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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

Divination
The word divination is based on a Latin word that means "the faculty of foreseeing." The word comes from the Latin word for "divine power," or "of the gods." This indicates that the true meaning of the word divination is "to make divine." Far from ...
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Extrasensory Perception
The knowledge of, awareness of, or response to, events, conditions, and situations, whether past, present, or future, independently of our known sensory mechanisms or processes. Among the common forms are telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and ...
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Review of the Golden Tarot of Klimt
Summary: More than an art deck recreating some of Gustav Klimtís styles and techniques, the Golden Tarot of Klimt is executed with taste and the judicious and delicious use of gold stamping. It is close enough to the Rider-Waite-Smith for ease in ...
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Review of the Mayan Tarot
Summary: The Mayan Tarot is a doorway into another world, into a culture, into the past. Just like any lost civilization, this one gives teasing glimpses of what might have been and invites discovery. By losing oneself in the art, by letting ...
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Imagining Health
When the patient came to the University of Oregon Medical School, he was barely alive. The 61-year-old man was suffering from a particularly deadly form of throat cancer. His weight had dropped from 130 pounds to 98 pounds. He could barely swallow, ...
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Litha Ritual
Setup Items for the Litha Ritual include: Six candles for the altar; A basket of cut flowers; enough to lay out your circle (there can be space in between them); A basket of marigolds; Drums, rattles and other percussion instruments. If working solo ...
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Near Death Visions of Tomorrow
A strange new aspect of the NDE phenomenon has come to light through the investigation of University of Connecticut psychologist Kenneth Ring. He has found that during the out-of-body phase of the event people sometimes are given information ...
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Shamanic Healing Through Soul Retrieval
Soul retrieval Ė a contemporary therapeutic practice rooted in the ancient spiritual tradition of shamanism - is attracting significant attention in the modern world as the holistic healthcare movement continues to gather force. Shamans believe ...
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Review of Dame Fortune\'s Wheel Tarot
Summary: Dame Fortuneís Wheel Tarot is an elegant marriage of historical research and practicality. It celebrates the Tarotís introduction as a divinatory tool, stripping it of modern esoteric burdens. The result is a deck that is eminently easy to ...
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Imbolg Ritual
Setup The items needed for this ritual include: Six green candles for the altar; Enough candles to place at the perimeter of your circle; A white altar cloth (white is the predominant color to symbolize winterís hold, with the green candles ...
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The Sensual Wicca TarotReview
Summary: A brilliant attempt to present the Tarot, Wicca, and the Wiccan aspects of sexuality that doesnít quite succeed due to limitations of format and skill. Still, at times this deck soars above the limitations and is filled with brilliance and ...
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When Lo Scarabeo asked me to create a Pagan-based casting kit, I was excited for a number of reasons. I love crystals. I love challenges. I loved the idea of creating a system that is complete in itself but also open to expansion and personalization. Although I wasn't sure what the kit and packaging would look like (sometimes a lot gets lost... read this article
5 Ways to Make Enlightenment Work in Everyday Life
The Lost Secrets of Western Magick Revealed
Communicate with Your Loved Ones in Spirit
Your Tickets to Past Life Exploration
Saved By the Goddess

Most recent posts:
The Spiritual Work of Winter
Winter is a time that we, in the Northern Hemisphere, naturally turn inward. Well, I should say that it would be the perfect time to turn inward, but...

To Fly in the Clouds, to Walk on the Water: The Grimoires and Magickal Super Powers
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

3 Reasons to Be Self-Compassionate--And 1 Way to Do It
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Catherine Dowling, author of the new Radical Awareness. Compassion flows from spiritual experiences....




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
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Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
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Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
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Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

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Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

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