By Travis Sanders
One of the most fascinating figures I have come across in the world of Spiritualism and the occult is that of Paschal Beverly Randolph.
Born October 8, 1825, Paschal was a descendant of William Randolph, an early American colonist and politician. Paschal was a free man of mixed raced, his mother, Flora, was said to be descendant of a queen in Madagascar. Flora, died young, leaving Paschal’s half-sister, Harriet to raise him for part of his youth.
In his late teens, Randolph set to sea as a sailor, exploring Europe, Africa and the far east, where he was exposed to, and studied esoteric, medicinal and magical practices of numerous cultures. He even studied under and befriended Elphias Levi, a famous french occultist and ceremonial magician. By his mid twenties, he returned from sea to pursue a career as a writer and lecturer.
Randolph firmly supported abolishing slavery, and even spent time teaching literacy to freed slaves. In the course of lecturing, teaching, writing, and traveling, he was exposed to Spiritualism and adopted the faith, eventually developing as a trance-medium, who demonstrated in halls for many. His numerous books include- Clairvoyance, How to Produce It, and Seership! The Magnetic Mirror.
Like many Spiritualist, Paschal Randolph was a progressive thinker, supporting abolitionism, free love, and even birth control as early as the late 1850’s. He was also known for introducing teachings on sex and the spirituality of sex and sex magick to the western world. He established the First Rosicrucian Order in the United States (Brotherhood of Eulis & Ordo Templi Orientis), a sect of an esoteric brotherhood derived from a 17th century order named for Christian Rosenkreutz, whose aim was to illuminate christian mysteries through an occult lens of understanding. He achieved titles of Supreme Hierarch, and Grand Templar.
While Paschal Beverly Randolph traveled all over the world, he primarily placed roots in New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Ohio, where he founded a publishing company. Randolph died by suicide at age 49, in Toledo, Ohio. His feast day is July 29th.
Conjuring Harriet ‘Mama Moses’ Tubman by Witchdoctor Utu