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A crystal ball, also known as an orbuculum, is a crystal or glass ball and common fortune telling object. It is generally associated with the performance of clairvoyance and scrying in particular. The earliest use of a crystal ball can be first attributed to the Celtic Druids who divined the future and omens with beryl balls. In the 1st century AD, Pliney The Elder describes use of crystal balls by soothsayers. By the 5th century AD, scrying was widespread within the Roman Empire and was condemned by the early medieval christian church as heretical.

Dr. John Dee was a noted British mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth 1st. He devoted much of his life to alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy, of which the use of crystal balls was often included.

Crystal gazing was a popular pastime in the Victorian era and was claimed to work best when the Sun is at its northernmost declination. Immediately before the appearance of a vision, the ball was said to mist up from within.

Well mine has not misted up so far, and I haven’t had any hermetic visions, but thought I’d encourage it with my tarot cards~ the history of which you can find HERE in a post I did earlier in the 366 project.


If you click on the pic you’ll be able to make out which card the ball is focused on 🙂

10 comments on “Day 325~366

  1. beetleypete says:

    ‘Das Gluksrad’, the wheel of fortune. Great stuff here, FR, and tricky too. Coloured reflection in the ball, B&W background. Technically perfect, and impressive to boot.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the near-kaleidoscope look here. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. -N- says:

    A bit of a Pagan, eh? Or not. Doesn’t matter. The picture is superb!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Naomi, am not partial to dancing around ancient stones 🙂 these are just photography props.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. -N- says:

        Great props, too. =-)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. steviegill says:

    Great shot and fascinating history. I always find it interesting that the Victorians, who are often portrayed and perceived as being very prim, proper and almost puritanical (the three Ps!), were so into mysticism and the occult. I watched a documentary ages ago on the history of card games and obviously tarot was very much a part of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wish I’d seen it!


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