Gérard Anaclet Vincent Encausse (July 13, 1865 - 25 October 1916), whose pseudonym was Papus, was the Spanish-born French physician, and hypnotist, who founded the modern Martinist Order.
He was also the author of several occult books and an aspiring magician, although it is very unclear whether he ever became one.
Without wishing to appear too judgemental, he is a prime example of someone who is fascinated by magic, sets up numerous orders and organisations, creates numerous books and papers on the subject, but as one wades through them, it is clear the evidence of him ever having had a spiritual experience are somewhat weak.
Most of the evidence seems to point to his using the screen of the occult, as a means of dabbling or perhaps more correctly immersing himself heavily in politics. This said, however, it may be helpful after having read this section to also read the section on the Knights Templar.
Gerard Encausse was born at Corunna (La Coruña) in Spain on July 13, 1865, of a Spanish mother and a French father, Louis Encausse, a chemist. His family moved to Paris when he was four years old, and he received his education there.
As a young man, Encausse spent a great deal of time at the Bibliothèque Nationale studying the Kabbalah, occult tarot, magic and alchemy. He was greatly influenced at the time by the occult writings of Eliphas Lévi, whose translation of the "Nuctemeron of Apollonius of Tyana" printed as a supplement to Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855), provided Encausse with his nom de plume: "Papus".
Encausse’s main spiritual master was “the mysterious magician and spiritual healer” known as "le Maitre Philippe" (Philippe Nizier).
His first actual teacher in the intellectual aspects of occultism was the marquis Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (1842 - 1910). Saint-Yves, was a French occultist who adapted the works of Fabre d'Olivet (1767–1825) and, in turn, had his ideas adapted by Papus. He developed the term Synarchy—the association of everyone with everyone else—into a political philosophy, and his ideas about this type of government proved influential in politics.
Encausse joined the French Theosophical Society shortly after it was founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1884 - 1885, but he resigned soon after joining because “he disliked the Society's emphasis on Eastern occultism”.
In 1888, Encausse, Saint-Yves and Stanislas de Guaita joined with Joséphin Péladan and Oswald Wirth to found the Rosicrucian Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix.
That same year, he and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the Librarie du Merveilleux and its monthly revue L'Initiation, which remained in publication until 1914.
Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light as well as Memphis-Misraim. In 1893, he was consecrated a bishop of l'Église Gnostique de France by Jules Doinel, who had founded this Church as an attempt to revive the Cathar religion in 1890. In 1895, Doinel abdicated as Primate of the French Gnostic Church, leaving control of the Church to a synod of three of his former bishops, one of whom was Encausse. In March 1895, Encausse joined the Ahathoor Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in Paris.
In 1891, Encausse claimed to have come into the possession of the original papers of Martinez Paschalis, or de Pasqually (c. 1700-1774), and therewith founded an Order of Martinists called l'Ordre des Supérieurs Inconnus. He claimed to have been given authority in the Rite of Saint-Martin by his friend Henri Vicomte de Laage, who claimed that his maternal grandfather had been initiated into the order by Saint-Martin himself, and who had attempted to revive the order in 1887.
The Martinist Order was to become a primary focus for Encausse, and continues today as one of his most enduring legacies.
Encausse never became a consistent (Grand Orient) Freemason. Despite this, he organized what was announced as an "International Masonic Conference" in Paris on June 24, 1908, and at this conference he first met Theodor Reuss, and the two men apparently exchanged patents:
Reuss elevated Encausse as X° of the Ordo Templi Orientis as well as giving him license to establish a "Supreme Grand Council General of the Unified Rites of Ancient and Primitive Masonry for the Grand Orient of France and its Dependencies at Paris." For his part, Encausse assisted Reuss in the formation of the O.T.O. Gnostic Catholic Church as a child of l'Église Gnostique de France.
When John Yarker died in 1913, Encausse was elected as his successor to the office of Grand Hierophant (international head) of the Ancient and Primitive Rites of Memphis and Mizraim.
Despite his heavy involvement in occultism and occultist groups, Encausse managed to find time to pursue more conventional academic studies at the University of Paris. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1894 upon submitting a dissertation on Philosophical Anatomy.
Given the number of groups of which he was a member, and the large number of activities in which he was involved, it is not surprising he had little time for actually practising spiritual techniques. His most positive contribution is in the area of medicine and promoting hypnotism as a means of healing. He opened a clinic in the rue Rodin which was quite successful.
It is this activity that has earned him a place on the site, although so far I have been able to find no actual observations of his work here, only a general indication that this was how he worked.
Trip to Russia
Encausse visited Russia three times, in 1901, 1905, and 1906, serving Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra both as physician and ‘occult consultant’.
In October 1905, he prophesied the downfall of the Tsar using “the spirit of Alexander III, the Tsar Nicholas's father”. The spirit spoke through him that the Tsar would meet his downfall at the hands of revolutionaries. Nicholas kept his hold on the throne of Russia until 141 days after Papus's death in 1916. I do not think this was a prophecy, I think this shows he was a very astute political observer, and he was attempting to avert bloodshed, much as the Count de Saint Germain had done with Marie Antoinette. This makes him a 'good man', but not a magician!
Although Encausse seems to have served the Tsar and Tsarina in what was essentially a shamanic capacity, he was later curiously concerned about their heavy reliance on occultism to assist them in deciding questions of government. During their later correspondence, he warned them a number of times against the influence of Rasputin.
To a large extent, Rasputin would have been a rival in giving advice and guiding the Tsar politically. As a consequence of the influence he had on the Tsar, there are numerous conspiracy theories surrounding his part in the Franco-Russian alliance.
There is, however, an unpleasant downside to his character.
In October 1901, Encausse collaborated with Jean Carrère in producing a series of articles in the Echo de Paris under the pseudonym Niet ("no" in Russian). In the articles Sergei Witte and Pyotr Rachkovsky were attacked, and it was suggested that there was a sinister financial syndicate trying to disrupt the Franco-Russian alliance. Encausse and Carrère predicted that this syndicate was a Jewish conspiracy.
When World War I broke out, Encausse joined the French army medical corps. While working in a military hospital, he contracted tuberculosis and died in Paris on October 25, 1916, at the age of 51.
There are no observations, because I could find none.
The written works of Papus (Gerard Encausse) include the following, many of which are available as PDF scans [in French] from Gallica:
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). L'Occultisme Contemporain. 1887.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). L'Occultisme. 1890.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). La Science Des Mages. 1892.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Anarchie, Indolence et Synarchie. 1894.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Le Diable et l'occultisme. 1895.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Traite Méthodique De La Magie Pratique. 1898.
- Niet (Gerard Encausse and Jean Carrère). La Russie Aujourd'hui. 1902.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). La Kabbale. 1903.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Le Tarot Divinataire. 1909.