San Diego County
AUGUSTA FOSS HEINDEL
The courageous and undaunted spirit
which is ever leading Augusta Foss Heindel onward in her humanitarian work had
its origin in brave pioneering parents and a strange birthplace.
Twelve miles south of the city of
Mansfield, Ohio, an old deserted log cabin stood vacant for a number of
years. This cabin was in the midst of an
old apple orchard, on an out-of-the-way farm.
No one would rent or buy the farm because the house was supposed to be
haunted. In the year of 1860 a
courageous couple bought the farm.
William Foss and his wife, Anna Marie Right, with their three small
children had no fear of ghosts. Ill
health had caused this city-bred man to try farming as a vocation. It proved quite a task for two inexperienced
people to shoulder the responsibility, for the year following, the Civil War
started with its high prices and drawbacks.
The husband, in order to help keep the wolf from the door, spent much of
his time in a near-by blacksmith shop, and was also gone from home sometimes
for days at a time in response to his profession as veterinary surgeon, leaving
the persevering and energetic wife alone to struggle on the farm. Anna Marie Foss never complained of her
surroundings. She saw beauty in
everything. When her long day’s work was
done she spent her lonely evenings sitting out of doors studying the stars, or
reading the only book she possessed, the Bible, by the light of a home-made
candle. There seemed to be a mysterious
message in the book and in the starts for her.
On January 27, 1865, her fourth
daughter was born. Augusta Foss came to
this little family as a ray of sunshine; always happy, healthy, and sweet
natured. She was an unusual child, this
daughter, born under these conditions—and she grew up with a strange longing to
delve into the mysteries of life and being.
She excelled in all her classes in school, but the father, who was
German by birth, decided his daughter was too bright and too interested in her
books, which he thought would interfere with her being a practical
housewife. So at the age of fourteen, he
had his daughter leave school to help the mother cook and keep house. When she was twenty years old the father’s
health broke down, which necessitated the family moving to California.
In California life opened up to the
daughter, who entered the business world in order to support herself and her
parents. She was employed as a saleslady
during the day, and she devoted the evenings to the study of humanity. Why are we here? Whence did we come? And wither are we going? Were her constant thoughts.
She was led in her investigations to
join a group of Hermetists through which she became
interested in the science of astrology and theosophy. In 1903 she met the man who was instrumental
in launching her in life’s work. Max
Heindel and Augusta Foss were friends and students together for seven years
previous to their marriage, in August, 1910.
(See preceding biography)
Max Heindel had been in Europe for a
time to study with the Ancient Brothers of the Rose Cross, by whom he was
chosen as a messenger to take this deeper spiritual teaching to the Western
World. He returned to Los Angeles,
California, in 1908 and at once Miss Foss threw herself heart and hand into
helping him spread the Rosicrucian philosophy.
The pioneer spirit which was so strong in the mother during the prenatal
period was implanted in the daughter, who was a fitting companion to help her
husband launch a world religion. With
her undaunted will, backed by the vitality which could carry on the work, she
assisted Max Heindel in the editing and writing of his numerous books on the
Rosicrucian philosophy; and with their combined efforts a simplified science of
astrology was embodied in the following books:
“The Simplified Scientific Astrology;” “The Message of The Stars;” “Astro Diagnosis;” “Table of The Houses;” “The American
Ephemeris.” “The American Ephemeris” is
printed from 1860 to the current year.
The Heindel’s method of astrology and their
marvelous investigations along the line of diagnosing the science of astrology
have made the books famous everywhere.
Mrs. Heindel is still editing the popular books written by her husband,
which are now being published in all foreign languages.
Augusta Foss Heindel has been active
in civic work in Oceanside, California, where she has resided since 1911. She
has been a member of the City Planning Commission; past president of the Beautification
Club; honorary member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club; Oceanside
Woman’s Club; League of Western Writers; Peter Pan Woodland Club; National
Astrological Association; and has contributed numerous articles to astrological
and occult magazines.
Mrs. Heindel conducted an
international correspondence course in astrology and the Rosicrucian
philosophy. To the furtherance of the
latter she gave many years of intense work and helped acquire some $200,000
worth of buildings and equipment for the order.
Her entire time is spent in humanitarian work, and people from all parts
of the world are lighting their candles at her knowledge.
(From Volume LI,
Encyclopedia of American Biography, published in 1932.)
Since 1931 Mrs. Heindel has been
separated from the society and, after a lecture tour through the United States
and Canada, she established an order under the name of Max Heindel Rose Cross
Philosophies. In order to spread its
helpful and beneficial teachings Mrs. Heindel does a great deal of writing. We quote from one of her recent articles,
entitled “Regeneration vs. Degeneration:”
“…But should we
see man only from the materialist’s point of view? The Rosicrucian sees man as a spirit, which
is building soul quality; through this soul quality the human spirit works its
way to Godhood, and at the age when man’s activities in the world begin to ease
up and he has more time for thought and meditation, he makes the most
advancement on the path to evolution, his thoughts turn to the higher treasures
which he desires to lay up in heaven, those treasures which are real and
lasting ones. …It must be understood, however, that man cannot separate himself
from the rest of humanity. He is an atom
in the great body of God, and as such he is dependent upon every other human atom. He cannot think without his thoughts
affecting the great body of God. He
cannot injure or trample on the hearts of his brothers without hurting
himself. Every evil thought, every
unkind act will affect a weaker brother and he will be indirectly responsible
for him; every regenerate thought will have its lifting effect as well, so man
is truly ‘his brother’s keeper’ and is himself the master of his own destiny…”
V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South
Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 111-114, Clarke Publ.,
Chicago, Los Angeles,
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.