History shows that the oldest printed material comes from Olney H. Richmond, a man who published information about the true meaning of the playing cards back in 1893 in his first book, The Mystic Test Book. 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. His book unveiled the structure of timekeeping hidden in the playing card deck and how the cards relate to each day of the calendar year. Most importantly, Richmond was able to demonstrate how the cards relate to us individually through our birthdays.
Olney H. Richmond (Three of Diamonds♦, born February 22, 1844 in the township of Greenbush in Clinton County, Michigan) was the Grand Master of the Order of the Magi, which he officially resurrected in the upper Midwest in the late 19th century. Richmond was a Civil War veteran who was told of the Order by a mysterious stranger one night while he stood guard duty at Nashville. This stranger told him that he was to be his successor and eventually passed on to him the teachings of the Magi. Further, he told Richmond that he would pass through many battles in the course of the war, but that no harm would come to him. This proved to be true and today he is considered the “Father of Cardology”.
The Order of the Magi was the star religion of the ancient Chaldeans. It is said that this tradition existed 20,000 years before the birth of Christ. Indeed it was held that the three Magi of the Bible were members of this Order and that Christ himself later became an initiate. Richmond held that the Order had centers in not only Chaldea, but also Egypt and Persia. He also held that Pythagoras, one of the most famous and controversial ancient Greek philosophers who lived from ca. 570 to ca. 490 BCE, was a Grand Master of the Order (by way of the Egyptian temple).
It is said that the original cards were carved on ivory tablets and used exclusively by the priests in the temples in Atlantis. Later, the tablets were moved to Egypt to help preserve the human race.
Richmond lectured in the Grand Temple of the Magi on the history, philosophy, and practices of the Order as well as other topics including the Astral Body, the Study of Infinity, and the Evolution of Matter. An interesting aspect of the Order was its extensive use of magic squares and playing cards in divination. The “Father of Cardology” had extraordinary mathematical abilities. His skills and mathematical analysis of the game of checkers were publicly demonstrated during the 19th century- the peak of that sport.
Mainstream history suggests that the first playing cards were made after the invention of paper in China. As mentioned above, Olney H. Richmond indicates that was not the case. The original playing cards may have in fact been carved into ivory and possibly stone. Cardologers around the world believe that the card deck originated in Atlantis and was relocated to ancient Egypt, where it was disguised with colorful pictures and given to the gypsies (Egyptians) for safekeeping.
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