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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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I've written a number of books for Llewellyn over the years—believe it or not, my upcoming release is number eight—but far and away the most popular one was my third, The Goddess Is in the Details. And I have to confess, it was my favorite too. (Shhh…don't tell the other books. They'll cry, and I'll have to give them each a... read this article
Tarot: Let's Talk About Strength
A Week of Psychic Development
The Magic of Stars
Hacking Life, the Universe, and Everything through Afro-Cuban Ifá, Santería’s High Priesthood
Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Life

Most recent posts:
Which Interpretation?
As we study the cards, we realize that each card has many meanings. A common question is “how do you know which meaning to use in a...

Tarot Fundamentals
The publishing industry has been changing for a long time now. Publishing can be a very slow behemoth, very conservative. So it was really refreshing...

The Five Minute Tarot
This weekend, at the North Star Tarot conference, Melani Weber presented a workshop. That workshop was the most fun I’d had in a very long time. And...




Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Everyday Witchcraft Everyday Witchcraft
Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World

By: Deborah Blake
Price: $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN
Witch Upon a Star Witch Upon a Star
By: Jennifer Harlow
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
The Oathbreaker's Shadow The Oathbreaker's Shadow
By: Amy McCulloch
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Crystal Resonance Crystal Resonance
Combining Gemstones, Essential Oils & Flower Essences for Enhanced Well-Being

By: Kerry Nelson Selman
Price: $19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN