Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball
A crystal ball is one of the best-known magical Tools for Divination. The use of a crystal ball for Scrying, the seeing of the future, is called crystallomancy, a method of divination in which shiny and reflective objects reveal images and visions of the future.

The crystal ball has become the stereotyped staple of the fortune-teller from gypsies to sorcerers, wizards, witches, and magicians. According to tradition, the best crystal is natural. Crystal balls made of artificial glass and crystal are widely used in modern times. Glass fishing floats also work.

Magical tradition holds that a crystal ball, like other magical tools and talismans, should be magically empowered. This can be done through magical ritual or by powers endowed by supernatural entities such as angels. For example, the 16th-century scryer John Dee claimed that he was given a crystal by the angel Uriel.

In earlier times, elaborate rituals were performed for scrying with a crystal ball, which would include invoking certain spirits and working only at auspicious times according to astrology or the phases of the moon. Modern practitioners vary in their rituals. At the least, the practitioner alters consciousness to facilitate the appearance of visions and the reception of information. Some may not see actual visions in a crystal but nonetheless receive information. The crystal itself is not considered to hold any magical power but to be a means for the practitioner to access psychic ability.


The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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