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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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Of the many esoteric subjects studied by ceremonial magicians, alchemy is often considered one of the hardest and most arcane, while the tarot is thought to be one of the most accessible and "hands-on." Historically the language of alchemy, with its inscrutable riddles and metaphor, has baffled many students, while the images of the tarot are more... read this article
Things That Scare Us...And How to Get Over Them
Llewellyn's Classic Tarot
The Union Screaming House: The Haunting Continues...Long After the Doors Are Shut
365 Ways to Attract Good Luck
The Oracle of the Angels

Most recent posts:
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A Spread for Guidance
This spread, called Titania’s Dream, is from the Victorian Fairies Tarot companion book by Lunaea Weatherstone (art by Gary Lippincott). It was...

Part 2: Why Work with Demons?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...




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