The study of Crystal Gazing without a Crystal would appear very much like the study of a "Bill of Fare" without troubling to obtain the material food described thereon. The mere reading of a book on a subject of this nature without an attempt to put into practice the processes described -- step by step -- from the very beginning, is futile and a mere waste of time.
The first consideration, therefore (if the would-be seer has not already attended to the matter), will be the choice of a suitable Crystal to form the material basis of his experiments and a stepping-stone to the development of his latent powers of clear vision.
In all probability the aspirant to this ancient art has already been attracted to a Crystal Sphere of this nature, for there is little doubt of the extraordinary magnetic attraction of objects of this kind whenever they are exposed to our view, and since the present interest in this fascinating subject has become apparent, we may see these Crystals displayed more publicly than has ever been the case in the past.
In olden times, and even up to the last few years, crystals were the cherished possessions of those well advanced upon the Path and kept by them from the eyes of the so-called profane. Only after having found the way, often with difficulty, to the presence of these Seers, did an opportunity occur to get even a glimpse of such a magical link with the invisible spheres. Fortunately for the modern aspirant, however, this difficulty has been removed and it has been found that more good may result by a proper study of this science so as to develop one's own latent powers, than ever a mere visit to a Seer could produce. Man has made a considerable advance on the road to Attainment. Self-development and self-initiation are beginning to play a much more prominent part than formerly. Man is no longer content to believe what he is told, he at last desires to know from his own experience. The Crystal is a stepping-stone towards Self-knowledge.
We should select our crystal with great care; the more perfect its quality, the more we should desire it as the means of our development. It should be neither too large, nor too small, and here our natural intuition should be allowed to guide us, but I may say that it is not well that the Sphere be less than two and one-half inches in diameter, and it is not necessary that it be more than four. We should choose this crystal, I might almost say, lovingly; at least, if a selection is presented to us we should take the one to which, after a moment of silent consideration, we feel most attracted; and this -- if possible -- regardless of the material consideration of its cost. We should not, however, purchase a globe which is far beyond our material means, so that other obligations would suffer thereby; otherwise, lurking at the back of our consciousness whenever we use it, may be the feeling of having acted wrongly in that connection from the very start.
We must realize the importance of this advice, for the great attraction that the Crystal has for us is something more than the arousing of a mere idle curiosity on our part. It is no less than a desire -- subconscious it may be -- to attain the same purity of soul that we perceive in the Crystal before us, and, as a matter of fact the results we obtain by a study and practice of this Art will largely, if not entirely, depend on the purity of our desire and the quality and state of development of our inner nature.
That is why I am taking up the material consideration first of all, for after the crystal has actually come into our possession, our path lies away from such considerations, at least until we have attained the success which will surely attend our earnest efforts in the right direction.
Let us suppose then that the first step has been taken, a suitable Crystal has been obtained, and that the possessor has taken it into his own room -- the one he likes best and wherein he feels most contented and serene. The choice of this room is also of importance, though in this case we must make the best of what is at our disposal. If possible this room should be one wherein we have never had any particularly unpleasant experience, where there is nothing that we feel antipathy towards, and wherein are such objects as we love best of all our possessions. In such an atmosphere the soul of the seer will feel at peace, free from distractions, and consequently in the right mood to commence his studies.
The Crystal should first be taken in both hands and held for a few moments while we close our eyes and, calming the mind, raise our consciousness to the highest and purest Ideal of which we are capable. We should persist in our effort toward this state until we feel that holy calm and stillness, so well symbolized by the Crystal itself.
We should next turn our attention to the crystal, separating the thumbs slightly, thus allowing it to rest easily in the hollow of our hands. We should remember that we, too, rest thus in the Hollow of the Hand of the Almighty without Whose aid, our Work must come to naught.
As we look into the depths of this Globe -- material though it be -- we cannot but be impressed with ideas of Purity. It is almost as if we gazed into the eyes of a little child, and there are few who have not experienced a peculiar sensation, almost amounting to awe, certainly one of wonder, when so doing. The soul of the seer is very like that of a little child -- or should be -- and it is in order that we may regain the purity and perfection of this child-like vision that we set out on this path. Most of our material surroundings give us a certain feeling of grossness, few, if any, can compare with the lucid depths of the crystal now before us.
But, in entering this path, we are about to deal with ideas and forces, finer and less apparent to our ordinary senses than any we have yet known. Even the transparent crystal is not as yet entirely pure, though we may be unable to perceive one spot on its surface or within its depths.
It is charged with a certain subtle magnetism attracted to it from the surroundings in which it has been prior to the time we obtained it. It has passed through many hands before, for a few moments, it rested in our own while we turned our thoughts inward and upward towards the Highest. Even as our own aspiration at that moment was pure, so must we first purify this symbol of our Inner-self -- the Diamond Soul as it is sometimes called -- for purification is the first step in the process whereby Initiation may be obtained. We must pass this material thing -- inorganic and lifeless though it may seem to us -- through the same processes of Purification, Consecration and Initiation, through which we in turn desire to pass.
But how may this be accomplished? That is not so difficult as it might at first appear, but it is quite necessary for all that, and in order to impress this necessity on your minds I must first devote a little time to an explanation of the process.
Every material object, including the physical body of man himself, is but the outward expression of certain finer forms of matter which interpenetrate it. Thus in the case of man, we may say he is composed of body, soul and spirit, the soul, in that case, being the plastic medium which enables the Pure Essence or Spirit to contact and communicate with the outer physical shell or envelope. This Soul of man -- and of the World -- is sometimes called "The Astral Light" or "Plastic Mediator", for unlike grosser substances it may be readily molded at will and without visible means. This Astral Light interpenetrates all objects, it is invisible to our physical senses, but its existence both in man and in all nature, makes possible the power of Clairvoyance -- Clear Vision -- as well as of Clairaudience and other powers the development of which does not come within the scope of the present treatise.
This subtle magnetic fluid is everywhere present, and reflected upon it -- as in a mirror -- may be found all the events or pictures of what has occurred, or what is occurring on this planet and even beyond this sphere. The Astral light absorbs every least impression, and so, even though not apparent to our normal and undeveloped senses, the astral counterpart of our Crystal Globe is still charged with impressions of all kinds that have accumulated within it since its material substance was first formed. It is because of its attracting these subtle influences that we wish to make use of it as a medium for bringing them to our own consciousness, but we must in the first instance demagnetize it, so as to banish all trace of the past influences which it still contains.
This may be simply accomplished as follows:
First place the crystal on a slender cup-like stand. (One may usually be obtained with the crystal in the first instance.) This stand should be placed on the surface of a small table, which has previously been carefully cleansed, and from which all other objects have been removed.
We may either stand or sit before this table, within easy reach of the crystal while we perform the first step towards the purification of our material basis. Next place the tips of the fingers of both hands together, the thumbs being also joined, so as to form a circle -- symbol of infinity but also of a limitation or boundary -- then concentrate the attention on this circle until you clearly imagine, or actually feel, a film of fine astral matter, like the film of a soap-bubble, formed of the fine substance of your own astral and etheric bodies, spreading over the hollow space between your hands. As in the former instance, when your whole attention was turned within, this film should represent to you the highest and purest of which you are capable. A film of such purity that it will have the effect of dispelling or banishing every lower influence it contacts.
Having concentrated your mind in this way for a few moments -- and the ease with which this is accomplished is a good test of your powers as a crystal-gazer -- you must now slowly move your hands until they are directly above the crystal on the table, and still keeping your mind firmly fixed on the idea of this pure film of astral matter, pass your hands down over the crystal, thus causing it, in its turn, to pass clear through the magnetized circle of your hands.
When your hands reach the table at the base of the stand, they should be drawn apart, thus breaking the "film" and leaving the crystal above demagnetized of all that is of a lower vibration than your own highest ideal. It is then like a blank talisman, or a thing without life. If this first step has been successfully accomplished, the crystal will now give an impression of perfect 'cleanliness,' or that is the best description one can give of the proper result obtained by the process of purification. It must on no account be touched at this stage of the work.
The next process is to charge it with your own magnetism, thus consecrating it to the Work you wish to accomplish.
If the best results are to be obtained the crystal must now be consecrated or dedicated to the special mission for which it is destined. This mission is a very important one, much greater than we at first imagined perhaps, for it is no less than that of representing to the seer his own Soul in the pure condition to which he aspires to bring it. For that reason, his material basis, the crystal, must never be used for any but the highest purposes. It is no longer an ornament that may be placed on the mantel-shelf, but something he is about to endow with his own life, to charge with his own highest Will. Thus it becomes something most sacred to him, no longer an object to be idly handled by the profane any more than he would allow his own innermost feelings and ideals to be thus roughly used by every passing stranger. This explains the attitude of the true Seer of the past; it is not so much that the Crystals they used became objects of superstitious mystery to the ignorant, as this sacred value to the Seer himself, which caused them to be so carefully preserved. Once we understand this, we shall adopt the right attitude towards our studies from the very start.
How then must we accomplish the Consecration of our Small Crystalline Sphere?
Leaving it just where it stands on the table before us we must next place the tips of our fingers and thumbs together, very much as before, but this time allowing them to form a perfect equilateral triangle. Our hands should be held in this position over the crystal, while we strongly concentrate our minds on the idea that a positive current is flowing from them down into the crystal. This current must again represent our highest aspiration in its purest form, but directed this time by our True Will. When we fairly feel this current flowing from our hands, they should be passed gently over the crystal -- still forming the triangle as before but gradually allowing the palms to encircle the globe, without actually touching it; then, when we feel impressed to do so as by an unseen force, we should gently but firmly grasp the crystal itself, lifting it from its stand, and allowing our hands to pass all over its surface. All this while the mind must be kept in the highest possible condition of pure aspiration, as if we were giving our very life to this object, as indeed we are, for it now becomes more than a mere symbol of dead matter, it lives, and we have brought it to birth as a child of our Will. Henceforth it must be treated as such, as a sacred instrument, dedicated and consecrated to the service of the Highest.
And here a warning is necessary, though it will not be needed by the aspirant to this Art who has followed the directions hitherto given in the right spirit. This warning was also given by an earlier writer on this subject, John Melville, he writes:
"A sure and certain law exists, viz: - That if the seer's purpose be evil when he or she uses the crystal or mirror, it will react upon the seer sooner or later with terrible effect; wherefore all are strictly cautioned to be good and do good only."
This may sound rather like Sunday-school talk, but when explained in the light of the principles I have set forth above, it becomes clear, for we thereby charge the body of our "child" -- the crystal -- with a force which must inevitably return to us as its creator, quite apart from any question of outside influence from "beings" on other planes.
But he again reminds us that "The aerial spaces are thronged with countless intelligences -- celestial, good, pure, true, and the reverse. The latter have force: the former possess power. To reach the good ones, the heart of the gazer must correspond, and they should be invoked with prayerful feelings. There are innumerable multitudes of the bad on the confines of Matter and Spirit. These malign forces are many and terrible; but they can never reach the soul that relies on God in perfect faith, and which only Invokes the Good, the Beautiful, and True for noble purposes."
Here we have many fresh ideas that need to be dealt with more fully in their proper place, but the advice is good, and the warning necessary to those who, with the best intentions, may through ignorance of their own nature, and that of the Universe in which they live and move and have their being, imprudently attract to themselves forces of evil too great for them to withstand, thus bringing about obsession, madness or even worse, through use of wrong methods.
This stage in the process of the preparation Of our crystal has been partially accomplished in the previous section of the work. We have really CONSECRATED the object by determining to use it only for the one work before us and for no other purpose, and we have at least partially INITIATED it by charging it with our own Will and Life. Initiation means a beginning and we shall have made a good beginning If the above instructions have been carefully and faithfully followed. An elaborate ceremony might have been adopted, but since we are ourselves only making a beginning of the Work, such a Ceremony, even if described would have appeared cumbersome and unwieldy. As it is the merest novice has no excuse for neglecting the few simple rules laid down, which in the end, will be seen to have a far greater importance than is at first imagined.
If we start rightly we shall continue rightly, but a false start practically ruins our chances of success.
Enough has been accomplished for the moment, and the next step is to leave the crystal alone for a short time, not to start to use it immediately. This will be a test of patience, for one thing, and we shall need all our patience in order to succeed fully.
But, as with a new born babe, we must not leave our crystal unprotected. It should be carefully wrapped in a piece of silk obtained for the purpose and likewise dedicated to that end. Rose-pink is perhaps the best, as if to suggest our pure love of this "object" we have so carefully prepared. Outside that we might well place "grey" and finally "black" silk wrappings.
If this seems too elaborate, use a piece of pure black silk only, and whenever the Little Crystalline Sphere is used, first polish it carefully with this same silk wrapper.
Now put your crystal away, and read the next Chapter carefully before attempting to use it further.