Crystal ball – magical instrument for divination
Magic Ball, or as it is accepted to call it - the crystal ball, is known to all people since the early Middle Ages, when the history of magic and its development on the territory of modern Europe was in its infancy.
This magical instrument is a crystal sphere or a glass ball, which supposed to have supernatural and magical abilities; mainly the crystal ball can show future events or events from the past. In order to see the future, in rarer cases the past, fortunetellers and soothsayers used it during their magical sessions.
The ball can be made of various materials, which ultimately gives it a glitter, transparency and depth. Most often, such a magic item is made from natural quartz, beryl, or glass. If the ball is made of glass it is called a glass bowl.
Depending on the shape and transparency, the ball is sometimes referred to such definitions as "sphere" or "Globe". Sometimes crystal sphere is called as a "stone of visions."
The history of the “Magic sphere”
Determination of the exact time of appearance of the crystal ball is almost impossible. There is historical evidence that the items made of transparent materials were used in the days of the Druids.
Druids - holy priests of the ancient Celts who inhabited the territory of ancient England, Germany and Scotland. Druids had actively used transparent objects and stones with which they predicted the future.
Historical evidence suggests that the first information about crystal and glass spheres appeared in 500 century AD, although the active use they received only during the Middle Ages in the beginning of the appearance of magic and witches in Europe.
In the tomb of king of the Franks Childeric I, who lived in the V century, was found transparent sphere with a diameter of 3.8 centimeters made of beryl. This discovery gave a rise to the legend that the king could use it to predict the future. The object was similar to other balls, which were later found in the tombs of the period of Merovingian in France, and the rulers of the Saxons England, some of which were included in the frame, which involved the decorative nature of the object. However, it was noted that these crystals are identical to other balls that were used for divination or spell.
During the 1100-1500 in Europe wandering gypsies and various charlatans posing as wizards, witches, psychics, seers, and so on, had used crystal balls, that supposedly allowed them to see the “past, present and future”.
Due to its transparency, natural precious stones - beryl - often was used for divination in ancient times. Residents of the northern highlands called them “stones of power”. Although early crystal balls were made of beryllium, and only later they were made of quartz, even more transparent material.
Magic use of the Crystal ball
Magic ball was used for different magical rites in ancient times, but the most important and basic use of this object was guessing and predicting the future. Magicians, sorcerers, fortune-tellers and witches carefully peered into a ball, pronouncing often different spells in an attempt to see in it any pictures or symbols that could be interpreted as important information.
Basically this spiritual information was about future events, but sometimes fortune-teller "saw" past events that have already occurred with the person. Treat of magical symbols that appeared in the ball was possible in different ways, but the balls’ purpose was mainly the prediction of the future and the soothsayers had interpreted the symbols and everything they saw in a magic sphere, as events of the future.
The crystal ball is also used for the alleged communication with the dead or supernatural beings, because it was thought that the characteristics of the object contribute to such communication: practitioners could ostensibly take the image of a deceased person or entity, but not to take a clear image of his face, what could have been dangerous
The relationship between the soothsayers and the crystal ball supposedly could be through the eyes, means that, the magician has to look on the ball through the eye touch. It can be also tactile contact with an object and practitioner can use both methods at once. When using the technique of the magician allegedly he had to stare at the ball until the image begins to take shape, and in any case not to look not in the direction of the point until it disappears.
To contribute to the formation of images, some mages allegedly tray crystal balls to the walls of the dark or wrapped black cloth, as well as to practice with it in the night or at the dawn.
The second life of the crystal balls has been found in the hands of magicians in the early 19th century. Many magicians have used a ball as a magic object to predict the future and communicate with the spirits of the dead, or read thoughts during his performances.
Claude Alexander – the most well-known illusionist and mentalist of the early years of the 20th century who was known under the name of "Alexander Seer», used a crystal ball in his huge telepathic performances. He answered questions from the audience using the magic ball. Until it turned out later that Claude has an excellent abilities in psychology, and just knew how to visually "read" people.