So I spent some time handling and getting to know my new crystal ball, then I carefully cleansed it and a few days later sat down one evening for my first try at reading it. I'm aware that this form of divination is considered to be one of the most difficult to master, so I was prepared for a challenge. But seriously, this was hard. To begin with, I had trouble with my light source and despite fussing with my candles and dimming the room lights up and down, and up and down again and again for a good twenty minutes or so, I never truly did find a comfortable amount of light with which to work. I relaxed and grounded and then threw up around me a bubble of safety. And at last I was ready to try to read. Sigh. I managed to find my soft eyes, that sort of pre-trance, almost day-dreamy feeling I get when I read auras or do a visualized journey. But an hour later I had seen nothing at all, not even a wisp, and I had managed to give myself a bit of a sore neck and a violent and unexpected case of extreme nausea that took more than two horrible hours to subside.
Needless to say, my ball and I have kept a fairly respectful distance from one another since that night while I await the arrival of three new books on mastering the art of crystal gazing since I think it best I not try my hand at this again without at least a small amount of guidance beforehand. I'm anxious to give it as many tries as I need in order to begin to actually see something, but I'd prefer to do it without incapacitating myself for hours on end. Trust me, nothing is worth feeling the way I did that night, not even foretelling a strange and glorious future. And until my books arrive, I'll just have to admire my beautiful new purple-blue paperweight safely from across the room.
John William Waterhouse, The Crystal Ball, 1902 (detail)