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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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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

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