The Real History of Tarot

The Aces of the tradition Latin suits: Cups, Clubs, Swords, Coins. These are used for all Italian-suited cards, not just Tarot.

Note: This is the second of a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but about cultural [Read More...]

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Reclaiming Tarot

Tarot1

Note: This is the first of a series which looks at the real history of Tarot. I do not deny that Tarot has occult connections which are seriously problematic for Catholics. We will get to all of it in time, but for now please be aware that this series is not about fortune telling, but [Read More...]

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Mysterious Medieval Manuscript is Probably Not a Hoax

voynichcosmological

The Voynich Manuscript has baffled everyone since it was first acquired (or, some say, forged) by collector Wilfrid Voynich in 1912. Probably dating to the 15th century and originating in Northern Italy, the manuscript consists of 240 pages of vellum covered in a mysterious, indecipherable script and illustrations of non-existent plants, astronomical diagrams, tiny naked [Read More...]

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A Face From the Past

You can be excused for thinking the face pictured above is a modern mugshot of some dude who just robbed a Piggly Wiggly. In fact, it’s an archer who died in the sinking of the Mary Rose,  a ship from the fleet of Henry VIII (spit). The Mary rose was sunk in 1545, discovered in [Read More...]

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Are These Beams From the First Temple?

Reused for millennia, discarded, forgotten, left in a padlocked storage space: these rough chunks of wood hewn from cedar, cypress, and oak up to 3000 years ago may once have been part of the First Temple. Building materials routinely were recycled throughout ancient times, but these are important because they were removed from the Al-Aqsa [Read More...]

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Is This the Voice of Alexander Graham Bell?

bell

The Smithsonian thinks it is. They’ve been using imaging technology to listen to unplayable experimental recordings by non-destructive means, and accidentally hit upon this snatch of audio, in which the speaker says, “In witness whereof—hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.” You have to click the link the hear it, since I can’t embed it, but [Read More...]

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Really Old Medieval Cookbook Found

Medieval cooking

Researchers have discovered a collection of recipes written in Latin by monks of Durham Cathedral in 1140. Some are calling it the oldest such collection of the Middle Ages. Many of the dishes sound like they would work on a modern restaurant menu. Faith Wallis, an expert in medical history and science based at McGill [Read More...]

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Gate to Hell Discovered

And it’s in New Jersey! (Audio link.) Nah, just kidding. It’s actually in Turkey.  The Plutonium was believed to be the portal to the underworld in the ancient world, and it was known for its lethal properties, provided courtesy of carbon dioxide. It was long believed to be at the Phrygian city of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale). Strabo wrote [Read More...]

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