First Libra Decanate: Amant Henry Ohmann-Dusmenil

From the Last Eighteen Decanates Analyzed:

LIBRA—1st Decanate. The first decanate of Libra is pictured among the constellations by SERPENS—the Serpent. This is the snake that sacred tradition asserts tempted Eve to her downfall. The serpent has been used from ancient times, however, not only as a symbol of creative energy, but also of cunning. In worldly matters those native to this decanate have no need of the admonition to be “wise as serpents,” for they have the innate ability to handle people and situations.

It will be remembered that the Biblical serpent told Eve that if she would eat of the apple she would become wise—and that subsequent events verified the prophecy.

And those born under this decanate well uphold all the serpent traditions of wisdom and subtlety, and besides possess the creative energy to pioneer in the realms of human association. Such people should never seek seclusion to be at their best, but should mix in the world’s affairs and come in contact continuously with their fellow men. In this field they can wield an enormous power for good through their ability to influence the thoughts and actions of others. But they should take pains not to become too engrossed in purely material aims.

Georges Clemenceau, the “Tiger” prime minister of France, was born with the Sun in this part of the sky. Wm. Ewart Gladstone, the great statesman, had the Moon in this place at his birth. And Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, who triumphed over so many difficult situations, was born with his Ascendant here. It is the decanate of POLICY.

From Letters to the Sage, Volume One:

Amant Henry Ohmann-Dusmenil was born September 30, 1857 in Dubuque, Iowa to French-born parents. After completing a bachelor’s degree at Christian Brothers College in St. Louis, he continued to acquire advanced degrees, including an MD and two PhDs. He was a chair of Dermatology and Syphilogy at the St. Louis College for Medical Practitioners at the time of his correspondence with Johnson. He authored several medical tomes including the 1894 Handbook of Dermatology. He died in 1919 and was buried at the Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. Ohmann-Dumesnil’s single extant letter to Johnson is included here simply because of his connection with the early St. Louis TS, an important community in the history of American esotericism.

St. Louis

A.H. Ohmann-Dumesnil M.D.

May 5, 1885

Dear Sir:

            Some time ago I applied to Mr. Page of this city to become an unattached member of the Theosophical Society, having been referred to him by Mr. D.K. Mavalankar, of Adyar, India. Nov. 9th 1884, Mr. Page informed me that he had received all the notes of the American Board of Control and failed to state whether the result was favorable or otherwise; but said that it was a question to be settled by myself whether I was admitted or not.[i]

            I write to you to inquire if your note upon me was conditional and, if so, why? If you can, consistently with your duty, give me information upon this point and also what your note was, I would be under lasting obligations to you, for your kindness.

            Hoping that you will favor me with an early reply, I remain,

            Very Truly Yours,


[i] Page’s October 27, 1884 letter to the Board of Control on the matter is included in this volume.