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Crystal Gazing (Part 1)



"The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse (1902, oil on canvas)Scrying (also called crystal gazing, crystal seeing, seeing, or peeping) is a magic practice that involves seeing things supernaturally in a medium, usually for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The media used are most commonly reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from God, spirits, the psychic mind, the devil, or the subconscious.

Scrying is actively used by many cultures and belief systems and is not limited to one tradition or ideology. However, like other aspects of divination and parapsychology, it is not supported by mainstream science as a method of predicting the future or otherwise seeing events that are not physically observable.

Media used in scrying

A quartz crystal ball, commonly used for scrying.The most common media used for scrying are:

Crystal balls (pictured), crystals, precious stones, polished quartz, beryl, or another transparent mineral body: this method is called crystal gazing gastromancy, crystallomancy or spheromancy). Crystal balls are also called shew stones. A stone or crystal is also called a seerstone or peepstone.

Water or another liquid: this method is called hydromancy.

Fire: this method is known as pyromancy.

Air or atmospheric conditions: this method is known as aeromancy.

Earth, soil or dirt: this method is known as geomancy

Mirrors; this method is called catoptromancy, also known as captromancy, enoptromancy, or mirror gazing.

Psychomanteum, a room used for scrying usually using mirrors, water, or crystals.

Specific objects that have been used for scrying include:

a pool of ink in the hand (Egypt)

the liver of an animal (tribes of the North-West Indian frontier)

a hole filled with water (Polynesia)

quartz crystals (the Apaches and the Euahlayi tribe of New South Wales)

a smooth slab of polished black stone (the Huille-che of South America)

water in a vessel (Zulus and Siberians)

a crystal (the Incas)

a mirror (classical Greece and the Middle Ages)

a fingernail

a swordblade

a ring-stone

a glass of sherry

the burning of a poppy flowerbud on hot coals



The calm surface of water after being disrupted, showing ripples.The etymology of the -mancy words is the Greek manteia, "divination". Scrying comes from the English word descry meaning "to make out dimly" or "to reveal."


Ancient Europe

Around 2,000 BC, Greece, as well as "early" Britain and its subsequent Celtic population, practised many forms of scrying. The media often used were beryl, crystal, black glass, polished quartz, water, and other transparent or light catching bodies.

Celtic tribes, known to exist in Britain as early as 2,000 B.C., were unified by a priesthood known as Druids. Druids are one of the earliest known peoples to have used crystals in divination. It is interesting to note that Druid religion had similarities to megalithic religion of an earlier Britain; thus, it is possible the first use of crystal divination might have come from them.

Pausanias, 2nd century AD Greek traveller, described catoptromancy (mirror gazing) as follows:

Before the Temple of Ceres at Patras, there was a fountain, separated from the temple by a wall, and there was an oracle, very truthful, not for all events, but for the sick only. The sick person let down a mirror, suspended by a thread till its based touched the surface of the water, having first prayed to the goddess and offered incense. Then looking in the mirror, he saw the presage of death or recovery, according as the face appeared fresh and healthy, or of a ghastly aspect.


Medieval central Europe

Later, during central Europe's Medieval Period diviners used crystals to "see" into the past, present, or future. Due to its transparent nature, a natural gemstone called Beryllium Aluminum Silicate (Beryl), was often used in the divination process. Scottish Highlanders termed these objects "stones of power." Though early crystal balls were made from Beryl, they were later replaced by rock crystal, an even more transparent rock.


16th century central Europe

Nostradamus is believed to have employed a small bowl of water as a scrying aid.

Dr John Dee (1527–1608, dates vary) was a noted British mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley employed crystal ball. The crystal ball and wax tablets used by Dee and Kelley are on display at the British Museum in London. ...

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

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