The crystal should be without flaw-no scratches on its surface or bubbles within (the new acrylicplexiglass “crystals” work quite well, but scratch very easily). Rest the ball on a background of black. A black velvet cloth is ideal. This can, in turn, rest on a table in front of you or can cover your hand(s) if you wish to hold the crystal. This black background is to ensure that you see nothing around the ball to distract you as you gaze into it. Initially you should work alone, in a room that is quiet and dark. Your temple, of course, is the ideal place. Have just one small light, preferably a candle. Place the light so that you do not see it reflected directly in the crystal. Burn a pleasant-smelling incense, since it will help you concentrate. Work in a consecraed circle, at least to begin with. Later, if you should want to use the crystal elsewhere, you can simply imagine yourself surrounded by, and completely encompassed in, white light; though even then I would strongly advise casting a small circle about yourself with you athame. Start by saying some protective prayer, then ask the Lord and Lady for their guidance and their protection.
Now sit and gaze into the crystal trying to keep your mind blank. This is not easy and will take some practice. Do not stare at the ball unblinking; this will just cause eyestrain! Gaze-blinking your eyes naturally, as necessary. Do not try to imagine anything in the ball. Just try to keep your mind blank. After a while (anywhere from two to ten minutes) it will seem that the ball is filling with white mist or smoke. It will gradually grow more and more dense until the ball seems full of it. Then, again gradually, the smoke will thin and fade, leaving behind a picture- almost like a miniature television picture. It might be in black-and-white but it more likely to be in color. It might be still or it might be moving. It might be from the past, present or future. Also, it is very likely to be a symbolic picture, requiring some interpretation-much like a dream.
Initially you have no great control over what you see. You must just take what comes. As you become more adept, you may meditate for a few moments before gazing on what you wish to see. Then, when you start to gaze, clear your mind and try to keep it blank. Most people seem capable of success at scrying. If you get nothing the first time you try, then try again the next night, and then the next. It may take a week or more before you get anything, but keep trying. Do not, however, try for more than about ten minutes or so at each attempt.
If you can’t obtain a crystal, it is possible to use a regular convex magnigying glass lens. Polished carefully and laid on the black velvet, it will work almost as well as the ball. Whichever you use, ball or lens, keep it purely for your scrying. Let no one else use it or even handle it. Keep it wrapped in a cloth (its black velvet or a piece of black silk) and do not permit sunlight to strike it. It is traditional to “charge” the crystal by holding it up to be struck by the light of the full moon, once a month.