The use of crystals and stones to see into the future and to determine the answers to questions has a long history in many cultures. There are two primary approaches. The first is scrying, also called crystal gazing in which one gazes at the reflective surface of a crystal or into the interior of a crystal or crystal ball. The second is Lithomancy, which is casting a set of stones and interpreting the resulting patterns and arrangements.
Scrying, Wikipedia tells us, is also called crystal gazing, crystal seeing, seeing, or peeping. It is a magic practice that involves seeing things supernaturally in a medium, usually for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The media used are most commonly reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from God, spirits, the psychic mind, or the subconscious.
The common illustration of a woman gazing into a crystal ball is well established within our culture. The use of a crystal or crystal ball has come to be a popular approach to scrying.
To practice crystal gazing, you will need a crystal or crystal ball that is reflective or transparent. While some sources suggest a perfectly transparent crystal with no inclusions, the majority of crystal gazers find that the included veils wisps, and fracture lines of a somewhat included crystal or crystal ball make the reading much easier.
When you have a suitable crystal or crystal ball, find a quiet spot, empty your mind and gaze into the surface or interior of your crystal. Wander around in the reflections or the interior and allow your mind to find triggers and patterns that pertain to the question at hand. Practice a couple of times a week. You will likely be surprised at what you learn. You might think that crystal gazing is only for specialists or highly trained practitioners. However, you can do it. The gazing is in your mind, the crystal is just a tool. Crystal gazing is focused day dreaming. Try it, you will be quite honestly surprised by yourself.
If you are seeking more information, Crystal-Gazing by Theodore Besterman is excellent. The book Scrying For Beginners is outstanding. There is also a short course on scrying by Benjamin Rowe on the web which is well worth a look.
The Crystal Vaults offers crystals that have been found to be effective for scrying and crystal gazing. They are listed at the bottom of this page.
Lithomancy, the casting of stones is also an ancient art. There are basically three approaches.
One is a simple yes or no approach in which the stones are meaningless except as decided before the cast. For example, a black and white stone can be selected and the black one assigned to "no" and the white one "yes" Then cast the stones having decided that, say, the one that lands closest to you is the answer. Many variations are available. You might use a silver one too and assign it the meaning "maybe". Or use four stones - a white, black, silver, and brown, and have the silver one mean "maybe yes" and the brown one "maybe no". A popular approach is to use five stone, with one being the Personal Stone. Then the stone that lands closest to the Personal Stone indicates the answer.
A second approach is that the stones or crystals that are cast each have a specific meaning. The clustering and spacing of the cast stones provide the relationships and meanings to the cast. This works particularly well if you have a personal stone within the mix. The location of the personal stone within the resulting cast tells you what influences are close and which are remote. Many lithomancy approaches that are based on the zodiac use this method. Stones representing the different houses of the zodiac are cast and the influences of the houses on the person is read from the results.
A third approach is to cast stones onto a grid, or layout of some kind. There are many such grids and layouts. Some are based on the bagua, others on the astrological signs, others just simple grids or circles in which each section has a particular meaning to the reading. This is a popular approach. It can be adapted easily, and readings need not be difficult. To accomplish a Lithomancy reading using a grid or layout, select a group or set of crystals or stones, hold them in your hand and then then gently cast them onto the grid. The patterns and clusters of the stones are then interpreted as they relate to each other and the areas of the layout.
Let's use the Feng Shui Bagua for our layout. It might look familiar - it is explained in the Feng Shui section of the Crystal Vaults. For our stones we will use a set of 12 of different colors. We will use the Color Wheel and the detailed explanations found in The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans to understand the meanings of the stones.
So we start with this layout.
The question asked was "Where will I find happiness?"
Five stones were selected at random from a bag holding 12 stones all of different colors. These were cast onto the bagua and the result is below. (the colors of the stones in the photo are labeled for reference)
Here is an interpretation of the results using the Color Wheel for the meaning of the stones and location on the bagua for the meaning of the location:
There is a grouping of three stones in the West and Northwest. The green stone representing new growth and new beginnings in almost completely in the creativity and children area. Young children are a key element of the reading and the quest.
The gold crystal crosses both the west - creativity and children area, and the northwest - helpful people and travel. Gold is the color of success, enthusiasm, and adventure.
The red crystal is partly on the layout and partly outside. It is barely related to the helpful people and travel area. Little influence from red - energy, courage, and passion have yet to influence this area.
Together the three indicate that success and happiness might well lie in travel and in activities involving young lives of some sort, likely children.
The blue stone is in the south. This is the fame and reputation area. The blue signifies trust and respect. Clearly happiness is to be found in assuring your reputation for trustworthiness stays spotless. It would appear that some of your prosperity is tied to this, since the blue stone extends into the southeast area of prosperity and abundance.
Finally the yellow stone representing enlightenment, decisiveness, and clarity is completely in the middle of the diagram in the center of balance and harmony. This arrangement suggest happiness may depend on clarity of understanding of the balance of nature and the need for balance in your life.
Altogether the stones indicate your path to happiness may well lie in travel, association with young children, and in clearly understanding the need for balance in your life. The need for a spotless reputation for trustworthiness is essential, and is tied to your prosperity.
As you can see, there are many approaches to casting stones. You can find your own way, and you can learn from others. There are excellent sources to learn Lithomancy. Sue Lilly's book Crystal Decoder is outstanding an very highly recommended. It gives you complete instructions on casting stones, a detailed section with the meanings of the stones, and several layouts. One is similar to the bagua layout above, another is an astrological layout. It is a complete work, and easy to use!
The web site of Gary Wimmer is one. Gary is a long time practitioner of the art who offers readings, provides instruction, and is the author of an upcoming book on Lithomancy.
Finally, however you proceed, give it a try. You might be really good at it.