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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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In the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the Fool goes on a journey. This is similar to the Hero's Journey in mythology, and some view the ups and downs of the Major Arcana as the pathway the Fool takes to wisdom. Most people take the "Fool's Journey" several times during their life. If we hold the journey up as a template against our own life, it can... read this article
Five Aids to Magical Thought: Dion Fortune and the Path of Occult Fiction
The Angels of Your Sun Sign
Twelve Ways Your Chakras Can Enhance Your Decisions
4 Simple Steps to Receiving Angelic Guidance
The Hearth Witch in March

Most recent posts:
5 Ways to Make the Cards Your Own
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Cynova, author of the new Kitchen Table Tarot. I've been reading cards for nearly 30 years,...

How to Really Bring the Tarot to Life
Bringing the Tarot to Life In my many years of acquiring books and decks for Llewellyn, I’m always looking for something that is new and...

Learning from Childhood Magic
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Penny Billington, author of The Path of Druidry and The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew as well as...




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