Heindel, Max (1865–1919)
Public name of Carl Louis van Grasshoff. He was born in
Germany to an aristocratic family. He became a maritime engineer
and immigrated to the United States in 1895. Settling in
Los Angeles in 1903, he joined the Theosophical Society and
became vice president of the Los Angeles lodge in 1904.
Through Theosophy he learned of astrology, a continuing interest
throughout the rest of his life.
While visiting Europe in 1907, Heindel claimed that he encountered
a mysterious Rosicrucian who took him to a Rose
Cross temple on the border of Germany and Bohemia. There
he was initiated into the order. He soon publicized the secret
wisdom in his book The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (1909).
However, his basic concepts were drawn from Theosophy in
general and from Rudolf Steiner in particular. Steiner might
have been his real ‘‘Rosicrucian’’ mentor. After publication of
his book, Heindel founded various centers and created a headquarters
and temple of what became known as the Rosicrucian
Fellowship at Mount Ecclesia, Oceanside, California. Integral
to his Rosicrucian work was astrology, and through his books
Heindel became one of the early popularizers of the wisdom of
the stars in the United States. He died in 1919. His two main
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books, The Message of the Stars (1919) and Simplified Scientific Astrology
(1928), were published posthumously and remain in
print. His wife, Augusta Foss Heindel, was also an editor and
writer on Rosicrucian subjects and succeeded her husband as
head of the organization. She died in 1938.
The Mount Ecclesia temple was the subject of a 50-year lawsuit
by various factions, resolved only by the deaths of the principals.
Sources
Heindel, Augusta Foss. The Birth of the Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Oceanside, Calif. Rosicrucian Fellowship, n.d.
Heindel, Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. Oceanside,
Calif. Rosicrucian Fellowship, 1909.
———. The Rosicrucian Mysteries. Oceanside, Calif. Rosicrucian
Fellowship, 1911.
———. The Rosicrucian Philosophy, Questions and Answers.
Oceanside, Calif. Rosicrucian Fellowship, 1922.
———. Simplified Scientific Astrology. Oceanside, Calif. Rosicrucian
Fellowship, 1928.