Rituals - E15 • It’s My Party, I Can Scry If I Want To

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i’d hate to call it a cliche

symbol but the crystal ball is the

image that you

think of when you hear fortune teller

or you want to predict the future it’s just like a

classic image

can confirm

that’s probably one of the

first things i

think of when i

think fortune teller

well crystal balls actually

have a pretty deep history so no matter what you

think of them their

popularity has lasted for thousands of years so we’re

gonna go over why

in this episode

i wonder if someone thousands

of years ago looked into a crystal ball and knew

how popular they’d say

i saw this very episode

oh god they were like oh

my gosh i’m

so glad to be thousands of years before that

the future looks bleak

hi everyone and welcome

to rituals a spotify original from parcast

i’m christine

schieffer and i’m

m schultz and

every week we’ll

explore the

evolution of

spiritualism and the occult through stories practices

and the impact on

modern culture

we’re going to talk

about crystal balls

today something that i

i feel like we are on the periphery of knowing

about but don’t really know that much about

i feel like it’s

kind of embarrassing after

talking about this

stuff for so long that we know nothing

about crystal balls and i do feel like we say that

every episode

wow it’s embarrassing how little we know

about this so

maybe we should just make that a

catch all for

every topic yeah

we’re trying to

sound like a broken record

but i also do

appreciate that that means

after all this time there’s

still so many

things to learn

about because i feel like

every time someone

directs us to a

topic we’re like what’s that

that’s really true and

we have probably

years of content

speaking of crystals

obviously i couldn’t do this without

letting us have

our crystal

you brought big girl

i brought big c i love her there she is

oh look she’s

so special i know no one else can see this but

we actually have a crystal ball that

travels with us on tour

her name’s crystal obviously

we call her big crystal because she is

heavy as sin and she is the reason why our

luggage is always we always have to pay the premium on

she’s like 10

pounds she’s like a kettle ball

or kettlebell

or whatever it’s called

she’s hefty

well i don’t

wanna say this next phrase in

front of her because i feel like this

might be hard for her to hear but

let’s go covering her ears

let’s crack into it

do you think crystal is a crystal

or is she made of glass

i think she’s probably not actually a crystal

she was oddly cheap

oh well that

maybe explains it no offense crystal but

you are hefty

she’s perfectly

polished i feel like a crystal ball i mean i don’t know

maybe i’ve never seen a crystal ball in real life and

everything has been

glass or fake or

maybe all real and crystal is much prettier that i’m

aware of much

less um in my mind a crystal ball

would have some sort of like imperfections to it but

they’re not meant to i

think they’re meant to be oh

yeah perfectly

clear so you can really

see the future well then

honestly i don’t know we’ll have to do like a dna a

23andme on crystal eventually oh

that’s cute send in her dna that’s fun

until then i would

i think it’s safe to

bet that she’s probably just glass

honestly i don’t

wanna know because if she is crystal that means

we’ve just been lugging her around in the suitcase and

having them

throw her on the tarmac and

she’s gone through a lot yeah yeah

but i do know enough

about crystal balls to know that

she probably would

still function

as a crystal ball

because i think you only need

reflective surfaces

that’s right yet to do some scrying she’s got a lot of

those so we

could scry with her you know

do you know anything

about crystal ball gazing have you ever

you said you’ve probably

never even seen

a real one have you ever had a reading i

guess not i

don’t think so

i mean the only

thing i really know about

crystal balls is whatever

stereotypes have been

fit into my

brain so like

you know a fortune teller and

an offshoot room

but i don’t

think i know really anything

about crystal ball

i don’t know how it works i don’t know

if there’s a certain crystal ball you need

i know reflective surfaces are kind of

the standard or they’re like

what you can practice on but i don’t know anything else

yeah i don’t know honestly i don’t know much

about it either i

agree that i

always kind of looked at it as like a cliche

and i may have seen one

i don’t know if that palm reader jessica

from one of our past episodes that i talked

about had one perhaps or

maybe that’s just my

my memory looking

back but i always kind of thought of them as

kind of cliche

and like maybe they

wouldn’t work but that’s my own bias i

think because i didn’t

understand how they work yeah i feel like

there’s definitely a skeptical

part of me with crystal balls but i also think

first of all i don’t know enough

about it to even have an opinion

but i jump immediately to having

some skeptical opinions because

i just feel like it’s such an

easy thing to

trick people into

of like oh let me look into the crystal ball and

since you don’t know how it works you can’t

tell if i’m

actually doing anything or not

i feel like

it could be a very easy

trick if someone wanted it to be

i agree i agree and i think

just saying you see something you

would be able to

just make that

claim without any sort of

basis yeah i

agree i also wonder if it does work

i’m still skeptical because

or if people

think they work if they

claim that they really are seeing

things in the crystal ball

part of me thinks it’s just

an illusion or

you’re looking at something long enough that

your brain makes up

things kind

of like with bloody mary how like the troxler effect

i kind of wonder like

either it’s a really good

trick and it

doesn’t work or people are

truly convinced it works and it’s

still an illusion i feel like i have a lot of

butts about it

yeah and i think that goes into a lot of the

kind of occult and spiritual practices

where it’s like is this

coming from my mind is

this a trick of the mind

is this coming from a higher source is this coming from

my subconscious yeah i

agree i feel like that’s very easy

question to fall into

and it basically all comes down to scrying

which i feel like we’ve talked

about a little bit have we talked

about that on the

other podcast

maybe my first real

awareness of scrying was through charmed

which i don’t

want to take anything they offer me at face value

my stepmom who’s wiccan

she’s been wiccan for like

40 years she loves scrying but i’ve

never known

it as a crystal ball situation i always knew it as a

pendulum situation

oh cause i always knew it as a mirror hmm

interesting yeah

so let me tell you a little

about scrying

where i’m gonna just tell it up

front before we get into

the whole story because

it comes up a lot

so scrying is when you gaze into a

reflective surface in

order to get some prophetic insight so you

would stare

into a scrying mirror

that’s what i know of you

would stare for example into a crystal to see

visions or messages i don’t know about the

pendulum is that like you stare at the pendulum

i don’t totally

understand but i know she’s got them all over

the house she

definitely explained it to me at some

point and just so many years have

passed i don’t totally

know anymore

well maybe she can be a

guest star on the show someday

i was gonna say

maybe i certainly don’t want to be

the person who explains that and then

completely butchers it we’ll

phone a friend yeah

crystal balls have been used to

look into the future for thousands of years literally

before the industrial revolution the

pawnee the iroquois the incas the

egyptians the persians the chinese and the people

of yucatan were

known to crystal gaze

so this is a very popular

concept from all around the

world so it wasn’t

like one you

know like a

tarot deck that was popularized in one

place and then

spread it was something that

many cultures did

which is kind of kind of cool

yeah it’s possible that

crystals being used for divination dates back to the

celtic druids who

according to julius

caesar and the

roman philosopher

pliny the elder

were known to perform

sacrificial magic

ceremonies in the woods ooh

spooky those

early crystal gazers were called speculari

and they generally used a sea

green mineral called beryl

that’s b e r y

l and i googled this to see what a

crystal ball made of barrel looks like it’s beautiful

like it’s gorgeous

i haven’t seen it as a crystal ball but i have seen

just as like a

you know a rock just its own mineral yeah it’s

the color is so pretty there’s also red barrel

which is like a hot pink it’s very pretty ooh

yeah i haven’t seen that one

i looked it up one time i looked up barrel

and it’s supposed to

cure laziness

i read on one website and i was like oh sign me up

oh that’s why your whole

shelf back there oh i’m seeing it now it’s just full

stockful well working no

maybe i got a

knockoff just like how our crystal ball is probably

solid glass i

think barrel is like a

chunk of an old like wine bottle or something

you just found some sea

glass i just

found some like

random bottle yeah

sea glass it’s exactly what it looks like though

yeah it’s a beautiful

color yeah so

basically the barrel

would get polished and i want to be clear

again this is a barrel b e

r y l it’s not like

a barrel full of bourbon

the barrel with the y

would get polished into

spheres to make the crystal more

reflective and that way you

could use it for scrying you

could also get a barrel of barrels

if you really wanted to now we’re talking

now that is fun

so in addition to i

guess what m said

barrel being used

to cure laziness

it’s also believed to be much more magnetically

charged than

other minerals so theoretically this means that it

could connect with the

psychic energies of the moon better than other

minerals that’s so cool

isn’t it neat

i just thought that was so fascinating

because i know crystals get poo pooed a lot in

the mainstream

and you know i

understand the skepticism but i personally

love my crystal

collection it’s

interesting you call it mainstream because i feel like

crystals are

becoming more and more accepted in the mainstream

oh no they are but i

think there’s

still a lot of like

kind of joke like

laughing about

it like granola hippie

yeah yeah yeah just like oh that’s so

l you know i mean i

moved to kentucky from los angeles and i

think everyone is wondering how i’m

gonna fit my crystal

collection into my new home you know that kind of

thing you’re totally

right i really forget that

compared to la

everywhere else

is probably just like a lawless land for crystals

it’s just like yeah

they’re definitely out of

place they’re having

i’m gonna check in on them

they’re doing okay

they’re all

right over there but they

definitely had to adjust to

their new home

kentucky’s not the most

i totally forget i’m very

lucky that i totally forget that the rest of the

world is not los angeles so

yeah that must be nice in la

we freaking

love crystals we go goo goo gaga over that so oh yeah

no you’re you’re not

wrong i mean our luggage coming from la

every time we’re on tour has a

literal crystal ball in it so i

think i understand

why and people give us crystals and people i mean

there’s so many crystals there’s

actually a crystal shop opening up down the road

oh wonderful well

maybe there’s one opening up here too

it’ll be mine it’ll be my garage so it’ll be

i was gonna say it’ll be the

first ever kentucky’s ever seen

you’re welcome

world i’m spreading i’m

spreading the la love

so anyway all i was saying is that i

think it’s interesting even though people

some people tend to be pretty skeptical

about crystals or

wonder what

their properties really are

it’s kind of cool that


one crystal or one mineral

could have these properties that

could theoretically make it

more powerful to do sort of


stuff with so i

think that’s kind of a cool fact

so after the druids and everyone else had been

doing some crystal ball gazing in the woods

it picked up

popularity in rome

and they were like have you

heard the stuff

everyone’s doing it

get in on it get on the ground

floor on the ground

floor yeah i like to

think crystal balls

maybe started as like an

mlm of like hey girly

like i do have you

heard about what we’re doing out in the woods it’s

crazy if you wanted to

start your own but it’s the druids

the druids are like hey girly

come out to the woods with me one time

i feel like

it went viral for

those early

roman days like oh

so and so had a crystal ball at school

i want my own

i feel like we keep finding ways to equate

this to today’s

influencer world and

honestly it’s making

things a lot more palatable

i’m totally


the history of this a lot better by being like

so like the druids were like

the kooky crystal bulkheads and like

rome was like i

gotta get in on that i know people are kind of laughing

about it but

maybe they’re onto something rome was like burbank

california and was like

oh boy we could pick up on this

i see potential here

well this probably didn’t happen

help or her i don’t know

i can’t decide what

effect this had but i will add that the catholic church

was like oh no we do not

we do not like this the

bible forbids it

yeah well it makes

sense that they

would come suck the fun out of the room but okay

wouldn’t they why

do they do that anyway the book of deuteronomy to be

exact mentions

not to listen to fortune tellers

so of course

the catholics are all up in arms

about this and

i can’t decide if that helped or hurt

the crystal ball

cause cause i have a feeling some people

would be like ooh

now it’s more fun and some people

would be like oh

never mind that’s

you and me 100

would have said oh

the bible isn’t into it i’m

invested like

hey girly let’s go to the woods

the church says i can’t do it

yeah no i totally

know what you mean we’re like i probably really like

empowered one half of the

some people yeah

and then the

other half was like oh now i’m really

gonna steer from it so i don’t know

probably balanced out

broke even yeah yeah i have a feeling

of course the catholic church had to have

their say either way

but the crystal ball was also

thought to be used during the medieval period by anglo

saxons as both

get this a source of

magic on one hand and

a flashy fashion accessory

i mean to this day i

think of them as flashy

fashion accessories really

yeah like i oh

not like that i think

the jenners and the

kardashians have

magic crystal balls or crystal balls at all in

their home but it’s something that i notice

in every household i go to if they have a crystal ball

to me it’s like i mean

maybe you’re talking more

about like apparel or something but in terms

of talking about like jewelry

oh cause i’m

thinking like in home decor

oh decor if

someone ever has a crystal ball in their home

it’s one of the

first things i comment on

to me they’re

still very she she yeah

i’m assuming

that was part of it too but during the medieval period

as far as fashion goes

people wore crystal

spheres that were fastened to wire

as symbols of

power class

status and possibly as

magic charms to

ward off evil

so sort of like that

it is pretty badass

like i know

i don’t usually

think of medieval fashion

as being pretty

modern but i feel like

it’s a very

that’s a very like i

could see that being a jewelry line today that

oh yeah are you

getting you know

hey let’s do it tm tm tm

yeah nobody can take that because we’ve said

tm a bunch of times

that’s how that works yes

that’s how it works that’s

how it works i’m totally into that i mean it makes

sense i feel like there’s a lot of jewelry

places where like you pick your own

gemstone or you pick us

absolutely so i mean it’s i don’t

think it’s totally died out i

think it’s still

super popular

yeah no that’s a good

point i think

it would hit the right

market nowadays i

would think

and by the way you

could do dual purpose

be stuck in the doctor’s waiting room

your jewel scrying

i love that

well also well

i’m curious to see

i assume at some

point you’re

going to explain how crystal balls work

because i wonder if

like are you able to scry

on your ring

cause that would be so convenient

to just always have a crystal ball with you

i imagine so as long as you can

see it properly

i feel like

every time we talk

about something like this like with

tarot or love potions

i feel like i find out

that this practice is so much

more convenient or

so much more accessible

than i’m aware of and i feel like with

crystal balls i always thought oh i have to get a big c

yeah i have to get a big

c i have to go find somebody who knows how to do this

i didn’t know like

if you have one on your hand at all times you

could just like

while waiting for your food at a restaurant do some

crystal ball gazing

but i mean you think

about it and you know scrying is

often done in

mirrors too so and

those are obviously

those abound

so you could do one in any

mirror can you

imagine you’re in the elevator and just staring at the

mirror like i’m

sorry i’m scrying please don’t technically then

black mirror

could you do it with your

phone if you just like turn it off for a second

could you just stare at your own

dead phone oh i

thought we were talking

about the tv show

like playing on your

phone you’re talking like the actual true

black mirror your phone yeah

i’m sure i’m sure you really

could that’s so cool because

it just needs to be a

reflective surface

so yeah you’d be able to do that

but i mean if you

think about it

too like if you have a lot of it is so subjective and

based on your own

so as far as

tarot if you have a deck yeah you

could probably use it even if you’re not like

super well trained

you can probably use it in your own way so

or pendulum or

dowsing rods so yeah i

guess it is pretty

accessible wow as long as you have the main ingredient

so in this case something

reflective oh my gosh

i’m so excited to

learn how to do this

yeah it’s pretty cool

obviously crystal

balls may not be as popular as they once were

but many psychics and fortune tellers

still use them to tell the future

today mm hmm

coming up the

popularity of crystal balls kept growing throughout

history and we’ll tell you how to actually use one

oh finally okay great

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crystal balls

went from fashion accessories in the middle ages

back to fortune telling form

during the renaissance

so now they were being used not only

as a beautiful

piece of jewelry

but also as a very

powerful tool

okay this was helped by the

royal astrologer to

queen elizabeth i

so the royal astrologer to

queen elizabeth the

first was really into crystal balls for scrying

and believed he was communicating with

angels and demons through the crystal ball

and so he would talk to the queen

about it and this helped the crystal ball’s

popularity kind of revive and it became popular again

one that’s very cool but two this is

i feel like we just keep hearing the same

story over and over that like political leaders are

inserting spirituality into

their leadership

like we have ouija

boards being

used by politicians lincoln was doing seances

i feel like we were spirit


spirit photography

and now we’ve got

literally the

queen is using a crystal ball

well guess what it’s

gonna come up

again in a more

modern sense

a us political

sense you’re

gonna have another one to add

to the list of presidents who’ve been involved in this

i need to just keep a chart of all

world leaders and just start

knocking them off of like

which ones use spirituality and eventually it’s

gonna be all of them

it’s like a

guess who game you know just

knock them off if they’re

did they do scrying

yeah does this one look like they

would secretly be into the spirituality

oh my god yes to all

once crystal gazing seemed more

legit the occult

used the works of indian and arabic writers as a way to

legitimize crystal

balls as tools for seeing into the future

and during the middle ages and renaissance so from

about the fifth to the 17th century

the romani and nomadic

group migrated to europe

and they weren’t

known traditionally to use crystal balls in

their work but

since now the people of europe were really into them

they kind of incorporated them

to use them into

their own work more and people

began seeking out

their advice

and that’s where you get that kind of

connection of like

romani fortune teller

crystal ball

i see okay i never

never knew that

i had neither i knew of the kind of

cliche connection there

but i didn’t know

where it came from and makes a lot of

sense yeah i just always

knew it was kind of a stereotype and i had no idea

where it came from

wow yep well

fun fact just

gonna stick this

right in here the church is

still very opposed to this

whole ordeal

okay get back to me when they’re cool with it how

about that i know

i know we’re all surprised but

i just wanted to remind you thank you

then when we get to the victorian era

which is roughly the mid 1800s to the

early 1900s as you know

and as we’ve talked

about the occult and spiritualism

get another big

boost in popularity

and along with that comes more crystal gazing

along with spirit


seances all the good

stuff aha i

think that’s

that makes sense to me i feel like

as a historian you know

as everyone’s favorite historian yes

i feel like there’s

one era of history

and time in general that i feel confident

giving my two cents on and it’s usually

the era of spiritualism

this makes perfect

sense to me why the crystal ball

would just fit

right in and be like all the rage

you brought this up

earlier too of like it probably

would be an easy tool

if you were trying to

fool people or take advantage of people

you would be able to say you saw something

in it there’s such a history of

fraudulent mediums

especially during that time yep

yep it would not be hard right

it was believed that when the sun was at a certain

point in the sky you

would look into the crystal ball and see a rising mist

and then step two

you’d get a vision of the future

that hmm seems

fishy to me but

i’ve never seen

a rising mist

in our sweet crystal

but also maybe

cause she’s

glass i also

cause she’s in a suitcase 98

of the time fair enough i also feel like

i’m sure it’s not the same

thing but i feel like

looking into a crystal ball

when the sun is at a certain

point in the sky

it sounds a lot like looking into a magnifying

glass through the sun and

burning your eyes out

there’s so many ants

dying i don’t

understand what this means

they’re all fortune tellers

actually that’s interesting science too like

should you be

using a crystal ball out in the sun or is there

a reason why it’s always been like an off dark room

well i don’t know that it meant like to do it

into the sun i

think it was just when

maybe it did

but i interpreted it as

when the sun hits a certain

point that’s the moment that the crystal ball will

have a message for you i don’t know that it was like

okay okay that makes no

sense maybe you’re

right maybe you’re

right maybe

it was that the sun was reflecting through i don’t

think anyone’s looking at

their ball like this through the sun like so i’m

thinking you’re really gonna get

above them and

using it as

glasses near

the sun’s like burn your retinas like you said

but i do wonder like

could a crystal ball

be just think of the

ants do you think

if you were

crystal ball gazing on a

sunny day are

ants in danger

because the sun’s

gonna hit it at a certain angle

anyway we’re derailing i just donate to our new charity

save the ants

in the arms of

you know it’s an epidemic

and it’s not talked

about enough i know an ant

culture i don’t

know if you know this but they probably talk

about like big

glass orbs just showing up and

they’re eyeing

them their whole colony goes away oh

well this leads us indirectly

but i’m gonna

force it in anyway into how exactly crystal balls work

i know you want to know honestly

i do and that was

not forced at all because i am obviously getting off

track trying to figure out how this

thing goes so

perfect perfect segway oh good

well we’ve mentioned who used crystal balls and when

and we did tell you what scrying was

earlier but so how

exactly does it all come together to predict the future

let me tell you

as i said you can practice scrying on any

reflective surface

but obviously crystal balls are kind of the

classic most common used for divination

and those crystal ball users

those early ones called speculari

this is how they

would do it

they would stare deeply into the

stone and go into a

meditative trance

so i don’t know if you

wanna get crystal b out and

give her a little stare

stare down i am doing it

while you’re saying this i know nothing’s

gonna happen

cause i’m not in the

right mind for it but i will be doing this

after we record

excellent i do

wanna know how this goes

yeah so you stare into it deeply you go into a

meditative trance

and you know

this actually

sorry i know i’m interrupting your

trance but you know this

reminds me of

other forms of divination

like pendulums

like tarot just

even akashic record reading like what i do where

you really do kind of put yourself into the

right mental

state and that really helps and so

yeah i wonder

if you’re in the waiting room and you’re gonna scry

you probably

need to work at being able to put yourself in that

place yeah you need to

be able to switch very quickly into different mindsets

yeah if you’re

planning on doing this out in public i imagine

anyway or even

what if you’re so good at it you accidentally slip into

trances is that unfortunate that’s unfortunate

like what if you’re eating

ice cream and then you look at the

spoon and you’re like uh oh like

you know i’ve been

trance my ice cream

i think you’re the only one in danger of this occurring

but let me know

what you see in our future if that happens again

i don’t know if i’d call it a

trans but i’m

certainly much more open minded to all opportunity

and i’m having a spiritual

experience so

you are and you’re easily manipulated

transcending you’re transcendent

in that moment

easily manipulated

yeah i could

actually see this being a danger zone for you so i

would be really careful

well okay when i get real good at this

spoons out of the

picture plastic

spoons only exactly

so they go into this meditative

trance this is step one

this would then help them tap into

their subconscious and reveal

secrets of the past present or future hmm

that’s really it that’s the steps but

again like that just shows me how

i don’t know if sheltered’s the

right word or how like

unaware i was of how accessible

these things were

in my mind every

topic we’ve

covered where like anyone

could practice it they all seem like

you have to go through all this

training and all this practice

and just to find out

every single time like

no you could have done it

all on your own this whole time

i feel like

with all this

stuff like you

can easily access it but then you need to really

train yourself to

be good at it so

what happens when you stare into a crystal ball and i

think this part’s really interesting

because this is what different people say is happening

when you are staring in this

trance into a crystal ball

so some users say you’ll receive

actual like

literal visions of the future or

secrets of the universe or

you’ll be able to communicate with unseen

realms not to be dramatic or anything but you know

but to be dramatic

as i wave my

flash my cape

not to be dramatic but yeah i’m

gonna communicate with some unseen realms real quick

so some people believe that like

it’s a very

literal interpretation

of you’re seeing the future you’re seeing a vision

in this surface and so that’s one theory

another theory

is that it makes you more clairvoyant

so sort of i

think what you were saying of you can

kind of get yourself into a

state a mental

state where you’re open to receiving information

so you could see either something that’s happening

in a different place

sounds almost like astral projecting to me a little bit

or you can access some

other information because you’re in a more clairvoyant

state and there are some people who just say it

relaxes your mind and maybe

you’re able

to i don’t know if that means you’re able to just

hear your own subconscious

i feel like that

would probably be the camp i fall into

first i think it

just being able to

relax your mind and be open


does a lot more than we’re

aware of yeah

from the skeptic

side though

i do wonder like

if you’re looking

at something long enough of course your mind’s

gonna wander and so

i don’t totally

understand the science of it but i’m

very open to it and i

think that’s

again can be related to so many of

these topics

with akashic record reading too there’s no like

proof that you’re

doing anything but

talking in your own head you

know but you

just kind of have to either go with it and believe it

or be a skeptic and say

it’s just my own

brain and that’s

again another mental hurdle but

yeah and you know have you ever i’m sure you have

or i don’t know

maybe i’m just a weirdo but have you ever stared at a

mirror so long that like

distorts well that’s the troxler

effect that’s

the bloody mary situation what is that called

the troxler

effect troxler

you just stare at something long enough that

things get distorted

or blurry or you just

that’s just an

effect of your mind that’s not

a paranormal it’s

an optical illusion

yes yeah yeah and so i think

it’s because your

brain starts filling in missing information

right yeah that

always kind of

throws me off a little bit

about this kind of

thing especially

if you are scrying in a

mirror yeah

oh yeah can you imagine if you’re trying to scry

and see the future and then bloody mary shows up

and you’re like oh my god

girl i didn’t ask for you to be here wrong game

yeah oh my gosh

yeah so i wonder that too

i’m sure that

would have some sort of hallucinogenic

like effect

if you were staring into a

mirror for long

enough or a crystal ball for that matter

but if you do want to use a crystal ball effectively

i think we maybe

spoke too soon with our

have it on your ring

idea because you’re supposed to use a ball that’s at

least the size of an orange or a grapefruit

oh okay so i

think crystal b definitely

fits the bill here

mm hmm i would say she’s

hefty enough she’s certainly the size of at

least a pamelo you know

i don’t know

am i wrong she’s at least the size of my big

ol head so i think oh but yep i think that

checks the box so i think you’re good to use crystal

i think so too

your crystal ball should be highly

reflective i would say she’s pretty

reflective she’s shiny as can be so she’s polished

yeah you need to sit in a calm

quiet place your

girlfriends out of town you have the

place to yourself you could

do some scrying

i beg to differ there is construction abound

all over me so that’s

right they are roofing at your house so maybe

maybe not maybe i’ll go sit in my car and rock a little

and then maybe use the crystal ball

and you need to

allow your mind and eyes to relax so

again just kind of getting into that

right mental state

modern day scriers

say crystal balls may or may not give

you visions of the future or offer advice instead it

might reflect

symbols or direct you to make good

decisions for the future so this is more subjective

it reminds me

of taro a little bit like you make of it what you

think it is or what the symbol

speaks to you directly

well i also wonder again

i kind of said this

earlier but

the skeptical side of me

i don’t know

if it’s considered the skeptical side or just like

in agreement with what you’re saying

right now but

i feel like if you take away all distractions

and you’re just

alone with your mind

some pretty

obvious things come up that you usually

might be ignoring

like i feel like

if you’re ever

alone by yourself like

there have been times

where i’m like

i don’t know why i’m

using this example but like

i’ve sat in

a hot tub by

myself and there’s nothing to do but just sit there and

think and all of a

sudden i have

these realizations

where i’m like

i feel like all i did was five

seconds of silence my brain

was banging

yeah your subconscious

was like banging on your

brain yeah so

they let me in

i feel like maybe

that’s what crystal balls

allow you to do they give you an excuse to like

take away all distractions and then i wonder if

in a world of social

media where

i’m used to

blocking my

brain from giving

me realizations

i wonder if

the more distracted we are as

humanity as a people

i wonder if the

second we let ourselves look into a crystal ball for

five minutes if we’re gonna all

start having these

i wonder how

powerful people are gonna

think they are just because they’re

taking five minutes to themselves well that’s a good

point and i

think the power of

meditation comes into play there too because

when you do

meditate and you

start to actually get pretty okay at it

which obviously it’s a

habit and it’s hard to do but like

it is really really difficult to shut off your mind

and once you do you’re like what on

earth is going on up there like it really

intends to surprise you talk

about a lawless land that’s all up here

the outlaws are all coming to play

but i also think you’re

right that a crystal ball if you’re in a meditative

state it’s at

least something to stare at to focus on

you know rather than just like

focus on a spot

on the wall

and then you can like kind of get distracted at

least a crystal ball is something like clear

that you can just stare at without


literally clear yeah so i don’t know i

think that’s a really good

point and you’re

right it’s probably not even a skeptical point

it’s just like

kind of diving into how it

might work yeah

up next meet some of the most

famous crystal gazers in history and

maybe we’ll reflect on our futures while we’re at it a

also i don’t reflect

i know right good one good one wink

well with any

area of spiritualism there are some people that made

a name for themselves

so the first person i want to tell you

about is american

claude conlan

i don’t know if you’ve

heard of this person

but he performed as

alexander the man

who knows okay

i’m am the person who naps

i’m christine the person who

doesn’t really know most of the time

and this was between 1915 and 1924

and i only know of this phrase because i’ve gone gift

shopping and you and i have very different ways of

going or no not different but different

maybe from the rest of the planet ways of

we get really into gift giving and gift

shopping and

i have a couple times notated that there

are posters like old timey posters that say alexander

the man who knows and that’s my brother’s name and

i’ve a couple times thought you know that

would be kind of a

fun gift idea if i

found like a vintage poster

especially because he loves to know he

that’s his favorite

thing he loves to know

so that actually works really well for him it’s

as his sibling my

least favorite thing but

it is one of

his favorite hobbies you know he loves his trivia

night he loves fun fact

he loves information

loves it loves the

stuff so i think that

could be a cool gift idea

there is a little bit of a problematic part of this

which i’ll tell you in a moment but so

claude conlan

aka alexander the man who knows was a

stage mentalist

who used the crystal ball to

magically answer

sealed questions from audience members that was

his kind of

party trick

i love a good

mentalist i know it’s probably all

stage illusions

but i can’t figure it out and i’m fascinated

every time i’m

assuming in this case it was probably

a plants from the audience

only alexander would know

only alexander

and he does

and he does so here’s

where it becomes a little problematic so clawed

culturally appropriated sort of

recognizable eastern

cultural garments to

capitalize on

this stereotype that was common in the west

of like this mystical other

from different parts of the

world so he wore a turban

that kind of

thing and used that

as a sort of like

ooh i’m this mysterious figure from the

east and obviously

we know now that is

wildly insensitive

and inappropriate

yeah alexander the man who exploits let’s yes

ding ding ding yeah yeah yeah good one

m thank you

thank you unfortunately

but unsurprisingly he thrived as this character yeah

then this is more your

speed there’s this woman

named jean dixon have you

heard of her

mm hmm okay you’re

gonna probably want to

cover her someday

because oh this is

pretty interesting she was a

psychic who used her crystal ball to make political

predictions during the 20th century

for example

in 1956 she correctly predicted kennedy’s assassination

whoa which by the way

seems like a dangerous

thing to be doing like

i feel like yeah

fbi or the cia

would be like

we have a few questions for you that’s one of

those things

where like you say i knew

after the fact but like 20 years later

yeah you don’t

give that out and then say see i told you yeah i i’m

shocked that nobody

first of all nobody who

would have tried to save him

would have been

like why didn’t you help us do that and prevent his

death but then

as the conspiracy goes

like why wouldn’t any of

those people try to shut her up you know yep

it’s hard to say

but instead of shutting her up she actually

advised richard nixon

and also nancy reagan and so she became a political

advisor of sorts

oh my god what is with this

town loving

their spiritualists

but then also poo pooing on them but

with all that

swamp gas coming up from dc

swamps you know it’s like what is

going on their

brains are getting

altered while the lizard people are

just down there just pulling the strings don’t you know

that’s probably it

so after jean dixon’s

death her crystal ball was auctioned off for 12 000

whoa that’s

a lot of cash

a lot of cash and i wonder after our

death how much miss crystal will be auctioned off for

like she’ll be on

clearance i’m sure

40 cents at marshall’s yeah

sorry crystal

you know we love you

right the day we both die crystal’s

gonna explode into several shards and like

all the evil energy will finally be at peace

or it’ll be released

upon the world

luckily we won’t

be here enough to deal with it yeah exactly

so speaking of crystal balls

in person if you want to see one like an actual one

the smithsonian institution owns the largest

flawless quartz crystal ball in the world

but almost there

but yeah so it was cut and polished in

china during the 1920s

and it weighs 106

75 pounds whoa

you know it

might not be as big as you

picture and i

think that’s because i

kind of forget it’s not just glass it’s

pure quartz

the fact that it has no imperfections makes it mmm

really rare

but it is i don’t

i don’t know if you can see me it’s sort of like

that big oh my god

like it’s like oh how

would you describe

the size of it to people who can’t see you yeah i

guess doing it in the

video camera is not helpful to anybody um i

think they said it was probably

i would say like a foot wide i don’t know okay

i mean like

like a globe

like globe size like a globe size

maybe let me see it would

shock me more if

that crystal ball had to be big to be

heavy i i mean it’s

these things are

dead suckers

yeah it’s a good

point so it’s ten inches

oh it’s not even a foot not

even a foot so i was overestimating

but yeah so it’s pretty big but the fact

again that it’s

pure quartz crystal and

has no imperfections and it really is just like fully

see through and it’s beautiful

so yes she weighs

106 75 and you can look that up online there’s a

photo then the

university of pennsylvania’s

museum of archaeology and anthropology owns the

third largest crystal ball in the world

which weighs 49

pounds and i can only assume we own the

second heaviest

because that one’s not

listed that’s what i’m thinking

that’s what i’m

thinking yeah

she certainly feels like a million

pounds so i feel like everyone’s

actually coming in behind us but yeah

every time we pay that overweight luggage fee

i feel like it hurts a little but you know

all for this crystal ball to do nothing

except look pretty on stage

and boy does she do a good job of it by the

way she does a great job

many crystal

balls are important and valuable because of

their associations i mean this reminds me of

the sylvia plath

tarot cards for example

or the jean dixon

crystal ball that you know they

are valuable because of their

who they were associated with right so

the crystal ball used by the wicked

witch of the west in the wizard of

oz for example sold for

126 000 at an auction

in 2011 wow

yeah so i wonder

i wonder if that one was

glass or crystal

or green screen

or not real can you imagine you

bid 126 000

they’re like oh cgi sorry

and the official

scepter of scotland

includes a crystal ball

and this crystal ball is believed to have been owned by

ancient druids you know the ones who are in the woods

doing all their cool fashion alert

fashion alert

in a scepter

are you kidding me how badass is that can you imagine

first of all getting to

carry a scepter for your job but also a

druid owned crystal balls that’s on top of it

how much money do you

think that thing costs

that is probably

priceless but

priceless i’m not sure

so do you feel like you’ll

try crystal

crystal b within

seconds of hanging up with you yeah

you are oh my gosh i can’t wait

i’m very excited i

still wonder how much of it is

legit but i do

think that it’s mainly mind over matter

which i feel like that’s how i end a lot of these

i think intentions and

your mindset are just like

big parts to all of

these elements we’re talking

about i 100

agree yeah i do

wonder if it’s

maybe just a

great way to meditate

and if that’s all that happens then

at least like

you’re still getting some clarity on maybe

things you needed to let yourself sit down and think on

honestly it

might be just a really

good tool and i’m not trying to

knock it i’m just saying i’m

agreeing like

maybe it’s just a really good tool

to help get into that

kind of third eye

space and maybe

i should get my own crystal bee over here and practice

oh next time

we see each

other i’ll just

transfer her to you you can take care of her

until we go on

stage and then you can deal with her with the

tsa no if i’m

ready for that kind of commitment

yeah yeah i

think she’s really

happy with you it seems

we’re having a

blast over here we’re

about to have a

whole day together

after this how fun well i feel like we’ve

learned a lot

about crystal balls something that i didn’t

really know much

about at all before this show

i learned 100

more information than i knew

earlier today

i also feel like that’s the

general takeaway of most of our episodes somehow we’ve

learned 100 of

what we’ve just learned

thanks so much for listening

we’ll be back next week with another

great episode

information on

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you can find me at vm schultz

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teen schiffer

thanks again for listening and we’ll see you next week

rituals is executive produced by max cutler

and is a spotify original

from parcast it was created by max cutler

sound designed by kristin

acevedo with associate

sound designed by jamie ryan

research by chelsea wood

fact checking by kara mackerleen

it’s produced by kristen

acevedo and jonathan ratliff

with production assistance by

ron shapiro

we are your hosts christine

schiffer and m schulz

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