Beware of the Spiritual Thunderbolt
February 3, 2018
Her personality was rooted in the mystical. She believed in ghosts, genies, fairies, and gnomes.
When life’s situations are causing grief, angst, and human beings are not cooperating with the game plan, a Spiritual Thunderbolt may be required. That is exactly what Anna Kingsford resorted to, and it proved effective on at least two occasions.
Anna was born Anna Bonus in September of 1846 in Stratford, England. Her father was a wealthy London merchant. The smallish Anna grew to be a real beauty, though she was described as sickly. Along with her beauty she had smarts—her interests leaned toward literature and science. She was also proficient in developing some of the occult arts. At times she even seemed to be psychic.
At the age of twenty-one, Anna Bonus married her cousin, Algernon Kingsford. He supported her desire to buy a magazine and serve as editor of the publication. She used it as a platform to express her own poems and essays of a theological nature. Algernon encouraged her to follow her other interests, even if they included going to Paris with a male platonic friend, Edward Maitland, to pursue a degree in medicine. She graduated in 1880 and returned to England—London—to practice.
In England, Anna had been a leader of the Theosophical Society where she and her friend, Maitland, created the Hermetic Society. In these organizations, they stressed the belief in esoteric or mystical Christianity.
Her personality was rooted in the mystical. She believed in ghosts, genies, fairies, and gnomes—maybe they had made appearances at the séances she held. She believed animals had souls and she would not eat meat or wear leather goods. Her journeys into spiritualism included the use of planchettes to answer questions. She believed she had not only communicated with the souls of humans in these séances, but also with the souls of animals that had crossed over.
As she had ventured into scientific laboratories in her academic and medical life, she became more and more disturbed by the use of animals in experiments. She was especially horrified and incensed by the practice of vivisection.
That is when Anna decided it was necessary to eliminate one of the main offenders, Dr. Claude Bernard. She decided to call upon her Spiritual Thunderbolt—her own term–to accomplish this. She stomped out of Bernard’s classroom where she was listening to his lecture and summoned all of her powers as an artist of the occult. She willed herself to become a Spiritual Thunderbolt, with deep concentration. She then released her wrath on Bernard, cursing his name and calling him a murderer. Her body had a sort of meltdown over the drama and she collapsed into unconsciousness.
Within six weeks, Bernard had died, unexpectedly, and his funeral announcement was tacked to his classroom door, much to Anna’s satisfaction, when she read it there. Anna was elated and mentioned to Maitland, “Woe be to the torturers.” She considered Bernard the worst offender and hoped she had cut off the head of the serpent, but she then set her sights on Paul Bert, another Parisian—a noted medical researcher. Anna once again willed herself into a Spiritual Thunderbolt. Soon after she did so in 1886, Bert fell ill, wasted away, and died.
Anna noted her accomplishment in a diary she was keeping and vowed to go after Louis Pasteur next. Two months after Bert’s death, the Spiritual Thunderbolt struck Pasteur when he least expected it. He became ill and hovered at death’s door for an uncomfortable amount of time, but he was able to make a complete recovery after one month had passed.
A year later, in February of 1887, Anna Kingsford, herself, died in London of a cold that was aggravated by asthma she had had since childhood. These conditions contributed to a fulminating case of tuberculosis that killed her as quickly as a thunderbolt. She was forty-one.
Sara Marie Hogg is the author of the award-winning Curious Indeed, a collection of true stories about the bizarre and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.