Parapsychologists tell us that certain states of superior consciousness are accompanied by gifts which we erroneously qualify as supernatural.  Perhaps they are, in fact, “woken” faculties.  People usually think of the great mystics where we see cases of levitation, bilocation, clairvoyancy, telepathy, telekinesis…  [However, ordinary people often have similar experiences.  I, myself, have experienced levitation (as a child), clairvoyancy (often) and telepathy (with my cousin, when she was alive, and with my dog, when she was alive).  So far, no bilocation that I’m aware of, but a bit of telekinesis (at least twice, by accident).  In fact, almost all of this was by accident.]

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Cosimo Ruggieri was not a mystic.  However, he was perhaps an initiate of a few occult sciences.  Of this magic, almost as old as Humanity, which is still used today by sorcerers in black Africa, the Bambaras, the Dogons, among others, who, it seems, have taken the “subtle” path…

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All throughout the Middle Ages, under the Renaissance and up until the end of the XIXth Century, people in our Western civilizations practised cristallomancy.  Between 1900 and 1914, there were even village sorcerers who claimed to predict the future in this way…  They shut people inside a dark room, lit a candle and made images appear on a mirror…

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Catherine de Medicis

Catherine de Medicis was greatly involved in these sorts of practices.  She was Florentine, and like all Florentines – at least those of her epoch – she dabbled in sorcery.  She protected herself against possible assassination by a sort of talisman which she wore on her.  It was the skin of a child whose throat had been cut…

As can be seen, she was not a particularly delightful person.  So she must have used cristallomancy with a few precautions.  When you poison people by the dozen, the hundred even, and you wear on you the skin of a child whose throat has been cut, it might be amusing to see the future in a mirror, but you are probably not too keen on looking at your own reflection…

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