THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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The talismanscabalistic medal

Mr. M... had bought a medal in an antique shop that seemed remarkable for its originality. It was the size of a crown of six pounds. Had a silver looks but a bit oxidized. It held several engraved markings on both sides, among them the planets, intertwined circles, a triangle, unintelligible words and some initials in common characters; then some others in bizarre characters, somehow similar to Arabic, all arranged in a cabalistic way, resembling the witchery books.

Mr. M... sought the help of a somnambulist medium, Ms. J..., who told him that it was made of seven metals; that belonged to Cazotte and that it had the power of attracting the spirits, facilitating evocations.

Mr. Caudemberg, who was the author of a series of communications that supposedly he had received from the Virgin Mary, told him that it was a malefic thing, proper to attract the demons. Ms. Guldenstube, medium, sister of Baron Guldenstube, author of a book about pneumatography or direct writing, told him that the medal had a magnetic virtue and that it could provoke somnambulism.

Unsatisfied with those contradictory answers, Mr. M... showed us that medal, requesting our opinion about it, while he also wanted us to evoke a superior spirit to inquiry about the real value of that object, regarding the influence it might have.

Here is our answer:

The spirits are attracted or repelled through thought and not through material objects that have no influence on them. The superior spirits have condemned, at all times, the use of signs and cabalistic forms and every spirit who attributes any power or that intend to give talismans that denote magic power reveal their own inferiority; acting in good faith or out of pure ignorance; driven by old Earthly prejudices that they still carry or when consciously play with peoples beliefs, as a jester spirit. The cabalistic signs, when not a mere fantasy, are symbols that remind superstitious beliefs in the virtue of certain things, like numbers, the planets and their association to the metals, beliefs born at times of ignorance and that are based on plain mistakes, to which Science has made justice, showing what is behind the seven metals, the seven planets, etc. The mystic and unintelligible format of such symbols has the objective of self-imposing onto the crowds, always inclined to consider marvelous everything that they cannot understand. Whoever has studied the nature of the spirits could not rationally admit that they would be influenced by conventional forms or substances mixed in certain proportions. It would be the same as to revisit the caldron of the witches, the black cats, black chickens and other secret plots. This is different from the effect of a magnetized object as it is a known fact that it has the power of provoking somnambulism or certain nervous phenomena on the organic structure. However, the power of such objects resides exclusively on the fluid that it is momentarily impregnated by and that thus indirectly passes on, and not in the form, color and particularly not on the signs that it may show.

A spirit may say: “Make a given signal and I will know that you call me and I will come.” But in such a case the drawn signal is the expression of the thought; it is an evocation translated into a material format. Well, whatever the nature of the spirits they do not need similar means of communication. The superior spirits never utilize them. The inferior spirits may use them aiming at seducing the believers who they wish to control.

General rule: Form is nothing to the superior spirits. Thought is everything. Every spirit that gives more importance to the form than to the meaning is inferior and unworthy, even when they may say good things once in a while, as the good things are sometimes a means of seduction.
This was, generally speaking, our thoughts with respect to the talismans, as a means of entering into communication with the spirits. Unnecessary to say that it also applies to other means superstitiously employed, like avoiding diseases and accidents. Nevertheless, to the benefit of the medal owner and in order to get better knowledge into the subject, we asked the spirit of St. Louis, in the session of the Parisian Society on July 17th, 1858, who kindly communicates with us whenever there is an opportunity for instruction, to give his opinion regarding the subject. Here is his answer about the value of such a medal:

“You do well not admitting that such material object may have any power over the manifestations, be it to provoke or to impede them. Very frequently we have said that the manifestations are spontaneous and even further, that we never refuse to respond to your appeal. Why do you think we would be obliged to obey something that was manufactured by man?”

Q – What was the objective of fabricating such a medal?

A – It was made with the objective of calling the attention of those who could believe in such a thing. But only magnetizers could have made it with the intention of magnetizing and inducing a sensitive to sleep. The symbols are mere fantasies.

Q – Some say it belonged to Cazotte. Could we evoke him to give us some information about it?

A – It is unnecessary. Occupy yourselves with more serious things.”

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