It is believed by many that there was a time when people were actually able to get direct messages from God. These messages were usually inspiration, interpretations or even divine revelations about the said person’s social world and/or events to come. Such messages are called prophecies. A prophecy is defined as a message that is claimed by a prophet to have been communicated to him by a deity. All known ancient cultures had prophets who delivered prophecies. A prophecy can also be a claim about an event that is predicted to happen in the future.

The concept of prophecies is not bound to only one group of people or one religion, but can be found in the history of many religions. For example, in Buddhism, there is a very well-known event related to a prophecy that made Buddhism flourish. A Buddhist King, King Beopheung of Silla, wanted to spread Buddhism as the state religion, but this idea was opposed by his court officials. His grand secretary, Ichadon, came up with a strategy to make the King’s wish come true. He told the King to make a proclamation that would grant Buddhism an official state sanction using the royal seal. He then told the King to deny making any such proclamation when the officials confronted him.

The blame would then come on Ichadon to which he would plead guilty and accept the punishment of execution. He told the king about his prophecy that a miracle would happen on the day of his execution which would make the officials believe in Buddhism and accept it as the state religion. His prophecy came true when after his execution instead of blood, milk gushed out of his beheaded corpse, the earth shook, the sun darkened, and it rained flowers from the sky. The omen was accepted by the opposing court officials as a manifestation of heaven’s approval.

Other than this, there are other known people who have made predictions that came true. One of the very well-known names when it comes to predictions that appeared to come true is Nostradamus. Nostradamus wrote a book called ‘Les Propheties’ in which he wrote quatrains, which are four liners poems, about future events. Many of the predictions he made in the book came true. For example, the attack of 9/11, French Revolution, bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, etc. While some believe that his prophecies are accurate, others say that they are very vague poems which can be matched with any event.

Prophecies are not believed by all. Some say that predicting the future is impossible as no one can know exactly what the future holds. It is said by these people that the prophecies which were fulfilled were just mere coincidences. Some also say that some of the prophecies were actually made up by people after the fact to match the circumstances of a past event.

In conclusion, it is a matter of personal opinion whether one believes in prophecies or not. The mention of prophecies is found in multiple places in history, many of which have come true. Were those prophecies actually accurate, or just coincidences?

Nostradamus Prophecies

Is it possible to predict the future or are the predictions made by people just mere coincidences? All these questions are asked when the name of Michel de Nostredame comes up in a conversation. Nostredame, belonging to a French catholic family, was a great astrologer, physician and reputed seer. Nostredame is very well known because of his book called ‘Les Prophéties’, which contains 942 poetic quatrains and four lines of rhyming verses, which are said to be predicting future events. The book was first published in 1555 and is still read by people today.

Nostradamus and his prophecies are a topic of debate for everyone. Some support him and the prophecies made by him while others ridicule them. Nostradamus became infamous in his time because of some of the predictions made by him in his book which appeared to come true. Despite creating an element of fear and suspicion in many people of the time, he was also a figure of intrigue. Nostradamus was even invited to the court of Catherine de’ Medici and the queen consort of King Henry II of France. This proves that many nobles were included in the people who believed his writings.

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Nostradamus’ predictions were generally about occurring events like natural disasters and world conflicts, etc. His poems included hints towards great events of the world like the French Revolution, rise of Adolf Hitler, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing and the 9/11 attack among many others. All his prophecies are written in a very vague manner and are open to the reader’s interpretations, which is why most people argue that the prophecies could match almost any event, especially with hindsight.

In conclusion, the prophecies of Nostradamus can neither be labelled as coincidences nor predictions. No one knows whether the astrologist really could have predicted all these events, or if he was just writing general poems which later on turned out to be similar to those events.

Human Sacrifice rituals to the Gods

Human sacrifices were widely famous amongst the ancient Mesoamerican cultures. So for the Aztec Empire the ritual of sacrificing humans was nothing new to them. For the Aztec people, the ritual of sacrificing humans held great religious significance as well as an intimidation tactic employed against their enemies to instill fear amongst them. The Aztecs believed that the difficult times and natural disasters faced by them were the wrath of gods and to please the gods and to drive them to protect and bestow blessings upon the people, human sacrifices were to be rendered.

Huitzilopochtli was worshipped at the famous Aztec Templo Mayor that dominated the capital city of Tenochtitlan. To please Huitzilopochtli, the sacrifices were laid upon a stone atop Templo Mayor. The victim would then be cut open from the abdomen upwards with his heart pulled out and raised in the sky. The body would then be thrown down the temple, cremated or handed to the warrior who captured the victim as a souvenir.

To please the god of fire; Xiuhtecuhtli, sacrifices would be burned soon after the feast. The victims however would be later pulled from the fire and cut to extract the heart which would then be offered as a sacrifice.

To please the most powerful of gods Tezcatlipoca; the god of night, and the god who sees and knows all, the sacrifices would be allowed to impersonate Tezcatlipoca on Earth and awarded with 4 women until the day of sacrifice. Until then, the sacrifice would roam free and play flute. However, on the day of sacrifice, the victim would break his flute and offer himself to the priests to be cut and sacrificed to Tezcatlipoca. Similarly, different methods of sacrificing were employed depending upon the deity the victim was being sacrificed to.

The Aztec people believed that after every 52 years, the universe was bound to end if the gods weren’t strong enough and to strengthen the gods, sacrifices must be rendered throughout. Upon the ending of each cycle, a ceremony took place in which a human sacrifice would be rendered and if on the next day the sun rose up, it was a sign that the sacrifice had been accepted and that the world had been granted another 52 years. This would go on cycle after cycle.

The Aztecs were a civilization obsessed with blood and sacrificing humans. So much so, that during the re-opening of Templo Mayor in 1487, the event was celebrated with a number of humans being sacrificed. How many to be precise? Some scholars suggest more than 20,000 individuals while others suggest that sacrifices were made in a number of low thousands, sacrificed over the course of just four days. Which is still a lot!

Human Sacrifice rituals in Aztec Culture

Human sacrifices have been a part of ancient cultures since the beginning of time. With the belief that a human sacrifice would please gods and drive them to bestow stability and blessings upon the people of a particular belief. Thousands of victims have been sacrificed throughout history, most of them willingly. Similarly, one such culture famous for its unorthodox rituals of sacrificing humans are the Aztecs. For a long time, the Aztec ritual of human sacrifices was perceived as only a tale. However, recent excavations at the Templo Mayor has unearthed chilling facts about the Aztec Culture.

Standing tall in the Aztec capital, Templo Mayor was significant to the Aztec people since it was dedicated to the god of war (Huitzilopochtl) and the god of rain (Tlaloc).

The two temples held extreme importance for the Aztec religion and its followers, so to please the gods, all rituals of human sacrifices took place atop the Holy Templo Mayor. One of the very first descriptions of the human sacrifice rituals were noted by the Hernan Cortes. Who, when conquering the Aztec Capital, witnessed the bone chilling encounters of victims being cut open at the top of the Temple with their hearts being pulled out and offered as a sacrifice.

Regarded as a myth for a long time, a team of archeologists in 2018 eventually discovered human skulls stacked over each other, ultimately proving the rituals of human sacrifices in the Aztec culture. Moreover, historians suggest that more than 80,000 individuals including men, women and children had been offered to the gods as human sacrifices.

For the Aztec people, sacrificing humans was paramount for their existence. According to them, it was their belief that the god of sun was constantly fighting against the darkness. To keep the god of sun happy and fighting against the darkness, human sacrifices were offered or else the darkness would win and kill all of them. Similarly, apart from pleasing the gods, human sacrifices were also offered to protect against natural disasters and famines. Another important reason why the Aztec people performed human sacrifices was to scare away potential attackers and instill fear into their enemies. The dismembered heads of their enemies were displayed for everyone to see, as an intimidation trick to maintain order and discipline amongst the people.

Spanish manuscripts and stone carvings suggest that the Aztec people were also involved in cannibalism. With some historians suggesting they only did so in cases of famines or starvation. Others suggest that consuming the bodies of sacrificed victims was a matter of honor for the Aztec people as the sacrifices were a holy matter. These bodies were often presented to the high status individuals of the society. So not only was the ritual of sacrificing humans in the Aztec culture considered normal, consuming the bodies might have been an honour.

Black Magic Through the Ages

Tracing its origins back to the medieval times, black magic has been actively used all over the world for thousands of years to attain rather selfish agendas. To put it in simpler words, black magic employs evil or supernatural powers to attain the practitioner’s goal. In the far stretched spectrum of magic, there is a left hand and a right hand approach to magic, with left hand being the negative use of magical powers otherwise termed as black magic. The right hand approach to magic is the good alternative to the black magic employed to attain unselfish goals, otherwise referred to as white magic.

The notable difference between black and white magic lies greatly in the purpose of the magic being employed. Explained beautifully by Robert M Place in his book; Magic and Alchemy – The purpose of employing white magic lies in getting closer to a spiritual being through the use of supernatural powers, meanwhile black magic being the opposite, employs the same supernatural powers, but for a sinister purpose. For a long time, any type of magic that employed supernatural powers was considered evil, regardless of the intent, and was punishable by law. So around the 15th century came ”natural magic,” unlike white or black magic, it used natural powers with techniques such as astrology and botany, amongst others. This was one way to progress the magical rituals without being deemed evil and persecuted. However, today the difference between the two approaches to magic; white and black can be clearly understood on the terms of intended use.

Black magic by majority is linked with Satanism since it employs spirits and negative powers to benefit the user or harm someone. Things required to be done by the practitioner for black magic to work effectively vary from purpose to purpose. Whether one employs it with the intent to harm someone, benefit himself or for someone to die, the practitioner would have to follow rituals unique to each intent. Black magic in other terms is a curse, a curse that is difficult to remove.

Now, in modern times, people often claim black magic to be a scam that is used to benefit from dire circumstances faced by other people. And in a sense that is absolutely correct because while in developed countries the use of black magic is scarce, it’s use in other countries, like India and Africa, is still clearly present with banners and advertisements on roadsides. One wonders how so many people are effectively practicing such an ancient and sinister act. So whether the existence of black magic in the modern times is hundred percent authentic or not, what we know for sure is that in the poorer countries with a high illiteracy rate, it is the perfect place to scam less fortunate and make quick money.

Black Magic

The term black magic seems to freak almost anyone out. It has become a term that is a taboo in our society and rightfully so. Black magic has roots in many cultures – from African cultures to Middle Eastern cultures and can be found in history, as well as all over the world today. The literal meaning of the term black magic refers to magic used for selfish or evil purposes. This entails using magic to harm someone, to take revenge or to generally cause issues and problems for someone.

In the history of black magic, unlike white magic which was done to benefit others, was done to benefit the person practicing it, by harming others. During the Renaissance period most magic was declared black magic and was shunned from society. People who practiced magic or even had attributes that made them similar to those who practiced magic, were killed for being witches and wizards. They were burned on bonfires so that the magic died with them. This inhumane treatment of women (but also men too) is evidence of how negatively the term black magic was taken at the time.

Another common misconception that comes with black magic is the concept of Satanism. Satanism is the worship of the devil instead of a God – the devil is considered their God – and is the practice of invoking evil demons or spirits.

Another main part of black magic, which has now become popular by the influence of popular culture, is voodoo. This is mainly practiced in African countries. This is a type of magic where a figure of the person who you are trying to harm is created and when you harm the doll, the person also feels the pain.

Black Magic has been found in many different religions like Islam, Hinduism, and African cultural-religious philosophies. In Islam the Holy Prophet that the Muslims believe in was affected by black magic which was then resolved through the verses of the Quran. This magic was done by knotting the hair while reading verses of magic. While in Hinduism, black magic plays a huge role. Chathan Seva is a type of magic that is performed by Hindus to please Chathan who is most popularly worshipped in Kerala, India. This is also where the majority of the temples dedicated to this god are located. The ritual they perform is said to either harm or be beneficial to the person whose name is being taken. This is one of the oldest and strongest beliefs in the South Indian region.