Crystal Balls

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Crystal Balls

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Among the most popular forms of divination, crystallomancy, or scrying, involves the use of a clear sphere of crystalline material that may vary in size from three to seven inches in diameter. The size of the crystal ball greatly affects its price as the difficulty of locating a crystal larger than three or four inches without significant flaws increases significantly.

When used for divinatory purposes, the crystal ball assists the induction of an altered state of consciousness in the seer, who experiences visions by gazing into the crystal. Those who might also be present at the time that the visions are projected see nothing—it is entirely a subjective event forthe seer. Crystallomancy has been practiced since ancient times, and over the years a set of prayers and invocations was developed for use prior to attempting any divination. Paracelsus (1493–1541) was among the first to openly declare the prayers of no importance, and most modern practitioners have dispensed with them. The primary preparation is inducing altered consciousness in order to access the subconscious. Other actions that might precede any reading are related to the particular understanding of divination held by the practitioner—divination being compatible with a variety of religious and philosophical perspectives.

Some users of the crystal also report that as they begin their scrying, they see a milky or smoky clouding in the crystal. This clouding may also be interpreted much as one reads tea leaves or other random arrangements of patterns.


Achad, Frater. Crystal Vision through Crystal Gazing; or, The Crystal as a Stepping-Stone to Clear Vision: A Practical Treatise on the Real Value of Crystal Gazing. Chicago: Yogi Publication Society, 1923.
Besterman, Theodore. Crystal-Gazing: A Study in the History, Distribution, Theory and Practice of Scrying. London: Rider, 1924. Reprint, New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, Inc., 1965.
Pelton, Robert W. Ancient Secrets of Fortune Telling. South Brunswick, NJ: A. S. Barnes, 1976.
Sibley, Uma. Crystal Ball Gazing: The Complete Guide to Choosing and Reading Your Crystal Ball. New York: Fireside, 1999.
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