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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

Ritual To Awaken Magical Awareness
Everyone learns best by doing. The ritual described below is representative of the rituals worked in modern magic. It should be used as a general pattern indicating the essential elements and sequence of rituals, and will also, I hope, be of ...
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Egyptian Magic
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex and beautiful balance of monotheism and polytheism, along with a good dose of pure magic. For the Egyptians there was no such thing as a separation between magic and religion. One ancient writer, Clement of ...
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Review of Gothic Tarot of Vampires
Summary: Although this deck will obviously appeal to those who are interested in vampire culture, Interview with the Vampire, the Twilight series of books and the TV show True Blood, people uninterested in that mythos shouldn’t dismiss this deck ...
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The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn Review
Summary: The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn is an evocative and provocative deck exploring a new vision of tarot that is fresh and exciting while remaining consistent with the Golden Dawn tradition. This deck would be suitable for someone with ...
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Review of Tarot Lenormand
Summary: Tarot Lenormand is a creative blend of traditional Lenormand cards, The Book of Thoth Tarot by Eteilla, and a touch of RWS [Rider-Waite-Smith]. As such, it is presents unusual and delightful challenges to those familiar with RWS decks that ...
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Conversation with your Higher Self
Yes, it is possible to converse with your Higher Self. First you have to honestly believe in the Higher Self, and that the person you think of as your self is not it. At the same time, don’t let the name "Holy Guardian Angel" deceive you into ...
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What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a daydream-like state. In this state, the person’s conscious mind becomes quiet or passive. The hypnotist introduces suggestions into the powerful subconscious mind. Let’s take a brief, slightly technical look at how the brain operates. ...
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Review of The Gilded Tarot
Summary: A spectacularly beautiful Tarot deck using modern digital art that is firmly based on the Rider-Waite-Smith model—making it easy to use for traditionalists and beginners, as well as a compliment for any book—yet significantly original so it ...
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Going to a Psychic Reader
NervouslNuy, you approach. "I’m a fool," you think. You know that psychics and readers are just a bunch of hokum. And yet. . . maybe . . . maybe . . . You’re not crazy, you know that. But there are so many problems in your life right now, and you ...
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General Hypnosis Technique
All hypnosis does is capture your natural going to sleep scenario, while keeping you awake, so you can give your subconscious mind beneficial suggestions. How does hypnosis do this? Since the conscious mind, or beta, does not do a very efficient ...
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What Is Hypnosis?
Exactly what is hypnosis, or more accurately, self-hypnosis? Self-hypnosis is a self-induced, altered state of mental consciousness that allows you to give constructive suggestions directly to your subconscious mind. More simply put, you cause ...
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If one thing has been sacred to our species since time immemorial, it is our trees. Dwelling between the realms of earth and sky, we humans are beings of both worlds, and our very life is a balance and synthesis of form and spirit, below and above. What more appropriate symbol for this could there be than a tree, rooted in the earth, and... read this article
A Checklist to Discern Your Empathic Abilities
Being Physically Active: Plan for Success by Planning for Failure
The Witch's Crown: Sovereignty, Power, and the Faery Tradition
The 7 Habits You Must Adopt in 2017
Trance Dance Your Way to Happiness

Most recent posts:
Not just for tarot beginners
Tarot Fundamentals is the first in the three part series. This first volume provides over 600 pages of everything you need to develop a strong...

Into the Realm of Enchantment: Pop Culture and Magical Consciousness
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Storm Faerywolf, author of the new Betwixt & Between. Magic is the heart of witchcraft. The...

When Mindless is Better Than Mindful
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sharon Lipinski, author of the new 365 Ways to Live Generously. Some things you have to think about...




Impressionists Tarot Kit Impressionists Tarot Kit
By: Corrine Kenner, Arturo Picca
Price: $29.95 US,  $34.95 CAN
Everyday Witch Tarot Everyday Witch Tarot
By: Deborah Blake, Elisabeth Alba
Price: $29.99 US,  $34.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
The Elusive Elixir The Elusive Elixir
By: Gigi Pandian
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN