Posts Tagged ‘folklore’

What Exactly Are Gazing Balls?

Monday, November 30th, 2009

There are basically two different kinds of gazing balls. One of them is the lawn gazing ball, or a yard globe, and this is often confused with a crystal ball, which is entirely different. A gazing ball is a highly polished sphere, and reflects the surrounding area where you put it. In many cases, they are put on some kind of stand, in a yard or garden area. While they were originally made of glass, these days most are made of highly polished stainless steel.

However, there are many other materials gazing balls can be made from, not all of which have any kind of reflective surface. Some are made from different kinds of stone, and some are even decorated to provide an extra feature to your yard. There are some that even change colors. There is the Solar Color-Changing Gazing Ball for example. This clear ball is on a it’s own stand, and has the appearance of cracked glass. Inside there is a powerful LED light, with six different colors that rotate on a constant basis at night. The nice thing about this particular product is that it is solar powered, and the panel is on a 14′ cord, so you can put this gazing ball almost anywhere. It charges a Ni-Cad Battery pack, which stores the electricity, and runs at night. It is a very unique piece, and can be purchased for around $90.

Gazing balls come in a wide assortment of sizes, as well as many styles of stands. They don’t have to have a stand, but for a more impressive appearance, a stand should be used. They range in price from under one hundred dollars, to well over that, some even up to $500 or more, depending on materials, and what they do, like light up. A gazing ball can make a wonderful conversation piece to any yard.

There are many different ideas about how and when the gazing balls first came into being. Some can be traced to Venice in the 13th century, but they have been used for much longer than this. There are folklore tales about how using a gazing ball in your yard can ward of evil spirits, and bring good luck and prosperity. They were also known as Butler Balls, which were used by servants to see what was going on outside with their masters without actually looking at them. When they saw that they were needed, they would suddenly appear, and be thought of as having psychic powers.

Now gazing balls are not crystal balls, and should never be used for the purposes of scrying. These are made from quartz, or other materials, but quartz is the most common. People who gaze into these crystals are gazing into them to see insights on themselves and on others. Usually they are on a pewter stand of some kind, and these stands can be highly detailed with runes and other symbols. They can be used with candles behind them as well, and are also used in meditation. “Look into the crystal ball.” 😉

Gazing Ball

Gazing Ball

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