The Beginners Guide to Crystal Gazing

Learn about the ancient art of crystal gazing and how to do it yourself at home with this essential beginners guide.

We have all looked towards different sources for guidance at some point in our lives. No matter what background, belief system or faith, there hasalways been a profound need amongst humanity to gain a level of clarity over certain events, and to harness our knowledge in order to better understand a previous outcome, or even our potential future.

For some, this means seeking guidance from the metaphysical realm; and the divinatory art of scrying (more commonly referred to as crystal gazing) is just one of the many methods that can help some find that subtle glint of clarity they are longing for.

What is the first image that pops into your head when you think of crystal gazing?

You’ll be forgiven for thinking about the stereotypical image of an elderly mystic, shrouded in secrecy at a fortune-telling kiosk during a local funfair! The crystal ball is the most celebrated form of scrying after all, and is an ancient tradition that is steeped in ritual and multiplicity. But it’s also a form of divination that is still heavily misunderstood. Along with this typical image comes the common misconception that crystal balls have magical properties that enable the seer to foretell and see the future. However this is merely a misinterpretation of what’s really going on.

Crystal gazing doesn’t magically bless a person with the ability of foresight, but rather lets them tap into the images of their own subconscious mind, where they can then perceive and assess scenarios that are playing out, often from different angles. Be that past, present or future. In fact a better analogy of crystal gazing is to liken it to a mirror of the subconscious mind, which a person can only see into once they have tapped into certain etheric energy. It is a tool, not a prop.

The visions are seen with the third eye, not within the crystal itself. The act of crystal gazing is a deeply ritualistic one, whereby a trance-like state must be induced as the gazer opens their third eye – which is then awakened and ready discover the mysteries that lie within. And it has even more to offer than you might expect.  

But the best part of all? With just a little patience, anyone can learn to crystal gaze!

CC Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology, Flickr

Where Did It All Begin?

The art of crystal gazing –whereby a person looks into a reflective surface in order to gain mystical insight- has shown up throughout history, and in a variety of different forms. (Don’t be fooled by the name, crystal gazing can also apply to the act of gazing into any reflective surface, such as a mirror or water!) The ancient tradition of scrying was first recorded in Ancient Egypt, when priests and priestesses within the walls of sacred temples would scry in the oil which filled the temple lamps in order to see visions and guide them in future events.

Contrary to belief, and as stated above, mystics who turn to crystal gazing do not “fortune tell” and see the future of themselves or of others, but tap into ethic energy which allows them to bring some clarity to present events, and to distinguish possible events that may occur in the future. It is a modality used to permeate the future, to get a sense of where things are or someone is and where they will be.

You cannot physically “see” the future, rather just sense it from different perspectives.

How Does it Work?

The art of scrying starts with deep observation into a reflective and energised surface. These can range from spherical or tower crystals made of quartz or other crystal varieties, to other reflective surfaces such as dyed water, oil and glass (although I would recommend at least an orange sized crystal quartz). By gazing into these surfaces and due to the nature of reflective materials, the onlooker is then greeted with the gradual unveiling of reflections, refractions and rainbows. It is within these patterns that different images and visions start to appear.

One of the best analogies of crystal gazing I have come across is when you liken the act to looking at clouds. Staring upwards towards the heavens shapes emerge that just seem so obvious to you. You point it out to a friend, and low and behold, they can see it too! Of course, some people will not be able to see what you can all of the time, but more often than not, with a little perseverance and greater clarity, they do. It is the same with crystals and scrying. More than one person at a time can see the same visage!

How To Crystal Gaze

Before you even start on your crystal gazing journey, there are various steps that you need to take. Now, while it may seem like a lot of work and build up, trust me when I say that every one of these steps is important to the foundations of good crystal work! You wouldn’t rush into anything else without making sure you’ve got the right equipment, and it’s the same here. So, in highlight of this, here is my quick guide on perfecting the art of crystal gazing.


Finding the Right Crystal

Every person is different. And every crystal is different too. If you’re not already familiar with crystals, then maybe now is the time to start. Every crystal has different properties that they can bring to the table, and this is especially evident while crystal gazing. You just need to find the right crystal with the right energy for you.

Crystal Quartz is commonly regarded as one of the best crystals to use for scrying. Often referred to as the King of the mineral kingdom, this crystal vibrates a clear white light that can help amplify cleansing and meditative practices. In contrast to crystal quartz, darker crystals such as plutonium crystal can also be used. Darker crystals have often been noted as producing darker visions. Regardless of your tastes, the best action plan is to experiment with different crystals and see which one works for you, and note what kind of visions and images they give you!

Your primary concern when crystal gazing is to make sure you look deep within the crystal. The best crystals will present you with incredible patterns for you to observe in your meditative state. Things to look out for when deciding on what crystal to use is their reflective property, their inclusions (characteristic patterns enclosed in the crystal) refractions and their rainbows –some say rainbows bring us closer to the astral plane!

In addition to the crystal itself, you may like to acquire a base for it to stand on. I tend to think of crystals as a very feminine energy, especially if it’s a crystal ball. If you want a base, I suggest finding one that creates an almost Yin and Yang balance to your ball; think of a feminine ball and a masculine, straight base. The antithesis can look beautiful!

Activating Your Third Eye

Before doing any crystal work, it is imperative that you clear your headspace and make sure that you are actually in the right mental frame for task. I recommend opening your third eye. If you’re not sure how to switch on your third eye, the best way to imagine this is by literally thinking of a little switch on the side of your head and clicking that little switch to, “on”. Okay, it may not be as easy as that but it is a step in the right direction!

The key is to be aware that you are entering a different conscious state. With your third eye open you are able to transcend natural boundaries and enter different dimensions. Become aware of this state and embrace it. Connect with any spirit guides. Let them know of your intended journey. They can help you.

Meditate and ground your energies, centre and align your spirit and concentrate on what you wish to achieve. You wish for the crystal to show its secrets and share them with you.

Preparing Your Crystal and Space

The space in which you conduct any spiritual work heavily dictates its success. Although some master scryers are able to tune themselves perfectly into the crystals energy no matter the environment, for the vast majority this is very difficult to achieve.

The perfect environment for crystal gazing is in a quiet, low lit room. Traditionally, your crystal will be placed on a black velvet cloth, although any block coloured surface will do. I would also suggest placing the crystal in the centre of the room. Crystals in such a position aid communication and attract spirits and positive energy to the room.

Heidi De Vries - Flickr

In order to help cleanse the energy around you I would suggest smudging your work space. Some of the best essences for this job are sage, mugwort and myrrh. Typically used by the Native Americans, sage has always been a sacred plant that has been used for its cleansing properties and is used in any spiritual event to cleanse the energies and spirits around. As you enter your spiritual space burn a piece of sage around you, making sure to smudge yourself and the crystals you are about to use. This will help neutralise any negative energies attached. Likewise, smudging mugwort over charcoal can work in the same way, although I find it especially beneficial when having difficulty opening my third eye and larger perceptive self. And if you want something a little different, myrrh is also a very grounding essence and can help you rebalance after your journey. Of course, only choose one or two at a time, or else you may be overpowered by the smell! It’s always good to try different combinations, so don’t be afraid!

Centre, Settle and Ground – Setting Your Intention

Now you have the first steps done, you’ve opened your third eye, set your space up for what is about to follow, now you can centre, settle and ground your spirit for the journey ahead. Now is the time to clearly set your intention. What would you like to see? Do you want to understand a past event, something that will happen in the future? Maybe you wish to find something; an item, a pet or loved one, for example. All you need to do it set your intention first – if you have one, in any case.

Find a comfortable position, sitting tends to work best. Relax your mind, allow your third eye to activate. Meditate. It’s time to scry!

Scrying Your Crystal

Once you have prepared your work space, yourself and set your intention, it is time to begin. The key is to not fixate on the idea of seeing anything in your crystal. Let your mind relax and wander. Hold your crystal in your hand or place it in front of you. Ground your spirit and connect with your crystal. Focus your gaze on the crystal, but not too hard. Remember you are using your third eye now. Imagine a fog washing over your vision, the crystal in your periphery. Notice the different inclusions and rainbows in your crystal. Focus. Can you see anything?

If nothing comes to your mind just yet, don’t worry. It all takes practice.         

If you do see an image, describe it to yourself. Give yourself a running commentary. It can often help you delve deeper. Do you see lots of images that don’t make sense together? Ask your crystal for guidance. The more questions you ask your crystal, the more clearer the picture will become. Don’t be afraid if it seems like it makes no sense. This is a game of patience after all. In fact, messages we get through the crystal may take days or even weeks for them to make sense to us. Hindsight is your friend, and a night mulling over what you saw may just be the ticket!

You can move your crystal if you wish. But remember, if you do see an image or vision changing the angle of the crystal may give you a different perspective. Ask the crystal to show you what you have just seen again, just from another perspective. This might be the key to unlocking the vision before you.

One tip is to create a crystal gazing diary. Here you can log all the visions and images you may have seem. Come back to it and see if things are starting to make sense. Note which crystals you have used, and what area of the crystal you have gazed in. You might find a natural affinity to a certain crystal and a certain area within it. Nurture this relationship! Often some crystals will show you more than others.

Remember, scrying is a meditative practice, and as such can be very difficult to continue over long periods of time. I would recommend if you’re first starting out to only do so for periods of 10-15 minutes. If you do any longer you may find that your third eye tunes out of the visions and cannot maintain a connection.

As with anything scrying also takes practice! Very few people have ever been able to see visions straight away and there is a learning process to it. But the more you try, the easier it will be for you to attune your third eye, the clearer the images may become and the more sense they will make.


Last but not least, don’t get disenchanted if you don’t get the hang of it first time! Everything takes time and you should try to embrace it! Crystal gazing is great fun and can really help you gain a different kind of perspective in life. So what are you waiting for, give it a go today!



Have you been learning to scry? If so, tell us your stories below and any tips you may have. If you’re interested in having a crystal reading, many of our talented psychics are gifted with this ability. So why not give them a call today and find out what they have to say!



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