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Karl von Eckartshausen

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Karl von Eckartshausen
portrait of Karl von Eckartshausen
Karl von Eckartshausen
Born(1752-06-28)28 June 1752
Haimhausen, Electorate of Bavaria
Died12 May 1803(1803-05-12) (aged 50)
Munich, Electorate of Bavaria
Occupationessayist, philosopher
Subjectreligion, mysticism, magic, alchemy

Karl von Eckartshausen (German: [ˈkaʁl fɔn ˈʔɛkaʁtsˌhaʊzn̩]; (1752-06-28)28 June 1752 – (1803-05-12)12 May 1803) was a German Catholic mystic, author, and philosopher.

Born in Haimhausen, Bavaria, Eckartshausen studied philosophy and Bavarian civil law in Munich and Ingolstadt. He was the author of The Cloud upon the Sanctuary (de:Die Wolke über dem Heiligtum), a work of Christian mysticism which was later taken up by occultists. Translated into English by Isabelle de Steiger, the book was given a high status in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, particularly by Arthur Edward Waite. It is known to have attracted English author and the founder of Thelema, Aleister Crowley, to the Order.[1] Eckartshausen later joined the order of the Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt, but "withdrew his membership soon after discovering that this order only recognized enlightenment through human reason."[2]

Von Eckartshausen was acquainted with Johann Georg Schröpfer, an early pioneer of phantasmagoria, and himself experimented with the use of magic lanterns to create "ghost projections" in front of an audience of four or five people. He died in Munich at the age of 50.



  1. ^ Booth, p. 59
  2. ^ Harmsen
  3. ^ The work was translated by Josef Vratislav Monse into Czech language already in 1792 under name Czech: Odkryté Tagnosti Cžarodegnjckých Kunsstů k Weystraze a Wyvčowánj obecnjho Lidu o Powěrách a sskodliwých Bludech Sepsané w německé Ržeči od Pána z Eckartshausen


  • Harmsen, Theodor (24 October 2005). "Karl von Eckartshausen. Concept of the Inner Church". Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica. Amsterdam: J.R. Ritman Library. Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
  • Booth, Martin (2001) [2000]. A Magick Life: A Biography of Aleister Crowley (trade paperback) (Coronet ed.). London: Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-71806-4.
  • Knowles, George. "Karl von Eckartshausen." Retrieved 15 June 2006.

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