled. Use the crystal ball to seek wisdom. Treating a scrying ball as a game is abusing it, and it won’t work.
Be patient. It might take several sessions for you and your crystal ball to adjust to each other. Dim the room, relax; take your time. Relax your face as you gaze; let your eyes unfocus. If several images surface, choose the three that are strongest. These images reflect not the future but hidden aspects of the present.
Traditionally, the scryer never allows anyone else to touch the ball, and must not expose it to sunlight or it loses its powers. That’s why fortunetellers in illustrations occupy thickly draped dark rooms. The gypsy-fortuneteller image also shows the base of the ball swaddled in cloth, perhaps in velvet, indicating it is covered to stay dark when not in use. On the other hand, a crystal ball loves moonlight and, when you first get yours, it should be bathed in a full moon’s light in order to cleanse and charge it.
Find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be interrupted and cup your hands around a new crystal ball until its energy field is palpable. A ball (natural or man-made) of genuine quartz crystal shares some of the metaphysical properties of quartz crystal. It radiates energy and can transmit energy, and, it is said, can clear a room of negative vibrations. It won’t, however, glow in the dark. Quartz genuinely conducts electricity and can serve as a shield against it. Quartz watches keep time better than mechanical watches. Because it’s spherical, a crystal ball cannot be used to direct energy the way quartz points and wands can.
Then, when you’re ready, scry. As with any occult practice, show respect, and before doing anything, ask your higher powers to bless your contact with Spirit and your search for wisdom, and that what you ask or learn is for the good of all.