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Theodore Besterman
Crystal-Gazing




W. Rider & Son: London
1924

This electronic edition, J. H. Peterson, esotericarchives.com/besterman, Copyright © 2005.






PREFACE

Before Miss Goodrich-Freer's paper in the fifth volume (1888-9) of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research nothing of any importance had been written about scrying. Miss Freer was the first to study the matter scientifically, and the first also to study its history. During the following years Frederic Myers, Andrew Lang, and other investigators tried to give the subject its place in the whole field of psychical phenomena. Only one serious book has as yet been published about scrying, that by Mr N.W. Thomas, and that is unfortunately marred by much hasty writing and by much padding — it remains useful principally for Andrew Lang's Introduction. Needless to say, a number of unscientific works have been printed round and about the subject.1

1. I think the following list is complete: W. W. Atkinson, Practical Psychomancy and Crystal Gazing (Chicago, 1908); "Carolus Rex," The Magnetic Mirror Bayswater [1906]); "Frater Achad" [i.e, C. Stansfeld-Jones], Crystal Vision through Crystal Gazing (Chicago, 1923); W. Goldston, Crystal Gazing (London, 1905); J. Melville, Crystal-Gazing and the Wonders of Clairvoyance (London, 1920); Modern Crystal Gazing (London, [1903]); Recollections of a Society Clairvoyant (London, 1911); "Sepharial" [i.e., Walter R, Old], How to Read the Crystal (London, 1922); C. Thorpe, Practical Crystal-Gazing (London, 1916); A. Verner, Clairvoyance and Crystal Gazing (Bolton, 1903).
I have tried to make this book equally useful to all those to whom scrying is of interest; it is my hope that the anthropologist and the folklorist as well as the psychical researcher and the scryer will find matter of interest in the following pages. Several points have naturally arisen in the course of my study that I have not been able to discuss, that have not indeed properly come within the scope of my subject. I hope that other students will make use of this material; they are referred to several articles in the Subject Index. It is with regret that I have been unable to include any new experimental results; this is due to bad luck, for though I have conducted numerous experiments with several scryers, I have not obtained any results worth including in this book. I shall always be glad to receive well-authenticated accounts of scrying visions.

Chapters IX. and XI. were sketched in an article "On Crystal-Gazing," in The Occult Review for January 1924 (xxxix. 19-29), and part of the section on "Dr. Dee's Shew-Stone" has already appeared in Notes and Queries, cxlvi. 223-225. I am grateful to the Council of the Society for Psychical Research for permission to quote from their Journal and Proceedings.

I had intended to reproduce as a Frontispiece Mr. Henry Pegram's Sibylla Fatidica. Unfortunately the authorities at the Tate Gallery have placed the statue in a corridor which is so dark as to make a good photograph impossible.

TH. B.





CONTENTS

PREFACE
CHAPTER I — SCRYING AND ITS METHODS
  1 SCRYING
  2 CATOPTROMANCY
  3 CRYSTALLOMANCY
  4 CYLICOMANCY
  5 GASTROMANCY
  6 HYDROMANCY
  7 LECANOMANCY
  8 LITHOMANCY
  9 ONYCHOMANCY
  10 PEGOMANCY
  11 MISCELLANEOUS METHODS

CHAPTER II — SCRYING IN LEGEND AND TRADITION
  1 THE LEGEND OF THE MAGICAL TOWER
  2 FRIAR BACON'S GLASS PROSPECTIVE
  3 CORNELIUS AGRIPPA
  4 NOSTRADAMUS
  5 SCRYING IN THE FAUST LEGEND
  6 DR. DEE'S SHEW-STONE
  7 WILLIAM LILLY
  8 COUNT CAGLIOSTRO

CHAPTER III — SCRYING IN LITERATURE
  1 SCRYING IN EARLY LITERATURE
  2 SCRYING IN MODERN LITERATURE

CHAPTER IV — SCRYING IN ANCIENT AND EARLY EUROPE
  1 SCRYING IN ANCIENT GREECE
  2 SCRYING IN ANCIENT ROME
  3 SCRYING IN EARLY EUROPE
  4 SCRYING IN THE MIDDLE AGES

CHAPTER V — SCRYING IN MODERN EUROPE
  1 SCRYING IN ENGLAND
  2 SCRYING IN SCOTLAND
  3 SCRYING IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
  4 SCRYING AMONG THE GERMANS AND SCANDINAVIANS
  5 SCRYING IN FRANCE
  6 SCRYING IN ITALY
  7 SCRYING IN MODERN GREECE
  8 SCRYING IN EASTERN AND SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE

CHAPTER VI — SCRYING IN THE EAST
  1 SCRYING AMONG THE SEMITIC NATIONS
  2 SCRYING AMONG THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS
  3 SCRYING IN ISLAM
  4 SCRYING IN PERSIA
  5 SCRYING IN INDIA
  6 MONGOLIAN SCRYING

CHAPTER VII — SCRYING IN OTHER CONTINENTS
  1 SCRYING AMONG THE MALAYANS AND PAPUANS
  2 SCRYING IN AUSTRALIA
  3 AMERICAN SCRYING
  4 SCRYING AMONG THE AFRICAN NEGROES

CHAPTER VIII — THE PROCEDURE OF SCRYING AND THE GENESIS OF VISIONS
  1 EXPERIMENT AND FRAUD
  2 THE PROCEDURE OF SCRYING
  3 THE GENESIS OF VISIONS
  4 EFFECT OF SCRYING ON THE HEALTH

CHAPTER IX — THE MECHANISM OF SCRYING
  1 NORMAL
  2 SEMI-HYPNOTIC AND HYPNOTIC
  3 POINTS DE REPÈRE
  4 CONCLUSION

CHAPTER X — MISCELLANEOUS PHENOMENA OF SCRYING
  1 COLLECTIVE SCRYING
  2 SCRYING AND AUTOMATIC WRITING
  3 SCRYING AND HALLUCINATORY AUDITION
  4 SCRYING AND HALLUCINATORY TASTE
  5 SCRYING AND RAPS
  6 SCRYING AND HAUNTINGS
  7 SCRYING AND MULTIPLE PERSONALITY
  8 SCRYING AND EXPERIMENTS WITH MAGNIFYING GLASSES
  9 COLOUR IN SCRYING VISIONS
  10 THE NUMBER OF NORMAL SCRYERS
  11 CONCLUSION

CHAPTER XI — THE RATIONALE OF SCRYING
  1 SUGGESTION
  2 SUBCONSCIOUS KNOWLEDGE
  3 TELEPATHY
  4 CRYPTESTHESIA
  5 SPIRIT-GUIDANCE
  6 THE DEFINITION OF SCRYING

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INDEX
SUBJECT INDEX


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