Published Interviews with Olney Richmond
Taken from the book Temple Lectures, we present some of the fascinating words of the man who first published information about the cards in 1894. He gives some history and performs miraculous demonstrations for the reporters who came to his temple. Click on the links below to read these articles and to get a sense for the man and his work. Now updated with original etchings from his books!
Magnetism of Stars
Originally published in the Grand Rapids Daily Democrat
A student reveals an ancient mystery.
Residing quietly in this city, to all outward appearances pursuing a simple and uneventful life of a business man, dwells a student of the ancient arts of magic practiced by the Egyptians, Chaldeans and other Eastern people prior to the opening of the Christian era.
This gentleman, for many years, has been secretly delving into those scientific mysteries which for ages have been kept veiled from the world, passing only, he says, down the generations by word of mouth from frater to frater under the pledge of secrecy of which death was the penalty. The gentleman, Olney H. Richmond, has now acquired a knowledge that enables him to accomplish
FEATS IN OCCULTISM
that to the uninitiated seem fabulous and impossible. He has given evidences of his ability which to the cultured are remarkable and inexplicable.
Since those days when the Sphinx was given shape to pass down the ages (with mute lips) which hid knowledge if things passed away, and the Pyramids were built and locked with a key to unsolvable riddles, which some vengeful priest hurled into the muddy Nile, the mysteries of the arts of the ancients have ever been a source alike of interest and skepticism to scientists. Mr. Richmond claims that he has found the golden key, and has unlocked these fathomless mysteries. He says he has already found and proven much, and is occupied with a course of study, the end of which he can now only conjecture.
Mr. Richmond entertained a reporter of The Democrat for a few hours yesterday. He was found in his study surrounded by astronomical charts and diagrams, together with a large assortment of occult books and symbolical wheels containing zodiacal signs.
“I do now wish newspaper notoriety,” Mr. Richmond explained, “for my studies have been private, and I have never had any idea of using them in any way for publicity or profit..” The reporter urged him to tell
SOMETHING OF HIS HOBBY,
remarking that he has already given one or two private exhibitions to friends, which had created a great amount of interest. At length Mr. Richmond gave out a little intelligence of the system used by him and made a couple of practical experiments illustrating the laws of Astral Magnetism (the name given to it) and the part played therein by playing cards used as the emblems of planetary aspects and polarities. One of the books used in the manifestations bore the following grandiloquent title: Astral Card Charts, Birth Tarots and Planetary Culminations on the Heliocentric Projection. This book in size and binding resembled a large family bible.
“My study”, continued Mr. Richmond, “is in line of one of the most ancient orders of Oriental occultism. An order that antedates even Blue Lodge Masonry and dates back to the time when the halls of great Balbee and proud Karnac echoed to the footfalls of
PRIESTS AND NEOPHYTES.
Never, since the haughty kingdom of Atlantis sank beneath the ocean, have the secrets of this order been given to any but a chosen few. Fostered by the kings of Egypt and religiously preserved in the custody of the priesthood in their temples, the arts known to the Magi have come down to our day within the hands of but a few in each generation. Its devotes have secretly met in caves amid the mountains on India and Hindoostan, as well as in other mystic countries, and
CERTAIN CABALISTIC FORMULA
have been thus handed down the ages, from mouth to ear, to the present time. During the past seventeen hundred years each person receiving these teachings have been obliged by solemn oath to transmit them to some worthy and younger person that they may not be lost through failure of succession.
“Everything in this work is under strict mathematical laws,” explained Mr. Richmond, “and the movements of the planets are traced with accuracy, even to a second of arc. Time is an important element in the calculations, as the revolution of the earth on its axis and its polar magnetism is calculated in a time basis.”
Mr. Richmond has over two hundred “mysteries”, which can exhibited to prove his proposition. Among other feats he can delineate a person’s horoscope and tell things about then they know, things they have forgotten, or are yet to know, the day they were born, year, month, and hour and all simply from the person’s astral number.
Every person born into the world has a planet which especially rules over them and which during their span on earth, with the other bodies in the solar system plays an important part in shaping their lives. Each person, male or female, has an individual number drawn from the value of this over-ruling star, in these scientific calculations. This number is the basis for many of the mathematical wonders. Many of these “mysteries,” Mr. Richmond asserts, can be easily mastered and elucidated by novices. The number 142857, so Mr. Richmond informed the reporter, was a noted sacred number with the Egyptians, and has many wonderful mathematical and other properties. “These feats are not the work of spirits, psychology or hocus pocus, but simple magic, based on the laws of astronomy, as understood at the present time, aided by the ancient methods handed down form Egyptian, Chaldaic, and Arabian magi, to which many logarithmic rules of more modern times, based upon the same grand principals, have been added.”