Heindel left home at the age of sixteen to learn engineering at the ship-yards of Glasgow, Scotland. As Chief Engineer of a trading steamer, he traveled extensively, and eventually found himself working on one of the large passenger steamers of the Cunard Line operating between America and Europe. From 1895 to 1901, he was a consulting engineer in New York City. During this time, he married and had a son and two daughters. His wife died in 1905.
In 1903, Max Heindel moved to Los Angeles, California, seeking work. After attending lectures by the theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, he joined the Theosophical Society of Los Angeles, of which he became vice-president in 1904 and 1905. He also became a vegetarian, and began the study of astrology, which he felt gave him the key to unlocking the mysteries of man's inner nature. He met his future wife Augusta Foss around this time. However, overwork and privation brought him severe heart trouble in 1905, and for months he lay at the point of death. Upon his recovery he said he was more keenly aware of the needs of humanity. He said that he spent much of the time during this illness out of his body, consciously working and seeking for the truth as he might find it on the invisible planes.
From 1906 to 1907 he started a lecture tour, in order to spread his occult knowledge. He began in San Francisco and then went to Seattle. After a course of lectures in that city he was again forced to spend some time in a hospital with valvular heart trouble. Upon his recovery, still undaunted, he once more took up his work of lecturing in the northwestern part of the United States.
Involvement with the Theosophical Society
Max Heindel came to Los Angeles, California in 1903 where he worked as an engineer for a time. In December of that year he became interested in metaphysics and attended lectures by Charles Webster Leadbeater. Heindel was admitted as a member of the Theosophical Society on March 9, 1904 in the Harmony Lodge of Los Angeles. While connected with the TS he became friends with Augusta Foss, who became in Max Heindel’s word his “spiritual inspiration”, who helped him find work and was instrumental in interesting him in the science of astrology. He was vice-president of the Theosophical Society in Los Angeles from 1904 until 1905.
In a letter addressed to Leadbeater, Heindel wrote that Leadbeater’s statement that “every man had in him clairvoyant abilities” prompted him to attend one of his lectures. He sneered at Leadbeater’s statement that psychic abilities can never be used for selfish purposes. But when he read Annie Besant’s Karma and Reincarnation he understood why “occult powers must be used reverently as a help to humanity and not for personal gain”. That’s when he saw that he had a place in this great cosmic scheme and started to devour Theosophical writings. He stopped drinking, smoking, and lying, and started to control his thoughts. He also expressed his gratitude to Leadbeater in the same letter.
During the summer of 1905 Max Heindel had serious heart trouble, but whenever health permitted, he went on the lecture platform to spread his occult knowledge.Albeit, he withdrew from the Theosophical Society in 1905 after he had made the acquaintance of Alma von Brandeis who convinced him to go to Berlin to meet a man whom she claimed to be a most wonderful lecturer and teacher. This man was Dr. Rudolf Steiner, who became in 1902 the head of the “German Theosophical Society”.
Max Heindel was a great admirer of Madame Blavatsky. He saw in her his own future struggles and had the desire to give to the world his greater knowledge which he had acquired, knowing that his years were numbered and that his physical body could not long stand the strain of the pioneer life. Like Madame Blavatsky he was in constant physical pain and in great need of help, both physical and financial.
Stanly Hall addressed the work of H.P.B. and Heindel in the Wizard Edition to Max Heindel’s book Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine:
“Both H.P Blavatsky and Max Heindel gave their lives in a beautiful service to the spiritual needs of the race. Both went to early graves, broken by responsibility and persecution. Each has left us a legacy to unborn generations a metaphysical literature which shall survive the vicissitudes of time.”
Mt. Ecclesia, Oceanside, California. The Rosicrucian Fellowship International Headquartersl
The Rosicrucian Fellowship founded in 1909 by Max Heindel exists to this day. On its website we can read that the “Fellowship is composed of men and women who study the Rosicrucian Philosophy known as the Western Wisdom Teachings as presented in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. This Christian Mystic Philosophy presents deep insights into the Christian Mysteries and establishes a meeting ground for Art, Religion, and Science. The work of the Rosicrucian Fellowship is to spread the gospel and heal the sick. This is achieved by making the Western Wisdom Teachings available to all who are willing to receive them, by providing a Healing Department which emphasizes spiritual healing along the principles of right living, and by making The Rosicrucian Fellowship books and home study courses available upon request.”
was born as Carl Louis von Grasshoff
in July 23rd 1865 – January 6, 1919)
He was born in Aarhus, Denmark, into the noble family von Grasshoff, which was connected to the German Court during the lifetime of Prince Bismarck. His father, Francois L. von Grasshoff, migrated to Copenhagen as a young man and married a Danish woman of noble birth. They had two sons and one daughter. Their older son was Carl Louis von Grasshoff, who would later adopt the pen name of Max Heindel. When he was six years old, his father died, leaving his mother with three small children in difficult circumstances. Max Heindel's infancy was thus lived in genteel poverty. His mother's small income was dedicated to private tutors for her sons and daughter, so that they might eventually take their place in society as members of the noble classes.
DATE OF BIRTH: 23th July 1865
TIME OF BIRTH: 4:45 am
PLACE OF BIRTH: Aarhus, Denmark
LONG: 12 : 34deg East
LAT: 55 : 39 deg North
Time Zone: GMT -1
Sun Sign: Leo
Moon Sign : Leo