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The history of psychomanteum

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Rob MacGregor: In the 16th century, John Dee, a famed English mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, used an Aztec mirror to make contact with the dead. Dee studied alchemy and divination while straddling the worlds of science and magic, and made extensive use of his mirror while pursuing his occult interests. He was also the official scryer or crystal gazer for Queen Elizabeth I. The black mirror, made of highly-polished obsidian, was brought to Europe after the conquest of Mexico by Cortés between 1527 and 1530. Mirrors in Mexico were associated with Tezcatlipoca, the dark god of war and sorcery, whose name can be translated as 'Smoking Mirror.' Aztec priests used mirrors for divination and conjuring visions.

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