Dark Moon Magic author Cerridwen Greenleaf has written a new blog post on the art of scrying and how to properly use a crystal ball, learn more here.
Scrying is the art of divining by looking into an appropriate surface. It could be water, a mirror on the wall, a crystal ball, or a slap of rock. For that matter, some people are quite talented at seeing visions in the flames of fire or in the bottom of a teacup. Smooth, natural surfaces are much better and less distracting, however.
I like to think that a chunk of shiny black obsidian was the first scrying mirror. We know the ancients had special prophets and priestesses who engaged in foretelling the future, and they were making and using tools of their trade from various crystals at hand. No doubt they would be delighted to know we are
still using crystal balls made from translucent quartz and mysterious volcanic obsidian! I cleanse mine before and after each use with rainwater that has set through at least one day of sun and one night of moonlight, but rituals can get as elaborate as you want!
Scrying has been used since biblical times and is even mentioned in Genesis chapter 44, verses 4-5 (NKJV). Queen Elizabeth I entrusted all matter of the heavens and the unseen to John Dee, a brilliant mathematician and metaphysician. He used a mirror of polished black obsidian, and his legacy led succeeding magicians and psychics to prefer black mirrors. Dee employed scrying to great effect in calling upon certain angels. He reported hearing knocking and even voices that sounded like an owl screeching during sessions.
Scrying is the mantic art of gazing onto a surface and receiving information in the form of visions. It is said that this gives us a more direct connection to the Akashic record, the theory of cosmic memory storage espoused by the theosophist Rudolf Steiner.
Scrying can be used for myriad purposes in addition to divining the past, present, and future. You can contact spirit guides, improve your skills of creative visualization, and even use it as a gateway to the astral plane. As with crystal balls and other sacred tools, you should polish mirrors with a clean cotton cloth and store them in a special protective bag.
Quartz crystal balls have an inherent power that you have to practice working with. They have been part of our folklore, myth, magic, and metaphysics for a long time. The great philosopher and physician Paracelsus made the claim during the height of the Renaissance that what he called conjuring crystals needed to be used in “observing everything rightly, earning and understanding what was.” I love that they are in fairy tales and Disney stories, too. That shows how ingrained crystal balls are in our culture and collective mind-set. Even people who avoid anything too witchy know of the power of crystal balls!
Crystal balls have their own authority and wield a large influence on the development of our psychic abilities. When you gaze into a crystal ball, it is possible to see into the fabric of time, both the past and the future. What you see could be a delineated vision of a flickering, wispy suggestion of images. You have to practice and hone your attunement with the energy of the crystal ball. Many psychics use crystal balls in their readings, and some report seeing images of clients’ auras in the ball. What you have to get really clear on is how you interpret what you see. Gleaning information about people’s lives is a huge responsibility, and you need to feel sure about what you are reading. One way is to learn to trust your center of intuition in your body. For me (and for many other people) it is a gut feeling—literally in my stomach. I have a feeling of surety, or knowing, and I speak from that. If I don’t get any such bodily sensation, I simply explain that I don’t know what I’m reading or I’m not really “getting anything.” It is far better to say you don’t know that to fake it.
You can sharpen your psychic skills by working with a partner. Sit directly across from your partner with a crystal ball between you. Close your eyes halfway and look at the ball and into the ball while harnessing your entire
mind. Empty out all other thoughts and focus as hard as you can. Your third eye should begin to open, and the vision and intuition will come from there and project into the crystal ball. As you train your mind, the patterns will become clearer and your impressions will become surer. You should trust that what you are seeing is real and find a place of knowing, as I do with my stomach. Express to your partner what you are seeing. Then listen to your partner as she reveals her visions to you. After at least three rounds of individual reading and revealing, share visions at the same time and learn whether you are seeing the same things!
A mental practice to try on your own is this crystal-ball meditation: In a darkened room, sit holding your crystal ball in the palms of both of your hands. Touch it to your heart and then gently touch it to your forehead where the third eye resides. Then hold the ball in front of your eyes and, sitting very still, gaze into it for at least three minutes. Envision pure white light in the ball and hold that image. Practice the white-light visualization for up to half an hour and then rest your mind, your eyes, and your crystal ball. If you do this every day, within a month you will start to become adept at crystal-ball gazing.
Choosing a crystal ball should not be undertaken lightly: this is a deeply personal tool that has its own energy and will also become imbued with your energy. Think of it as a container for a great deal of your energy and make sure it feels right for you and you alone. Do not allow anyone else to touch your crystal ball. If by chance it happens, simply place it in a bowl of sea salt overnight and it will be cleansed of outside energy and influence.
Highly polished and glasslike spheres of beryl and quartz crystal have been in use for many thousands of years. Healers, shamans, witch doctors, and medicine men have been using the bones of the earth for divination since time immemorial. The Celtic folks and Druids favored beryl as their scrying crystal of choice. Beryl still has a well-earned reputation as the stone of power. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance saw a far-flung use of crystal for seeing the future.
The mythical wizard Merlin, of Arthurian legend, kept his crystal ball with him at all times! Pure quartz crystal balls are quite pricey but are worth the expense if you are serious about harnessing your intuition and using it for the good. Most people I know who use crystal balls, including many healers and teachers, see cloudy and smoky images, so do not expect your experience to be like going to the movies! Each and every crystal ball is unique and has its own energy.
Here are a few examples:
Amethyst offers advice on business matters and is especially good for lawyers and writers
Beryl helps you find anything you have lost—keys, jewelry, money, people!
Obsidian is the karma stone and helps you see and resolve past-life issues
Quartz crystal can put you in touch with helpful spirit guides who foretell events
Selenite is particularly useful with any matters regarding hearth and home.
Smoky quartz connects you with nature spirits and shows you what to avoid in your life.
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