Madame de Thèbes Foresees War

Famous French Fortune-Teller Predicts a Great War in Europe

The noted French clairvoyant and palmist known as Madame de Thèbes published the prediction that ‘the future of Belgium is extraordinarily sad’ as early as 1903. Despite ‘an impression of peace and happiness’, Belgium ‘will set all Europe in flames’.

Germany Menaces Europe

In 1912, she had forecast that ‘Germany menaces Europe in general and France in particular.’ It took little in the way of clairvoyance to see that, but Madame de Thèbes added ‘the days of the Emperor are numbered, and after him all will be changed in Germany’. In her 1913 Almanac she prophesied that ‘In Austria, he who expects to reign will not come to the throne, and a young man who should not come to the throne will reign.’ On 28 June 1914 it became clear what she meant: the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated and his nephew Charles became next in line to the throne, reigning as Charles I from 1916.

The Storm is Gathering

The Pittsburgh Press contacted Madame de Thèbes in 1913 to enquire what the next year would bring for the American people. ‘The storm is gathering,’ she warned, ‘the thunder growls.’ There would be ‘an explosion as of dynamite turning your New World upside down.’

Madame de Thèbes’s War Prophecy

In her Almanack for 1913 (published 1912), Madame de Thèbes forecast that:

Germany menaces Europe in general and France in particular. When the war breaks out she will have willed it, but after it there will be no longer Hohenzollern or Prussian domination. I have said, and I repeat, that the days of the Emperor are numbered, and after him all will be changed in Germany. I say his days of reign, I do not say his days of life.

(Quoted in Herbet Thurston, The War and the Prophets (London: Burns and Gates, 1915), p. 113.)

Madame de Thèbes on Chiromancy

From The Encyclopedia of the Occult Sciences (New York: Robert M. McBride and Company, 1939), p. 149:

Madame de Thebes, according to Desbarolles, claimed (in 1917) that Chiromancy is in fact a science which has its definite settled and verifiable laws. She wished that a Learned Society should be formed for its close study and to accumulate for this purpose properly checked documents. She denied that there was anything in it which belonged to the Kabbala or to Magic. It is pure Physiology! she would exclaim, just as anthropology or ethnology. Neither does it in any way, as we have said, fetter our liberty. There is no fatality because there are signs of character and of fate. The will remains entire. Besides, if it is in the left hand that fate is especially written, it is in the right hand that we find possibilities of modifying it.

Madame de Thèbes on Oneiromancy (The Interpretation of Dreams)

From Madame de Thebes’s ‘Riddle of the Dream’ quoted in The Encyclopedia of the Occult Sciences (New York: Robert M. McBride and Company, 1939), p. 246:

No absolute certainty must be founded on the interpretation of dreams. A line must be drawn between science and fancy, and we must admit that dreams are reminiscences or the reflection of preoccupations, rather than predictions. . . . We must not take keys to dreams like words of Gospel. All that we can say on the subject of the mysterious future, the search into which has been of passionate interest to the human soul since there have been human beings, will never be based except on hypotheses and on coincidences.

Madame de Thèbes During the First World War

A sarcastic note appeared in the Fortnightly Review for 15 May 1916, describing the activities of Madame de Thèbes during the war:

Madame de Thèbes, the famous French prophetess, has established herself on a farm near Paris, whence she sends chickens, eggs, and butter to her nephews in the big metropolis, who are honorable commission merchants. Strange to say, observes Le Cris de Paris, Mme. de Thebes, who can announce the fall of empires and the death of kings, a dozen months in advance, cannot foresee from one week to another the rise or fall in the price of eggs; so she has subscribed for several agricultural journals, in which she studies the mercurial markets.

Historical Note

Madame de Thèbes was also a 1915 Swedish film. Rediscovered in the twenty-first century, the film is believed to be the oldest surviving work of Mauritz Stiller. Norwegian actress Ragna Wettergreen played Madame de Thèbes.

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