A Brief History Of The Crystal Ball

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Crystal balls are used by clairvoyants as an aid to foresee or foretell future events or to discover hidden knowledge. You’ve probably seen one at some point in your life; whether it was in person or in a movie, you’re no doubt familiar with what one looks like. But you may not be familiar with how they work and just how long people have been using them…

A Little Background

The art of “seeing” is known as scrying—images are said to be seen in crystals, or other media such as water, and are interpreted as meaningful information that can be used to help make important decisions in a person’s life. When the technique of scrying is used with crystals, it is known as crystallomancy, or crystal gazing. They were first made of beryl, a naturally transparent gemstone that was believed to have specific powers. In fact, it became known to many people as the “stone of energy.” Later, beryl was replaced with the ultra reflective, highly translucent rock crystal.

But not all clairvoyants are cut from the same psychic cloth; some seers insist they don’t actually see images in the crystal, but rather that the crystal helps them to clear their minds of distractions so that future truths or events will become known to them. But how did it all begin?

The Beginnings

Throughout history, we have seen them used by a variety of people around the world. Celtic druids in Britain are thought to be the first people to use the crystal ball for the purpose of divination. Druids were polytheists and revered nature; they had a very important role in Celtic societies as priests, philosophers, scientists, teachers, judges, and counselors to the kings. Fast forward to the Middle Ages in Central Europe and you’d find gypsies, sorcerers, seers, and wizards using crystals to see into the past and predict the future.

  • During the 5th century, Christians believed that evil spirits and witches inhabited crystal balls and that any message divined from them came from the devil.
  • It’s not often you’d see a scientist using one, but that was certainly the case with a scientist by the name of Dr. John Dee, who lived in England in the 1500s. Dr. Dee was a geographer, mathematician, astrologer, and astronomer. He was also a consultant to Queen Elizabeth I, using crystal balls in his work involving divination, Hermetic philosophy, and alchemy. Dee believed crystals would act as a communication device between him and angels.
  • By the 17th century, German priests would often put a crystal ball on the altar during prayers.
  • But by 1824, a law was passed in England making divination illegal. (Dr. Dee’s now infamous crystal ball resides in the British Museum.)
  • However, garden gazing balls became popular during Victorian times: colored glass globes were supposed to produce a peaceful and calm state of mind for those who gazed upon them.

Moreover, the art of scrying has been mentioned in literature for hundreds of years, including Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. 13th century author Roger Bacon referred to crystal balls in many of his stories, as well. More recently, crystal balls have appeared in such popular works of fiction as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Not A Bygone Art

Despite their long history, crystal balls are certainly not a relic of bygone times, and are often used today by magicians and mentalists. While society has certainly come a long way when it comes to modern day healing and spiritual enlightenment, crystal balls and their uses should not be dismissed.

Many people still believe in the power of the crystal ball to provide them the answers with which they seek, and give them the information they need to live happy, fulfilled lives. Perhaps you should seek out a crystal gazer on and learn what the future holds for you! 

In the meantime, maybe you’d like to check out our simplified version for a bit of quick entertainment?



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