Last updated on February 13th, 2021

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Victor Hugo: Mystic and Priory Navigator

By Tracy R. Twyman

Best known for his plays Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo came from purportedly “aristocratic” lineage stemming from Lorraine. He was born in Besançon, home of the Nodiers and center of post-Revolutionary occult conspiracies. His father appears to have been acting as a double agent during Napoleon’s reign, serving a general under the emperor while at the same time consorting with those who plotted against him. One of these consortees was, in a bizarre and kinky twist, his wife’s adulterous lover, who lived with the family and was godfather to young Victor.

As a teenager, Victor Hugo became one of Charles Nodier’s protegés, from whom he appears to have acquired an appreciation for Gothic architecture, which would later figure into his writing. At age seventeen Hugo, along with his brother and Charles Nodier, started a publishing house that produced a magazine which Nodier edited. He was later married at none other than Saint Sulpice. In 1825, Hugo and Nodier took their wives on a lengthy tour of Switzerland and then attended Charles X’s coronation. Hugo continued to model his life on Nodier’s, even forming his own salon in the Nodier tradition which included many of the same people. At Nodier’s funeral in 1845, Hugo was one of the pallbearers.

Hugo’s esoteric interests and heretical beliefs were undeniable. Like his predecessor Isaac Newton, he rejected both the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. And of course, as a disciple of Nodier, his thinking was saturated with Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and cabalistic concepts. He even joined a version of the Rosicrucians to which also belonged Eliphas Levi.

It is interesting to note that Victor Hugo was, throughout his life, a devoted monarchist, although he maintained an affection for Napoleon, who had married into the Merovingian bloodline, and who had attempted to link himself to that dynasty by attaching King Childeric’s golden bees to his coronation robe. Although Hugo supported the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne, this would appear to have been merely an outgrowth of his desire for the trappings of monarchy. His attitude towards the Bourbons themselves was a bit wishy-washy, and in the case of Louis XIV, downright negative. He did, however, support the cause of the so-called “Citizen King”, Louis Philippe, who had married the niece of Maximilien de Lorraine.