John Dee’s Purple Crystal


Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2016
I see this crystal is included among a variety of other strange and spine-tingling objects in the “Spellbound” exhibition at the Ashmolean (until 6th January).

SPELLBOUND | Ashmolean Museum


Here’s some blurb on the crystal from a previous exhibition that featured it...

John Dee (1527-1609) was an English mathematician and astrologer interested in divination using crystals and mirrors. This purple crystal was used for curing disease and predicting the future by looking for symbols or the ‘ghosts’ of people in the stone. Dee claimed that this crystal was given to him by the angel Uriel in November 1582, and that Uriel had instructed Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley (1555-1597/8) on how to make the Philosopher’s Stone – one of the goals of alchemy. The crystal was entrusted to Dee’s son, Arthur (1597-1651) who passed it on to Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) as a reward for curing his liver complaints. Culpeper was a physician and alchemist who used the crystal to try and cure illness, until 1651, when he believed a demonic ghost burst out from it.


Stake Holder
Jun 10, 2007
I am aiming to get along to this exhibition sometime soon and will look out for this. My wip involves Dee and Kelley, and this looks like a possible side plot.