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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

Lunar Trance
This was part of the curriculum of the G∴B∴G∴, and could be said to be more of a deliberate attitude than a traditional trance. The word "trance" is not used in the sense of a condition where a person is in a near complete ...
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How to Perform Astral PK
Introduction. This procedure is based on intentionally recognizing the astral body as a non-physical duplicate, or matrix, of the physical body, followed by energizing specific astral body parts to be ideally healthy, and then transferring healthy ...
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The Dragons Tarot Review
Summary: A great deck for people who read the cards through memorization of their meanings. If you’re interested in dragons from around the world, this deck is more than worth the time put into studying the symbols (some of which are subtly hidden) ...
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The Magick Wand
The extended right thumb between clenched fingers as the Magick Wand may be unique to the GBG. Other common substitutes for this tool are the right, or even the "power" index finger if left-handed, and the thumb and first two fingers clenched ...
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Kamasutra Tarot Review
Kamasutra Tarot Review Summary: While catching the flavor of 17th and 18th century Indian art, this deck seems to force the explicit sexual images into fitting the Tarot model. Still, a collection of such art is rare and valuable, making this a ...
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Review of The Witches Tarot
Summary: A deck with magnificent art that will specifically appeal to both ceremonial magicians and Witches, Pagans, and Wiccans. It will introduce many people to Kabalistic concepts that are associated with the Tarot. While great for magickal and ...
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Enochian Magic
The Enochian system originated with the ceremonial skrying of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly toward the end of the sixteenth century in England. Dr. Dee was one of the foremost thinkers of his time—a Hermetic philosopher/magician who was also a ...
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A still controversial figure, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911–1986) appears to have been largely self-educated despite having attended prestigious private schools and two years at George Washington University. As the son of a naval ...
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Understanding Astrological Houses
The chart’s houses symbolize different facets of the self. Think of them as the fields of experience upon which you live your life. Each relates to a certain environment and specific relationships. One way to understand the houses is to consider ...
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The Esbats
People began tracking time approximately 27,000 years ago by marking the 13 annual lunations of the moon. Around 8,000 years ago, people erected great stone monuments such as Stonehenge and massive alignments of standing stones that did more than ...
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Magical Mottos of the Golden Dawn
Dr. W. W. Westcott: Sapere Aude — "Dare to be wise"                                                 Non Omnis Moriar — "I shall not wholly die" S. L. MacGregor Mathers: 'S Rioghail Mo Dhream — "Royal is my ...
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Sensitive people have gotten a bum rap. We live in a world that doesn't embrace the values of sensitivity, so we get told that we are weak, unusual, touchy, and hard to please. The sad truth is that we hear these messages in many ways throughout our lives. Even if it is from a well-meaning teacher or parent who tries to "toughen us up," the crux... read this article
Remaining Magickal in the Midst of Chaos
Sacred Space, Tarot, and Your Magical Practice
The Magical Use of Prayer Beads
The Future of Money Magic: What Do We Put Under the Candle When Our Currency Goes Digital?
Understanding the Moon Signs of Others

Most recent posts:
The Words on the Wheel of Fortune
One thing many students of tarot find fascinating is learning what some of the mysterious symbols on the cards mean. During the Renaissance, when...

Are You a Sensitive Empath?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Kyra Mesich, author of the new Strength of Sensitivity. I've dedicated my holistic psychology...

The Cards as Living Entities
In just a few months (August, to be precise), Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Tarot by the knowledgeable experienced, and delightful writer Anthony...




The Madness of Mercury The Madness of Mercury
By: Connie di Marco
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 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
The Linestrider Tarot The Linestrider Tarot
By: Siolo Thompson
Price: $28.99 US,  $33.50 CAN