Hope Diamond

Are diamonds a girl’s best friend? Maybe, maybe not if the diamond we are talking about is the Hope Diamond – a forty-five carat blue diamond that for more than a century supposedly bore a curse that brought death and misfortune to the people who owned it.

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Coming from the Golkonda mines in India, it was bought by the French merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. According to some Jean-Baptiste removed the diamond from the eye of a Hindu statue sparking the wrath of the gods, who cursed the stone and all those who owned it. Immediately after Tavernier went bankrupt and tried to rebuild his fortune starting from India, but never reached his destination because he died during the trip.

King Louis XIV bought the stone from Tavernier and had it recut in 1673. It was then known as “The Blue Diamond of the Crown” or the “French Blue”. King Louis died of gangrene and all of his legitimate children died in childhood, except for one. Nicholas Fouquet who worked for King Louis XIV, is said to have worn the diamond for some special occasion. Shortly thereafter, he fell out of favor with the king and was banished from France. The Louis changed this sentence to life imprisonment, so Fouquet spent 15 years in the fortress of Pignerol.

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The diamond was then donated to Marie Antoinette and… well, we all know what happened to her and her husband Louis XVIbeheaded during the French Revolution. Eventually the diamond was stolen along with other jewels and precious objects. It then passed into the hands of a jeweler who died of a heart attack as soon as the stone was stolen (according to other sources he died when he discovered that the thief was none other than his son). The son of the jeweler, the alleged perpetrator of the theft,  when he knew he was the cause of his father’s death committed suicide. His friend, who had found the diamond among the property left unattended, died after a short time. 

The gemstone quickly passed from hand to hand and reached London, the English nobleman Lord Francis Hope, VIII Duke of Newcastle, paid an exorbitant amount of money for the gem andbaptize” it with his name, but – if you want to give credit to the supposed curse did he regret it, almost immediately after having received the stone the relationship with his wife gone bad and the pair split up. The woman, Mary Yohe, an American actress and singer of musicals, fell into poverty, while the Lord Francis Hope hastened to get rid of the diamond.

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Evalyn Walsh McLean was a spoiled heiress who lived a charmed life… until she bought the diamond. She happily wore the diamond and there are stories that she would even affix the jewel to her dog’s collar and let him wander around the apartment with it. But wearing the Hope Diamond came at a steep price: first her mother-in-law died, her son died at the age of nine, her husband left her for another woman and later died in a mental hospital, her daughter died of a drug overdose at 25 and she eventually had to sell her newspaper ““ the Washington Post – and died owing huge debts. Evalyn’s surviving kids sold the diamond to Harry Winston. Nine years later, Winston mailed the gem to the Smithsonian for $2.44 in postage and $155 in insurance. The mailman who delivered the diamond to the Smithsonian, apparently had his leg crushed in a truck accident shortly thereafter. He also suffered a head injury in a separate accident.

The Hope Diamond is preserved at the Smithsonian Museum, kept on public display in a glass case. Today the sky-blue gem is worth a quarter of a billion dollars.

I wonder if even writing about the diamond can make you fall under the umbrella of the curse?

I HOPE you’ll be hearing from me again…

Elle. xx

Past lives and reincarnation.

I love writing. It’s something that I find highly satisfying, I’m not talking just about this blog. I love grab a pen and my notebook (not the computer) and let my thoughts drowning in a river of ink. Does that mean that I was a writer in a previous life? I often hear the fact that what you love to do in this life it is something that you’ve mastered in your past life. Another theory says that we are here to learn a lesson and this cycle continues until the soul has worked through all the lessons it set out to learn.

I’m starting to find the topic of reincarnation and past lives very interesting so I’ve decided to browse the web and sharing with you a couple of stories. If you don’t believe in reincarnation then what I’m going to write will definitely raise a few doubts.

Gus Taylor was 18 months old when he started to say that he was his own grandfather. Young children can be confused about their own identity and those of their family members, but this was different. His grandfather had died a year before Gus was born and the boy totally believed they were the same person. When shown some family photographs, Gus identified “Grandpa Augie” when he was four years old. Years before, Augie’s sister was murdered and her body was dumped in San Francisco Bay. No one in the family had ever spoken of this to Gus, and consequently, everyone was shocked when Gus started talking about his dead sister.

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At a very young age, James Leininger started to remember his life as a navy fighter pilot. He lost a lot of sleep and kept talking about flying planes, about the weapons, and the scary accident with his plane. James, who only watched kids’ programs on TV, showed his mother what a fighter plane drop tank was, and was able to check a plane over as a pilot would during a pre-flight check when he was just three years old. James started having nightmares about being shot down by a plane with a red sun on it, a Japanese plane. He talked about having dreams and memories of being Lieutenant James McCready Huston, a World War II fighter pilot from Pennsylvania who had been killed in Iwo Jima more than 50 years earlier. Later, James told his parents that he had flown a plane called the Corsair from a boat called the Natoma. When James’s father decided to do some research, he discovered that there had been a small escort carrier called the Natoma Bay, which had been in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and that there really had been a pilot called James Huston. His plane was hit in the engine by Japanese fire on March 3, 1945. According to Jim Tucker, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, Huston’s plane crashed exactly the way that young James Leininger had described.

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Pic: X

A three-year-old of the Druze ethnic group, a group of people for whom reincarnation is a core belief, told his elders that he knew what had happened to him in his past life: He was murdered. The boy, whose story was documented by Dr. Eli Lasch, was born with a long, red birthmark on his head. For the Druse birthmarks like these are an indication of death wounds, and children born with them are paid close attention to for anything they may remember of their past lives. Once this particular child turned three and could speak, he told his elders that he was killed by an axe blow to the head. He was led through villages to see if he could remember where he lived, until he came to one that seemed familiar to him. The child said he remembered both the first and last name of his killer with complete clarity.

“Suddenly the boy walked up to a man and said, “Aren’t you …?” The man answered yes. Then the boy said, “I used to be your neighbour. We had a fight and you killed me with an axe.” Eli told me how the man had suddenly gone white as a sheet. The three-year-old boy then said, “I even know where he buried my body.”

Afterward, the boy led his elders to a pile of stones, under which they found a body with an axe wound in its head. He also led them to the spot where the axe was buried, reportedly forcing his killer to confess the crime.

There are so many interesting stories to read, some of them completely ridiculous, but when you find stories like the ones that I’ve just found, it’s a bit difficult to remain 100% skeptical.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section. Do you believe in reincarnation? Do you ever feel nostalgic about a certain era? I’m feeling nostalgic for the Victorian Era although I know I was not present… Or was I?

Elle. x

Witchcraft 101: Witch’s Ladder

As I’m starting a new “journey”, I’ve decided to share all the things I’m learning here on my beloved blog. I’ve always been interested in witchcraft but never really “gave it a go”, so I bought a few books (which I’m reading and I’ll probably review here if you’re looking for basic books) for the absolute beginner, like me! What I’m learning right now is to be more confident about me and the things I can do and achieve,  to stay more in contact with nature and everything that surrounds me. In this new section of the blog I’ll be mainly writing about what I’m experiencing and most of the topics will be focused on traditional witchcraft.

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The first topic and kind of spell I came through is “knot magick” which is a very old form of magic and also requires minimal supplies, it’s mainly about the intention you have while tying the knots. It can be used for protection but it also has an evil dark side, as I wrote before it mainly depends on what your intention is.

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One of the oldest form is known as the Witch’s Ladder, which I found interesting and visually stunning. A Witch’s ladder is a fetish made from knotted cord, yarn or hair and used in witchcraft as a curse but also in any kind of spell work, meditation or ritual working. It typically consists of a rope or cord with (usually) three, nine, thirteen or even forty knots. Feathers, bones or other trinkets are braided into the string, and special chants are spoken during the creation process to empower the talisman to do its creator’s bidding. It can be created a section at a time or all at once. The knots of the witch’s ladder enable a witch to concentrate on repetitive chants or incantation without having to keep count (similar to Christian Rosary beads), and enable the witch to focus will and energy on the desired goal. It was believed that witches of old could cast a death spell over a person by tying the knots and then hiding the cord, and the only way to undo the spell was to find the cord and untie each knot.

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Nowadays the Witch’s ladder is primarily use in healing, binding and wish-granting, knot spells may be created for such diverse purposes as reducing pain, binding love, ensuring safe travel or creating a peaceful environment in the home. The string or cord can be made out of almost any material, but natural fibres (such as hair, wool, hemp and cotton) are preferred.

By knot of one, the spell’s begun.
By knot of two, the magic comes true.
By knot of three, so it shall be.
By knot of four, this power is stored.
By knot of five, my will shall drive.
By knot of six, the spell I fix.
By knot of seven, the future I leaven.
By knot of eight, my will be fate.
By knot of nine, what is done is mine.

Elle. x