Articles about the life of H P Blavatsky


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Helena Petrovna Blavatsky  (1831 – 1891)

The Founder of Modern Theosophy


H P Blavatsky

the Light-Bringer


Geoffrey A Barborka

The Blavatsky Lecture of 1970


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H.P.Blavatsky the Light-Bringer by Geoffrey A.Barborka


The Blavatsky Lecture 1970


The Theosophical Publishing House Ltd, London


THIS LECTURE commemorates the coming to the western world of one who was the

representative of a great Brotherhood; a Brotherhood which is known by many

names. One of its epithets, especially in connection with its origin, is a

symbolic one: the Sons of Ad or Sons of the Fire-Mist. Little has been written

about these Sons. However, the meaning associated with the term is clear enough;

for it links up with the name given to those Divine Beings who came to the

assistance of humanity during one of its most critical periods. These are the

Agnishvatta Pitris, the awakeners of the fire — which signifies the




About the Sons of the Fire-Mist we read in The Secret Doctrine:



In the first or earlier portion of the existence of this Third Race, while it

was yet in its state of purity, the ‘Sons of Wisdom,’ who .... incarnated in

this Third Race, produced by Kriyashakti a progeny called the ‘Sons of Ad’ or

‘of the Fire-Mist,’ the ‘Sons of Will and Yoga,’ etc. They were a conscious

production, as a portion of the race was already animated with the divine spark

of spiritual, superior intelligence. It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at

first a wondrous Being, called the ‘Initiator,’ and after him a group of

semi-divine and semi-human beings ‘Set apart’ in Archaic genesis for certain

purposes, they are those in whom are said to have incarnated the highest

Dhyanis, ‘Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras’ — to form the nursery for

future human adepts, on this earth and during the present cycle. These ‘Sons of

Will and Yoga’ born so to speak, in an immaculate way, remained, as it is

explained, entirely apart from the rest of mankind. [Volume I, Page 297, First

Edition; Volume I, Pages 255-6, Adyar Edition;Volume I, Page 228, third edition]



The secret abiding place of the Sons of the Fire-Mist was an island situated in

a vast inland sea, which extended over Middle Asia north of the Himalayas. The

Island’, according to belief, exists to the present hour; now, as an oasis

surrounded by the dreadful wildernesses of the great Desert, the Gobi — whose

sands ‘no foot hath crossed in the memory of man.’[ II, 220, FirstEdition;Volume

III, 224, Adyar Edition; Volume 2, Pages 230-1, third edition]



While the above account may be traditional, we have the authoritative statement

of Mahatma K.H. about the existence of the Brotherhood in the nineteenth

century, in a letter addressed to the London Lodge of The Theosophical Society,

dated December 7, 1883, from Mysore:

There are even at the present moment three centres of the Occult Brotherhood

in existence, widely separated geographically, and as widely exoterically —

the true esoteric doctrine being identical in substance though differing in

terms; all aiming at the same grand object [The Mahatma Letters to A. P.

Sinnett, page 339, first Edition; Page 393, third edition]

To one of these centres an injunction was given, in conformity with the purposes

of the establishment of these centres. It reads:

Among the commandments of Tsong-Kha-pa there is one that enjoins the Arhats to

make an attempt to enlighten the world, including the ‘white barbarians,’

every century, at a certain specified period of the cycle. [The Secret

Doctrine, Volume 5, Page 396 Adyar Edition;Volume 3, Page 412, third edition]

Apparently the last quarter of the nineteenth century was a propitious period

for making an effort in compliance with the injunction of this great reformer of

Buddhism in Tibet — especially so because this time-period nearly coincided with

two other important cyclical periods, namely with one of the minor cyclical

periods of the Kali-yuga and with the ushering in of another Messianic cycle. 

The Messianic Cycle referred to is that of the 2160 year period connected with

the precession of the equinoxes. It marked the conclusion of the Piscean Age. 

With regard to the Kali-yuga cycle, The Secret Doctrine says:

In about nine years hence, the first cycle of the first five millenniums, that

began with the great cycle of the Kali-Yuga, will end. And then the last

prophecy contained in that book (the first volume of the prophetic record for

the Black Age) will be accomplished. We have not long to wait, and many of us

will witness the Dawn of the New Cycle, at the end of which not a few accounts

will be settled and squared between the races. [Volume I, Page xliv, first

edition; Volume 1, page 65 Adyar Edition; Volume 1, Page 27 third edition]

The ending of the nine-year referred to took place on February 16, 1898. The

Dawn of the New Cycle signifies the coming of the Aquarian Age.



In accordance with the injunction laid on the Brotherhood that an effort should

be made every century to enlighten the western world, it would seem likely that

some of the members of the Fraternity were given the task of finding a suitable

individual who would act as a representative or vehicle for that purpose. 

Statements are on record to show that these ideas are not far-fetched. First,

with regard to the notion that individuals are born with constitutions enabling

them to act in unusual ways:

Some persons are born with organisations so exceptional that the door which

shuts other people in from communication with the world of the astral light

can be easily unbarred and opened, and their souls can look into, or even pass

into, that world and return again. Those who do this consciously, and at will,

are termed magicians, hierophants, seers, adepts; those who are made to do it,

either through the fluid of the mesmeriser or of ‘spirits’, are ‘mediums’. The

astral soul when the barriers are once opened, is so powerfully attracted by

the universal, astral magnet that it sometimes lifts its encasement with it

and keeps it suspended in mid-air, until the gravity of matter reasserts its

supremacy, and the body re-descends again to earth. [Isis Unveiled, I. 198]

The second statement deals with the search that was instituted for ‘nearly a

century’, in the words of Mahatma K.H:

Notwithstanding that the time is not quite ripe to let you entirely into the

secret; and that you are hardly yet prepared to understand the great Mystery,

even if told of it, owing to the great injustice and wrong done, I am

empowered to allow you a glimpse behind the veil. This state of hers [H.P.B’s]

is intimately connected with her occult training in Tibet, and due to her

being sent out alone into the world to gradually prepare the way for others. 

After nearly a century of fruitless search, our chiefs had to avail themselves

of the only opportunity to send out a European body upon European soil to

serve as a connecting link between that country and our own. You do not

understand? Of course not. Please then, remember, what she tried to explain,

and what you gathered tolerably well from her, namely the fact of the seven

principles in the complete human being. Now, no man or woman, unless he be an

initiate of the ‘fifth circle,’ can leave the precincts of Bod-Las and return

back into the world in his integral whole — if I may use the expression, One,

at least, of his seven satellites has to remain behind for two reasons: the

first to form the necessary connecting link, the wire of transmission — the

second as the safest warranter that certain things will never be divulged. She

is no exception to the rule, and you have seen another exemplar — a highly

intellectual man — who had to leave one of his skins behind; hence, is

considered highly eccentric. The bearing and status of the remaining six

depend upon the inherent qualities, the psycho-physiological peculiarities of

the person, especially upon the idiosyncrasies transmitted by what modern

science calls ‘atavism’. [The Mahatma Letters, pages 203-4, first edition; pp

201-2, third edition]

When the information given in the above extract is read in connection with that

which follows, there should be no doubt about the fact that H.P. BLAVATSKY was

definitely sent to America for the purpose of founding a Society, to be a

transmitter of the occult doctrine. Writing to A. P. Sinnett, Mahatma M. states:

I will tell you something you should know, and may derive profit from. On the

17th of November next the Septenary term of trial given the Society at its

foundation in which to discreetly ‘preach us’ will expire. One or two of us

hoped that the world had so far advanced intellectually, if not intuitionally,

that the Occult doctrine might gain an intellectual acceptance, and the

impulse given for a new cycle of occult research. Others — wiser as it would

now seem — held differently, but consent was given for the trial. It was

stipulated, however, that the experiment should be made independently of our

personal management; that there should be no abnormal interference by

ourselves. So casting about we found in America the man to stand as leader — a

man of great moral courage, unselfish and having other good qualities. He was

far from being the best, but (as Mr. Hume speaks in H.P.B’s case) — he was the

best one available. With him we associated a woman of most exceptional and

wonderful endowments. Combined with them she had strong personal defects, but

just as she was, there was no second to her living fit for this work. We sent

her to America, brought them together—and the trial began. From the first both

she and he were given to clearly understand that the issue lay entirely with

themselves. [Op. cit.,Letter xliv, p 263, firstEdition; page 259, third


Protective Guardianship



IN SUPPORT of the statement that H.P. BLAVATSKY was selected to become an

emissary, there is evidence that during her childhood she was watched over and

protected from serious injury; and that in later life this guardianship was even

more protective, at times saving her when death was imminent. Even her birth was

a precarious event, for she was born prematurely soon after midnight, July 30-31

(Russian style; or August 11-12 according to the present mode of reckoning), her

mother being the wife of Captain von Hahn. Cholera was raging throughout Russia. 

Some members of her family had succumbed to it and her grandparents were fearful

that the child might not survive, so a hasty baptism was arranged in order that

she might have the protection of the holy church. The church dignitaries donned

their ceremonial robes and vestments; the members of the family gathered and

were given lighted candles, as was customary in the Greek Church. One of the

ceremonialists was a child, who stood in the first row behind the officiating

priest, and also held a lighted candle. At the height of the ceremony the robes

of the officiating priest caught fire, and the service had to come to an abrupt

end. It was whispered that a most unusual career was in store for the one who

was undergoing such a baptism!



The next unusual event would undoubtedly have had dire results but for timely

assistance. It occurred in the home of her grandparents. In one of the rooms of

their mansion large portraits were hanging on the walls. One of them was covered

by a curtain, and little Helena wondered why. One day, when she was all alone,

she made up her mind to find out. As she could not reach the curtain, she

dragged a small table against the wall and climbed on to it. Still she could not

reach. So she put a chair on the table, climbed up again and pulled the curtain

aside. The chair must have been precariously placed, for it suddenly gave way

and the child would have been thrown to the floor but for the fact that strong

arms grasped her and laid her gently on the floor.



When she opened her eyes, the table had been put back in its usual position,

also the chair; and the curtain was drawn over the portrait. But there was one

telltale mark left as evidence of the occurrence. High up on the wall beside the

curtain was an imprint of a tiny hand.



Another incident demonstrates the continued watchfulness of her guardian. Helena

was now in her early teens, old enough to ride alone, even bareback, as the

Cossacks did — and how she loved it. During one gallop, however, her horse got

frightened and jerked the reins out of her hands, and her foot got entangled in

one of the stirrups. Again she was rescued from her predicament. Supporting arms

held her up so that she did not fall, and the horse was brought under control.



It was recorded by Helena’s sister Vera that in May, 1848, the sisters travelled

with both of their aunts and their uncle, Yuliy F. Witte, to Pyatigorsk and

Kislovodsk for winter cures. While on the journey between Koyshaur and Kobi,

Helena narrowly escaped being engulfed in an avalanche.



About a year later Helena was married to N. V. Blavatsky, a State Official. But

the marriage was in name only, for within three months — one month of which was

spent with her grandparents – Mme. Blavatsky had left Russia and begun her

travels. Then in 1851 the most momentous event of her life occurred. She met

face to face the person she had come to regard as her guardian — the one who had

in fact thus far protected her. This was in London during the International

Exhibition featuring the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. She made this note of the

meeting in her Sketchbook, at the time:

A memorable night. A certain night by the light of the setting moon — at

Ramsgate, 12 of August, 1851 — when I met the Master of my dreams. The 12 of

August — that is July 31, Russian style — the day of my birth — 20 years. 

[Reminiscences of H.P. BLAVATSKY and The Secret Doctrine by Countess Constance

Wachtmeister, pp 56-8]

However, Mme Blavatsky told Countess Wachtmeister that the meeting with her

guardian had actually occurred in London, although she had placed it as taking

place in Ramsgate, ‘so that anyone casually taking up her book would not know

where she had met her Master, and her first interview with him had been in

London’ in Hyde Park, near the Serpentine.



The important point about this meeting — although this was not included in the

vivid impression she put into writing at the time — was that it was the

turning-point of her life. When she related the episode to Countess Wachtmeister

she said that the Master asked her whether she would be willing to co-operate in

a work which he was about to undertake, and that this would necessitate certain preparatory features. From the sparse references she made to it, there is no

doubt that she underwent rigorous training for the work and furthermore that she

was excellently fitted for the task.



After this physical meeting with her Master, Mme. Blavatsky continued to have

what we may regard as miraculous escapes from near death, although in relating

the circumstances about these incidents she did not attribute any of them to

rescues made by her guardian. The first one is mentioned in a letter written to

Georgina Johnston from London in 1887. Therein she states that in Greece her

life was saved by an Irishman names Johnny O’Brien — but gave no further

particulars. Whether this was before or after meeting her Master in London it is

difficult to say, because there are many conflicting accounts in regard to her

travels between 1850 and 1851. From what she herself wrote, it would seem that

some time after her memorable meeting she was in America in the fall of 1851. 

She also journeyed to South America, then to the West Indies, and on to India,

Java and Singapore, sailing from there back to England. The ship was the SS

Gwalior, which was wrecked near the Cape, but she was saved along with twenty




The next critical incident which befell her was the dramatic one she described

in Isis Unveiled, when she was in a desert with a Tatar Shaman. Since our

purpose is to demonstrate the efforts of Mme Blavatsky made to acquire the

status she later gained — that of being an accepted chela of her Master — her

ability to overcome the difficulties she encountered during her quest is well

exemplified in her recital of this episode. She began by referring to a

carnelian stone she possessed.



Every Shaman has such a talisman, which he wears attached to a string, and

carries under his left arm.

‘Of what use is it to you, and what are its virtues? was the question we often

offered to our guide. To this he never answered directly, but evaded all

explanation, promising that as soon as an opportunity was offered, and we were

alone, he would ask the stone to ‘answer for himself’. With this very indefinite

hope, we were left to the resources of our own imagination.



But the day on which the stone ‘spoke’ came very soon. It was during the most

critical hours of our life; at a time when the vagabond nature of a traveller

had carried the writer to far-off lands, where neither civilization is known,

nor security can be guaranteed for one hour. One afternoon ... the Shaman, who

had become our only protector in those dreary deserts, was reminded of his

promise. He sighed and hesitated; but, after a short silence, left his place on

the sheepskin, and, going outside placed a dried-up goat’s head with its

prominent horns over a wooden peg, and then dropping down the felt curtain of

the tent, remarked that no living person would venture in, for the goat’s head

was a sign that he was at work.



After that, placing his hand in his bosom, he drew out the little stone, about

the size of a walnut, and, carefully unwrapping it, proceeded, as it appeared,

to swallow it. In a few moments his limbs stiffened, his body became rigid, and

he fell, cold and motionless as a corpse. But for the slight twitching of his

lips at every question asked, the scene would have been embarrassing, nay

....dreadful. The sun was setting, and were it not that dying embers flickered

at the centre of the tent, complete darkness would have been added to the

oppressive silence which reigned. We have lived in the prairies of the West, and

in the boundless steppes of Southern Russia; but nothing can be compared with

the silence at sunset on the sandy desert of Mongolia; not even the barren

solitudes of the deserts of Africa, though the former are partially inhabited,

and the latter utterly void of life. Yet, there was the writer alone with what

looked no better than a corpse lying on the ground. Fortunately, this state did

not last long.



‘Mahandu! uttered a voice, which seemed to come from the bowels of the earth, on

which the Shaman was prostrated. ‘Peace be with you, what would you have me do

for you?’...


For over two hours, the most substantial, unequivocal proofs that the Shaman’s

astral soul was travelling at the bidding of our unspoken wish, were given us.



We had directed the Shaman’s inner ego to... the Kutchi of Lha.Ssa, who travels

constantly to British India and back. We know that he was apprised of our

critical situation in the desert; for a few hours later came help, and we were

rescued by a party of twenty-five horseman who had been directed by their chief

to find us at the place where we were, which no living man endowed with common

powers could have known. The chief of this escort was a Shaberon, an ‘adept’

whom we had never seen before, nor did we after that, for he never left his

soumay (lamasery), and we could have no access to it. But he was a personal

friend of the Kutchi. [Isis Unveiled, II, 626-8]



A passing reference to what may have resulted in serious consequences for Mme.

Blavatsky during her travels in Burma is also referred to in Isis Unveiled:

A fearful fever contracted by the writer near Rangoon, after a flood of the

Irrawaddy River, was cured in a few hours by the juice of a plant called, if

we mistake not, Kukushan, though there may be thousands of natives ignorant of

its virtues, who are left to die of fever. [Op. cit., II, 621]

This is comparable to another remarkable cure — although this time no medicine

is announced as having been given; nor does Mme. Blavatsky relate how she came

to be relieved from the situation in which she found herself, nor how the wound

from which she suffered was inflicted. For that matter, the more one probes into

the incidents of her life the more mysterious does each of them become. As usual

one cannot give a precise date. The event is related to have taken place in the

spring of 1859 after she had spent some time with her father and her half-sister

Lisa, in St. Petersburg. From there she went on a visit to her widowed sister,

Vera de Yahontov, at Rugodevo. There Mme. Blavatsky was prostrated by a serious

illness: a wound appeared near her heart. She was in what appeared to be a

deathlike trance for three or four days; then suddenly and unaccountably she was




A somewhat similar prostration took place during 1864-65, when she was living in

the military settlement of Ozurgety, in Mingrelia. The local physician was

unable to diagnose her condition or give any help; he therefore ordered that

Mme. Blavatsky, apparently near death, should be placed in a boat and taken down

the river Rion to Kutais; from there she was to be transported in a carriage to

Tiflis. But again there was another sudden cure. Referring to this episode

later, she commented: ‘between the Blavatsky of 1845-65 and the Blavatsky of the

years 1865-82 there is an unbridgeable gulf.’[H.P. BLAVATSKY Speaks, II 58] She

was referring to this fact: during the period 1845-65 whatever occult or psychic

manifestations had taken place could be regarded as occurring without her

conscious control, therefore unconsciously; whereas from 1865-82 whatever occult

phenomena were produced were under her control, and she was consciously able to

direct them.



After recovering from this strange illness, Mme. Blavatsky went to the Caucasus,

where she spent some years. While there she was thrown from her horse and

fractured her spine. No further firsthand knowledge is available regarding this

injury nor as to her recovery from it. Likewise no information is given about a

more calamitous occurrence, or the reason why Mme Blavatsky became involved in

the affair. She was present at the battle of Mentana, Italy, between Garibaldi

red shirts and French troops on November 2, 1867, and was wounded five times. 

Her left arm was broken in two places by a sabre stroke, and she received

bullets in her shoulder and leg. Col. Olcott testifies that he actually felt the

bullets when Mme. Blavatsky pointed out the spots to him. But not a word was

forthcoming in regard to her convalescence.



As though this were not enough, she had one still more frightening experience. 

About three years later she left Greece for Egypt, sailing from Piraeus in the

SS Eunomia. In those days it was necessary for ships plying between Piraeus and

Nauplia to carry cannon and a supply of gunpowder, as protection against

pirates. On July 4, 1871, between the islands of Docos and Hydra, while the

Anaemia was in sight of the island of Spezia in the gulf of Nipple, there was a

terrific explosion: the ship sank and there were only a few survivors. Mme. 

Blavatsky was one of them; but all her possessions were lost. The Greek

government provided transport for the survivors, so that Mme. Blavatsky was able

to reach Alexandria; but she arrived there without funds.



The next mishap to befall her was in New York, when she fell and injured her

knee — most likely on the icy pavement, as it happened during the last days of

January, 1875. Then on February 13 she had another accident. As she was trying

to move her bed, it fell on her leg and seriously injured it. By May it was much

worse and on May 26 it became paralysed and soon it was feared that it would

have to be amputated. On June 3 the Spiritual Scientist journal announced that

Mme. Blavatsky was seriously ill. This was followed by a second notice stating

that the crisis was reached at midnight, June 3. Her attendants had supposed her

to be dead, because she lay cold, pulseless and rigid, while her injured leg had

swollen to double its normal size; it had also turned black. In fact, her

physician had given her up. Nevertheless, after a few hours the swelling

subsided and she revived.



During the rest of the month, according to correspondence Col. Olcott received

during the interval, Mme. Blavatsky was undergoing certain trials which were in

the nature of initiations.



Two other times may also be noted when H.P. BLAVATSKY was so gravely ill that

death would have ensued had she not been revivified by occult means. The first

was on the 5 February, 1885; at Adyar. Referring to this she wrote to A.P. 


For though, doctors notwithstanding (who proclaimed my four days’ agony, and

the impossibility of recovery), I suddenly got better thanks to Master’s

protecting hand, I carry two mortal diseases in me which are not cured — heart

and kidneys. At any moment the former can have a rupture, and the latter carry

me away in a few days. [The Mahatma Letters, pp 469-70, First Edition; page

462, third edition]

On being revivified Mme. Blavatsky left India for Europe on March 31, never to




On the second occasion she was at Ostend, engaged in writing The Secret

Doctrine. In March, 1887, she was in great agony with a kidney infection. Dr

Ashton Ellis was cabled to come to her from London; he came and gave his report. 

The American consul in Ostend was called to prepare notarial service prior to

death. Both men thought death to be imminent. But there was a sudden turn. One

night in the last week of March, her Master came and gave her the choice of

finishing The Secret Doctrine or dying. He also showed her a vision of what was

in store for her in connection with the future of The Theosophical Society. In

heroic manner, true to the precepts of the Lodge she was serving, H.P.B chose to

continue the task she had undertaken — that of writing The Secret Doctrine so

that the message of the Ancient Wisdom could be made available to the western

world. Thus was she truly carrying on the tradition of the Occult Brotherhood of

being a torchbearer.



H.P.B gave a hint as to the method which was used for revivifying her. It is to

be found in a brief passage in The Secret Doctrine:

For Sound generates, or rather attracts together, the elements that produce an

ozone ... It may even resurrect a man or an animal whose astral ‘vital body’

has not been irreparably separated from the physical body by the severance of

the magnetic or odic chord. As one save thrice from death by that power, the

writer ought to be credited with knowing personally something about it. [Op. 

cit., I 555, First Edition; Volume 2, Page 279, Adyar Edition; I, 606, Third





THEOSOPHISTS are much interested in learning about the time that H.P.B was in

Tibet, for if she was a messenger of the occult Brotherhood, she must have

undergone certain experiences in Tibet and received training under her Teachers




One thing is certain: she was very reticent about giving information as to how

or when she entered Tibet. The reason is obvious. She had given her pledge to

maintain secrecy regarding her doings in that ‘Forbidden Land,’ as Tibet was

referred to in her days. Nevertheless, by searching through available data, an

interesting account may be given of her presence in Bod-las — as the land of

Tibet is referred to by her Teachers. Probably the most direct statement that

Mme. Blavatsky gave concerning the period she was there was made in answer to a

journalist who was critical regarding her stay in Tibet and her qualifications:

I have lived at different periods in Little Tibet as in Great Tibet, and that

these combined periods form more than seven years. Yet, I have never stated

either verbally or over my signature that I had passed seven consecutive years

in a convent. What I have said, and repeat now, is, that I have stopped in

Lamaistic convents; that I have visited Tzi-gadze, the Tashi-Lhunpo territory

and its neighbourhood, and that I have been further in, and in such places of

Tibet as have never been visited by any other European, and that he can ever

hope to visit. [Light, Volume IV, No. 188, pages 323-4; republished in H.P. 

BLAVATSKY Collected Writings, VI, 269-80]

The events described took place in the 1860-70 period. Later on, however, Mme.

Blavatsky narrated how on one occasion she entered Tibet. But this was in 1882

after the Theosophical Society headquarters had moved to Adyar:

When journeying from Chandernagor to Darjeeling, instead of proceeding to it

direct, I left the train half way, was met by friends with a conveyance, and

passed with them into the territory of Sikkim, where I found my Master and

Mahatma Koot Hoomi. Thence five miles across the old borderland of Tibet. 


One of the very few accounts which Mme. Blavatsky penned regarding her stay with

the Masters in Tibet may be traced to the year 1870. In a letter dated January

6, 1886 she stated that the episode occurred ‘sixteen years ago’.



I went to bed and I had the most extraordinary vision ... in my sleep I saw them

both [the Masters], I was again (a scene of years back) in Mah. K.H.’s house. I

was sitting in a corner on a mat and he was walking about the room in his riding

dress, and Master was talking to someone behind the door. ‘I remind can’t’ — I

pronounced in answer to a question of His about a dead aunt. He smiled and said

‘Funny English you use.’ Then I felt ashamed, hurt in my vanity, and began

thinking (mind you in my dream or vision which was the exact reproduction of

what had taken place word for word 16 years ago) ‘now I am here and speaking

nothing but English in verbal phonetic language I can perhaps learn to speak

better with Him.’ (To make it clear with Master I also used English, which

whether bad or good was the same for Him as he does not speak it but understands

every word I say out of my head; and I am made to understand Him — how I could

never tell or explain if I were killed but I do. With D.K. I also spoke English,

he speaking it better than the Mah. K.H.) Then, in my dream still, three months

after as I was made to feel in that vision — I was standing before Mah. K.H. 

near the old building taken down he was looking at, and as Master was not at

home, I took to him a few sentences I was studying in Senzar in his sister’s

room and asked him to tell me if I translated them correctly — and gave him a

slip of paper with these sentences written in English. He took and read them and

correcting the interpretation read them over and said ‘Now your English is

becoming better — try to pick out of my head even the little I know of it.’ And

he put his hand on my forehead in the region of memory and squeezed his fingers

on it (and I felt even the same trifling pain in it, as then, and the cold

shiver I had experienced) and since that day He did so with my head daily, for

about two months. Again, the scene changes and I am going away with Master who

is sending me off, back to Europe. I am bidding goodbye to his sister and her

child and all the chelas. I listen to what the Masters tell me. And then come

the parting words of Mah. K.H. [The Mahatma Letters, Letter EXI, pp. 478-9,

firstEdition; p 471, third edition]



In another letter, this time written to Dr. Hartmann, Mme. Blavatsky gives a

detailed picture of one of the Tibetan temples near Shigatse and also describes

the characteristics of most other temples. [From The Path, Jan., 1896; quoted in

Personal Memoirs of H.P. Blavatsky, p 162]



Further evidence that Mme Blavatsky was in Tibet and received instruction from

those who later sent her to the western world appears in a letter written by one

of her instructors. This letter was written in French five years before the

founding of The Theosophical Society and sent to one of the members of her

family, who had not heard from her for many years. It was addressed to Nadyejda

A. Fadeyev — in translation:

The noble relatives of Mme. H. Blavatsky have no cause whatsoever for grief.

Their daughter and niece has not left this world at all. She is living and

desires to make it known to those whom she loves that she is well and feels

very happy in the distant and unknown retreat she has selected for herself. 

She has been very ill, but is so no longer; for owing to the protection of the

Lord Sang-gyas she has found devoted friends who take care of her physically

and spiritually. Let the ladies of her house, therefore, remain calm. Before

18 new moons shall have risen — she will have returned to her family. 

[Published in Collected Writings, Volume VI, page 275]

At the time the letter was received the following notation was made upon the

envelope in Russian and signed by the recipient (in translation):

Received at Odessa November 7, about Lelinka probably from Tibet — November

11, 1870. Nadyejda F. [Op.cit., p 277]

Lelinka is the Russian ‘pet name’ of Yelena (the Russian form of Helena).

Furthermore, a memorandum concerning the receipt of the letter was sent to Col.

Olcott by Nadyejda Fadeyev dated June 26, 1884 from Paris:

Two or three years ago I wrote to Mr. Sinnett in reply to one of his letters,

and I remember telling him what happened to me about a letter which I received

phenomenally, when my niece was on the other side of the world, and because of

that nobody knew where she was — which made us deeply anxious. All our

researches had ended in nothing. We were ready to believe her dead, when — I

received a letter from Him Whom I believe you call ‘Kouth Humi,’ which was

brought to me in the most comprehensive and mysterious manner, in my house by

a messenger of Asiatic appearance, who then disappeared before my very eyes. 

This letter, which begged me not to fear anything, and which announced that

she was in safety — I have still, but at Odessa. Immediately upon my return I

shall send it to you, and I shall be very pleased if it can be of any use to

you. 8 [Op. cit., VI, 274 Col. Olcott received both letters and placed them in

the archives of The Theosophical Society, Adyar. India]


Messengers of the Brotherhood


EVIDENCE that emissaries from the occult Brotherhood had been sent to the

western world prior to H.P. BLAVATSKY’s coming is contained in a letter from

Mahatma K.H. to A.P. Sinnett, who placed a note on it saying that it was

received at Umballa on the way to Simla on August 5, 1881. In the opening

sentence of the passage quoted the Mahatma comments on a book by Eliphas Levi

entitled High Magic, because Sinnett had mentioned this work in his letter to

the Mahatma:

No wonder you find it cloudy, for it was never meant for the uninitiated

reader. Eliphas studied from the Rosicrucian MSS. (now reduced to three copies

in Europe). These expound our eastern doctrines from the teachings of

Rosencrauz, who, upon his return from Asia dressed them up in a semi-Christian

garb intended as a shield for his pupils, against clerical revenge. One must

have the key to it and that key is a science per se. Rosencrauz taught orally. 

Saint Germain recorded the good doctrines in figures and his only cyphered MS. 

remained with his staunch friend and patron the benevolent German Prince from

whose house and patron and in whose presence he made his last exit — Home. 

[The Mahatma Letters, Letter No. xIix, page 280, First Edition; p 276, third,

Eliphas Levi’s book was first written in serial instalments in French and

published in Paris in 1856 under the title Dogme et Rituel de la haute magic]

In order to show the status that H.P. BLAVATSKY had attained in becoming the

messenger of the great Brotherhood, some passages on the requirements which

candidates must fulfil are apposite.


When we take candidates for chelas, they take the vow of secrecy and silence

respecting every order they may receive. One has to prove himself fit for

chelaship, before he can find out whether he is fit for adeptship. [Op. cit.,

Letter Iiii, page 295, first edition; page 291, Third edition.]


Once we are upon the topic, I wish you would impress upon your London friends

some wholesome truths that they are but too apt to forget, even, when they have

been told of them over and over again. The Occult Science is not one in which

secrets can be communicated of a sudden, by a written or even verbal

communication. If so, all the ‘Brothers’ should have to do, would be to publish

a Handbook of the art which might be taught in schools as grammar is. It is the

common mistake of people that we willingly wrap ourselves and our powers in

mystery — that we wish to keep our knowledge to ourselves, and of our own will

refuse — ‘wantonly and deliberately’ to communicate it. The truth is that till

the neophyte attains to the condition necessary for that degree of Illumination

to which, and for which, he is entitled and fitted, most if not all of the

Secrets are incommunicable. The receptivity must be equal to the desire to

instruct. The illumination must come from within. Till then no hocus pocus of

incantations, or mummery of appliances, no metaphysical lectures or discussions,

no self-imposed penance can give it. All these are but means to an end, and all

we can do is direct the use of such means as have been empirically found by the

experience ages to conduce to the required object. And this was and has been no

secret for thousands of years. Fasting, meditation, chastity of thoughts, word,

and deed; silence for certain periods of time to enable nature herself to speak

to him who comes to her for information; government of the animal passions and

impulses; utter unselfishness of intention, the use of certain incense and

fumigations for physiological purposes, have been published as the means since

the days of Plato and Iamblichus in the West, and since the far earlier times of

our Indian Rishis. How these must be compelled with to suit each individual

temperament is of course a matter for his own experiment and the watchful care

of his tutor or Guru. [Op. cit., Letter xIIx, pp 282-3; pp 278-9, third edition]



Every human being contains within himself vast potentialities, and it is the

duty of the adepts to surround the would-be-chela with circumstances which shall

enable him to take the ‘right-hand path,’ — if he has the ability in him. We are

no more at liberty to withhold the chance from a postulant than we are to guide

and direct him into the proper course. At best, we can only show him after his

probation period was successfully terminated — that if he does this he will go

right; if the other, wrong. But until he has passed that period, we leave him to

fight out his battles as best he may; and have to do so occasionally with higher

and initiated chelas such as H.P.B once they are allowed to work in the

world....It was not a meaningless phrase of the Tathagata that ‘he who masters

Self is greater than he who conquers thousands in battle’; there is no such

other difficult struggle. [Op.cit., Letter liv, p 316, first edition; p 311,

third edition]



To show you how exact a science is occultism, let me tell you that the means we

avail ourselves of, are all laid down for us in a code as old as humanity to the

minutest detail, but every one of us has to begin from the beginning, not from

the end. Our laws are as immutable as those of Nature, and they were known to

man and eternity before this strutting cock, modern science, was hatched...we

build our philosophy upon experiment and deduction. [Op. cit., Letter xxii, p

144, First Edition; pp 140-1, third edition]


H.P.B’s Literary Achievements


UNQUESTIONABLY, the best way of evaluating the statement that H.P. BLAVATSKY

acted as a light-bringer to the western world, is to study the message she gave

by means of her writings, Theosophists are so accustomed to regard her two major

works — Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine — as source books for the

teachings of the Ancient Wisdom — and rightfully so — that they are apt to

by-pass her other writings. This should not be done. Her literary production

amounts to ten other volumes bearing the title The Collected Writings of H.P. 

BLAVATSKY. These works are filled with a wealth of information on all sorts of

subjects as well as occult lore. In fact there are close to one thousand

articles in the series. Every page was hand-written in pen and ink, without

secretarial assistance—and this was so also with Isis Unveiled and The Secret

Doctrine — and this amazing achievement was performed in less than seventeen




In order to give an exposition of the remarkable manner in which H.P.B employed

her talents, we propose to place her writings in seven categories, in order to

call attention to the different processes she employed. Moreover, because this

achievement could not have been performed by ordinary means in writing, one must

conclude that she employed Siddhis. Therefore, the question arises: How did she

obtain the knowledge and power to utilize these Siddhis? The answer is obvious. 

It is the reply she herself gave: she was born with the ability to see certain

powers unconsciously; then she was taught how to use the Siddhis consciously by

her Teachers.



Listing the Siddhis which would be utilized in connection with writing: (1) the

ability to see clairvoyantly; (2) the ability to hear clairaudiently; (3) the

ability to place oneself en rapport with persons having similar capabilities;

(4) the power of receptivity; (5) the power of perceptivity; (6) the power of

projectivity; (7) the power of using psychometry; (8) the power of using

intuition; (9) the power of demonstrating precipitation. All of these were

demonstrated by Mme. Blavatsky. Her writings are proof of this. We repeat, her

literary works simply could not have been produced by ordinary means.



For example, consider the phenomenal amount of works quoted in Isis Unveiled:

1,339 different works! Have we any idea of the labour that would be required for

an ordinary writer to search through over a thousand books to find a particular

passage? Think what it would mean to buy all these books! If the volumes were

not purchased, one would have to go to a university library to find them — and

some works would not even be there.



In The Secret Doctrine, 1,147 works are quoted [The count of the works listed is

computed from the excellent compilation added to the index forming the sixth

volume of the latest 5th edition set of The Secret Doctrine, published by The

Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India. 1962] and these two computations do

not take into consideration how many times any one volume is quoted.



Let us now consider the seven kinds of process involved in her writings. Each

one will be considered separately, beginning with the one in which Mme. 

Blavatsky displayed her talents as a writer:1) Descriptive Writing; 2) Writing

by means of Instruction; 3) Writing by Dictation; 4) Writing by Directive

Clairvoyance; 5) Writing by Psychometry; 6) Writing by means of Precipitation;

7) Writing by means of a process analogous to Tulku.


Descriptive Writing


HERE IT IS possible to give no more than a selected passage from one of Mme

Blavatsky’s stories. This extract is from the least known story, entitled Legend

of the Night Flower, [Op. cit.,I, pp 7-9] published posthumously as recently as

1966 in the revised Volume 1 of the Collected Writings of H.P. BLAVATSKY.



At the very beginning of the creation of the World, and long before the sin

which became the downfall of Eve, a fresh green shrub spread its broad leaves on

the banks of a rivulet. The sun, still young at that time and tired of its

initial efforts, was setting slowly, and drawing his veils of mists around him,

enveloped the earth in deep and dark shadows. Then a modest flower blossomed

forth upon a branch of the shrub. She had neither the fresh beauty of the rose,

nor the superb and majestic pride of the beautiful lily. Humble and modest, she

opened her petals and cast an anxious glance on the world of the great Buddha. 

All was cold and dark about her! Her companions slept all around bent on their

flexible stems; her comrades, daughter of the same shrub, turned away from her

look; the moths, winged lovers of the flowers, rested but for a moment on her

breast, but soon flew away to more beautiful ones. A large beetle almost cut her

in two as it climbed without ceremony over her, in search for nocturnal

quarters. And the poor flower, frightened by its isolation and its loneliness in

the midst of this indifferent crowd, hung its head mournfully and shed a bitter

dewdrop for a tear. But lo, a little star was kindled in the sombre sky. Its

brilliant rays, quick and tender, pierced the waves of gloom. Suddenly the

orphaned flower felt vivified and refreshed as by some beneficent dew. Fully

restored, she lifted her face and saw the friendly star. She received its rays

into her breast, quivering with love and gratitude. They had brought about her

rebirth into a new life.



Dawn with its rosy smile gradually dispelled the darkness, and the star was

submerged in an ocean of light which streamed forth from the star of day. 

Thousands of flowers hailed it their paramour, bathing greedily in his golden

rays. These he shed also on the little flower; the great star deigned to cover

her too with its flaming kisses. But full of the memory of the evening star, and

of its silvery twinkling, the flower responded but coldly to the demonstrations

of the haughty sun. She still saw before her mind’s eye the soft and

affectionate glow of the star; she still felt in her heart the beneficent

dewdrop, and turning away from the blinding rays of the sun, she closed her

petals and went to sleep nestled in the thick foliage of the parent-shrub. From

that time on, day became night for the lowly flower, and night became day. As

soon as the sun rises and engulfs heaven and earth in its golden rays, the

flower becomes invisible; but hardly does the sun set, and the star, piercing a

corner of the dark horizon, makes its appearance, than the flower hails it with

joy, plays with its silvery rays, and absorbs with long breaths its mellow glow.



Such is the heart of many a woman. The first gracious word, the first

affectionate caress, falling on her aching heart, takes root there deeply. 

Profoundly moved by a friendly word, she remains indifferent to the passionate

demonstrations of the whole universe. The first may not differ from many others;

it may be lost among thousands of other stars similar to that one, yet the heart

of woman knows where to find him, near by or far away; she will follow with love

and interest his humble course, and will send her blessings on his journey. She

may greet the haughty sun, and admire its glory, but, loyal and grateful, her

love will always belong to one lone star.



Now a passage from The Secret Doctrine illustrating descriptive writing on an

entirely different theme. It is a description of atoms, viewed from the

standpoint of Occultism. It portrays what is visioned by one who has developed

the Siddhi of spiritual clairvoyance, one who is a ‘spiritual seer, whose inner

Eye is opened, and who can see through the veil of matter’. [Op. cit.,633-4,

First Edition; II, 35 8-9, Adyar Edition; I, 694-5, third edition]



Atoms are called ‘Vibrations’ in Occultism; also ‘Sound’ — collectively...The

waves and undulations of Science are all produced by atoms propelling their

molecules into activity from within. Atoms fill the immensity of Space, and by

their continuous vibration are that MOTION which keeps the wheels of Life

perpetually going. It is that inner work that produces the natural phenomena

called the correlation of Forces. Only, at the origin of every such ‘force,’

there stands the conscious guiding noumenon thereof — Angel or God, Spirit or

Demon — ruling powers, yet the same.



As described by Seers — those who can see the motion of the interstellar shoals,

and follow them in their evolution clairvoyantly — they are dazzling, like

specks of virgin snow in radiant sunlight. Their velocity is swifter than

thought, quicker than any mortal physical eye could follow, and, as well as can

be judged from the tremendous rapidity of their course., the motion is

circular...Standing on an open plain, on a mountain summit especially, and

gazing into the vast vault above and the spacial infinitudes around, the whole

atmosphere seems ablaze with them, the air soaked through with these dazzling

coruscations. At times, the intensity of their motion produces flashes like the

Northern lights during the Aurora Borealis. The sight is so marvellous, that, as

the Seer gazes into this inner world, and feels the scintillating points shoot

past him, he is filled with awe at the thought of other, still greater

mysteries, that lie beyond, and within, this radiant ocean...


Writing by Instruction


TO SHOW that H.P. BLAVATSKY acted in the capacity of a messenger in bringing the

teachings of the Ancient Wisdom to the western world and that she was instructed

to do so by means of her writings, there is nothing better than her own words:

I wrote this last night ‘by order,’ but what the deuce it is to be I don’t

know. Perhaps it is for a newspaper article, perhaps for a book, perhaps for

nothing: anyhow, I did as I was ordered. [Quoted in Old Diary Leaves, I, pp

202-3 by H.S Olcott]

The significance of this quotation is that it describes how the writing of Isis

Unveiled began. This was a short time before the founding of The Theosophical

Society. ‘One day in the Summer of 1875, H.P.B showed me some sheets of

manuscript which she had written’, [Ibid.] wrote Col. Olcott, when she made the

statement given above.



Regarding the writing of The Secret Doctrine, a sentence from one of her letters

to A.P. Sinnett, after he had visited her at Ostend, simply dated Sunday, reads:

‘It is true that ever since you left, Master has made me add some thing daily

to the old MSS. so that much of it is new and much more that I do not

understand myself. [The Letters of H.P. BLAVATSKY to A.P. Sinnett, page 226]

There was supervision of the manuscript of The Secret Doctrine as the writing

progressed. A striking illustration was narrated by Countess Wachtmeister, who

was Mme. Blavatsky’s companion during the preparation of that work:

When I walked into H.P.B’s writing room, I found the floor strewn with sheets

of discarded manuscript. I asked the meaning of this scene of confusion, and

she replied: ‘Yes, I have tried twelve times to write this one page correctly,

and each time Master says it is wrong. I think I shall go mad, writing it so

often; but leave me alone; I will not pause until I have conquered it, even if

I have to go on all night.’


I brought a cup of coffee to refresh and sustain her, and then left her to

prosecute her weary task. An hour later I heard her voice calling me, and on

entering found that, at last, the passage was completed to satisfaction. 

[Reminiscences, etc., pp 32-3 by Countess Wachtmeister]

The Countess also related that assignments were often given by means of

precipitated messages:

Another incident of frequent occurrence came under my notice from time to

time, and marks another mode in which guidance and aid were given to H.P.B in

her work. Often, in the early morning, I would see on her writing-table a

piece of paper with unfamiliar characters traced upon it in red ink. On asking

her what was the meaning of these mysterious notes, she replied that they

indicated her work for the day. [Reminiscences, etc., page 38]



Writing by Dictation




IT MAY appear strange to have one of the classifications of Mme. Blavatsky’s

writings listed as Writing by Dictation. Nevertheless, it is used because of

what she herself wrote in one of the last, if not the very last, article she

penned. It is dated April 27, 1891, eleven days before she died — and is

entitled My Books. The work she refers to in the opening sentence is her

earliest one, Isis Unveiled:

Every word of information found in this work or in my later writings comes

from the teachings of our Eastern Masters; and that many a passage in these

works has been written by me under their dictation. In saying this no

supernatural claim is urged, for no miracle is performed by such a

dictation...Space and distance do not exist for thought; and if two persons

are in perfect mutual psycho-magnetic rapport, and of these two, one is a

great Adept in Occult Sciences, then thought-transference and dictation of

whole pages become as easy and as comprehensible at the distance of ten

thousand miles as the transference of two words across a room. [Lucifer,

London, Volume VIII, No. 43, May 15, 1881, pp 241-47]

The explanation of the method used by the Mahatmas in thus ‘dictating’ to Mme.

Blavatsky, was described in a letter to A.P. Sinnett, in response to one he had

written hoping that he could have direct communications with the Mahatma:

I must tell you now that for opening ‘direct communication’ the only possible

means would be: (1) For each of us to meet in our own physical bodies. I being

where I am, and you in your own quarters, there is a material impediment for

me. (2) For both to meet in our astral form — which would necessitate your

‘getting out’ of yours, as well as my leaving my body. The spiritual

impediment to this is on your part. (3) To make you hear my voice either

within you or near you as ‘the old lady’ does. This would be feasible in

either of two ways: (a) My chiefs have but to give me permission to set up the

conditions — and this for the present they refuse; or (b) for you to hear my

voice, i.e., my natural voice without any psycho-physiological tamasha being

employed by me (again as we often do among ourselves). But then, to do this,

not only have one’s spiritual senses to be abnormally opened, but one must

himself have mastered the great secret — yet undiscovered by science—of, so to

say, abolishing all the impediments of space; of neutralising for the time

being the natural obstacle of intermediary particles of air and forcing the

waves to strike your ear in reflected sounds or echo. [The Mahatma Letters,

Letter VIII, page 28]

One of the most important articles by Mme Blavatsky was written from dictation.

It was very long and was published in The Theosophist, the journal which she

founded soon after inaugurating the work of The Theosophical Society in India. 

Col. Olcott was aware of the significance of this article, because he refers to

it in this manner:

On August 22, 1883 I joined Mme. Blavatsky at Ootacamund, the summer resort in

the Nilgiri Hills. While there part of her work was the taking from dictation

from her invisible teacher of the ‘Replies to an English F.T.S.’...That she

was taking down from dictation was fully apparent to one who was familiar with

her ways. [Old Diary Leaves, II, 466]

Here is a portion of one of these ‘replies’:

The gradual development of man’s seven principles and physical senses has to

be coincident and on parallel lines with Rounds and Root-races. Our fifth race

has so far developed but its five senses. Now, if the Karma or Will-principle

of the ‘Fourth-rounders’ has already reached that stage of its evolution when

the automatic acts, the unmotivated instincts and impulses of its childhood

and youth, instead of following external stimuli, will have become acts of

will framed constantly in conjunction with the mind (Manas), thus making of

every man on earth of that race a free agent, a fully responsible being — the

Karma or our hardly adult fifth race is only slowly approaching it. As to the

sixth sense of this, our race, it has hardly sprouted above the soil of its

materiality. It is highly unreasonable, therefore, to expect for the men of

the fifth to sense the nature and essence of that which will be fully sensed

and perceived but by the sixth — let alone the seventh race — i.e., to enjoy

the legitimate outgrowth of the evolution and endowments of the future races

with only the help of our present limited senses. The exceptions to this quasi

universal rule have been hitherto found only in some rare cases of

constitutional, abnormally precocious individual evolutions; or, in such,

where by early training and special methods, reaching the stage of the fifth

rounders, some men in addition to the natural gift of the latter have fully

developed (by certain occult methods) their sixth, and in still rarer cases

their seventh, sense. As an instance of the former class may be cited the

Seeress of Prevorst; a creature born out of time, a rare precocious growth,

ill adapted to the uncongenial atmosphere that surrounded her, hence a martyr

ever ailing and sickly. As an example of the other, the Count St. Germain may

be mentioned. Apace with the anthropological and physiological development of

man runs his spiritual evolution. To the latter, purely intellectual growth is

often more an impediment than a help. [The Theosophist, Volume IV, p 295,

September 1883. Quoted in Collected Writings, V. 144-5]


Writing by Directive Clairvoyance


THE TERM Directive Clairvoyance is used to indicate a specific method Mme. 

Blavatsky employed, signifying a particular kind of clairvoyance. She explained

that she had been taught how to use this faculty by her Teachers during the

period she was undergoing training in Tibet. Before giving her explanation of

how she used this Siddhi, let us note the special capacity needed for it: The

ability to select a book on a specific theme. Then, although never having seen

the volume before, from any page in the work, choose a selected, appropriate

passage on a predetermined subject. Having selected a citation, the ability to

copy it verbatim, and give its correct page. Continuing the process: in order to

support this citation by quoting another author, an extract from a further book

would be required — and it would be forthcoming in the same manner. In either

case there would be no need to see the book itself, or to handle it, nor to

search through its pages. It would be a matter solely of visualizing the page

from which the desired extract was to be copied.



Proficiency in this process would dispense with any need of extraneous

assistance, such as a special chair or particular paper. There would be no

necessity for a list of books on the subject; no book, no reference to hunt up,

no authority to consult; not even an encyclopaedia or an index. It hardly seems

necessary to state that H.P. BLAVATSKY had no books on her desk; likewise she

had no access to a library. Here are her words on her method of procedure:

Well, you see, what I do is this. I make what I can only describe as a sort of

vacuum in the air before me, and fix my sight and my will upon it, and soon

scene after scene passes before me like the successive pictures of a diorama,

or, if I need a reference or information from some book, I fix my mind

intently, and the astral counterpart of the book appears and from it I take

what I need. The more perfectly my mind is freed from distractions and

mortifications, the more energy and intentness it possesses, the more easily I

can do this. [Reminiscences etc ., by Countess Wachtmeister, page 33]

Countess Wachtmeister, who was Mme. Blavatsky’s companion while The Secret

Doctrine was being written, describes watching the author at work:

I saw her write down sentences as if she were copying them from something

before her, where, however, I saw nothing. I did not pay much attention to the

manner of her work from the standpoint of a hunter of phenomena, and did not

control it for that purpose; but I know that I saw a good deal of the

well-known blue K.H. handwriting as corrections and annotations on her

manuscripts as well as in books that lay occasionally on her desk. And I

noticed this principally in the morning before she had commenced to work. 

[Op.cit., pages 112-3]

There was another method which H.P. BLAVATSKY was able to use, to which the term

Directive Clairvoyance would be applicable, although her visioning this time

would not be from books, it would be in the form of pictures, somewhat similar

to that of a television screen. She also employed this process in writing her

major works. She described it in a letter from New York to her sister Vera:

Well, Vera, whether you believe me or not, something miraculous is happening

to me. You cannot imagine in what a charmed world of pictures and visions I

have. I am writing Isis; not writing, rather copying out and drawing that

which She personally shows to me. Upon my word, sometimes it seems to me that

the ancient Goddess of Beauty in person leads me through all the countries of

past centuries which I have to describe. I sit with my eyes open and to all

appearances see and hear everything real and actual around me, and yet at the

same time I see and hear that which I write. I feel short of breath; I am

afraid to make the slightest movement for fear the spell might be broken. 

Slowly century after century, image after image, float out of the distance and

pass before me as if in a magic panorama; and meanwhile I put them together in

my mind, fitting in epochs and dates, and know for sure that there can be no

mistake. Races and nations, countries and cities, which have for long

disappeared in the darkness of the prehistoric past, emerge and then vanish,

giving place to others; and then I am told the consecutive dates. Hoary

antiquity makes way for historical periods; myths; myths are explained to me

with events and people who have really existed, and every event which is at

all remarkable, every newly-turned page of this many coloured book of life,

impresses itself on my brain and photographic exactitude. My own reckonings

and calculations appear to me later on as separate coloured pieces of

different shapes in the game which is called casse-tuttte (puzzles), I gather

them together and try to match them one after the other and at the end there

always comes out a geometrical whole. [The Path, Volume ix No 10, pages 301-1,

January, 1895]

An example of the faculty of Directive Clairvoyance is shown on the opening

pages of The Secret Doctrine: [Volume I, Pages 1-2, First Edition; Volume I,

69-70, Adyar Edition; Volume I, Pages 31-32, third edition]



An Archaic Manuscript — a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water,

fire and air, by some specific unknown process — is before the writer’s eye. On

the first page is an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On the

following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The first, the student

knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the reawakening of still

slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems. The point in the

hitherto immaculate Disk. Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of

differentiation. It is the Point in the Mundane Egg, the germ within the latter

which will become the Universe, the ALL, the boundless, periodical Kosmos, this

germ being latent and active, periodically and by turns. The one circle is

divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns. Its circumference —

a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of the human mind —

indicates the abstract, ever incognizable Presence, and its plane, the Universal

Soul, although the two are one. Only the face of the Disk being white and the

ground all around black, shows clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim

and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that

the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this SOUL that slumbers,

during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought, wherein lies concealed the plan of every

future Cosmogony and Theogony.



It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or

end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns

the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness;

unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, ‘a chaos to the sense, a

KOSMOS to the reason.’ Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal,

ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the ‘Great Breath,’ which is

the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present

SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in

fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.


Writing by Psychometry


H.P. BLAVATSKY herself described the subject of writing by means of psychometry

in her first major work:

One of the most interesting discoveries of modern times is that of the faculty

which enables a certain class of sensitive persons to receive from any object

held in the hand or against the forehead impressions of the character or

appearance of the individual, or any other object with which it has previously

been in contact. Thus a manuscript, painting, article of clothing, or

jewellery — no matter how ancient — conveys to the sensitive a vivid picture

of the writer, painter, or wearer; even though he lived in the days of Ptolemy

or Enoch. Nay, more; a fragment of an ancient building will recall its history

and even the scenes which transpired within or about it. A bit of ore will

carry the soul-vision back to the time when it was in process of formation.

This faculty is called...psychometry. [Isis Unveiled,Volume I, Page 182]

The psychometer, by applying the fragment of a substance to his forehead, brings

his inner-self into relations with the inner soul of the object he handles. It

is now admitted that the universal aether pervades all things in nature, even

the most solid.



It is beginning to be admitted, also, that this preserves the images of all

things which transpire. When the psychometer examines his specimen, he is

brought in contact with the current of the astral light, connected with that

specimen, and which retains pictures of the events associated with its history. 

These, according to Denton, pass before his vision with the swiftness of light;

scene after scene crowding upon each other so rapidly, that it is only by the

supreme exercise of the will that he is able to hold any one in the field of

vision long enough to describe it.



The psychometer is clairvoyant; that is, he sees with the inner eye. Unless his

willpower is very strong, unless he has thoroughly trained himself to that

particular phenomenon, and his knowledge of the capabilities of his sight are

profound, his perceptions of places, persons, and events, must necessarily be

very confused. [Isis Unveiled, Volume I, 183-184]



In an article on Psychometry, Mme, Blavatsky explains the difference between the

use of that faculty and Clairvoyance:

Psychometry embodies even more potentialities for instructing and elevating

average humanity than Clairvoyance. While the latter faculty is most rare, and

more rarely still to be found, unless accompanied by a tendency in the

clairvoyant to self-deception and the misleading of others, by reason of

imperfect control over the Imagination, the psychometer sees the secrets of

the Akasa by the ‘Eye of Siva,’ while corporeally awake and in full possession

of his bodily senses. A perfectly independent clairvoyant one may meet with

once or twice in a lifetime, but psychometers abound in every circle of

society, nay, may be found in almost every house. [Collected Writings, VI,

181-2; from The Theosophist, V, 147-488]

The significance of the Eye of Siva, is apt to be overlooked: it is a mystical

way of describing the functioning of the pineal gland. It is also referred to as

the Eye of Dangma.



Mme. Blavatsky also explained why the psychometer is able to describe a person

who has had contact with an object; first clarifying the difference between

life-atoms and sleeping atoms:

We regard and call in our occult phraseology those atoms that are moved by

Kinetic energy as ‘life-atoms,’ while those that are for the time being

passive, containing but invisible potential energy, we call ‘sleeping atoms,’

regarding at the same time these two forms of energy as produced by the one

and same force, or life. [Op. cit., V. 113; The Theosophist, IV, 286-288]

Heat is produced whenever visible energy is transformed into molecular energy we

are told, and it may be thrown out by any material composed of sleeping atoms or

inorganic matter as it is called: whereas the magnetic fluid projected by a

living human body is life itself. ‘Indeed it is life atoms’ that a man in a

blind passion throws off, unconsciously, and though he does it quite as

effectively as a mesmeriser who transfers them from himself to any object

consciously and under the guidance of his will. Let any man give away to any

intense feeling, such as anger, grief, etc., under or near a tree, or in direct

contact with a stone; and many thousands of years after that any tolerable

Psychometer will see the man and sense his feelings from one single fragment of

that tree or stone that he had touched. Hold any object in your hand, and it

will become impregnated with your life-atoms, indrawn and outdrawn, changed and

transferred in us at every instant of our lives. Animal heat is but so many life

atoms in molecular motion. It requires no adept knowledge, but simply the

natural gift of a good clairvoyant subject to see them passing to and fro, from

man to objects and vise versa like a bluish lambent flame. [Op. cit., V,

115-116, from The Theosophist, IV, 288]


Writing by Precipitation


PRECIPITATION in connection with writing generally signifies the materialization

of a message on paper (or other substance). By extension of meaning it also has

come to have the added significance of the delivery of the message, although the

latter is actually a distinct process from the former.



As an introduction to this type of writing, a comment made by Mme. Blavatsky in

one of her letters to A.P. Sinnett, dated Adyar, March 17, 1885, is worthy of


I have never, before beginning the service for you and Mr. Hume, transmitted

and received letters to, and from Masters, except for myself. If you had any

idea of the difficulties, or the modus operandi you would never have consented

to be in my place. And yet I never refused [The Mahatma Letters p 470, First

Edition; pages 462-3, third edition]

Writing on precipitation, she gave an explanation of the method used, with

specific reference to the Mahatma letters received by Sinnett and Hume. 

Nevertheless, this also clarifies the process Mme. Blavatsky would have been

called upon to employ for precipitations she herself performed.



Those having even a superficial knowledge of the science of mesmerism know how

the thoughts of the mesmeriser, though silently formulated in his mind are

instantly transferred to that of the subject. It is not necessary for the

operator, if he is sufficiently powerful, to be present near the subject to

produce the above result. Some celebrated practitioners in this Science are

known to have been able to put their subjects to sleep even from a distance of

several days’ journey. This known fact will serve us as a guide in comprehending

the comparatively unknown subject now under discussion. The work of writing the

letters in question is carried on by a sort of psychological telegraphy; the

Mahatmas very rarely write their letters in the ordinary way. An electromagnetic

connection, so to say, exists on the psychological plane between a Mahatma and

his chelas, one of whom acts as his amanuensis. When the Master wants a letter

to be written in this way, he draws the attention of the chela, whom he selects

for the task by causing an astral bell (heard by so many of our Fellows and

others) to be rung near him just as the despatching telegraph office signals to

the receiving office before wiring the message. The thoughts arising in the mind

of the Mahatma are then clothed in word, pronounced mentally, and forced along

the astral currents he sends towards the pupil to impinge on the brain of the

latter. Thence they are borne by the nerve-currents to the palms of his hands

and the tips of his finger, which rest on a piece of magnetically prepared

paper. As the thought-waves are thus impressed on the tissue, materials are

drawn to it from the ocean of Akasa (permeating every atom of the sensuous

universe), by an occult process, out of place here to describe, and permanent

marks are left.



From this it is abundantly clear that the success of such writing as above

described depends chiefly upon these things: (1) The force and the clearness

with which the thoughts are propelled, and (2) the freedom of the receiving

brain from disturbance of every description. [Collected Writings, VI, PAGES

119-20, from The Theosophist, Volume V, page 64]



Further information is provided in an interview Charles Johnston once had with

Mme. Blavatsky, although the report of the occurrence was not published until

after her death. Of special interest is the explanation given of how a Mahatma

is able to produce the precipitation in English even though knowing nothing of

that language. H.P.Blavatsky opened her explanation with a question she herself

proceeded to answer:

Have you ever made experiments in thought-transference? If you have, you must

have noticed that the person who receives the mental picture very often

colours it, or even changes it slightly, with his own thought, and this where

perfectly genuine transference of thought takes place. Well, it is something

like that with the precipitated letters. One of our Masters, who perhaps does

not know English, and of course has no English handwriting, wishes to

precipitate a letter in answer to a question sent mentally to him. Let us say

he is in Tibet, while I am in Madras or London. He has the answering thought

in his mind, but not in English words. He has first to impress that thought on

my brain, or on the brain of someone else who knows English, and then to take

the word-forms that rise up in the other brain to answer the thought. Then he

must form a clear mind-picture of the words in waiting, also drawing on my

brain, or the brain of whoever it is, for the shapes. Then either through me

or some Chela with whom he is magnetically connected, he has to precipitate

these word-shapes on paper, first sending the shapes into the Chela’s mind,

and then driving them into the paper, using the magnetic force of the Chela to

do the printing, and collecting the material, black or blue or red, as the

case may be, from the astral light. As all things dissolve into the astral

light, the will of the magician can draw them forth again. So he can draw

forth colours of pigments to mark the figure in the letter, using the magnetic

force of the Chela to stamp them in, and guiding the whole by his own much

greater magnetic force, a current of powerful will. [Collected Writings, VIII,

397-8; from The Theosophical Forum, New York]

With regard to the synchronization of the two minds — the Mahatma’s and the

chela’s — a sloka from the Yogasutras may be quoted:



The nature of the mind of another person becomes known to the ascetic when he

concentrates his own mind upon that other person. [Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali

(W.Q. Judge’s recension Book III, sloka 19)] Mme. Blavatsky gave an explanation

of a different type of precipitation, which illustrates the use of another




I have often seen M sit with a book of the most elaborate Chinese characters

that he wanted to copy, and a blank book before him and he would put a pinch of

black lead dust before him and then rub it in slightly on the page; and then

over it precipitate ink; and then, if the image of the characters was all right

and correct in his mind the characters copied would be all right. [The Letters

of H.P. BLAVATSKY to A.P. Sinnett, page 32]


Writing By a Process Analogous to Tulku


THE LAST of the seven methods of writing chosen for consideration could be

termed Writing by means of a process analogous to Tulku. [For a full explanation

of the meaning of the Tibetan word Tulku and its significance in connection with

H.P.B the reader is referred to the author’s book entitled H.P.Blavatsky, Tibet

and Tulku] This description endeavours to express the significance of the idea

suggested by the word Tulku, for there is no single English word equivalent to

the Tibetan one. To some extent it explains the state or condition in which Mme. 

Blavatsky functioned from time to time. She referred to this state in a rather

vague manner, leaving it to one’s intuition to determine what was meant. For

instance here is a passage from one of her letters to A. P. Sinnett:



I too was made a reflection several times and during months; but I never abused

of it, to try and palm off my personal schemes on those who mistook H.P.B of

Russian, for the high Initiate of xxx whose telephone she was at times. And this

is why the MASTERS have never withdrawn Their confidence from me, if all others

(saving a very few) have. [Op.cit., p 174 (Letter No. Ixxii)]



In similar vein she wrote this significant statement in her own copy of her book

The Voice of the Silence: ‘H.P.B to H.P. BLAVATSKY with no regards.’



Here is another citation, selected from one of her articles:

I once slept for eleven weeks, believing myself to be awake the whole time and

walking around like a ghost of Pontoise, without being able to understand why

no one appeared to see me and to answer me. I was entirely unaware that I was

liberated from my old carcass which, at that time, however, was a little

younger. That was at the beginning of my studies. [The Complete Works of H.P.

BLAVATSKY, Volume II, Page 46]

Then there is this passage, which occurs in a letter to her sister Vera;

consequently no technical terms are used:

Several times a day I feel that besides me there is someone else, quite

separable from me, present in my body. I never lose the consciousness of my

own personality; what I feel is as if I were keeping silent and the other one

·       the lodger who is in me — were speaking with my tongue...


Do not be afraid that I am off my head. All that I can say is that someone

positively inspires me...more than this: someone enters me. It is not I who

talk and write: it is something within me, my higher and luminous Self, that

thinks and writes for me. [Letters from H.P. Blavatsky to Mme. Vera de

Zhelihovsky.’ published in The Path, December 1894, Volume IX, pages 269-70]

Col. Olcott was aware of this change that would occur to H.P.Blavatsky when she

was engaged in the writing of Isis Unveiled, for he narrates:

...the H.P.B manuscripts varied at times, and there were several variants of

the one prevailing script; also that each change in the writing was

accompanied by a marked alteration in the manner, motions, expression, and

literary capacity of H.P.B [Old Diary Leaves, I, 243]


The Works of H.P. BLAVATSKY


ALTHOUGH the list of books published during the lifetime of Mme. Blavatsky may

not be large, their content is unparalleled in the literary field, for her

volumes give access to the secret lore of the Orient—where the Ancient Wisdom

has been preserved by its Custodians. However, the articles written by her in

pen and ink for periodicals amount to about a thousand. When these are gathered

together and printed in book form — as has been done posthumously — they

comprise more than eleven volumes.



The first work to be published, in 1877, was Isis Unveiled, a work of two

volumes, subtitled‘a master-key to the mysteries of ancient and modern science

and theology’. Although this was her first published work, it was preceded by

many articles written for journals in the United States. These have been

gathered and published posthumously in the first volume of the Collected




The second, in order of publication, in 1883: Iz pescher i debrey Indostana,

(From the Caves and of Jungles of Hindostan), subtitled Pisma na rodinu (Letters

to the Fatherland) written for Russian periodicals.



The next book, published in 1885, was entitled Five Years of Theosophy:

Mystical, Philosophical, Theosophical, Historical and Scientific Essays,

selected from The Theosophist.



In 1888 The Secret Doctrine was published, subtitled ‘The Synthesis of Science,

Religion, and Philosophy.’ Volume I — Cosmogenesis; Volume II — Anthropogenesis. 

A third volume was added posthumously containing essays by H.P. BLAVATSKY not

incorporated in the original two-volume printing.



In 1889 The Key to Theosophy appeared, ‘being a clear exposition, in the form of

question and answer, of the ethics, science, and philosophy, for the study of

which The Theosophical Society has been founded.’ A second edition soon

followed, which was amplified by the addition of a glossary.



Also in 1889 The Voice of the Silence, ‘being chosen Fragments from the Book of

the Golden Precepts, for the daily use of Lanoos (Disciples)’.



This was followed in 1890 by Gems from the East, a birthday book of precepts and




Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, in two parts: the first in 1890, the second

in 1891; consisting of replies given by H.P.B to questions asked upon the

Stanzas of Dzyan during the sessions of the Lodge. Of special significance for

students of The Secret Doctrine.


Posthumous Works


THE FIRST posthumous work to appear was a collection of seven occult stories

published in 1892 under the title of Nightmare Tales, although the stories had

already appeared in various periodicals during her lifetime.



In the same year The Theosophical Glossary was published although Mme. Blavatsky

did not have the opportunity of checking and correcting it.



Also in 1892, From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan, translated from the

Russian by Mrs Charles Johnston (although it was not a complete version of the

original volume). This was followed by two books consisting of articles

originally printed in Russian journals, entitled Zagadochniya plemena na Golubih

Gorah (The Enigmatical Tribes on the Azure-Blue Hills) published in 1893; and

Durbar u Lahore (The Durbar in Lahore).



A Modern Panarion, published in 1895, was the name given to a collection of

articles written for periodicals before the publication of Isis Unveiled. This

work contains many of the articles appearing in Volume I of the Collected

Writings series.



In 1925 The Letters of H.P. BLAVATSKY to A. P. Sinnett and other miscellaneous

Letters were published under the supervision of A.T. Barker, intended as a

companion volume to The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett.



Another volume of Letters was brought forth between 1925 and 1935 by E. R.

Corson under the title Some Unpublished Letters of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. 

These letters were written to Dr. Corson’s father and mother between February 9,

1875 and March 12, 1876.



By far the most important posthumous publications are the H.P.Blavatsky

Collected Writings series, for her literary labours were so prolific that it has

taken many years to gather them and prepare the articles for publication. This

work is principally due to the efforts of her grandnephew, Boris de Zirkoff. The

series begins with a collection of articles written during the years 1874-78. 

This formed the first of a uniform set of Volumes published under the title of

The Complete Works of H.P. BLAVATSKY. This first volume appeared in 1933 and was

followed by three more: Volume II for articles from The Theosophist during

1879-80; Volume III comprising articles in 1881-82; Volume IV containing

articles from 1882-83 (published during 1933-36). Long out of print, these four

volumes have now been reissued as part of the H.P. BLAVATSKY Collected Writings

— in conformity with Volumes V—X. Volume V contains articles written during 1883

(published 1950); Volume VI, articles of 1883-85 (published 1954); Volume VII,

articles of 1886-87 (published 1958); Volume VIII, articles principally from

Lucifer written during 1887 (published 1960); Volume IX, articles of 1888

(published 1962); Volume X, articles of 1888-89 (published 1964). Articles yet

to appear in the series are those written in 1890 and 1891 for Lucifer — some of

which were published posthumously. Forthcoming volumes will also reproduce

translations of her writings in Russian.




THE LITERARY achievements of H.P. BLAVATSKY undoubtedly provide the testimonial

that she acted as the light-bringer of the Ancient Wisdom to the western world. 

This achievement naturally obscured her other talents which are deserving of

more recognition. It is fitting that her artistic abilities should be described. 

Thus the word artist, which has a dual significance, may well be applied to her. 

Although she did not work with a brush and palette and do oil paintings,

nevertheless her pen and ink sketches were truly artistic creations and her

cartoons clever and humourous. In addition, she worked in a distinctive field,

because she could produce a picture without pen or pencil or brush by

precipitation, by Kriyasakti (literally by willpower alone). The best way of

describing her ability in this field is to quote Colonel Olcott’s account of how

she made a unique portrait. No pencil or crayon work would be able to duplicate

it; nor could an artist with a brush.



At the close of dinner we [W. Q. Judge, L. M. Marquette, M.D. and H.S. Olcott]

had drifted into talk about precipitations, and Judge asked H.P.B if she would

not make somebody’s portrait for us. As we were moving towards the writing-room,

she asked him whose portrait he wished made, and he chose that of this

particular yogi, whom we knew by name as one held in great respect by the

Masters. She crossed to my table, took a sheet of my crested club-paper, tore it

in halves, kept the half which had no imprint, and laid it down on her own

blotting-paper. She then scraped perhaps a grain of the plumbago of a Faber

lead-pencil on it, and then rubbed the surface for a minute or so with a

circular motion of the palm of her right hand; after which she handed us the

result. On the paper had come the desired portrait and, setting wholly aside the

question of its phenomenal character, it is an artistic production of power and

genius...The yogi is depicted in Samadhi, the head drawn partly aside, the eyes

profoundly introspective and dead to external things, the body seemingly that of

an absent tenant. There is a beard and hair of moderate length, the latter drawn

with such skill that one sees through the upstanding locks as it were — an

effect obtained in good photographs, but hard to imitate with pencil or crayon. 

The portrait is in a medium not easy to distinguish: it might be black crayon,

without stumping, or black lead; but there is neither dust nor gloss on the

surface to indicate which, nor any marks of the stump or the point used: hold

the paper horizontally towards the light and you might fancy the pigment was

below the surface, combined with the fibres. [Old Diary Leaves, Volume I, pages




A well-known American artist of that epoch provided this testimonial regarding

the portrait: it is ‘unique, distinctly an “individual” in the technical sense;

one that no living artist within his knowledge could have produced.’[Le Clear,

quoted in O.D.L.., I. 368] The yogi’s name is Tiruvalluvar. Mahatma K.H. wrote

to Sinnett in regard to this phenomenal portraiture by Mme. Blavatsky:

She can and did produce phenomena, owing to her natural powers combined with

several long years of regular training, and her phenomena are sometimes

better, more wonderful and far more perfect than those of some high, initiated

chelas, whom she surpasses in artistic taste and purely Western appreciation

of art—as for instance in the instantaneous production of pictures: witness

her portrait of the ‘fakir.’[The Mahatma Letters, p 312, First Edition; pages

307-8, Third Edition]

Another striking example of her artistry is H.P.B’s portrayal by means of a pen

and ink sketch of two opera singers, drawn on page 24 of her Sketchbook. It

depicts not only their roles in the opera in which they performed — that of

Gounod’s Faust — but also graphically tells who they are, namely Teresina

Signora Mitrovich and her husband Agardi Mitrovich, and where they were

performing, in Tiflis on April 7, 1862. Signora Mitrovich is portrayed as

Marguerite, absorbed in prayer before a crucifix, while there is no doubt as to

the personification of the individual who is glancing with evil eyes over

Marguerite’s shoulder—Mephistopheles.



Mention was made of the use of the word artist in a dual sense: the first usage

has been applied to one who is proficient in portraiture. The second use of the

term is often applied to a polished musician. In this sense it is also

applicable to H.P.B, for she was a gifted pianist. Dr Corson in his book about

Mme. Blavatsky writes:

My mother described to me how H.P.B would sit down at the piano and improvise

with great skill, showing remarkable efficiency for one who played but at odd

times as the spirit might move her. Her biographers have not dwelt at any

length on her musical talent. Her cousin, Count Witte, in his Memoirs, refers

to this musical talent at some length. [Some Unpublished Letters of H.P.

BLAVATSKY, page 33] Col. Olcott enthused over H.P.B’s playing:

She was a splendid pianist, playing with a touch and expression that were simply

superb. Her hands were models — ideal and actual — for a sculptor and never seen

to such advantage as when flying over the keyboard to find its magical melodies. 

She was a pupil of Moscheles, and when in London as a young girl [lady], with

her father, played at a charity concert with Madame Clara Schumann and Madame

Arabella Goddard in a piece of Schmann’s for three pianos. Some weeks after the

above was published I learned from a member of her family that shortly before

coming to America, H.P.B had made some concert tours in Italy and Russia under

the pseudonym of ‘Madame Laura.’



During the time of our relationship she played scarcely at all. Once a cottage

piano was bought and she played on it for a few weeks, but then it remained

closed ever after until sold, and served as a double bookshelf. There were times

when...she would sit in the dusk sometimes, with nobody else in the room beside

myself and strike from the sweet-toned instrument improvisations that might well

make one fancy he was listening to the Gandharvas, or heavenly choristers. It

was the harmony of heaven. [Old Diary Leaves, Volume I, PAGES 458-9] William

Kingsland provided this reminiscence:

I well remember on one occasion, on a visit by her to my house in London in

1889, she sat down at the piano and played Schubert’s Erl-Konig, to my great

surprise and delight, as I had never even heard that she had even been a

pianist. [The Real H.P. BLAVATSKY, by William Kingsland, page 38]Her sister

Vera, speaks of ‘her musical talents and of the fact that she was a member of

the Philharmonic Society in London.’ [Incidents in the Life of Madame

Blavatsky, by A. P. Sinnett, page 51]

Concerning H.P. BLAVATSKY’s Financial Status



NOT a word is said about Mme. Blavatsky receiving remuneration for her musical

performances. From her literary work she did not receive such income as one

might expect. Even with her two major works Isis Unveiled and The Secret

Doctrine, a great deal of the cost of publishing was borne by H.P.B herself

because of her fondness for making changes on proof-sheets. Dr. Keightley, who

assisted her in preparing and publishing The Secret Doctrine wrote:

It went through three or four other hands besides H.P.B’s in galley proof, as

well as in revise. She was her own most severe corrector, and was liable to

treat revise as MSS, with alarming results in the correction item in the bill. 

[Reminiscences of H.P. BLAVATSKY etc., page 100]

Col. Olcott had the same to say about the changes made on the proofs of Isis

Unveiled. However, even before the publication of her first book, Mme. 

Blavatsky’s finances had sustained a heavy loss, because of the help she had

given to the editor of the Spiritual Scientist, a Boston journal. H.P.B had this

comment to make:



‘Between Col. Olcott and myself, H.P.B, we have spent over a 1000 dollars

given him to pay his debts and support his paper. [Collected Writings, Volume

I, page 95]



The meagreness of H.P.B’s financial status is attested in a document written by

Countess Wachtmeister. While living with Mme. Blavatsky at Ostend, Belgium, the

Countess had called a lawyer, and when he was prepared to draw up the will,

H.P.B stated that she wished to leave everything to Constance Wachtmeister. The

Countess continues the narration:

The lawyer now expostulated. Had she no relations; would it not be right to

leave her property to them? And then he looked askance at me, as if he thought

that I might have been unduly influencing H.P.B to leave her money to me to

the detriment of her relatives. H.P.B flew out at him, and asked him what

business it was of his; she should leave her money, she declared, to whom she

chose. Madame Gebhard, fearful of a scene, interposed and said gently to the

lawyer: ‘Perhaps, when you know the amount which Madame Blavatsky has to will

away, you will have no further objections to making the will as she desires;

for had Madame Blavatsky died there would not have been sufficient money to

pay for her funeral expenses.’




The lawyer could not restrain an expression of surprise, but set to work

without further comment. In a few minutes the will was made and signed by

those present. [Reminiscences etc., page 77]

Countess Wachtmeister also relates that H.P.B had received an offer from a

Russian journal which would have enabled her to recoup her dwindling finances. 

However, Mme. Blavatsky declined to take advantage of it, as narrated by the


One day a temptation came to her in the form of a large yearly salary if she

would write for the Russian papers. She might write, she was told, on

occultism or any other subject which pleased her, if she would only contribute

to their columns. Here was a promise of comfort and ease for the remainder of

her life. Two hours’ labour every day would be ample to satisfy all demands

made on her time; but then no Secret Doctrine would be written. I spoke of a

compromise, and asked her if it would not be possible for her to accept this

engagement, and, at the same time, continue her Theosophical work. ‘No — a

thousand times no!’ she answered. ‘To write such a work as The Secret Doctrine

I must have all my thoughts turned in the direction of that current. It is

difficult enough even now, hampered as I am with this sick and worn-out body,

to get all I want, how much more difficult, then, if I am to be continually

changing the currents into other directions. I have no longer the vitality or

the energy left in me. Too much of it was exhausted at the time when I

produced my phenomena. [Op. cit., page 48]

However, there was another reason why H.P.B was often without funds. She

explained it to the Countess when the latter inquired concerning the task which

Mme. Blavatsky had undertaken, namely to bring the knowledge of the Ancient

Wisdom to the western world:

In occultism, a most solemn vow has to be taken never to use any powers

acquired or conferred for the benefit of one’s own personal self, for to do so

would be to set foot on the steep and treacherous slope that ends in the abyss

of Black Magic. I have taken the vow, and I am not one to break a pledge the

sanctity of which cannot be brought within the comprehension of the profane. I

would rather suffer any tortures than be untrue to my pledge. As for securing

more favourable conditions for the execution of my task: it is not with us

that the end is held to justify the means, nor is it we who are permitted to

do evil that good may come. And it is not only bodily pain and weakness and

the ravages of disease that I am to suffer with what patience I may, subduing

them by my will for the sake of the work, but mental pain, ignominy,

opprobrium and ridicule. [Op. cit.,page 46]

From time immemorial there have been human beings who have demonstrated superior

faculties and abilities. Some have declared that they have come to assist

humanity in one way or another. This was especially portrayed in the Mysteries

of ancient Greece. For instance, in the Eleusinian Mysteries certain families

were selected as being representatives of carrying on the tradition of passing

on the teachings and customs in a particular manner. Thus the Hierophants were

chosen from one family living in Athens named the Eumolpidae; the Torchbearers

were drawn from the family of Lycomidae, also living in Athens.


In similar manner to the torchbearers, who lit the way for the processions to

and from the temple where the ancient wisdom was conveyed to the initiants by

the Hierophants, so does H.P. BLAVATSKY illumine the path for those who are

eager to pursue the quest for knowledge. And in what an incomparable manner has

the age-old wisdom been presented by her! Read the words she penned in regard to

her search for the custodians of the ancient lore of the Orient:



When, years ago, we first travelled over the East, exploring the penetralia of

its deserted sanctuaries, two saddening and ever-recurring questions oppressed

our thoughts: Where, who, what is God? Who ever saw the immortal Spirit of man,

so as to be able to assure himself of man’s immortality?



It was while most anxious to solve these perplexing problems that we came into

contact with certain men, endowed with such mysterious powers and such profound

knowledge that we may truly designate them as the sages of the Orient. To their

instructions we lend a ready ear. They showed us that by combining science with

religion, the existence of God and immortality of man’s spirit may be

demonstrated like a problem of Euclid. For the first time we received the

assurance that the Oriental philosophy has room for no other faith than an

absolute and immovable faith in the omnipotence of man’s own immortal self. We

were taught that this omnipotence comes from the kinship of man’s spirit with

the Universal Soul — God! The latter, they said, can never be demonstrated but

by the former. Man-spirit proves God-spirit, as the one drop of water proves a

source from which it must have come. Tell one who had never seen water, that

there is an ocean of water, and he must accept it on faith, or reject it

altogether. But let one drop fall upon his hand, and he then has the fact from

which all the rest may be inferred. After that he could by degrees understand

that a boundless and fathomless ocean of water existed. Blind faith would no

longer be necessary; he would have supplanted it with KNOWLEDGE. [Isis Unveiled,

I, P 6 (Preface)]



We are not asked to accept on faith alone the message which H.P.Blavatsky

brought to the western world. But we are requested to consider the fundamental

propositions upon which her writings are based. Nevertheless, in due time we are

expected to test the validity of each one of the doctrines which she presented. 

For, as stated by one of her teachers:

We tell you what we know, for we are made to learn it through personal

experience. [The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett xxx, p 131; First Edition; p

128, Third Edition]

One of the required experiences in this testing is that of passing through the

portals of death while retaining full consciousness, and that of going through

the after-death states fully conscious.



Not only did H.P. BLAVATSKY provide illumination upon what happens to man when

he dies — thus enabling one to banish the fear of death — but she presented

esoteric knowledge concerning the process of birth. Then, too, the reason for

living nobly is stressed; so is the purpose of existence: why we are on earth

and where we are going. Above all she expounded the inner meaning of the life on

earth and reaffirmed the knowledge of man’s spiritual powers and faculties —

which although at present dormant are available to him who would make the

requisite effort to awaken them.



When presenting The Secret Doctrine to the western world, H.P. BLAVATSKY quoted

these words: ‘My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.’[John, vii, 16]

Thus there is every assurance that she came as a messenger from the Fraternity

representing the Sons of the Fire-Mist. In fact, she truly acted as a

Light-bringer to the western world, ushering in a new age.


H.P.B’s Message


SUCH has been the destiny of those who sought to benefit the human race. For

H.P.B was not the first one to bring the knowledge that there was a Divine

Wisdom, which may be described as the basis upon which all religions are

founded. This Theo-sophia — Divine Wisdom, or the Wisdom-Religion, as it is

sometimes called — is not a system of belief formulated by an individual;

instead it is the cumulative result of many ages of systematic search. It is not

a religion in the ordinary meaning of the word, denoting formalized worship and

devotional practices, rather it is the accumulated wisdom of innumerable eras.



In reviving the search for this Ancient Wisdom, as represented by Theosophy, its

object was ‘to reconcile all religions, sects and nations under a common system

of ethics based on eternal verities.’ [The Key to Theosophy, page 3]




The ‘Wisdom-Religion’ was one in antiquity; and the sameness of primitive

religious philosophy is proven to us by the identical doctrines taught to the

Initiates during the Mysteries, an institution once universally diffused. [Ibid,

page 4]


What is also needed is to impress men with the idea that, if the root of mankind

is one, then there must also be one truth which finds expression in all the

various religions. [The Key to Theosophy page 45]



As to the message H.P.Blavatsky brought: it is based on fundamental concepts

formulated into three propositions. These propositions from the basis for the

presentation of the doctrines of the Ancient Wisdom, also known as the Esoteric

Philosophy. Generations of sages and seers have had the opportunity of checking

these doctrines by practical experience as well as by study. They have found

that the teachings thus enunciated are in harmony with the philosophical system

formulated by them. These three fundamental propositions are:

1. An Omnipresent, Eternal,. Boundless, and Immutable Principle on which

all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human

conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or

similitude...It is the rootless root of ‘all that was, is, or ever shall be’.


2. The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane;

periodically ‘the playground of a numberless Universes incessantly manifesting

and disappearing,’ called ‘the manifesting stars,’ and the ‘sparks of

Eternity’. ‘The Eternity of the Pilgrim is like a wink of the Eye of



3. The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Oversoul,

the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Room; and the obligatory

pilgrimage for every Soul — a spark of the former — through the Cycle of

Incarnation (or ‘Necessity’) in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during

the whole term. [The Secret Doctrine,Volume I, pages 14-17, First Edition;

Volume I, Page 82 Adyar Edition; Volume 1, Page 45, third edition]








Sk = Sanskrit

Key = The Key to Theosophy

M.L = The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett

S.D. = The Secret Doctrine

Th. Glos = Theosophical Glossary



Ad, Sons of - Term used by Occultism for a group of beings who presided by

hundreds of centuries what is called the Age of Iron.



Adept - Used with a great deal of latitude. Herein applicable to those superior

human beings who compose the occult Brotherhood



Agnishavatta Pitris - (Sk: compounded of agni, fire or inner essence, applied

figuratively to the mind, hence the fire of mind; svatta from svad, meaning to

taste or sweeten; pitris, fathers). The term may be explained in two ways: (1)

Beings who have tasted of the fire of mind and who have become stimulated to

achieve and conclude the evolutionary cycle (the Cycle of Necessity); (2) Beings

who have been sweetened by the fire of suffering and experience in the Cycle of

Necessity and have graduated therefrom. It was the Agnishvatta Pitris (also

termed Manasaputras or Sons of Mind) who awakened the dormant mind-principle of

humanity during the fifth sub-race of the Third Root-Race.



Akasa - (Sk) The Supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space;

sometimes referred to as the Primordial Light manifesting through Divine

Ideation. Best described as manifesting in seven degrees or aspects. In its

highest aspect it is equivalent to the Root of All, for it is defined in

Southern Buddhism as that from which everything in the universe comes into

being. In this aspect Akasa is equivalent to the Tibetan term Tho-og, Space, or

Aditi in Hindu scriptures. Other equivalent terms: Adma-Buddhi in Northern

Buddhism, or Alaya; Svabhavat in the Stanzas of Dzyan; Mulaprakriti in the

Vedantin system; Pradhana

in the Brahmanical; Anima Mundi or the ‘Soul of the World’; Primordial Aether

(in Western terminology). In its lowest aspect Akasa is often referred to as the

Astral Light.



Aquarian Age - Best explained by considering the precession of the equinoxes —

the westward movement of the equinoxes on the ecliptic. The equinoxes (vernal

and autumnal) do not occur at the same points of the ecliptic every solar year,

for the plane of the ecliptic and the plane of the equator revolve in opposite

directions. Therefore, the two planes make a complete revolution with respect to

each other once every 25,868 years. As the twelve signs of the zodiac are

regarded as being stationed along the ecliptic, and divided into 30 degrees

each, the ‘entry of the equinox’ into another sign of the zodiac would occur

every 2155 years. As the ‘entry of the equinox’ in the zodiacal sign of Pisces

is described as having occurred in 255 BC, the entry of the equinox into the

zodiacal sign of Aquarius represents the present epoch as the Aquarian Age.



Arhat - (Sk: derived from verbal root arh — to be worthy, to be entitled to —

hence one who is entitled to the distinction of having achieved the goal). 

Herein used as an individual who is a member of the occult Brotherhood.



Astral Light - Used with much latitude for lack of suitable English equivalents. 

In connection with the Earth, the Astral Light acts as a receptacle for the

vital energies or life-principle (cosmic Jmava) proceeding from the sun, thus

acting as the conveyor of it to the Earth. In this aspect it is equivalent to

the Linga-sarmara (pattern vehicle) in the sevenfold constitution of man, which

likewise is the conveyor of Prana (life-principle) to the physical body. In this

capacity each planet, and for that matter each sun, has its specific Astral

Light. Furthermore, the Astral Light also represents what may be regarded as the

‘picture gallery’ of Eternity, preserving the record of every event occurring on

earth — whether on physical or astral plane. Also used as an equivalent for

Karma-loka, the region associated with the first after-death state.



Astral Soul - As used in H.P.Blavatsky’s narrative signifies the Mayavi-rupa,

which by the use of Siddhis enables one to project one’s consciousness to any

desired distance. She also referred to it as the ‘inner ego’.



Astral Vital Body - As here used signifies the Linga-sarmara (the model body or

ethereal double) vitalized by the life-principle (Prana), See Seven Principles.



Atom - In Occult Science thus: ‘Atoms fill the immensity of Space, and by their

continuous vibration are that Motion which keeps the wheels of Life perpetually

going.’ (Secret Doctrine I, 633 First Edition; II, 358; Adyar Edition; I, 694

Third ed.)



Black Magic - Term of the ancient Mystery-Schools, signifying the use of Siddhis

(occult powers) for selfish or unholy purposes. ‘For this is black magic,

abomination and spiritual sorcery’, to quote H.P. BLAVATSKY (Key p 68). She also

refers to mediumship as ‘unconscious black magic.’



Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna - (1831-91) Daughter of Capt. Peter Alexeyevich von

Hahn and Helena Andreyevna de Fadeyev; granddaughter of Privy Councillor Andrey

Mihailovich de Fadeyev and Princess Helena Dolgorukov. Born at Ekaterinoslav,

Ukraine, Russia, August 11-12. Her first ten years were spent in a sequence of

moves, accompanying her father who was in the horse artillery. When Helena’s

mother died she lived with her grandparents, principally at Saratov and Tiflis,

until her marriage (July 7, 1849) to N. V. Blavatsky, a State Official. The

marriage was in name only, for within three months Mme. Blavatsky had left her

homeland and began a series of travels, continuing for several years. The

momentous event of her life occurred when she met her Master in London on her

twentieth birthday. She never gave a sequential account of her journeys except

for one notebook during the year of 1867. That she was in Tibet more than once

is certain because she wrote: ‘I have lived at different periods in Little Tibet

as in Great Tibet, and ... these combined periods form more than seven years.’

(Collected Writings, VI, 272)


It was during her stay in Tibet that she studies under her Teachers and was

taught how to use the Siddhis which enabled her to produce her writings in a

remarkable and unparalleled manner. On July 7, 1873, she arrived in New York; a

year later she met Col. Olcott, and W. Q. Judge; these three with fourteen

others founded The Theosophical Society in September, 1875, H.P.Blavatsky’s

first work, Isis Unveiled, was published in 1877. In December 1878 Mme. 

Blavatsky left America for India, remaining there until 1885. In 1879 The

Theosophist was established for which she wrote many articles. She began writing

The Secret Doctrine in Wurzburg in 1885, and then continued it in Ostend and

London until its publication in 1888. The magazine Lucifer was established by

her in 1887; it was published monthly until her death in 1891.



Bod-Las - Tibetan for the land of Tibet. Bod is derived from Bhota (Sk) — the

land of Tibet.



Brotherhood - An occult fraternity whose origin may be traced to the Sons of Ad,

the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom. H.P. BLAVATSKY affirmed that she was sent

to the western world by this fraternity to present certain teachings of the

esoteric doctrine. Members of this Brotherhood are known by various names:

Mahatmas, Chohans, Chang-Chubs, Byanz-Tzyoobs, Bodhisattvas, Khubil-Khans,

Adepts, Initiates. Arhats.



Buddhism - Usually defined as the religion founded by Gautama Buddha. However,

there are two main divisions: Mahayana Buddhism, referred to as the Doctrine of

the Heart, or Northern Buddhism; Hinayana Buddhism, the Doctrine of the Eye, or

Southern Buddhism. The principal factor in Buddhism is its ethical teachings

presented as the Noble Eightfold Path: (1) Right Understanding; (2) Right

Attitude of Mind; (3) Right Speech; (4) Right Action; (5) Right Livelihood; (6)

Right Effort; (7) Right Recollection; (8) Samma Samadhi — ecstatic beatitude, or

the highest state of yoga.



Chela - A term used in India for a disciple. Specifically, a personal disciple

of a guru, or spiritual teacher. When used in connection with H.P. BLAVATSKY it

signified an initiated disciple, even though her Teachers often referred to her

as Upasika, signifying a female disciple.



Chiefs - As used herein signifies those who are in the superior stages of

evolution in connection with the occult Brotherhood (q.v.).



Clairaudience - Faculty of hearing with the ‘inner ear’; or spiritual hearing of

occult sounds at any distance.



Clairvoyance - Faculty of seeing with the ‘inner eye’; or spiritual sight. As

defined by H.P.Blavatsky: ‘Real clairvoyance means the faculty of seeing through

the densest matter (the latter disappearing at the will and before the spiritual

eye of the Seer), and irrespective of time (past, present and future) or

distance.’ (Th. Glos. p 85).



Cycle of Necessity - Also termed the Cycle of Incarnation, or the Circle of

Necessity. It refers to the ancient doctrine which postulates the necessity for

the immortal component of man — the Pilgrim or the Monad — to return again and

again for incarnation on earth, in order to accomplish seven major evolutionary

developments, each one of which represents a change of form and greater

manifestation of potencies.



Dangma - The Eye of Dangma is also called the deva-eye, the eye of wisdom, the

eye of Siva. This refers to the pineal gland, at present dormant. When awakened

by occult process, the ‘Opened Eye of Dangma’ functions as ‘the faculty of

spiritual intuition, through which direct and certain knowledge is obtainable.’

(Secret Doctrine, I, 46, First Edition; I, 118 Adyar Edition, I, 77 Third ed.)


Denton - W. Geologist and author of The Soul and Things: Psychometric Researches

and Discoveries, Boston, 1873. He asserts that the images of the events are

imbedded in that all-permeating universal and ever-retaining medium, which he

terms the ‘Soul of Things’ — which philosophers called Anima Mundi — the Soul of

the World.



Dhyanis - (Sk) Used in Secret Doctrine in place of Dhyanins — an abbreviated

form of Dhyani-Chohans, literally ‘the Meditative Lords.’ Generalizing term for

Divine Being, superior in status to the Human Kingdom: representing the Divine

Intelligences who supervise a cosmos.



Enoch - In the Bible (Genesis iv and v) three Enochs are mentioned: the son of

Cain, the son of Seth, the son of Jared. An interpretation of one of the

meanings of Enoch is given by H.P.B: ‘Esoterically, Enoch is the “Sons of man,”

the first; and symbolically, the first Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race. And if

his name yields for purposes of numerical and astronomical glyphs the meaning of

the solar year, or 365, in conformity to the age assigned to him in Genesis, it

is because, being the seventh, he is, for Occult purposes, the personified

period of the two preceding Races with their fourteen Sub-Races. Therefore, he

is shown in the Book as the great grandfather of Noah who, in his turn, is the

personification of the mankind of the Fifth, struggling with that of the Fourth

Root-Race — the great period of the revealed and profaned Mysteries.’ (Secret

Doctrine Volume 5, Page 106, Adyar Edition; Volume 3, Page 90, Third edition.)



Eye of Shiiva - Conscious use of the pineal gland for clairvoyance is called by

Hindu mystics the operation of the Eye of Shiiva. Also referred to as the third

eye. (See under Dangma.)



Fifth Circle - A specific grade or status of superior degree attained in the

Occult Fraternity, achieved by initiation.



Fifth Race or Fifth Root Race - As described by Occult Science, represents the

fifth major developmental evolution of the human kingdom. The term is

specifically applicable to the Indo-European branch of humanity, which had its

origin in northern Asia, in the vicinity of Lake Manasasarovara — a sacred lake

in Tibet in the Himalayas. As a race sui generis it has already been in

existence about one million years.



Fire-Mist, Sons of, or Children of - Equivalent to the Sons of Ad. These Beings

are termed the Sons of Fire, or Fire-Mist, because they were the first humans in

which ‘the Fire of Mind’ functioned. They were produced by Kri asakti (by

thought-power and yoga) in the first portion of the Third Race (q.v.).



Fifth-Rounders - Forerunners of the human race, such as the Mahatmas, having the

ability to function in a superior degree of evolutionary development. They

represent what the advanced members of the human race will be during the Fifth

Round of the cyclical state of evolutionary development, whereas the mass of

humanity on earth function as Fourth-Rounders.



Fourth Rounders - As explained by the Occult Sciences, the human race represents

the stage of evolutionary development comparable to its Fourth Round, or fourth

circuit of the required seven cyclical stages of evolutionary development. Each

Round, or each circuit of the seven, represents a specific stage in the

evolutionary development of the human race, in that one of the seven principles

of man is developed to its fullest capacity. During the Fourth Round the fourth

principle, Karma, is in its phase of development.



Gebhard, Mary - (née L’Estrangge 1832-92). Best known in theosophical circles

for the assistance given to Mme. Blavatsky during 1884 in Germany and 1886 in

Belgium. Mme. Blavatsky lived with the Gebhards from August to October 1884, and

again in May and June, 1886.


Of interest also is the fact that after Mary L’Estrange’s marriage to Consul

Gustav Gebhard in 1852, she made the acquaintance of Eliphas Lévi and studied

the Kabbala under his tuition until his death in 1875.



Great Breath - Symbol used to portray the coming into being of a universe, or a

cosmos, for a period of manifestation and activity (termed a Manvantara)—the

Outbreathing of the Great Breath. Similarly the dissolution (or Pralaya) of a

cosmos is represented as the Inbreathing of the Great Breath. In the words of

the Occult Catechism: ‘What is it that is ever coming and going?’ ‘The Great




Guru - (SK) A spiritual teacher: one able to expound philosophical and

metaphysical doctrines.



Hermes - Herein the reference is not to the Greek messenger of the gods but to a

generic name of many ancient Greek writers on philosophy and alchemy. Then, too,

there is Hermes Trismegistus, the ‘thrice great Hermes’ in Egypt. The Hermetic

philosophy which arose in that land is due to him. ‘The forty-two Sacred Books

of the Egyptians, mentioned by Clement of Alexandria as having existed in his

time, were but a portion of the Books of Hermes (Stromata, II, 324) Iamblichus,

on the authority of the Egyptian priest Abammon, attributes 1200 of such Books

to Hermes, and Manetho, 36.000.’ (Secret Doctrine, Volume 5, Page 58, Adyar

Edition;Volume 3, Page 37, Third edition)



Hierophant - Derived from Greek hieros, sacred; hence one who expounds sacred

things; also an initiating priest, particularly in temples where the Mysteries

were celebrated.



Hume, Allan Octavian, C.B. - (1829-1912) Secretary to the Government of India

from 1870 to June 1879; was acquainted with metaphysical thought. Met Mme. 

Blavatsky in December 1879 and became interested in Theosophy. Wished to contact

the source from which she obtained her knowledge, consequently wrote direct to

Mahatma K.H. and corresponded with him. For a time he was interested in the

philosophical teachings which were presented to him; many of the letters he

received were published in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. After a few

years he lost touch with Theosophy. Later he became the prime mover in

organizing the Indian National Congress and was called the ‘Father of the




Initiation - When a candidate desired to be admitted into the ancient Mysteries

he underwent a process termed initiation. This practice was observed in all the

ancient religions. Plutarch, writing from knowledge, mentioned the joy that was

experienced when one was initiated into the sacred Mysteries: it was the most

sacred of all solemnities as well as the most beneficent and greatly promoted

virtue. The clue to the esoteric significance of initiation was expressed in

this passage: ‘ The degree of an Adept’s initiation mark the seven stages at

which he discovers the secret of the sevenfold principles in nature and man and

awakens his dormant powers.’ (Mahatma Letters, Page 99, First Edition; Page 97

Third edition )



Inner Ego - Used in H.P. BLAVATSKY’s narrative to designate the Mayavi-rupa,

which was projected by the Shaman. (See Astral Soul).



Judge, William Quan - (1831-96) Theosophist and author: born in Ireland; came to

Brooklyn, America, with his parents while in his teens became a US citizen in

1872. Met H.P.Blavatsky in 1874 and was a constant visitor at her residence

during her stay in New York. On the occasion of the founding of The Theosophical

Society in September, 1875, Judge proposed that Col. Olcott should be elected

chairman of the Society. Later, when the officers of the Society were elected in

October, Judge became Counsel. In the spring of 1884 he went to Paris and worked

with H.P. BLAVATSKY on a projected revision of Isis Unveiled, which was later

abandoned and superseded by the writing and publishing of The Secret Doctrine in

1888. In June 1886 Judge was elected General Secretary of the T.S. in America,

having already founded earlier in the year a theosophical magazine entitled The

Path. He wrote many articles for it and continued its publication until his

death in 1896. Judge is best known for his writings in his magazine as well as

through his books, principally The Ocean of Theosophy, his recension of the

Bhagavad-Gmata and Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali.



Kali-Yuga - (SK: kali, the die with one dot; yuga, a cycle, an age). The length

of the Kali-yuga is stated to be 432,000 years. As figured in India it is the

current cycle, for it began in 3102. B.C., coincident with the death of Krishna. 

It is referred to as the Black Age, because it is an era when strife and vice

are predominant.



Karma - (SK: from the verbal root kam, to desire). Applied in the sevenfold

classification of principles in the human constitution to the desire principle

as well as the energetic principle. In the Occult Sciences Karma is regarded as

the Will-principle (The Theosophist, IV 295)



Kapila, The Rishi - A great sage; a great adept of antiquity; author of the

Sankhya philosophy.



Kapila - Also the generic name of the Kumaras, the celestial ascetics and

virgins; therefore the very fact of Bhagavata-Purana calling that Kapila — which

it showed just before as a portion of Vishnu — the author of Sankhya philosophy,

ought to have warned the reader of a ‘blind’ containing an esoteric meaning. 

Whether the Son of Vitatha, as Harivansa shows him to be, or of anyone else, the

author of Sankhya cannot be the same as the Sage of the Satya-Yuga’ (Secret

Doctrine, Volume 2, Page 572, First Edition; Volume 4, Page 142 Adyar Edition;

Volume 2, Page 604 Third edition.)


‘The Sankhya philosophy may have been brought down and taught by the first, and

written out by the last Kapila.’ (Ibid.) ‘ The Kapila of the Satya-Yuga, and the

Kapila of the Kali-yuga, may be one and the same individuality, without being

the same personality.’ (Ibid)



Keightley, Archibald - (1859-1930) physician and Theosophist: practised in New

York. Joined The Theosophical Society in 1884 and met Mme. Blavatsky. In 1887 he

assisted H.P.B in moving from Ostend to London and settling, first at Norwood,

then at 17 Lansdowne Road. It was while living at the latter house that he with

his uncle Bertram helped H.P.B in preparation and typing The Secret Doctrine, as

well as seeing it through the press.



Kingsland, William - (1855-1936) engineer, scientist, Theosophist and author;

employed with early installation of telephone and electricity in England and

Scotland. In 1888 Kingsland contacted Theosophy, became a member of the Society

and met Mme. Blavatsky. In January, 1889, he was elected President of Blavatsky

Lodge, London, holding that office for almost two years. Was also a member of

H.P.B’s Inner Group.



Kriy asakti - (SK) The power of creative thought, especially when energized by

willpower. One of the seven great powers which yogins are able to make manifest,

i.e.., one of the Siddhis.



Life-Atom - The essential element of life associated with an atom, or the

indwelling spark vitalizing an atom. Life-atoms may be classified in two

categories: (1) atoms that are moved by kinetic energy — hence always in motion;

(2) atoms that are temporarily passive, although they contain invisible,

potential energy. These are termed ‘sleeping atoms.’ ‘Each atom is of course a

soul, a monad, a little universe endowed with consciousness hence with memory.’

(Secret Doctrine, Volume 2, Page 672, First Edition; Volume 4, Page 241, Adyar

Edition; Volume 2, Page 710 Third edition)



Lucifer - (Latin). Literally the light-bearer, therefore used by H.P. BLAVATSKY

as the title for her magazine which she founded in September 1887 and continued

monthly until May 1891. Published posthumously until 1897. A passage in Rev. 

xvi, 22 reads: ‘I am ... the bright morning star,’ signifying Lucifer, or

Phosphor in Greek, the planet Venus. The first issue, which appeared on

September 15, 1887, bore this message on the title-page. ‘A Theosophical

Magazine, designed to bring to light the hidden things of darkness.’



Lycomidae - The word is derived from the Greek luke, light: hence signifying the

light-bearers — those who carried torches in the processions of the Mysteries.



Maha Guru - (SK) Literally the ‘Great Teacher.’ Herein signifies the Wondrous

Being, the Great Watcher.



Mahatma - (SK: Mahatman, compound of maha, great atman, the divine self).

Usually rendered a ‘great soul.’ Herein the term signifies a member of the

occult Brotherhood. Specifically applicable to the two individuals who were

instrumental in sending H.P. Blavatsky as a messenger from the Brotherhood to

the western world, namely Mahatma M. (Morya — H.P.B’s spiritual guru), and

Mahatma K.H. (Koot-Hoomi). The correspondence between Sinnett and these two

Mahatmas is published in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett.



Manas - (SK) Derived from the verbal root man, to think. Applied to the mind

principle, in the sevenfold classification of principles in the human

constitution. The ability to use the mind principle marks the difference between

the human and the animal kingdoms.



Manvantaras - (SK: Manu, a divine being and antara, between: hence literally a

period between two Manus). Herein used as a cyclic period of activity comprising

7 Rounds of evolutionary development. Equivalent to a Day of Brahma, or 1,000

revolutions of the Maha-yugas, or 4,320,000,000 years.



Master - The individual referred to by H.P.B as ‘my Master’ is known as the

Mahatma Morya (or M:) her Guru. She relates that she first met him in the

physical body in London in 1851, although she had known him in his astral form

during her childhood and had regarded him as her guardian. She underwent tuition

and training under his tutelage in Tibet and under his direction went to

America, where she met Col. Olcott and founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.



Masters - H.P.Blavatsky referred to her Teachers as Elder Brothers, because of

their association with the occult Brotherhood (q.v.); or again as Masters or

Mahatmas. Two members of the Fraternity who were particularly instrumental in

the founding of the T.S. were known as K.H. (Koot Hoomi) and M : (or Morya), her

specific guru or spiritual teacher.



Messianic Cycle - As used herein the Messianic Cycle represents the period

associated with the advent of a Messiah. It is a cycle of 2155 or 2160 solar

years. The significance of the number 2160 is this: it is just one half of 4320

·       4-3-2 being the key-figures of esoteric reckoning. The Messiah of the present

·       Messianic Cycle was represented as coming through H.P. BLAVATSKY, who acted as

·       the channel. Hence it is asserted that she acted in the capacity of a

·       Light-Bringer.



Mundane Egg - The symbol of an egg is used in connection with the coming into

birth of a new world. Just as the egg-cell is the point within the egg which

eventually brings to birth a new being, so the Point within the World-Egg

represents the Logos, which enables a new cosmos to come into manifestation.



Munis - (SK) Usually rendered Seers or Sages. Herein used for Divine Beings from

previous Manvantaras (q.v) who associated with the Sons of Will and Yoga (q.v).



Mysteries - Derived from Greek muo, to be shut, or closed referring to the lips

and eyes. Those initiated into the Mysteries were instructed to keep their lips

sealed regarding what happened in the temples. The Mysteries consisted of

dramatic portrayals of episodes connected with the deities represented in the

mythologies of ancient nations. The hidden meanings of the myths and allegories

were then explained to the initiated candidates. The three principal Mysteries

were the Orphic, the Eleusinian and the Dionysiac.



Nadyejda - Given name of Nadyezhda Andreyevna Fadeyev (1829-1919) sister of

H.P.B’s mother and youngest daughter of Andrey Mihailovich de Fadeyev and

Princess Helena Pavlovna Dolgorukova. She was H.P.B ‘s favourite aunt and

corresponded with her through the years. She was the recipient of the first

known Mahatma letter, receiving it at the time that H.P. BLAVATSKY was

undergoing tuition in Tibet. The letter was delivered to her in person by

Mahatma M.



Occult Doctrine - The Secret Doctrine, which forms the basis of Theosophy as

transmitted by H.P. BLAVATSKY to the western world.



Occult Science - One of the names by which the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom

refer to it. A rendering of the Sanskrit Gupta-Vidya.



Olcott, Henry Steel - (1832-1907) For distinguished service as Special

Commissioner for the War Department as well as in the Navy Department during the

Civil War in America, Olcott was awarded the rank of Colonel. In 1874, while

acting as a special reporter for the New York Daily Graphic, covering the

spiritualistic phenomena appearing at the Eddy farmhouse at Chittenden, Vermont,

he met H.P. BLAVATSKY, who had been sent there by her Teacher. As a result of

this meeting and the interest Col. Olcott showed in Spiritualism, as well as the

explanations of the phenomena which Mme. Blavatsky herself demonstrated, a close

association followed which in due time led to the founding of The Theosophical

Society in New York in 1875. Olcott devoted the rest of his life to the cause of

Theosophy, being President of the Society until his death in 1907.



Omnipresent Principle - (See Principle, an Omnipresent).



One Life - The Causeless Cause of Spirit and Matter — which are the cause of

Kosmos — is called the One Life, or the Intra-Cosmic Breath, in esoteric

philosophy. ‘From the ONE LIFE formless and uncreate, proceeds the Universe of

lives.’ (Secret Doctrine, Volume 1, Page 250, First Edition; Volume 1,Page 294,

Adyar Edition;Volume 1, Page 269, Third edition)



Orpheus - As used herein refers not to the Greek mythological singer and player

of the lyre (son of Apollo and Calliope), but to the great founder of a

religio-philosophical system or school as well as the Orphic Mysteries. 

Herodotus stated that the Mysteries were brought from India by Orpheus. 

Pausanias relates that there was a sacerdotal family who committed to memory all

the Orphic Hymns and that they were thus transmitted from one generation to

another; hence they were not written down. This is why references to the Orphic

Hymns are so scarce.



Over-Soul, The Universal - A rendering of the Sanskrit Paramatman, signifying

the originating source of atman, inasmuch as ‘Soul’ is one of the translations

of atman, as used in the phrase ‘the fundamental identity of all Souls with the

Universal Over-Soul.’



Pilgrim - As here used the Pilgrim signifies the immortal component in the

sevenfold constitution of a human being. As defined in the Occult Science, ‘the

Pilgrim is the appellation given to our Monad (the two in one) during its cycle

of incarnations.’ (Secret Doctrine, Volume 1, Page 16, First Edition; Volume 1,

Page 82, Adyar Edition; Volume 1, Page 45 Third Edition) The ‘two in one’

signifies the union of Atman, the divine spirit, with Buddhi, the discriminating

principle. The reference to the eternity of the Pilgrim calls attention to the

immortality of the Monad, which takes on a new vesture for each one of its

incarnations on earth.



Plato - This most famous of the ancient Greek philosophers, was stated to be a

‘Fifth Rounder.’ (q.v — Secret Doctrine, Volume 1, Page 161-162; First

Edition;Volume 1, Page 216 Adyar Edition; Volume 1, Page 185, Third edition. 

Also Mahatma Letters- Page 84, First Edition; Page 83 Third Edition).



Point Within a Circle - One of the most important symbols used in Occult

Sciences to explain the process of manifestation: the appearance of the Point

(i.e. the First Logos) on the infinite and shoreless expanse of the Boundless —

Space. The latter is represented by the Circle, i.e. the Circle of Infinitude,

‘whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere.’ The Point thus

represents the germ of primeval differentiation.



Pralaya - (SK) Literally a ‘dissolving away’, hence a period of dissolution —

following upon a period of manifestation. But the dissolution applies to the

forms which are no longer manifested. It does not apply to the immortal

principles, which in no wise are dissolved away.



Precipitation - The ability to make writing appear on paper (or other substance)

by spiritual powers, without pen, pencil, crayon or brush. Also included is the

ability to deliver the message — whether written or precipitated—to any desired




Principle, An Omnipresent - Whereas the concept of an Omnipresent Principle —

which is also Eternal, Boundless and Immutable — may be baffling to the Western

mind, the reason for presenting such a concept in connection with the Secret

Doctrine of antiquity is easily explained. As soon as the mind has a fixed idea

concerning a principle, it has immediately limited the comprehension of that

principle. Therefore by postulating that this Boundless may not be limited by

the mind, one can ever strive to obtain a clearer knowledge of immutability and

boundless reaches of Infinitude.



Principles, The Seven - (See under Seven Principles).



Projectivity - Using one of the Siddhis (q.v). This signifies employing Tulku or

the ability to project one’s consciousness — technically termed the Mayavi-rupa. 

In other words, the conscious withdrawal of the ‘inner self’ from the ‘outer




Psychometer - One who has the power of psychometry (q.v).



Psychometry - Ability to receive from any object — held in the hand or against

the forehead — impressions of the characteristics or appearance of a person or

objects with which it has previously been in contrast.



Ptolemy - When used generalizingly (as in the quoted passage), applies to any

one of the Macedonian rulers of Egypt.



Pyatigorsk - Town south of Kislovodsk, Russia, north of the Caucasus Mountains,

not far from the Black Sea.



Receptivity - Here signifies the ability to place oneself en rapport with

individuals by means of spiritual powers. Such individuals have the power to

transmit messages to any desired distance by occult means.



Rishis - Term used with a great deal of latitude; commonly regarded as singers

of sacred hymns; inspired poets or sages. Also applied to seven great sages who

composed the Vedic hymns. Herein referred to as Divine Beings from previous

Manvantaras who associated with the Sons of Will and Yoga.



Rootless Root - Also the Unknown Root. Term associated with the Omnipresent

Principle (q.v), of which this concept is but an aspect. The explanation given

for the Omnipresent Principle also applies here; for how can the human mind

which is finite, grasp Infinity? How can one conceive of all that ever was, all

that is, or all that ever shall be? Hence the expression ‘the Rootless Root.’



Samadhi - (SK) In the Hindu classification of the four states of consciousness,

the fourth and highest state: a beatific state of contemplative yoga. Also

defined as the eighth and final state of yoga, signifying intense and supreme

concentration of the mental and spiritual faculties: a state in which one loses

consciousness of every individuality, including one’s own, and becoming

conscious of the ALL.



Sang-Gyas - (Tibetan sans-rgyas: pronounced sang-gyas, literally perfect, holy).

Tibetan name of Gautama the Buddha.



Seers - As used herein refers particularly to those who can see into the records

preserved in the Akasa (q.v.)



Senzar - Name of the ancient ‘Mystery-speech’ of initiated Adepts. A secret,

sacerdotal language; hence also called a Mystery Language; preceding the

Sanskrit language.



Seven Principles - Also referred to as the sevenfold constitution of man, or the

septenary classification of man’s principles. In Theosophy the constitution of a

human being is composed of seven principles, or is classified as consisting of

seven components. These are enumerated in Sanskrit, with English equivalents:


1 Stula-Sharmara — Physical Body, regarded as the carrier of the six


2 Linga-šarmara — Model Body, also termed etheric body, ethereal double,

astral body: the conveyor or:

3 Prana — Life Principle, representing the vital fluid.

4 Karma — Desire Principle, representing the energetic principle.

5 Manas — Mind Principle, representing the functions of the lower mind,

especially in conjunction with desire.

6 Buddhi — Discriminating Principle, representing the functioning of the

higher mind by noble thoughts and deeds.

7 atman — Divine Principle, or spirit, conveying immortality to the sixth

and fifth principles.



Seven Satellites - A symbolic manner of referring to the Seven Principles (q.v)

of the human constitution.



Seventh Sense - As the Occult Science postulates further development of

faculties and powers now dormant in man, of greater potency than the five senses

which function at the present time, the culmination of the evolutionary

development of the human race on this globe will bring into use both the sixth

and the seventh senses. H.P. BLAVATSKY describes what will occur when the sixth

sense works in consonance with the seventh: ‘The light which radiates from this

seventh sense illumines the fields of infinitude. For a brief space of time man

becomes omniscient; the Past and the Future, Space and Time, disappear and

become for him the Present.’ (Secret Doctrine, Volume 5, Page 482, Adyar

Edition; Volume 3, Page 505, Third edition)



Shaberon - Tibetan equivalent of Chutuktu, which H.P. BLAVATSKY explained as:

‘an incarnation of Buddha or of some Bodhisattva, as believed in Tibet, where

there are generally five manifesting and two secret Chutuktus among the high

Lamas. (Th. Glos page 85)



Shaman - Medicine-man or priest-doctor among the tribes of Siberia; regarded as

a conjurer and an exorcist.



Siddhis - (SK) Literally attainments: phenomenal powers, associated with psychic

faculties. ‘There are two kinds of Siddhis. One group which embraces the lower,

coarse, psychic and mental energies; the other is one which exacts the highest

training of Spiritual powers.’ (The Voice of the Silence, Fragment I, footnote




Sinnett, Alfred Percy - (1840-1921) Editor of the Anglo-Indian paper The Pioneer

when H.P. BLAVATSKY arrived in India in 1879. In December of that year, in

response to Sinnett’s invitation, Mme. Blavatsky visited him at Allahabad. He

became interested in the message she brought, and wished to contact those from

whom she derived her knowledge. He wrote to a Mahatma and received a reply,

which led to a remarkable correspondence, published after the editor’s death as

The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. As a result of the correspondence, Sinnett

wrote and published The Occult World, Esoteric Buddhism and other theosophical

books. The letters he received from Mme. Blavatsky — a whole volume of them —

were published posthumously as The Letters of H.P. BLAVATSKY to A. P. Sinnett. 

From these letters Sinnett wrote a biography entitled Incidents in the Life of

Mme. Blavatsky.



Sixth Sense - The sense to be brought to function in the Sixth Root-Race:

spiritual clairvoyance. It will be brought about when Manas (the mind-principle)

is consciously merged with the sixth sense, resulting in the use of Jnana-šaktma

·       one of the Siddhis described as the power of real wisdom.



Skins - A graphic expression, referring to one of the seven principles of the

human constitution. (See Seven Principles).



Sleeping Atoms - Life atoms endowed with potential invisible energy but

temporarily passive. (See Life-Atoms)



Šloka - (SK) Usually rendered ‘verse’. In Sanskrit works a sloka generally

consists of two metrical lines.



Sons of Will and Yoga - The Divine Beings produced by Kriya-šakti (q.v) (See

Fire-Mist, Sons of or Children of.)



Sons of Wisdom - The Sons of Ad, or Sons of the Fire-Mist (q.v)



Soumay - A lamasery, a Buddhist monastery or convent of Tibet, also of Mongolia.

Usually under the direction of a chief lama (equivalent is an abbot or abbess).



Space - Used in the Secret Doctrine for the boundless, frontierless ALL — the

One Eternal Element, dimensionless in every sense. The equivalent Sanskrit term

is Parabrahman, or the Vedic

TAT — That.



Stanzas of Dzyan - These Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan form the basis of the

Secret Doctrine The original was written in Senzar, but extracts are also made

from Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit translations. The Book of Dzyan — from the

Sanskrit word Dhyana (mystic meditation) — is the first volume of the

Commentaries upon the seven secret folios of Kiu-te and a Glossary of the public

works of the same name.’ (Secret Doctrine Volume 5, Page 389, Adyar Edition;

Volume 3, Page 405, Third edition.) The Stanzas ‘are the records of a people

unknown to ethnology; it is claimed that they are written in a tongue absent

from the nomenclature of languages and dialects with which philology is

acquainted; they are said to emanate from a source (Occultism) repudiated by

science.’ (Secret Doctrine I, xxxvii First Edition; I 59 Adyar Edition; I 24

Third ed.)



Svastika - (SK literally well-being). Has been used in both Old and New Worlds

from prehistoric times. ‘In Esoteric Philosophy, the most mystic and ancient

diagram. It is the originator of the fire by friction and of the Forty-nine

Fires.’ (Th. Glos p 315).



Tamasha - East Indian word of Arabian or Persian origin signifying spectacle,

entertainment. By extension, applied to a psychic phenomenon.



Terrestrial Chain - Best explained by one of the postulates in the Secret

Doctrine; ‘every sidereal body, every planet, whether visible or invisible, is

credited with six companion globes.’ (I 158 -9 First Edition; I 213 Adyar

Edition; I 182 Third Edition) The seven globes comprising the Earth-system are

therefore termed the Terrestrial Chain or the Earth Chain.



Third Race or Third Root-Race - Used in the Secret Doctrine for a specific

evolutionary development of the human race on this globe. This ‘Race’ was

preceded by two major evolutionary developmental stages (the First and Second

Root-Races), each of which underwent seven minor developmental stages termed

Sub-races. During the early portion of this Third Race the Sons of the Fire-Mist

were produced by Kriyasšakti. The Third Race is divided into three distinct

divisions: (1) the Sweat-Born — the primary developmental aspect of this Race;

(2) the twofold—referring to the androgynous state of humanity; (3) the two

sexes of humans (as at present) which occurred during the fifth sub-race of this

Third Race, 18 million years ago.



Thought Transference - The power of transferring one’s thoughts without words.

As explained by H.P. BLAVATSKY: ‘When two minds are sympathetically related, and

the instruments through which they function are tuned to respond magnetically

and electrically to one another, there is nothing which will prevent the

transmission of thoughts from one to the other at will.’ (Key p 2910



Tiruvalluvar - A yogi or fakir who attains the goal of yoga, represented by

Samadhi (q.v). In addition H.P. BLAVATSKY’s precipitated portrait the yogi is

portrayed in that state of consciousness.



Tsong-Kha-Pa - (1358-1419) Great reformer of Buddhism, both exoteric and

esoteric, in Tibet in 14th century. Instituted a purified form of Buddhism,

freeing it from the Bon worship, which had crept into it from the Order of the

Red Caps. To distinguish the Reformed Buddhists from the other Orders,

Tsong-Kha-pa instituted the Yellow Caps (Gelugpas). He also founded the

monasteries of Sera and Ganden and was the presiding hierarch of the latter. 

Tsong-Kha-pa ‘is the founder of the secret school near Tji-gad-ji, attached to

the private retreat of the Teshu-Lama. It is with Him that began the regular

system of Lamaic incarnations of Buddhas (Sang-gyas)’ (Secret Doctrine V 391

Adyar Edition; III 407 Third Edition).



Tulku - (Tibetan sprul-sku, pronounced tulku). Literally ‘to appear in a body.’

Has the popular connotation of an ‘incarnation of the Buddha,’ whereas the

esoteric significance implies the use of one of the Siddhis, namely the ability

to project one’s consciousness by means of an illusory vehicle.



Vera - Name of H.P.B’s younger sister, born 1835 at Odessa, died 1896. Married

first Nikolay de Yahontov (1827-58) and secondly Vladimir de Zhelihovsky. Became

widely known in Russia as writer of children’s stories; also contributed to

Russian periodicals. Of special interest are her essays concerning her sister,

Helena; the first one entitled ‘ The Truth about H.P. BLAVATSKY’ published

serially in Rebus in 1883, and later in book form. H.P.B herself translated the

series. In 1884 Vera wrote a series entitled ‘The Inexplicable or the

Unexplained: From Personal and Family Reminiscences,’ also published by Rebus. 

Yet another series was written for the Russian Review on ‘H.P. BLAVATSKY: A

Biographical Sketch,’ and published in 1891. Another biographical sketch in

Russian was added to the Russian edition of H.P.B’s book ‘Mysterious Tribes of

the Blue Hills (published 1893). Vera also wrote two books concerning her

sister’s and her own childhood: When I Was Small and My Adolescence published in

1893 and 1894.



Wachtmeister, Constance (née de Bourbel —1838—1910) Born at Florence, Italy, but

reared in England. In 1863 married Count Karl Wachtmeister, then Swedish and

Norwegian Minister at the Court of St. James’s, later at Copenhagen and

Stockholm. The Countess lived with H.P. BLAVATSKY, first at Würzburg, Germany,

then at Ostend, Belgium. She related her experiences in Reminiscences of H.P. 

BLAVATSKY and ‘The Secret Doctrine,’ published in 1893. Many of her letters

written at the time she was with H.P.B are published in a section of the book

Letters of H.P. BLAVATSKY to A.P. Sinnett.



Witte, Count Serguey Yulyevich - (1849-1915) Statesman who became Prime Minister

of Russia. In 1892 was appointed Minister of Communications. In 1903 became

President of the Committee of Ministers. The Count’s outstanding accomplishment

was the negotiation of the terms of peace closing the Russo-Japanese War in

1905. He was related to Mme. Blavatsky through his mother, Katherine, who was a

younger sister of H.P.B’s mother: Katherine was married to Yuliy Feodorovich de

Witte. As Count Witte was born just one month before his cousin Helena was

married to N.V. Blavatsky, his account published in his Memoirs is based on

gossip rather than factual knowledge. In spite of slanderous statements in those

Memoirs, Count Witte at least testified to Mme. Blavatsky’s great writing

ability: ‘She could write pages of smoothly flowing verse without the slightest

effort, and she could compose essays in prose on every conceivable subject.’

(Quoted in Corson’s — q.v — prose on every conceivable subject.’ (Quoted in

Corson’s book, pages 19-20).



Wondrous Being - Name for the Supreme Hierarch of the Earth, represented as the

‘Root Base’ of this globe, to which a name is applied in translation: ‘the

ever-living-human-Banyan.’ This Great Being descended from a high region in the

early part of the Third Age. Other names are: the Initiator, the Nameless one,

the Great Sacrifice, the Maha-Guru, the Silent Watcher.



Yogasutras - (SK) Sutra signifies a thread, but when applied to a written work

means a rule, a principle. In the West the sutras on yoga by Patanjali are known

under the name of Yoga Aphorisms. Little is known about Patanjali; what has come

down to our day is legendary. His aphorisms indicate that he possessed wisdom

and imparted it in his work. He expects the practitioners of his system of yoga

to acquire right knowledge of what is and what is not real and to practice all

virtues. The opening sloka gives the keynote of Patanjali’s sutras: ‘Assuredly,

the exposition of Yoga or Concentration, is now to be made.’



Yogi - (SK: yogin — the nominative case is yogi). A practitioner of yoga. One

who aims to attain union of the human spirit with the Universal Spirit. One of

the methods pursued by the practitioner is that of the withdrawal of the senses

from all external objects.






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H P Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine


Isis Unveiled by H P Blavatsky


H P Blavatsky’s Esoteric Glossary


Mahatma Letters to A P Sinnett 1 - 25


A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom

Alvin Boyd Kuhn


Studies in Occultism

(Selection of Articles by H P Blavatsky)


The Conquest of Illusion

J J van der Leeuw


The Secret Doctrine – Volume 3

A compilation of H P Blavatsky’s

writings published after her death


Esoteric Christianity or the Lesser Mysteries

Annie Besant


The Ancient Wisdom

Annie Besant



Annie Besant


The Early Teachings of The Masters


Edited by

C. Jinarajadasa


Study in Consciousness

Annie Besant



A Textbook of Theosophy

C W Leadbeater


A Modern Panarion

A Collection of Fugitive Fragments

From the Pen of

H P Blavatsky


The Perfect Way or,

The Finding of Christ

Anna Bonus Kingsford

& Edward Maitland



The Perfect Way or,

The Finding of Christ

Anna Bonus Kingsford

& Edward Maitland



Pistis Sophia

A Gnostic Gospel

Foreword by G R S Mead


The Devachanic Plane.

Its Characteristics

and Inhabitants

C. W. Leadbeater



Annie Besant



Bhagavad Gita

Translated from the Sanskrit


William Quan Judge


Psychic Glossary


Sanskrit Dictionary


Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy

G de Purucker


In The Outer Court

Annie Besant


Dreams and


Anna Kingsford


My Path to Atheism

Annie Besant


From the Caves and

Jungles of Hindostan

H P Blavatsky


The Hidden Side

Of Things

C W Leadbeater


Glimpses of

Masonic History

C W Leadbeater


Five Years Of


Various Theosophical


Mystical, Philosophical, Theosophical, Historical

and Scientific Essays Selected from "The Theosophist"

Edited by George Robert Stow Mead


Spiritualism and Theosophy

C W Leadbeater


Commentary on

The Voice of the Silence

Annie Besant and

C W Leadbeater

From Talks on the Path of Occultism - Vol. II


Is This Theosophy?

Ernest Egerton Wood


In The Twilight

Annie Besant

In the Twilight” Series of Articles

The In the Twilight” series appeared during

1898 in The Theosophical Review and

from 1909-1913 in The Theosophist.


Incidents in the Life

of Madame Blavatsky

compiled from information supplied by

her relatives and friends and edited by A P Sinnett


The Friendly Philosopher

Robert Crosbie

Letters and Talks on Theosophy and the Theosophical Life



Obras Teosoficas En Espanol


La Sabiduria Antigua

Annie Besant


Glosario Teosofico


H P Blavatsky



Theosophische Schriften Auf Deutsch


Die Geheimlehre


H P Blavatsky




Elementary Theosophy

An Outstanding Introduction to Theosophy

By a student of Katherine Tingley


Elementary Theosophy Who is the Man?  Body and Soul   


Body, Soul and Spirit  Reincarnation  Karma


The Seven in Man and Nature


The Meaning of Death




Theosophy Avalon

Guide to the

Theosophy Wales King Arthur Pages



Arthur draws the Sword from the Stone


King Arthur

Fact or Myth


King Arthur &

The Knights of The Round Table


Arthur’s Table

The Roman Amphitheatre at Caerleon,

Gwent, South Wales.


Kings Arthur’s Round Table

Eamont Bridge, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, England.


King Arthur’s Round Table

At Winchester


Isle of Avalon


The Holy Grail

A Brief Overview


The Holy Grail and

the Celtic Tradition


The Lady of the Lake


Geoffrey of Monmouth

(?- 1155)

Historia Regum Britanniae

(History of the Kings of Britain)

The reliabilty of this work has long been a subject of

debate but it is the first definitive account of Arthur’s Reign

and one which puts Arthur in a historcal context.


The Arthur Story according to

Geoffrey of Monmouth

and his version’s political agenda


Geoffrey of Monmouth

His Life & Works


King Arthur’s Family Tree

According to Geoffrey of Monmouth



Historia Brittanum

History of the Britons

800 CE

The first written mention of Arthur as a heroic figure

The British leader who fought twelve battles

against the Anglo Saxons


Where were Arthur’s Twelve

Victories against the Saxons?


King Arthur’s ninth victory at

The Battle of the City of the Legion



The Battle of Badon Hill

King Arthur ambushes an advancing Saxon

army then defeats them at Liddington Castle,

Badbury, Near Swindon, Wiltshire, England.

King Arthur’s twelfth and last victory against the Saxons


The Battle of Camlann

Traditionally Arthur’s last battle in which he was

mortally wounded although his side went on to win



The 6th century Welsh bard

No contemporary writings or accounts of his life

but he is placed 50 to 100 years after the accepted

King Arthur period. He refers to Arthur in his inspiring

poems but the earliest written record of these dates

from over three hundred years after Taliesin’s death.


The Elegy of Uther Pendragon

From the Book of Taliesin


Pendragon Castle

Mallerstang Valley, Nr Kirkby Stephen,

Cumbria, England.

A 12th Century Norman ruin on the site of what is

reputed to have been a stronghold of Uther Pendragon



His origins and development

over centuries

From wise child with no earthly father to

Megastar of Arthurian Legend


The Prophecy of Merlin

From Geoffrey of Monmouth’s

History of the Kings of Britain


Merlin’s Vision

on Pendle Hill

Near Burnley Lancashire



Drawn from the Stone or received from the Lady of the Lake.

Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur has both versions

with both swords called Excalibur. Other versions

have two different swords.


Chronology of Britain

in the 5th Century CE


Celtic Kingdoms Prior to the

Anglo – Saxon invasion


The Saxon Invasion of Britain


Where did the 

Angles, Saxons & Jutes

Come from?


5th & 6th Century Timeline of Britain

From the departure of the Romans from

Britain to the establishment of sizeable

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Glossary of

Arthurian Legend



Arthur’s uncle:- The puppet ruler of the Britons

controlled and eventually killed by Vortigern

Circa 440 -445CE


Hengist & Horsa


The Massacre of Amesbury

Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. Circa 450CE

An alleged massacre of Celtic Nobility by the Saxons

at a “Peace” conference


Caer-Anderida (Pevensey)

Falls to the Saxons 491 CE


King Arthur is Crowned

at Silchester

From Geoffrey of Monmouth’s

History of the Kings of Britain


King Arthwys of the Pennines

Born Circa 455 CE

Ruled the Kingdom of Ebrauc

(North Yorkshire)


Athrwys / Arthrwys
King of Ergyng

Circa  618 - 655 CE
Latin: Artorius; English: Arthur

A warrior King born in Gwent and associated with

Caerleon, a possible Camelot. Although over 100 years

later that the accepted Arthur period, the exploits of

Athrwys may have contributed to the King Arthur Legend.

He became King of Ergyng, a kingdom between

Gwent and Brycheiniog (Brecon)


King Morgan Bulc of Bernaccia

Angles under Ida seized the Celtic Kingdom of

Bernaccia in North East England in 547 CE forcing

King Morgan Bulc into exile.

Although much later than the accepted King Arthur

period, the events of Morgan Bulc’s 50 year campaign

to regain his kingdom may have contributed to

the King Arthur Legend.




Old Welsh: Guorthigirn; Anglo-Saxon: Wyrtgeorn;

Breton: Gurthiern; Modern Welsh; Gwrtheyrn;

Latin; Vertigernus:


An earlier ruler than King Arthur and not a heroic figure.

He is credited with policies that weakened Celtic Britain

to a point from which it never recovered.

Although there are no contemporary accounts of

his rule, there is more written evidence for his

existence than of King Arthur.


How Sir Lancelot slew two giants,

And made a castle free.

From Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Published 1485


How Sir Lancelot rode disguised

in Sir Kay's harness, and how he

smote down a knight.

From Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Published 1485


How Sir Lancelot jousted against

four knights of the Round Table,

and overthrew them.

From Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Published 1485


The Passing of Arthur

Alfred, Lord Tennyson





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