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The Black Masses of La Voisin: How a Fortune Teller Became a Murderess in the French Royal Court

Saturday, November 5, 2016 7:09
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The Black Masses of La Voisin: How a Fortune Teller Became a Murderess in the French Royal Court

Catherine Monvoisin was a woman with a dark story. Her life influenced the world of the occult and the court of Louis XIV, a famous king whose golden palace brought him immortal fame and countless lovers. Her spiritual gifts made her a wealthy and powerful woman, but when the life of the lady known as La Voisin became combined with intrigue and scandal in the French Royal Court, there was no way it could have had a happy ending.

A Woman Like No Other?

Catherine Deshayes was born around 1640. When she was a young woman she married Antoine Monvoisin. Monvoisin had a jewelry shop in Paris, but life didn't bring him good luck in business. He went bankrupt and his wife decided to handle the family budget on her own. She must have been a well-educated woman as she had some medical knowledge. Catherine was a midwife and also provided women with abortions.

Apart from this, Catherine became well-known in the city as a talented clairvoyant and fortune teller. Eventually these gifts led her to become one of the most mystical and fascinating people in the second half of 17th century Paris.

17th-century print of Catherine Deshayes’ portrait held by a winged devil.

17th-century print of Catherine Deshayes’ portrait held by a winged devil. (Public Domain)

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