According to Crystal-Gems, a seller of crystal balls and other stones, crystal balls are read by simply gazing into the ball. As a reader gazes into the crystal ball, a trance-like state is induced, which unlocks images from the subconscious mind that are projected onto the ball.
The key to reading the ball is to gaze and relax. Because crystal ball readers are seeing images from the subconscious mind and not the future, relaxation is important; it helps induce the trance-like state. As gazing at the ball dissociates the conscious mind from the subconscious mind, the images come through. According to Llewellyn, an independent publisher of books for mind, body and spirit, only some people actually see images inside the ball. Others see the images in their mind’s eye or on the inside of their eyelids. In other words, for many crystal ball readers the ball is merely a tool to help induce the trance-like state.
About.com describes additional uses for the crystal ball other than divination. For example, a quality crystal ball anchors the energy of light in a room. It also calms and neutralizes negative emotions, which helps the mind function more efficiently. Because of its many benefits, crystal balls often are common in feng shui. For instance, placing a crystal ball in a room where an argument occurred is said to clear the negative energy in the room.