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The Witch's Library - Your Source for Pagan Information

Patience and Experiments

The real problem for an inexperienced crystal gazer isn’t that you see too much, or get so caught up in what you see that you get possessed by it, but that you don’t see anything at all. Even those who have worked patiently and indefatigably for months with achieving the state of mind that is necessary to scry in a crystal ball, often experience that they don’t see anything but ‘clouds in the crystal’. This means that the crystal doesn’t seem transparent anymore and that it’s gotten a gray, milky color.

If you want to start crystal gazing or some other form of scrying in objects, there are two important things you should know. The first is that crystal gazing demands great patience, maybe more than other divinations do. It’s impossible to run before you can walk, and if you expect your first attempt at crystal gazing to result in you having exciting visions filled with symbolic predictions, you’ll probably get pretty disappointed, unless you should incidentally be a psychic genius. (These are very rare if they exist at all.)

Patience and Experiments

The second thing you should remember is that you can’t buy the ability to become a successful crystal gazer, regardless of how rich you are. So you shouldn’t spend a lot of money buying expensive equipment before you’ve found out (for example by means of a wine glass filled with water) if you at least are in possession of a certain innate ability that can be developed. The history of crystal gazing is full of well-documented examples of people who have used large sums of money on useless ‘scrying stones’ and other objects that they thought would give them psychic gifts.

A scrying stone is a smaller and even more expensive version of the crystal ball. They’re often made from a piece of beryl, which is polished until it gets a round shape. Other transparent varieties of beryl are aquamarine and emerald. According to the antiquarian John Aubrey (1626-97), who wrote the enchanting book ‘Brief Lives’ and was friends with crystal gazers like Willam Lilly, the best-suited beryl type had a faint, reddish tint. Not all scrying stones are made from such a rare material. The mathematician and astrologer John Dee (1527-1608), who was often consulted by Queen Elizabeth I, used something called ‘cannel coal’, a variation of coal with a matt surface.

A crystal ball or a scrying stone can be mounted the way the seer thinks is most appropriate. If you want to a lot of money on this mounting for it to look as impressive as possible, it’s completely up to you. John Melville, who lived during the 1800’s and wrote the popular book ‘Crystal Gazing’, meant that a crystal ball should be mounted in a frame of polished ivory with mystic inscriptions. The whole thing should be mounted on a glass base, which in turn should stand on a round table. Melville, who had surprisingly many followers when he was alive, also meant that the crystal ball should be illuminated by two candles. These candles should be in candle holders that also should have mystic inscriptions. According to Melville it was necessary that the room had an open fireplace, where you could burn ‘perfumes’ (that is different kinds of incense) as an introduction to the crystal gazing.

There’s nothing the matter with you trying something like this, assuming that your bank account can take it and that your family can stand the smell of incense. But even if you equip your room in such a way that your friends are impressed, is doubtful if this leads to you getting better results than you would have by using black ink or a glass of water.

Since ink quickly can get messy, the best ‘crystal’ to begin with is probably a glass of water. Find a room where you can be undisturbed. Soften the light. This romantic semi-darkness has no mysterious meaning – it’s just that if the sun shines through the window, or the room is lit by strong lights, it gets very difficult to concentrate on something as boring as a glass of water. If it’s possible to lower the light in the room far enough, you probably won’t need to worry about the time of day when you do your experiments. If you wish to strictly keep to tradition and do exactly as the crystal gazers three-four hundred years ago did, you should only start to ‘work’ at sunrise, twelve o’clock or at sunset – preferably when the sun is in a northern declination and the moon is in Taurus or Libra. If you want to follow these rules for ‘astrological crystal gazing’, maybe you should go the whole way and drink herbal tea made from plants that allegedly is controlled by Libra and Taurus – for example, Wormwood. According to Melville these purify the body of the crystal gazer and amplify his or her psychic abilities.

If you don’t feel like bothering with all this, you just have to make sure that you’re not disturbed in any way, and that there isn’t too much light in the room.

Then you stare constantly straight down into the water from above, at the same time as you try to empty your brain completely of thoughts. Don’t let yourself get disturbed by anything. As I pointed out earlier, this isn’t as easy as it may sound, and you’ll diskover that you easily loose concentration in the beginning. Irrelevant thoughts of all kinds will constantly show up in your mind and ruin it for you. If you’re able to concentrate on the water glass, and only the water glass, as long as 20 seconds at a time the first times, you have an unusually good ability to concentrate.

Regardless of if you’re good or bad in the beginning, you’ll notice that you get better and better at maintaining concentration. In other words: The more you try, the longer it will take before irrelevant thoughts start appearing in your mind. In the end, you’ll be able to maintain concentration for several minutes at a time, without irrelevant thoughts affecting the process disturbingly. This may sound a bit meaningless, but remember that the point is to ‘bore’ the brain, to force it to turn inward.

If you have an innate talent for crystal gazing, this ability will quickly manifest itself. This usually happens in the shape of visual illusions – whitish shadows that seem to float around in the inner part of the glass, or that the water seems to assume a faint, opaque, yellowish white color. Some diskover that they never get much further than this and that they’re only able to see clouds – white, black, golden, silver and the seven colors of the rainbow. Some attribute these clouds with their own meanings, while others use more ‘official’ color interpretations. One of the most frequently used color interpretations is this:

White clouds: Promising future.
Silver clouds: Very promising future, possibly after difficulties.
Golden clouds: Happiness and substantial success ahead.
Gray-black clouds: Misfortune and adversity, the blacker the cloud, the bigger the adversity is.
Green clouds: Happiness, especially with regard to the emotional life.
Blue clouds: Promotion, success with regards to career, business etc.
Yellow clouds: Difficulties ahead.
Orange clouds: Difficulties ahead, especially on the emotional level.
Red clouds: Danger! Be very careful in everything you do.

All this is quite vague, and most crystal gazers diskover after a while that they see more than mist and colored clouds. The ability to see develops, and now and then ‘the inner eye’, which is also called ‘the creative, visual imagination’, will make out images. These will sometimes take the shape of images of the crystal gazer and/or people close to him or her. These can in a realistic way reflect an event that has happened or will happen, or they can be a symbolic expression of the same event. The crystal gazer can, for example, see the image of a friend who does some unsuccessful attempts at juggling gold coins. This can be a symbolic hint that the friend risks losing money on unwise speculations or gambling.

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