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…”
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 111-114, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.