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By Christopher McIntosh

A looking out learn of Eliphas Lévi and the French occult revival.

This vintage examine of the French magician Eliphas Lévi and the occult revival in France is finally to be had back after being out of print and hugely wanted for a few years. Its principal concentration is Lévi himself (1810–1875), would-be priest, progressive socialist, utopian visionary, artist, poet, and, specifically, writer of a few seminal books on magic and occultism. it really is principally due to Lévi that the Tarot is so wide-spread at the present time as a divinatory procedure and a procedure of esoteric symbolism. The magicians of the Golden sunrise have been strongly prompted by means of him, and Aleister Crowley even believed himself to be Lévi’s reincarnation. The ebook isn't just approximately Lévi, but in addition covers the period of which he was once a component and the amazing figures who preceded and him—the esoteric Freemasons and Illuminati of the past due eighteenth century, and later figures corresponding to the Rosicrucian magus Joséphin Péladan, the occultist Papus (Gérard Encausse), the Counter-Pope Eugène Vintras, and the author Joris-Karl Huysmans, whose paintings drew strongly on occult topics. those humans have been avatars of a collection of traditions that are now noticeable as an immense a part of the western historical past and that are gaining expanding realization within the academy. Christopher McIntosh’s bright account of this richly interesting period within the heritage of occultism is still as clean and compelling as ever.

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Extra resources for Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival

Sample text

Dinner over and the servants ordered to withdraw, it was proposed to form themselve s into a lodge, and to initiate me. I persisted in my refusal, and particularly refused to take the oath of keeping a secret, the very object of whi ch w as unknown to me . They dispensed with the oath, but I still refused. They became more pressing, telling me that Masonry was perfectly innocent and that its morality was unobjectionable: In reply I asked whether 38 Eliphas Levi and the French Occult Revival it was better than that of the Gospel.

You, yourselves, gentlemen, have not all said YES to this question: and ifyou have said it, how is it possible that you can persuade me that your mysteries contain nothing against honour or conscience? 'The tone I assumed had thrown the Lodge into confusion. The brethren surrounded me, telling me that I had taken things too much in earnest, and in too literal a sense: that they had never pretended to engage in any thing contrary to the duties of every true Frenchman, and that in spite of all my resistance I should nevertheless be admitted .

Dr. Vicq d'Azyr died in the manner predicted. Bailly, Roucher, Malesherbes and Nicolai were guillotined, as were the Duchesse de Gramont and the other ladies at the party. Jean de la Harpe became an ardent Catholic and entered a monastery. Cazotte himself was arrested and guillotined in 1792 on a charge of having tried to help the King escape. His prediction about the temples of reason was also correct, as I shall show in the next chapter. La Harpe survived until 1803, and after his death the record of the prophecy was found among his papers.

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