Prophecy, by Lady Hester Stanhope
The star of prophecy shines in the east. To those nations who were first
in the order of creation belongs by right the power of investigating the
mysteries of life.
The people of the East have been known in all past history for their gift
As water gravitates to its level, so I gravitated to the East.
I left my native land, and for many years sojourned among the wandering
Arabs. This course of action was not understood by my countrymen. They
could not see the mystic star that drew me away from their busy haunts.
The Magi of the East had stood at my cradle and endowed me with the noble
gift of the Seeress.
The power of reading the future does not belong to the Northern people.
It is the darkest and deepest well that reflects the star above it; the
dark and swarthy East is thus endowed. The pale North cannot give out
impressions. I was an exception to this rule.
There are those who at birth are possessed of Eastern spirits—Asiatics.
Andrew Jackson Davis is not a Northern man—he is an Asiatic. Look at his
olive complexion, his keen eye, his beard and hair of jetty black, his
visage,—all betray the race which inspired him.
The faculty of discerning the future belongs only to certain races, and
it cannot be universal. Many spirits profess to read the future, but few
can do so correctly.
Yet the life of man is mapped out in every particular, even before his
birth. Men are like planets. The future of the planet Earth could have
been foretold before it was thrown off from the sun and while it was yet
in a molten state; so each step in an individual life could be foretold:
yet it requires ability to enter into the peculiar magnetic condition in
order to obtain the power of foretelling. It may be said if the future of
man is thus mapped out, even as was the creation and progression of the
earth, it becomes merely a scientific affair to prophesy the future of
any given individual. This is true, but the inquirer will observe how
many hundreds and hundreds of years science has been engaged in
discovering facts concerning this world's history. The eye of prophecy
could foresee those facts and foretell them, though it could not lay down
any scientific basis in regard to them.
The events which will take place to-morrow may be said to have already
The water that is rising from yon creek will increase in volume.
Conditions which have been for days and weeks in preparation will
suddenly conspire, causing the stream to rise to such a height that the
city will be overflowed, bridges swept away, and certain individuals
submerged by the current and their lives lost.
This disastrous occurrence is governed by a law which the keen observer
of nature could have foretold years previous to the event.
As in the natural world the traveller in the desert beholds the mirage of
some city which is hundreds of miles distant, suddenly arising upon the
sandy waste, so, in the spirit world, the spectrum form is projected, and
events which are to take place are made visible before their actual
occurrence. But, as in the natural world spectrum forms occur only under
certain atmospheric conditions, so in the spirit world it is the
conjunction of circumstances and the blending of magnetic currents that
make it possible for coming events to be revealed upon the level plane
which is set apart for this purpose in the summer land.
Man at the present day is so constituted that a revealment to him of
coming events in detail would be injurious; and experience proves that
such disclosures, when made to him in dreams or otherwise, are
profitless, as he always fails to foil the evil of which he is
History and biography show that individuals have time and again, been
admonished by their assiduous friends of evils or calamities that were to
befall them, yet the admonition, though timely given, seldom enabled them
to avoid their fate. Men have been warned of murderous assaults, but they
have not evaded them; premonitions have been given of falling buildings,
and these have fallen, involving in their destruction the loss of the
individual's life at the precise date which his dream foreshadowed.
The time will come in the far future when man will understand prophecy as
a science. There are few persons living at the present day, who, looking
back upon their past history, would conscientiously wish it had been all
revealed to them at the outset of their career.
The withered, faded beauty, at the dawn of her life of youthful triumph
could not have endured a vision of the haggard unfortunate wretch which
she would represent in the course of a few years.
These remarks apply more especially to the so-called civilized state of
society at the present day.
The semi-barbarous nations, so termed, are in closer sympathy with
nature. Life and death, prosperity and adversity, are to them as natural
effects as the sunshine and rain of the terrestrial globe.
Their equanimity, their perfect repose upon the bosom of nature, causes
them to see more clearly into the future than do civilized nations. There
is a spirit of prophecy which does not comprehend the detail, and only
takes cognizance of the grand events of life.
This prophetic condition is attainable by every being in a certain state
The poet, the painter, the statesman, the preacher, can alike in moments
of ecstasy ascend this mount of inspiration, and foretell the advancement
of the world in relation to art, science, and spiritual development. But
the oracle, the sybil of the East can penetrate a height beyond and above
this mount, and can perceive the detail of an individual life in its
The Bible prophecy which foretold that "knowledge should cover the earth,
even as the waters cover the sea," and that "the wilderness should
blossom as the rose," was given in an ecstatic vision, and was simply a
spiritual comprehension of the power of soul over matter.
As a knowledge of distance is relative, a keen perception on the part of
the prophet revealed to him, as he beheld the birds soaring in air, that
the journey to lands beyond the sea was no greater distance to those
winged creatures than a few miles would be to him. The prophecy Isaiah
made more than eighteen hundred years ago, is fulfilled to-day. Science
has annihilated space; knowledge becomes universal, and the wilderness
The sages of centuries agone are animating the bodies of to-day. The
doctrine of pre-existence is not a fable, yet to have lived two lives
belongs only to a chosen few, or those whom a fortuitous circumstance has
Napoleon was one of these. The spirit of a great warrior took possession
of him at birth.
But the condition of a pre-existing soul taking possession of a body can
occur only under peculiar circumstances. The soul principle is male and
female, and its perfection depends upon the two sexes as much as the
formation of the body depends upon the coalition of the two. In states
superinduced by opium or intoxicating liquor upon one party, the spirit
principle becomes deadened so that an active immortal spirit may take its
This male and female spirit principle, after forming a magnetic relation
by the joined bodies, lies inactive in the soul atmosphere of the mother
until material birth. If, as is sometimes caused through accident, there
is but one spirit principle active, the child when born will be idiotic.
If the male or female spirit of the pre-existing intelligence is of
superior order, then the child, as its intellectual faculties develop,
will display extraordinary abilities, which will be in accordance with
the peculiar development of the pre-existent spirit.
The history of individuals thus circumstanced can be more clearly
discerned than others. Prophecy in bold and clear characters foretells
the events which will transpire in their earth life.
In like manner Jesus, the celebrated child of Bethlehem, had lived a
pre-existent life on earth. He had reigned over a people in his previous
life, a wise and loving king. Vague remembrances continuously fluttered
across his vision and colored the thoughts to which he gave utterance.
When his mother conceived him, she was not conscious; delirium of
religious ecstasy, superinduced by priestly influence, rendered her
oblivious to events, and enabled this wise, tender, loving king to take
the place of the native spirit. Christ never married in this life,
because the spirits which possessed him were not male and female.[A]
[Footnote A: The well-known eccentric character of this writer while on
earth may partly explain the singular views here set forth. ED.]
The power of foretelling the future is yet in its infancy. Coming events
are said to cast their shadows before; and as the barometer indicates to
a skilful eye the approach of a storm when no sign is visible in the calm
sky above, so the events which will befall an individual are marked upon
the delicate spiritual barometer which forms a part of his being, and can
be read with unerring precision by the clear and practiced eye of the