Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Some Modern Occultists:
Madame Blavatsky,
Founder of the Theosophical Society.

by Cheiro [Louis Hamon]

[First published in Mysteries and Romances of the World's Greatest Occultists
by Cheiro, London, Herbert Jenkins, 1935, Chapter XIV, pp. 170-180.]

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HELEN PETROVNA BLAVATSKY was born at Ekalerinoslav on the 31st July (O.S.), 1831. She was the daughter of Colonel Peter Hahn, a member of a Mecklenburg family who had settled in Russia.

In her seventeenth year she married Nicephore Blavatsky, a man very much her senior, a Russian official of Caucasia, from whom she separated after a few months of married life. In her later years she described the marriage as a nominal one, whatever that may have meant.

During the following twenty years she travelled extensively in Canada, Mexico and India, making two attempts to enter Tibet.

She spoke vaguely of a seven years’ sojourn in "Little and Great Tibet" and in a "Himalayan retreat." In 1858, when she was twenty-seven years of age, she returned to Russia, where she created a good deal of sensation as a spiritualistic medium.

In her thirty-ninth year she became prominent among the spiritualists of the United States, where she resided for six years, becoming a naturalized American.

Five years later, in 1875, she conceived the idea of combining "spiritualistic control" with Buddistic legends about Tibetan sages. From that date she determined to exclude all control except that of Tibetan adepts or "Mahatmas."

She stated that these "Mahatmas" showed their astral bodies to her and "precipitated" messages which reached her in New York in an instant of time and enabled her to bring about the conversion of sceptics.

In New York on the 17th November, 1875, with the assistance of Colonel Henry Olcott, she founded the "Theosophical Society" with the object of forming a universal Brotherhood of Man to develop the divine powers latent in man.

From New York she retired to India for some time, then proceeded to London, where she founded the English branch of the Theosophical Society, and where she died on May 8th, 1891.

At her death she was the acknowledged head of a community of not less than 150,000 persons spread over all parts of the world.

Madame Blavatsky was one of the most remarkable women of modern times.

When I first met her at the Theosophical Headquarters in Avenue Road, where she lived, I was having my first season in London in 1889.

One afternoon, towards the end of March in that year, I received a message saying Madame Blavatsky would like me to call on her that evening at nine o’clock.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I accepted. I considered myself highly honoured in being asked to meet such a remarkable woman, of whose doings the papers had been full for many years.

Punctually at the hour appointed, I arrived, and was immediately shown into a large salon by an elderly woman servant.

After a wait of perhaps ten minutes, heavy velvet curtains at the end of the room were drawn and disclosed the celebrated woman I had called to see, half reclining on a couch at the farther end of the inner salon.

"Cheiro," she said, in a soft melodious voice, "I am happy to receive you. I have heard of your success from many quarters, but as you are so young I fear your head will be turned by so much adulation. Do you realize from what source you derive your powers of prediction?"

"No, Madame," I answered, "I fear I can only give the credit to long years of study and my most earnest desire to help those who come to consult me."

"Very well answered," she smiled, "but it does not cover the main issue. Do you not realize that you are nothing more or less than an ‘incarnation’ forced back to this existence to accomplish a work that you did not complete when you lived here before?"

"I am completely ignorant of such things, Madame," I replied. "I am a very humble seeker after knowledge of any form and shall be most happy for any enlightenment you will be good enough to give me."

"Sit down here," she said, and motioned me to a low chair by the side of her couch.

Then commenced a strange conversation, too complicated to give word by word, but one I have never forgotten.

Briefly, it was that she had received a communication that I was a reincarnation of the famous Cagliostro of the time of Louis XVI; that my career would be in a general way exactly similar to his; that I would influence Kings and Queens and the common people to believe in occultism as they would a religion, but that owing to the different age in which I lived I would travel farther afield than Cagliostro did and that the end of my life would be a very different one from his.

"I am glad of that," I smiled, "for from what I have read Cagliostro ended his days in a dungeon in Rome, or some say, committed suicide in his prison."

"Both suppositions are wrong, my friend," she said, with almost a sneer at my ignorance. "Cagliostro escaped from his captors, thanks to an elixir he carried secretly on his person. He used it at an appointed moment to simulate a state of death. His supposed dead body was carried from its cell and thrown into the Tiber by his guards of the San Leo Prison. He swam to the other side of the river and lived for a great many years after that."

"But, Madame," I questioned, "if the great Cagliostro escaped he surely would not have been contented to live a life of oblivion from then to the end of his days."

"My friend," she replied, in a sad tone of voice, "you are too young to know what love means - you do not realize that Lorenza, the woman Cagliostro loved more than life itself, had died while he was in prison. It was for her alone he had lived - for her he had gained renown - for her he had won riches that she might have jewels. With her gone, nothing remained for him but oblivion; he did not finish his duty to mankind. It is for that reason his spirit reincarnated in you."

"But, Madame, I said, "I could not in my wildest dreams imagine for one moment that I could follow in the footsteps of a man who reckoned kings as his friends, amassed great wealth, cured the sick and passed like some brilliant meteor across Europe. No, Madame, such a dream is too great."

"Listen," she smiled, "I can also make predictions. You are only half way through you first season in London and yet you have already made your name. You will also make friends of kings; you will also become rich; you will also cure the sick. In my vision I see you later on bending over crucibles, not to find the so-called ‘elixir of life’ for yourself as Cagliostro did, but to extract from herbs and plants life-saving and curative remedies.

"When this will come about I do not know, but that it will come I am absolutely certain."

She spoke with such conviction in every tone of her voice that I felt it would be useless to bring up arguments against her views. I could only sit still and listen.

Like someone inspired, she went on with her predictions as to my future, but from fear of being thought egotistical I must refrain from quoting her words.

The part she had told me about Cagliostro made no influence on my mind; I simply could not believe it.

As I rose to go she said: "Come again to-morrow and we will have a longer chat."

As I walked back to my rooms the same thoughts passed through my mind that I had after my first interview with the Right Honourable Arthur James Balfour, and others. A feeling of deep gratitude towards the study that brought me into contact with such remarkable people.

Up to then I had not read any of Madame Blavatsky’s works such as "Isis Unveiled," the "Secret Doctrine," etc. I had simply heard of her through many of my clients and I marvelled at the kind interest she had shown towards me and looked forward with delight to meeting her again the following evening.

Punctually at nine o’clock I presented myself again at the house in Avenue Road. The famous woman welcomed me very warmly. Seated in a large arm-chair, she motioned me to a low seat at her side.

Pushing aside a mass of papers on a small table beside her, to my astonishment she held out both her hands. "Cheiro," she said, "I have heard so much of your accuracy in being able to foreshadow the end of one’s life that I want you to tell me how much longer I must wait for my release."

"Madame," I stammered, "I would not dare. Besides you must know such things far better than I could tell you."

"I want to have some of my own theories confirmed," she answered. "Nothing you can say will be of any shock to me. Perhaps it will be of help to me. Under such conditions will you not make the effort?"

I looked up - our eyes met. What wonderful eyes she had. They were both gentle and commanding at the same moment; they seemed to look through me to my very soul.

Picking up a pencil she pointed to where the Line of Health appeared to cut through the Line of Life. "That is the end," she said, "but give me the exact year, or at least as near as you can. My date of birth was the late evening of July 31, 1831, at Ekalerinoslav, South Russia. In my seventeenth year I married in the beginning of 1849. What does your system of ‘Fadic Numbers’ tell you from those figures?"

"That the series of fours and eights hold the secrets of your life, Madame," I replied. "Let me explain."

Taking her pencil I jotted down 31st July. "Add the 3 and 1, you will find the final digit of four. Add the year of your birth - 1831 - 13 or again 4 for the last figure. The opposition in the Zodiac to 31st July is the House of Saturn, called the ‘House of the 8.’ Your marriage in your seventeenth year also produced an 8, a most unhappy indication. The year 1849, if added together, makes 22, with its final digit of 4.

"On your hand the Line of Fate runs from the wrist to the base of the second finger, called the Mount of Saturn. The Line of Health cuts the Line of Life about your sixty-second year, but in your fifty-eighth year, governed by the number 4, you will have reached the fadic number of your birth sign, but your indomitable will power may carry you a little beyond that age, especially as at your date of birth your Sun, the Giver of Life, was then entering the House of Mercury negative."

Looking me straight in the eyes, she said, "Thank you, Cheiro, you told me exactly what I want to know. For your own satisfaction I may tell you that since I passed into my fifty-eighth year last July, my strength has been rapidly failing. My heart has caused me considerable anxiety. Your warning will do me good, for I will now put my papers in order and prepare in earnest for the short time that lies before me."

Branching away from the subject we had discussed, just as if she had turned over the pages of a book, she entered into a short clear exposition of the doctrine of Theosophy, and explained many of the tenets of Hindu philosophy "I had come in contact with while I was in India."

Then, rather abruptly, she turned and said, "My friend, I would like you to become a member of the Theosophical Society. There is no time to be lost. Will you join now?"

I was completely at a loss for a few moments for an answer. I knew well and deeply appreciated that this wonderful woman wanted to do me good, and yet I was not able to accept her kind proposition.

"Madame," I answered, "it may appear strange, but I made a resolve many years ago that I would keep independent of all sects, religions or communities, no matter how helpful they might be. I deeply appreciate your offer, but I cannot join any society whatever. I feel that in the interest of my particular line of work I must remain a ‘lone wolf’ to the end."

Madame Blavatsky remained silent for a few moments, then very quietly said, "Perhaps you are right. Perhaps by remaining independent, you may escape the petty jealousies that underlie all societies and organizations. A ‘lone wolf’ may have its compensation, after all."

I never met this remarkable woman again. The following year I went to America and while there read in the papers of her death two years later.

Before she passed away she did me one more kindness. She sent me a card of introduction to Mrs. Annie Besant, who was destined some years later to take her place as head of the Theosophical Society.