Count St. Germain
Compte St. Germain (allegedly 1710-1935) has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, charlatan, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist and amateur composer, but is best known as a recurring figure in the stories of several strands of occultism – particularly those connected to Theosophy and the White Eagle Lodge, where he is also referred to as the Master Rakoczi or the Master R and as one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, is credited with near god-like powers and longevity. Some sources write that his name is not familial, but was invented by him as a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning “Holy Brother.” He was known as ‘Der Wundermann’ — ‘The Wonderman’. He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace.
Since his death, various occult organizations have adopted him as a model figure or even as a powerful deity. In recent years several people have claimed to be the Count of St. Germain. (Note that St Germain was never regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church – the “st.” before his name refers to his alleged home).
St. Germain never revealed his actual background and identity, leading to many speculations about him and his origin and ancestry. Some of these include the possibility that he was the son of Francis II Rakoczi, the Prince of Transylvania (who was in exile), or that he was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna of Pfalz-Neuburg, the widow of Charles II of Spain.
While he may have studied in Italy at Siena University, possibly as a protege of Grand Duke Gian Gastone (the last of the Medici line), St. Germain’s first chronicled appearances were in London in 1743 and in Edinburgh in 1745, where he was apparently arrested for spying. He was released and soon acquired a reputation as a great violinist. He was ascetic and apparently celibate. During this time he met Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
In 1746 he disappeared. Horace Walpole, who knew him from about 1745 in London, described him thus: “He sings, plays the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad and not very sensible”.
He reappeared in Versailles in 1758. He claimed to have had recipes for dyes and acquired quarters in the Chateau de Chambord. During this time in Paris he gave diamonds as gifts and reputedly hinted that he was centuries old. The old portrait of him dates from these years. He was an acquaintance of Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour. At the time a mime, Gower, began to mimic his mannerism in salons, joking that he would have advised Jesus.
In 1760 he left for England through Holland when the minister of State, Duke of Choiseul, tried to have him arrested.
After that the Count passed through the Netherlands into Russia and apparently was in St Petersburg when the Russian army put Catherine the Great on the throne. Later conspiracy theories credit him for causing it. The next year he turned up in Belgium, bought land and took the name Surmount. He tried to offer his processes – treatments of wood, leather, oil paint – to the state.
During his negotiations – that came to nothing – with Belgian minister Karl Cobenzl he hinted at a royal birth and turned iron into something resembling gold. He then disappeared for 11 years.
In 1774 he resurfaced, and apparently tried to present himself to a count in Bavaria as Freiherr Reinhard Gemmingen-Guttenberg, the count Tsarogy.
In 1776 the Count was in Germany, calling himself Count Welldone, and again offered recipes – cosmetics, wines, liqueurs, treatments of bone, paper and ivory. He alienated King Frederick’s emissaries by his claims of transmutation of gold and reputedly compared himself to God. To Frederick he claimed to have been a Freemason. He settled in a house of Prince Karl of Hesse-Kassel, governor of Schleswig-Holstein and studied herbal remedies and chemistry to give to the poor. To him he claimed he was a Francis Rakoczy II, Prince of Transylvania.
1784 is when the Count supposedly died, probably of pneumonia. He left very little behind.
There were rumors of him alive in Paris in 1835, in Milan in 1867 and in Egypt during Napoleon’s campaign. Napoleon III kept a dossier on him. Annie Besant said that she met the Count in 1896.
Theosophist C. W. Leadbeater claimed to have met him in Rome in 1926, and said that St. Germain showed him a robe that had been previously owned by a Roman Emperor and that St. Germain told him that one of his residences was a castle in Transylvania.
Theosophist Guy Ballard claimed that the Count had introduced him to visitors from Venus and published a book series about his channelings; Ballard founded the “I Am” Activity.
In January 28, 1972, ex-convict and lover of singing star Dalida, Richard Chanfray claimed to be the Count of St. Germain on French television. He also claimed that Louis XV was still alive.
There are several “authoritative” biographers who usually do not agree with one another. His ancestry is a matter of much speculation. Theosophists consider him to be an Ascended Master or adept. Aleister Crowley identified with him. Helena Blavatsky said he was one of her Masters of Wisdom and hinted at secret documents. Several books on palmistry and astrology have been published in his name.
During the centuries after his death, numerous myths, legends and speculations have surfaced. He has been attributed with occult practices like snake charming and ventriloquism. There are stories about an affair between him and Madame de Pompadour. Other legends report that he was immortal, the Wandering Jew, an alchemist with the elixir of life, a Rosicrucian or an ousted king, a bastard of Queen Anna Maria of Spain, that he prophesied the French Revolution. Casanova called him the violinist Catlini. Count Cagliostro was rumored to be his pupil. The fact that the name “St. Germain” was not exactly uncommon confuses the matters even more.
Many groups in occultism honor St. Germain as an Ascended Master. As such, he is believed to have many magical powers such as the ability to teleport, levitate, walk through walls, influence people telepathically, etc.
Some esoteric groups credit him with inspiring the Founding Fathers to draft the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
In the New Age beliefs regarding him, St. Germain is always associated with the color violet and the jewel amethyst; he is also regarded as the “Master of the Seventh (violet) Ray”.
According to Theosophy, the Seven Rays are seven metaphysical principles that govern both individual souls and the unfolding of each 2,158 year long Astrological Age. Since according to Theosophy the next Astrological Age, the Age of Aquarius, will be governed by the Seventh (violet) Ray (the Ray of Ceremonial Order), St. Germain is sometimes called “The Cosmic Master of the Age of Aquarius.”
In Rosicrucian Max Heindel’s writings, the Count of St Germain (18th century) is described as one of the later incarnations of Christian Rosenkreuz, an enigmatic individual born in the 13th century and the Head of the Rosicrucian Order. According to this author, Rosenkreuz had been Lazarus in his previous previous physical life, a biblical character in the New Testament (this would contradict the idea that he was Joseph, since they both lived at the same time) and Hiram Abiff, the Widow’s Son of Freemasonry, in an earlier existence.
In the 1925 book The Masters and the Path by C.W. Leadbeater, an adherent of Theosophy, St. Germain is called both the “Comte de St. Germain” and the “Master Rakoczi.” His previous incarnations are enumerated (the same ones as noted below in the paragraph about Guy Ballard). On page 240 of The Masters and the Path it is stated that when performing magical rituals in his castle in Transylvania, St. Germain wears “a suit of golden chain-mail which once belonged to a Roman Emperor; over it is thrown a magnificent cloak of crimson, with on its clasp a seven-pointed star in diamond and amethyst, and sometimes he wears a glorious robe of violet.”
In the Alice Bailey’s books, St. Germain is also known as the “Master Rakoczi”. Alice A. Bailey’s book The Externalisation of the Hierarchy (1934) gives the most information about his reputed role as an Ascended Master. His title is said to be the “Lord of Civilization”. He is said to telepathically influence people who are seen by him as being instrumental in bringing about the new civilization of the Age of Aquarius. It was said by Alice A. Bailey that “sometime after AD 2025” Jesus Christ, St. Germain, Kuthumi and the others in the Ascended Master hierarchy (except Gautama Buddha) would “externalisze” i.e., descend from the etheric plane, and live physically on Earth in ashrams surrounded by their disciples.
In the Godfre Ray King books, and Law of Life books is said that St. Germain was Joseph the foster-father of Jesus, Merlin the magician of King Arthur’s Court, Roger Bacon, Christian Rosenkreuz of Germany, Christopher Columbus, Francis Bacon and Prince Rakoczy of Transylvania, in previous reincarnations. These beliefs about his previous incarnations are also promulgated by the Church Universal and Triumphant, with the addition that he was also incarnated as the ancient Jewish Prophet Samuel, as Saint Alban, and as a high priest of the white magicians in Atlantis. Guy Ballard claimed his book The Magic Presence was channeled to him from St. Germain (The official I Am edition of The Magic Presence, regarded as a sacred scripture, is printed in a violet colored typeface on lavender paper.).
According to Elizabeth Clare Prophet, St. Germain ascended on May 1st 1684. Although Sir Francis Bacon is said to have died in 1626, Prophet claims that the body in the coffin at Sir Francis Bacon’s funeral was not his own and that he attended his own funeral. Supposedly, he continued living until his ascension in 1684. Thus, according to Prophet, the historical St. Germain was already an ascended master.In the Church Universal and Triumphant St Germain is regarded as a deity outranked only in importance by Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, and Sanat Kumara (the “Lord of the World”), and in that church, he is the deity towards whom the most intense devotion is given. Guy Ballard, the founder of I Am, originated the meditation practice of invoking the “Violet Flame” from St. Germain in order to contact one’s “I Am Presence” and revivify one’s etheric body. This practice has been continued by the Church Universal and Triumphant.
Conspiracy theorists who believe in NESARA, a purported secret law that the US government denies the existence of (such as controversial evangelist Sherry Shriner), believe that St. Germain is still alive and is actively working with Jesus Christ and with benevolent space aliens to get the law enacted.
Fairly recently a new genealogy of Saint-Germain has been put forward which seems the most probable of all. It is the work of the theosophists and Annie Besant, who has frequently made the statement that the Comte de Saint-Germain was one of the sons of Francis Racoczi II, Prince of Transylvania. The children of Francis Racoczi were brought up by the Emperor of Austria, but one of them was withdrawn from his guardianship.
Saint Germain never seemed to age. For an entire century he maintained the physical appearance of a man between forty and fifty years old.
He could do just about anything. He was almost too good to be true. He was a magician, a musician, artistry as a violinist, talent as a painter, skill in alchemy and chemistry, a seer who read for and socialized with the rich and famous, had great wealth, and was one of the most mysterious men on the Europe continent. He knew nearly all the European languages. His knowledge of history was comprehensive, and his accomplishments as a chemist, on which he based his reputation, were in many ways considerable.
By far the greatest obvious talents of the Comte de Saint-Germain were connected with his knowledge of alchemy. Yet if Saint-Germain he knew how to make gold, he was wise enough to say nothing about it. Nothing but the possession of this secret could perhaps account for the enormous wealth at his command, though he was not known to have money on deposit at any banks.
He was one of the of the most celebrated mystics and adventurers of modern times. He was a confidant of two kings of France, a dazzlingly rich and gifted social figure, the subject of a thousand rumors.
He enjoyed and sought the company of the pretty women of his day. It appears from the memoirs of Baron von Gleichen that when Saint-Germain was in Paris he became the lover of Mademoiselle Lambert, daughter of the Chevalier Lambert, who lived in the house in which he lodged. And it appears from Grosley’s memoirs that in Holland he became the lover of a woman as rich and mysterious as himself.
Though he never ate any food in public, he liked dining out because of the people he met and the conversations he heard. They say he lived on oatmeal. He had an immense stock of amusing stories with which he regaled society.
He was an aristocrat who lived with princes and even with kings almost on a footing of an equal.
He gave recipes for removing wrinkles and dyeing hair.
His activity and the diversity of his occupations were very great. He was interested in the preparation of dyes and even started a factory in Germany for the manufacture of felt hats.
One of his principal roles was that of a secret agent in international politics in the service of France. He became Louis XV’s confidential and intimate counselor and was entrusted by him with various secret missions.
He had a love of jewels in an extreme form, and he ostentatiously showed off those he possessed. He kept a great quantity of them in a casket, which he carried about everywhere with him. The importance he attached to jewels was so great that in the pictures painted by him, which were in themselves remarkable, the figures were covered with jewels; and his colors were so vivid and strange that faces looked pale and insignificant by contrast. Jewels cast their reflection on him and threw a distorting light on the whole of his life.
He was also known to carry jewels sewn into his clothing . He was said to have presented a cross ornamented with gems to a woman he scarcely knew, because she had idly admired it.
The count claimed that he had learned how to turn several small diamonds into one large one and to make pearls grow to spectacular size. He said he could remove flaws from diamonds. He could make a big diamond out of several small stones. The diamonds that he wore in his shoes and garters were believed to be worth more than 200,000 francs.
It was widely suspected that he also knew the secret for making gold out of base metal.
Tradition has related that he said he had known Jesus and been present at the Council of Nicea. But he did not go so far as this in his contempt for the men with whom he associated and in his derision of their credulity.
He seems to have become a celebrity in the 1750’s as a friend of Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour, who together spent evenings with him simply for the pleasure of his conversation. Louis XV must have known who he was, for he extended to him a friendship that aroused the jealousy of his court. He allotted him rooms in the Chateau of Chambord. He shut himself up with Saint-Germain and Madam de Pompadour for whole evenings; and the pleasure he derived from his conversation and the admiration he no doubt felt for the range of his knowledge cannot explain the consideration, almost the deference, he had for him. Madam du Housset says in her memoirs that the king spoke of Saint-Germain as a personage of illustrious birth.
Count Charles of Hesse Cassel, with whom he lived during the last years in which history is able to follow his career, must also have possessed the secret of his birth. They worked with alchemy together. Saint-Germain treated him as an equal. It was to him that Saint-Germain entrusted his paper just before his supposed death in 1784.
However, neither Louis XV nor the Count of Hesse Cassel ever revealed anything about the birth of Saint-Germain. The count even went so far as invariably to withhold the smallest detail bearing on the life of his mysterious friend. This is a very remarkable fact, since Saint-Germain was an extremely well known figure.
Whether he was a genius or a charlatan, Saint-Germain had the talent to make himself noticed and the subject of gossip. But in Versailles and Paris he was embraced as the confidential adviser of Louis XV. The position earned him the envy and enmity of the king’s ministers, who denounced him as an adventurer with a smooth line of talk.
Matters came to a head in 1760, when the count at the behest of the king involved himself in foreign affairs, going behind the back of ministry. Threatened with arrest, he was obliged to flee to England, where he stayed for a while; possibly for a period of two years.
From England Count Saint-Germain apparently went to Russia, where it is claimed he took part in a conspiracy that put Catherine the Great upon the throne in 1762.
After that nothing much is known of the count until 1774, when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette came to the throne. Saint-Germain then returned to France. It is said that he warned the royal couple of the revolution 15 years in the future, saying, “There will be a blood-thirsty republic, whose scepter will be the executioner’s knife.”
He influenced Freemasonry and the secret societies, though many modern masons have denied this and have even omitted to mention him as a great source of inspiration.
In Vienna he took part in the foundation of the Society of Asiatic Brothers and of the Knights of Light, who studied alchemy; and it was he who gave Mesmer his fundamental ideas on personal magnetism and hypnotism. It is said that he initiated Cagliostro, who visited him on several occasions in Holstein to receive directions from him, though there is no direct evidence for this. The two men were to be far separated from one another by opposite currents and a different fate.
All over the country secret societies sprang up. The new spirit manifested itself in the form of associations. Neither the nobility nor the clergy escaped what had become a fashion.
There were lodges for women, and the Princesse de Lamballe became grand mistress of one of them.
In Germany there were the Illuminati and the Knights of Strict Observance, and Frederick II, when he came to the throne, founded the sect of the Architects of Africa.
In France, the Order of the Templars was reconstituted, and Freemasonry, whose grand master was the Duke de Chartres, increased the number of its lodges in every town. Martinez de Pasqually taught his philosophy at Marseilles, Bordeaux and Toulouse; and Savalette de Lange, with mystics such as Court de Gebelin and Saint-Martin, founded the lodge of the Friends Assembled.
The initiates of these sects understood that they were the depositories of a heritage that they did not know, but whose boundless value they guessed; it was to be found somewhere, perhaps in traditions, perhaps in a book written by a master, perhaps in themselves. They spoke of this revealing word, this hidden treasure it was said to be in the hands of “unknown superiors of these sects, who would one day disclose the wealth which gives freedom and immortality.”
It was this immortality of the spirit that Saint-Germain tried to bring to a small group of chosen initiates. He believed that this minority, once it was developed itself, would, in its turn, help to develop another small number, and that a vast spiritual radiation would gradually descend, in beneficent waves, towards the more ignorant masses. It was a sage’s dream, which was never to be realized.
With the co-operation of Savalette de Lange, who was the nominal head, he founded the group of Philalethes, or truth-lovers, which was recruited from the cream of the Friends Assembled. The Prince of Hesse, Condorcet, and Cagliostro were all members of this group. Saint-Germain expounded his philosophy at Ermenonville and in Paris, in the rue Platriere. It was a Platonic Christianity, which combined Swedenborg’s visions with Martinez de Pasqually’s theory of reintegration. There were to be found in it Plotinus’ emanations and the hierarchy of successive planes described by Hermeticists and modem theosophists. He taught that man has in him infinite possibilities and that, from the practical point of view, he must strive unceasingly to free himself of matter in order to enter into communication with the world of higher intelligences.
He was understood by some. In two great successive assemblies, at which every Masonic lodge in France was represented, the Philalethes attempted the reform of Freemasonry. If they had attained their aim, if they had succeeded in directing the great force of Freemasonry by the prestige of their philosophy, which was sublime and disinterested, it may be that the course of events would have been altered, that the old dream of a world guided by philosopher-initiates would have been realized.
But matters were to turn out differently. Old causes, created by accumulated injustices had paved the way for terrible effects. These effects were in their turn to create the causes of future evil. The chain of evil, linked firmly together by men’s egoism and hatred, was not to be broken. The light kindled by a few wise visionaries, a few faithful watchers over the well being of their brothers, was extinguished almost as soon as it was kindled.
The count for his part asserted that he had lost a very dear friend. But his attitude was highly equivocal. He refused to give any information about his friend or his last moments, and turned the conversation if anyone spoke of him. His whole behavior gives color to the supposition that he was the accomplice of a pretended death.
Although, on the evidence of reliable witnesses, he must have been at least a hundred years old in 1784, his death in that year cannot have been genuine. The official documents of Freemasonry say that in 1785 the French masons chose him as their representative at the great convention that took place in that year, with Mesmer, Saint-Martin, and Cagliostro present. In the following year Saint-Germain was received by the Empress of Russia. Finally, the Comtesse d’Adhemar reports at great length a conversation she had with him in 1789 in the Church of the Recollets, after the taking of the Bastille.
His face looked no older than it had looked thirty years earlier. He said he had come from China and Japan. “There is nothing so strange out there,” he said, “as that which is happening here. But I can do nothing. My hands are tied by someone who is stronger than I. There are times when it is possible to draw back; others at which the decree must be carried out as soon as he has pronounced it.”
And he told her in broad outlines all the events, not excepting the death of the queen, that were to take place in the years that followed. “The French will play with titles and honors and ribbons like children. They will regard everything as a plaything, even the equipment of the Garde Nationale. There is today a deficit of some forty millions, which is the nominal cause of the Revolution. Well, under the dictatorship of philanthropists and orators the national debt will reach thousands of millions.”
“I have seen Saint-Germain again,” wrote Comtesse d’Adhemar in 1821, “each time to my amazement. I saw him when the queen was murdered, on the 18th of Brumaire, on the day following the death of the Duke d’Enghien, in January, 1815, and on the eve of the murder of the Duke de Berry.”
Mademoiselle de Genlis asserts that she met the Comte de Saint-Germain in 1821 during the negotiations for the Treaty of Vienna; and the Comte de Chalons, who was ambassador in Venice, said he spoke to him there soon afterwards in the Piazza di San Marco. There is other evidence, though less conclusive, of his survival. The Englishman Grosley said he saw him in 1798 in a revolutionary prison; and someone else wrote that he was one of the crowd surrounding the tribunal at which the Princess de Lamballe appeared before her execution.
It seems quite certain that the Comte de Saint-Germain did not die at the place and on the date that history has fixed. He continued an unknown career, of whose end we are ignorant and whose duration seems so long that one’s imagination hesitates to admit it.
What happened to the Comte de Saint-Germain after 1821, in which year there is evidence that he was still alive? An Englishman, Albert Vandam, in his memoirs, which he calls An Englishman in Paris, speaks of a certain person whom he knew towards the end of Louis Philippe’s reign and whose way of life bore a curious resemblance to that of the Comte de Saint-Germain.
“He called himself Major Fraser, wrote Vandam, “lived alone and never alluded to his family. Moreover he was lavish with money, though the source of his fortune remained a mystery to everyone. He possessed a marvelous knowledge of all the countries in Europe at all periods. His memory was absolutely incredible and, curiously enough, he often gave his hearers to understand that he had acquired his learning elsewhere than from books. Many is the time he has told me, with a strange smile, that he was certain he had known Nero, had spoken with Dante, and so on.”
Like Saint-Germain, Major Fraser had the appearance of a man of between forty and fifty, of middle height and strongly built. The rumor was current that he was the illegitimate son of a Spanish prince. After having been, also like Saint-Germain, a cause of astonishment to Parisian society for a considerable time, he disappeared without leaving a trace. Was it the same Major Fraser who, in 1820, published an account of his journey in the Himalayas, in which he said he had reached Gangotri, the source of the most sacred branch of the Ganges River, and bathed in the source of the Jumna River?
It was at the end of the nineteenth century that the legend of Saint-Germain grew so inordinately. By reason of his knowledge, of the integrity of his life, of his wealth and of the mystery that surrounded him, he might reasonably have been taken for an heir of the first Rosicrucians, for a possessor of the Philosopher’s Stone. But the theosophists and a great many occultists regarded him as a master of the great White Lodge of the Himalayas. The legend of these masters is well known. According to it there live in inaccessible lamaseries in Tibet certain wise men who possess the ancient secrets of the lost civilization of Atlantis. Sometimes they send to their imperfect brothers, who are blinded by passions and ignorance, sublime messengers to teach and guide them. Krishna, the Buddha, and Jesus were the greatest of these. But there were many other more obscure messengers, of whom Saint-Germain has been considered to be one.
“This pupil of Hindu and Egyptian hierophants, this holder of the secret knowledge of the East,” theosophist Madam Blavatsky says of him, “was not appreciated for who he was. The stupid world has always treated in this way men who, like Saint-Germain, have returned to it after long years of seclusion devoted to study with their hands full of the treasure of esoteric wisdom and with the hope of making the world better, wiser and happier.” Between 1880 and 1900 it was admitted among all theosophists, who at that time had become very numerous, particularly in England and America, that the Comte de Saint-Germain was still alive, that he was still engaged in the spiritual development of the West, and that those who sincerely took part in this development had the possibility of meeting him.
The brotherhood of Khe-lan was famous throughout Tibet, and one of their most famous brothers was an Englishman who had arrived one day during the early part of the twentieth century from the West. He spoke every language, including the Tibetan, and knew every art and science, says the tradition. His sanctity and the phenomena produced by him caused him to be proclaimed a Shaberon Master after a residence of but a few years. His memory lives to the present day among the Tibetans, but his real name is a secret with the Shaberons alone. Might not this mysterious traveler be the Comte de Saint-Germain?
But even if he has never come back, even if he is no longer alive and we must relegate to legend the idea that the great Hermetic nobleman is still wandering about the world with his sparkling jewels, his senna tea, and his taste for princesses and queens even so it can be said that he has gained the immortality he sought.
For a great number of imaginative and sincere men the Comte de Saint-Germain is more alive than he has ever been. There are men who, when they hear a step on the staircase, think it may perhaps be he, coming to give them advice, to bring them some unexpected philosophical idea. They do not jump up to open the door to their guest, for material barriers do not exist for him. There are men who, when they go to sleep, are pervaded by genuine happiness because they are certain that their spirit, when freed from the body, will be able to hold converse with the master in the luminous haze of the astral world.
lay hidden in a place which depicts Earth’s final destiny.