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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

Hermeticism
Throughout history, several people have contributed to the collective knowledge of the Western Esoteric Tradition or Western Hermetic Tradition, a tradition in which the Golden Dawn plays an important role. Such individuals as Pythagoras, ...
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Reincarnation
Reincarnation (rebirth) is caused by a desire for life. It is the creative urge for self-expression that maintains the cycle of reincarnation for us on the Cosmic Planes of Manifestation. Above the highest Aethyr, LIL, there is no time or space as ...
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The Well Worn Path Review
Summary: A deck that is specifically directed toward Pagans, Witches and Wiccans. Not a Tarot, the forty cards represent foundational Pagan concepts. While not for Rider-Waite-Smith purists, this deck is well-suited to the many tens of thousands of ...
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Concise Dream Symbol Dictionary
This concise dictionary was developed by Dr. Joe H. Slate and is excerpted from Chapter Seven of The Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment. The interpretative significance of a dream symbol depends on a number of factors; among them, the ...
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Precession of the Equinoxes
A slow shift in the positions of the Earth’s axis relative to the sun and the fixed stars, precession is the source of a great deal of myth, speculation, and esoteric theory. The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of just over twenty-three degrees ...
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The Work of the Medsen Fey - the Leaf Doctors of Haiti
Loulou Prince is the medsen fey (leaf doctor/herbalist and shaman) for a Haitian community of around 1,500 people who live in the vicinity of Jacmel, a small town close to the border with the Dominican Republic. In his daily practice, he deals with ...
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Review of the Dark Grimoire Tarot
Summary: As dark and mysterious as the mythic world created by H. P. Lovecraft, The Dark Grimoire Tarot is strongly recommended for those mature enough and brave enough to examine their darker sides, and by coming to know and control those aspects ...
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Muladhara - The Root Chakra
Element: Earth Color: Red Verb: I have Attributes: Survival, grounding, solidity, the body The first chakra is found at the base of the spine, the point you are sitting on right now. Its name, Muladhara, means "root," and the paths of energy in ...
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How To Perform Hypnosis
First you must either have the hypnosis routines memorized or have them typed and handy so you can easily read them. Next come a myriad of things to consider: tone of voice; pace of speech; where to position yourself and your subject; lighting ...
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Review of the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight
Summary: The Tarot of the Sweet Twilight is a unique and beautiful place where kindnesses are more poignant and pains evoke tenderness. Opposites blend and dance highlighting the beauty in the darker aspects of life and showcasing joy tinged with ...
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Shamanic Healing
Shamanic healings have long been shrouded in mystery, misunderstanding, and superstition. Still, as we learn to better understand the shamanic philosophy of life, we can begin to have clarity about this special form of healing. Basically, the shaman ...
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Whenever I conduct a workshop on mind reading, my students are pleasantly surprised to find that they're already good at reading minds. In fact, they began doing it when they were babies. As a baby, you would have recognized the expressions on people's faces, and knew if someone was likely to be friendly or not. As you grew, these skills continued... read this article
Two Energy Exercises to Empower Yourself
Theurgic Meditation
Ghost Hunting vs. Paranormal Investigation
Turn Your Dreams Into Reality Every Day
Craft: Wish Bracelet

Most recent posts:
Tarot: Art or Science?
My friend Fordrena Griffith recently asked my opinion: Is tarot reading an art or a science? If science why are not all equal? If an art, what...

Energy Healing for Women
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Keith Sherwood and Sabine Wittmann, authors of the new Energy Healing for Women. Since 2001 there...

New Decks and Conflicting Information
Not long ago, my friend Joanne Matthew asked me how I would advise people to choose a first deck and what we should do with conflicting information...




Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
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Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
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Holidays & Lore, Spells, Rituals & Meditations

By: Llewellyn
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The Child Garden The Child Garden
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
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