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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

Creating a rune amulet
Modern rune rituals are sometimes done entirely with visualization - the runes are made in the astral world and are never actually written down or carved on any material. This technique works fairly well, but it is not in harmony with the ancient ...
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Magic Provides an Alternative Viewpoint
Where in the world is magic? It is not in science, which denies the reality and value of anything not amenable to the scientific method. It is not in religion. The Church has historically looked upon magic as devilish, and in modern times regards it ...
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Neo-Druidism Since the 1700s
The last vestiges of the Filídhecht schools were stamped out in the 1600s as Elizabethan English conquered and destroyed most of Ireland’s remaining Gaelic culture. The "plantations" of Ulster, and the extension of the Pale beyond Leinster into ...
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Using the Astral Sweep Technique
Introduction. This Out-of-Body procedure does not require, but can include, astral travel to distant destinations. Here is the seven-step procedure: Step 1. Statement of Goals. For the focused form of the procedure, formulate your goals around a ...
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Astral Projection Story #5 - Death's Other Side
One hot day in May 1967, 16-year-old Reinee Pasarow of La Crescent, California, awoke suffering from the effects of a severe allergic reaction. A doctor was summoned and he gave her an injection, then left, assuring her that she would be fine. Over ...
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Gods
Old and younger gods are buried and forgotten From uprising to downsetting of thy sun, Rise from eastward, fallen go westward and forgotten, And their births are many, but their end is one. Diverse births of godheads find one death ...
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The Mirror Image Technique
Introduction. Although the mirror is often viewed as a somewhat less than elegant tool for out-of-body induction, its usefulness has been repeatedly demonstrated both in the laboratory setting and in OBE training programs. As an OBE tool, the mirror ...
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The Northern Tradition
The climate of the Northern world is mostly cold and wintery, and the land is rugged and more demanding than comfortably beneficent. Survival requires knowledge and planning, and strategy for survival. It necessitates protection against the harsh ...
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Sibilla Oracle Cards Review
Sibilla Oracle Cards Review Summary: A wonderful deck of 52 cards that have both images and meanings on the card. That makes this deck perfect for beginners looking to enhance both their intuition (expanding on the obvious meanings) and for pros ...
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The Astral World
The word "astral" comes from the Greek word meaning "related to a star" and it originally described the heavens of the Greeks and the abode of their gods. The concept of the astral world expanded in time to refer to what the ancients called ...
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Ayahuasca – the Vine of Souls, the Medicine of Love
Shamanic healing often employs plants to good effect, though it is rarely about herbalism, per se. Indeed, most shamans are explicit that the pharmacological properties of the plants they employ are of far less importance than the spirit which is ...
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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

Most recent posts:
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?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jean-Louis de Biasi, author of Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum...




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