These Reflecting Globes are so beautiful! They’ve always intrigued me and I put a couple in my garden long before I knew their history. Finally I had time to read a little about them and thought I’d share what I learned.
History & General Information
Gazing Globes were first introduced in 13th century Venice by artisan glass blowers.
Soon after they were made popular in Germany. King Ludwig of Bavaria so loved gazing balls that he had them made to be hung in trees and this is said to have led to the use of glass baubles as Christmas tree ornaments.
Today it is rarer to find those made of glass due to its fragile nature. Stainless steel and other metals are used more frequently but still have the reflecting surface that is so inherent to their charm.
These intriguing pieces are known by many names:
- Butler Balls
- Chrome Ball
- Fairy Balls
- Garden Globe
- Gazing Balls
- Globes of Happiness
- Lawn Balls
- Mirror Balls
- Protective Balls
- Witch Balls
- Yard Globes
There is also a very fun globe in Millennium Park, Chicago called ‘The Bean’. This one is 33 by 66 by 42 feet. So cool.
Millennium Park, Chicago
In addition to making your garden/yard look pretty these globes have had several other uses. I’ve highlighted my favorites.
- Ward off evil
- Bring good luck
- Announce affluence in a home
- Discreetly chaperone young couples during courtship. (Courtship?! Victorian Era no doubt.)
- Alert the servant when guests might need attention such as a drink refill (Butler Ball). The reflective globe would be placed strategically on a dining room sideboard so servants could remain outside the room and still see when service was required.
- Add color to your garden or lawn
- Attract birds and butterflies
- Provide a quiet spot for meditation. Some believed that staring into the ball made the gazer become one with the universe.
- Protect the property owner from witches. The witch would see her reflection in the globe and be frightened away before casting spell.
- Ward off Ghosts, Disease and Evil Spirits
- Attract friendly spirits and faeries and bringing good fortune to the home
- And finally they (only the steel ones) fertilize your garden naturally! Amazing. The steel in the ball attracts magnetic charges and hence has a high degree of nitrogen in the air there. This is how we fertilize. This process is called Electroculture! So go buy some Globes and get rid of your pesticides.
These Gazing Balls are different from Crystal Balls in several ways (hollow vs. solid, any color vs. clear, etc.) but they remind me of them and I think that accounts for some of my affinity toward them. There is something mystical about them for sure. I think they would be a nice addition to a sacred space or altar too. Check them out for yourself! Let me know what you think.
Lisa Hassett, Reiki Therapist, Life Coach, CYT
Healing For Body, Mind & Spirit
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Healing for Body, Mind & Spirit
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160 School Street, Suite 1-1
Waltham, MA 02451