Crystal Gazing

There has been a great revival of interest in the subject of "Crystal

Gazing," particularly in England, of late years, and many interesting

accounts have appeared in the papers and magazines regarding the

results of the experiments. But the majority of the writers on the

subject persist in treating it as a thing separate and apart from other

forms of Psychomancy--in fact, many of them ignore Psychomancy

altogether and
re apparently under the impression that there is no

connection between it and their favorite subject of Crystal Gazing.

This attitude is somewhat amusing to persons who have made a careful

study of Psychic Phenomena and who know that Crystal Gazing is not a

distinct phenomenon, but is merely a method of bringing into action the

Psychomantic faculties.

In many respects the Crystal acts in a manner akin to that of the

"associated object" in Psychometry, but there is one point of

distinction which should not be overlooked by the student. The

"associated object" gives to the Psychometrist a ~starting point for

the Astral Tube~, and also serves to "point the Astral Telescope"

(if one may use the term) in the right direction, by reason of its

affinity with the distant scene, etc. But the Crystal does not so act,

for it is not closely allied to, or in sympathy with other things, when

used in the ordinary manner. Instead of being the "eye-lens of the

telescope," it is really a "Magic Mirror" which is turned first this

way and that, and which reflects whatever comes within its field, just

as does any other mirror. The trained and developed Psychomancer,

however, may direct his Mirror to any desired point, and may hold it

there by means of a concentrated Will.

The favor with which Crystal Gazing meets with at the hands of

beginners is due to the fact that it is the easiest method known by

which the Astral Vision may be awakened. With the majority of people,

the power may be awakened only by the aid of some physical object which

may act as a starting-point for the Astral Tube, or as one writer has

expressed it, "a convenient focus for the Will-power." A number of

objects may be so employed, but the Crystal or Glass Ball is the best

for the purpose because of certain atomic and molecular arrangements

which tend to promote the manifestation of the psychic power and


Crystal Gazing, as a method for inducing Psychomantic vision, has been

quite common among all peoples, in all times. Not only the Crystal but

many other objects are similarly used. In Australia the native priests

use water and shining objects, or in some cases, flame. In New Zealand

some of the natives use a drop of blood. The Fijians fill a hole with

water, and gaze into it. Some South American tribes use the polished

surface of a black stone. The American Indians used water and shining

bits of flint or quartz. And so the story goes. As Lang states it,

people "stare into a crystal ball; a cup; a mirror; a blot of ink

(Egypt and India); a drop of blood (the Maoris of New Zealand); a bowl

of water (American Indians); a pond (Roman and African); water in a

glass bowl (Fez); or almost any polished surface, etc."

We quote a typical case of Crystal Gazing, related by Mr. Andrew Lang.

He says:

"I had given a glass ball to a young lady, Miss Baillie, who had

scarcely any success with it. She lent it to Miss Leslie, who saw a

large, square, old-fashioned red sofa covered with muslin (which she

afterward found in the next country-house she visited). Miss Baillie's

brother, a young athlete, laughed at these experiments, took the ball

into his study, and came back looking 'gey gash.' He admitted that he

had seen a vision--somebody he knew, under a lamp. He said he would

discover during the week whether he saw right or not. This was at 5:30

on a Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday, Mr. Baillie was at a dance in a town

forty miles from his home, and met a Miss Preston. 'On Sunday,' he

said, 'about half-past five, you were sitting under a standard lamp, in

a dress I never saw you wear, a blue blouse with lace over the

shoulders, pouring out tea for a man in blue serge, whose back was

towards me, so that I only saw the tip of his moustache.' 'Why, the

blinds must have been up,' said Miss Preston. 'I was at Dulby,' said

Mr. Baillie, and he undeniably was."

Stead relates the following experience with the Crystal: "Miss X. upon

looking into the crystal on two occasions as a test, to see if she

could see men when she was several miles off, saw not me, but a

different friend of mine on each occasion. She had never seen either of

my friends before, but immediately identified them both on seeing them

afterward at my office. On one of the evenings on which we experimented

in the vain attempts to photograph a Double, I dined with Madam C. and

her friend at a neighboring restaurant. As she glanced at the water

bottle, Madame C. saw a picture beginning to form, and, looking at it

from curiosity, described with considerable detail an elderly gentleman

whom she had never seen before, and whom I did not in the least

recognize from her description at the moment. Three hours afterwards,

when the seance was over, Madam C. entered the room and recognized Mr.

Elliott, of Messrs. Elliott & Fry, as the gentleman whom she had seen

and described in the water bottle at the restaurant. On another

occasion the picture was less agreeable: it was an old man lying dead

in bed with some one weeping at his feet; but who it was, or what it

related to, no one knew."

As a matter of general interest, we also quote Mr. Stead's remarks on

crystal gazing, which agree with our own views and experience. He says:

"There are some people who cannot look into an ordinary globular bottle

without seeing pictures form themselves, without any effort or will on

their part, in the crystal globe. Crystal gazing seems to be the least

dangerous and most simple of all forms of experimenting. You simply

look into a crystal globe the size of a five-shilling piece, or a water

bottle which is full of clear water, and which is placed so that too

much light does not fall upon it, and then simply look at it. You make

no incantations, and engage in no mumbo-jumbo business; you simply look

at it for two or three minutes, taking care not to tire yourself,

winking as much as you please, but fixing your thought upon whatever

you wish to see. Then, if you have the faculty, the glass will cloud

over with a milky mist, and in the centre the image is gradually

precipitated in just the same way as a photograph forms on the

sensitive plate."

(See Lesson II, for further particulars on Crystal Gazing, and

suggestions for the successful development of the power.)