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Papus Gerard Encausse

July 29, 2009

papus

Gérard Encausse, usually known by his pseudonym “Papus,” was a Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of occultism.

Encausse’s pseudonym “Papus” was taken from Lévi’s “Nuctemeron of Apollonius of Tyana” and means “physician.” Papus is primarily remembered as an author of books on magic, Qabalah and the Tarot, and as a prominent figure in the various occultist organizations and Parisian spiritualist and literary circles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries e.v. He was born at 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 Qabalah, the Tarot, the sciences of magic and alchemy, and the writings of Eliphas Lévi. He joined the French Theosophical Society shortly after it was founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1884-85, but he resigned shortly after joining because he disliked the Theosophical Society’s emphasis on Eastern occultism.

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 submital of a dissertation on Philosophical Anatomy. He opened a clinic in the Rue Rodin which was quite successful.

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