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Thursday, November 24, 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.

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