THE Comte de St. Germain was certainly the greatest Oriental Adept Europe has seen during the last centuries.– Helena Blavatsky, Articles Vol. II. No. 8 May 1881
ONE of the most mysterious characters in modern history is Saint-Germain, described by his friend Prince Karl von Hesse as “one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived, the friend of humanity, whose heart was concerned only with the happiness of others.” Intimate and counselor of Kings and Princes, nemesis of deceptive ministers, Rosicrucian, Mason, accredited Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom, he worked in Europe for more than a century, faithfully performing the difficult task which had been entrusted to him.
Eighteenth century Europe witnessed a constellation of remarkable spiritual men who laboured to ease human suffering, pointed to a regenerated human community, and played a central role in the transition from the regal notion, “L’Etat, c’est moi,” to the contemporary concept of nations. The Comte de Saint-Germain was the most mysterious and enigmatic figure among them. Though he was on familiar terms with most of the crowned heads of Europe, little was known of his own life. No date or place can be assigned to his birth, and his recorded death is almost certainly a fabrication. Though brilliant and accomplished, his origin and education are unknown. Ceaselessly moving among the important capitals of the day, his activities are largely hidden. H.P.Blavatsky suggests an intimate connection between Mesmer, Saint-Martin, Cagliostro and Saint-Germain and affirms that Saint-Germain “supervised the development of events” in the career of Mesmer and directed Cagliostro to assist him. The vast span of time in which Saint-Germain operated and the level at which he worked suggest that his vision and efforts are not bounded by any single locale or period.
Ageless, Ambidextrous, Alchemist, Musician, Artist Extraordinaire
Saint-Germain first appeared in Venice early in the century, looking about forty-five years of age, extremely handsome, with intense eyes and a charming manner. About 1760 Countess von Georgy met him at the court of Louis XV. Stunned to see the Count completely unchanged over fifty years, she asked if it were really he. The Count not only confirmed her guess, but related several incidents which the two alone would have known.
In 1710 Rameau praised Saint-Germain’s clear and moving pianoforte improvisations. Prince Ferdinand von Lobkowitz received one of his compositions, and another, with the Count’s signature, eventually came into the hands of Tchaikowsky. Two others, dated 1745 and 1760, are preserved in the British Museum. Saint-Germain played the violin equally well, being favorably compared with Paganini by those who had heard both.
Saint-Germain’s knowledge of languages was phenomenal. He spoke French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese fluently and without an accent. Scholars were surprised by his facility in Greek and Latin as well as Sanskrit, Chinese and Arabic, which were not yet well taught in French colleges. He was ambidextrous and could write with both hands simultaneously. Franz Graffer witnessed Saint-Germain quickly write the same letter with both hands on two pieces of paper. He was also a superb painter and art critic. His own work was noted for the realistic lustre he gave to the precious stones he painted on the canvas. Though rumoured to have mixed mother-of-pearl in his pigments, he never revealed the secret and his colours have not been duplicated.
His knowledge of alchemy and chemistry is well attested. He admitted that he could grow pearls artificially and once removed a flaw from a large diamond owned by Louis XV. Casanova witnessed a silver sixty-centime coin taken from his own pocket transmuted into pure gold in about two minutes. When Casanova voiced doubts about what he had seen, Saint-Germain simply replied, “People who question my Art do not merit my attention,” and never saw Casanova again. Two months later Casanova gave the coin to Field Marshall Keith in Berlin. Besides his capacity to perfect metals, Saint-Germain ‘s own unchanging age and unique eating habits – no one ever saw him eat – suggest that he had in his possession the elixir vitae. Since others claim to have received direct benefit, including renewed stamina and restored health, enhanced memory and prolonged life from its derivatives, it appears that Saint-Germain possessed knowledge of Azoth, which in its three forms constitutes the Philosopher’s Stone, the power of projection and the elixir of life. **
Blavatsky and The Adept
A respected member of our Society, residing in Russia, possesses some highly important documents about Count St. Germain, and for the vindication of the memory of one of the grandest characters of modern times, it is hoped that the long-needed but missing links in the chain of his history may speedily be given to the world through these columns. – Helena Blavatsky, Articles Vol. II. No. 8 May 1881
HPB’s hope was soon fulfilled. In 1897 a series of articles appeared from the pen of Mrs. Cooper-Oakley who had travelled widely in Europe and visited many famous libraries for purposes of research, and for the first time fragments of the eventful life of the great occultist were published. These articles, with further subsequent material, were issued as a monograph in 1912, and in view of its rarity and prohibitive price this monograph has just been reissued. If the few outstanding characteristics of the famous adept and a brief allusion to one or two of the more extraordinary episodes of his appearance as the Comte which I propose to sketch in this article, lead readers to peruse the book for themselves, they will gain a striking conception of a supreme master mind in world action, of the master mystic who stands behind the thrones of kings and foretells and influences the destiny of nations. The personality of Zanoni we know very well; but he is a character of fiction. We cannot quite conceive a Zanoni in real life. But the Comte de St. Germain lived; he was seen of many at courts and in royal houses, fragments of his prophetic and magisterial conversation have been preserved, even some of his musical compositions are extant; and everywhere the Master went his personality was stamped so signally and indelibly that he exists for us as truly and realistically as any figure in political history. It is only at rare intervals and at decisive stages in history that an accredited adept such as was the Comte appears openly and seeks to influence objectively the trend of human affairs.*
Blavatsky had great respect for Saint-Germain, defending him from critical comments as “a gentleman of magnificent talents and education.” She referred to him as one of the exceptional Westerners, along with Robert Fludd, Thomas Vaughan, Parcelsus, and Pico della Mirandola, whose “temperamental affinity” to esoteric science “more or less forced the distant [Eastern] Adepts to come into personal relations with them.”
HPB called Saint-Germain a “fifth-rounder,” that is, an individual far in advance of most human beings on the evolutionary scale and an adept. She frequently linked Saint-Germain and Alessandro Cagliostro as maligned mages saying that, after those two, magic died out in Europe since the adepts,“having learned bitter lessons from the vilification and persecution of the past, pursue different tactics nowadays.”
Blavatsky refers to a “cipher Rosicrucian manuscript” of Saint-Germain that described the actual country known in the Bible as the Garden of Eden. She reports that he was said to be in possession of a unique copy of a manuscript of the Kabbalah, and was the author of another manuscript on number symbolism. HPB calls Saint-Germain a living mystery who had been met and recognized in different centuries, alluding to the tradition that he knew the secret of prolonging life.
H. S. Olcott stated, “I have traced the connection between these two mysterious personages, St-Germain and H. P. Blavatsky, messengers and agents of the White Lodge, as I believe. The one was sent to help in directing the convergent lines of karma that were to bring about the political cataclysm of the 18th century with all its appalling consequences, to let loose the moral cyclone which was to purify the social atmosphere of the world; the other came at a time when materialism was to meet its Waterloo and the new reign of spiritual high-thinking was to be ushered in through the agency of our Society.”
Patron of Freemasonry, Templar, Rosicrucian
In 1777 Saint-Germain was in Germany where he and Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel collaborated in the study of alchemy. Prince Charles was involved with the Masonic Rite of the Strict Observance, which claimed Knight Templar origins for Freemasonry. Although there is no historical record of Saint-Germain’s being active in the Craft, Cagliostro later claimed to have received Masonic initiation from him.
Besides being called a Templar by Cadet de Gassicourt, Deschamps asserted that Saint-Germain had personally initiated Cagliostro into the Order. Graffer reported that Saint-Germain in 1776 explained the principles of magnetism to Mesmer who had already begun to discover them. After their discussion, Mesmer gave up the use of magnetic iron and resorted entirely to animal magnetism. More than one writer of the time suspected that Saint-Germain’s guiding hand was upon a number of Masonic and secret spiritual societies whose heads were unknown. Besides the Frates Lucis and the Knights Templar, his name is associated with the Asiatic Brothers, the Order of Strict Observance, which he helped to found, and Rosicrucian groups. **
The Stranger who gave courage to doubters and sealed the destiny of the New Nation
In his Secret Destiny of America Manly P Hall refers to the appearance in America, prior to
the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, of a mysterious Rosicrucian philosopher, a strict vegetarian who ate only foods that grew above the ground, who was a friend and teacher of Franklin and Washington, and who seemed to have played an important role in the founding of the new republic.
Some years ago, while visiting the Theosophical colony at Ojai, California A. T. Warrington, esoteric secretary of the society, discussed with me a number of historical curiosities, which led to examination of his rare old volume of early American political speeches of a day earlier than those preserved in the first volumes of the Congressional Record. He made particular mention of a speech by an unknown man at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The particular book was not available at the moment, but Mr. Warrington offered to send me a copy of the speech, and he did; but unfortunately neglected to append the title or the date of the book. He went to India subsequently, and died at the Theosophical headquarters at Adyar, in Madras … ~ Manly P. Hall, The Secret Destiny of America
in May 1938 the speech appeared in The Theosophist, official publication of the Theosophy Society published in Adyar.
On July 4, 1776, in the old State House in Philadelphia, a group of patriotic men were gathered for the solemn purpose of proclaiming the liberty of the American colonies. The letters of Thomas Jefferson (preserved in the Library of Congress) contained a detailed description of this portentous session. In reconstructing the scene, remember that if the Revolutionary War had failed every man who had signed the parchment then lying on the table would be subject to the penalty of death for high treason. Also, the delegates representing the various colonies were didn’t agree on the policies which should dominate the new nation.
There were several speeches. In the balcony patriotic citizens crowded all available space and listened attentively to the proceedings. Jefferson expressed himself with great vigor and John Adams of Boston spoke and with great strength. The Philadelphia printer, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, quiet and calm as usual, spoke his mind with well-chosen words. The delegates hovered between sympathy and uncertainty as the long hours of the Philadelphia summer day crept by, for life is sweet when there is danger of losing it. The lower doors were locked and a guard was posted to prevent interruption. According to Jefferson it was late in the afternoon before the delegates gathered their courage to press on with the business at hand. The talk was about axes, scaffolds and the gibbet when suddenly a strong booming voice was heard and the speech began:
Gibbet! They may stretch our necks on all the gibbets in the land; they may turn every rock into a scaffold; every tree into a gallows; every horne into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die! They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds, and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth! The British King may blot out the stars of God from the sky, but he cannot blot out His words written on that parchment there. The works of God may perish: His words never!
The words of this declaration will live in the world long after our bones are dust. To the mechanic in his workshop they will speak hope: to the slave in the mines freedom: but to the coward kings, these words will speak in tones of warning they cannot choose but hear …
Sign that parchment! Sign, if the next moment the gibbet’s rope is about your neck! Sign, if the next minute this hall rings with the clash of falling axes! Sign, by all your hopes in life or death, as men, as husbands, as fathers, brothers, sign your names to the parchment, or be accursed forever! Sign, and not only for yourselves, but for all ages, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.
Nay, do not start and whisper with surprise! It is truth, your own hearts witness it: God proclaims it. Look at this strange band of exiles and outcasts, suddenly transformed into a people; a handful of men, weak in arms, but mighty in God-like faith; nay, look at your recent achievements, your Bunker Hill, your Lexington, and then tell me, if you can, that God has not given America to be free!
It is not given to our poor human intellect to climb to the skies, and to pierce the Council of the Almighty One. But me thinks I stand among the awful clouds which veil the brightness of Jehovah’s throne.
Me thinks I see the recording Angel come trembling up to that throne and speak his dread message. ‘Father, the old world is baptized in blood. Father, look with one glance of Thine eternal eye, and behold evermore that terrible sight, man trodden beneath the oppressor’s feet, nations lost in blood, murder, and superstition, walking hand in hand over the graves of the victims, and not a single voice of hope to man!’
He stands there, the Angel, trembling with the record of human guilt. But hark! The voice of God speaks from out the awful cloud: ‘Let there be light again! Tell my people, the poor and oppressed to go out from the old world, from oppression and blood, and build My altar in the new.’
As I live, my friends, I believe that to be His voice! Yes, were my soul trembling on the verge of eternity, were this hand freezing in death, were this voice choking in the last struggle, I would still, with the last impulse of that soul, with the last wave of that hand, with the last gasp of that voice, implore you to remember this truth-God has given America to be free!
Yes, as I sank into the gloomy shadows of the grave, with my last faint whisper I would beg you to sign that parchment for the sake of those millions whose very breath is now hushed in intense expectation as they look up to you for the awful words: ‘You are free.’
The unknown speaker fell exhausted into his seat. The delegates, carried away by his enthusiasm, rushed forward. John Hancock scarcely had time to pen his bold signature before the quill was grasped by another. It was done. The delegates turned to express their gratitude to the unknown speaker for his eloquent words. He was not there.
Interesting Implications in The Stranger’s Words
He speaks of the ‘rights of man’ although Thomas Paine’s book by that name was not published until thirteen years later.
He mentions the “all-seeing eye of God” which was afterwards to appear on the reverse of the Great Seal of the new nation.
There is a lot to indicate that perhaps the unknown speaker was one of the agents of an unseen order, guarding and directing the destiny of America.
Who was this strange man who sealed the direction of the new nation?
DURING the last quarter of every hundred years an attempt is made by those Masters, of whom I have spoken, to help on the spiritual progress of Humanity. Towards the close of each century you will invariably find that an outpouring or upheaval of spirituality–or call it mysticism if you prefer–has taken place. Some one or more persons have appeared in the world as their agents, and a greater or less amount of occult knowledge or teaching has been given out.– H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy p. 194
Was this strange man, who seemed to speak with a divine authority, whose solemn words gave courage to the doubters and sealed the destiny of the new nation, Saint-Germain? His name isn’t recorded; none of those present knew him; or if they did, not one acknowledged the acquaintance. How he had entered into the locked and guarded room is not told, nor is there any record of the manner of his departure. No one claimed to have seen him before, and there is no mention of him after this single episode. Only his imperishable speech bears witness to his presence.
In esoteric circles some feel the unknown man was Saint-Germain. It is believed only a master of his attainment could have charged the atmosphere of the room with such fire that all fear melted away. He had assembled many of his most stalwart friends (Ben Franklin) from over the centuries to embody at that point in time and space to help create a country dedicated to freedom, the most important freedom being that of religion. His greatest ally in that cause was George Washington. (The father of our country was not in the room of course.)
In an old book of rules used by the brothers of the secret order is the following: Our brothers shall wear the dress and practice the customs of those nations to which they travel so that they shall not be conspicuous or convey any appearance that is different or unusual. Under no condition shall they reveal their true identity or the work which they have come to accomplish, but shall accomplish all things secretly and without violating the laws or statutes of the countries in which they work.
The identity of the stranger is not proven, the incident is preserved only in a rare old book. One needs only to go within for Truth; the embodiment perhaps irrelevant.
The basic premise of Theosophy – contrary to the many atheists, agnostics, sceptics, scientists, and even many religious and spiritual people who say that no-one really knows the Truth – is that TRUTH EXISTS and that there are those who know. *** As HPB proclaimed, “There is no religion higher than truth!”
In Sanskrit it is called the Gupta Vidya meaning Secret Knowledge. It’s the Sacred Science, the Universal Philosophy which reveals all mysteries and unveils Truth and Divinity itself. In anonymity, well-ordered aid has been given by perfected beings to the struggle for human equity and justice that has been America’s destiny through the past into our present time. It is our duty and our privilege to be of service to this Universal Plan.
The life of Saint-Germain demonstrated the spiritual allegory of which he wrote. It was too majestic and marvelous for any but the most imaginative and intuitive minds to grasp. In the history of the eighteenth century, le comte de Saint-Germain has left the image of a universal spirit, gifted with a rare intuition, capable of bringing to the forefront – in his own spiritual odyssey – the multiple possibilities of which his time carried the promise.
Keep the link unbroken! ~ Helena P. Blavatsky
Helena Blavatsky, Articles Vol. II. No. 8 May 1881.
* The Comte de St. Germain by Isabel Cooper-Oakley
** Saint Germain-Great Teachers Series, Theosophy Trust
H. P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary
Manly P. Hall, The Secret Destiny of America
The Theosophist May 1938
Count de Saint Germain: Two Messengers of the White Lodge by H.S. Olcott
[Reprinted from The Theosophist July 1905]; Theosophical Publishing House AdyarChennai (Madras) India
Legends of the Revolution by George Lippard, published 1847
The Count de Saint Germain at WisdomWorld.org
HPB Speaks 1:234
The Count of Saint-Germain by David Pratt
The Letters of Thomas Jefferson, Library of Congress
Articles from Theosophical Encyclopedia published by the Theosophical Publishing House Manila.
*** How to successfully study the Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK
H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy p. 194
Marie-Rayonde Delarme, Le comte de Saint-Get-main