About Me

Papus's Biography (Books)

To Authors Index

Papus, born Gerard Encausse [July 13, 1865 - October 25, 1916], (Papus was a pseudonym he took for his esoteric and occult [hidden wisdom] writings) was considered an expert on occult and esoteric subjects during the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was, and is, very often quoted in Tarot writings, even to this day!

In 1888, Papus co-founded his own group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. That same year, he and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the Librarie du Merveilleux and its monthly revue L'Initiation, which remained in publication until 1914.

Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, as well as Memphis-Misraim and probably other esoteric or paramasonic organizations, as well as being an author of several occult books. Outside of his paramasonic and Martinist activities he was also a spiritual student of the French spiritualist healer, Anthelme Nizier Philippe, "Maitre Philippe de Lyon".

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 submitting a dissertation on Philosophical Anatomy. He opened a clinic in the rue Rodin which was quite successful.

Encausse visited Russia three times, in 1901, 1905, and 1906, serving Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra both as physician and occult consultant. In October 1905, he allegedly conjured up the spirit of Alexander III, the Tsar Nicholas's father, who prophesied that the Tsar would meet his downfall at the hands of revolutionaries. Encausse's followers allege that he informed the Tsar that he would be able to magically avert Alexander's prophesy so long as Encausse was alive; Nicholas kept his hold on the throne of Russia until 141 days after Papus's death.

Although Encausse seems to have served the Tsar and Tsarina in what was essentially a shamanic capacity, he was later curiously concerned about their heavy reliance on occultism to assist them in deciding questions of government. During their later correspondence, he warned them a number of times against the influence of Rasputin.


When World War I broke out, Encausse joined the French army medical corps. While working in a military hospital, he contracted tuberculosis and died in Paris on October 25, 1916, at the age of 51.

Partial bibliography

The written works of Papus (Gerard Encausse) include:

- Papus (Gerard Encausse). L'Occultisme Contemporain. 1887. PDF scans from Gallica
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). L'Occultisme. 1890.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). La Science Des Mages. 1892. PDF scans from Gallica
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Anarchie, Indolence et Synarchie. 1894. PDF scans from Gallica
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Le Diable et l'occultisme. 1895.
- Papus (Gerard Encausse). Traite Methodique De La Magie Pratique. 1898. PDF scans from Gallica
- Niet (Gerard Encausse and Jean Carrere). La Russie Aujourd'hui. 1902.
Papus (Gerard Encausse). La Kabbale. 1903.
Papus (Gerard Encausse). Le Tarot Divinataire. 1909.

To Authors Index