Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
1831 - 1891
H. P. BLAVATSKY
First Published 1892
The Theosophical Glossary labours under the disadvantage of being an almost entirely posthumous work, of which the author only saw the first thirty-two pages in proof. This is all the more regrettable, for H.P.B., as was her wont, was adding considerably to her original copy, and would no doubt have increased the volume far beyond its present limits, and so have thrown light on many obscure terms that are not included in the present Glossary, and more important still, have furnished us with a sketch of the lives and teachings of the most famous Adepts of the East and West.
The Theosophical Glossary purposes to give information on the principal Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Tibetan, Pâli, Chaldean, Persian, Scandinavian, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Kabalistic and Gnostic words, and Occult terms generally used in Theosophical literature, and principally to be found in Isis Unveiled, Esoteric Buddhism, The Secret Doctrine, The Key to Theosophy, etc.; and in the monthly magazines, The Theosophist, Lucifer and The Path, etc., and other publications of the Theosophical Society. The articles marked [w.w.w.] which explain words found in the Kabalah, or which illustrate Rosicrucian or Hermetic doctrines, were contributed at the special request of H.P.B. by Bro. W. W. Westcott, M.B., P.M. and P.Z., who is the Secretary General of the Rosicrucian Society, and Prćmonstrator of the Kabalah to the Hermetic Order of the G.D.
H.P.B. desired also to express her special indebtedness, as far as the tabulation of facts is concerned, to the Sanskrit-Chinese Dictionary of Eitel, The Hindu Classical Dictionary of Dowson, The Vishnu Purâna of Wilson, and the Royal Masonic Cyclopćdia of Kenneth Mackenzie.
As the undersigned can make no pretension to the elaborate and extraordinary scholarship requisite for the editing of the multifarious and polyglot contents of H.P.B.’s last contribution to Theosophical literature, there must necessarily be mistakes of transliteration, etc., which specialists in scholarship will at once detect. Meanwhile, however, as nearly every Orientalist has his own system, varying transliterations may be excused in the present work, and not be set down entirely to the “Karma” of the editor.
G. R. S. MEAD.
A —The first letter in all the world-alphabets save a few, such for instance as the Mongolian, the Japanese, the Tibetan, the Ethiopian, etc. It is a letter of great mystic power and “magic virtue” with those who have adopted it, and with whom its numerical value is one. It is the Aleph of the Hebrews, symbolized by the Ox or Bull; the Alpha of the Greeks, the one and the first the Az of the Slavonians, signifying the pronoun “I” (referring to the “I am that I am”). Even in Astrology, Taurus (the Ox or Bull or the Aleph) is the first of the Zodiacal signs, its colour being white and yellow. The sacred Aleph acquires a still more marked sanctity with the Christian Kabalists when they learn that this letter typifies the Trinity in Unity, as it is composed of two Yods, one upright, the other reversed with a slanting bar or nexus, thus— a. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie states that “the St. Andrew cross is occultly connected therewith”. The divine name, the first in the series corresponding with Aleph, is AęHęIęH or Ahih when vowelless, and this is a Sanskrit root.
Aahla (Eg.). One of the divisions of the Kerneter or infernal regions, or Amenti ; the word means the “Field of Peace”.
Aanroo (Eg.). The second division of Amenti. The celestial field of Aanroo is encircled by an iron wall. The field is covered with wheat, and the “Defunct” are represented gleaning it, for the “Master of Eternity”; some stalks being three, others five, and the highest seven cubits high. Those who reached the last two numbers entered the state of bliss (which is called in Theosophy Devachan) ; the disembodied spirits whose harvest was but three cubits high went into lower regions (Kâmaloka). Wheat was with the Egyptians the symbol of the Law of retribution or Karma. The cubits had reference to the seven, five and three human “principles
Aaron (Heb.). The elder brother of Moses and the first Initiate of the
Hebrew Lawgiver. The name means the Illuminated, or the Enlightened. Aaron thus heads the line, or Hierarchy, of the initiated Nabim, or Seers.
Ab (Heb.). The eleventh month of the Hebrew civil year; the fifth of the sacred year beginning in July.
Abaddon (Heb.). An angel of Hell, corresponding to the Greek Apollyon.
Abatur (Gn.). In the Nazarene system the “Ancient of Days”, Antiquus Altus, the Father of the Demiurgus of the Universe, is called the Third Life or “Abatur”. He corresponds to the Third “Logos” in the Secret Doctrine. (See Codex Nazarćus)
Abba Amona (Heb.). Lit., “Father-Mother”; the occult names of the two higher Sephiroth, Chokmah and Binah, of the upper triad, the apex of which is Sephira or Kether. From this triad issues the lower septenary of the Sephirothal Tree.
Abhâmsi (Sk.). A mystic name of the “four orders of beings” which are, Gods, Demons, Pitris and Men. Orientalists somehow connect the name with “waters”, but esoteric philosophy connects its symbolism with Akâsa—the ethereal “waters of space”, since it is on the bosom and on the seven planes of “space” that the “four orders of (lower) beings” and the three higher Orders of Spiritual Beings are born. (See Secret Doctrine I. p. 458, and “Ambhâmsi”.)
Abhâsvaras (Sk.). The Devas or “Gods” of Light and Sound, the highest of the upper three celestial regions (planes) of the second Dhyâna (q.v.) A class of gods sixty-four in number, representing a certain cycle and an occult number.
Abhâva (Sk.). Negation, or non-being of individual objects; the noumenal substance, or abstract objectivity.
Abhaya (Sk.). “Fearlessness”—a son of Dharma; and also a religious life of duty. As an adjective, “Fearless,” Abhaya is an epithet given to every Buddha,
Abhayagiri (Sk.). Lit., “Mount Fearless” in Ceylon. It has an ancient Vihâra or Monastery in which the well-known Chinese traveller Fa-hien found 5,000 Buddhist priests and ascetics in the year 400 of our era, and a School called Abhayagiri Vâsinah,, “School of the Secret Forest”. This philosophical school was regarded as heretical, as the ascetics studied the doctrines of both the “greater” and the “smaller” vehicles— or the Mahâyâna and the Hinayâna systems and Triyâna or the three successive degrees of Yoga; just as a certain Brotherhood does now beyond the Himalayas. This proves that the “disciples of Kâtyâyana were and are as unsectarian as their humble admirers the Theosophists
now. (See “Sthâvirâh" School.) This was the most mystical of all the
schools, and renowned for the number of Arhats it produced. The Brotherhood of
Abhayagiri called themselves the disciples of Kâtyâyana, the favourite Chela of
Gautama, the Buddha. Tradition says that owing to bigoted intolerance and
persecution, they left
Abib (Heb.) The first Jewish sacred month, begins in March; is also called Nisan.
Mons (Lat.). A mystic name, from whence as from a certain mountain, Rosicrucian
documents are often found to be issued— “Monte Abiegno”. There is a connection
Ab-i-hayat (Pers.). Water of immortality. Supposed to give eternal youth and sempiternal life to him who drinks of it.
Abiri (Gr.). See Kabiri, also written Kabeiri, the Mighty Ones, celestials, sons of Zedec the just one, a group of deities worshipped in Phśnicia: they seem to be identical with the Titans, Corybantes, Curetes, Telchines and Dii Magni of Virgil. [w.w.w.]
Ablanathanalba (Gn.). A term similar to “Abracadabra”. It is said by C. W. King to have meant “thou art a father to us”; it reads the same
from either end and was used as a charm in
Abracadabra (Gn.). This symbolic word first occurs in a medical treatise in verse by Samonicus, who flourished in the reign of the Emperor Septimus Seveus. Godfrey Higgins says it is from Abra or Abar
“God”, in Celtic, and cad ‘‘holy” ; it was used as a charm, and engraved on Kameas as an amulet. [w.w.w.]
Godfrey Higgins was nearly right, as the word “Abracadabra” is a later corruption of the sacred Gnostic term “Abrasax”, the latter itself being a still earlier corruption of a sacred and ancient Coptic or Egyptian word: a magic formula which meant in its symbolism ‘‘Hurt me not”, and addressed the deity in its hieroglyphics as “Father”. It was generally attached to an amulet or charm and worn as a Tat (q.v.), on the breast under the garments.
or Abrasax (Gn.). Mystic words which have been traced as far
back as Basilides, the Pythagorean, of
Abraxas is the counterpart of the Hindu Abhimânim (q.v.) and Brahmâ combined. It is these compound and mystic qualities which caused Oliver, the great Masonic authority, to connect the name of Abraxas with that of Abraham. This was unwarrantable ; the virtues and attributes of Abraxas, which are 365 in number, ought to have shown him that the deity was connected with the Sun and solar division of the year——nay, that Abraxas is the antitype, and the Sun, the type.
Absoluteness. When predicated of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE, it denotes an abstract noun, which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective “absolute ” to that which has neither attributes nor limitations, nor can IT have any.
Ab-Soo (Chald.). The mystic name for Space, meaning the dwelling of Ab the “Father”, or the head of the source of the Waters of Knowledge. The lore of the latter is concealed in the invisible space or akasic regions.
Acacia (Gr.). Innocence; and also a plant used in Freemasonry as a symbol of initiation, immortality, and purity; the tree furnished the sacred Shittim wood of the Hebrews. [w.w.w.]
Achamôth (Gn.). The name of the second, the inferior Sophia. Esoterically and with the Gnostics, the elder Sophia was the Holy Spirit (female Holy Ghost) or the Sakti of the Unknown, and the Divine Spirit; while Sophia Achamôth is but the personification of the female aspect of the creative male Force in nature; also the Astral Light.
Achar (Heb.). The Gods over whom (according to the Jews) Jehovah is the God.
Achath (Heb.). The one, the first, feminine; achad being masculine. A Talmudic word applied to Jehovah. It is worthy of note that the Sanskrit term ak means one, ekata being “unity”, Brahmâ being called ák, or eka, the one, the first, whence the Hebrew word and application.
Acher (Heb.). The Talmudic name of the Apostle Paul. The Talmud narrates the story of the four Tanaim, who entered the Garden of Delight, i.e., came to he initiated; Ben Asai, who looked and lost his sight; Ben Zoma, who looked and lost his reason; Acher, who made depredations in the garden and failed; and Rabbi Akiba, who alone succeeded. The Kabalists say that Acher is Paul.
Acheron (Gr.). One of the rivers of Hades in Greek mythology.
Acosmism (Gr.). The precreative period, when there was no Kosmos but Chaos alone.
Ad (Assyr.). Ad, “the Father”. In Aramean ad means one, and ad-ad “the only one”.
Adah (Assyr.). Borrowed by the Hebrews for the name of their Adah, father of Jubal, etc. But Adah meaning the first, the one, is universal property. There are reasons to think that Ak-ad, means the first-born or Son of Ad. Adon was the first “Lord” of Syria. (See Isis Unv. II., pp. 452, 453.)
Adam (Heb.). In the Kabalah Adam is the “only-begotten”, and means also “red earth”. (See “Adam-Adami” in the S.D. II p. 452.) It is almost identical with Athamas or Thomas, and is rendered into Greek by Didumos, the “twin”—Adam, “the first”, in chap. 1 of Genesis, being shown, “male-female.”
Adam Kadmon (Heb). Archetypal Man; Humanity. The “Heavenly Man” not fallen into sin; Kabalists refer it to the Ten Sephiroth on the plane of human perception.
In the Kabalah Adam Kadmon is the manifested Logos corresponding to our Third Logos; the Unmanifested being the first paradigmic ideal Man, and symbolizing the Universe in abscondito, or in its “privation” in the Aristotelean sense. The First Logos is the “Light of the World”, the Second and the Third—its gradually deepening shadows.
Adamic Earth (Alch.). Called the “true oil of gold” or the “primal element” in Alchemy. It is but one remove from the pure homogeneous element.
Adbhuta Brâhmana (Sk.). The Brâhmana of miracles; treats of marvels, auguries, and various phenomena.
Adbhuta Dharma (Sk.). The “law” of things never heard before. A class of Buddhist works on miraculous or phenomenal events.
Adept (Lat.). Adeptus, “He who has obtained.” In Occultism one who has reached the stage of Initiation, and become a Master in the science of Esoteric philosophy.
Adharma (Sk.). Unrighteousness, vice, the opposite of Dharma.
Adhi (Sk.). Supreme, paramount.
Adhi-bhautika duhkha (Sk.). The second of the three kinds of pain; lit., “Evil proceeding from external things or beings”.
Adhi-daivika duhkha (Sk.). The third of the three kinds of pain. “Evil proceeding from divine causes, or a just Karmic punishment”.
Adhishtânam (Sk.). Basis; a principle in which some other principle inheres.
Adhyâtmika duhkha (Sk.). The first of the three kinds of pain; lit., “Evil proceeding from Self ”, an induced or a generated evil by Self, or man himself.
Adhyâtma Vidyâ (Sk.). Lit., “the esoteric luminary”. One of the Pancha Vidyâ Sastras, or the Scriptures of the Five Sciences.
Âdi (Sk.) The First, the primeval.
Âdi (the Sons of). In Esoteric philosophy the “Sons of Adi” are called the “Sons of the Fire-mist”. A term used of certain adepts.
Âdi-bhűta (Sk.). The first Being; also primordial element. Adbhuta is a title of Vishnu, the “first Element” containing all elements, “the unfathomable deity”.
Âdi-Buddha (Sk.). The First and Supreme Buddha—not recognised in the Southern Church. The Eternal Light.
Âdi-budhi (Sk.). Primeval Intelligence or Wisdom; the eternal Budhi or Universal Mind. Used of Divine Ideation, “Mahâbuddhi” being synonymous with MAHAT.
Âdikrit (Sk.). Lit., the “first produced” or made. The creative Force eternal and uncreate, but manifesting periodically. Applied to Vishnu slumbering on the “waters of space” during “pralaya” (q.v.).
Âdi-nâtha (Sk.). The “first” Lord”—Âdi “first” (masc.), nâtha “Lord”.
Âdi-nidâna (Sk.). First and Supreme Causality, from Âdi, the first, and Nidâna the principal cause (or the concatenation of cause and effect).
Âdi-Sakti (Sk.). Primeval, divine Force; the female creative power, and aspect in and of every male god. The Sakti in the Hindu Pantheon is always the spouse of some god.
Âdi-Sanat (Sk.). Lit., “First Ancient”. The term corresponds to the Kabalistic “ancient of days”, since it is a title of Brahmâ—called in the Zohar the Atteekah d’Atteekeen, or “the Ancient of the Ancients”, etc.
Âditi (Sk.). The Vedic name for the Műlaprakriti of the Vedantists; the abstract aspect of Parabrahman, though both unmanifested and unknowable. In the Vedas Âditi is the “Mother-Goddess”, her terrestrial symbol being infinite and shoreless space.
Âditi-Gća. A compound term, Sanskrit and Latin, meaning dual, nature in theosophical writings—spiritual and physical, as Gća is the goddess of the earth and of objective nature.
Âditya (Sk.). A name of the Sun; as Mârttânda he is the Son of Aditi.
Âdityas (Sk.). The seven sons of Âditi; the seven planetary gods.
Âdi Varsha (Sk.). The first land; the primordial country in which dwelt the first races.
Adonai (Heb.). The same as Adonis. Commonly translated “Lord”. Astronomically—the Sun. When a Hebrew in reading came to the name IHVH, which is called Jehovah, he paused and substituted the word “Adonai”, (Adni); but when written with the points of Alhim, he called it “Elohim”. [w.w.w.]
Adonim-Adonai, Adon. The ancient Chaldeo-Hebrew names for the Elohim or creative terrestrial forces, synthesized by Jehovah.
Adwaita (Sk.). A Vedânta sect. The non-dualistic (A-dwaita) school of Vedântic philosophy founded by Sankarâchârya, the greatest of the historical Brahmin sages. The two other schools are the Dwaita (dualistic) and the Visishtadwaita; all the three call themselves Vedântic.
Adwaitin (Sk.). A follower of the said school.
Adytum (Gr.). The Holy of Holies in the pagan temples. A name for the secret and sacred precincts or the inner chamber, into which no profane could enter; it corresponds to the sanctuary of the altars of Christian Churches.
Ćbe1-Zivo (Gn.). The Metatron or anointed spirit with the Nazarene Gnostics; the same as the angel Gabriel.
Ćolus (Gr.). The god who, according to Hesiod, binds and looses the winds; the king of storms and winds. A king of Ćolia, the inventor of sails and a great astronomer, and therefore deified by posterity.
Ćon or Ćons (Gr.). Periods of time; emanations proceeding from the divine essence, and celestial beings; genii and angels with the Gnostics.
Ćsir (Scand.). The same as Ases, the creative Forces personified. The gods who created the black dwarfs or the Elves of Darkness in Asgard. The divine Ćsir, the Ases are the Elves of Light. An allegory bringing together darkness which comes from light, and matter born of spirit.
Ćther (Gr.). With the ancients the divine luminiferous substance which pervades the whole universe, the “garment” of the Supreme Deity, Zeus, or Jupiter. With the moderns, Ether, for the meaning of which in physics and chemistry see Webster’s Dictionary or any other. In esotericism Ćther is the third principle of the Kosmic Septenary; the Earth being the lowest, then the Astral light, Ether and Âkâsa (phonetically Âkâsha) the highest.
Ćthrobacy (Gr.). Lit., walking on, or being lifted into the air with no visible agent at work; “levitation”. It may be conscious or unconscious; in the one case it is magic, in the other either disease
or a power which requires a few words of elucidation. We know that the earth is a magnetic body; in fact, as some scientists have found, and as Paracelsus affirmed some 300 years ago, it is one vast magnet. It is charged with one form of electricity—let us call it positive—which it evolves continuously by spontaneous action, in its interior or centre of motion. Human bodies, in common with all other forms of matter, are charged with the opposite form of electricity, the negative. That is to say, organic or inorganic bodies, if left to themselves will constantly and involuntarily charge themselves with and evolve the form of electricity opposite to that of the earth itself. Now, what is weight? Simply the attraction of the earth. “Without the attraction of the earth you would have no weight”, says Professor Stewart; “and if you had an earth twice as heavy as this, you would have double the attraction”. How then, can we get rid of this attraction? According to the electrical law above stated, there is an attraction between our planet and the organisms upon it, which keeps them upon the surface of the globe. But the law of gravitation has been counteracted in many instances, by levitation of persons and inanimate objects. How account for this? The condition of our physical systems, say theurgic philosophers, is largely dependent upon the action of our will. If well- regulated, it can produce “miracles”; among others a change of this electrical polarity from negative to positive; the man’s relations with the earth-magnet would then become repellent, and “gravity”for him would have ceased to exist. It would then be as natural for him to rush into the air until the repellent force had exhausted itself, as, before, it had been for him to remain upon the ground. The altitude of his levitation would be measured by his ability, greater or less, to charge his body with positive electricity. This control over the physical forces once obtained, alteration of his levity or gravity would be as easy as breathing. (See Isis Unveiled, Vol. I., page xxiii.)
(Arab.). A name for native spirits regarded as devils by Mussulmen. Elementals
much dreaded in
Agapć (Gr.). Love Feasts; the early Christians kept such festivals in token of sympathy, love and mutual benevolence. It became necessary to abolish them as an institution, because of great abuse ; Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians complains of misconduct at the feasts of the Christians. [w.w.w.].
Agathodćmon (Gr.). The beneficent, good Spirit as contrasted with the bad one, Kakodćmon. The
“Brazen Serpent” of the Bible is the former; the flying serpents of fire are an aspect of Kakodćmon. The Ophites called Agathodćmon the Logos and Divine Wisdom, which in the Bacchanalian Mysteries was represented by a serpent erect on a pole.
Agathon (Gr.). Plato’s Supreme Deity. Lit., “The Good”, our ALAYA, or “Universal Soul”.
Aged (Kab.). One of the Kabbalistic names for Sephira, called also the Crown, or Kether.
Agla (Heb.). This Kabbalistic word is a talisman composed of the initals of the four words “Ateh Gibor Leolam Adonai”, meaning “Thou art mighty for ever 0 Lord”. MacGregor Mathers explains it thus “A, the first; A, the last; G, the trinity in unity; L, the completion of the great work”. [w.w.w.]
Dhätu Samâdhi (
Agnoia (Gr.). “Divested of reason”, lit., “irrationality”, when speaking of the animal Soul. According to Plutarch, Pythagoras and Plato divided the human soul into two parts (the higher and lower manas)—the rational or noëtic and the irrational, or agnoia, sometimes written “annoia”.
Agnostic (Gr.). A word claimed by Mr. Huxley to have been coined by him to indicate one who believes nothing which can not be demonstrated by the senses. The later schools of Agnosticism give more philosophical definitions of the term.
Agruerus ; A very ancient Phśnician god. The same as Saturn.
Aheie (Heb.). Existence. He who exists; corresponds to Kether and Macroprosopus.
Ah-hi (Sensar), Ahi (Sk.), or Serpents. Dhyân Chohans. “Wise Serpents” or Dragons of Wisdom.
Ahti (Scand.). The “Dragon” in the Eddas.
Ahu (Scand.). “One” and the First.
Ahum (Zend). The first three principles of septenary man in the Avesta ; the gross living man and his vital and astral principles.
Ahura (Zend.). The same as Asura, the holy, the Breath-like. Ahura Mazda, the Ormuzd of the Zoroastrians or Parsis, is the Lord who bestows light and intelligence, whose symbol is the Sun (See “Ahura Mazda”), and of whom Ahriman, a European form of “Angra Mainyu” (q.v.), is the dark aspect.
Ahura Mazda (Zend). The personified deity, the Principle of Universal Divine Light of the Parsis. From Ahura or Asura, breath, “spiritual, divine” in the oldest Rig Veda, degraded by the orthodox Brahmans into A -sura, “no gods”, just as the Mazdeans have degraded the Hindu Devas (Gods) into Dćva (Devils).
Aidoneus (Gr.). The God and King of the Nether World; Pluto or Dionysos Chthonios (subterranean).
Talon. The supreme deity of the Yakoot, a tribe in
Ain-Aior (Chald.). The only “Self-existent” a mystic name for divine substance. [w.w.w.]
Ain (Heb.). The negatively existent; deity in repose, and absolutely passive. [w.w.w.]
Ain Soph (Heb.). The “Boundless” or Limitless; Deity emanating and extending. Ain Soph is also written En Soph and Ain Suph, no one, not even Rabbis, being sure of their vowels. In the religious metaphysics of the old Hebrew philosophers, the ONE Principle was an abstraction, like Parabrahmam, though modern Kabbalists have succeeded now, by dint of mere sophistry and paradoxes, in making a “Supreme God” of it and nothing higher. But with the early Chaldean Kabbalists Ain Soph is “without form or being”, having “no likeness with anything else” (Franck, Die Kabbala, p. 126). That Ain Soph has never been considered as the “Creator” is proved by even such an orthodox Jew as Philo calling the “Creator” the Logos, who stands next the “Limitless One”, and the “Second God”. “The Second God is its (Ain Soph’s) wisdom”, says Philo (Quaest. et Solut.). Deity is NO-THING; it is nameless, and therefore called Ain Soph; the word Ain meaning NOTHING. (See Franck’s Kabbala, p. 153 ff.)
Ain Soph Aur (Heb.). The Boundless Light which concentrates into the First and highest Sephira or Kether, the Crown. [w. w. w.]
Airyamen Yaęgo (Zend). Or Airyana Vaęgo; the primeval land of bliss referred to in the Vendîdâd, where Ahura Mazda delivered his laws to Zoroaster (Spitama Zarathustra).
Airyana-ishejô (Zend). The name of a prayer to the “holy Airyamen”, the divine aspect of Ahriman before the latter became a dark opposing power, a Satan. For Ahriman is of the same essence with Ahura Mazda, just as Typhon-Seth is of the same essence with Osiris (q.v.).
Aish (Heb.). The word for “Man".
Aith-ur (Chald.). Solar fire, divine Ćther.
Ajnâna (Sk.) or Agyana (Bengali). Non-knowledge; absence of knowledge rather than “ignorance” as generally translated. An Ajnâni means a “profane”.
Akar (Eg.). The proper name of that division of the Ker-neter infernal regions, which may be called Hell. [w. w. w.].
The great Mogul Emperor of
(Heb.). The only one of the four Tanaim (initiated prophets)
who entering the
Rig -Veda. He is called the “Father of the Gods” and “Father of the sacred Fire” (See note page 101, Vol. II., Sec.Doct.).
Al or El (Heb.). This deity-name is commonly translated “God’, meaning mighty, supreme. The plural is Elohim, also translated in the Bible by the word God, in the singular. [w.w.w.]
Al-ait (Phśn.). The God of Fire, an ancient and very mystic name in Koptic Occultism.
(Chald.). The second divine king of
Al-Chazari (Arab.). A Prince-Philosopher and Occultist. (See Book Al-Chazari.)
Alchemists; From Al and Chemi, fire, or the god and patriarch,
Kham, also, the name of
Alchemy ; in Arabic Ul-Khemi, is, as the name suggests, the chemistry of nature. Ui-Khemi or
Al-Kimia, however, is only an Arabianized word, taken from the Greek chemeia, (chemeia) from cumoz— “juice”, sap extracted from a plant. Says Dr. Wynn Westcott: “The earliest use of the actual
‘alchemy’ is found in the works of Julius Firmicus Maternus, who lived in
the days of Constantine the Great. The Imperial
it was written by Zosimus the Panopolite about 400 A.D. in the Greek language, the next oldest is by Ćneas Gazeus, 480 A.D.” It deals with the finer forces of nature and the various conditions in which they are found to operate. Seeking under the veil of language, more or less artificial, to convey to the uninitiated so much of the mysterium magnum as is safe in the hands of a selfish world, the alchemist postulates as his first principle the existence of a certain Universal Solvent by which all composite bodies are resolved into the homogeneous substance from which they are evolved, which substance he calls pure gold, or summa materia. This solvent, also called menstvuum universale, possesses the power of removing all the seeds of disease from the human body, of renewing youth and prolonging life. Such is the lapis philosophorum (philosopher’s stone). Alchemy first penetrated into Europe through Geber, the great Arabian sage and philosopher, in the eighth century of our era; but it was known and practised long ages ago in China and in Egypt, numerous papyri on alchemy and other proofs of its being the favourite study of kings and priests having been exhumed and preserved under the generic name of Hermetic treatises. (See “Tabula Smaragdina”). Alchemy is studied under three distinct aspects, which admit of many different interpretations, viz.: the Cosmic, Human, and Terrestrial. These three methods were typified under the three alchemical properties—sulphur, mercury, and salt. Different writers have stated that there are three, seven, ten, and twelve processes respectively; but they are all agreed that there is but one object in alchemy, which is to transmute gross metals into pure gold. What that gold, however, really is, very few people understand correctly. No doubt that there is such a thing in nature as transmutation of the baser metals into the nobler, or gold. But this is only one aspect of alchemy, the terrestrial or purely material, for we sense logically the same process taking place in the bowels of the earth. Yet, besides and beyond this interpretation, there is in alchemy a symbolical meaning, purely psychic and spiritual. While the Kabbalist-Alchemist seeks for the realization of the former, the Occultist-Alchemist, spurning the gold of the mines, gives all his attention and directs his efforts only towards the transmutation of the baser quaternary into the divine upper trinity of man, which when finally blended are one. The spiritual, mental, psychic, and physical planes of human existence are in alchemy compared to the four elements, fire, air, water and earth, and are each capable of a threefold constitution, i.e., fixed, mutable and volatile. Little or nothing is known by the word concerning the origin of this archaic branch of philosophy; but it is certain that it antedates the construction of any known Zodiac, and, as dealing with the personified forces of nature, probably also any of the mythologies of the world; nor is there any doubt that the true secret of transmutation (on the physical plane) was known in days of old, and lost before the dawn of the so-called historical period. Modern chemistry owes its best fundamental discoveries to alchemy, but regardless of the undeniable truism of the latter that there is but one element in the universe, chemistry has placed metals in the class of elements and is only now beginning to find out its gross mistake. Even sonic Encyclopćdists are now forced to confess that if most of the accounts of transmutations are fraud or delusion, “yet some of them are accompanied by testimony which renders them probable. . . By means of the galvanic battery even the alkalis have been discovered to have a metallic base. The possibility of obtaining metal from other substances which contain the ingredients composing it, and of changing one metal into another . . . must therefore be left undecided. Nor are all alchemists to be considered impostors. Many have laboured under the conviction of obtaining their object, with indefatigable patience and purity of heart, which is earnestly recommended by sound alchemists as the principal requisite for the success of their labours.”
Alcyone (Gr.), or Halcyone, daughter of Ćolus, and wife of Ceyx, who was drowned as he was journeying to consult the oracle, upon which she threw herself into the sea. Accordingly both were changed, through the mercy of the gods, into king-fishers. The female is said to lay her eggs on the sea and keep it calm during the seven days before and seven days after the winter solstice. It has a very occult significance in ornithomancy.
Alectromancy (Gr.). Divination by means of a cock, or other bird; a circle was drawn and divided into spaces, each one allotted to a letter; corn was spread over these places and note was taken of the successive lettered divisions from which the bird took grains of corn.
Alethć (Phśn) “Fire worshippers” from Al-alt, the God of Fire. The same as the Kabiri or divine Titans. As the seven emanations of Agruerus (Saturn) they are connected with all the fire, solar and” storm gods (Maruts).
Aletheia (Gr.). Truth; also Alethia, one of Apollo’s nurses.
Alhim (Heb.). See “Elohim”.
Alkahest (Arab.). The universal solvent in Alchemy (see "Alchemy "); but in mysticism, the Higher Self, the union with which makes of matter (lead), gold, and restores all compound things such as the human body and its attributes to their primćval essence.
Almadel; the Book. A treatise on Theurgia or White Magic by an unknown medićval European author; it is not infrequently found in volumes of MSS. called Keys of Solomon. [ w.w.w.]
Almeh (Arab.). Dancing girls; the same as the Indian nautchies, the temple and public dancers.
Alpha Polaris (Lat.). The same as Dhruva, the pole-star of 31,105 years ago.
Alswider (Scand.). ‘‘ All-swift’’, the name of the horse of the moon, in the Eddas.
Altruism (Lat.). From alter = other. A quality opposed to egoism. Actions tending to do good to others, regardless of self.
Aize, Liber; de Lapide Philosophico. An alchemic treatise by an unknown German author; dated 1677. It is to be found reprinted in the Hermetic Museum; in it is the well known design of a man with legs extended and his body hidden by a seven pointed star. Eliphaz Lévi has copied it. [ w.w.w.]
Ama (Heb.)., Amia, (Chald.). Mother. A title of Sephira Binah, whose “divine name is Jehovah” and who is called “Supernal Mother”.
Amânasa (Sk.). The “ Mindless”, the early races of this planet; also certain Hindu gods.
Amara-Kosha (Sk.). The “immortal vocabulary”. The oldest dictionary known in the world and the most perfect vocabulary of classical Sanskrit ; by Amara Sinha, a sage of the second century.
Ambâ (Sk.). The name of the eldest of the seven Pleiades, the heavenly sisters married each to a Rishi belonging to the Saptariksha or the seven Rishis of the constellation known as the Great Bear.
(Sk.). A name of the chief of the Kumâras Sanat-Sujâta, signifying the
“waters”. This epithet will become more comprehensible when we remember that
the later type of Sanat-Sujâta was Michael, the
(See Secret Doctrine-, Vol. I., p. 460.)
Amdo (Tib.). A sacred locality, the birthplace of Tson-kha-pa, the great Tibetan reformer and the founder of the Gelukpa (yellow caps), who is regarded as an Avatar of Amita-buddha.
Amęn. In Hebrew is formed of the letters A M N = 1,40,50 =91,and is thus a simile of “Jehovah Adonai”=10, 5, 6, 5 and 1,4, 50,10 =91 together; it is one form of the Hebrew word for “truth”. In common parlance Amen is said to mean “so be it”. [ w.w.w.]
But, in esoteric parlance Amen means “the concealed”. Manetho Sebennites says the word signifies that which is hidden and we know through Hecatćus and others that the Egyptians used the word to call upon their great God of Mystery, Ammon (or “Ammas, the hidden god ”) to make himself conspicuous and manifest to them. Bonomi, the famous hieroglyphist, calls his worshippers very pertinently the “Amenoph”, and Mr. Bonwick quotes a writer who says: “Ammon, the hidden god, will remain for ever hidden till anthropomorphically revealed; gods who are afar off are useless”. Amen is styled “Lord of the new-moon festival”. Jehovah-Adonai is a new form of the ram-headed god Amoun or Ammon (q.v.) who was invoked by the Egyptian priests under the name of Amen.
(Eg.). Esoterically and literally, the dwelling of the God Amen, or Amoun, or
the “hidden”, secret god. Exoterically the
Amesha Spentas (Zend). Amshaspends. The six angels or divine Forces personified as gods who attend upon Ahura Mazda, of which he is the synthesis and the seventh. They are one of the prototypes of the Roman Catholic “Seven Spirits” or Angels with Michael as chief, or the “Celestial Host”; the “ Seven Angels of the Presence”. They are the Builders, Cosmocratores, of the Gnostics and identical with the Seven Prajâpatis, the Sephiroth, etc. (q.v.).
Amitâbha. The Chinese perversion of the Sanskrit Amrita Buddha, or the “Immortal Enlightened”, a name of Gautama Buddha. The name has such variations as Amita, Abida, Amitâya, etc., and. is explained as meaning both “Boundless Age” and “Boundless Light”. The original conception of the ideal of an impersonal divine light has been anthrdpomorphized with time.
Ammon (Eg.). One of the great gods of Egypt. Ammon or Amoun is far older than Amoun-Ra, and is identified with Baal. Hammon, the Lord of Heaven. Amoun-Ra was Ra the Spiritual Sun, the “Sun of Righteousness”, etc., for—“the Lord God is a Sun”. He is the God of Mystery and the hieroglyphics of his name are often reversed. He is Pan, All-Nature esoterically, and therefore the universe, and the “Lord of Eternity”. Ra, as declared by an old inscription, was “begotten by Neith but not engendered”. He is called the “self- begotten” Ra,, and created goodness from a glance of his fiery eye, as Set-Typhon created evil from his. As Ammon (also Amoun and Amen), Ra, he is “Lord of the worlds enthroned on the Sun’s disk and appears in the abyss of heaven”. A very ancient hymn spells the name “Amen-ra”, and hails the “Lord of the thrones of the earth...Lord of Truth, father of the gods, maker of man, creator of the beasts, Lord of Existence, Enlightener of the Earth, sailing in heaven in tranquillity. . . All hearts are softened at beholding thee, sovereign of life, health and strength We worship thy spirit who alone made us”, etc., etc. (See Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief.) Ammon Ra is called “his mother’s husband” and her son. (See “Chnourmis” and “Chnouphis” and also Secret Doctrine I, pp. 91 and It was to the “ram-headed” god that the Jews sacrificed lambs, and the lamb of Christian theology is a disguised reminiscence of the ram.
Ammonius Saccas. A great and good philosopher who lived in Alexandria between the second and third centuries of our era, and who was the founder of the Neo-Platonic School of Philaletheians or “lovers of truth”. He was of poor birth and born of Christian parents, but endowed with such prominent, almost divine, goodness as to he called Theodidaktos, the “god-taught”. He honoured that which was good in Christianity, but broke with it and the churches very early, being unable to find in it any superiority over the older religions.
Amrita (Sk.). The ambrosial drink or food of the gods; the food giving immortality. The elixir of life churned out of the ocean of milk in the Purânic allegory. An old Vedic term applied to the sacred Soma juice in the Temple Mysteries.
Aműlam Műlam (Sk.). Lit., the “rootless root” ; Mulâprakriti of the Vedantins the spiritual “root of nature”.
Amun (Copt.). The Egyptian god of wisdom, who had only Initiates or Hierophants to serve him as priests.
Anâ (Chald.). The “invisible heaven”or Astral Light ; the heavenly mother of the terrestrial sea, Mar, whence probably the origin of Anna, the mother of Mary.
Anacalypsis (Gr.)., or an “Attempt to withdraw the veil of the Saitic Isis”, by Godfrey Higgins. This is a very valuable work, now only obtainable at extravagant prices; it treats of the origin of all myths, religions and mysteries, and displays an immense fund of classical erudition. [ w.w.w.]
Anâgâmin (Sk.). Anagam. One who is no longer to be reborn into the world of desire. One stage before becoming Arhat and ready for Nirvâna. The third of the four grades of holiness on the way to final Initiation.
Anâhata Chakram (Sk.). The seat or “wheel” of life; the heart, according to some commentators.
Anâhata Shabda (Sk.). The mystic voices and sounds heard by the Yogi at the incipient stage of his meditation, The third of the four states of sound, otherwise called Madhyamâ—the fourth state being when it is perceptible by the physical sense of hearing. The sound in its previous stages is not heard except by those who have developed their internal, highest spiritual senses. The four stages are called respectively, Parâ, Pashyantî, Madhyamâ and Vaikharî.
Anaitia (Chald.). A derivation from Anâ (q.v.), a goddess identical with the Hindu Annapurna, one of the names of Kâlî—the female aspect of Siva—at her best.
Analogeticists. The disciples of Ammonius Saccas (q.v.), so called because of their practice of interpreting all sacred legends, myths and mysteries by a principle of analogy and correspondence, which is now found in the Kabbalistic system, and pre-eminently so in the Schools of Esoteric Philosophy, in the East. (See “ The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac,” by T. Subba Row in Five Years of Theosophy.)
(lit., endless remain).
Anastasis (Gr.). The continued existence of the soul.
Anatu (Chald.). The female aspect of Anu (q.v.). She represents the Earth and Depth, while her consort represents the Heaven and Height. She is the mother of the god Hea, and produces heaven and earth. Astronomically she is Ishtar, Venus, the Ashtoreth of the Jews.
(Gr.) A famous Ionian philosopher who lived 500 B.C., studied philosophy under
Anaximenes of Miletus, and settled in the days of Pericles at
Ancients, The. A name given by Occultists to the seven creative Rays, born of Chaos, or the “Deep”.
Androgyne Goat (of Mendes). See “Baphomet”.
Androgyne Ray (Esot.). The first differentiated ray; the Second Logos; Adam Kadmon in the Kabalah; the “male and female created he them”, of the first chapter of Genesis.
Audumla (Scand.). The symbol of nature in the Norse mythology; the cow who licks the salt rock, whence the divine Buri is born, before man’s creation.
Angâraka (Sk.). Fire Star; the planet Mars; in Tibetan, Mig-mar.
Augiras. One of the Prajâpatis. A son of Daksha ; a lawyer, etc., etc.
Angirasas (Sk.). The generic name of several Purânic individuals and things; a class of Pitris, the ancestors of man ; a river in Plaksha, one of the Sapta dwîpas (q.v).
Angra Mainyus (Zend.). The Zoroastrian name for Ahriman; the evil spirit of destruction and opposition who (in the Vendidâd, Fargard I.) is said by Ahura Mazda to “counter-create by his witchcraft” every beautiful land the God creates; for “Angra Mainyu is all death”.
AnimaMundi (Lat.). The“Soul of the World”, the same as the Alaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine essence which permeates, animates and informs all, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense the “seven-skinned mother” of the stanzas in the Secret Doctrine, the essence of seven planes of sentience, consciousness and differentiation, moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvâna, in its lowest Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes. Of igneous, ethereal nature in the objective world of form (and then ether), and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it means, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, which is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal ABSOLUTE.
Anjala (Sk.). One of the personified powers which spring from Brahmâ’s body—the Prajâpatis.
Anjana (Sk.). A serpent, a son of Kasyapa Rishi.
Annamaya Kosha (Sk.). A Vedantic term. The same as Sthűla Sharîra or the physical body. It is the first “sheath” of the five sheaths accepted by the Vedantins, a sheath being the same as that which is called “principle” in Theosophy.
Annapura (Sk.). See “Anâ”.
Annedotus (Gr.). The generic name for the Dragons or Men-Fishes, of which there were five. The historian Berosus narrates that there rose out of the Erythrćan Sea on several occasions a semi-dćmon named Oannes or Annedotus, who although part animal yet taught the Chaldeans useful arts and everything that could humanise them. (See Lenormant Chaldean Magic, p. 203, and also “Oannes”.) [w.w.w.]
Anoia (Gr.). “Want of understanding”, “folly”. Anoia is the name given by Plato and others to the lower Manas when too closely allied with Kâma, which is irrational (agnoia). The Greek word agnoia is evidently a derivation from and cognate to the Sanskrit word ajnâna (phonetically, agnyana) or ignorance, irrationality, absence of knowledge. (See “Agnoia” and “Agnostic”.)
Anouki (Eg.). A form of Isis; the goddess of life, from which name the Hebrew Ank, life. (See “Anuki.”)
Ansumat (Sk.). A Purânic personage, the “nephew of 60,000 uncles” King Sagara’s sons, who were reduced to ashes by a single glance from Kapila Rishi’s “Eye”.
Antahkarana (Sk.)., or Antaskarana. The term has various meanings, which differ with every school of philosophy and sect. Thus Sankârachârya renders the word as “understanding”; others, as “the internal instrument, the Soul, formed by the thinking principle and egoism”; whereas the Occultists explain it as the path or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, the divine Ego, and the personal Soul of man. It serves as a medium of communication between the two, and conveys from the Lower to the Higher Ego all those personal impressions and thoughts of men which can, by their nature, be assimilated and stored by the undying Entity, and be thus made immortal with it, these being the only elements of the evanescent Personality that survive death and time. It thus stands to reason that only that which is noble, spiritual and divine in man can testify in Eternity to his having lived.
Anthesteria (Gr.). The feast of Flowers (Floralia): during this festival the rite of Baptism or purification was performed in the Eleusinian Mysteries in the temple lakes, the Limnae, when the Mystć were made to pass through the “narrow gate” of Dionysus, to emerge therefrom as full Initiates.
Anthropology. The Science of man; it embraces among other things :—Physiology, or that branch of natural science which discloses the mysteries of the organs and their functions in men, animals and plants; and also, and especially,—Psychology or the great, and in our days, too much neglected science of the soul, both as an entity distinct from the spirit, and in its relation to the spirit and body. In modern science, psychology deals only or principally with conditions of the nervous system, and almost absolutely ignores the psychical essence and nature. Physicians denominate the science of insanity psychology, and name the lunacy chair in medical colleges by that designation. (Isis Unveiled.)
Anthropomorphism (Gr.). From “anthropos” meaning man. The act of endowing god or gods with a human form and human attributes or qualities.
Anu (Sk.). An “atom”, a title of Brahmâ, who is said to be an atom just as is the infinite universe. A hint at the pantheistic nature of the god.
Anu (Chald.). One of the highest of Babylonian deities, “King of Angels and Spirits, Lord of the city of Erech”. He is the Ruler and God of Heaven and Earth. His symbol is a star and a kind of Maltese cross—emblems of divinity and sovereignty. He is an abstract divinity supposed to inform the whole expense of ethereal space or heaven, while his “wife” informs the more material planes. Both are the types of the Ouranos and Gaia of Hesiod. They sprang from the original Chaos. All his titles and attributes are grapfiic and indicate health, purity physical and moral, antiquity and holiness. Anu was the earliest god of the city of Erech. One of his sons was Bil orVil-Kan, the god of fire, of various metals, and of weapons. George Smith very pertinently sees in this deity a close connection with a kind of cross breed between “the biblical Tubal Cain and the classical Vulcan” . .who is considered to be moreover “the most potent deity in relation to witchcraft and spells generally”.
(Gr.) The dog -headed god, identical, in a certain aspect, with Horus. He is
pre-eminently the god who deals with the disembodied, or the resurrected in
post mortem life. Anepou is his Egyptian name. He is a psychopompic deity, “the
Lord of the Silent Land of the West, the land of the Dead, the preparer of the
way to the other world ”, to whom the dead were entrusted, to be led by him to
Osiris, the Judge. In short, he is the “embalmer” and the “guardian of the
dead”. One of the oldest deities in
Anuki (Eg.). “See Anouki” supra. “The word Ank in Hebrew, means ‘my life’, my being, which is the personal pronoun Anocki, from the name of the Egyptian goddess Anouki ”, says the author of the
Hebrew Mystery, or the Source of Measures.
Anunnaki (Chald.). Angels or Spirits of the Earth; terrestrial Elementals also.
(Chald.) The goddess of
was Ishtar of Erech.
Aour (Chald.). The synthesis of the two aspects of astro-etheric light; and the od—the life-giving, and the ob—the death-giving light.
Apâm Napât (Zend). A mysterious being, corresponding to the Fohat of the Occultists. It is both a Vedic and an Avestian name. Literally, the name means the “Son of the Waters” (of space, i.e., Ether),
for in the Avesta Apâm Napât stands between the fire-yazatas and the water-yazatas .
(See Secret Doctrine, Vol. II., p. 400, note).
Apap (Eg.), in Greek Apophis. The symbolical Serpent of Evil. The Solar Boat and the Sun are the great Slayers of Apap in the Book of the Dead. It is Typhon, who having killed Osiris, incarnates in Apap, seeking to kill Horus. Like Taoer (or
Ta-ap-oer) the female aspect of Typhon, Apap is called “the devourer of the Souls”, and truly, since Apap symbolizes the animal body, as matter left soulless and to itself. Osiris, being, like all the other Solar gods, a type of the Higher Ego (Christos), Horus (his son) is the lower Manas or the personal Ego. On many a monument one can see Horus, helped by a number of dog-headed gods armed with crosses and spears, killing Apap. Says an Orientalist : “The God Horus standing as conqueror upon the Serpent of Evil, may be considered as the earliest form of our well-known group of St. George (who is Michael) and the Dragon, or holiness trampling down sin.” Draconianism did not die with the ancient religions, but has passed bodily into the latest Christian form of the worship.
Aparinâmin (Sk.). The Immutable and the Unchangeable, the reverse of Parinâmin, that which is subject to modification, differentiation or decay.
Aparoksha (Sk.) Direct perception.
Âpava (Sk.) Lit. “He who sports in the Water”. Another aspect of Nârâyana or Vishnu and of Brahmâ combined, for Âpava, like the latter, divides himself into two parts, male and female, and creates Vishnu, who creates Virâj, who creates Manu. The name is explained and interpreted in various ways in Brahmanical literature.
Apavarga (Sk.). Emancipation from repeated births.
Apis (Eg.), or Hapi-ankh. The “living deceased one” or Osiris incarnate in the sacred white Bull. Apis was the bull-god that, on reaching the age of twenty-eight, the age when Osiris was killed by Typhon—was put to death with great ceremony. It was not the Bull that was worshipped but the Osiridian symbol; just as Christians kneel now before the Lamb, the symbol of Jesus Christ, in their churches.
Apocrypha (Gr.). Very erroneously explained and adopted as doubtful, or spurious. The word means simply secret, esoteric, hidden.
Apollo Belvidere. Of all the ancient statues of Apollo, the son of Jupiter and Latona, called Phśbus, Helios, the radiant and the Sun, the best and most perfect is the one known by this name, which is in the Belvidere gallery of the Vatican at Rome. It is called the Pythian Apollo, as the god is represented in the moment of his victory over the serpent Python. The statue was found in the ruins of Antium, in 1503.
Apollonius of Tyana (Gr.). A wonderful philosopher born in Cappadocia about the beginning of the first century; an ardent Pythagorean, who studied the Phśnician sciences under Euthydemus; and Pythagorean philosophy and other studies under Euxenus of Heraclea. According to the tenets of this school he remained a vegetarian the whole of his long life, fed only on fruit and herbs, drank no wine, wore vestments made only of plant-fibres, walked barefooted, and let his hair grow to its full length, as all the Initiates before and after him. He was initiated by the priests of the temple of Ćsculapius (Asciepios) at Ćgae, and learnt many of the “miracles” for healing the sick wrought by the god of medicine. Having prepared himself for a higher initiation by a silence of five years, and by travel, visiting Antioch, Ephesus, Pamphylia and other parts, he journeyed via Babylon to India, all his intimate disciples having abandoned him, as they feared to go to the “land of enchantments”. A casual disciple, Damis, however, whom he met on his way, accompanied him in his travels. At Babylon he was initiated by the Chaldees and Magi, according to Damis, whose narrative was copied by one named Philostratus a hundred years later. After his return from India, he showed himself a true Initiate, in that the pestilences and earthquakes, deaths of kings and other events, which he prophesied duly happened. At Lesbos, the priests of Orpheus, being jealous of him, refused to initiate him into their peculiar mysteries, though they did so several years later. He preached to the people of Athens and other cities the purest and noblest ethics, and the phenomena he produced were as wonderful as they were numerous and well attested. “How is it”, enquires Justin Martyr in dismay—” how is it that the talismans (telesmata) of Apollonius have power, for they prevent, as we see, the fury of the waves and the violence of the winds, and the attacks of the wild beasts; and whilst our Lord’s miracles are preserved by tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous and actually manifested in present facts?”
. (Quaest, XXIV.). But an answer is easily found to this in the fact that after crossing the Hindu Kush, Apollonius had been directed by a king to the abode of the Sages, whose abode it may be to this day, by whom he was taught unsurpassed knowledge. His dialogues with the Corinthian Menippus indeed give us the esoteric catechism and disclose (when understood) many an important mystery of nature. Apollonius was the friend, correspondent and guest of kings and queens, and no marvellous or “magic” powers are better attested than his. At the end of his long and wonderful life he opened an esoteric school at Ephesus, and died aged almost one hundred years.
Aporrheta (Gr.). Secret instructions upon esoteric subjects given during the Egyptian and Grecian Mysteries.
Apsaras (Sk.). An Undine or Water-Nymph, from the Paradise or Heaven of Indra. The Apsarases
are in popular belief the “wives of the gods” and called Surânganâs, and by a less honourable term, Sumad-âtmajâs or the “daughters of pleasure”, for it is fabled of them that when they appeared at the churning of the Ocean neither Gods (Suras) nor Demons (Asuras) would take them for legitimate wives. Urvasi and several others of them are mentioned in the Vedas. In Occultism they are certain “sleep-producing” aquatic plants, and inferior forces of nature.
Ar-Abu Nasr-al-Farabi, called in Latin Alpharabius, a Persian, and the greatest Aristotelian philosopher of the age. He was born in 950 A.D., and is reported to have been murdered in 1047. He was an Hermetic philosopher and possessed the power of hypnotizing through music, making those who heard him play the lute laugh, weep, dance and do what he liked. Some of his works on Hermetic philosophy may be found in the Library of Leyden.
Arahat (Sk.). Also pronounced and written Arhat, Arhan, Rahat, &c., “the worthy one”, lit., “deserving divine honours”. This was the name first given to the Jain and subsequently to the Buddhist holy men initiated into the esoteric mysteries. The Arhat is one who has entered the best and highest path, and is thus emancipated from rebirth.
Arani (Sk.). The “female Arani” is a name of the Vedic Aditi (esoterically, the womb of the world).
Arani is a Swastika, a disc-like wooden vehicle, in which the Brahmins generated fire by friction with pramantha, a stick, the symbol of the male generator. A mystic ceremony with a world of secret meaning in it and very sacred, perverted into phallic significance by the materialism of the age.
Âranyaka (Sk.). Holy hermits, sages who dwelt in ancient India in forests. Also a portion of the Vedas containing Upanishads, etc.
Araritha (Heb.). A very famous seven-lettered Kabbalistic wonder-word ; its numeration is 813 ; its letters are collected by Notaricon from the sentence “one principle of his unity, one beginning of his individuality, his change is unity”. [ w.w.w.].
Arasa Maram (Sk.). The Hindu sacred tree of knowledge. In occult philosophy a mystic word.
Arba-il (Chald.). The Four Great Gods. Arba is Aramaic for four, and il is the same as Al or El. Three male deities, and a female who is virginal yet reproductive, form a very common ideal of Godhead.
Archangel (Gr.). Highest supreme angel. From the Greek arch, “chief” or “primordial”, and angelos, “messenger ”.
Archćus (Gr.). “The Ancient.” Used of the oldest manifested deity; a term employed in the Kabalah ; “archaic ”, old, ancient.
Archobiosis (Gr.). Primeval beginning of life.
Archetypal Universe (Kab.). The ideal universe upon which the objective world was built. [w.w.w.]
Archons (Gr.). In profane and biblical language “rulers” and princes; in Occultism, primordial planetary spirits.
Archontes (Gr.). The archangels after becoming Ferouers (q.v.) or their own shadows, having mission on earth; a mystic ubiquity; implying a double life; a kind of hypostatic action, one of purity in a higher region, the other of terrestrial activity exercised on our plane.
(See Iamblichus, De Mysterüs II., Chap. 3.)
Ardath (Heb.). This word occurs in the Second Book of Esdras, ix., 26. The name has been given to one of the recent “occult novels” where much interest is excited by the visit of the hero to a field in the Holy Land so named; magical properties are attributed to it. In the Book of Esdras the prophet is sent to this field called Ardath “where no house is builded” and bidden “eat there only the flowers of the field, taste no flesh, drink no wine, and pray unto the highest continually, and then will I come and talk with thee”. [w.w.w.]
Ardha-Nârî (Sk.). Lit., “half-woman”. Siva represented as Androgynous, as half male and half female, a type of male and female energies combined. (See occult diagram in Isis Unveiled, Vol. II.)
Ardhanârîswara (Sk.). Lit., “the bi-sexual lord”. Esoterically, the unpolarized states of cosmic energy symbolised by the Kabalistic Sephira, Adam Kadmon, &c.
Ares. The Greek name for Mars, god of war; also a term used by Paracelsus, the differentiated Force in Cosmos.
Argha (Chald.). The ark, the womb of Nature; the crescent moon, and a life-saving ship ; also a cup for offerings, a vessel used for religious ceremonies.
Arghyanâth (Sk.). Lit., “lord of libations”.
Arian. A follower of Arius, a presbyter of the Church in Alexandria in the fourth century. One who holds that Christ is a created and human being, inferior to God the Father, though a grand and noble man, a true adept versed in all the divine mysteries.
Aristobulus (Gr) An Alexandrian writer, and an obscure philosopher. A Jew who tried to prove that Aristotle explained the esoteric thoughts of Moses.
Arithmomancy (Gr.). The science of correspondences between gods, men, and numbers, as taught by Pythagoras. [w.w.w.]
Arjuna (Sk.) Lit., the “white”. The third of the five Brothers Pandu or the reputed Sons of Indra (esoterically the same as Orpheus). A disciple of Krishna, who visited him and married Su-bhadrâ, his sister, besides many other wives, according to the allegory. During the fratricidal war between the Kauravas and the Pândavas, Krishna instructed him in the highest philosophy, while serving as his charioteer. (See Bhaguvad Gîtâ.)
Ark of Isis. At the great Egyptian annual ceremony, which took place in the month of Athyr, the boat of Isis was borne in procession by the priests, and Collyrian cakes or buns, marked with the sign of the cross (Tat), were eaten. This was in commemoration of the weeping of Isis for the loss of Osiris, the Athyr festival being very impressive. “Plato refers to the melodies on the occasion as being very ancient,” writes Mr. Bonwick (Eg. Belief and Mod. Thought). “ The Miserere in Rome has been said to be similar to its melancholy cadence, and to be derived from it Weeping, veiled virgins followed the ark. The Nornes, or veiled virgins, wept also for the loss of our Saxon forefathers’ god, the ill-fated but good Baldur.”
Ark of the Covenant. Every ark-shrine, whether with the Egyptians, Hindus, Chaldeans or Mexicans, was a phallic shrine, the symbol of the yoni or womb of nature. The seket of the Egyptians, the ark, or sacred chest, stood on the ara—its pedestal. The ark of Osiris, with the sacred relics of the god, was “of the same size as the Jewish ark”, says S. Sharpe, the Egyptologist, carried by priests with staves passed through its rings in sacred procession, as the ark round which danced David, the King of Israel. Mexican gods also had their arks. Diana, Ceres, and other goddesses as well as gods had theirs. The ark was a boat—a vehicle in every case. “Thebes had a sacred ark 300 cubits long,” and “the word Thebes is said to mean ark in Hebrew,” which is but a natural recognition of the place to which the chosen people are indebted for their ark. Moreover, as Bauer writes, “the Cherub was not first used by Moses.” The winged Isis was the cherub or Arieh in Egypt, centuries before the arrival there of even Abram or Sarai. “The external likeness of some of the Egyptian arks, surmounted by their two winged human figures, to the ark of the covenant, has often been noticed.” (Bible Educator.) And not only the “external” but the internal “likeness” and sameness are now known to all. The arks, whether of the covenant, or of honest, straightforward, Pagan symbolism, had originally and now have one and the same meaning. The chosen people appropriated the idea and forgot to acknowledge its source. It is the same as in the case of the “Urim” and “Thummin” (q.v.). In Egypt, as shown by many Egyptologists, the two objects were the emblems of the Two Truths. “Two figures of Re and Thmei were worn on the breast-plate of the Egyptian High Priest. Thmé, plural thmin, meant truth in Hebrew. Wilkinson says the figure of Truth had closed eyes. Rosellini speaks of the Thmei being worn as a necklace. Diodorus gives such a necklace of gold and stones to the High Priest when delivering judgment. The Septuagint translates Thummin as Truth”. (Bonwick’s Egyp. Belief.)
Arka (Sk.). The Sun.
Arkites. The ancient priests who were attached to the Ark, whether of Isis, or the Hindu Argua, and who were seven in number, like the priests of the Egyptian Tat or any other cruciform symbol of the three and the four, the combination of which gives a male-female number. The Avgha (or ark) was the four-fold female principle, and the flame burning over it the triple lingham.
Aroueris (Gr.). The god Harsiesi, who was the elder Horus. He had a temple at Ambos. if we bear in mind the definition of the chief Egyptian gods by Plutarch, these myths will become more comprehensible; as he well says: “Osiris represents the beginning and principle; Isis, that which receives; and Horus, the compound of both. Horus engendered between them, is not eternal nor incorruptible, but, being always in generation, he endeavours by vicissitudes of imitations, and by periodical passion (yearly re-awakening to life) to continue always young, as if he should never die.” Thus, since Horus is the personified physical world, Aroueris, or the “elder Horus”, is the ideal Universe; and this accounts for the saying that “he was begotten by Osiris and Isis when these were still in the bosom of their mother”—Space. There is indeed, a good deal of mystery about this god, but the meaning of the symbol becomes clear once one has the key to it.
Artephius.—A great Hermetic philosopher, whose true name was never known and whose works are without dates, though it is known that he wrote his Secret Book in the XIIth century. Legend has it that he was one thousand years old at that time. There is a book on dreams by him in the possession of an Alchemist, now in Bagdad, in which he gives out the secret of seeing the past, the present, and the future, in sleep, and of remembering the things seen. There are but two copies of this manuscript extant. The book on Dreams by the Jew Solomon Almulus, published in Hebrew at Amsterdam in 1642, has a few reminiscences from the former work of Artephius.
Artes (Eg.). The Earth; the Egyptian god Mars.
Artufas. A generic name in South America and the islands for temples of nagalism or serpent worship.
Arundhatî (Sk.). The “Morning Star”; Lucifer-Venus.
Arűpa (Sk.). “Bodiless”, formless, as opposed to rűpa, “body”, or form.
Arvâksrotas (Sk.). The seventh creation, that of man, in the Vishnu Purâna.
Arwaker (Scand.). Lit., “early waker”. The horse of the chariot of the Sun driven by the maiden Sol, in the Eddas.
Ârya (Sk.) Lit., “the holy”; originally the title of Rishis, those who had mastered the “Âryasatyâni” (q.v.) and entered the Âryanimârga path to Nirvâna or Moksha, the great “four-fold” path. But now the name has become the epithet of a race, and our Orientalists, depriving the Hindu Brahmans of their birth-right, have made Aryans of all Europeans. In esotericism, as the four paths, or stages, can be entered only owing to great spiritual development and “growth in holiness ”, they are called the “four fruits”. The degrees of Arhatship, called respectively Srotâpatti, Sakridâgamin, Anâgâmin, and Arhat, or the four classes of Âryas, correspond to these four paths and truths.
Ârya-Bhata (Sk.) The earliest Hindu algerbraist and astronomer, with the exception of Asura Maya (q.v.); the author of a work called Ârya Siddhânta, a system of Astronomy.
Ârya-Dâsa (Sk.) Lit., “Holy Teacher”. A great sage and Arhat of the Mahâsamghika school.
Aryahata (Sk.) The “Path of Arhatship”, or of holiness.
Âryasangha (Sk.) The Founder of the first Yogâchârya School. This Arhat, a direct disciple of Gautama, the Buddha, is most unaccountably mixed up and confounded with a personage of the same name, who is said to have lived in Ayôdhya (Oude) about the fifth or sixth century of our era, and taught Tântrika worship in addition to the Yogâchârya system. Those who sought to make it popular, claimed that he was the same Âryasangha, that had been a follower of Sâkyamuni, and that he was 1,000 years old. Internal evidence alone is sufficient to show that the works written by him and translated about the year 600 of our era, works full of Tantra worship, ritualism, and tenets followed now considerably by the “red-cap” sects in Sikhim, Bhutan, and Little Tibet, cannot be the same as the lofty system of the early Yogâcharya school of pure Buddhism, which is neither northern nor southern, but absolutely esoteric. Though none of the genunine Yogâchârya books (the Narjol chodpa) have ever been made public or marketable, yet one finds in the Yogâchârya Bhűmi Shâstra of the pseudo-Âryasangha a great deal from the older system, into the tenets of which he may have been initiated. It is, however, so mixed up with Sivaism and Tantrika magic and superstitions, that the work defeats its own end, notwithstanding its remarkable dialectical subtilty. How unreliable are the conclusions at which our Orientalists arrive, and how contradictory the dates assigned by them, may be seen in the case in hand. While Csoma de Körös (who, by-the-bye, never became acquainted with the Gelukpa (yellow-caps), but got all his information from “red-cap” lamas of the Borderland), places the pseudo-Âryasangha in the seventh century of our era; Wassiljew, who passed most of his life in China, proves him to have lived much earlier; and Wilson (see Roy. As. Soc., Vol. VI., p. 240), speaking of the period when Âryasangha’s works, which are still extant in Sanskrit, were written, believes it now “established, that they have been written at the latest, from a century and a half before, to as much after, the era of Christianity”. At all events since it is beyond dispute that the Mahâyana religious works were all written far before Âryasangha’s time—whether he lived in the “second century B.C.”, or the “seventh .A.D.”—and that these contain all and far more of the fundamental tenets of the Yogâchârya system, so disfigured by the Ayôdhyan imitator—the inference is that there must exist somewhere a genuine rendering free from popular Sivaism and left-hand magic.
Aryasatyâni (Sk.). The four truths or the four dogmas, which are (1) Dukha, or that misery and pain are the unavoidable concomitants of sentient (esoterically, physical) existence; (2) Samudaya, the truism that suffering is intensified by human passions; (3) Nirôdha, that the crushing out and extinction of all such feelings are possible for a man “on the path”; (4) Mârga, the narrow way, or that path which leads to such a blessed result.
Aryavarta (Sk.). The “land of the Aryas”, or India. The ancient name for Northern India. The Brahmanical invaders (“ from the Oxus” say the Orientalists) first settled. It is erroneous to give this name to the whole,of India, since Manu gives the name of “the land of the Aryas” only to “the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the eastern to the western sea”.
Asakrit Samâdhi (Sk.). A certain degree of ecstatic contemplation. A stage in Samâdhi.
Âsana (Sk.). The third stage of Hatha Yoga, one of the prescribed postures of meditation.
Asat (Sk.). A philosophical term meaning “non-being”, or rather non-be-ness. The “incomprehensible nothingness”. Sat, the immutable, eternal, ever-present, and the one real “Be-ness” (not Being) is spoken of as being “ Born of Asat, and Asat begotten by Sat”. The unreal, or Prakriti, objective nature regarded as an illusion. Nature, or the illusive shadow of its one true essence.
Asathor (Scand.). The same as Thor. The god of storms and thunder, a hero who receives Miölnir, the “storm-hammer”, from its fabricators, the dwarfs. With it he conquer Alwin in a “battle of words” breaks the head of the giant Hrungir, chastises Loki for his magic; destroys the whole race of giants in Thrymheim; and, as a good and benevolent god, sets up therewith land-marks, sanctifies marriage bonds, blesses law and order, and produces every good and terrific feat with its help. A god in the Eddas, who is almost as great as Odin. (See “Miölnir” and “Thor’s Hammer”.)
Asava Samkhaya (Pali). The “finality of the stream”, one of the six “Abhijnâs” (q.v.). A phenomenal knowledge of the finality of the stream of life and the series of re-births.
Asburj. One of the legendary peaks in the Teneriffe range. A great mountain in the traditions of Iran which corresponds in its allegorical meaning to the World-mountain, Meru. Asburj is that mount “at the foot of which the sun sets”.
Asch Metzareph (Heb.). The Cleansing Fire, a Kabbalistic treatise, treating of Alchemy and the relation between the metals and the planets. [w.w.w]
Ases (Scand.). The creators of the Dwarfs and Elves, the Elementals below men, in the Norse lays. They are the progeny of Odin; the same as the Ćsir.
Asgard (Scand.). The kingdom and the habitat of the Norse gods, the Scandinavian Olympus ; situated “higher than the Home of the Light-Elves”, but on the same plane as Jotunheim, the home of the Jotuns, the wicked giants versed in magic, with whom the gods are at eternal war. It is evident that the gods of Asgard are the same as the Indian Suras (gods) and the Jotuns as the Asuras, both representing the conflicting powers of nature—beneficent and maleficent. They are the prototypes also of the Greek gods and the Titans.
Ash (Heb.). Fire, whether physical or symbolical fire; also found written in English as As, Aish and Esch.
Ashen and Langhan (Kolarian). Certain ceremonies for casting out evil spirits, akin to those of exorcism with the Christians, in use with the Kolarian tribes in India.
Asherah (Heb.). A word, which occurs in the Old Testament, and is commonly translated “groves” referring to idolatrous worship, but it is probable that it really referred to ceremonies of sexual depravity; it is a feminine noun. [w.w.w.]
Ashmog (Zend). The Dragon or Serpent, a monster with a camel’s neck in the Avesta; a kind of allegorical Satan, who after the Fall, “lost its nature and its name”. Called in the old Hebrew (Kabbalistic) texts the “flying camel”; evidently a reminiscence or tradition in both cases of the prehistoric or antediluvian monsters, half bird, half reptile,
Ashtadisa (Sk.). The eight-faced space. An imaginary division of space represented as an octagon and at other times as a dodecahedron.
Ashta Siddhis (Sk.). The eight consummations in the practice of Hatha Yoga.
Ashtar Vidyâ (Sk.). The most ancient of the Hindu works on Magic. Though there is a claim that the entire work is in the hands of some Occultists, yet the Orientalists deem it lost. A very few fragments of it are now extant, and even these are very much disfigured.
Ash Yggdrasil (Scand.). The “Mundane Tree”, the Symbol of the World with the old Norsemen, the “tree of the universe, of time and of life”. It is ever green, for the Norns of Fate sprinkle It daily with the water of life from the fountain of Urd, which flows in Midgard. The dragon Nidhogg gnaws its roots incessantly, the dragon of Evil and Sin; but the Ash Yggdrasil cannot wither, until the Last Battle (the Seventh Race in the Seventh Round) is fought, when life, time, and the world will all vanish and disappear.
Asiras (Sk.). Elementals without heads; lit., “headless” ; used also of the first two human races.
Asita (Sk.). A proper name; a son of Bharata; a Rishi and a Sage.
Ask (Scand.) or Ash tree. The “tree of Knowledge”. Together with the Embla (alder) the Ask was the tree from which the gods of Asgard created the first man.
Aski-kataski-haix-tetrax-damnameneus-aision. These mystic words, which Athanasius Kircher tells us meant “ Darkness, Light, Earth, Sun, and Truth”, were, says Hesychius, engraved upon the zone or belt of the Diana of Ephesus. Plutarch says that the priests used to recite these words over persons who were possessed by devils. [w.w.w.]
Asmodeus. The Persian Aęshma-dev, the Esham-dev of the Parsis, “the evil Spirit of Concupiscence”, according to Bréal, whom the Jews appropriated under the name of Ashmedai, “the Destroyer ”, the Talmud identifying the creature with Beelzebub and Azrael (Angel of Death), and calling him the “ King of the Devils ”.
Asmoneans. Priest-kings of Israel whose dynasty reigned over the Jews for 126 years. They promulgated the Canon of the Mosaic Testament in contradistinction to the “Apocrypha” (q.v.) or Secret Books of the Alexandrian Jews, the Kabbalists, and maintained the dead-letter meaning of the former. Till the time of John Hyrcanus, they were Ascedeans (Chasidim) and Pharisees; but later they became Sadducees or Zadokites, asserters of Sacerdotal rule as contradistinguished from Rabbinical.
Asoka (Sk.). A celebrated Indian king of the Môrya dynasty which reigned at Magadha. There were two Asokas in reality, according to the chronicles of Northern Buddhism, though the first Asoka—the grand father of the second, named by Prof. Max Muller the “Constantine of India”, was better known by his name of Chandragupta. It is the former who was called, Piadasi (Pali) “the beautiful”, and Devânam-piya “the beloved of the gods”, and also Kâlâsoka; while the name of his grandson was Dharmâsôká—the Asoka of the good law-—on account of his devotion to Buddhism. Moreover, according to the same source, the second Asoka had never followed the Brahmanical faith, but was a Buddhist born. It was his grandsire who had been first converted to the new faith, after which he had a number of edicts inscribed on pillars and rocks, a custom followed also by his grandson. But it was the second Asoka who was the most zealous supporter of Buddhism; he, who maintained in his palace from 60 to 70,000 monks and priests, who erected 84,000 totes and stupas throughout India, reigned 36 years, and sent missions to Ceylon, and throughout the world. The inscriptions of various edicts published by him display most noble ethical sentiments, especially the edict at Allahahad, on the so-called “Asoka’s column ”, in the Fort. The sentiments are lofty and poetical, breathing tenderness for animals as well as men, and a lofty view of a king’s mission with regard to his people, that might be followed with great success in the present age of cruel wars and barbarous vivisection.
Asomatous (Gr.). Lit., without a material body, incorporeal; used of celestial Beings and Angels.
Asrama (Sk.). A sacred building, a monastery or hermitage for ascetic purposes. Every sect in India has its Ashrams.
Assassins. A masonic and mystic order founded by Hassan Sabah in Persia, in the eleventh century. The word is a European perversion of “Hassan”, which forms the chief part of the name. They were simply Sufis and addicted, according to the tradition, to hascheesl-eating, in order to bring about celestial visions. As shown by our late brother, Kenneth Mackenzie, “they were teachers of the secret doctrines of Islamism; they encouraged mathematics and philosophy, and produced many valuable works. The chief of the Order was called Sheik-el-Jebel, translated the ‘Old Man of the Mountains’, and, as their Grand Master, he possessed power of life and death.’
Assorus (Chald.). The third group of progeny (Kissan and Assorus) from the Babylonian Duad, Tauthe and Apason, according to the Theogonies of Damascius. From this last emanated three others, of which series the last, Aus, begat Belus—“the fabricator of the World, the Demiurgus”.
Assur (Chald.). A city in Assyria ; the ancient seat of a library from which George Smith excavated the earliest known tablets, to which he assigns a date about 1500 B.C., called Assur Kileh Shergat.
Assurbanipal (Chald.). The Sardanapalus of the Greeks, “the greatest of the Assyrian Sovereigns, far more memorable on account of his magnificent patronage of learning than of the greatness of his empire”, writes the late G. Smith, and adds: “Assurbanipal added more to the Assyrian royal library than all the kings who had gone before him”. As the distinguished Assyriologist tells us in another place of his “Babylonian and Assyrian Literature” (Chald. Account of Genesis) that “the majority of the texts preserved belong to the earlier period previous to B.C. 1600”, and yet asserts that “it is to tablets written in his (Assurbanipal’s) reign (B.C. 673) that we owe almost all our knowledge of the Babylonian early history”, one is well justified in asking, “How do you know?”
Assyrian Holy Scriptures. Orientalists show seven such books: the Books of Mamit, of Worship, of Interpretations, of Going to Hades; two Prayer Books (Kanmagarri and Kanmikri: Talbot)
and the Kantolite, the lost Assyrian Psalter.
Assyrian Tree of Life. “Asherah” (q.v.). It is translated in the Bible by “grove ” and occurs 30 times. It is called an “idol”; and Maachah, the grandmother of Asa, King of Jerusalem, is accused of having made for herself such an idol, which was a lingham. For centuries this was a religious rite in Judća. But the original Asherah was a pillar with seven branches on each side surmounted by a globular flower with three projecting rays, and no phallic stone, as the Jews made of it, but a metaphysical symbol. “Merciful One, who dead to life raises! was the prayer uttered before the Asherah, on the banks of the Euphrates. The “Merciful One”, was neither the personal god of the Jews who brought the “grove” from their captivity, nor any extra- cosmic god, but the higher triad in man symbolized by the globular flower with its three rays.
Asta-dasha (Sk.). Perfect, Supreme Wisdom; a title of Deity.
Aster’t (Heb.). Astarte, the Syrian goddess the consort of Adon, or Adonai.
Astrća (Gr.). The ancient goddess of justice, whom the wickedness of men drove away from earth to heaven, wherein she now dwells as the constellation Virgo.
Astral Body, or Astral “Double”. The ethereal counterpart or shadow of man or animal. The Linga Sharira, the “Doppelgäinger”. The reader must not confuse it with the ASTRAL SOUL, another name for the lower Manas, or Kama-Manas so-called, the reflection of the HIGHER EGO.
Light (Occult) The invisible region that surrounds our globe, as it does every
other, and corresponding as the second Principle of Kosmos (the third being
Life, of which it is the vehicle) to the Linga Sharira or the Astral Double in
man. A subtle Essence visible only to a clairvoyant eye, and the lowest but one
(viz., the earth), of the Seven Akâsic or Kosmic Principles. Eliphas Levi calls
it the great Serpent and the Dragon from which radiates on Humanity every evil
influence. This is so; but why not add that the Astral Light gives out nothing
but what it has received; that it is the great terrestrial crucible, in which
the vile emanations of the earth (moral and physical) upon which the Astral Light
is fed, are all converted into their subtlest essence, and radiated back
intensified, thus becoming epidemics— moral, psychic and physical. Finally, the
Astral Light is the same as the Sidereal Light of Paracelsus and other Hermetic
philosophers. “Physically, it is the ether of modern science. Metaphysically,
and in its spiritual, or occult sense, ether is a great deal more than is often
imagined. In occult physics, and alchemy, it is well demonstrated to enclose
within its shoreless waves not only Mr. Tyndall’s ‘promise and potency of every
quality of life’, but also the realization of the potency of every quality of
spirit. Alchemists and Hermetists believe that their astral, or sidereal ether,
besides the above properties of sulphur, and white and red magnesia, or magnes,
is the anima mundi, the workshop of Nature and of all the Kosmos, spiritually,
as well as physically. The ‘grand magisterium’ asserts itself in the phenomenon
of mesmerism, in the ‘levitation’ of human and inert objects; and may be called
the ether from its spiritual aspect. The designation astral is ancient, and was
used by some of the Neo-platonists, although it is claimed by some that the
word was coined by the Martinists. Porphyry describes the celestial body which
is always joined with the soul as ‘immortal, luminous, and star-like’. The root
of this word may be found, perhaps, in the Scythic Aist-aer—which means star,
or the Assyrian Istar, which, according to Burnouf has the same sense.” (
Astrolatry (Gr.). Worship of the Stars.
Astrology (Gr.) The Science which defines the action of celestial bodies upon mundane affairs, and claims to foretell future events from the position of the stars. Its antiquity is such as to place it among the very earliest records of human learning. It remained for long ages a secret science in the East, and its final expression remains so to this day, its exoteric application having been brought to any degree of perfection in the West only during the period of time since Varaha Muhira wrote his book on Astrology some 1400 years ago. Claudius Ptolemy, the famous geographer and mathematician, wrote his treatise Tetrabiblos about 135 A.D., which is still the basis of modern astrology. The science of Horoscopy is studied now chiefly under four heads: viz., (1) Mundane, in its application to meteorology, seismology, husbandry, etc. (2) State or civic, in regard to the fate of nations, kings and rulers. (3) Horary, in reference to the solving of doubts arising in the mind upon any subject. (4) Genethliacal, in its application to the fate of individuals from the moment of their birth to their death. The Egyptians and the Chaldees were among the most ancient votaries of Astrology, though their modes of reading the stars and the modern practices differ considerably. The former claimed that Belus, the Bel or Elu of the Chaldees, a scion of the divine Dynasty, or the Dynasty of the king-gods, had belonged to the land of Chemi, and had left it, to found a colony from Egypt on the banks of the Euphrates, where a temple ministered by priests in the service of the “lords of the stars” was built, the said priests adopting the name of Chaldees. Two things are known: (a) that Thebes (in Egypt) claimed the honour of the invention of Astrology; and (b) that it was the Chaldees who taught that science to the other nations. Now Thebes antedated considerably not only “Ur of the Chaldees”, but also Nipur, where Bel was first worshipped—Sin, his son (the moon), being the presiding deity of Ur, the land of the nativity of Terah, the Sabean and Astrolatrer, and of Abram, his son, the great Astrologer of biblical tradition. All tends, therefore, to corroborate the Egyptian claim. If later on the name of Astrologer fell into disrepute in Rome and elsewhere, it was owing to the fraud of those who wanted to make money by means of that which was part and parcel of the sacred Science of the Mysteries, and, ignorant of the latter, evolved a system based entirely upon mathematics, instead of on transcendental metaphysics and having the physical celestial bodies as its upadhi or material basis. Yet, all persecutions notwithstanding, the number of the adherents of Astrology among the most intellectual and scientific minds was always very great. If Cardan and Kepler were among its ardent supporters, then its later votaries have nothing to blush for, even in its now imperfect and distorted form. As said in Isis Unveiled (1. 259): “Astrology is to exact astronomy what psychology is to exact physiology. In astrology and psychology one has to step beyond the visible world of matter, and enter into the domain of transcendent spirit.” (See “ Astronomos.”)
Astronomos (Gr.). The title given to the Initiate in the Seventh Degree of the reception of the Mysteries. In days of old, Astronomy was synonymous with Astrology; and the great Astrological Initiation took place in Egypt at Thebes, where the priests perfected, if they did not wholly invent the science. Having passed through the degrees of Pastophoros, Neocoros, Melanophoros, Kistophoros, and Balahala (the degree of Chemistry of the Stars), the neophyte was taught the mystic signs of the Zodiac, in a circle dance representing the course of the planets (the dance of Krishna and the Gopis, celebrated to this day in Rajputana); after which he received a cross, the Tau (or Tat), becoming an Astronomos and a Healer. (See Isis Unveiled. Vol. II. 365). Astronomy and Chemistry were inseparable in these studies. “Hippocrates had so lively a faith in the influence of the stars on animated beings, and on their diseases, that he expressly recommends not to trust to physicians who are ignorant of astronomy.’ (Arago.) Unfortunately the key to the final door of Astrology or Astronomy is lost by the modern Astrologer; and without it, how can he ever be able to answer the pertinent remark made by the author of Mazzaroth, who writes: “people are said to be born under one sign, while in reality they are born under another, because the sun is now seen among different stars at the equinox ”? Nevertheless, even the few truths he does know brought to his science such eminent and scientific believers as Sir Isaac Newton, Bishops Jeremy and Hall, Archbishop Usher, Dryden, Flamstead, Ashmole, John Milton, Steele, and a host of noted Rosicrucians.
Asura Mazda (Sk.). In the Zend, Ahura Mazda. The same as Ormuzd or Mazdeô; the god of Zoroaster and the Parsis.
Asuramaya (Sk.) Known also as Mayâsura. An Atlantean astronomer, considered as a great magician and sorcerer, well-known in Sanskrit works.
Asuras (Sk.). Exoterically, elementals and evil, gods—considered maleficent; demons, and no gods. But esoterically—the reverse. For in the most ancient portions of the Rig Veda, the term is used for the Supreme Spirit, and therefore the Asuras are spiritual and divine It is only in the last book of the
Rig Veda, its latest part, and in the Atharva Veda, and the Brâhmanas, that the epithet, which had been given to Agni, the greatest Vedic Deity, to Indra and Varuna, has come to signify the reverse of gods. Asu means breath, and it is with his breath that Prajâpati (Brahmâ) creates the Asuras. When ritualism and dogma got the better of the Wisdom religion, the initial letter a was adopted as a negative prefix, and the term ended by signifying “not a god”, and Sura only a deity. But in the Vedas the Suras have ever been connected with Surya, the sun, and regarded as inferior deities, devas.
Aswamedha (Sk.) The Horse-sacrifice; an ancient Brahmanical ceremony.
Aswattha (Sk.) The Bo-tree, the tree of knowledge, ficus religiosa.
Aswins (Sk.), or Aswinau, dual ; or again, Aswinî-Kumârau, are the most mysterious and occult deities of all; who have “puzzled the oldest commentators”. Literally, they are the “Horsemen”, the “divine charioteers”, as they ride in a golden car drawn by horses or birds or animals, and “are possessed of many forms”. They are two Vedic deities, the twin sons of the sun and the sky, which becomes the nymph Aswini. In mythological symbolism they are “the bright harbingers of Ushas, the dawn”, who are “ever young and handsome, bright, agile, swift as falcons”, who “prepare the way for the brilliant dawn to those who have patiently awaited through the night”. They are also called time “physicians of Swarga” (or Devachan), inasmuch as they heal every pain and suffering, and cure all diseases. Astronomically, they are asterisms. They were enthusiastically worshipped, as their epithets show. They are the “Ocean-born” (i.e., space born) or Abdhijau, “crowned with lotuses” or Pushhara-srajam, etc., etc. Yâska, the commentator in the Nirukta, thinks that “the Aswins represent the transition from darkness to light ”—cosmically, and we may add, metaphysically, also. But Muir and Goldstücker are inclined to see in them ancient “horsemen of great renown”, because, forsooth, of the legend “that the gods refused the Aswins admittance to a sacrifice on the ground that they had been on too familiar terms with men”. Just so, because as explained by the same Yâska “they are identified with heaven and earth”, only for quite a different reason. Truly they are like the Ribhus, “originally renowned mortals (but also non-renowned occasionally) who in the course of time are translated into the companionship of gods”; and they show a negative character, “the result of the- alliance of light with darkness”, simply because these twins are, in the esoteric philosophy, the Kumâra-Egos, the reincarnating “Principles” in this Manvantara.
Atala (Sk). One of the regions in the Hindu lokas, and one of the seven mountains; but esoterically Atala is on an astral plane, and was, once on a time, a real island upon this earth.
Atalanta Fugiens (Lat.). A famous treatise by the eminent Rosicrucian Michael Maier; it has many beautiful engravings of Alchemic symbolism: here is to be found the original of the picture of a man and woman within a circle, a triangle around it, then a square: the inscription is, “From the first ens proceed two contraries, thence come the three principles, and from them the four elementary states ; if you separate the pure from the impure you will have the stone of the Philosophers”. [ w.w.w.]
Atarpi (Chald.), or Atarpi-nisi, the “man”. A personage who was “pious to the gods”; and who prayed the god Hea to remove the evil of drought and other things before the Deluge is sent. The story is found on one of the most ancient Babylonian tablets, and relates to the sin of the world. In the words of G. Smith “the god Elu or Bel calls together an assembly of the gods, his sons, and relates to them that he is angry at the sin of the world”; and in the fragmentary phrases of the tablet: “ . . . . I made them . . . . Their wickedness I am angry at, their punishment shall not be small . . . . let food be exhausted, above let Vul drink up his rain”, etc., etc. In answer to Atarpi’s prayer the god Hea announces his resolve to destroy the people he created, which he does finally by a deluge.
Atash Behram (Zend). The sacred fire of the Parsis, preserved perpetually in their fire-temples.
Atef (Eg.), or Crown of Horus. It consisted of a tall white cap with ram’s horns, and the urśus in front. Its two feathers represent the two truths—life and death.
Athamaz (Heb.). The same as Adonis with the Greeks, the Jews having borrowed all their gods.
Athanor (Occult.) The “astral” fluid of the Alchemists, their Archimedean lever; exoterically, the furnace of the Alchemist.
Atharva Veda (Sk.) The fourth Veda; lit., magic incantation containing aphorisms, incantations and magic formula One of the most ancient and revered Books of the Brahmans.
Athenagoras (Gr.) A Platonic philosopher of Athens, who wrote a Greek Apology for the Christians in A.D. 177, addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, to prove that the accusations brought against them, namely that they were incestuous and ate murdered children, were untrue.
Athor (Eg.) “Mother Night.” Primeval Chaos, in the Egyptian cosmogony. The goddess of night.
Atîvahikâs (Sk.) With the Visishtadwaitees, these are the Pitris, or Devas, who help the disembodied soul or Jiva in its transit from its dead body to Paramapadha.
Atlantidć (Gr.) The ancestors of the Pharaohs and the forefathers of the Egyptians, according to some, and as the Esoteric Science teaches. (See S.D., Vol. II., and Esoteric Buddhism.) Plato heard of this highly civilized people, the last remnant of which was submerged 9,000 years before his day, from Solon, who had it from the High Priests of Egypt. Voltaire, the eternal scoffer, was right in stating that “the Atlantidć (our fourth Root Race) made their appearance in Egypt It was in Syria and in Phrygia, as well as Egypt, that they established the worship of the Sun.” Occult philosophy teaches that the Egyptians were a remnant of the last Aryan Atlantidć.
Atlantis (Gr.) The continent that was submerged in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans according to the secret teachings and Plato.
Atmâ (or Atman) (Sk.). The Universal Spirit, the divine Monad, the 7th Principle, so-called, in the septenary constitution of man. The Supreme Soul.
Atma-bhu (Sk.). Soul-existence, or existing as soul. (See “Alaya”.)
Atmabodha (Sk.). Lit., “Self-knowledge”; the title of a Vedantic treatise by Sankârachârya.
Atma-jnâni (Sk.) The Knower of the World-Soul, or Soul in general.
Atma-matrasu (Sk.) To enter into the elements of the “One-Self”. (See S. D. I.,334 Atmamâtra is the spiritual atom, as contrasted with, and opposed to, the elementary differentiated atom or molecule.
Atma Vidyâ (Sk.). The highest form of spiritual knowledge; lit., “Soul-knowledge”.
Atri, Sons of (Sk.). A class of Pitris, the “ancestors of man”, or the so-called Prâjapâti, “progenitors”; one of the seven Rishis who form the constellation of the Great Bear.
Attavada (Pali). The sin of personality.
Atyantika (Sk.) One of the four kinds of pralaya or dissolution. The “absolute” pralaya.
Atziluth (Heb.) The highest of the Four Worlds of the Kabbalah referred only to the pure Spirit of God. [w. w. w.] See “Aziluth” for another interpretation.
Audlang (Scand.). The second heaven made by Deity above the field of Ida, in the Norse legends.
Audumla (Scand.) The Cow of Creation, the “nourisher”, from which flowed four streams of milk which fed the giant Ymir or Örgelmir (matter in ebullition) and his sons, the Hrimthurses (Frost giants), before the appearance of gods or men. Having nothing to graze upon she licked the salt of the ice-rocks and thus produced Buri, “the Producer” in his turn, who had a son Bör (the born) who married a daughter of the Frost Giants, and had three sons, Odin (Spirit), Wili (Will), and We (Holy). The meaning of the allegory is evident. It is the precosmic union of the elements, of Spirit, or the creative Force, with Matter, cooled and still seething, which it forms in accordance with universal Will. Then the Ases, “the pillars and supports of the World” (Cosmocratores), step in and create as All-father wills them.
Augoeides (Gr.). Bulwer Lytton calls it the “Luminous Self ”, or our Higher Ego. But Occultism makes of it something distinct from this. It is a mystery. The Augocides is the luminous divine radiation of the EGO which, when incarnated, is but its shadow—pure as it is yet. This is explained in the Amshaspends and their Ferouers.
Aum (Sk.). The sacred syllable; the triple-lettered unit; hence the trinity in One.
Aura (Gr. and Lat.). A subtle invisible essence or fluid that emanates from human and animal bodies and even things. It is a psychic effluvium, partaking of both the mind and the body, as it is the electro-vital, and at the same time an electro-mental aura; called in Theosophy the âkâsic or magnetic aura.
Aurnavâbha (Sk.) An ancient Sanskrit commentator.
Aurva (Sk.). The Sage who is credited with the invention of the “fiery weapon” called Agneyâstra.
Ava-bodha (Sk.). “Mother of Knowledge.” A title of Aditi.
Avâivartika (Sk.) An epithet of every Buddha: lit., one who turns no more back; who goes straight to Nirvâna.
Avalokiteswara (Sk.) “The on-looking Lord” In the exoteric interpretation, he is Padmapâni (the lotus bearer and the lotus-born) in Tibet, the first divine ancestor of the Tibetans, the complete incarnation or Avatar of Avalokiteswara; but in esoteric philosophy Avaloki, the “on-looker”, is the Higher Self, while Padmapâni is the Higher Ego or Manas. The mystic formula “Om mani padme hum” is specially used to invoke their joint help. While popular fancy claims for Avalokiteswara many incarnations on earth, and sees in him, not very wrongly, the spiritual guide of every believer, the esoteric interpretation sees in him the Logos, both celestial and human. Therefore, when the Yogâchârya School has declared Avalokiteswara as Padmâpani “to be the Dhyâni Bodhisattva of Amitâbha Buddha”, it is indeed, because the former is the spiritual reflex in the world of forms of the latter, both being one—one in heaven, the other on earth.
Avarasâila Sanghârama (Sk.). Lit., the School of the Dwellers on the western mountain. A celebrated Vihâra (monastery) in Dhana-kstchâka, according to Eitel, “built 600 B.C., and deserted A.D. 600”.
Avastan (Sk.) An ancient name for Arabia.
Avasthas (Sk.) States, conditions, positions.
Avatâra (Sk.) Divine incarnation. The descent of a god or some exalted Being, who has progressed beyond the necessity of Rebirths, into the body of a simple mortal. Krishna was an avatar of Vishnu. The Dalai Lama is regarded as an avatar of Avalokiteswara, and the Teschu Lama as one of Tson-kha-pa, or Amitâbha. There are two kinds of avatars: those born from woman, and the parentless, the anupapâdaka.
Avebury or Abury. In Wiltshire are the remains of an ancient megalithic Serpent temple: according to the eminent antiquarian Stukeley, 1740, there are traces of two circles of stones and two avenues ; the whole has formed the representation of a serpent. [w.w.w.]
Avesta (Zend). Lit., “the Law”. From the old Persian Âbastâ, “the law”. The sacred Scriptures of the Zoroastrians. Zend means in the “Zend-Avesta”—a “commentary” or “interpretation”. It is an error to regard “ Zend” as a language, as “it was applied only to explanatory texts, to the translations of the Avesta”(Darmsteter).
Avicenna. The latinized name of Abu-Ali al Hoséen ben Abdallah Ibn Sina; a Persian philosopher, born 980 AD)., though generally referred to as an Arabian doctor. On account of his surprising learning he was called “the Famous”, and was the author of the best and the first alchemical works known in Europe. All the Spirits of the Elements were subject to him, so says the legend, and it further tells us that owing to his knowledge of the Elixir of Life, he still lives, as an adept who will disclose himself to the profane at the end of a certain cycle.
Avidyâ (Sk.). Opposed to Vidyâ, Knowledge. Ignorance which proceeds from, and is produced by the illusion of the Senses or Viparyaya.
Avikâra (Sk.). Free from degeneration; changeless—used of Deity.
Avitchi (Sk.) A state: not necessarily after death only or between two births, for it can take place on earth as well. Lit., “uninterrupted hell”. The last of the eight hells, we are told, “where the culprits die and are reborn without interruption—yet not without hope of final redemption. This is because Avitchi is another name for Myalba (our earth) and also a state to which some soulless men are condemned on this physical plane.
Avyakta (Sk.). The unrevealed cause; indiscrete or undifferentiated; the opposite of Vyakta, the differentiated. The former is used of the unmanifested, and the latter of the manifested Deity, or of Brahma and Brahmâ.
Axieros (Gr.). One of the Kabiri.
Axiocersa (Gr.). " "
Axiocersus (Gr.). " "
Ayana (Sk.) A period of time; two Ayanas complete a year, one being the period of the Sun’s progress northward, and the other south ward in the ecliptic.
Ayin (Heb.). Lit., “Nothing”, whence the name of Ain-Soph. (See“Ain”.)
Aymar, Jacques. A famous Frenchman who had great success in the use of the Divining Rod about the end of the 17th century; he was often employed in detecting criminals; two M.D’s of the University of Paris, Chauvin and Garnier reported on the reality of his powers. See Colquhoun on Magic. [ w.w.w.]
Ayur Veda (Sk.). Lit., “the Veda of Life”.
Ayuta (Sk.). 100 Kôti, or a sum equal to 1,000,000,000.
Azareksh (Zend) A place celebrated for a fire-temple of the Zoroastrians and Magi during the time of Alexander the Great.
Azazel (Heb.) “God of Victory”; the scape-goat for the sins of Israel. He who comprehends the mystery of Azazel, says Aben-Ezra, “will learn the mystery of God’s name”, and truly. See “Typhon” and the scape-goat made sacred to him in ancient Egypt.
Azhi-Dahaka (Zend) One of the Serpents or Dragons in the legends of Iran and the Avesta Scriptures, the allegorical destroying Serpent or Satan.
Aziluth (Heb.) The name for the world of the Sephiroth, called the world of Emanations Olam Aziluth. It is the great and the highest prototype of the other worlds. “Atzeelooth is the Great Sacred Seal by means of which all the worlds are copied which have impressed on themselves the image on the Seal; and as this Great Seal comprehends three stages, which are three zures (prototypes) of Nephesh (the Vital Spirit or Soul), Ruach (the moral and reasoning Spirit), and the Neshamah (the Highest Soul of man), so the Sealed have also received three zures, namely Breeah, Yetzeerah, and Aseeyah, and these three zures are only one in the Seal” (Myer’s Qabbalah). The globes A, Z, of our terrestial chain are in Aziluth. (See Secret Doctrine.)
Azoth (Alch.). The creative principle in Nature, the grosser portion of which is stored in the Astral Light. It is symbolized by a figure which is a cross (See “Eliphas Lévi”), the four limbs of which bear each one letter of the word Taro, which can be read also Rota, Ator, and in many other combinations, each of which has an occult meaning.
A. and ? Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and ending of all active existence; the Logos, hence (with the Christians) Christ. See Rev. xxi, 6., where John adopts “Alpha and Omega” as the symbol of a Divine Comforter who “will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely”. The word Azot or Azoth is a medićval glyph of this idea, for the word consists of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, A and ? of the Latin alphabet, A and Z, and of the Hebrew alphabet, A and T, or aleph and tau. (See also “Azoth”.) [ w.w.w.]
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