Practical Psychomancy and Crystal Gazing - William Walker Atkinson - E-Book

Practical Psychomancy and Crystal Gazing E-Book

William Walker Atkinson

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The Occult Teachings inform us that in addition to the Five Physical Senses possessed by man, viz: Seeing; Feeling; Hearing; Tasting; and Smelling; each of which has its appropriate sense organ, every individual is also possessed of Five Astral Senses, which form a part of what is known to Occultists as the Astral Body. These Astral Senses, which are the astral counterparts of the five physical senses, operate upon what Occultists call the Astral Plane, which is next above the Physical Plane, in the Sevenfold Scale of Planes. Just as do the Physical Senses operate upon the Physical Plane, so do the Astral Senses operate upon the Astral Plane.

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William Walker Atkinson

Practical Psychomancy and Crystal Gazing


Published by The Big Nest

This Edition first published in 2020

Copyright © 2020 The Big Nest

All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781787362307















The term “Psychomancy” (pronounced, “sy-ko-man-see”), is derived from two Greek words, the first “psycho,” meaning “the soul; the mind; the understanding” (and generally used to indicate “psychic” or unusual powers of the soul or mind); the second word, “mancy” meaning “to divine; to foresee, or foreknow; to detect secret things,”—and in occult parlance, “to sense,” or “to receive impressions by the Astral Senses.” So the word, as we use it, may be said to mean “Psychic Sensing,” and in this work will be so used. The word “Psychomancer” means “one practicing Psychomancy;” and the word “Psychomantic” means “relating to Psychomancy.”

The word “Clairvoyance” is frequently used by people to designate some of the phases of Psychomancy, but strictly speaking this term is incorrect when used in this sense, the true occult meaning of the word “Clairvoyance,” being “transcendental vision, or the perception of beings on another plane of existence—the seeing of disembodied souls, elementals, etc.” And so, in this work, we shall consider the true phenomena of Clairvoyance, as distinct from that of Psychomancy.

In this work, we shall regard as the true phenomena of Psychomancy, all the various phenomena known as Psychometry; Crystal Gazing; Perceiving Distant Scenes; a perception of Past Events, and Indication of Future Events; either in the full waking state; the state of reverie; or the state of dreams.

And, so this work will examine, consider, and explain, the various phases of phenomena above indicated—in short, the phenomena of “sensing” objects by means of Astral Senses, omitting the phenomena of Clairvoyance, or seeing disembodied souls, etc., which we regard as belonging to a different phase of the general subject, and which require special consideration and examination.

The majority of works upon these lines begin by an elaborate attempt to “prove” the reality of the phenomena in question. But we shall not fall into this error, for such we regard it. The time for the necessity of such proof is past. The records of the Societies for Psychical Research are full of proofs, and evidence, which are as full, complete and strong as ever required by any court to hang or clear a man. And the book shelves of the libraries are full of other books, giving like proof. And, for that matter, this work is not written to convince people of the truth of this phenomena—it is intended for those who have already convinced themselves of its reality, but who wish for specific information regarding its nature, manner of manifestation, etc. Where we quote instances of the manifestation of some form of Psychomantic phenomena, in this work, we do so simply to illustrate the characteristics of some particular form of the phenomena, and not as corroborative proof. With this explanation, we propose plunging right into the main subject itself.

There have been many attempted explanations of, and theories regarding the phenomena of Psychomancy, some of which are more or less plausible, while others are quite visionary, “wild,” and fantastic. In this work, we shall pay no attention to those more or less ingenious “guesses” of the theorists, but shall, instead, give you plainly, clearly, and simply, the time-honored teachings of the advanced Occultists which teachings we believe to be the Truth, tested and tried by centuries of investigation, and experiment.


The Occult Teachings inform us that in addition to the Five Physical Senses possessed by man, viz: Seeing; Feeling; Hearing; Tasting; and Smelling; each of which has its appropriate sense organ, every individual is also possessed of Five Astral Senses, which form a part of what is known to Occultists as the Astral Body. These Astral Senses, which are the astral counterparts of the five physical senses, operate upon what Occultists call the Astral Plane, which is next above the Physical Plane, in the Sevenfold Scale of Planes. Just as do the Physical Senses operate upon the Physical Plane, so do the Astral Senses operate upon the Astral Plane.

By means of these Astral Senses, one may sense outside objects without the use of the physical senses usually employed. And it is through this sensing by these Astral Senses, that the phenomena of Psychomancy becomes possible.

By the employment of the Astral Sense of Seeing, the Psychomancer is able to perceive occurrences, scenes, etc., at a distance sometimes almost incredibly far; to see through solid objects; to see records of past occurrences in the Astral Ether; and to see Future Scenes thrown ahead in Time, like the shadows cast by material objects—”coming events cast their shadows before,” you have heard. By the use of the Astral Sense of Hearing, he is able to sense sounds over immense distances and often after the passage of great periods of time, for the Astral vibrations continue for many years.

The Astral senses of Taste and Smell are seldom used, although there are abundant proofs of their existence. The Astral Sense of Feeling enables the Psychomancer to become aware of certain occurrences on the Astral Plane, and to perceive impressions, mental and otherwise, that are being manifested at a distance. The Astral Sense of Feeling may be explained as being rather a sense of “Awareness,” than a mere “Feeling,” inasmuch as the Psychomancer, through its channel, becomes “aware” of certain occurrences, other than by Astral Sight or Hearing, and yet which is not “Feeling” as the word is used on the Physical Plane. It may be well called “Sensing” for want of a better name, and manifests in a vague consciousness or “awareness.” But still we must not overlook the fact that there are many instances of true “feeling” on the Astral Plane, for instances, cases where the Psychomancer actually “feels” the pain of another, which phenomena is commonly known as “sympathetic pains,” “taking on the condition,” etc., etc., and which are well known to all investigators as belonging to the phenomena of the Astral Senses.


But, to understand the Astral Senses, one must be made acquainted with the existence of that which Occultists know as “The Astral Body.” There is no point in the Occult Teachings better established; longer held; or more thoroughly proven than that of the existence of the Astral Body. This teaching of the Ancient Occultists is being corroborated by the experiments, and investigations of the Psychic Researchers of the present day.

The Astral Body, belonging to every person, is an exact counterpart of the perfect physical body of the person. It is composed of fine ethereal matter, and is usually encased in the physical body. In ordinary cases, the detaching of the Astral Body from its physical counterpart is accomplished only with great difficulty, but in the case of dreams; great mental stress; and under certain conditions of occult development, the Astral Body may become detached and sent on long journeys, traveling at a rate of speed greater than that of light waves. On these journeys it is always connected with the physical body by a long filmy connecting link. If this link were to become broken, the person would die instantly, but this is an almost unheard of occurrence in the ordinary planes of action. The Astral Body exists a long time after the death of the physical body, but it disintegrates in time. It sometimes hovers around the resting place of the physical corpse, and is mistaken for the “spirit” of the deceased person, although really it is merely a shell or finer outer coating of the soul. The Astral Body of a dying person is often projected to the presence of friends and loved ones a few moments before the physical death, the phenomenon arising from the strong desire of the dying person to see and be seen.

The Astral Body frequently travels from its physical counterpart, in Psychomantic phenomena, and visits scenes far distant, there sensing what is occurring. It also leaves the body during what are known as Psychomantic dreams; or under the influence of anaesthetics; or in some of the deeper phases of hypnosis; when it visits strange scenes and places, and often holds mental conversation with other Astral Bodies, or else with disembodied entities. The jumbled and distorted recollections of these dreams are occasioned by the brain not having received perfect impressions transmitted to it, by reason of lack of training, development, etc., the result being like a blurred or distorted photographic plate.

In order to intelligently grasp the underlying principles of the phenomena of Psychomancy, and its allied subjects, you must familiarize yourself with the truth concerning the Astral Senses, which we have just stated. Unless you understand and accept this truth and fact, you will not be able to grasp the principles underlying the phenomena in question, but will be lost in the quagmire of idle theories, and fantastic “explanation” hazarded by investigators of psychic phenomena who have not made themselves acquainted with the Occult Teachings which alone give the student an intelligent key to the mysteries of the Astral Plane.


The phenomena of Psychomancy, etc., may be grouped into three classes, each being produced by its own special class-cause. In either or all cases, the impressions are received by and through the Astral Senses, but there are three distinct ways in which, and by which, these impressions are received. These ways, which we shall now proceed to consider in detail, may be classified under the following terms:

(1) Sensing by the “quickening” of one’s Astral Senses sufficient to perceive more clearly the etheric vibrations or currents, the auric emanations of persons and things; and similar phases of Psychomancy, but which does not include the power to sense occurrences happening in distant places; nor the power to sense the records of the past, or to receive indications of the future. (See Lesson III.)

(2) Sensing by means of the “Astral Tube,” erected in the Ether by the operation of one’s Will or Desire, and which acts as a Psychic “telescope,” or “microscope,” with “X Ray” features. (See Lesson IV.)

(3) Sensing by means of the actual projection of one’s own Astral Body to the distant scene. (See Lesson VII.)


“Clairaudience” is a term sometimes used to indicate Astral Hearing. Some writers on this subject treat “Clairaudience” as a separate class of phenomena. But we fail to see the distinction they make. It, of course, employs a different Astral Sense from that generally employed, but both are Astral Senses functioning on the Astral Plane, just as the physical senses of Seeing and Hearing function on the Physical Plane. And, more important, both forms of Astral Sensing are subject to the same laws and rules. In other words, all that is said in the lessons of this book on the subject of Psychomantic Vision holds equally true of Clairaudience.

Thus, there may be Simple Clairaudience; Space Clairaudience; Past Time Clairaudience; Future Time Clairaudience, etc.; also Clairaudient Psychometry; Clairaudience through Crystal Gazing, etc. Psychomantic Vision is the employment of the Astral Sight, while Clairaudience is the similar employment of the Astral Hearing.

In many cases of Psychomantic Vision there is an accompaniment of Clairaudience; while in others it may be missing. Likewise, Psychomantic Vision usually accompanied Clairaudience, although sometimes one may be able to hear astrally, although no seeing.

You will notice that in many of the instances of Psychomantic Vision related in this book, there is a mention of the person hearing words or sounds, while seeing the vision—this, of course, is Clairaudience.



Passing to the actual practice, we desire to inform our students that the faculty of Psychomancy lies dormant in every person—that is the Astral Senses are present in everyone, and the possibility of their being awakened into activity is always present. The different degrees of power observable in different persons depend chiefly upon the degree of development, or unfoldment, rather than upon the comparative strength of the faculties. In some persons, of certain temperaments, the Astral Senses are very near the manifesting point at all times. Flashes of what are considered to be “intuition,” premonitions, etc., are really manifestations of Psychomancy in some phase. In the case of other persons, on the other hand, the Astral Senses are almost atrophied, so merged in materialistic thought and life are these people. The element of Faith also plays an important point in this phenomena, as it does in all Occult phenomena, for that matter. That is to say, that one’s belief tends to open up the latent powers and faculty in man, while a corresponding disbelief tends to prevent the unfoldment or manifestation. There is a very good psychological reason for this as all students of the subject well know. Belief and Disbelief are two potent psychological factors on all planes of action.

Occultists know, and teach, that the Astral Senses and faculties of the human race will unfold as the race progresses, at which time that which we now call Psychomantic Power will be a common possession of all persons, just as the use of the Physical Senses are to the race at the present time. In the meantime, there are persons who, not waiting for the evolution of the race, are beginning to manifest this power in a greater or lesser degree, depending much upon favorable circumstances, etc. There are many more persons in this stage of development than is generally realized. In fact many persons manifesting Psychomantic power, occasionally, are apt to pass by the phenomena as “imagination,” and “foolishness,” refusing to recognize its reality. Then, again, many persons manifest the power during sleeping hours, and dismiss the matter as “merely a dream,” etc.