Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blavatsky, Garibaldi, and Mazzini

The August-September 2011 issue of Rivista italiana di teosofia, the journal of the Theosophical Society in Italy, carries an article on “Helena Petrovna Blavatsky e l’Italia” by Patrizia Moschin Calvi. The writer informs us that as 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, H.P. Blavatsky has come into the news there, together with Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini, who were the well-known protagonists and heroes in the fight for unification. Blavatsky’s different statements about her presence at the Battle of Mentana, Italy, in November 1867, are referred to, though the writer is forced to mention:  it is difficult to make rational sense of her movements, as AP Sinnett explains “We rarely find any logical meaning which might explain her actions and often even she found herself in the position of not understanding ‘why’ at any given moment she was preparing to go here or there. The true reasons for these movements were the orders she received through occult channels.” Obviously another area that needs further research.

Olcott says she was still wearing her red Garibaldian shirt when they met in rural Vermont in October 1874: she told me many incidents of her past life, among others, her having been present as a volunteer, with a number of other European ladies, with Garibaldi at the bloody battle of Mentana. In proof of her story she showed me where her left arm had been broken in two places by a sabre-stroke, and made me feel in her right shoulder a musket-bullet, still imbedded in the muscle, and another in her leg. She also showed me a scar just below the heart where she had been stabbed with a stiletto.

Garibaldi was also shot and wounded at the Battle of Mentana, which occurred on November 3, 1867. Garibaldi’s army was routed by the Papal troops.

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