The Masonic Magician: The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Riteby Philippa Faulks
Count Alessandro Cagliostro was a cult figure in European society in the tumultuous years leading to the French Revolution. As an alchemist, healer, and Freemason, he inspired both wild devotion and savage ridicule, becoming the subject of novels by Alexander Dumas, a drama by Goethe, and Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. But Cagliostro’s sincere belief in the magical powers, even the immortality, of what he called the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry made him dangerous enemies, too. In 1789, he was arrested by the Inquisition and condemned to death for heresy.
Now, the discovery of a mysterious manuscript found in the Archives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland may shine a light on Cagliostro’s secret spiritual teachings, and allow us, finally, a full understanding of his beliefs. The Masonic Magician tells Cagliostro’s extraordinary story, complete with the first English translation of the Egyptian Rite ever published. It presents the case made against him (that he was an impostor as well as a heretic), and finds that the Roman Church, and history itself, have done him a terrible injustice. This scholarly account, drawing on remarkable new documentary evidence, reveals that the man condemned was in fact a remarkable visionary and a true champion of Freemasonry—and that his teachings have much to reveal to us today.
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