Tag Archives: pareidolia

Inner space: the final frontier

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Everything seems to be infested with misinformation these days, in an effort to make it more “user-friendly” (Read: “easy and dumbed down”). Much like googling “Lenormand”, the search term “scrying” will get you bunk, for the most part. And it’s a shame, really, because this subject is worthy of serious inquiry. It’s just too interesting to be left to the cranks and flakes.

Let’s look at the word “scry”: the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “Foretell the future using a crystal ball or other reflective object or surface.” This isn’t very helpful, since it leaves a lot open to interpretation (additionally, many – maybe most – of the things you see probably won’t “foretell the future”, but that’s another blog post).  It could be referring to a cold reader who uses the crystal as a prop, it could be referring to actual crystal visions, or it could be referring to something called pareidolia, a psychological term for the tendency to perceive a specific image in a random, ambiguous visual pattern. Pareidolia accounts for a lot of the stuff that comes up on google. The human brain is optimized to recognize faces, and we have a faction that views these things as Visits From The Great Beyond. The same line of “reasoning” that leads people to think that Jesus has returned on their grilled cheese sandwich:

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(I think it looks more like a Cocker Spaniel with something in his mouth. Or Hulk Hogan. I haven’t quite made up my mind.)

Don’t get me wrong, pareidolia is what’s used for reading wax melts and the like. There’s usually a reason that your brain interprets things a certain way, and seeing a knife in some random thing could be your instincts screaming for your attention. But that’s not what I want to keep running into when I’m looking for information on scrying. I consider it “another ball of wax”, so to speak.

If you would like to experiment with crystal visions, it’s best to go to the old sources, and/or people who are thoroughly familiar with them. While old books aren’t necessarily free of pseudoscience and misapprehended ideas, with a little common sense, you can get a pretty good working idea of what to do, and what to expect. Cat Yronwode has compiled an extremely helpful list of titles here http://www.yronwode.org/crystal-gazing-bibliography.html and it’s full of MUCH more effective search terms than “scrying”.

Many of these titles are now in the public domain, and can be had cheap or free. The authors often used pseudonyms for writing about something as shady as fortunetelling – among them were respected anthropologists, attorneys, folklorists, etc. I’m linking to a few of these books here.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26622/26622-h/26622-h.htm
The Project Gutenberg eBook of How to Read the Crystal, by Sepharial (Dr. Walter Gorn Old). An excellent book of instructions, highly recommended.

https://archive.org/details/clairvoyanceoccu00panciala

Clairvoyance and Occult Powers by Swami Panchadasi (William Walker Atkinson). The crystal gazing chapter starts at page 105.

https://archive.org/details/crystalgazingspi00dela
Crystal-Gazing and Spiritual Clairvoyance by L. W. de Laurence

http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Gazing-Theodore-Besterman/dp/B000NP170E

Crystal Gazing by Theodore Besterman. “A Study in the History, Distribution, Theory and Practice of Scrying” from the author of Voltaire.

http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocatbooks.html

(NO, I’m not on their payroll. They’re just an excellent resource, something that’s extremely rare these days.) You can find Crystal Gazing: Lessons and Instructions in Silent Influence With The Crystal  and The Crystal Silence League: Personal Lessons, Codes, and Instructions for Members, both by C. Alexander, on this page. Or just order a crystal ball or palm stone here http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocatdivination.html#scrying and they’ll send you the second title free.

https://archive.org/details/cu31924028955875

Crystal gazing : its history and practice, with a discussion of the evidence for telepathic scrying
A wonderful 1905 book by Northcote W. Thomas, M.A., with an introduction by Andrew Lang. I liked this one so much that I purchased a clothbound edition from Nephilim Press https://nephilimpress.com/xstore/product.php?productid=17704&cat=0&featured=Y

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A couple of other items of interest:

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs079/1105866064134/archive/1106148339903.html
The Crystal Silence League. This is a wonderful organization that carries on the work of C. Alexander, who used the crystal to send thoughts and prayers as well receive visions. Some archived instructions for various techniques with the crystal ball, including sending and silent influence. Don’t take this wrongly because it’s a prayer group – all religions are welcome, and of course all prayers are free if you request them. Besides, the archived articles are fantastic.

http://www.lmcradionetwork.com/
“Tuesday:
The Crystal Silence League Hour with Rev. Jon Saint Germain ​Spiritual guidance on the practical use of crystals and crystal balls in the development of mental concentration and mind power, silent influence over others, divination and scrying of the future, and telepathic contact with people and spirits. 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Pacific​, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern”

Additionally, Andy Boroveshengra has mentioned that he might do some blogging on the subject this year. That’s worth watching for, so stay tuned.

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