by Scarlett Fever


The great French emperor Napoleon may well owe his successes to ancient Egyptian royalty. Not content with the military strategists in his employ, he often consulted a roll of papyrus known then as Osirus's Will for Man. Found in a royal tomb, it never left Napoleon's side until his defeat at Leipzig in 1813. Shortly after the two were separated, he met his Waterloo, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Not as well known as the I Ching, tarot cards, or runes, and certainly not as well marketed as Parker Brothers' Ouija Boards, there is something extraordinarily magical about finding a copy of Napoleon's Book of Fate in the dusty back room of a used bookstore. As with many oracles, gifts and blood sacrifices are expected first, followed by ritual chanting in a temple and some strict rules pertain about when you can bother the oracle with petty human questions. There is a specific list of thirty-two questions to choose from, each with typically cryptic answers. Napoleon consulted it before each campaign and on the eve of every battle or treaty, asking, "Have I any, or many, Enemies?" and "What is the aspect of the Seasons," and "What Political Changes are likely to take place?" You, on the other hand, may want to ask: "Shall I ever find a treasure? Will my Beloved prove true in my absence?" or, my favorite, "Inform me of all particulars relating to my future Husband."

Finding the answers is easy. Skipping the blood sacrifice, and hoping that the ancient gods understand, make five rows of at least twelve (a zodiacal reference) vertical lines (IIIIIIIIIIIIII). Note which rows are odd or even and the accompanying chart of patterns and questions tells you where to find your answer.

If the method is simple, the answers aren't. The particulars of my future husband—"Thy husband will be learned, his temper good, and his complexion fair"—aren't specific enough for me. I'm looking for a name here, something concrete. I know a lot of nice, educated, blonde men, but which one is The One? Ah well, perhaps in eliminating the blood sacrifice and temple chanting the answers begin to lose something in the translation. But it's still good fun on a dark night.   <end>

SOME COOL LINKS

NAPOLEON
http://www.erinet.com/grandio/book_nap.html (collection of Napoleonic military books)

I CHING
http://www.facade.com/attraction/i_ching/ (online instant reading) http://websites.earthlink.net/~wuwei/ (very cool & detailed site)

TAROT
http://www.facade.com/attraction/tarot (online instant reading) http://www. tiac.net/users/loosey/freemr.html (free email mini reading) http://www2.dgsys.com/~bunning/top.html (online tarot card reading course!)

RUNES
http://www.facade.com/attraction/runes/ (online instant readings) http://www.magitech.com/~runes/index.html (home page and free rune reading lessons)

OR
http://www.facade.com/ (the Facade home page has links to free readings for tarot, I Ching, and runes. The individual sites are listed above)

and

OUIJA
http://www.math.unh.edu/~black/cgi-bin/ouija.cgi (really silly online Ouija board)