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Monday, June 07, 2010

Crystal Gazing

Also called crystal gazing, scrying is the magical practice of divining the past, present, or future by gazing into a usually reflective, translucent, or luminescent medium, such as crystal, mirror, water, or fire. The Cup of Jamshid, described in Persian mythology as a magical cup containing an
elixir of immortality, is said to have revealed to the observer all the layers of the universe. Mirrors, meanwhile, have been said to reveal what to young women who gaze into them in a darkened room?

Scrying (also called crystal gazing, crystal seeing, seeing, or peeping) is a magic practice that involves seeing things supernaturally in a medium, usually for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The media used are most commonly reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from God, spirits, the psychic mind, the devil, or the subconscious.

"The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse (1902, oil on canvas)

Scrying is actively used by many cultures and belief systems and is not limited to one tradition or ideology. However, like other aspects of divination and parapsychology, it is not supported by mainstream science as a method of predicting the future or otherwise seeing events that are not physically observable.

Some paintings by John William Waterhouse
Hylas and the Nymphs (1896)

The Lady of Shalott, 1888 (Tate Gallery, London)

Odysseus and the Sirens
Ophelia (1889)


John William Waterhouse


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