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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

Visualization Power
Visualization is an extraordinarily powerful instrument. In focusing our psychological and psychic powers and drawing on the untapped potential of the unconscious, we are dealing with forces that in some ways seem almost magical. One writer on ...
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Coven
In Scottish folklore and modern Pagan practice, a group of Witches. The traditional number of members in a coven is thirteen, and Margaret Murray, whose writings on medieval Witchcraft were a major source for modern Wicca, insisted that this was an ...
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Astrological Aspects
There is an angle between every two planets in the horoscope which is measured in degrees. When the angle produces a significant interaction between two or more planets, they are said to be "in aspect."  The angles which give rise to the "major ...
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Review of the Samurai Tarot
Summary: A deck that delicately imitates the soft pastels of colored Ukiyo-e art in an attempt to shoehorn a brief look at Samurai concepts into the Western Tarot paradigm. The art must be appreciated as should be the dedication of the designer. ...
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Review of The Labyrinth Tarot Deck
Summary The Labyrinth Tarot takes the reader on a journey, as all labyrinths do. The theme is subtle, woven symbolically throughout the deck by way of evocative imagery, astrological symbols, Hebrew letters, and other symbols. While the feel is ...
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Enochian Deities and Hierarchies
Enochian Magick denies the existence of a personal, absolute Deity, or God. Instead, the Enochian view of God agrees with the Buddhist teaching of a plurality of deities, with none supreme. The word supreme implies an end beyond which we cannot go; ...
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Corto Maltese Tarot Review
Summary: The famous artwork of comic book luminary Hugo Pratt provides magnificent impressionistic watercolors. As an art deck it is a wonderful collection yielding feelings of travel, adventure, and romance in distant lands a century ago. The ...
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Visuddha - The Throat Chakra
Element: Sound Color: Bright Blue Verb: I speak Attributes: Sound, vibration, communication, creativity Chakra 5 is located in the region of the neck and shoulders and is the center of communication and creativity. Its color is a bright turquoise ...
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From Inner Space to Outer Space
In Brent’s program, students gather in a relaxing atmosphere, either sitting in comfortable chairs or lying on the floor, while the lights are dimmed to ensure a minimum of distractions. Members of the group are encouraged to talk with one another ...
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Magical Oaths
The two oaths taken by the GBG members can be seen to be used to describe the importance of understanding the true nature of a magical oath—which is to establish a new relationship with your Higher Self that puts meaning into life. I swear ...
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Magic
The power to change things in conformity with will or desire. It is a function of focused consciousness accompanied by a force of Love intending change by reaching down into the Universal Field where everything exists as potential until affected by ...
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It's hard to go to Gettysburg and not run into someone who has had a "strange" experience there. From true believers to outright skeptics, everyone reacts to these experiences with a sense of uncertainty, and the one thing they all have in common is the fact that they can't confirm what happened to them. Maybe a compelling photo was taken. Perhaps... read this article
Celtic Tree Magic: 6 Ways to Work with Sacred Trees
Ritual: Thelemic Refuge
The Dark Side of Your Moon
3 Ways (Yoga Included!) To Shift Your Body Image
The Philosopher’s Stone Tarot Spread

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Less Is Better!
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Autumn Tree Magic
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Danu Forest, author of the new Celtic Tree Magic. Autumn is a wonderful time to deepen our...

Are All Gods the Same?
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Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
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Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
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Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
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Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

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