The Death of Stanislas de Guaita
Type of Spiritual Experience
Stanislas De Guaita (6 April 1861– 19 December 1897) was a French poet based in Paris, an expert on esotericism and European mysticism, and an active member of the Rosicrucian Order. He was very celebrated and successful in his time.
De Guaita came from a noble Italian family who had relocated to France, and as such his title was 'Marquis', or Marquess. He was born in the castle of Alteville in the commune of Tarquimpol, Moselle, and went to school at the lyceum in Nancy, where he studied chemistry, metaphysics and Cabala. As a young man, he moved to Paris, and his ‘luxurious apartment’ became a meeting place for poets, artists, and writers who were interested in esotericism and mysticism. In the 1880s, Guaita published two collections of poetry The Dark Muse (1883) and The Mystic Rose (1885), which became popular. De Guaita died in 1897 at the age of only 36.
A description of the experience
The Tarot of the Magicians – Oswald Wirth English translation 1985 Samuel Weiser.
The journalists who saw the author of the Temple de Satan as the 'dark Marquis' spending his nights in conjurations with the help of books of spells, made the enlightened author laugh heartily as he was totally opposed to any suspect practices. He was never tempted to carry out the slightest magical act, knowing only too well that whatever can be gained in this way is only dangerous illusion leading to breakdown and madness.
Nevertheless ridiculous rumours are abroad in certain places where it is not accepted that the owner of the 'Clef de la Magie Noire' died of natural causes. They carry their effrontery as far as claiming that the last words of Guaita were 'I die the victim of my own work'. I flatly deny this imaginary story, invented to fit in with the doctrines of charlatans' occult practices.
Guaita died in the Chateau d'Alteville towards the end of 1897 without ever having attributed his illness to his studies, which had been undertaken before the onset of his illness. The people who were present during his last moments thought that they heard him murmur. 'I can see! I can see!', while an expression of happy surprise spread over the face of the genial explorer of the occult.