Olney H. Richmond

Olney H. RichmondAlthough the playing cards and their symbology date back to antiquity, they suffered a long period of obscurity as their energies were funneled into “games” to hide their secret teachings from the ruling Church leaders of the past millennium. However, in the mid-1800s, the secrets were revealed to a Michigan man during the United States’ painful civil war.

This man, Olney Hawkins Richmond, brought the knowledge back to the world’s consciousness and taught and wrote about the mysteries for those who were ready to receive them. Our playing cards thus shed their cloak of gaming tools and revealed their true meanings.

Olney Richmond became initiated into the Order of the Magi during the Civil War. In the spring of 1864, in Nashville, Tennessee, while on campground duty with the 14th Michigan Infantry, Olney was approached by a stranger who called him by name and told him his birthday. Curious, Olney began talking with him. The stranger, a tall, thin, hollow-cheeked Frenchman invited him to his home, wherein Olney was initiated into the high order. The Frenchman also gave him articles to study and told him of how he had learned of the secrets while in India. When Olney voiced his concerns of making it through the war alive, the Frenchman assured him, accurately, no harm would befall him during the hostilities.

In 1871, Olney received an unexplainable urge to go to Chicago for a period of time. In looking for a boarding house, he was attracted to one in particular where he met a gentleman by the name of Dr. Hamilton from Charleston, South Carolina. This man eventually showed Olney an old book that had been a family heirloom and contained within it some of the mysteries that the Frenchman had originally discussed with Olney. The man gave Olney the book. Over the next 18 years, this book and others that Olney acquired along the way, opened the doors of knowledge for him and enabled him to begin writing and lecturing on its mysteries.

Olney H. Richmond published information about the true meaning of the playing cards in 1893 in his first book, The Mystic Test Book Or The Magic Of The Cards. It was given this title because everything inside could actually be tested for its validity. He gave some miraculous demonstrations for the newspaper reporters who came to see and understand his work.

The following articles from his second book, Temple Lectures (also known as Religion of the Stars), offer us a glimpse into this fascinating man. It contains Richmond’s metaphysical/occult lectures and biographical articles. Click on the links below to read these some of these intriguing articles. Some include original etchings from his book, The Mystic Test Book:

A Mysterious Tale
A Mystic Temple
Astral Magnetism
Magical Wonders
Magnetism of Stars
Study of Infinity
The Order of the Magi
What the Magi Teach

To read Olney H. Richmond’s, Temple Lectures, in its entirety online for free, go to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/105757322/Temple-Lectures-of-the-ORDER-OF-THE-MAGI-Olney-H-Richmond


Mystic Test Book by Olney H. RichmondThe Mystic Test Book by Olney H. Richmond is the foundation of the ancient mystical science that is today called Cardology. You can read and/or hear (click audio button in upper right hand corner) his book from the Georgia Public Library Service online at:  https://archive.org/stream/mystictestbook01rich#page/n7/mode/2up

You can also read it online at:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/72714210/Olney-Richmond-The-Mystic-Test-Book Downloads are available for a fee.
Evolutionism by Olney H. Richmond


Richmond’s third book, Evolutionism (Temple Lectures Vol. 2) was published in 1896. It contains Richmond’s views and ideas on the science of evolution and the possible outcome for the Earth and the human race. Most of the book is available online for free at: http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook/Evolutionism_A_Series_1000768708#0


More about Olney Hawkins Richmond

Olney Hawkins Richmond was born on February 22, 1844 (Three of Diamonds), in Greenbush Township, Clinton, Michigan, to Lyman and Nancy Richmond. He had one sibling, a sister named Fannie E. Richmond. When Olney was about 4½ years old, his father died from diseases contracted during his sojourn in the War with Mexico. His paternal grandmother, Lois Pierce Stiles Richmond, was noted for her unusual powers of the mind, while her husband, David Richmond, is said to have predicted his own death.

After serving in the Civil War with the 14th Michigan Infantry, Olney returned to Michigan and started his own pharmaceutical company. He married Cornelia Hill and had two daughters, Merta and Flora. In 1884, he became World Checker Champion, a field in which he was considered a master. Finally, in 1889, he set up his first Temple in Grand Rapids, then sold his business and moved the family and the Temple to Chicago in 1890.

Olney spent the rest of his life, until he died in 1920, writing, lecturing, teaching and attending to the Temple duties. He divorced Cornelia in 1899 and married Verona later that same year. In 1911, Pauline Goede (later changing her name to Arline Richmond) moved in with them and succeeded in driving a wedge between Olney and Verona. Pauline stayed with Olney until his death, helping with Temple duties and acting as his nursemaid.


If you would like to learn more about the history of Olney H. Richmond, his genealogy, local newspaper/magazine articles about him and the Temple, Temple odes and rituals, bio and adventures of Arline Richmond, Olney’s chess and checker career, the war years and records, Olney’s pension files and personal records, Widow’s Claim records and Verona’s attempts to acquire Olney’s war pension, letters and postcards, history of the Temple, and the astrological charts and comparisons of Olney, Cornelia, Verona and Pauline Goede (Arline Richmond), please contact Iain McLaren-Owens for a copy of his book Articles on The Order Of The Magi & Its History (3rd Ed.). This book is 8½ x 11″, comb-bound, 229 pages and includes copies of actual documents.