Sneha Girap (Editor)

G O Mebes

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Name  G. Mebes

Died  1930, Syktyvkar, Russia
G. O. Mebes martinistruimggregorymebesjpg

G. O. Mebes (Gregory Ottonovich Mёbes, 1868 (Riga, Latvia) - 1930(Ust-Sysolsk, Russia)), was a leader of Russian Freemasonry, with more than 200 years of existence at that time, and the founder of ‘The Initiation School of Western Esoterism’. In his external life, he occupied the position of professor of French and Mathematics in two of the best schools in Saint Petersburg. He was appreciated and well known among the members of the society in the capital city. However, very few knew of his School. Only those who were invited by him were allowed into the School.


Initiation School of Western Esoterism

The School had an ‘external circle’, attended by all of his students, as well as some ‘internal groups’ formed accordingly to the evolutionary level of the disciples, their individual aspirations and capabilities.

In 1912, foreseeing what perhaps was the storm about to reach Russia, G. O. Mebes agreed that his disciples publish the lessons about the 22 Major Arcana of Tarot. The book came out under the title of The Course of Encyclopedia of Occultism, which was completely justified because through the explanation of the Arcana, which are faces of the Truth, he introduced all of the ramifications and aspects of occultism. The first edition was quickly sold out.

In late 1917, when the new soviet regime started to persecute religion and spiritualism, the School of G.O. Mebes became clandestine, but its works never stopped.

In 1926, due to imprudence of one of the students, the School and the domicile of its members were invaded by soviet authorities, the documents destroyed and those who were linked the School were arrested. G. O. Mebes was deported to a gulag in the Solovetsk islands, in the White Sea, sub-Arctic region. He died a few years later.


In 1937, the Encyclopedia was considered as a classic of occultism, it was again published in Shanghai, China. Before that, in the second decade, in Tallinn, Estonia, the Russian theosopher Catarina Sreznewska-Zelenzeff, who was getting ready to leave Europe and move to Brazil, received from her friend, Nina Rudnikoff, disciple of G. O. Mebes, a precious material about the Minor Arcana of Tarot. Nina, escaping from Russia, saved all her notes taken during her studies at the School. Having known that Catarina was going to travel to Brazil, Nina gave her the notes taken from the lessons that had been ministered by Mebes to the internal circle groups of the School. She also asked her to transfer her notes to ‘someone dignified’, asking her that take that with her and, eventually, transfer the material to someone else ‘dignified’ so that the lessons could be preserved.

Years later, in Brazil, in a very strange coincidence, Catarina met Nadia, widow of Gabriel Iellatchitch, another disciple and great friend of Mebes. Both ladies decided to live together. Right after that, Nadia’s brother, Alexandre Nikitin-Nevelskoy, who had a profound knowledge of esoterism and was also a follower of Mebes’ School, came from Chile to live with them. By putting his notes together and with the help of the two ladies, Alexandre reestablished the course of the Minor Arcana of Tarot in its entirety. Therefore, Nina’s wish came true because the material was safe and not only transmitted to ‘someone dignified’ but also organized by someone competent, who belonged to the same egregoric (see egregore) chain. This allowed the work to be translated to Portuguese.

Some of the copies of the Encyclopedia reached Brazil and were translated by Marta Pécher, who was deeply impressed by the content of the book. She also tried to reach contact with old disciples of Mebes, and finally knew one of his direct disciples, who died in Chile. With some help, she began the translation to Portuguese and published the book under the title Os arcanos Maiores do Tarô (The Major Arcana of Tarot). This book was edited by Editora Pensamento, in Brazil. Following the symbolism he explains in his book, some tarot cards have been created. These cards are very rich in symbolism, as Mebes knew Kabbalah as well as the numeric meaning of every arcana.


Mebes' work also influenced the writer Mouni Sadhu, who admitted that his own book, The Tarot, was based on that of Mebes.


G. O. Mebes Wikipedia

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