The Art Of Crystal Ball Gazing

Scrying is the art of gazing into a reflective surface – glass, water, a mirror or a crystal – to gain mystical insight.

Crystal balls and other reflective objects contain no real power of themselves. The images seen with a crystal ball are not the foretelling of future events. The images are glimpsed from deep within your subconscious mind. The crystal ball or other object is simply a door through which these subconscious thoughts can be accessed.

Most crystal balls are clear and made of glass, lead crystal, reconstituted quartz or some other natural quartz. While clear quartz is the most common crystal used for scrying, smoky quartz, amethyst, beryl, selenite and obsidian also are popular. Find a gazing ball or crystal ball that pleases you in terms of size, weight, clarity or opacity and beauty.

Most crystal gazers prefer a ball that is at least four to five inches in diameter so gazing is easier. A three inch ball works just as well, but I don’t recommend using one much smaller than that.

When you first get your gazing ball, verify that it will not be affected by soap and water. Then clean it using a soft cloth, water and mild soap. This will make your gazing ball physically clean. As you physically clean the ball, visualize cleaning and clearing out any of the negative energies or associations the ball may have as well. These could have come from the mining process, handling, transport, the buying and selling process, and from any previous owners or uses.

To completely cleanse your ball of any previous or negative energies, you may enjoy smudging it, or passing it through the smoke of incense or the flame or a candle. You also may place it on a plate of sea salt overnight to draw out any lingering energies. Smudge or otherwise cleanse your gazing ball before each use.

To charge your ball, place it in the light of a Full Moon for one to several nights. Generally, you don’t want to place your ball in direct Sunlight. The Moon carries feminine energies, and the Sun carries masculine energies, and perhaps you are desiring to tap into some of those masculine energies.

Do your research, as many stones can be faded by even a short exposure to direct Sunlight. Many also believe that the Sun can weaken the ball’s magnetism, thereby rendering it unable to draw images. This is a reason why gazing crystals often are stored in a box, away from light.

When using a crystal ball, induce a trance-like state – this takes practice, so perhaps each time, start with a cleansing ritual on the room in which you will work. Then take a ritual bath, and afterward, sit in quiet meditation. If it pleases you, all during your preparation, you can be enjoying the lovely golden glow of candle light and the fragrance of a favorite incense.

All these steps have value in order to help to dissociate your consciousness. This will enable information from your subconscious to pass through your mind’s eye. It is here the images actually will seen, not in the crystal itself.

The more you sit with and practice with your gazing crystal, the more you will discover how it works best for you.

When you are ready, sit in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed. Create a relaxed atmosphere by continuing to burn candles and incense, and by playing soft music, if you like. Generally, you’ll want the candles – or just one candle – to be placed behind you, otherwise, the images you see may be distorted or difficult to see. Dim lighting also relaxes the eyes, which will make it easier for you to focus on the ball.

To reduce reflections, place the ball on a dark surface such as a small black pillow or cushion, a piece of velvet or a silk handkerchief. Reserve the pillow, cushion or cloth especially for this purpose. Some people like to do a spell or ritual of protection at some point here, but I’ve always found such to be unnecessary. Go with what your teachers, tradition and intuition tell you.

Attain a relaxed yet open and alert meditative state again, using whichever method works for you. Mindfully relax your mind and body – this is key to using many psychic abilities, including crystal gazing.

Hold the ball in your hands for a while to energize it with your own personal energy, and to strengthen your psychic bond with it. Think about the purpose for your session. You may wish to visualize the topic, or ask a question about it either in your mind or out loud.

Place the ball on its pillow, cushion or cloth, and begin to stare into it. Allow your eyes relax and go slightly out of focus. Clear your mind each time a random, mundane thought come to you. Concentrate on feeling open and receptive to images from your subconscious.

In a while, you may see a mist appearing to fill the crystal and then gradually clearing. Continue to keep your eyes relaxed and unfocused without reacting or wondering about what you just witnessed.

Watch for symbols or images to appear in your mind’s eye. Do not try to force the images to come. If you think you see a face or an animal or some words on a paper, don’t try to see the person’s features, determine what kind of animal it is or try to read the words. Just continue to relax and let the images come to you naturally, easily and in their own time.

It is perfectly natural not to see any images the first several times you use the ball. Like any skill worth learning, most people need time spent learning techniques and at practice in order to achieve and maintain the necessary receptive and relaxed state of mind before images will appear.

When you do see images, don’t try to make sense of them right away. Some people start right off, “Oh! An owl. That means death!” or some such associations, which aren’t always necessarily true. Just let the images flow, and make mental notes of what you see.

Once you have seen the images that you need, they will fade away and the ball will again seem to fill with mist. Blink your eyes, breathe deeply, and allow your mind to return to the physical plane. A drink of water and a snack can help ground you as you reconnect with the Earth’s energies.

Express your gratitude to the ball for its message, and put the ball away.

Take some time to write notes about the images you saw. Once you’ve written everything you can remember, go back and add any thoughts or impressions that come to mind.

The images may not be what you expected. Sometimes it may seem that the images have nothing to do with your topic or are just plain nonsense. Trust that your subconscious mind has in fact given you the information you need. The images are often symbolic (a raven may come with a message, an owl may represent mysticism or wisdom), and so it may take you some time to decipher their meaning. Go with your instinct and intuition. Often, your first impression in these matters will be the correct one.

A crystal ball is personal tool. Don’t allow anyone else touch it or play with it or try to see what they can see in it. The energies and subconscious thoughts of others can readily pass onto your gazing ball and “contaminate” it. This can cause inaccurate readings, the ball may lose its charge, or your personal relationship with it may become weakened or corrupted.

When not in use keep your ball wrapped in dark cloth and keep it in a light-proof box in a place where it will not be touched or handled by others.

Crystal ball gazing takes a lot of practice and patience, but in time you will become more receptive and more adept at reading the crystal, and you will find what works best for you and your unique crystal.

[Image: The Crystal Gazer (1913) oil on canvas by Lilla Cabot Perry (1848-1933).]

The Smart Witch's photo.

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