Category:Scrying, Visionary Reading

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A crystal ball‎ is used as a divinatory aid

Scrying, also known as Crystal Gazing, Crystallomancy, Reading a Crystal Ball, and Visionary Reading is a divination technique used by psychic readers who are highly mediumistic and gifted in a way that enables them to perceive spiritual visions in their minds, rather like dreams or tiny movies. Crystallomancy is generally considered a form of spiritual rootwork, or prophesy, and scrying tools such as crystal balls and crystal points are often kept on the reader's altar, where they are treated with respect and reverence.

By focusing on an object such as a crystal ball, a crystal point, a mirror, a pool of black ink or water, a column of gently wafting smoke, or an array of dancing flames, the reader gains visionary insight during a divinatory trance. Some scryers see visions directly in the gazing globe or other shiny surface, others may see clouded, fractured, blurred, blackened, and partially obscured visions of the future or distant scenes.

Because the information gathered during crystal gazing comes to the psychic reader in the form of visions, crystallomancy is sometimes considered a form of clairvoyant psychic reading, but although the visions may be seen and sometimes even heard clairaudiently, scrying differs from purely mental clairvoyance by the fact that a gazing globe, crystal, mirror, or reflective or randomly moving surface of some kind is essential to the divinatory process.


Scrying with a Crystal Ball or Palm Stone

Scrying with a crystal ball; "The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse, 1902
Scrying in a bowl of water; "Circe Invidiosa" by John William Waterhouse, 1892
Crysal balls are used for divination and spiritual development; "Secrets of the Crystal Silence League: Crystal Ball Gazing, The Master Key to Silent Influence" by Claude Alexander Conlin; cover art by Av Yaga Bombay (Frederic Eugene "Kid" Jones); cover design by Grey Townsend
A selenite palm stone
Crystal divination with spheres or points is closely related to the use of crystals in meditation and magic; "Crystal Magic by John Saint Germain; cover design by Grey Townsend
A double-terminated crystal point‎
Enchanted mirrors have long been used for scrying‎
Shifting incense smoke is used for scrying
Scrying in fire

Globes of clear and smoky quartz crystal, beryl or emerald, amethyst, citrine, fused quartz, white or honey calcite, obsidian, selenite, jaspar, jade, and other precious and semi-precious stones are gazed at in order to gain information. The crystal ball or sphere may be clear, or it may be coloured; it may have fractures, rainbows, and inclusions; it may be rutilated, patterned, or plain in colour. Clear glass or lucite balls are also sold as gazing balls.

A palm stone is a rounded stone that is naturally somewhat flat and fits into the palm of the reader's hand. The average size is roughly one to two inches by two to three inches and about half an inch thick. Palm stones may be made of any of the gems or minerals that crystal balls are made of, but by far the most popular materials for palm stones are black obsidian and glowing white selenite.

Often diviners and psychic readers who scry in crystal balls have studied traditional knowledge about the various precious and semi-precious gemstones and their spiritual or occult qualities. Given this knowledge, they may employ quartz or calcite gazing ball for distance viewing and for sending out blessings, a small amethyst crystal ball to sense if someone is using drugs or alcohol, a beryl for distance vision, or a black obsidian crystal ball for night-viewing or determining if a curse has been placed on a client. Thus a single conjure practitioner may have several different crystal balls to be used depending on the nature of the querant's question.

Crystal balls come in a range of sizes, from those as small as a marble to the convenient and aptly named "palm ball" of about two inches in diameter, and on through those that are six, eight, or even 10 inches in diameter. The larger stone spheres are generally displayed on ornate stands, usually of carved wood or brass.

Prior to beginning a psychic reading, the crystal ball may be cleansed with smoke, water, or an herbal blend designed to "open up" the crystal and get it ready to work. The reader may also make "passes" over the viewing area to magnetize the crystal and set it to working. Most stands are simple tripod holders, but some workers place their crystal balls on rotating stands and start their visions coming by giving the ball a slow, stately spin.

Once the opening ritual is complete, the crystal reader softly gazes into the depths of the ball, searching in a calm fashion, or simply allowing the information to arrive. Traditionally, crystal ball readers will see shifting points or ribbons of light or even small images within the ball, often animated, like little movies. They describe these to the client as the reading proceeds. Divinatory readings by crystal ball often resonate with clients who are audio-visual in orientation and are fairly intuitive themselves.

When the fortune telling or reading session concludes, the crystal gazer may make a hand-pass over the ball to de-magnetize it or put it "back to sleep." Some scryers cover their crystal balls with a cloth when not in use, but most simply set the ball out of their direct line of sight.

Crystal gazing with a crystal ball is a famous form of divination within the hoodoo and conjure tradition, but although many root doctors possess and display crystal balls for their beauty and symbolism, the ability to be a proficient crystal gazer is a surprisingly uncommon gift.

Just as images can be received by crystal scrying, so can images be sent to others. so related to crystal scrying is the use of crystal spheres and natural rock crystals in magic and meditation, especially in the fields of blessing, cleansing, and healing. The Crystal Silence League is a worldwide organization administered by the Association of Independent Spiritual Churches for everyone who finds crystal balls or natural rock crystals helpful in their practice of magic.

Scrying with Crystal Points

Quartz crystal points are used by some psychic readers to gain information and tell fortunes. Before working with crystal points, the reader may give them a ritual suffumigation or a spiritual cleansing in special washes and waters or in purifying perfumes or colognes.

During the act of scrying, the psychic may hold the crystal point in his or her hands, typically with the point up if the stone has a single termination. The reader may sing or speak over the crystal to "wake it up." Some diviners create a grid of stones and crystals, which they place in a physical location or on the client's body in order to read the place or the person for hidden information. When laying out such an array, the reader will usually employ at least one crystal point, as these stones function like information transmitters for many psychics.

Clear and smoky quartz points are favoured scrying tools for many psychics who work with crystals. In some cultures, clear crystal points that have a single pointed end or termination are used by men, whereas those with two pointed ends or a double termination are used by women.

Psychic readers who use crystal balls to gather images may also keep a few crystal points on their work space to assist them in acquiring information more clearly. Images, symbols, numbers, and occasionally words can appear within the crystals to those gifted for this type of scrying.

Hoodoo root doctors who have been influenced by New Age teachings may use crystal points in healing work. If the client is present, the worker may place the crystal point on the part of the body that is of concern. both to gather psychic information about the disease or illness and to facilitate the healing process.

Mirror Scrying

The most common form of mirror scrying involves gazing into a mirror which has been blackened on the silvery side of the glass, producing a very deep, dark, almost borderless effect. Some mirrors used for this purpose are flat, others are slightly bowl-shaped or concave; still others are slightly domed or convex.

The reader positions the mirror so that no light is directly reflected by it, and simply gazes into the darkened glass. Information gained via this method is generally clairvoyant; that is, images are seen. Such mirrors may be used to call and speak with the spirits of individuals, either living or dead, much in the same way that photographs can be used in psychometry.

Some root doctors prepare their mirrors by first setting them in moonlight, or by washing them with salt water, or by washing them with specific herbal infusions such as calendula prior to use. Others \may smoke them with incense before use.

Small rooms or closets may be painted black, with blackened mirrors hung on the walls; these have been used to experience visual spiritual phenomena.

Capnomancy or Smoke Divination

Capnomancy or Smoke Reading refers to divination by smoke. There are basically two types of capnomancy: Reading smoke marks as static images on a plate or in a candle glass, and reading the "live" or moving smoke of a wood fire or incense by scrying the smoke.

"Live" or actively moving smoke can be used to divine images and gain information about hidden things or to foretell the future. There are several different methods, and each one has its adherents in the rootworking and hoodoo community, as well as in other traditions of folk magic and spiritual practice.

Some scryers like to build a small fire in which to "read" the smoke. This is usually done out of doors and most often at night, when the smoke will be seen by the light of the flames and embers. The fire is kept fed and the resulting smoke gazed into until the information sought is obtained.

Some psychics who use the open fire method of smoke reading select specific types of wood for their practice, such as oak or pine, according to their traditions. Some smoke scryers who work out of doors may add psychic vision herbs, such as jasmine flowers, mugwort herb, or tobacco, or natural resins, such as dragon's blood, copal negro, or myrrh, onto the flames, once the fire is going well, in order to sharpen their sense of focus and clarity. Some herbs are particularly well known to stimulate psychic visions and visionary dreams; these may be burned alone or, as if the more common practice, they may be added to hoodoo incense powders such as Psychic Vision, Spirit Guide, or Indian Spirit Guide, to make a special incense for scrying.

Another method of smoke reading employs incense resin or Hoodoo and Conjure Incense|loose powder incense]], with or without added herbs, as the source of the smoke to be scryed. This may be done indoors, with the incense burned in a brazier, pot, or thurible.

Whichever method is employed by the reader, the psychic visions seen in incense smoke are continually shifting and moving, and to a gifted scryer they may appear almost as scenes in a movie or frames from a storyboard that explains the past, connects to the far-away present, or reveals the secrets of the future.

It is not uncommon for a hoodoo visionary seer to slip into a light trance while reading patterns in smoke, so some readers who work this way have a helper at their side to take notes on what the psychic says, in order to obtain a complete record of the transient visions, which may otherwise be forgotten when the reader returns from the trance.

Pyromancy or Fire Reading

Pyromancy, also called Fire Gazing or Fire Divination, is an ancient method of foretelling the future in which the reader stares intently into flames or burning coals in order to catch a glimpse of things to come.

Gazing into the flames or into the winking and glimmering embers allows the pyromantic scryer to gain otherwise unobtainable information for clients concerning people, places, and future trends of interest or concern. Specific woods may be used to lay the pyromantic fire, and specific dried herbs may be added to the blaze, to help the reader to perceive.

Water Scrying

Scrying into bowls of pure water is a very old method of divination and vision seeking. Some root doctors prefer to use clear crystal bowls; some prefer white bowls, and some prefer dark.

It is important that the bowl be very clean prior to filling with water; a rinse with ammonia after cleaning is appropriate. The bowl is filled with pure water, and then is positioned so that light is not directly reflected onto the surface. The seer then gazes into the water until he or she sees, or otherwise senses, the desired information or spirit contact requested by the sitter, client, or querent.

Similarly, natural bodies of water like lakes, tidal pools, ponds, and slowly moving water can be gazed into. The diviner sits calmly at the water's edge, and gazes into the water with a passively expectant, patient mind until the visions appear.

Finally, wells can be used for scrying. One method involves leaning over backwards as you bend your head into the well, looking down at the water below. It is said that you will see your future. This method is often employed to see one's future spouse.

Ink Scrying

A shallow bowl completely filled with black ink can be used to scry after the manner of using a black mirror, an obsidian palm stone, or an obsidian crystal ball.

Alternatively, ink may be carefully floated onto the surface of a bowl of water, drop by drop, until patterns are formed and the resulting images interpreted. The colour of the bowl should contrast with the colour of the ink, so that the patterns are clearly visible. Most bowls used for this purpose are white or a polished metal. Using substances like ink along with water to divine is also known as hydromancy or lecanomancy.

Oil Scrying

In this traditional form of scrying, oil is carefully poured or dropped onto the surface of water in a bowl or a cup. The resulting patterns are interpreted. This is a highly intuitive form of reading. Using oil on water to divine is a form of hydromancy or lecanomancy.

Molten Metal Scrying

Metals that have low melting point, such as lead or tin, may be used for divination. This method is particularly popular among people of northern European descent. The metal may be melted in an iron spoon or crucible and then poured into water or onto fresh snow, and the patterns read. Using molten metal for divination is called molybdomancy.


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See Also


  • Divination and Fortune Telling by Scrying, Crystal Ball Reading, and Visionary Reading

AIRR Readers & Rootworkers Who Perform This Work for Clients

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Pages in category "Scrying, Visionary Reading"

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