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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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You might have noticed New Year's Day tends to fall at different times in different cultures. For example, Chinese New Year falls in late January or February (at the new moon of their first lunar month). The Jewish New Year (aka Rosh Hashanah, or "Head of the Year") occurs in the fall, at the beginning of the seventh month of their ecclesiastical... read this article
Altar Design: Drafting the Plans for Manifestation
Fall in Love with Yourself This Valentine’s Day: Uncovering Your Amazing Gifts through the Five Elements
Surviving Venus and Mars Retrogrades
How to Use Affirmations That Work
The Moon as Calendar and Timepiece

Most recent posts:
The Lovers
It seems fitting that around Valentine’s Day we look at the Lovers card. This one is from the Steampunk Tarot. I remember when we were working on...

Deciphering the Nature of Purifying Ritual Space
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Michael Furie, author of Supermarket Magic, Spellcasting for Beginners, and the new Spellcasting:...

Tarot Journaling and the Star
At the beginning of a new year, people often make a resolution to keep a journal. Keeping a journal has many benefits and can be done any number of...




The Abyss Surrounds Us The Abyss Surrounds Us
By: Emily Skrutskie
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Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book
By: Llewellyn
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Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
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Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book Llewellyn's Shadowscapes Coloring Book
By: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
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Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
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