Πέμπτη, 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Count Alessandro Cagliostro Healer, Alchemist and Freemason in the Age of Enlightenment by Philippa Faulks

 

Count Alessandro Cagliostro Healer, Alchemist and Freemason in the Age of Enlightenment 
by Philippa Faulks

IN THIS PAPER, I hope to shed some light, not only on the nature of Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, but also on the nature of his mission to ‘perfect’ Freemasonry through the Natural and Supernatural sciences.
Cagliostro was famed throughout eighteenth century Europe for his reputation as a healer, alchemist and founder of Egyptian Freemasonry. Unfairly, history has been somewhat unsympathetic to a man regarded as an occult charlatan and a purported embarrassment to Freemasonry. 

His Egyptian Rite is, in fact, a beautiful work of Hermetic and Masonic philosophy, an introduction to higher alchemical teachings, blending what he believed were the three most honourable and noble arts in the world. Cagliostro could not understand why there should be any separation between Freemasonry, Hermeticism and alchemy – for him they were the pathway to divinity, to perfection of the soul and was perplexed as to why they were regarded as separate entities. He firmly believed that all these principles be taught in balance to achieve balance; without one there could be no other – they co-existed as a total spiritual path.

If regular Freemasonry could not understand this, then he would create his own ritual encompassing all the qualities he understood to be imperative for the perfection of mankind through the immortality of the soul. His healing practices, his alchemy and teachings in the Egyptian Rite were a blend of natural and supernatural sciences – a perfect synergy in action.

His work as a healer was well documented and indeed fêted by many dignitaries across Western Europe. The Bishop of Strasburg, Louis René Édouard, Cardinal de Rohan (1734-1803), employed him on several occasions, not only as chief alchemist but also as his physician. One notable event was the illness of de Rohan’s cousin in Paris and after all attempts by the doctors there came to naught, the Cardinal begged Cagliostro to attend to him. Incognito, he accompanied de Rohan to Paris whereby he proceeded to cure the cousin, restoring him to health within the week. It was only after the cure that the healer’s identity was revealed, to much distaste amongst the failed Parisian physicians. It is also rumoured that Cagliostro tended to the needs of Benjamin Franklin during his time in France as Ambassador of America.

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