Constance Wachtmeister

Constance Wachtmeister

Constance Wachtmeister

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The Countess Wachtmeister was the companion and coworker of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from 1885 until HPB’s death in 1891.[1] She lectured widely in the 1890s, and helped Annie Besant to form lodges in the United States.

Personal life

Constance Georgina Louise Bourbel de Monpincon was born in Florence, Italy on March 28, 1838, to a French father and an English mother. In 1863 she married her cousin, the Count Wachtmeister. They had a son, count Axel Raoul. The family moved to Stockholm, Sweden, and in 1868 the count was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.[2] Her husband died in 1871. She joined joined the Theosophical Society in 1881.

She died in 1910.

Life with H. P. Blavatsky

Encounters with Mahatma Morya

“On one or other of his early visits to Europe, Countess Wachtmeister also met Master Morya. H. P. B. mentions the fact in a letter to Mr. N. D. Khandalvala, dated July 12, 1888:

Constance Wachtmeister joined the T.S. because she recognised in the portrait of my Master her living Master who saved her on several occasions, whom she saw in his physical body years ago when he was in England, whom she saw in her astral body a number of times, and who wrote to her from the first in the same handwriting he uses for our Society. When she assured herself of this, she joined the T.S. at his advice; and now for three years and more she lives with and takes care of me.”[3]

Experiences with phenomena

In the autumn of 1885 the Countess was getting ready to go to Italy to spend the winter with some friends, when a singular phenomenon happened:

I was making preparations to leave my home in Sweden to spend the winter with some friends in Italy. . . . I was arranging and laying aside the articles I intended to take with me to Italy when I heard a voice saying, “Take that book, it will be useful to you on your journey.” I may as well say at once that I have the faculties of clairvoyance and clairaudience rather strongly developed. I turned my eyes on a manuscript volume I had placed among the heap of things to be locked away until my return. Certainly it seemed a singular inappropriate vade mecum for a holiday, being a collection of notes on the Tarot and passages in the Kabbalah that had been compiled for me by a friend. However, I decided to take it with me, and laid the book in the bottom of one of my traveling trunks.

On her way to Italy she stopped at Elberfeld and satyed for some days with Madame Gebhard. When she was about to depart she got a telegram from H. P. Blavatsky requesting the Countess to join her at Wurzburg. Soon after she arrived, she had the following incident:

I remember very well that it was then, on going into the dining room together to take some tea, that she said to me abruptly, as of something that had been dwelling on her mind.”Master says you have a book for me of which I am much in need.”

“No, indeed,” I replied, “I have no books with me.”

“Think again,” she said, “Master says you were told in Sweden to bring a book on the Tarot and the Kabbalah”.

Then I recollected the circumstances that I have related before. From the time I had placed the volume in the bottom of my box it had been out of my sight and out of my mind. Now, when I hurried to the bedroom, unlocked the trunk, and dived to the bottom, I found it in the same corner I had left it when packing in Sweden, undisturbed from that moment to this.[4]

Lecture tours

Writing and editing

The Countess was an excellent writer in English and in French, and edited Theosophical Siftings. She worked with Bertram Keightley to organize the Theosophical Publishing Society. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 446 articles by or about Constance and Axel Wachtmeister.

Articles

  • “The Countess Wachtmeister Defends Madame Blavatsky,” The Religio-Philosophical Journal (Chicago, Illinois) May 5, 1888, p. 6. Available at Blavatsky Archives.

Books

  • Practical Vegetarian Cookery. San Francisco: Mercury Publishing Co.; Chicago: Theosophical Book Concern, 1897. Written with Kate Buffington Davis. Available at Wellcome LibraryBiblioboard, and others.
  • Spiritualism in the Light of Theosophy. San Francisco: Mercury Publishing Co., 1897.
  • Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine. London: Theosophical Publishing Society; New York: The Path; Madras: Theosophical Society, 1893. Available at Hathitrust and Internet Archive. Translated into Swedish and French.
  • H. P. B. and The Present Crisis In The Theosophical Society. [London]: Privately printed, Women’s Printing Society, 1894-1895. translated into Swedish, 1895.
  • Theosophy In Every-Day Life. Sydney, 1895. “Compiled by a fellow of the Theosophical Society, repr. from Theosophical Siftings, Vol. 3, by kind permission of the editor, the Countess Wachtmeister.” Translated into French by Annie Besant.

Notes

  1. Jump up George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 245.
  2. Jump up “Mme. Blavatsky’s Companion Here: the Countess Wachtmeister Will Lecture on Theosophical Questions,” New York Times (September 20, 1894)
  3. Jump up Mary K. Neff, The “Brothers” of Madame Blavatsky (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1932), 82.
  4. Jump up A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas Case 54, compiled and edited by Daniel H. Caldwell
Constance Georgina Louise Wachtmeister
Xylography 1894
Born Constance Georgina Louise de Bourbel de Montpincon
28 March 1838[1]
FlorenceItaly
Died 24 September 1910(aged 72)[2]
Occupation Editor, lecturer, theosophist
Notable work Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine”
Spouse(s) Carl Wachtmeister (married 1863)
Children One son, Axel Raoul Wachtmeister
Parent(s)
  • Auguste de Bourbel de Montpincon
  • Constance Bulkley

Constance Georgina Louise Wachtmeister (née Constance de Bourbel de Montpincon, Frenchde Bourbel de Montpinçon; March 28, 1838 in Florence – September 24, 1910 in Los Angeles), known as Countess Wachtmeister, was a prominent theosophist, a close friend of Helena Blavatsky.[3][4][5]

Biography[edit source]

Constance’s father was French Marquis de Bourbel de Montpincon and mother Constance Bulkley, English by birth. She lost her parents when she was very young and was sent to her aunt Mrs Bulkley in England. In 1863 she married her cousin, the Count Wachtmeister, with whom she had a son, count Axel Raoul.[6]

After three years of marriage she moved to Stockholm where, in 1868, the count was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.[7][8] After the death of her husband in 1871, she still lived in Sweden for several years. In 1879 the countess began investigating Spiritism[7] and in 1881 joined the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society.[9] She met H.P. Blavatsky in London in 1884.[10] She was an important partner for Blavatsky and essential support for the work of The Secret Doctrine. Some time after Blavatsky had come in 1885 at Wurzburg she was joined by the Wachmeister, who “loyally and lovingly helped in the great work.”[11] In 1887 Wachtmeister organized the Theosophical Publishing Co. alongside Bertram Keightley, in order to publish Blavatsky’s works.[10][12] In 1888-95 she was an editor of the Theosophical Siftings.[13][14] She was secretary and treasurer of the Blavatsky Lodge in London.[13] In 1890 she became a member of the Inner Group of Blavatsky Lodge.[15] In 1893 Besant and Wachtmeister went to India.[10]In 1894 she had a lecture in New York City on theosophical questions.[16] In 1896 Wachmeister toured the USA and Australia lecturing on Theosophy.[5]

Reminiscences of Blavatsky[edit source]

She has not left many written texts, but her work Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and the “Secret Doctrine” is a source for a study on the personality of Madame Blavatsky.[17][18]

Wachmeister stated that she has now spent a few months with Blavatsky. “I have shared her room and been with her morning, noon and night. I have had access to all her boxes and drawers, have read the letters which she received and those which she wrote.” [19] Wachtmeister, who became Blavatsky’s “guardian angel, domestically speaking, during the years of the composition of The Secret Doctrine in Germany and Belgium, has printed her account of a number of extraordinary occurrences of the period.”[20] In her Reminiscences Wachmeister writes in detail of the many facts coming under her observation which pointed to extrinsic help in the Blavatsky’s work. She wrote: “The Secret Doctrine will be indeed a great and grand work. I have had the privilege of watching its progress, of reading the manuscripts, and witnessing the occult way in which she derived her information.”[21]

Wachtmeister wrote, “When a printed copy [of The Secret Doctrine] was put into my hands, I was thankful to feel that all these hours of pain, toil and suffering had not been in vain, and that H.P.B. had been able to accomplish her task and give to the world this grand book, which, she told me, would have to wait quietly until the next century to be fully appreciated, and would only be studied by the few now.”[22]

Publications[edit source]

  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1976). Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine”. Theosophical classics series (2nd ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Theosophical Pub. House. ISBN 0835604888OCLC 2493519.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1895). H. P. B. and the present crisis in the Theosophical Society. London: Women’s printing society. OCLC 31245050.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1895). Theosophy in every-day life. Sidney. OCLC 46265300.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1897). Spiritualism in the light of theosophy. San Francisco, Calif: Mercury Print. OCLC 14466635.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1897). Practical vegetarian cookery. Chicago, Ill: Theosophical Book Concern. OCLC 3025026. (in co-authorship)
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (2010). Psychic and Astral Development. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1162833998.

Translations[edit source]

  • Вахтмейстер, Констанция (2011). Воспоминания о Е. П. Блаватской и “Тайной доктрине” [Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine”]. Архивы. Исследования (in Russian). Одесса: Астропринт. ISBN 978-966-190-329-5.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1979). “La doctrine secréte” et madame Blavatsky [Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine”] (in French). Paris. OCLC 901210898.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1894). H. P. Blavatsky och “Den hemliga läran” [Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and “The Secret Doctrine”] (in Swedish). Göteborg. OCLC 465903582.
  • Wachtmeister, Constance (1905). De theosofie in het dagelijksch leven [Theosophy in every-day life] (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Theosofische Uitgeversmaatschappij. OCLC 66294889.

References[edit source]

  1. Jump up^ Idun & 1894-04-06.
  2. Jump up^ Memories 1936, p. 5.
  3. Jump up^ Besant 1893, ch. 14.
  4. Jump up^ Сенкевич 2012, p. 436.
  5. Jump up to:a b Tillett 1986, p. 982.
  6. Jump up^ Axel Raoul Wachtmeister (1865-1947) was a well-known musical composer in his day, an author operaoratorio Prince Siddharthaoclc.
  7. Jump up to:a b Memories 1936, p. 3.
  8. Jump up^ Carl Wachtmeister (1823–1871). Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon.
  9. Jump up^ Wachtmeister 1976, ch. 2.
  10. Jump up to:a b c Memories 1936, p. 4.
  11. Jump up^ Heindel 1933, ch. 3.
  12. Jump up^ 1891 England Census, showing a household including “Constance Wachtmeister, manager of Publishing Office; Helena Blavatsky, authoress; and others.”
  13. Jump up to:a b Вахтмейстер 2011, От переводчиков.
  14. Jump up^ Theosophical Siftings
  15. Jump up^ Cleather 1923, p. 22.
  16. Jump up^ New York Times & 1894-09-20.
  17. Jump up^ Сенкевич 2012, pp. 436–455.
  18. Jump up^ Wachtmeister 1976, ch. 4.
  19. Jump up^ Kuhn 1992, p. 86.
  20. Jump up^ Kuhn 1992, p. 190.
  21. Jump up^ Wachtmeister 1976, ch. 10.

Sources[edit source]

External links[edit source]

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