Stanislas de Guaita

(1861 - 1897)

1st Ill. G.P. R+C of the O.K.R.C.

Stanislas de Guaïta was born in the region of Lorraine (France) on April 6, 1861 at the castle of Alteville, near Tarquimpol. He was linked by his mother, Marie-Amélie Grandjean, to this French region and by his father, François-Paul de Guaïta, to an old noble family of Lombardy (Italy), established in Lorraine since 1800, with the title of Marquis.

While attending high school in the city of Nancy around 1880, de Guaïta became friends with Maurice Barrès and later joined the initiatic Order called Martinism. A foreword of one of the editions of Au seuil du mystère (At the threshold of the mystery) is signed by Maurice Barrès. We don’t know whether the two men shared the same political convictions. Barres evolved from an individualistic aestheticism to a nationalist and Catholic mysticism of the Earth and the dead, centered on a republican patriotism.

It is in the writings of Peladan that Stanislas de Guaïta found his first door into the occult universe. Subsequently, he was introduced to Christian mysticism through the writings of Eliphas Levi, of which he would become the commentator. Fabre d'Olivet directed him to the great mysteries in general and to the Hebrew language, while the writings of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre introduced him to synarchism. Although he had mocked Papus for the choice of his pseudonym, he became friends with this famous figure of the occult world.

Guaita preached a spiritualism that exalted the Christian Tradition, which, thanks to the eventual establishment of a form of ideal government, was to lead to the advent of the kingdom of God. In 1888, in the same spirit, he founded, with Péladan, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross. Papus joined the group immediately, but then Peladan separated from it to found another order: the Catholic Rose-Cross, alleging his refusal of operative magic.

Stanislas was the young poet to whom Mendes had just revealed Eliphas Levi. The poet Guaita (The Birds of Passage, 1881, The Black Muse, 1883, Rosa mystica, 1885) "by his classicism of form and writing, was closer to the Parnassians than the Symbolists, so much so that they were in him two distinct beings: The hermetist aristocrat and generous on the one hand, the poet tormented on the other hand.”

Addicted to narcotics, he died prematurely on December 19, 1897, at the age of 36. He was buried in the cemetery of Tarquimpol. Some have claimed that he succumbed to an overdose, but his family denied this. Rather, he may have been taken by serious kidney problems. However, it is possible that the writer, suffering and feeling his end near, may have massively used cocaine and perhaps other products like heroin.

In collaboration with his secretary and friend Oswald Wirth, he made a Tarot that is still published today under the name “Tarot of Wirth.”

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