22 November 2016

"Take the head of a black crow and scoop out its brain..."

"Take the head of a black crow and scoop out its brain. In place of the brain, put some dirt taken from the spot where the woman whom you seek sits, and also a little detritus from the bath, along with seven grains of barley. Bury the crow’s head in the ground, in a moist place. Once the barley grows to the height of four fingers, take some of it and rub it on your hand, wipe it on your face and forearms, and then approach the woman without speaking to her. She will chase after you and will not be able to live without you."
From The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition, a fourteenth-century encyclopedia by Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri, an Egyptian scholar, via Harper's, where additional excerpts are available.


  1. Heh. Reminds me of a recipe I once read for seducing a virgin that involved a piece of parchment which had been worn inside a virgin. Wait, what?

  2. Why am I reminded of John Collier's, "The Chaser"?

    BTW, for those of you who have NOT read "The Chaser," be advised that it is a _classic_ short-short, has been anothologized many, many times and even made into a (not-as-great) Twilight Zone episode.


    1. "anthologized"--jeez.

      Also, "The Chaser" does NOT refer to the person chasing.



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