Dr. Paschal Beverly Randolph, Egyptian Alchemy Master, while not well known amongst the general population is popular and respected amongst Western occultists. Randolph is the greatest metaphysician of the 19th century. Much literature has been written about him. Randolph is credited as the first to establish the Rosicrucian Order in the United States. An inexplicable amount of occult knowledge and understanding is owed to Dr. P. B. Randolph.
Paschal Beverly Randolph ( October 8, 1825 - July 29, 1875) was an Alkhemist, Sex Magician, Supreme Grand Master of All Rosicrucians, Abolitionist, Doctor, Lecturer, Archeologist, Aristocrat, Soldier, Poet, World Traveler, Writer, Keeper of the Ansairetic Mystery System, and Prince of Madagascar. Paschal was an initiate and Grandmaster of major masonic lodges all over the world. He was the founder of the Freedmen's Bureau. Randolph was a foremost authority in Western Occultism whose influence has been largely ignored. He had a huge influence on Aleister Crowley, Sex Magick, and Western Occultism as we know it today.
Randolph travelled over much of the old Moorish lands through Turkey, Arabia, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and Ireland. His meetings with Sufis, Dervishes and other Muslim mystics definitely influenced much of his writings. In these Randolph refers to the Muslim “Ansairs” (also known as the Nusairi and Alawis), the “Ansairetic Mysteries”, and the secrets of “the Syrian mountaineers.” From his solitary travels in the Orient, he claimed to have brought back arcane knowledge and practices that revolutionized Western esotericism. Randolph’s biographer says his ideas “left their traces on Madame Blavatsky, her Theosophical Society, and many practising occult organizations in Europe and America today.”
It is unknown whether he was born in Ohio, New York, or Virginia. He died in Toledo, Ohio (big ups to my hometown!). Paschal was an African American (Moor) of mixed race decent. Many tried to say he was the descendent of slaves however Paschal denied this assumption about his background. He asserted that his ancestors were not slaves. His mother was a free woman of Spanish, Eastern Indian, French, Oriental and Royal Madagascan blood (in other words she was a noble Moor). Paschal's father, William Randolph was a plantation owner.
Understandably, Randolph ran away from home at age 15. He sailed the world for 5 years. During his journey he discovered his passion for medicine and occultism.
Randolph attracted all the right people to himself. He befriended various well-known Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Hermeticists, and Alchemists while in Europe. Among them were Eliphas Lévi (Louis Constant) in France, Kenneth Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Hargrave Jennings, and Kenneth MacKenzie in Britain.
The mystifying 19th century Adept, Paschal Beverly Randolph is recognized with being the first candid teacher in the west for the ancient sexual gnosis, concealed for centuries in various degrees of symbolism. He removed the veil of Isis and imparted this knowledge to the members of his Brotherhood of Eulis, by his various books, publications, and personal instruction.
Randolph’s lessons were dominant influences on the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, the Golden Dawn and the O.T.O. Sexual Magic is believed to be his greatest and most revealing work. It is held by many as the most significant book of magic in the Abrahamic tradition.
Randolph returned to America equipped with mystic knowledge, intriguing esoteric transmissions concerning sexuality, and the title of the Supreme Grand Master of the Rosicrucian Order. Randolph learned how to do what he coined "triple clairvoyance" where he was able to accomplish tasks such as reading while blindfolded. In his travels, especially the Old World of Africa and Eastern Asia, Randolph was able to interact and become inducted into the mystery systems that were closed off to Europeans. He wowed many with his ability as a seer/medium and deep understanding of esoteric knowledge. His lineage and sincerity allowed Paschal to become accepted and trusted by African and Asian keepers of the ancient knowledge who were unwilling to pass the traditions into the hands of European seekers.
Randolph became a close acquaintance and adviser to Abraham Lincoln. He was also an abolitionist against slavery. According to the Rosicrucian Order, President Lincoln ultimately became a member of a Rosicrucian "Council of Three" collectively with General Hitchcock and Randolph. This group was called "The Peerless Trio" or "Unshakable Triumvirate." When Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, Randolph accompanied Lincoln's funeral procession. He was devastated when asked to leave the train because some passengers objected to Randolph being included because of his African-American descent (those people would be turning in their graves if they knew about President Obama, lol).
Randolph was a Supreme Grand Master with a deep understanding of the ancient mystery systems. He had many respected associates who appreciated his abilities and wisdom. Randolph also had contemporaries, like Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, who wanted to pick his brain and ravage his journals for the knowledge that he attained. There was jealousy and resentment towards Randolph because noone else in the Western Occult traditions was able to attain the level that he achieved. In short, they needed Randolph to enter the doors because they did not have the Master Key.
Randolph created his own Ohio-based publishing house. He released over 50 books on topics such as sex magick, alchemy, elixirs, scrying and other topics.
Randolph died in Toledo, Ohio at age 49 under suspicious circumstances. It was ruled a death by self-inflicted wound to the head, however many questioned the coroner's explanation. Several of Randolph's writings were strictly against suicide. Also the year before his death Randolph married, and his wife bore a son, Osiris Budha Randolph, for whom Randolph had great hopes. Curiously, R. Swinburne Clymer, a later Supreme Master of the Fraternity, told everyone that years later in a death-bed confession, a former friend of Randolph conceded that in a state of jealousy and temporary insanity, he had killed Randolph.