Olney H. Richmond was the Grand Master of the Order of the Magi and revealed the foundation of the ancient mystical science of playing cards that today is called Cardology.
In his time, Richmond was referred to a the "Restorer of the Lost Word" within the structure of the secret work of the Order of the Magi and "opened the door to the Lost Wisdom of those Mighty Souls of the past." Today, he is referred to as the Father of Cardology.
Although 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. He taught and wrote about the mysteries for those ready to receive them. Our playing cards have thus shed their cloak of gaming tools and now reveal their true meanings.
At twenty years of age, Olney Richmond was "initiated" into the Order of the Magi during the Civil War of the United States. In the spring of 1864, outside Nashville, Tennessee, while on campground duty with the 14th Michigan Infantry, young Olney was approached by a stranger who called him by name and told him his birthday. Curious, Richmond began talking with him. The stranger, a tall, thin, hollow-cheeked Frenchman, invited him to his home, wherein Richmond was welcomed into the High Order. The Frenchman gave him articles to study and told him of how he had learned of the secrets while in India. When Richmond voiced his concerns of him making it through the war alive, the Frenchman assured him, quite accurately, that no harm would befall him during the war hostilities.
In fact, the Frenchman protested, declaring that it was he who would be killed and the secret would die with him unless Richmond gave his promise to carry on his work. He stated that this secret work had been handed down through the centuries, from the beginning of time. The man confessed that as the world was becoming more and more materialistic, the work had been neglected. He asked young Richmond to reincarnate the order.
In 1871, Richmond had an unexplainable urge to go to Chicago for a period of time. While 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 him an old book that had been a family heirloom and contained within it some of the mysteries that the Frenchman had originally discussed with young Olney. The man gave him the book. Over the next 18 years, this book and others that Richmond acquired along the way, opened the doors of knowledge for him and enabled him to begin writing and lecturing on its mysteries.
In 1888, the order was formally created, with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. People from all over the world flocked in, increasing the membership to around 10,000. Most were scientists or had advanced training.
The Mystic Test Book or The Magic of The Cards
Olney H. Richmond published information about the true meaning of the playing cards in 1893 in his book, The Mystic Test Book or The Magic of The Cards. It was given this title because he claimed that 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 Mystic Test Book is the foundation of the ancient mystical science that is today called Cardology. The book's full title is The Mystic Test Book or the Magic of the Cards: Giving the Mystic Meaning of These Wonderful and Ancient Emblems in Their Relationship to the Heavenly Bodies, Under All Conditions; with Rules and Processes for Reading or Delineating the Emblems.
Learn more about "The Mystic Test Book" on this website: The Mystic Test Book
To read Olney H. Richmond's, The Mystic Test Book, in its entirety online for free, go to:
You can also 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/mystictestbook01
Richmond's book, Temple Lectures (also known as Religion of the Stars), contains a collection of lectures delivered by Richmond on the history, philosophy, and practices of the Order. Richmond's extensive use of magic squares and playing cards in divination shows him to have been a natural mathematician of considerable ability. Some of Richmond's metaphysical/occult lectures and biographical articles offer us a glimpse into this fascinating man.
Richmond wrote that The Order of the Magi was the star religion of the ancient Chaldeans. He 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. Moreover, he stated that Pythagoras was a Grand Master of the Order (by way of the Egyptian temple).
To read Olney H. Richmond's, Temple Lectures, in its entirety online for free, go to:
Olney H. Richmond's third book, Evolutionism: A Series of Illustrated Chart Lectures Upon the Evolution of All Things in the Universe. From Atoms to Worlds, from Atoms to Souls (aka Temples Lectures Volume II) was published in Chicago, Illinois 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 and can be downloaded for free at: http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook/Evolutionism_A_Series_1000768708#0
Evolutionism by Olney H. Richmond. Published in 1896.
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, Richmond returned to Michigan and started his own drug manufacturing and homeopathy store in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was known not by his name but referred to as the "honest druggist." The business name was O.H. Richmond & Company, Druggists and Manufacturing Chemists. e 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.
While running his business, he continued to study the sciences and prepared for the refounding of the order. Initially, he set up his first Temple in Grand Rapids, then sold his business and moved the family and the Temple to Chicago in 1890. There were many people, including Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Francis, founders of the Progressive Thinker newspaper, who supported Olney Richmond's work in Chicago and became members of the Order of the Magi.
Later, Richmond divorced his wife Cornelia in 1899 and married Verona later that same year. In 1911, Pauline Goede (later changing her name to Arline L. Richmond) moved in with them. Because Richmond worked many late nights in the Temple with Arline's assistance, she eventually drove a wedge between Olney and Verona. Arline stayed with Olney until his death, helping with Temple duties, serving as its first High Priestess, and also acting as his nursemaid.
Olney Hawkins Richmond spent the rest of his life, until he died in 1920, writing, lecturing, teaching and attending to the Temple duties.
Grand Master of O.M. Olney H. Richmond (1844-1920)
As the Grand Master of the Order of the Magi, Olney H. Richmond and his wife, Cornelia, worked together for many years to further the knowledge and teachings of the Order of the Magi in several locations in the United States, including their Grand Temple located at 1910 Washington Blvd., Chicago, Illinois.
Olney and Cornelia Richmond were well known in certain circles and featured in "A Group of Mystics" in the book Planets and People: The Great Year Book of the Heavens for 1896 by author, publisher, and astrologer F.E. Ormsby [Frank Earl Ormsby].
Olney Richmond's photo is upper center and Cornelia's is lower center. Notice that each of the photos are inlayed in a heart shape and together all ten "hearts" are arranged like a Ten of Hearts playing card.
On page 145 of "Planets and People", it states the following:
"The "Ten of Hearts" is a mystical astronomical emblem, or symbol, which, to give one phase of its meaning, signifies friendship, love and harmony, and success in creating health and satisfaction in one's life. Its solar value is 10, its spiritual or occult number is 11, and it rules the 39th digital culmination of the solar year. This mystical ten reveals a group of occult students very well up in the mysteries of hidden lore, and are representative characters in the occult order of the Magi in this and other cities."
On page 146, author Ormsby comments: "The various occult teachers and societies, operating under the names of Christian science, Theosophy, Spiritualism, etc., etc., are all doing a good work by calling new people to these higher phases of thought and life, and for this reason, we are pleased to make mention of so many in this volume."
Advisements for Richmond's books, The Mystic Test Book and Religion of the Stars, can be seen in the back of Planets and People: The Great Year Book of the Heavens for 1896.
A Group of Mystics from "Planets and People" (1896)
I trust that you will continue to research more about the Order of the Magi, Olney H. Richmond and others who have gone through so much to bring this magical ancient system to each of us today. Here you are reading about real people with their own karma and challenges; just like the rest of us with their own flaws and imperfections.
While none of us on Earth are perfect, what is important to grasp is the value of this sacred system of Cardology and the dedication and work of Richmond in bringing it from centuries of obscurity out into the light of world for all to see. This system of knowledge stands alone, apart from the mere mortals, like Olney Richmond, who have sacrificed so much to get it to where it is today...free on this website and on the internet for you today.
If you or anyone you know has any further information about Olney Richmond, the Order of the Magi, and the sacred science of the cards, please email Gina E. Jones at Gina@Cardology.org .
For years, Olney Richmond and many others have dedicated their lives, endured great hardships and given their knowledge and time to share what they understood about Cardology with you today.