Cartobook looks into the future

Do we really want to know?

André Malraux, the French writer, film director and politician, is said to have said: "If you want to read in the future, you have to leaf through the past". Not easy when your nose is too deep in the book of history, because you yourself are part of the past.

"I am not concerned with what has been done. I'm interested in what needs to be done," countered Marie Curie, a physicist and Nobel laureate. But only on paper. Because when she died, he was a relatively young man and probably never met her.

But what must be done? And when? And with what consequences? If one always knew that so well. Control freaks or impatients don't torch for long and consult those who need to know: the fortune-teller. Obviously a classic female profession, not yet conquered by men.


A long tradition

Whether she sinks herself into a dull coffee grounds or into the furrowed palm of her hand, whether she tries the polished crystal ball or the proven tarot cards - all our hopes for a happy future lie in the hands of this quite earthly being with supernatural powers. We can already be glad that Madame does not interpret the intestines of sacrificial animals, as is customary in the Orient 3000 years before Christ's birth.

This is described by the religious historian Georges Minois in his book "Geschichte der Zukunft - Orakel, Prophezeiungen, Utopien, Prognosen" ("History of the Future - Oracle, Prophecies, Utopias, Forecasts"), which appeared as early as 1998 and is deeply immersed in history. The inclined reader then suspects how strongly the view into the future is anchored in the past.

The visionary with the certain look

One thing is certain: the more turbulent the times, the more in demand are the psychic services.

Former Chancellor Adenauer is said to have dared. So did the Persian Shah. Big bosses anyway. Not to speak of stars at all. And even politicians, from whom one would not expect so much good faith, God knows, go or went occasionally or regularly to the fortune teller.

One of the most famous in French history was Marie-Anne Lenormand or Le Normand, called Mademoiselle Le Normand. She was born in 1772 in present-day Normandy, grew up in a monastery school and is said to have predicted the deposition of the abbess there. When this actually happened, writes Wikipedia, she was expelled. But she seemed to have discovered her vocation. Because from then on she made a career as the visionary with the meaningful look into the future.

A risky profession

However, she paid for this gift several times with a stay in prison - sometimes for treason, sometimes for espionage. Nevertheless, she had a large influx of people from all walks of life. Even the French Empress Josephine and Alexander I, Emperor of Russia, are said to have sought her advice. She tirelessly wrote one work after another. But the Tarot cards, which today bear her name and are used for fortune-telling, date from later times. She herself probably used a card game by J.-F. Alliette, called Etteilla.

Truth or fantasy

Take a look at our "Literature" section. There you will find the volume "Souvenirs de la Belgique" from 1822 - of course in French. In it she describes these "hundred days in misfortune" when she was sitting in the prison of Brussels. She even signed our band herself.

3 volumes contain her "Mémoires historiques et secrets de l'Impératrice Joséphine, Marie-Rose Tascher-de-la-Pagerie, première épouse de Napoléon Bonaparte", published in 1827, in which she reports on the secret memoirs of Empress Josephine. Rich in words, but by no means truthful. A large part is said to be fictitious.

Divination - a keyword with consequences

If you have now become curious about your very personal future, then you will find under the keyword "Wahrsage" in the search mask playful direction indicators for the path to knowledge. Does what comes out of it correspond to the truth? Who knows? One effect of horoscopes and oracles seems undisputed: More important than what actually happens is the push effect of the prediction, the decision-making aid, the strengthening of self-confidence. And so everyone is personally involved in what later disguises itself as a "coincidence" or "sign of heaven".

Partout not in the mood for speculation? Then hold it with Albert Einstein:

"I never think about the future. It will come soon enough".


This might interest you

Our next topic in January 2020 is exactly the right thing for dreary winter evenings and tireless hobbyists:

Cut-out sheets that have survived many decades.

Just reach for the scissors and off you go. If you can get it over your heart at all.


Translated by Jean Darquenne with the help of DeepL


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