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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Reading a Crystal Ball

crystal ball beach.jpg

My goal today is to explain everything you need to know about crystal balls and crystal ball readings. If you are thinking of  having a reading with a practitioner or you're pursuing this art for yourself, I have the information you'll need to get started. If you're considering a session with me, this information will give you an idea of what to expect when we talk.

Why do people work with crystals?

Healer's work with crystals because they take energy in, transmute it, in a way specific to the type of crystal, and then release that energy back into the environment. This is why Amethyst is good for balancing and removing blockages in the chakras while Jasper is used for protection. Quartz Crystal is wonderful for storing and amplifying energy without creating any additional distortion. This is why psychics use quartz for scrying. it's also why quartz wouldn't be as effective for healing as other crystals are.

In order to read a crystal ball, you need to have a quartz crystal ball.

This seems obvious but there are a lot of con artists out there using large poured glass balls. These balls are stunning but useless!

The crystal ball captured my imagination from an early age and I wanted one for a long time before I was able to buy one. It took me two years to figure out how to work with it and then get comfortable enough to introduce it to clients. It was another six months after that before I was wiling to offer it as a stand alone service.

Every crystal ball is different in the way it interacts with the practitioner. I have about 10 balls in my collection today but I've only ever worked consistently with two of them for scrying. When you scry you need to form an energy connection with the ball and you can't force that connection or assume that it will just be there. It isn't like ordering a deck of cards, it's more like dating. When  you find a compatible ball it's just amazing!

What type of crystal ball works best for scrying?

My first crystal ball was quite large and it had a good inclusion right in the middle. I used it for about six years. Back then we owned a metaphysical store. I got a call one day from my rock and crystal whole-seller. She had a large crystal ball come in and she felt it was meant for me. I was quite happy with the one I had and wasn't interested in getting another one. She insisted on shipping it to me anyway.


The new ball was about 25% smaller than my current ball but both were equally clear. This ball was about the size of a softball and I felt an instant connection when I picked it up. It had a rainbow inclusion that ran just inside the bottom of the ball so the viewing area was about the same as my larger ball. This is where the similarities ended.

Like two old friends meeting again after a long time, we just clicked. This new ball felt alive in my hands and the energy was quick and intense. It was so much easier to read, almost like comparing dial up to high speed!

After twenty five plus years it's still the only ball in my collection that I use. It's interesting, I can tell when one of my kids is handling the ball without permission, as they are holding it, in real time, even when I'm not home. That's how strong the connection is, my crystal ball is happy. The work we do is very much a collaboration.

Some crystals are healthier than others when they are caught in the wild.

What I’ve come to understand from working with crystals is that some crystals are healthier than others when they are taken from the earth. Crystals can be excessively damaged in the cut and polish process. This is why (when it makes sense) I always prefer uncut, un-tumbled, rock and crystals for energy work.  Every cut has a cost. 

I’ve read with raw quartz crystal, it’s different than reading the round processed shape.  Energy moves differently in it’s natural state. I still prefer to scry with a round polished ball that's between the size of a tennis ball and a soft ball. It’s easier to pack, clean and charge. Bigger isn’t always better and it costs a lot more. Larger crystal balls need more energy to build up. This means you have to hold them longer to get the same effects that you would get from a smaller ball. Smaller pieces lack the room for the energy to spread out and flow, this can make it harder to understand what you’re looking at. When you’re just starting out and you have the time to charge it properly, a larger ball is going to be easier to connect with but again, they are hard to find and quite an investment.

Don't purchase a crystal ball without holding it first.

If you’re going to purchase a crystal ball for scrying purposes, don’t buy it without being able to hold it, or return it.


Be careful about ordering online, there are a lot of inferior products out there. The sizes they post can be misleading. I can show you a lovely ball from China that I paid $300 for and its pure junk. I use it for display, it’s a nice paper weight. The quality of quartz varies so you want to make a qualified decision. Use a reputable dealer and avoid Ebay unless it’s coming from an online estate sale.

Quartz crystal absorbs energy, stores it, and then amplifies it back out into the environment in an exact magnification of its original state. This property of quartz is why they use it to make computer chips.

Poured glass or reconstituted quartz is not a crystal ball, it's a toy. Anyone who tells you differently doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

To scry you need a quartz crystal ball with minimal inclusions. The best inclusions are flat and flow across the ball in one direction. Energy needs a point to build up from and the inclusions provide that foundation. Pay attention to where those inclusions are and consider the space above them. If you’re looking at a ball with no inclusions, it’s poured glass. Good inclusions look like mirror or rainbows as they reflect light in the ball. 

This is my baby!

a quartz crystal ball sitting on a large raw quartz crystal base

My crystal ball is fairly large, about the size of a baseball. There are a few inclusions with about 40% clear viewing area. The inclusion on the bottom looks like a rainbow and is very reflective. It makes a great surface for energy to build up on. My base is also quartz and I bathe it between uses with the ball. 

How to Prepare a Crystal Ball for Scrying

In order to work with a crystal ball it must first be clean. As someone who works big trade show events with ten people or more on my waiting list at any given time, I can tell you that this is the worst part about using this tool. Running across trade show floors to get to the bathroom so that I can bathe a ball sucks up time. If you go for a crystal ball reading and the practitioner doesn’t first clean the ball, leave.

Anyone who works with crystals will tell you that they should be cleansed and then charged before using. Burying the crystal in dirt isn’t recommended. The earth will take back the crystal and as much as you dig, you won’t find it again. If you want to use earth for cleansing, use a pot of soil to be safe and expect to leave it there for three days to a week. I’ve never found smudging worked well on crystals, sunlight can cause bleaching and is again, a long process. So I use water.

If the water is too warm or too cold, it can cause inclusions or cracks in the ball that are caused from shock. I practiced with cheaper uncut quartz crystals in the beginning to figure out what temperature was safest for my quartz. It only takes a minute or two under lukewarm running water to clear most energies.

After you bath a ball, it will look for something to absorb. The quicker you can get the ball into the hands of your client the better. I always wrap my freshly cleaned crystal ball in a towel so that I’m not touching it directly as I take it immediately to my client. 

The second step to preparing a crystal ball for scrying, is to charge the ball

This takes about 4-7 minutes for a ball my size. It takes some planning but I usually have my client hold the bare crystal ball in their hands while I work with a different client. When you hold the ball, don’t think about other people. Just relax and breathe. You can think about questions you want answered but don’t allow yourself to consider the outcomes. You don’t want to put your fantasy into the ball. The more you relax and empty your mind, the better the energies are that you will use to charge the ball.


The more time you take to charge the ball the easier it will be to work with. If you're not asked to charge the ball before the practitioner looks at it, suspect a scam.


I won’t do crystal ball readings over the phone but I know very good practitioners who do. In this instance the practitioner charges the ball immediately before the session. It would take them the same time or more to charge the ball for you, it's a gift that I don’t have so I can’t speak to how that process is done. I do know that it's not an instantaneous process, it takes time and focus.

In order to read a crystal ball, it requires more than just glancing at it

I use my crystal ball when I’m trying to see something that I can feel but can’t quite wrap words around. Sometimes when I’m working with someone who has passed away and they can’t fully connect with me, the ball can help amplify their energies. Someone still has to hold and charge the ball, though it's a different charging process.


The crystal ball is great for working with people who are afraid of Tarot. These people can be even more freaked out when you just read them without tools. I find the ball relaxes my clients and I am frequently surprised at the things that come up in it. It’s a lot like a tea cup reading and it can be a lot more, it just depends on what the client needs.

How to Read a Crystal Ball

What I see in the crystal ball is a combination of color, symbols and movement. Sometimes the pictures are quite clear. Images can be quite detailed or very symbolic. It can be like reading smoke signals in that, the image gets strong and then fades or morphs into something else again.

I like to look at my ball from different angles, where I am looking is not always the front side of the message. This could be different for everyone, I can only speak from my own experience as scrying is like painting. Everyone has their own technique.

A crystal ball is the perfect gift for a child struggling with their own clairvoyance and intuitive abilities. I’ve had students work with a ball and then go on to see auras. The crystal work helped them to open the required chakras and to overcome their fears. It gave them the focus and direction needed to occupy the mind so that the intuitive could open and take over during the session.


With practice and respect, you can gain confidence in your gifts. Just remember to put white light and protection around yourself before picking up a ball to read.

Scrying is a combination of a Focused Mind and a Meditative State
working together in Harmony

Any type of information can come from a crystal ball and you will get bits and pieces of everything if you don’t ask for specifics. This is done after the charging process and it is very important at the beginning of a practitioner’s study that they learn how to focus the ball as they read it. In this way they can get the answers that they seek. A crystal ball requires tuning to be used effectively.


Tuning is just a process of developing a language between you and your quartz. Scrying is then just the process of receiving and decrypting the messages you recieve in the ball. Each person’s language is unique to them and their life experience.

Should We Share?

A crystal ball sits in the surf at sunrise reflecting the sea and sky

A crystal ball acts as an amplifier so that it is easier for you to process the energy within the ball. You must still learn how to process that energy.

To clarify, the crystal ball is like a telephone and the energies that go into it and come from it, are not a result of the quartz having a consciousness like a sentient being does. The language you are learning is between you and Universe. It is about how YOU lock in and process that energy. The crystal ball is like a set of training wheels that you use while you are learning to focus and build the feeling of how being in balance feels.


Quartz amplifies energy.

To say you have a good connection with your ball is to say that it amplifies energies really well at a frequency that you are sensitive enough to connect with. The Scryer and her ball are attracted like atoms of energy to each other so they work synergistically together. There is less friction, there is more flow. They come to be in tune with each other. 

For this reason I do not recommend sharing a ball with someone else. Your crystal ball is a personal part of your spiritual practice. Your study and practice of the crystal ball reaches beyond the time you spend with it. It will come to feel like a part of you, it can feel like an extension of your self. Like all tools, if you use it with care, you can eventually grow beyond it. You just won’t want to leave it behind.

As with all psychic gifts and tools, my work begins with a prayer of protection for both myself and my client. 

What Will I Learn From a Crystal Ball Reading?

Using a crystal ball is like drawing with a pencil, it can be whatever you want it to be. When I use my ball for clients, I ask specific questions and I lead the ball to give me the answers. I as the practitioner lead the conversation but there are frequently surprises that come up.

I begin by taking a good look at your energy and then I target the areas that I think are most important for you. Usually it's relationship, career and family. Sometimes it's health, a trip or a crisis that the client is focused on. I work at pulling the details from the ball and building out the description of your next 10-12 months. If you are adding Tarot to a crystal ball reading we look for other things or I use the ball to really dig into core issues.


I frequently use the ball to cover spiritual issues and for soul growth coaching. It always begins with charging the ball and the question that I focus on or ask.

When I am done, you can ask any questions that you may have. This way we (our Guides and Angels) make sure that you get what you need while still covering what you think you came for.

What I love about a crystal ball reading is that all of the images are specific to you, it’s not like a tarot reading where the cards look the same for every client. Your energies create the images, your passion gives them depth and colour. Scrying is a visually creative art unique to the person who charged the ball. I have seen the most breathtaking images in my ball.

If you have never had a crystal ball reading, you should. It is different from the traditional tarot. Clients tell me that they feel like they are participating more in the session, so for them it’s more exciting.

Clients do not usually see the images in the ball.

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