I have always wonder how the association between psychics and crystal balls came about. I have discovered that many of today’s psychics actually dislike how crystal balls are so often used as a symbol to represent psychics. But when the question comes up as to why crystal balls came to represent psychics, few seem to have an answer. This lead me do some research. What I learned was rather interesting.
Many people might jump to the conclusion that crystal balls and psychics go together because of the history of Gypsies using crystal balls in psychic readings while they traveled through out Europe for centuries. There is some truth to that. That did not explain to me why the Gypsies selected the crystal ball for divination. To answer that, one needs to look deeper into the past and psychic phenomenon in general.
Why would a psychic, or anyone else for that matter, be gazing into a crystal ball? The is answer is that the person is doing what is called ‘scrying’. Scrying is an ancient art of divination, an effort to look into the past, present and future. Scrying is a word derived from the Old English word descry, meaning "to see dimly or reveal".
Some research suggests that the Celtic Tribes and Druids are the first to have used crystals and fashioned balls for scrying about 4,000 years ago. In Europe’s Medieval Period from about 500-1500 AD there is a lot recorded about psychics, seers, wizards and sorcerers, oracles and others using crystals and/or crystal balls to scry into past, present and future. It seems likely that the gypsies, being a nomadic culture who traveled throughout Europe from Russia to India, picked up the mystical art of scrying with a crystal ball and spread the image of fortune tellers far and wide over the centuries.
The art of scrying is not just about looking into crystal ball. Historically, scrying is recorded world wide and involves using a number of different ‘tools’ like mirrors, pools of water, flames or many different forms of reflective surfaces. Scrying using fire or smoke is sometimes called pyromancy. Fact is, scrying seems to be as old as humanity itself. Some say that Nostradamus used a ‘scrying mirror’ to see into the future and recorded his predictions. The ancient Egyptians believed that the goddess the Sky goddess, Hathor, gazed into her reflective shield to see all that was. This mythology likely explains why Egyptian priests and oracles used mirrors to look into the past, present and future. The ancient Greeks used beryl, black glassy stones for scrying as well as pools of water.
Now, scrying or crystal gazing is only ONE form of divination. Most professional psychics are aware of scrying and many of them have experimented with crystals, scrying and perhaps crystal balls in the course of their career. However, most psychics do not use scrying for psychic readings. It is a unique mystical art that only a few psychics choose to excel at. Those who believe in scrying often comment on how scrying is a pathway to unlocking psychic talents. Yet, most professional psychics never used scrying to unlock or discover their psychic abilities. A quick review of the major psychic sites and the bios of psychics reveal most psychics claim to have discovered their psychic abilities early in life or through some traumatic event or by shear accident. This, to me, explains why so many psychics dislike the image of all psychics sitting behind a crystal ball as the ultimate symbol of psychics. For ‘real psychics’ this is just not a true image.
Few psychics really have decided to master scrying as their primary method of divination. Though it is an ancient form of seeing into the past, present and future (and some claim opens the mind to remote viewing or somehow tapping into information beyond the five senses) it is not currently the most common tool of psychics. Most psychics today tend to embrace their ‘clair senses’ (Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience and so forth). A great many work with spirit guides. Most enjoy working with Tarot, or numerology, or astrology recently the psychic use of the pendulum as divinational tools. During the late 1800s and again in the early 1970s automatic writing and ouija were fashionable psychic tools. A quick Google search will reveal that scrying is, today, again becoming popular as a means of exploring paranormal abilities especially among those interested in Wicca. It just seems gazing into crystals and crystal balls will never go away.
‘How’ or ‘why’ or ‘if’ scrying works is a subject of much debate between believers and skeptics. Why scrying can trigger psychic abilities in some people but not others might be explained that only by not rejecting psychic gifts can one open the door to them. Those who have studied scrying often say that crying should not be undertaken lightly. It requires meditative practice. Many who have sought to master crystal gazing feel important spiritual rituals should be observed (such as prayer for protection and guidance or other means to prepare the mind for the visions scrying might bring). Some experienced scryers say the crystals themselves must be carefully chosen or the reflective surface properly prepared. The environment and location for scrying is also important.
I think I now understand why the gypsy figure over a crystal ball has come to represent psychics. I also see why many psychics reject the image. Frankly, based on what I have learned, I see nothing wrong with the image and find it more appealing now that I know more of the history. Sadly, too many skeptics and critics have used the crystal ball image to ridicule psychics. Yet, the bigger picture to crystal balls and crystal gazing (sometimes called crystalism, crystallomancy, gastromancy, and spheromancy) is really a fascinating one. Scrying has deep historical roots, as do psychics as oracles. If I were psychic, I am not sure I would be so quick to dismiss the psychic gazing into a crystal ball image. As a symbol, it is actually pretty historical … and kind of cool.
It you are interested in talking with a psychic who is an expert in crystal gazing, you may really enjoy Psychic Narnia. Her predictions and readings are impressive. I’ve also had great experiences at authentic psychics finding quality psychics with experience with crystals and scrying. And, a quick shout-out to Psychic Penny for her great help with love readings