"The French physician Papus (Gérard Encausse, 1865-1916) is best known to English-speaking readers for his work The Tarot of the Bohemians. He lived during an exciting period when mystery traditions and esoteric research were at an all-time high in Europe. Involved in many French secret societies, Papus was in an ideal position to synthesize these influences into his astrological and esoteric work.
One of his mentors was François Charles Berlet, who was involved in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor as well as being the premier French astrologer. Papus was also influenced by Thomas Burgoyne, author of The Light of Egypt, the book that explained the principles of the Hermetic Brotherhood's practices.. Papus, in turn, was the publisher of the review L'Initiation, which was an outlet for other well-known writers of the day–Eliphas Lévi, Ely Star, and C. Flammarion. By borrowing from Burgoyne and the Continental astrological tradition, Papus produced a work that provides fresh insights to the English-speaking astrological tradition.
J. Lee Lehman's introduction places Papus in an historical perspective and explains his influence in late 19th- and early 20th-century France. In translating this work from the French, Dr. Lehman has maintained the integrity of the original while adding explanatory notes and supplemental information, providing English-speaking students of astrology or the Western Mystery Tradition with an important sourcework."