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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Great Chain of Being


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.


Principles of Ceremonial
Magical ceremonial can be built up and elaborated to forms of great subtlety and complexity, but the initial principles which cause its creation are simple in the extreme. In the first place, ceremonial is a different thing from meditation, and it ...
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The History of the Golden Dawn
The story of the Golden Dawn, like that of any human organization, is replete with high points and low points—with human achievements and human failings. There is no need for us to try to whitewash or sugarcoat the faults of some of the individuals ...
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Signs of the Zodiac
The signs of the zodiac are the most widely known part of the astrological system. As mentioned earlier, almost everyone knows your Sun sign. The daily horoscopes in the newspaper are based on the position of the Sun in the zodiac. The zodiac is ...
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Astrological Houses
Your astrological chart is divided into twelve sections called houses. They are numbered from the left side counterclockwise around the chart. The chart represents the planets against a background of the signs of the zodiac, and these signs rise in ...
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Meditation is: An emptying of the mind of all thoughts and "chatter" often by concentration only on the slow inhalation and exhalation of breath and is characterized by slow alpha and theta waves. It induces relaxation and a "clean slate" ...
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Transits and Progressions
Just as your birth chart shows where the planets were when you were born, at any moment another chart can be created. The planets in a chart for a particular moment are called transits. As the planets move through the zodiac, they interact with ...
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How to Have an OBE
Part One: Preparation for Successful OBEs Introduction. In laboratory studies at Athens State University, Dr. Joe H. Slate uncovered the so-called Big Four Prerequisites of successful OBEs:  A peaceful mental state, relevant mental ...
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Astral Outsourcing Procedure
Introduction. The purpose of astral outsourcing is to acquire new growth resources through astral plane interactions, often with the aid of discarnates and astral intelligences and guides.  Here is the procedure: Step 1. Outsourcing ...
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Norse Gods & Goddesses
Partial List of the Norse Gods, Goddesses & Other Supernatural Beings Their Lore, Powers & Influence The Names of the deities are in the old Norse language while the Rune names are in German. (Note: Many of the correspondences given in ...
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The planets (including the Sun and Moon) are the actors in the astrological drama. They represent ten general categories of energy – ten sub-personalities – that reflect facets of your personality and ways that you function in the world. Each planet ...
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In astrology, a grand cross occurs when four or more planets a form two sets of oppositions that combine to form four squares. These planets are also usually related by mode (Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable). This is a difficult configuration, but there is usually great strength accompanying it to endure and develop character. So, there are three... read this article
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path
Tracing Lincoln's Ghost
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