A Mystic Temple
Visit of a reporter to the Grand Temple of the Magi
He interviews Prof. Richmond, the Able Exponent of Astral Magnetism
In this city resides a gentleman whose learning, comprehension, ideas and advanced thoughts on matter appertaining to physical and occult Astronomy, have forced him into prominence, not only in the immediate vicinity of his residence but also in the State of his nativity and this nation. He is a man of modest appearance, but imperious in his dealing with subjects of which he is a master.
In the issue of April 5th, The Progressive Thinker republished an article from the Daily Democrat the leading paper in Grand Rapids, setting forth the religious views entertained by Prof. Richmond, together with a cursory description of “The Mystic Temple” over which he presides, and discourses to a large number of the most intellectual and influential citizens. Through the interest awakened, and large amount of inquiry fostered by the publication of this article upon the astrological researches of Prof. Richmond, and his revelations from the standpoint of a student of Occult Astronomy, we deemed it advisable to send a reporter to interview the gentleman.
Having learned that he was to be found at the Temple and that no meeting was being held this evening, the reporter proceeded to the place where the Temple is situated and the Master Mystic and his family reside. Mr. Richmond was in his Temple, surrounded with Mystic charts of all kinds and at work upon complicated mathematical formula appertaining to Astronomy. What strikes a visitor most upon entering the Temple of wonders, is the fact he sees before him the Solar System, in a more comprehensive and tangible shape that he has ever before seen.
The entire hall, from end to end, is filled with heavenly bodies, tilted at various angles to the plane of the ecliptic, thus illustrating their polarities, while at the same time various satellites revolve about their primaries, with their orbits inclined, as in Nature’s realm of wonders. On the reporter introducing himself and business, Mr. Richmond laid aside his work and willingly gave all the information that he lawfully could divulge, relating to the order. “This large red planet with four moons or satellites, is Jupiter” said he, pointing to a globe about seven inches in diameter. “You will notice that the satellites move in orbits, in a plane with their primary, while those of some other planets are widely divergent. For instance, you notice that this planet, Uranus, has four satellites revolving in orbits at nearly right angles to the ecliptic. This has been brought about through the gradual change of their plane during untold millions of years. This change has proceeded in the case of Uranus, until the tilt is at more than right angles, so that the motion of the moons is actually retrograde.”
“No! Here you see the planet Neptune the far off sentinel of our System, has only one moon. But this planet is much older than Uranus that the tilting of the system has gone on until it has actually turned completely over, so it is nearly in the plane of the ecliptic again; but of course, the motion is retrograde.”
“I hardly understand that.”
“Then let me explain. Take your hat and revolve it in the direction of the hands of a watch; there, now gradually tilt it over until it is bottom up still keeping up the revolution. Now you notice that the rim revolves precisely retrograde to what it did before.”
“Exactly! I understand it now, as I never could before.”
“Here you see the great planet Saturn, with its rings and eight satellites, said Mr. Richmond, pointing to a glistening globe, suspended in midair by invisible wires and surrounded by several polished globes at various distances.
As the large electric sun in the center of the room lighted them, the globes glistened in the artificial sunlight. The reporter noticed an eclipse of two of Saturn’s moons while one satellite made an eclipse on its primary at the same time. The reporter never realized before so completely how these phenomena occurred.
“These small moons revolving so rapidly about Mars, are the little bodies Dread and Terror. This inner one enjoys the distinction of having the shortest year of any body in our system. Its year is seven hours, while its day is about twenty minutes long, as near as can be found. Think of an afternoon only five minutes in duration.”
“It would hardly pay a fellow to go and see his girl there, would it? If the lovers sat up till midnight they would only have about five minutes,” said the reporter.
“I am glad I do not live there.”
Mr. Richmond then showed the reporter several magnificent books bound in Russia, with gilt edges and sides. These books contained several hundred colored charts of the heavens, for all sorts of times and culminations. The explanations given of them were too ling for a newspaper report, but they were most interesting.
“What are the fundamental laws that govern your occult work?”, asked the reporter.
“The laws are few and simple,” replied the Professor. “Here they are: For the want of a better name, we call this force that exists in the universe, Astral Magnetism. Some call it the soul in nature. It matters not whether it is called Magnetism, The Infinite, The Great I Am, God, Allah, or Mumbo Jumbo, it is the same great intelligent force recognized by nearly all mankind. Now, the theory of our order is, that this great infinite force acts through regular laws, mathematically, accurate, and unchangeable. In short, that everything in the universe is governed by Law. Not even a crystal can form within a chemical combination, or anything however small, except under exact mathematical laws. The same laws that govern a grain of sand, governs that giant Jupiter, eighty-eight thousand miles in diameter.”
“Are any of these laws formulated?”
“Hundreds of them are recorded in these books. Here we have a few which you may copy:
LAWS OF ASTRAL MAGNETISM
1. “Every particle of matter in the universe acts upon every other particle, with a magnetic force directly proportional to its mass, and inversely to the square of its distance.”
2. “The Astral Magnetism of all bodies, or aggregations of matter, varies according to the chemical constitution of the bodies.”
3. “The intensity of the Astral force, and its lines of effect, vary according to the angles of polarity of the various bodies.”
“These are the three first laws, and lay the foundation, so to speak, of all the other laws contained in these four books. Law No. 1 explains itself. No. 2 means that a globe of chloride of sodium, and, by the way, there are such in the Universe, has a magnetic effect on other matter, differing in quality from a globe composed of iron principally, granite, or any mixture of elements. No. 3 is more difficult to explain, but still very important; in fact, the importance of polarity is everything, in this Heliocentric Astrology. It is calculated by the hundreds of tables of logarithms you see in this book No. 1, which gives angles and change of polar force for all the planets, and the Earth, in all parts of the six orbits.”
“Is this astrology then different from that usually known and practiced?” asked the reporter.
“Most certainly it is, vastly different, from the Geocentric Astrology of the middle ages. There is as much difference as between modern chemistry and the alchemy of the middle ages. Heliocentric Astrology is based upon the true motion of the planets. Geocentric Astrology upon the false theory sustained by Ptolemy and his followers. This theory was the only one allowed during the dark ages, every one being put to death, or thrown into a dungeon who ventured to dispute it. This is what caused the Magi to promulgate their true knowledge in a secret manner.”
“What connection has your order with Masonry.”
“Simply this: Three Masters of the outer circle, duly raised to the sublime degree, where they could be trusted with the Word, were educated in all the arts of the Magi, and after taking a solemn oath, departed to a far country to found a Temple. The Word was divided into three parts, each one of the three receiving one of these parts, and they could not be put together except under certain astronomical laws; and that could one be done in the Holy of Holies, behind the three veils and upon the Altar. By the by, let me remark that, even to this day the Word can not be given, so that it will be of any use to the person receiving it, except under the same conditions. It may seem strange to you, but it is a cold fact.”
“How then did it benefit you, when given under the circumstances you have heretofore related?”
“It did not. I could not use it until the time arrived when an Altar could be made and dedicated, by placing thereon certain things that I can not mention. But hold on, I have lost the thread of my story. The three wise men I spoke of went to the country whence they came and began a Temple. But now came trouble. In those days bookkeeping was not understood as at present. How were one hundred and fifty-three thousand workmen of different grades, drawing different wages, to be handled and paid their weekly stipends? By a happy thought these officers resolved to use the organization plan, and make the workmen members of their secret order. But all those fit to cut stone and work on the Temple were not suitable persons to become members of the order that had in its keeping the learning and lore of past ages. To obviate this trouble, the three officers changed the initiative ceremonies and the minor passwords to conform to the religion of the Nation where the Temple was built. They intended however, when the Temple was finished, to then pick out the ones most worthy, and regularly initiate them into the original and seemingly incomprehensible mysteries of Egypt and Chaldea.”
“But alas, before the Temple was completed one of the three, Hiram Abiff, was murdered by some of the workmen, who in vain tried to extort from him the secret of the Word. Over his grave the other officers gave up all attempts to recover the lost Word, and adopted a substitute. Thus Modern Masonry was born. When I say modern, I mean it is modern compared with the great antiquity of what preceded it as an order.”
“Why, the time the emblem of this order was adopted, from the stars that glistened in the great Bear, which was then in the form of this silver trident, was so ling ago that the building of Solomon’s Temple was as a thing of yesterday in comparison.”
“Why did the officers not return, or send to Egypt and obtain the missing part of the sacred Word?”
“They did try to procure it, after time had elapsed and the Temple was completed. But in the meantime the Magi had learned that the new order was so thoroughly changed that it had but a few of the astronomical features remaining, whereupon they refused to impart the secret.”
“I have understood that the Masonic order afterwards found the Word.”
“Yes, a great many have understood that, in modern times, but every advanced student of the history of the order knows that the Chapter and Temple degrees have all been invented and engrafted upon the original Blue-lodge in modern times. The alleged Word, found amid the ruins of the Temple, has no occult meaning, and cannot be fitted to the great truths if astronomy and time, as can the true Word.”
“Do you then consider that your order militates against Masonry?”
“Not in the least. Masonry still stands on its own merits as an institution. The change made by King Solomon was no doubt a wise one, under all the circumstances existing at the time, and the Masonic institution has fulfilled its allotted place in the world. As a proof of this, we have in this order ardent Masons of 32 degrees, and many Blue-lodge and Chapter Masons.”
MASONS ARE THE MOST INTERESTED
“Look at this pole of letters received from all parts of the country. You will notice that nine out of ten of them make the symbol such as a slipper, rope, tent, keystone, square and compass or else sign their communications, ‘Yours Fratly.’ All such are Masons. By the way, I will say, that no doubt many of these correspondents have been disappointed at not receiving answers. But I cannot spare the time to write so many letters, being so busy with my necessary work for our Secret Order, which I find the regular duties of, consume much more time than one would suppose.”
“The Light,” resumed Mr.. Richmond, “cannot be sent out to these distant friends, but I am going to do all that is within my power to do, in the way of sending out printed lectures and teachings for the benefit of these Mystic enquirers in other States, in order to prepare them for the time when they can come to the Temple.”
“I would like to witness some of your occult work, Professor, if not against your rules.”
“Oh! That would be all right. But it is quite late now for any demonstrations. If you will give me your exact date of birth, however, I will show you something at some future time.”
The reporter gave his birth date, and promised to call again, when he hopes to lay before the readers of The Progressive Thinker something of great interest to students of Occultism.