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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Theosophy

DEFINITIONS

Theosophy: A mystical public society founded in New York in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge. It’s headquarters eventually moved to India. It originally focused on mystical Hindu and Buddhist concepts combined with Neoplatonism, and had as its motto, “There is no religion higher than Truth.”

The original moving force of the society was Blavatsky, and her books, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine became important texts of the society. She felt that The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a challenge to Theosophy, so she founded a more practical or magical group within the Society known as the Esoteric Section, or ES. There were many members of the Golden Dawn within Theosophy.

Upon Blavatsky’s death in 1891 there were schisms in the Society and several branches developed. Woman’s rights activist Annie Besant ruled the branch in India. Mrs. Katherine Tingley founded a group in Point Loma, California, and Rudolph Steiner began a branch in Germany. Other groups formed in England and Los Angeles, and splinter group or societies based on parts of Theosophy developed and continue to evolve.

Many concepts of the New Age are derived from Theosophical teachings.


ARTICLES

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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New Age
A phrase adapted by certain occult writers to describe: A belief in a new level of consciousness coincident with the Aquarian Age. A social movement of diverse spiritual and political elements directed toward the transformation of individuals ...
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Aethyrs
Enochian Magick specifies thirty special zones called the Aethyrs, or Aires. These range from TEX, the lowest, which interfaces our Earth, to the highest, LIL, which interfaces the world of divinity. The Enochian magician learns to leave his or her ...
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Qabalah
"Qabalah" is a Hebrew word which means "tradition." It is derived from the root word "Qibel," meaning, "to receive." This refers to the ancient custom of handing down the esoteric knowledge by oral transmission. What the word Qabalah encompasses is ...
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Rebirth in the Celtic Tradition
In Old Celtic (Gaulish-Brittonic and Goidelic), the word for rebirth was ategenos (Old Irish aithghen). In this doctrine of limited reincarnation the spirit of an ancestor was reborn among his or her own kin. This means that certain inherited ...
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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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Review of The Enochian Tarot
Summary: Not a beginners deck, the energy and passion in the art, combined with a unique focus on the Enochian system that only loosely—very loosely—follows standard Tarot protocols, make this deck a powerful addition to any magickian’s toolkit, ...
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When I was doing research for my new book, Ghosts of Lincoln, I found a particularly delightful tale in several collections. The story goes that when Winston Churchill was staying at the White House, it was said that Churchill was staying in one of Lincoln's old rooms and emerged from the bathtub, dripping wet and completely naked, to find the... read this article
Mind Reading Quick & Easy
Two Energy Exercises to Empower Yourself
Theurgic Meditation
Ghost Hunting vs. Paranormal Investigation
Turn Your Dreams Into Reality Every Day

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