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Crystal Ball


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#1 wren

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 09:33 PM

So, if everything is in P.B. Randolph, I apologize. I haven't read his stuff yet.

Where is the "juice" when looking into a crystal ball from a not so ceremonial perspective? I've seen it written that some would bargain with the soul of an unbaptized child to enter the ball and bring the spirits into view for you in exchange for eventually baptizing them. That can't be how all the people that lead up to the Gypsy stereotype worked, right? Was it like a toby (treated as alive and having its own indwelling spirit), or something else?

#2 Imperial Arts

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 09:48 PM

The largest flawless natural quartz sphere is on display in Los Angeles, and is viewed by tourists at the museum. I used to enjoy watching people stare into it for a few minutes, hoping to get a glimpse of some other world in the basketball-sized rock.

I'm not as keen on the history of crystal spheres, but I assume their place in magic lore comes from people like Dr. Dee, Gilles de Rais, and other noted crystallomancers, from whom the public has come to understand them as a connection to arcane mysteries.
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#3 Aurum

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:34 AM

The eye, the planet, the orb, the dewdrop.

The centre of a sphere is a gateway to a higher world.

Edited by Aurum, 30 November 2017 - 10:34 AM.


#4 R. Eugene Laughlin

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 03:51 PM

View Postwren, on 17 June 2017 - 09:33 PM, said:

So, if everything is in P.B. Randolph, I apologize. I haven't read his stuff yet.

Where is the "juice" when looking into a crystal ball from a not so ceremonial perspective? I've seen it written that some would bargain with the soul of an unbaptized child to enter the ball and bring the spirits into view for you in exchange for eventually baptizing them. That can't be how all the people that lead up to the Gypsy stereotype worked, right? Was it like a toby (treated as alive and having its own indwelling spirit), or something else?

I imagine children were presumed to make the best seers because, so it was believed, they lack the guile to manipulate their master, or worse, their master's masters. The idea of bartering their souls, I further imagine, is fanciful fiction, circulated to support a public perception that sorcerers are not to be fucked with. That sort of thing still goes on today, in the form of internet mages decrying the dangers of magic. If you haven't seen enough of that lately, make your way over to Studio Arcanis; you'll be treated to a healthy dose.

Off the historical track but related to your last question, as my own practice has evolved, I've increasingly veered into a rather hard-line animism, presuming that everything is alive, aware, and responsive. Tools of magic are therefore creatures to which I afford particularly high regard. I haven't used a crystal ball in my practice, not seriously at least and not at all lately, but I am selling them in my store now, so it's been on my mind. Perhaps I'll speak to a few to see if any of them they have anything to say to me. If so, we'll see.

By the way, my current attitude about object-scrying is that we all ride a continuum that ranges from not gonna happen no matter what you do to seeing all manner of special things in just about anything. That is, I think there are significant individual difference in play, and not everyone can object-scry, As it happens, that's the topic I may pursue while I have an academic position that affords access to an ethics review panel and a handy subject pool of some 250-300 college students.

The incessant theorizing I'm known for around here has, not surprisingly, led me to a number of potential predictor variables that are routinely assayed by questionnaire. If I can pass the ethical review, I plan to administer the questionnaires to my participants then have them do 5-minutes of black mirror gazing by candlelight. I predict that people who measure high on certain variables will be more likely to have the experience of something foreign looking back at them at some point during the session.

Edited by R. Eugene Laughlin, 30 November 2017 - 03:54 PM.

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#5 wren

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:13 PM

I'll pass on Studio Arcanis. Any internet edge lord is too much.

#6 Imperial Arts

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:53 PM

The crystal ball was my first interest in the paraphernalia of magic, maybe from watching The Wizard of Oz. I use Tarot for divination, and have really very little confidence that I understand the mystic crystal.

Ive tried a wide range of approaches to gazing over the years, from regular sitting sessions to divination for specific questions and conjuration of spirits. I use a rock crystal sphere, but there is probably nothing wrong with glass, and at any rate I don't see any distinct advantages to using either option. The crystal is more an aesthetic choice than the most efficient practical option.

I have met a few different crystal gazers who impressed me. All of them had different techniques. One would have the client hold the sphere and think of their question, one kept the sphere under wraps like a Palantir, one held it in his hands. They would also respond differently: one would describe images and then interpret them, another would attempt to describe specific things and people.

I have worked with a crystal with a younger assistant (not my son), using the Theurgia-Goetia and the conjuration of the aerial princes. We had agreed upon an intetpretive strategy beforehand, and set out to call the angel of West Wind to remedy an AC dilemma in Las Vegas. It was 110° at night fot two weeks and my AC had just died, and I sought to either bring in some cooler air or else figure out how to survive the heat, or failing that, how to flee altogether. We each had what I might call inspiration more than visions in the stone, and when mine and my assistant's were shared, his filled in the key missing portions from my own, and vice versa. The answer was some solid practical advice that would resolve the trouble. During the conjuration, a gust of wind blew the doors and windows open, and continued all night, blowing the California Topaz Fire smoke into Vegas. The temperature stayed ten to fifteen degrees cooler for the week we required to put the "revelatory" advice into use, and at the end of it I obtained a new replacement AC unit for $50 by pure lucky circumstances. The end result was a massive yes on the conjuration overall, but a maybe on the importance of the crystal ball.

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Edited by Imperial Arts, 30 November 2017 - 08:57 PM.

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#7 wren

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:00 AM

For me, the crystal ball didn't enter my imagination through people like Dee, but rather through the stereotype of the Gypsy Fortuneteller.

You know, the stereotypical headscarf and bangle wearing drifter sitting in a smoke filled candle-lit room who would read your palm, cast your nativity, read the tarot, or gaze into her crystal ball at the cost of a few silver coins. She might cast a spell for you, or against you. Or tell you that it was necessary and that it would cost more money. Or that she had already cursed you and the only way to break the curse was to bribe her. She might be able to divine answers but choose to cold read you for spite or profit. She, the stereotype is fickle, cunning, greedy and otherworldly. As negative as the stereotype is, there is a certain level of Romanticism in it.

I wondered how the real life analogs of the stereotype, the so called "black gypsies" and the like would have worked with crystal balls. I wondered where they got their information, and why/how they believed the crystal ball worked.

#8 Aurum

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:23 AM

Crystal has a consciousness but it's a consciousness on another plane. That's why they sometimes say not to wear certain stones with other stones else they might "argue".

I think glass is interesting...It's made of minerals and sometimes has air in it. I find that antique glass often has a very strong atmosphere around it, maybe because of the air contained in it. Not sure. Silica is found in quartz and sand for glass.





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