Echo Valley Gazing Globes - Beautiful Decorative Glass SpheresGazing globes are attractive round balls often found in gardens or homes
surrounded by flowers and plants. Their size can range from 2 inches to 22", or sometimes even over 2 feet in diameter.
They are called by several names including yard globes, garden globes, butler globes, gazing balls, good luck balls, globes of happiness, pond balls or glass balls.
You can find them prominently displayed in many gardens because of their beauty. Not everyone knows that the deep history of the gazing ball goes much deeper than a pretty reflective design, spanning centuries as symbols of wealth, prosperity and spiritual happiness.
The History of Gazing Balls
Developed in the 13th Century; garden globes were first fabricated by skilled artisans in Venice, Italy. Each ball was formed meticulously out of mouth blown glass.
The orbs began to grow popular after becoming prized by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was nicknamed "Mad King Ludwig". He hung the glass spheres in trees, set them on pedestals and even floated them in ponds.
A little known fact is that Ludwig's hanging of the spheres in trees led to the use of reflective glass ball ornaments during the Christmas holiday season.
Following Ludwig, many European Kings, royals and aristocrats requested that globes be placed in their gardens to keep evil attackers, ghosts and disease away.
Later, the globes became a popular fixture of Victorian English Gardens. In time some of the spiritual qualities they were originally prized for became seen as mostly superstition, but they remained symbols of prosperity.
In the 20 th century gazing globes made their way to America. They became a status symbol signifying wealth and success seen displayed in many beautiful gardens and yards to this day.
Usage of Decorative Glass Balls
Over the years decorative gazing globes have taken on several names that are descriptive of the item's various functions. A couple of the features without an associated name include a focus point for meditation. People use a gazing glass ball to meditate by directing all of their attention to the center point of light where everything on the ball comes together.
In early years, the balls were even used indoors to chaperone young courting couples and keep them from getting too frisky prior to marriage!
However, the most popular use for the balls throughout time (other than their decorative nature) is to help create a positive spiritual experience for the orb's owner. Throughout the years, the decorative glass spheres features have regularly been linked to this spiritual functionality.
Gazing globes have widely been known to attract positive energy and to either trap or repel negative energy and spirits.
The beautiful colors, patterns and round dimensions are what attract the spirits, and depending on what belief system you hold, the spirits are either attracted or sent away.
Evil Spirits Repelled or Trapped
The earliest use of the balls were to repel negative spirits. After being sucked in by the beauty of the globes, evil spirits would see their own reflections in the glass and be scared off.
Some thought that the positive nature of the globe itself acted like a magnet, attracting the negative energy so it could then be repelled.
Another idea was that the spirits weren't actually repelled, but when a spirit touches the orb its energy is absorbed and trapped inside. If a witch got close enough to the ball, it would soon wander inside to investigate and also be trapped.
In addition to being attracted to the globe's reflective nature, the swirling
colors of certain designs were thought to mesmerize evil spirits and witches.
Owners are careful to care for their garden gazing balls, because if cracked the sphere no longer possesses its powers since the reflection in the glass is fogged.
For that reason many people store their orbs inside during winter months to avoid letting the trapped evil spirits escape.
Over time, keeping the decorations inside grew into the balls not only being displayed in gardens, but also indoors, in a bedroom or near a window to keep evil spirits at bay.
In some folklore, the glass balls don't just ward off negativity; they are also known to attract positive energy. It is thought that the decorative balls can attract fairies, good luck and other positive magical spirits.
Throughout the years the symbolism and deep meaning may have faded, but the love and appreciation that many have for the attractive garden décor item has not.
Colors & Materials: From Glass Spheres to Stainless Steel Gazing Balls
Gazing balls come in a variety of colors and styles. You'll often see globes fashioned with bright colors and swirling patterns. The colorful patterns are thought to mesmerize evil spirits.
Blue, green, red and yellow tones are the most popular because they complement the colors found naturally in the garden.
The balls are often made of glass, stained glass, ceramic or metallic materials like stainless steel. Outer coverings can vary including clear, translucent, iridescent, mirrored or covered with colorful patterns and designs.
The spiritual aspects of the ball's history are regularly represented within the design and style. The reason many modern gazing globes have a reflective surface is so evil spirits will vanish after seeing their own reflection.
Some of the more intricate current offerings include decorative etchings on glass featuring welcomed garden guests such as fairies, hummingbirds, butterflies and dragonflies.
The Ultimate: Solar Gazing Balls
Solar gazing globes are one of the most popular options in recent years. They offer illumination during the evening hours after they have absorbed the sunlight during the course of the day.
There are multiple solar options to choose from. Some are glow in the dark gazing balls that give off a pleasing glow once nightfall hits, and can evoke the feeling that you're looking at a miniature planet right in your garden.
Often solar powered gazing balls aren't meant for illumination, but instead more for decoration, the glow allow allows the distinctive patterns painted in glowing paint to shine.
For a brighter lighting effect you'll want to go with a color changing solar gazing ball or add a solar caplight to light your current sphere.
Gazing Ball Stands
The most traditional way to display your sphere is using a gazing globe stand.
When searching for gazing ball pedestals for your garden it's important to think about how high the surrounding foliage will grow. Both shorter and taller options are available, but if you want your globe to ward off the evil spirits it should be displayed prominently.
Also consider if your globe will be outside and face harsh elements. Most gazing globe stands are made of sturdy materials like wrought iron. The iron look is a very classic design, but many also choose a column or pedestal that gives the appearance of carved stone.
Finally, you'll also want to make sure you choose a stand that matches the diameter of the ball you'll place on it.
Various Names for Gazing Globes & Their Uses
- Witch Balls - Witches are attracted and trapped inside, or repelled when they see their reflection
- Yard Globe - Attracts birds and friendly creatures to the yard
- Butler Globes (or Butler Balls) - The butler, maid or servants would use the ball to see important guests approaching. They could know when guests were finished eating their meals, or when their iced tea needed freshening without staring at the guests directly. Indoors, the balls were often placed so servants could see what was necessary around corners from different rooms
- Pond Balls - Balls are weighted and floated on a pool of water. Animals that would otherwise prey on the fish are scared away by their own reflections
- Fairy Garden Gazing Balls - Attract fairies and magical spirits, because the ball reminds them of pretty flowers. They are grateful for the orb being shared and for that reason they grant the owner good luck.
- Spirit Balls - Generally have a hole in the top. Evil spirits fly in and are trapped inside
- Friendship Balls - Given as gifts to represent friendship. The ball has no beginning or end and the colors swirl together in harmony in signification of a strong friendship.
- Good Luck Balls - Give as wedding or housewarming gifts. Bring happiness, health and prosperity to the newly married couple or home owner.
Echo Valley Gazing GlobesEcho Valley is the pre-eminent "brand name" in gazing globes, offering the widest selection in styles, materials and colors to wholesalers and retailers worldwide.
A wide variety of gazing balls and stands are available so that you can choose a globe that perfectly fits with your garden.
Whether you choose an etched fairy globe, reflective stainless steel, or a stained glass mosaic gazing ball you can be proud to display a symbol of hundreds of years of heritage, prosperity and positive spirituality.
No matter what style you choose, if you go with an Echo Valley Gazing Globe you're certain to get a durable, high-quality sphere that will attract positive energy and repel negative, while at the same time beautifying your exterior landscape.