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  • 6/8/2010

Crystal Gazing (Part 2)



Religion and Mythology

Judaism and Christianity

According to the Hebrew Bible, Urim and Thummim (Variously translated from Hebrew as "Revelation and Truth" or "Lights and Perfections".) were used as a divination process. Many scholars believe they were two or twelve crystals used for scrying, but there are also other interpretations. The earliest reference is in Exodus 28:30, when Aaron carried them with him as High Priest.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 says, There shall not be found among you... one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. Christianity is traditionally against all forms of divination, historically condemned by the Catholic church and some specific forms even forbidden under pain of excommunication.

Ancient Persia

The Shahnameh, a historical epic work written in the late 10th century, gives a description of what was called the Cup of Jamshid or Jaam-e Jam, used in pre-Islamic Persia, which was used by wizards and practitioners of the esoteric sciences for observing all the seven layers of the universe. The cup contained an elixir of immortality.



Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement, said he used two stones called the Urim and Thummim, in his 1829 translation of the Book of Mormon from the Golden Plates.

The Urim and Thummim is mentioned several times in the Old Testament as well as the Book of Mormon. In Mormon theology it is an instrument prepared by God that assists man in obtaining revelation and in translating languages.


In folklore

In this Halloween greeting card from 1904, divination is depicted: the young woman looking into a mirror in a darkened room hopes to catch a glimpse of the face of her future husband.Rituals that involve many of the same acts as scrying in ceremonial magic are also preserved in folklore form. A formerly widespread tradition held that young women, gazing into a mirror in a darkened room (often on Hallowe'en) could catch a glimpse of their future husband's face in the mirror — or a skull personifying Death, if their fate was to die before they married.

Another form of the tale, involving the same actions of gazing into a mirror in a darkened room, is used as a supernatural dare in the tale of "Bloody Mary". Here, the motive is usually to test the adolescent gazers' mettle against a malevolent witch or ghost, in a ritual designed to allow the scryers' easy escape if the visions summoned prove too frightening.

Modern usesThe Dr. John Dee Memorial Theater of the Mind research institute founded by the parapsychologist Raymond Moody utilizes crystallomancy to allow people to experience an altered state of consciousness with the intention of invoking apparitions of the dead.

In the TV series Babylon 5, Telepath Alfred Bester uses a form of scrying in the episode The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father.

Contemporary mass media, such as films, often depict scrying using a crystal ball, stereotypically used by an old gypsy woman.

In Christopher Paolini's fictional universe of Alagasiea (Eragon) Dragon Riders can use scrying through shiny objects to see things they have seen before.

In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth (such as The Lord of the Rings), the Palant?r is a stone that allows seeing what any other Palant?r sees, and the Mirror of Galadriel is used as a type of scrying device used to see visions of the past, present, or future.

In the television show Charmed the main characters use crystals suspended over maps to scry for people. This is different from other forms because it just shows location and not a picture, which leads many people to call this practice dowsing.

A toy known as the 'Magic 8-Ball' which consists of a plastic ball filled with an inky solution that contains a buoyant icosahedron; each face of the icosahedron has different answers printed that appear to the 'consulter' through a small window when held upright. T.V. shows like Friends and the The Simpsons used this toy.

Method of scryingThe visions that scryers say they see may come from variations in the medium. If the medium is water (hydromancy), then the visions may come from the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool. If the medium is a crystal ball, the visions may come from the tiny inclusions, web-like faults, or the cloudy glow within the ball under low light (e.g. candlelight).

One method of scrying using a crystal ball involves a self-induced trance. Initially, the medium serves as a focus for the attention, removing unwanted thoughts from the mind in the same way as a mantra. Once this stage is achieved, the scryer begins a free association with the perceived images suggested. The technique of deliberately looking for and declaring these initial images aloud, however trivial or irrelevant they may seem to the conscious mind, is done with the intent of deepening the trance state, wherein the scryer hears their own disassociated voice affirming what is seen within the concentrated state in a kind of feedback loop. This process culminates in the achievement of a final and desired end stage in which rich visual images and dramatic stories seem to be projected within the medium itself, or directly within the mind's eye of the scryer, like an inner movie. This overall process reputedly allows the scryer to "see" relevant events or images within the chosen medium.


Other Links:

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