A crystal in the shape of a sphere immediately evokes images of fortune tellers with their hands waving all-around an impossibly clear crystal ball. An image that comes from a history that isn’t quite as clear as the fortunes it’s believed to tell.
It was in the 1st century CE, Pliny the Elder described the use of crystal balls or crystallum orbis, by soothsayers. And by the 5th Century CE, scrying using crystal balls was widespread throughout the Roman Empire, it was condemned and believed to be heretical by the early Medieval Christian Church.
Later British mathematician, astrologer, astronomer, and geographer, John Dee was a consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. Much of his life was devoted to divination, alchemy, and the Hermetic philosophies, and the use of crystal balls was often included in his work.
The art of scrying is when images are thought or claimed to be seen in crystals or other media such as water, or scrying mirrors, like this Obsidian one here. These images are interpreted as meaningful information meant to help answer a querents question or provide insight into their life. The gazer would stare deeply into the ball or reflective surface and fall into a meditative trance. This trance is believed to allow the subconscious to open up and receive secrets of a persons' past, present or future. Popular opinion leads us to believe that only the future can be gleaned through scrying or crystal gazing, but a truly magical crystal ball and a powerful Seer would be able to see in any chronological direction.
Many different types of crystals can be formed into spheres. These spheres are formed from either a very large crystal that is then cut into a polyhedron-like shape, then grinded into a very rough sphere shape, and then goes through a very long process of being put into a sphere polishing machine using larger to increasingly finer grits before it is given a final buffing that gives it that lovely clean and shiny surface we all know and love.
Spheres are believed to emit energy equally in all directions, so that energy flows easily and through the crystal. This is why it is the ideal shape for divination and fortune-telling. Early crystal gazers preferred to use Beryl, a sea-green mineral that was polished into spheres. It's believed that Beryl is more magnetically charged making it easier to connect to the psychic lunar energies. Merlin was believed to have carried a Beryl ball with him at all times in case King Arthur was ever in need of a reading. The amazing Clear Quartz sphere is the one that most people think of and its image is still used today. Clear Quartz is a superconductor that is believed to help awaken spiritual insight and visions. But you can use any type of crystal for scrying, or to just tap into their metaphysical properties in this energetically free-flowing form;
Amethyst is a spiritual stone with powerful healing energy. This energy helps Amethyst to channel violet rays believed to be connected to the highest spirituality. They are more expensive, and harder to gaze into when compared to Clear Quartz, but are excellent for communicating with spirit guides, and for getting information on dream activity.
Rose Quartz, the stone for all types of love. The energy of Rose Quartz is much more gentle, and loving compared to others making it the perfect choice for when dealing with matters of the heart. Use it when you need to feel forgiveness and vulnerability, but be prepared for the emotions that may surface when working with this stone.
Smokey Quartz is a stone of grounding and calming. If someone is overly emotional, negative, or tends to put up walls against psychic activity, be it conscious or subconscious, then Smokey Quartz is what may be required. If you're using a Smokey Quartz sphere for scrying it is believed to help reveal a persons' spiritual path and the best way to follow it in the physical world.
Obsidian is a highly reflective stone that makes a very powerful mirror. It's believed to reflect what is truly in a persons' soul. The blackness of this crystal helps us reach deeper into the hidden parts of our mind and bring out the light. Obsidian tends to provide very blunt and sometimes intense visions so it's not recommended for everyone.
Citrine is a stone powered by the Suns' energy. It can be used to reveal the brighter side of an existing or potential issue. This sunny energy can be used as an energetic recharge and disperse things that may be clouding your mind.
Lapis Lazuli is a psychic stone that energizes the Third-Eye chakra, the center of intuition and psychic attunement. Lapis is believed to be of great help for astral traveling as well. These properties were highly prized by Ancient Egyptians so much so that they considered this stone to be sacred.
Green Aventurine is a stone of prosperity, abundance, with nurturing energy. Green connects to the nurturing part of a persons' heart, it relates to Mother Earth and creation. Money issues, or wondering if potential new ventures will work out, Green Aventurine may be the best crystal to use.
Spheres are not only meant for divination, but they can also be used in many other ways. Meditating with spheres is believed to help you connect with higher spiritual planes allowing you to get into a deeper meditative state. You can also use them to roll out stress and tension in your body. In this way, you use reflexology and the healing properties of crystals as well. You can use them as elements of Feng Shui. Once you know what kind of energy you want to bring into your home or space you can use a sphere and fill it with the intention of bringing your desired energies into your space. A sphere of Carnelian or Red Tigers Eye can be added to your office or workspace to promote creativity or use a Jet or Black Tourmaline sphere to protect your workspace from any negative energy. And if your green thumb could use a helping hand place a sphere in your garden, or use smaller ones in your house plants (make sure they can be safely exposed to water of course) and program it with the intentions of nurturing the soil and plants.
Keeping your spheres in or on something that protects it from falling and possibly getting broken or damaged is important as well. If you've ever been in our lovely little shop, or have seen some of our photos you'll know we tend to lean more toward using vintage items to hold our spheres. Candleholders, etched vases, or vintage napkin rings are some of our personal favourites. Wooden cobra stands, acrylic sphere holders, or even other crystals cut and shaped to hold spheres are all excellent choices. So long as your crystal is sitting safely and securely you've got a sphere stand.
I feel like this merely scratches the surface of what could be written about spheres. I hope this has given you some helpful information to see beyond the often stereotypical image of fortune-telling with a crystal ball. If you're looking for more information on crystals, we have some lovely books you can check out here.
Let us know your favourite types of crystal spheres, or even how you use them, we can't wait to hear from you.
Love and good vibes, always. 🖤