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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Great Chain of Being

DEFINITIONS

Great Chain of Being:

The belief in a hierarchical structure to the universe, from God down to angels, fallen angels (or demons), astronomical features, royalty, common folk, animals, plants, and down to precious and then common minerals. The concept began with Plato and Aristotle, but achieved a high level with the Neoplatonists and Kabalists. Since this structure was believed to be decreed by God, it gave royalty—including kings, queens, princes, and all nobles—superiority over common people, a belief that existed until the Enlightenment that began in the late 17th century and culminated in the American and French Revolutions.




ARTICLES

Herbal Codes — Or, You Don't Need to Kill a Black Cat
Many grimoires and books of magic use animals and their parts as codes for herbs and other materials. Here are a number of them, some from the Greek Magical Papyri (see PGM XII:401-44), a work composed between 200BC and 500AD. Others come from Galen ...
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Santeria
Santería is an Afro-Caribbean religion that comes to us from Cuba and to this day it is practiced worldwide. Its original form, called Ifa, is an ancient Yoruba religion that comes from West-Africa and is declared by UNESCO as one of the ...
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The Great Rite
THE GREAT RITE is a term for a sexual union, either actual or symbolic, that is usually part of the third-degree initiation ceremony in many Wiccan/Witchcraft Traditions. The Great Rite is the wedding of the masculine and feminine, the God and ...
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How to Have an OBE Through Levitation
Introduction. OBE Levitation is an interactive induction procedure that uses impressions of physical weightlessness to facilitate astral disengagement from the physical body. Spontaneous OBEs are often initiated by sensations of slowly drifting ...
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Hypnosis
If you were to ask a dozen "experts" to give a definition of hypnosis, they would give you a dozen different answers. No matter what anyone says, there is no such thing as an accepted definition of hypnosis. No one knows exactly what it is. Some ...
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Review of The Llewellyn Tarot
Summary: Close enough to the RWS deck to be usable by beginners and yet filled with the beauty of the Welsh legends, something that will fascinate anyone intrigued by that myths of the Mabinogion or who spiritually lives with that pantheon. A must ...
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What is the Tarot?
The Tarot is a deck of cards that is primarily used to foretell the future. Forecasting the future, however, is only a superficial use of the massive powers of the Tarot. The Tarot is a very powerful tool that allows you to look deep inside your ...
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Psychic Self Defense
What is your chance of being psychically attacked at some point in your life? It is fairly high, the evidence suggests. That does not necessarily mean that you will be victimized in a dramatic, life-threatening way, but it is distinctly ...
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Review of the Harmonious Tarot
Summary: The Harmonious Tarot is a beautiful homage to the artwork of Walter Crane and an interesting exploration of an era. The serene, gentle (at first glance!) images calm you, invite you in to explore the intricate details, and then, just when ...
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Enduring Beyond Oppression - The Truth About Vodou
Vodou is a religion born in slavery, which blends together a number of traditional African beliefs with elements from other faiths, notably Catholicism, the religion of the slave-owners, with which it has always been an uncomfortable bed-fellow. It ...
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Magick
Readers familiar with the writings of Aleister Crowley will recognize the somewhat unusual spelling of the word "MAGICK." Crowley did this to distinguish Occult "Magick" from the "magic" of legerdemain, and also to separate the new Occult Magick ...
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The Natural Psychic is a new look at a popular metaphysical topic. In this book I am taking a refreshingly clear and practical study of a topic that is often confusing and misrepresented. The goal I have for this book is to make the subject much more user friendly, smarter, and fun for the reader. I will accomplish this with solid, clear... read this article
The 5 Most Common Recurring Dreams
5 Ways to Heal with the Wheel of the Year
5 Simple and Instant Creativity Boosts
Reading Tarot Cards: Divining Our Life Path
Ghost-Hunting at the Old Charleston Jail

Most recent posts:
The Soul Needs Time
Nancy Antenucci’s book Psychic Tarot is filled with great ways to enhance your connection to the cards and to spirit. It is also filled with...

The Art of Changing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tiffany Lazic, author of the new The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the...

Using Imagery for Manifestation
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Harris, author of the new 99 Keys to a Creative Life. I hope this writing finds you in a...




Where You End Where You End
By: Anna Pellicioli
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
The Natural Psychic The Natural Psychic
Ellen Dugan's Personal Guide to the Psychic Realm

By: Ellen Dugan
Price: $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Secret of the Sevens Secret of the Sevens
By: Lynn Lindquist
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Lughnasadh Lughnasadh
Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas

By: Llewellyn, Melanie Marquis
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN