The legendary blind woman Vanga, nicknamed the “Balkan Nostradamus,” passed away in 1996. However, her students documented numerous pre-death prophecies, including some intriguing ones for the year 2024. Vanga’s extrasensory abilities emerged during the early days of World War II when, after catching a severe cold while waiting in line for aid for the poor, she encountered a “mysterious rider.” She received from him the gift of “seeing,” allowing her to locate missing soldiers, drawing their relatives to her Bulgarian village. In the post-war years, Baba Vanga began issuing prophecies about events worldwide. Some predictions, like foreseeing the 9/11 attacks and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, were believed to have come true, while others did not, such as her 2023 prediction of a nuclear explosion at a nuclear power plant, altering the Earth’s orbit.
Vanga’s descendants claim she foresaw various events for 2024. For instance, the demise of the Kremlin’s leader at the hands of a compatriot. The idea sounds optimistic, doesn’t it? Bookmakers might soon begin taking bets on who exactly will target Vladimir Putin—Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, or Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov? Perhaps even the unofficial wife of the “Russian king,” Alina Kabaeva, will do a good deed? Using a rhythmic gymnastics club as a murder weapon—quite imaginative. But honestly, how many hits can the head of the Kremlin’s old man endure, having already crossed the eighth decade?
Vanga also predicted that quantum computers would trigger a technological revolution, and artificial intelligence would become a ubiquitous companion in everyone’s life (apparently, this prediction began coming true a bit prematurely). However, most of Vanga’s other 2024 forecasts are less optimistic. She promised terrorist attacks in Europe, attempts by some “major power” to use biological weapons, and climate catastrophes—inevitable elements in her predictions. Additionally, she foresaw hacker attacks on critical infrastructure and an economic crisis resulting from a redistribution of power between Western and Eastern countries.
During her lifetime, Baba Vanga met people in person, but to visit her, individuals from all over the world had to take time off work and buy a ticket to Bulgaria. Not very convenient if your favorite psychic lives thousands of kilometers away. Therefore, in the late USSR, a way was devised to organize supernatural sessions in a more comfortable format—through television. The idea was simple and brilliant: the psychic would predict from the studio, and millions of Soviet TV viewers from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok would be at the session in the comfort of their homes.
This is how Alan Chumak gained fame. Through the TV screen, this psychic charged Soviet citizens’ water, creams, and perfumes. In fact, anything could be charged; the main condition was to arrange everything that needed charging in front of the TV during the broadcast. Interestingly, Chumak claimed that his sessions transmitted energy and cured all illnesses, even in recordings. Therefore, although the psychic passed away in 2017, anyone can play his video on YouTube and experience its healing power. Interestingly, this doesn’t even require knowledge of Russian since Chumak conducts most of the session silently. Watch and understand why he is called the “father of Soviet ASMR.”
Hypnosis of “Perestroika”
However, the most famous TV healer in the USSR is Anatoly Kashpirovsky. Originally from Western Ukraine, he began hosting programs on Ukrainian television in 1988, ostensibly curing children of enuresis. Later, through telebridges between Kyiv and Moscow, he conducted “distance anesthesia” for his viewers, who immediately lay down for surgery. The power of this zealous fitness instructor and professional psychotherapist lay in his hypnotic gift and authoritative gaze, with which he sternly looked into the camera from under his trademark short haircut. After receiving his author’s program “Health Session” on the Central Television of the USSR, Kashpirovsky gathered nearly the entire multimillion population of the country in front of screens every evening, becoming one of the brightest symbols of “perestroika.”
Today, Kashpirovsky, having adapted to the challenges of the 21st century, actively treats everyone interested over the Internet. However, the power of the gaze of the 84-year-old psychic is no longer as potent as it once was when he furrowed his brows and sternly ordered Soviet citizens to become healthy—and they did (at least, that’s what they thought). If you want to check for yourself whether the Soviet healing hypnosis actually works, then watch Kashpirovsky in action—action begins at 36:27.
Occultist Against Pseudo-Occultists
The broadcasts of Kashpirovsky in the last years of the USSR did not pass without a trace. A significant number of people who had denied the existence of the non-material began to believe in magic and the supernatural once again. This applies not only to ordinary people—modern leaders in Russia also resort to fortune-telling and mystical rituals. Moreover, in black magic, they seek energy for the ideology of racism that has engulfed a significant part of the Russian population. At least, this is according to occultist Andriy Kosmach, who gained wide recognition after February 24, 2022, when he began exposing pseudo-occult practices of the Russian establishment. According to Kosmach, Kremlin elites are fascinated by medieval black magic, syncretic Afro-Caribbean cults (such as Voodoo), and Siberian shamanism, which is especially cherished by Russia’s top racist, Vladimir Putin.
Italian Water Witching
To think that only people in Eastern European countries believe in psychics is incorrect. Take, for example, the small Italian commune of Bayardo with a population of 350 people. Last year, the local mayor hired not a painter, driver, or baker but a… water dowser named Renato Labolani. For those unfamiliar, water dowsing is a parapsychological practice that allows finding things hidden underground. Specifically, the mayor of Bayardo needed to find water because his constituency was severely affected by drought. Labolani is not just some oddball walking around with a pendulum, asking questions while holding it: “Is there water here or not?” Indeed, that’s exactly what he does, and the weight of his actions is given by his solid background. Labolani once found water on the land of the famous Italian countess Francesca Vacca Agusta, and his resume even includes work for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Regarding the water search in Bayardo, it is known that Labolani received 300 euros for the job (don’t think that all psychics rake in money by the shovel), but whether he found a place to dig a well was not reported.
Interestingly, water dowsers, despite the lack of acceptance from official science, occasionally appear in all corners of the planet. And sometimes, they do find water. Just watch this video where a Ukrainian soldier, using divining rods, found and accurately determined the depth of a water source right in the trench:
Magic Against Corruption
Alright, what about witches? Someone might be thinking about their ex, someone about their mother-in-law, someone about their boss at work. But what about real witches? Those who use poisonous mandrake roots, candles, knives, dead dogs, and dried cat excrement in magical rituals? Do they exist in modern Europe? It turns out they do—Romania is considered one of the main centers of witchcraft. In a marginal suburb of Bucharest, one of the most famous witches, Mihaela Minca, receives a large influx of clients. People go to her to get spells for love and money. The witch doesn’t refuse those who want to punish their enemies (of course, if they deserve it).
In addition to private practice, Minca actively participates in the country’s political life. For example, a few years ago, she threw a dark potion near the entrance to the Romanian government building—her witch’s act was explained by a desire to fight corruption. Think what you want, but literally the next day, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, who, using his power, created fake jobs, started facing serious legal problems.
Some fortune tellers scrutinize the lines of a client’s palm, while others examine the patterns at the bottom of their coffee cup. However, many people prefer to have their fate predicted based on the stars (and other celestial bodies). Unfortunately, horoscopes often seem crafted by journalism newcomers who know little about the Zodiac signs but are eager to earn some extra cash. This is why astrology is often considered a pseudo-science. Nevertheless, there are individuals who approach astrology with academic rigor and thoroughness. One such academic astrologer is the British Nicholas Campion.
Campion is not only known for writing horoscopes for the Daily Mail; he also holds academic degrees from several universities, is affiliated with numerous scientific associations, and serves as the director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture. This center is unique as it is essentially the only academic institution dedicated to the cultural connections with the sky and cosmos. If you want to delve deeply into reading your fate through the stars, start with Nicholas Campion’s books, including “The Practical Astrologer,” “A History of Western Astrology,” and “The Great Year.”
Bible of a Tarot Reader
What do English philology, Tarot cards, LGBTQ activism, mystical Kabbalah, surrealist artist Salvador Dali, fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, DC Comics, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have in common? The answer is Rachel Pollack. This American trans woman was an advocate for LGBTQ rights, held a master’s degree in English from Claremont University, followed Kabbalah, and was an author of popular comics and fantasy novels, awarded prestigious Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards.
Pollack was also a passionate Tarot enthusiast with 40 years of experience and one of the leading experts in the field of these divination cards. She wrote a guide for Salvador Dali’s Tarot deck and collaborated with Neil Gaiman and artist David McKean on the creation of the stylish Vertigo Tarot deck. Although Pollack is no longer with us due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, her bestselling book, “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom,” often referred to as the “Bible of Tarot,” can be found in almost every bookstore.
Individuals with supernatural abilities are often accused of fraud. When they attempt to demonstrate something incredible, skeptics dismiss it as mere illusions. Take the legendary Polish psychokinetic specialist Miroslaw Magola, whom serious people label an illusionist, yet no one can explain how he does what he does.
Since the 1960s, Magola has been known for his ability to attract metal objects with the power of his mind. Metal objects stick to him as if he were a magnet. Magola explains his talent by advanced training of his body with kinetic energy and the ability to “ask” metal objects to move without any visible cause. Regardless of whether Magola is a magician or not, every time you see a pot firmly attached to his forehead, you can’t help but want to believe it’s real.
The Last Molfar
In the Ukrainian Carpathians, molfars are considered Hutsul extrasensory individuals, simultaneously healers, wizards, and fortune-tellers. They gained global popularity after the release of the 1964 cinematic masterpiece “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” by Ukrainian-Armenian director Sergei Parajanov. Among the characters in this tragic love story of two Hutsuls was also a molfar. To accurately portray him, expert Mikhail Nechai was invited to participate in filming, known in Ukraine as the “last molfar.”
Nechai discovered his gift at the age of 7, learning to stop bleeding in other people. Later, he mastered the entire range of molfar knowledge. During the Soviet era, a constant stream of people visited the healer’s home, even high-ranking officials from the Communist Party. Nechai was also invited to mass events, such as the 1989 “Chervona Ruta” festival in Chernivtsi, where he was asked to disperse clouds and support sunny weather. Interestingly, rain began as soon as the molfar left.
Nechai was remembered for successful predictions, such as the removal of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from power and the soon-to-follow bloody conflicts in Ukraine. However, the molfar did not witness any of these events himself. In 2011, he was stabbed to death by a schizophrenic client who did not appreciate Nechai supposedly disrespecting Christian rituals and traditions while promoting paganism. Rumor has it that Nechai predicted his horrific death long before it happened.
Source: The Gaze