Nowadays, our materialistic science derides alchemists as misguided mystics who followed a dream of discovering a substance that could transform base metals into gold. Yes, they admit that much scientific discovery was accomplished in these pursuits, but they toss out the objective of the alchemists as just a pipe dream. Nevertheless, there are interesting stories there, some so deeply curious that the mind cannot grapple with the implications, and they are immediately discarded as too fantastic for serious consideration. I want to recount a few of them here so that the reader who is not familiar with the literature might be sufficiently intrigued to do researh on his/her own.
But first, a short discussion of the “Philosopher’s Stone.” This is the goal of the Alchemist; a fabled substance that can not only transmute metals into gold, but can heal any illness, banish all sickness from a person’s life, and confer an extended lifespan, if not immortality, on the body. At least, that is how it is described. That may or may not be a “cover story.”
It was thought that, by a lengthy process of purification, one could extract from various minerals the “natural principle” that supposedly caused gold to “grow” in the earth. In an anonymous 17th Century alchemical text, The Sophic Hydrolith, this process is described as “purging [the mineral] of all that is thick, nebulous, opaque and dark,” and what would be left would be a mercurial “water of the Sun,” which had a pleasant, penetrating odor, and was very volatile.
Part of this liquid is put aside, and the rest is then mixed with a twelfth of its weight of “the divinely endowed body of gold,” (ordinary gold won’t do because it is defiled by daily use). This mixture then forms a solid amalgam which is heated for a week. It is then dissolved in some of the mercurial water in an egg-shaped phial.
Then, the remaining mercurial water is added gradually, in seven portions; the phial is sealed, and kept at such a temperature as will hatch an egg. After 40 days, the phial’s contents will be black; after seven more days small grainy bodies like fish eyes are supposed to appear. Then the “Philosopher’s Stone” begins to make its appearance: first reddish in color; then white, green and yellow like a peacock’s tail’ then dazzling white; and later a deep glowing red. Finally, ” the revivified body is quickened, perfected and glorified” and appears in a beautiful purple.
This and many similarly obscure and crazy sounding texts are the bulk of Alchemical Literature. But, we have to remember one thing that was quoted at the beginning of this series of pages:
Fulcanelli writes in The Dwellings of The Philosophers
“With their confused texts, sprinkled with cabalistic expressions, the books remain the efficient and genuine cause of the gross mistake that we indicate. For, in spite of the warnings… students persisted in reading them according to the meanings that they hold in ordinary language. They do not know that these texts are reserved for initiates, and that it is essential, in order to understand them, to be in possession of their secret key. One must first work at discovering this key.
“Most certainly these old treatises contain, if not the entire science, at least its philosophy, its principles, and the art of applying them in conformity with natural laws. But if we are unaware of the hidden meaning of the terms – for example, the meaning of Ares, which is different from Aries – strange qualifications purposely used in the composition of such works, we will understand nothing of them or we will be infallibly led into error.
“We must not forget that it is an esoteric science. Consequently, a keen intelligence, an excellent memory, work, and attention aided by a strong will are NOT sufficient qualities to hope to become learned in this subject. Nicolas Grosparmy writes,
‘Such people truly delude themselves who think that we have only made our books for them, but we have made them to keep out all those who are not of our sect.‘
“Batsdorff, in the beginning of his treatise, charitably warns the reader in these terms,
‘Every prudent mind must first acquire the Science if he can; that is to say, the principles and the means to operate. Otherwise he should stop there, without foolishly using his time and his wealth. And so, I beg those who will read this little book to credit my words. I say to them once more, that THEY WILL NEVER LEARN THIS SUBLIME SCIENCE BY MEANS OF BOOKS, AND THAT IT CAN ONLY BE LEARNED THROUGH DIVINE REVELATION, HENCE IT IS CALLED DIVINE ART, or through the means of a good and faithful master; and since there are very few of them to whom God has granted this grace, there are also very few who teach it.’
“…other reasons for the difficulty that we encounter in deciphering the enigma:
‘here is the first and true cause why nature has hidden this open and royal palace from so many philosophers, even those gifted with a very subtle mind. Because, straying since their youth away from the SIMPLE PATH OF NATURE through conclusions of logic and metaphysics, and DECEIVED BY THE ILLUSIONS OF THE VERY BEST BOOKS, they imagine and swear that this art is more profound, more difficult to know than any metaphysics, although ingenuous nature advances in a STRAIGHT AND VERY SIMPLE STEP IN THIS PATH AS IN ALL THE OTHERS.” [Fulcanelli, 1964, 1999]
But, our quoted text about obtaining the “Philosopher’s Stone” above is anything BUT simple, for sure! Nevertheless, I persisted in reading again many texts of this kind and searching for clues. It was in reading the anecdotes about so-called Alchemists that I became convinced that there was, indeed, something very mysterious going on here.
For example: In 1666, Johann Friedrich Schweitzer, physician to the Prince of Orange, was visited by a stranger who was “of a mean stature, a little long face, with a few small pock holes, and most black hair, not at allcurled, a beardless chin, about three or four and forty years of age (as I guessed), and born in North Holland.”
Before I finish the story, it needs to be pointed out that Dr. Schweitzer, who was the author of several medical and botanical books, was a careful and objective observer and was a colleague of the philosopher, Spinoza. Schweitzer was a trained scientific observer; a reputable medical man, and not given to fraud or practical jokes. And yet, what I am about to describe is, in modern understanding, impossible.
Now, what happened was that the stranger made small talk for awhile and then, more or less out of the blue, asked Dr. Schweitzer whether he would recognize the “Philosopher’s Stone” if he saw it. He then took out of his pocket a small ivory box that held “three ponderous pieces or small lumps… each about the bigness of a small walnut, transparent, of a pale brimstone colour.” The stranger told Schweitzer that this was the very substance sought for so long by the Alchemists.
Schweitzer held one of the pieces in his hand and asked the stranger if he could have just a small piece. The man refused, but Schweitzer managed to purloin a small bit by scraping it with his fingernail. The visitor left after promising to return in three weeks time to show Dr. Schweitzer some “curious arts in the fire.”
Well, as soon as he was gone, Dr. Schweitzer ran to his laboratory where he melted some lead in a crucible and added the tiny piece of stone. But, the metal did NOT turn into gold as he anticipated. Instead, “almost the whole mass of lead flew away, and the remainder turned into a mere glassy earth.”
Three weeks later, the mysterious stranger was at his door again. They conversed, and for a long time the man refused to allow Dr. Schweitzer see his stones again, but, at last “he gave me a crumb as big as a rape or turnip seed, saying, receive this small parcel of the greatest treasure of the world, which truly fe kings or princes have ever known or seen.”
Schweitzer must have been a whiner because he recounts that he protested that this was not sufficient to transmute as much as four grains of lead into gold. At this, the stranger took the piece back, cut it in half, and flung one part in the fire, saying: “it is yet sufficient for thee!”
At this point, Schweitzer confessed his theft from the previous visit, and described how the substance had behaved with his molten lead. The stranger began to laugh and told him: “Thou are more dextrous to commit theft than to apply thy medicine; for if thous hadst only wrapped up thy stolen prey in yellow wax, to preserve it from the arising fumes of lead, it would have penetrated to the bottom of the lead, and transmuted it to gold.”
The guy leaves at this point and promises to return the next morning to show Schweitzer the correct way to perfom the transmutation but,
“The next day he came not, nor ever since. Only he sent an excuse at half an hour past nine that morning, by reason of his great business, and promised to come at three in the afternoon, but never came, nor have I heard of him since; whereupon I began to doubt of the whole matter. Nevertheless late that night my wife… came soliciting and vexing me to make experiment… saying to me, unless this be done, I shall have no rest nor sleep all this night… She being so earnest, I commanded a fire to be made – thinking, aslas, now is this man (though so divine in discourse) foudn guilty of falsehood… My wife wrapped the said matter in wx, and I cut half an ounce of six drams of old lead, and put into a crucible in the fire, which being melted, my wife put in the said Medicine made up in a small pill or button, which presently made such a hissing and bubbling in its perfect operation, that within a quarter of an hour all the mass of lead was transmuted into the … finest gold.”
The famous philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, who lived nearby, came the next day to examine this gold and was convinced that Schweitzer was telling the truth. The Assay Master of the province, a Mr. Porelius, tested the metal and pronounced it genuine; and Mr. Buectel, the silversmith, subjected it to further test that confirmed that it was gold.
Twenty years before Schweitzer’s meeting with the mysterious stranger, Jan Baptista van Helmont, who was responsible for several important scientific discoveries, and was the first man to realize that there were other gases than air; and who invented the term “gas,” wrote:
“For truly I have divers times seen it [The Philosopher’s Stone], and handled it with my hands, but it ws of colour such as is in Saffron in its powder, yet weighty, and shining like unto powdered glass. There was once given unto me on fourth part of one grain [16 milligrams]… I projected [it] upon eighty ounces [227 grams] of quicksilver [mercury] made hot in a crucible; and straightaway all the quicksilver, with a certain degree of noise, stood still from flowing, and being congealed, settled like unto a yellow lump; but after pouring it out, the bellows blowing, there were found eight ounces and a little less than eleven grains of the purest gold.”
Sir Isaac Newton studied alchemy until his death, remaining convinced that the possiblity of transmutation existed. The great philosophers and mathematicians, Descartes and Leibnitz, both were convinced that transmutation was a reality. Even Robert Boyle who wrote a book entitled The Sceptical Chymist, was sure until the end of his life, that transmutation was possible!
Why? These men were scientists. And, the argument that their ideas or observations were less scientific that those of the present day simply does not stand up to observation and research.
In Europe, alchemists were rumored at various times to have gained immortality, and one of these was Nicolas Flamel.
Flamel was a poor scribe, or scrivener and copyist. The story goes that, in 1537 he bought an old illuminated book
“The cover of it was of brass, well bound, all engraven with letters of strange figures… This I know that I could not read them nor were they either Latin of French letters… As to the matter that was written within, it was engraved (as I suppose) with an iron pencil or graver upon… bark leaves, and curiously coloured…”
Reportedly, the first page was written in golden letters that said Abraham the Jew, Priest, Prince, Levite, Astrologer and Philosopher, to the Nation of the Jews dispersed by the Wrath of God in France, wisheth Health. So, quite rightly Flamel referred to the manuscript as the Book of Abraham the Jew.
The dedication was followed by curses upon anyone who was not either a priest or a Jew reading the book. But, Flamel was a scribe, which he must have imagined exempted him from these curses, so he read the book. The purpose of the book was avowedly to give assistance to the dispersed Jews by teaching them to transmute lead into gold so that they could pay their taxes to the hated Roman government. The instructions were clear and easy, but only described the latter part of the process. The instructions for the beginning were said to be in the illustrations given on the 4th and 5th leaves of the book. Flamel remarked that, although these were well executed,
“yet by that could no man ever have been able to understand it without being well skilled in their Qabalah, which is a series of old traditions, and also to have been well studied in their books.”
As the story goes, Flamel tried for 21 years to find someone who could explain these pictures to him. Finally, his wife urged him to go to Spain and seek out a rabbi or other learned Jew who might assist him. So, he made the famous pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela, carrying with him carefully made copies of the book.
After his devotions at the shrine, he went to the city of Leon in northern Spain where he met a certain “Master Canches,” a Jewish physician. When this man saw the illustrations, he was “ravished with great astonishment and joy,” upon recognizing them as parts of a book that had long been believed to have been destroyed. He declared his intention to return with Flamel to France, but he died on the trip at Orleans. Flamel returned to Paris alone. But, apparently, the old Jew must have told him something for he wrote:
“I had now the prima materia, the first principles, yet not thier first preparation, which is a thing most difficult, above all things in the world… Finally, I found that which I desired, which I also knew by the strong scent and odour thereof. Having this, I easily accomplished the Mastery… The fist time that I made projection [transmutation] was upon Mercury, whereof I turned half a pound, or thereabouts, into pure silver, better than that of the Mine, as I mayself assayed, and made others assay many times. This was upon a Monday, the 17th of January about noon, in my home, Perrenelle [his wife] only being present, in the year of the restoring of mankind 1382.”
Note this date of January 17th, as it will come up numerous times! Several months later Flamel did his first transmutation into gold.
Is this just a story? Well, what IS true and can be verified is that Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel endowed “fourteen hospitals, three chapels and seven churches, in the city of Paris, all which we had new built from the ground, and enriched with great gifts and revenues, with many reparations in their churchyards. We also have done at Boulogne about as much as we have done at Paris, not to speak of the charitable acts which we both did to particular poor people, principally widows and orphans.”
After Flamel’s death in 1419 the rumours began. Hoping that they could find something hidden in one of his houses, people searched them again and again until one of them was completely destroyed. There were stories that Nicolas and Perenelle were still alive. Supposedly, she had gone to Switzerland and he buried a log in her grave, and then another log was buried at his own funeral.
In the intervening centuries, the stories persist that Flamel and Perenelle defeated death. The 17th century traveller, Paul Lucas, while travelling in Asia Minor, met a Turkish philosopher who told him that “true philosophers had had the secret of prolonging life for anything up to a thousand years…” Lucas said “At last I took the liberty of naming the celebrated Flamel, who, it was said, possessed the Philosopher’s Stone, yet was certainly dead. He smiled at my simplicity, and asked with an air of mirth: Do you really believe this? No, no, my friend, Flamel is still living; neither he nor his wife has yet tasted death. It is not above three years since I left both… in India; he is one of my best friends.”
In 1761, Flamel and his wife were reported to have been seen attending the opera in Paris.
In the year 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, known as the “Young Pretender,” staged his Jacobite rebellion in an attempt to regain the British throne for his father the “Old Pretender.” The Jacobite cause, for all intents and purposes, had been crushed at the battle of Culloden in April of that year, yet there was a constant fear by the British government that the Jacobites were still plotting with their French sympathizers, and being French and in London was, at that time, a liability. This “spy fever” resulted in the arrest of many Frenchmen on trumped up charges, and most of them were later released, but it was a dangerous time for Gallic visitors!
In November of that year, one Frenchman was arrested and accused of having pro-Jacobite letters in his possession. He became very indignant and claimed that the correspondence had been “planted” on him. Considering the mood of the time, it is quite surprising that he was believed and released!
Horace Walpole, English author and Member of Parliament, wrote a letter about this incident to Sir Horace Mann on December 9, 1745 saying:
“The other day they seized an odd man who goes by the name of Count Saint-Germain. He has been here these two years, and will not tell who he is or whence, but professes that he does not go by his right name. He sings and plays on the violin wonderfully, is mad and not very sensible.”
This is one of the few “authentic” comments about one of the most mysterious characters of the 18th century available.
Another acquaintance of the “Count Saint-Germain, Count Warnstedt, described Saint-Germain as “The completest charlatan, fool, rattle-pate, windbag and swindler.”
Yet, his last patron said that Saint-Germain was “perhaps one of the greatest sages who ever lived.”
Clearly this was one of those people you either love or hate!
Saint-Germain first comes to our attention in the fashionable circles of Vienna in about 1740, where he made a stir by flaunting the fashion of the day by wearing black all the time! Everybody else was into bright colors, satins and laces, ornate patterns and designs; and along comes Saint-Germain with his somber black outfits set off by glittering diamonds on his fingers, shoe buckles, and snuff box! What an attention getter! If you want to stand out in a roomful of robins, cardinals and bluejays, just be a blackbird! He also had the habit of carrying handfuls of loose diamonds in his pockets instead of cash!
So, there he is, garnering attention to himself in this bizarre way, and naturally he makes the acquaintance of the local leaders of fashion, Counts Zabor and Lobkowitz who introduce him to the French Marshal de Belle Isle. Well, it seems that the Marshal was seriously under-the-weather, but his illness is not recorded so we can’t evaluate the claims that Saing-Germain cured him, but nevertheless, the Marshal was so gratefull he took Saint-Germain to Paris with him and set him up with apartments and a laboratory.
The details of the Count’s life in Paris are pretty well known, and it is there that the rumors began. There is an account by a “Countess de B___” (a nom de plume, it seems, so we have to hold the information somewhat suspect), who wrote in her memoirs, Chroniques de l’oeil de boeuf, that, when she met the Count at a soiree given by the aged Countess von Georgy, whose late husband had been Ambassador to Venice in the 1670’s, that the old Countess remembered Sain-Germain from her days in Venice. So, the old girl asked the Count if his father had been there at the time. He replied no, but HE had!
Well, the man that Countess von Georgy had known was at least 45 years old THEN, at least 50 years ago, which appeared to be the age of the man standing before her! The Count smiled and said: “I am very old.”
“But then you must be nearly 100 years old,” the Countess exclaimed.
“That is not impossible,” the Count replied. He then related some details that convinced the old lady that it was really him she knew in Venice.
The Countess exclaimed: “I am already convinced. You are a most extraordinary man, a devil!”
“For pity’s sake!” cried Saint-Germain in a loud voice heard all around the room. “No such names!” And he began to tremble all over and left the room immediately.
A pretty dramatic introduction to society, don’t you think? But, was it real, or the ploy of a very clever con artist? Did he deliberately choose to adopt the name of someone long dead, about whom he may have already known a great deal, and then did he set out to deceive and con in a manner well known to us in the present time?
In any event, that was the beginning of the “legend,” and many more stories of a simlar nature spread through society like wildfire. Saint-Germain apparently fed the fires with hints that he had known the “Holy Family” intimately and had been invited to the marriage feast at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine, and dropped casually the remark that he “had always known that Christ would meet a bad end.” According to him, he had been very fond of Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, and had even proposed her canonization at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325! What a guy!
Pretty soon the Count had Louis XV and his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, eating out of his hand, and it certainly COULD be true that he was a French spy in England when he was arrested there, because he later did handle some sticky business for the credulous king of France.
In 1760, Louis sent Saint-Germain to the Hague as his personal representative to arrange a loan with Austria that was supposed to help finance the SevenYears’ war against England. But, while in Holland, the Count had a falling out with his friend Casanova, who was also a diplomat at the Hague. Casanova tried hard to discredit Saint-Germain in public, but without success. One has to wonder just what it was that Casanova discovered or came to think about Saint-Germain at this time.
In any even, Saint-Germain was making other enemies. One of these enemies was the Duc de Choiseul, King Louis’ Foreign Minister. The Duc discovered that Saint-Germain had been scoping out the possibilities of arranging a peace between England and France. Now, that doesn’t sound like a bad plan at all, but the Duc managed to convince the King that this was a dire betrayal, and the Count had to flee to England and then back to Holland.
In Holland, the Count lived under the name Count Surmont, and he worked to raise money to set up laboratories in which he made paint and dyes and engaged in his alchemical experiments. By all accounts, he was successful in SOME sense, because he disappeared from Holland with 100,000 guilders!
He next shows up in Belgium as the “Marquis de Monferrat. He set up another laboratory with “other people’s money” before disappearing again.
For a number of years, Saint-Germain’s activities continued to be reported from various parts or Europe and, in 1768 he popped up in the court of Catherine the Great. Turkey had just declared war on Russia, and Saint-Germain promoted himself as a valuable diplomat because of his status as an “insider” in French politics. Pretty soon he was the adviser of Count Alexei Orlov, head of the Russian Imperial Forces. Orlov made him a high-ranking officer of the Russian Army and Saint-Germain acquired an English alias, “General Welldone.”
His successes in Russia could have enabled him to retire on his laurels, but he didn’t. In 1774 he appeared in Nuremberg seeking money from the Margrave of Brandenburg, Charles Alexander. His ostensible alias at this point (apparently he was no longer satisfied with being either a Count or a Marquis) was Prince Rakoczy of Transylvania!
Naturally, the Margrave of Brandenburg was impressed when Count Orlov visited Nuremburg on a state visit and embraced “the Prince” warmly. But later, when the Margrave did a little investigating, he discovered that the REAL Prince Rakoczy was indubitably dead and that this counterfeit Prince was, in fact, only Count Saint-Germain!
Saint-Germain did not deny the charges, but apparently he felt that it was now time to move on.
The Duc de Choiseul, Saint-Germain’s old enemy, had claimed that the Count was in the employ of Frederick the Great. But, that was probably not true because, at this point, Saint-Germain wrote to Fredricerick begging for patronage. Frederick ignored him which is peculiar if he HAD been in the employ of Prussian king.
But, never to be discouraged, as any good con man, Saint-Germain went to Leipzig and presented himself to Prince Frederick Augustus of Brunswick as a Freemason of the fourth grade!
Now, Frederick Augustus was the Grand Master of the Prussian Masonic Lodges, so this was REALLY a stupid move on the part of Saint-Germain! But, it is true of the pattern of all con men… their egos eventually prove to be their downfall! The Prince challenged Saint-Germain because he did not know the secret signals and sent him away as a fraud.
In 1779, Saint-Germain was an old man in his 60’s who continued to claim to be vastly older. He must have learned to subdue his ego somewhat because, at Eckenforde in Schleswig, Germany, he was able to charm Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel. At this point, part of his scam included being a mystic, for he is recorded as having told Prince Charles:
“Be the torch of the world. If your light is that only of a planet, you will be as nothing in the sight of God. I reserve for you a splendour, of which the solar glory is a shadow. You shall guide the course of the stars, and those who rule Empires shall be guided by you.”
Sounds rather like the build-up to another con job!
On February 27, 1784, Saint-Germain died at Prince Charles’ home on Eckenforde. He was buried locally and the Prince erected a stone that said:
He who called himself the Comte de Saint-Germain and Welldone of whom there is no other information, has been buried in this church.
And then, the Prince burned all of the Count’s papers “lest they be misinterpreted.”
Supposedly there is evidence that the Count did NOT die, and many occultists claim he is still alive for these past two centuries!
The mystery of Saint-Germain is mostly due to the uncertaintly surrounding his origins. One source says that he was born in 1710 in San Germano, son of a tax collector. Eliphas Levi, the 19th century occultist said that Saint-Germain was born in Lentmeritz in Bohemia, and was the bastard son of a nobleman who was also a Rosicrucian.
It IS known that he had a genuine gift for languages and could speak French, German, English, Dutch and Russian fluently. He also claimed that he was fluent in Chinese, Hindu and Persian, but there was no one about to test him on those. And, we note that Horace Walpole said that he was a wonderful violinist and singer and painter, though none of his purported art has been known to survive. Supposedly, he was able to paint jewels that glittered in a very lifelike way.
There is also a great deal of evidence that Saint-Germain was an expert jeweller – he claimed to have studied the art with the Shah of Persia! In any event, he is reported to have repaired a flawed diamond for Louis XV, who was very pleased with the result.
Saint-Germain also had an extensive knowledge of chemistry in all its branches at the time, and the many laboratories that he set up with borrowed money were all designed to produce brighter and better pigments and dyes and also for alchemical studies.
Then, there was his reputation as a healer. Not only did he cure the Marshal de Belle Isle, he also cured a friend of Madame de Pompadour of mushroom poisoning.
Saint-Germain NEVER ate in company, which was obviously part of his plan to focus attention on himself. He could sit at a table where everyone else was gorging on the most amazing array of delectable dishes, and eat and drink nothing. Casanova wrote:
“Instead of eating, he talked from the beginning of the meal to the end, and I followed his example in one respect as I did not eat, but listened to him with the greatest attention. It may safely be said that as a conversationalist he was unequalled.”
Colin Wilson, author of The Occult, thought that Saint-Germain must have been a vegetarian.
So, in the end, the REAL mystery, aside from his origins, but the two may be connected, is WHERE did Saint-Germain get all his specialized knowledge?
Of course, as we have noted here, not all who met Saint-Germain were impressed by his talents. Casanova was entertained by him, but nevertheless thought that he was a fraud and a charlatan. He wrote:
“This extraordinary man, intended by nature to be the king of impostors and quacks, would say in an easy, assured manner that he was three hundred years old, that he knew the secret of the Universal Medicine, that he possessed a mastery over nature, that he could melt diamonds, professing himself capable of forming, out of 10 or 12 small diamonds, one of the finest water… All this, he said, was a mere trifle to him. Notwithstanding his boastings, his bare-faced lies, and his manifold eccentricities, I cannot say I found him offensive. In spite of my knowledge of what he was and in spite of my own feelings, I thought him an astonishing man…”
Count Alvensleben, a Prussian Ambassador to the Court at Dresden, wrote in 1777:
“He is a highly gifted man with a very alert mind, but completely without judgement, and he has only gained his singular reputation by the lowest and basest flattery of which a man is capable, as well as by his outstanding eloquence, especially if one lets oneself be carried away by the fervour and the enthusiasm with which he can express himself. Inordinate vanity is the mainspring driving his whole mechanism.”
But, in the case of the Count Saint-Germain, we have a little problem: just which of the stories are really about him? It seems that Berthold Volz, in the 1920’s, did some deep research on the subject and discovered, or so it is claimed, that the Duc de Choiseul, who was overwhelmingly jealous of the Count, hired a look-alike imposter to go about as the Count, exaggerating and playing the fool in order to place the Count in a bad light. Or is this just another story designed to perpetuate the legend?
Supposedly, Saint-Germain foretold the outbreak of the French Revolution to Marie Antoinette who purportedly wrote in her diary that she regretted that she did not heed his advice. I haven’t seen it, so can’t vouch for it. But, in my opinion, it wouldn’t be too hard a thing to predict, considering the political climate of the time!
It was said that Saint-Germain appeared in Wilhelmsbad in 1785, a year after he was supposed to have died, and he was accompanied by the magician Cagliostro, the hypnotist Anton Mesmer, and the “unknown philosopher,” Louis Claude de St. Martin.
Then he was alleged to have gone to Sweden in 1789 to warn King Gustavus III of danger. Next he visited his friend, diarist Mademoiselle d’Adhemar, who said he still looked like he was only 46 years old! Apparently, he told her that she would see him five more times, and she claimed this was, in fact, the case. Supposedly the last visit was the night before the murder of the Duc de Berri in 1820.
Napoleon III ordered a commission to investigate the life and actvities of Saint-Germain, but the findings were destroyed in a fire at the Hotel de Ville in Paris in 1871 – which many people think is beyond coincidence. My thought would be that the only reason to destroy such a report would be if it had proved the Count to be a fraud. The fact is, the legend lives on without this report… therefore, it is likely that the report would have made some difference in the legend, such as putting it to rest as a fraud. Had it been helpful to the legend, it would not have changed what is already the case, which is that people believe that Saint-Germain was something of a supernatural being. Thus, its destruction, if engineered, must only have been to protect the status quo.
One of the next threads ot the legend was gathered into the hands of Helena Blavatsky who claimed that Saint-Germain was one of the “hidden masters” along with Christ, Buddha, Appollonius of Tyana, Christian Rosencreutz, Francis Bacon and others. A group of Theosophists traveled to Paris after WWII where they were told they would meet the Count; he never showed up.
And, finally, in 1972, a Frenchman named Richard Chanfray was interviewed on French television. He claimed to be Saint-Germain and, supposedly, in front of television cameras, transmuted lead into gold on a camp stove!
But, all of the confusion surrounding the subject prompted me to ask the Cassiopaeans a few questions:
Q: (L) What is the “philosophers stone?”
A: Idea center.
Q: (L) How can this idea center be accessed?
A: Many ways: meditation is the best.
Q: (L) Is there any visual image of the philosopher’s stone that one could use to access it in meditation?
A: Yes. Diamond or prism.
Q: (L) Was there or is there such a thing as a literal, physical, philosopher’s stone that can transmute lead into gold?
Q: (L) Was anybody ever able to transmute lead into gold by any means?
A: Everybody is able.
Q: (L) How?
A: You must discover this yourself.
Q: (L) Is this knowledge written down somewhere on the planet?
A: Yes, but it will be easier in 4th level.
Q: (L) Comte St.Germain claimed to be able to transmute lead into gold. Was this true?
Q: (L) He also claimed to have discovered the secret of eternal youth, was this true?
Q: (L) Did he die like everybody else at the regular age?
But that still leaves us with a mystery. What do we do with “yes, he could transmute lead into gold,” and “everybody is able” though the “philosopher’s stone” is not necessary, and “no, Saint-Germain is not still alive?” Well, we will leave it for now and move on to our next bit of investigation into this most interesting subject: Fulcanelli.
Coudert, Allison  Alchemy, the Philosopher’s Stone; Wildwood House
Gilchrist, Cherry  Alchemy, The Great Work; Thorsons
Grinnell, Robert  Alchemy in a Modern Woman:A Study in the Contrasexual Archetype; Spring Publications
Hitching, Francis  World Atlas of Mysteries; Pan Publishers
Innes, Brian  The Search For The Philosopher’s Stone, Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time; Orbis
Klossowski de Rola, Stanislas  Alchemy, The Secret Art; Thames and Hudson
___________  Paracelsus and Alchemy, The Third Column of Medicine; Holmes
Oakley, Isabel Cooper  The Count of Saint Germain; Garber
Levi, Eliphas  The History of Magic; Weiser
Machen, Arthur (trans.)  The Memoirs of Casanova; Elek
Redgrove, Stanley  Alchemy Ancient and Modern; Ares
Smyth, Frank  The Man From Nowhere: Searching for St. Germain, Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time; Orbis
Wilson, Colin  The Occult; Random House