SMITH hélène

1861 . martigny . switzerland

1929 . geneva . switzerland

Commercial employee, Hélène Smith was introduced to spiritualism at the age of thirty. The spirit of Victor Hugo became her guide and protector, yet he was soon driven out by that of Cagliostro, who called himself “mage.” Under his influence, Hélène Smith wrote and painted three fictional cycles: a Hindu cycle, in which she communicated messages in Sanskrit and reincarnated the Indian princess Simandini, who lived in the eleventh century; a royal cycle, in which she reincarnated Marie Antoinette; a Martian cycle, in which she traveled to Mars, invented a new language and painted Martian landscapes. In 1899, the Swiss psychologist Theodore Flournoy, who studied her trance states since 1895, published the book Des Indes à la planète Mars [From India to the Planet Mars], in which he suggested that the spirits were to be found in the subconscious of the medium. Hélène Smith is also the author of a mystical production, begun in the 1900s when she took courses in drawing and painting; only two of these works have been preserved.