Crystal gazing

Crystal-gazing (also known as crystal-seeing, crystalism, crystallomancy, gastromancy, and spheromancy) is a form of divination or scrying achieved through trance induction by means of gazing at a crystal.


Varieties of methods & materials

Because crystal gazing has been developed by people of various cultures through a long period of time,[citation needed] the term crystal gazing denotes several different forms of a variety of objects, and there are several schools of thought as to the sources of the visions seen in the crystal gazing trance.

Crystal gazing may be used by practitioners—sometimes called "readers" or "seers"—for a variety of purposes, including to predict distant or future events, to give character analyses, to tell fortunes, or to help a client make choices about current situations and problems.

With respect to the tool or object used to induce the crystal-gazer's trance, this can be achieved with any shiny object, including a crystalline gem stone or a convex mirror— but in common practice, a crystal ball is most often used. The size of ball preferred varies greatly among those who practice crystallomancy. Some gazers use a "palm ball" of a few inches in diameter that is held in the hand; others prefer a larger ball mounted on a stand. The stereotypical image of a gypsy woman wearing a headscarf and telling fortunes for her clients by means of a very large crystal ball is widely depicted in the media and can be found in hundreds of popular books, advertising pages, and films of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The pervasiveness of this image may have led to the increased use of fairly large crystal balls by those who can afford them.

Books of instruction in the art of crystal gazing often suggest that the ball used should be perfectly spherical (that is, without a flat bottom) and should be supported in a wooden or metal stand. If made of glass (e.g. lead crystal), it should be free from air bubbles but may be colored. If carved from natural crystalline stone (such as quartz, beryl, calcite, obsidian, or amethyst, it may display the natural coloring and structure of the mineral from which it was fashioned. Some authors advise students to place a sigil, seal, or talismanic emblem beneath a clear sphere, but most do not. Most authors suggest that the work of crystal gazing should be undertaken in a dimly-lit and quiet room, so as to foster visions and more easily allow the onset of a trance state.[citation needed]

As for the origin of the trance visions themselves, some practitioners claim that crystal gazing engenders visionary experiences and preternatural and/or supernatural insight, while others think that the visions arise from the subconscious mind of the crystal gazer. Some authors accept both positions as not mutually incompatible.

The C. G. act

Some stage magicians use a crystal ball as a prop and crystallomancy as a line of patter in the performance of mentalism effects. This type of presentation is sometimes referred to as a "C. G. act" - "C.G." standing for "crystal gazing." Perhaps the most famous expositor of the C. G. act during the 20th century was Alexander The Crystal Seer, billed as "The Man Who Knows." Another stage magician and mentalist who was also a crystal gazer was Julius Zancig, but he did not perform a C.G. act in public—rather, he used the crystal ball in his work as a spiritual counsellor for private clients.

References and further reading

  • Atkinson, WIlliam Walker and L. W. de Laurence. Psychomancy and Crystal Gazing.
  • Besterman, Theodore. Crystal Gazing: A Study in the History, Distribution, Theory and Practice of Scrying.
  • Jones, Charles Stansfeld, as "Frater Achad". Crystal Vision through Crystal Gazing or, the Crystal as a Stepping-Stone to Clear Vision. 1923. Yogi Publication Society.
  • Melville, John. Crystal Gazing and the Wonders of Clairvoyance. c. 1915. W. Foulsham & Co.
  • Nelson, Robert A., as "Dr. Korda Ra Mayne". Six lessons in Crystal Gazing. 1928. Psychic Science Publishing Co.
  • Northcote, W. Thomas. Crystal Gazing: Its History and Practice, with a Discussion on the Evidence for Telepathic Scrying.
  • Zancig, Julius. Crystal Gazing, the Unseen World: a Treatise on Concentration. 1926. I. and M. Ottenheimer.

See also

External links

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • crystal gazing — crystal gazer. 1. the practice of staring into a crystal ball, as by a fortuneteller, to see distant happenings, future events, etc. 2. speculation about the future. [1885 90] * * * ▪ divination also called  scrying        divination of distant… …   Universalium

  • crystal gazing — n. divination with the aid of a ball (crystal ball) of rock crystal or, commonly, glass, into which one stares in seeking certain images, esp. of future events crystal gazer …   English World dictionary

  • crystal gazing — noun staring into a crystal ball to arouse visions of future or distant events • Hypernyms: ↑prophecy, ↑prognostication, ↑vaticination * * * noun 1. : the art or practice of concentrating upon a glass or crystal globe with the aim of inducing a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • crystal gazing — {n.} The attempt to predict future events. * /The magician s specialty was crystal gazing./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • crystal\ gazing — noun the attempt to predict future events. The magician s specialty was crystal gazing …   Словарь американских идиом

  • crystal-gazing — crysˈtal gazing noun Gazing in a crystal or the like to obtain visual images, whether in divination or to objectify hidden contents of the mind • • • Main Entry: ↑crystal …   Useful english dictionary

  • Crystal Gazing —    Gaining knowledge about the future by gazing into a crystal, and seeing a vision in the crystal. Also called Crystallomancy. See Divination …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • crystal gazing — noun Date: 1889 1. the art or practice of concentrating on a glass or crystal globe with the aim of inducing a psychic state in which divination can be performed 2. the attempt to predict future events or make difficult judgments especially… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • crystal-gazing — /ˈkrɪstl geɪzɪŋ/ (say kristl gayzing) noun 1. looking into a crystal ball. 2. attempting to predict the future. –crystal gazer, noun …   Australian English dictionary

  • crystal-gazing — noun looking intently into a crystal ball with the aim of seeing images relating to future or distant events …   English new terms dictionary

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