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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

Aura Self-Massage
We can create powerful mind/body interaction to promote better health and fitness. Aura self massage procedures can be adapted to many specific goals. The following is for self-healing. Physical Relaxation. Assume a comfortable seated or ...
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Shamanic Symbols
Functioning as a priest(ess), healer and channel between the worlds, the shaman calls on a very unique abilities—that of divination. Divination is the ability to use perception and attunement to interpret signs and symbols. Shamanic divination is ...
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Meditation
Meditation is one of the most popular ways of relaxing and becoming more in tune with yourself, your God and your environment. Yet, there is more bad information about meditation than there is good. This is a shame, because it is such a valuable ...
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Meditation
Meditation is one of the most popular ways of relaxing and becoming more in tune with yourself, your God and your environment. Yet, there is more bad information about meditation than there is good. This is a shame, because it is such a valuable ...
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Postures and Movements—East and West
“Postures” generally refer to Eastern yogic postures along with controlled breathing, and our familiar Western postures of standing and sitting. In addition, postures involve intentional movement—even if just sitting with grace and ...
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Carl Llewellyn Weschcke—Father of the New Age
The New Age has been defined as the "Name for a movement covering a wide variety of practices that were alternative to traditional Western practices, although many have become normative. Included concepts are holistic thinking, mysticism, ...
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Past Life Regression
Belief in reincarnation has existed throughout history. It is a standard aspect of most forms of metaphysics and is found in virtually all religious systems. It is a part of the Kabalah, the mystical side of Judaism, and it was also a belief of ...
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Growing Herbs
Growing herbs is a delightful past time. Not only can we enjoy the curious fragrances and often beautiful leaves and flowers of the plants themselves, but we’re also assured of a steady supply of herbs for use in magic. Most herb magicians grow at ...
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Surveying the OBE
In the 1970s three medical men from Kansas conducted a major research project intended to learn something about this nature of out-of-body experiences. Dr. Glen Gabbard of the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Dr. Stewart Twemlow of the Topeka V. A. ...
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The Moment of Death
The great clairvoyant Andrew Jackson Davis once described what happens at death in these words: "The feet first grow cold. The clairvoyant sees right over the head what may be called a magnetic halo, an ethereal emanation, in appearance golden, and ...
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Review of Elemental Tarot
Summary: This eclectic, unique deck explores the world through the four basic energies of earth, fire, water, and air. The art creates a pleasantly chaotic feeling as it shows how these energies interact, creating our reality. Using this deck is a ...
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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:
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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,...

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Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

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Animal Lessons Animal Lessons
Discovering Your Spiritual Connection with Animals

By: Danielle MacKinnon
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Subtle Energy Techniques Subtle Energy Techniques
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Sacred Rebels Oracle Sacred Rebels Oracle
Guidance for Living a Unique & Authentic Life

By: Alana Fairchild, Autumn Skye Morrison
Price: $23.95 US,  $27.95 CAN