Writings of H P Blavatsky


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Helena Petrovna Blavatsky  (1831 – 1891)

The Founder of Modern Theosophy



The Death of

Art and Beauty


H P Blavatsky


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In an interview with the celebrated Hungarian violinist, M.

Remenyi, the Pall Mall Gazette reporter makes the artist narrate

some very interesting experiences in the Far East. "I was the first

European artist who ever played before the Mikado of Japan," he

said; and reverting to that which has ever been a matter of deep

regret for every lover of the artistic and the picturesque, the

violinist added:


On August 8th, 1886, I appeared before His Majesty – a day

memorable, unfortunately, for the change of costume commanded by

the Empress. She herself, abandoning the exquisite beauty of the

feminine Japanese costume, appeared on that day for the first time

and at my concert in European costume, and it made my heart ache

to see her. I could have greeted her had I dared with a long wail

of despair upon my travelled violin. Six ladies accompanied her,

they themselves being clad in their native costume, and walking

with infinite grace and charm.


Alas, alas, but this is not all! The Mikado – this hitherto

sacred, mysterious, invisible and unreachable personage:

The Mikado himself was in the uniform of a European general!

At that time the Court etiquette was so strict, my accompanist was

not permitted into His Majesty's drawing room, and this was told

me beforehand. I had a good remplacement, as my ambassador, Count

Zaluski, who had been a pupil of Liszt, was able himself to

accompany me. You will be astonished when I tell you that, having

chosen for the first piece in the programme my transcription for

the violin, of a C sharp minor polonaise by Chopin, a musical

piece of the most intrinsic value and poetic depths, the Emperor,

when I had finished, intimated to Count Ito, his first minister,

that I should play it again. The Japanese taste is good. I was

laden with presents of untold value, one item only being a

gold-lacquer box of the seventeenth century. I played in Hong Kong

and outside Canton, no European being allowed to live inside.

There I made an interesting excursion to the Portuguese possession

of Macao, visiting the cave where Camoëns wrote his Lusiad. It was

very interesting to see outside the Chinese town of Macao a

European Portuguese town which to this very day has remained

unchanged since the sixteenth century. In the midst of the

exquisite tropical vegetation of Java, and despite the terrific

heat, I gave sixty-two concerts in sixty-seven days, travelling

all over the island, inspecting its antiquities, the chief of

which is a most wonderful Buddhist temple, the Boro Budhur, or

Many Buddhas. This building contains six miles of figures, and is

a solid pile of stone, larger than the pyramids. They have, these

Javans, an extraordinarily sweet orchestra in the national

Samelang which consists of percussion instruments played by

eighteen people; but to hear this orchestra, with its most weird

Oriental chorus and ecstatic dances, one must have had the

privilege of being invited by the Sultan of Solo, "Sole Emperor of

the World." I have seen and heard nothing more dreamy and poetic

than the Serimpis danced by nine Royal Princesses.


Where are the Æsthetes of a few years ago? Or was this little

confederation of the lovers of art but one of the soap-bubbles of

our fin de siècle, rich in promise and suggestion of many a

possibility, but dead in works and act? Or, if there are any true

lovers of art yet left among them, why do they not organize and send

out missionaries the world over, to tell picturesque Japan and other

countries ready to fall victims that, to imitate the

will-o'-the-wisp of European culture and fascination, means for a

non-Christian land, the committing of suicide; that it means

sacrificing one's individuality for an empty show and shadow; at

best it is to exchange the original and the picturesque for the

vulgar and the hideous. Truly and indeed it is high time that at

last something should be done in this direction, and before the

deceitful civilization of the conceited nations of but yesterday has

irretrievably hypnotized the older races, and made them succumb to

its upas-tree wiles and supposed superiority. Otherwise, old arts

and artistic creations, everything original and unique will very

soon disappear. Already national dresses and time-honoured customs,

and everything beautiful, artistic, and worth preservation is fast

disappearing from view. At no distant day, alas, the best relics of

the past will perhaps be found only in museums in sorry, solitary,

and be-ticketed samples preserved under glass!


Such is the work and the unavoidable result of our modern

civilization. Skin-deep in reality in its visible effects, in the

"blessings" it is alleged to have given to the world, its roots are

rotten to the core. It is to its progress that selfishness and

materialism, the greatest curses of the nations, are due; and the

latter will most surely lead to the annihilation of art and of the

appreciation of the truly harmonious and beautiful. Hitherto,

materialism has only led to a universal tendency to unification on

the material plane and a corresponding diversity on that of thought

and spirit. It is this universal tendency, which by propelling

humanity, through its ambition and selfish greed, to an incessant

chase after wealth and the obtaining at any price of the supposed

blessings of this life, causes it to aspire or rather gravitate to

one level, the lowest of all – the plane of empty appearance.


Materialism and indifference to all save the selfish realization of

wealth and power, and the over-feeding of national and personal

vanity, have gradually led nations and men to the almost entire

oblivion of spiritual ideals, of the love of nature, to the correct

appreciation of things. Like a hideous leprosy our Western

civilization has eaten its way through all the quarters of the globe

and hardened the human heart. "Soul-saving" is its deceitful, lying

pretext; greed for additional revenue through opium, rum, and the

inoculation of European vices – the real aim. In the far East it has

infected with the spirit of imitation the higher classes of the

"pagans" – save China, whose national conservatism deserves our

respect; and in Europe it has engrafted fashion – save the mark –

even on the dirty, starving proletariat itself! For the last thirty

years, as if some deceitful semblance of a reversion to the

ancestral type – awarded to men by the Darwinian theory in its moral

added to its physical characteristics – were contemplated by an evil

spirit tempting mankind, almost every race and nation under the Sun

in Asia has gone mad in its passion for aping Europe. This, added to

the frantic endeavor to destroy Nature in every direction, and also

every vestige of older civilizations – far superior to our own in

arts, godliness, and the appreciation of the grandiose and

harmonious – must result in such national calamities. Therefore, do

we find hitherto artistic and picturesque Japan succumbing wholly to

the temptation of justifying the "ape theory" by simianizing its

populations in order to bring the country on a level with canting,

greedy and artificial Europe!


For certainly Europe is all this. It is canting and deceitful

from its diplomats down to its custodians of religion, from its

political down to its social laws, selfish, greedy and brutal beyond

expression in its grabbing characteristics. And yet there are those

who wonder at the gradual decadence of true art, as if art could

exist without imagination, fancy, and a just appreciation of the

beautiful in Nature, or without poetry and high religious, hence,

metaphysical aspirations! The galleries of paintings and sculpture,

we hear, become every year poorer in quality, if richer in quantity.

It is lamented that while there is a plethora of ordinary

productions, the greatest scarcity of remarkable pictures and

statuary prevails. Is this not most evidently due to the facts that

(a) the artists will very soon remain with no better models than

nature morte (or "still life") to inspire themselves with; and (b)

that the chief concern is not the creation of artistic objects, but

their speedy sale and profits? Under such conditions, the fall of

true art is only a natural consequence.


Owing to the triumphant march and the invasion of civilization,

Nature, as well as man and ethics, is sacrificed, and is fast

becoming artificial. Climates are changing, and the face of the

whole world will soon be altered. Under the murderous hand of the

pioneers of civilization, the destruction of whole primeval forests

is leading to the drying up of rivers, and the opening of the Canal

of Suez has changed the climate of Egypt as that of Panama will

divert the course of the Gulf Stream. Almost tropical countries are

now becoming cold and rainy, and fertile lands threaten to be soon

transformed into sandy deserts. A few years more and there will not

remain within a radius of fifty miles around our large cities one

single rural spot inviolate-from vulgar speculation. In scenery, the

picturesque and the natural is daily replaced by the grotesque and

the artificial. Scarce a landscape in England but the fair body of

nature is desecrated by the advertisements of "Pears' Soap" and

"Beecham's Pills." The pure air of the country is polluted with

smoke, the smells of greasy railway-engines, and the sickening

odours of gin, whiskey, and beer. And once that every natural spot

in the surrounding scenery is gone, and the eye of the painter finds

but the artificial and hideous products of modern speculation to

rest upon, artistic taste will have to follow suit and disappear

along with them>


"No man ever did or ever will work well, but either from actual

sight or sight of faith," says Ruskin, speaking of art. Thus, the

first quarter of the coming century may witness painters of

landscapes, who have never seen an acre of land free from human

improvement; and painters of figures whose ideas of female beauty of

form will be based on the wasp-like pinched-in waists of corseted,

hollow-chested and consumptive society belles. It is not from such

models that a picture deserving of the definition of Horace – "a

poem without words" – is produced. Artificially draped Parisiennes

and London Cockneys sitting for Italian contadini or Arab Bedouins

can never replace the genuine article; and both free Bedouins and

genuine Italian peasant girls are, thanks to "civilization," fast

becoming things of the past. Where shall artists find genuine models

in the coming century, when the hosts of the free Nomads of the

Desert, and perchance all the Negro tribes of Africa – or what will

remain of them after their decimation by Christian cannons, and the

rum and opium of the Christian civilizer – will have donned European

coats and top hats? And that this is precisely what awaits art under

the beneficial progress of modern civilization, is self-evident to



Aye! let us boast of the blessings of civilization, by all

means. Let us brag of our sciences and the grand discoveries of the

age, its achievements in mechanical arts, its railroads, telephones

and electric batteries; but let us not forget, meanwhile, to

purchase at fabulous prices (almost as great as those given in our

day for a prize dog, or an old prima donna's song) the paintings and

statuary of uncivilized, barbarous antiquity and of the middle ages:

for such objects of art will be reproduced no more. Civilization has

tolled their eleventh hour. It has rung the death-knell of the old

arts, and the last decade of our century is summoning the world to

the funeral of all that was grand, genuine, and original in the old

civilizations. Would Raphael, O ye lovers of art, have created one

single of his many Madonnas, had he had, instead of Fornarina and

the once Juno-like women of the Trastevero of Rome to inspire his

genius, only the present-day models, or the niched Virgins of the

nooks and corners of modern Italy, in crinolines and high-heeled

boots? Or would Andrea del Sarto have produced his famous "Venus and

Cupid" from a modern East End working girl – one of the latest

victims to fashion – holding under the shadow of a gigantic hat a la

mousquetaire, feathered like the scalp of an Indian chief, a dirty,

scrofulous brat from the slums? How could Titian have ever

immortalized his golden-haired patrician ladies of Venice, had he

been compelled to move all his life in the society of our actual

"professional beauties," with their straw-colored, dyed capillaries

that transform human hair into the fur of a yellow Angora cat? May

not one venture to state with the utmost confidence that the world

would never have had the Athena Limnia of Phidias – that ideal of

beauty in face and form – had Aspasia, the Milesian, or the fair

daughters of Hellas, whether in the days of Pericles or in any

other, disfigured that "form" with stays and bustle, and coated that

"face" with white enamel, after the fashion of the varnished

features of the mummies of the dead Egyptians.


We see the same in architecture. Not even the genius of Michael

Angelo himself could have failed to receive its death-blow at the

first sight of the Eiffel Tower, or the Albert Hall, or more

horrible still, the Albert Memorial. Nor, for the matter of that,

could it have received any suggestive idea from the Colosseum and

the palace of the Cæsars, in their present whitewashed and repaired

state! Whither, then, shall we, in our days of civilization, go to

find the natural, or even simply the picturesque? Is it still to

Italy, to Switzerland or Spain? But the Bay of Naples – even if its

waters be as blue and transparent as on the day when the people of

Cumæ selected its shores for a colony, and its surrounding scenery

as gloriously beautiful as ever – thanks to that spirit of mimicry

which has infected sea and land, has now lost its most artistic and

most original features. It is bereft of its lazy, dirty, but

intensely picturesque figures of old; of its lazzaroni and

barcarolos, its fishermen and country girls. Instead of the former's

red or blue Phrygian cap, and the latter's statuesque, half-nude

figure and poetical rags, we see nowadays but the caricatured

specimens of modern civilization and fashion. The gay tarantella

resounds no longer on the cool sands of the moonlit shore; it is

replaced by that libel on Terpsychore, the modern quadrille, in the

gas-lit, gin-smelling sailor's trattorias. Filth still pervades the

land, as of yore; but it is made the more apparent on the threadbare

city coat, the mangled chimney-pot hat and the once fashionable, now

cast-away European bonnet. Picked up in the hotel gutters, they now

grace the unkempt heads of the once picturesque Neapolitans. The

type of the latter has died out, and there is nothing to distinguish

the lazzaroni from the Venetian gondoliere, the Calabrian brigand,

or the London street-sweeper and beggar. The still, sunlit waters of

Canal Grande bear no longer their gondolas, filled on festival days

with gaily dressed Venetians, with picturesque boatmen and girls.


The black gondola that glides silently under the heavy caned

balconies of the old patrician palazze, reminds one now more of a

black floating coffin, with a solemn-looking, dark-clothed

undertaker paddling it on towards the Styx, than of the gondola of

thirty years ago. Venice looks more gloomy now than during the days

of Austrian slavery from which it was rescued by Napoleon III. Once

on shore, its gondoliere is scarcely distinguishable from his

"fare," the British M.P. on his holiday-tour in the old city of the

Doges. Such is the levelling hand of all-destroying civilization.

It is the same all over Europe. Look at Switzerland. Hardly a

decade ago, every Canton had its distinguishing national costume, as

clean and fresh as it was peculiar. Now the people are ashamed to

wear it. They want to be mistaken for foreign guests, to be regarded

as a civilized nation which follows suit even in fashion. Cross over

to Spain. Of all the relics of old, the smell of rancid oil and

garlic is alone left to remind one of the poetry of the old days in

the country of the Cid. The graceful mantilla has almost

disappeared; the proud hidalgo-beggar has taken himself off from the

street-corner; the nightly serenades of love-sick Romeos are gone

out of fashion; and the duenna contemplates going in for woman's

rights. The members of the "Social Purity" Associations may say

"thank God" to this and lay the change at the door of Christian and

moral reforms of civilization. But has morality gained anything in

Spain with the disappearance of the nocturnal lovers and duennas? We

have every right to say, no. A Don Juan outside a house is less

dangerous than one inside. Social immorality is as rife as ever – if

not more so, in Spain, and it must be so, indeed, when even

"Harper's Guide Book" quotes in its last edition as follows: "Morals

in all classes, especially in the higher, are in the most degraded

state. Veils, indeed, are thrown aside, and serenades are rare, but

gallantry and intrigue are as active as ever. The men think little

of their married obligations; the women . . . are willing victims of

unprincipled gallantry." (Spain, "Madrid," page 678.) In this, Spain

is but on a par with all other countries civilized or now

civilizing, and is assuredly not worse than many another country

that could be named; but that which may be said of it with truth is,

that what it has lost in poetry through civilization, it has gained

in hypocrisy and loose morals. The Cortejo has turned into the petit

creve'; the castanets have become silent, because, perhaps, the

noise of the uncorked champagne bottles affords more excitement to

the rapidly civilizing nation; and the Andalouse au teint bruni

having taken to cosmetics and face-enamel, "la Marquesa d' Almedi"

may be said to have been buried with Alfred de Musset.


The gods have indeed been propitious to the Alhambra. They have

permitted it to be burnt before its chaste Moresque beauty had been

finally desecrated, as are the rock-cut temples of India, the

Pyramids and other relics, by drunken orgies. This superb relic of

the Moors had already suffered, once before, by Christian

improvement. It is a tradition still told in Granada, and history

too, that the monks of Ferdinand and Isabella had made of Alhambra

that "palace of petrified flowers dyed with the hues of the wings of

angels" – a filthy prison for thieves and murderers. Modern

speculators might have done worse; they might have polluted its

walls and pearl-inlaid ceilings, the lovely gilding and stucco, the

fairy-like arabesques, and the marble and gossamer-like carvings,

with commercial advertisements, after the Inquisitors had already

once before covered the building with whitewash and permitted the

prison-keepers to use Alhambra Halls for their donkeys and cattle.

Doubting but little that the fury of the Madrilenos for imitating

the French and English must have already, at this stage of modern

civilization, infected every province of Spain, we may regard that

lovely country as dead. A friend speaks, as an eye-witness, of

"cocktails" spilled near the marble fountain of the Alhambra, over

the blood-marks left by the hapless Abancerages slain by Boabdil,

and of a Parisian cancan pur sang performed by working girls and

soldiers of Granada, in the Court of Lions!


But these are only trifling signs of the time and the spread of

culture among the middle and the lower classes. Wherever the spirit

of aping possesses the heart of the nation – the poor working

classes – there the elements of nationality disappear and the

country is on the eve of losing its individuality and all things

change for the worse. What is the use of talking so loudly of "the

benefits of Christian civilization," of its having softened public

morals, refined national customs and manners, etc., etc., when our

modern civilization has achieved quite the reverse! Civilization has

depended, for ages, says Burke, "upon two principles . . . the

spirit of a gentleman and the spirit of religion." And how many true

gentlemen have we left, when compared even with the days of

half-barbarous knighthood? Religion has become canting hypocrisy and

the genuine religious spirit is regarded now-a-days as insanity.


Civilization, it is averred, "has destroyed brigandage, established

public security, elevated morality and built railways which now

honeycomb the face of the globe." Indeed? Let us analyze seriously

and impartially all these "benefits" and we shall soon find that

civilization has done nothing of the kind. At best it has put a

false nose on every evil of the Past, adding hypocrisy and false

pretence to the natural ugliness of each. If it is true to say that

it has put down in some civilized centers of Europe – near Rome, in

the Bois de Boulogne or on Hampstead Heath – banditti and

highway-men, it is also as true that it has, thereby, destroyed

robbery only as a specialty, the latter having now become a common

occupation in every city great or small. The robber and cut-throat

has only exchanged his dress and appearance by donning the livery of

civilization – the ugly modern attire. Instead of being robbed under

the vault of thick woods and the protection of darkness, people are

robbed now-a-days under the electric light of saloons and the

protection of trade-laws and police-regulations. As to open

day-light brigandage, the Mafia of New Orleans and the Mala Vita of

Sicily, with high officialdom, population, police, and jury forced

to play into the hands of regularly organized bands of murderers,

thieves, and tyrants1 in the full glare of European "culture," show

how far our civilization has succeeded in establishing public

security, or Christian religion in softening the hearts of men and

the ways and customs of a barbarous past. Modern Cyclopædias are

very fond of expatiating upon the decadence of Rome and its pagan

horrors. But if the latest editions of the Dictionary of Greek and

Roman Biography were honest enough to make a parallel between those

"monsters of depravity" of ancient civilization, Messalina and

Faustina, Nero and Commodus, and modern European aristocracy, it

might be found that the latter could give odds to the former – in

social hypocrisy, at any rate. Between "the shameless and beastly

debauchery" of an Emperor Commodus, and as beastly a depravity of

more than one "Honourable," high official representative of the

people, the only difference to be found is that while Commodus was a

member of all the sacerdotal colleges of Paganism, the modern

debauchee may be a high member of the Evangelical Christian

Churches, a distinguished and pious pupil of Moody and Sankey and

what not. It is not the Calchas of Homer, who was the type of the

Calchas in the Operette "La Belle Helene," but the modern sacerdotal

Pecksniff and his followers.


As to the blessings of railways and "the annihilation of space

and time," it is still an undecided question – without speaking of

the misery and starvation the introduction of steam engines and

machinery in general has brought for years on those who depend on

their manual labour – whether railways do not kill more people in

one month than the brigands of all Europe used to murder in a whole

year. The victims of railroads, moreover, are killed under

circumstances which surpass in horror anything the cut-throats may

have devised. One reads almost daily of railway disasters in which

people are "burned to death in the blazing wreckage," "mangled and

crushed out of recognition" and killed by dozens and scores.2 This

is a trifle worse than the highwaymen of old Newgate.


Nor has crime been abated at all by the spread of civilization;

though owing to the progress of science in chemistry and physics, it

has become more secure from detection and more ghastly in its

realization than it ever has been. Speak of Christian civilization

having improved public morals; of Christianity being the only

religion which has established and recognized Universal Brotherhood!

Look at the brotherly feeling shown by American Christians to the

Red Indian and the Negro, whose citizenship is the farce of the age.

Witness the love of the Anglo-Indians for the "mild Hindu," the

Mussulman, and the Buddhist. See "how these Christians love each

other" in their incessant law litigations, their libels against each

other, the mutual hatred of the Churches and of the sects. Modern

civilization and Christianity are oil and water – they will never

mix. Nations among which the most horrible crimes are daily

perpetrated; nations which rejoice in Tropmanns and Jack the

Rippers, in fiends like Mrs. Reeves the trader in baby slaughter –

to the number of 300 victims as is believed – for the sake of filthy

lucre; nations which not only permit but encourage a Monaco with its

hosts of suicides, that patronize prize-fights, bull-fights, useless

and cruel sport and even indiscriminate vivisection – such nations

have no right to boast of their civilization. Nations furthermore

which from political considerations, dare not put down slave-trade

once for all, and out of revenue-greed, hesitate to abolish opium

and whiskey trades, fattening on the untold misery and degradation

of millions of human beings, have no right to call themselves either

Christian or civilized. A civilization finally that leads only to

the destruction of every noble, artistic feeling in man, can only

deserve the epithet of barbarous. We, the modern-day Europeans, are

Vandals as great, if not greater than Atilla with his savage hordes.


Consummatum est. Such is the work of our modem Christian

civilization and its direct effects. The destroyer of art, the

Shylock, who, for every mite of gold it gives, demands and receives

in return a pound of human flesh, in the heart-blood, in the

physical and mental suffering of the masses, in the loss of

everything true and lovable – can hardly pretend to deserve grateful

or respectful recognition. The unconsciously prophetic fin de

siècle, in short, is the long ago foreseen fin de cycle; when

according to Manjunâtha Sutra, "Justice will have died, leaving as

its successor blind Law, and as its Guru and guide – Selfishness;

when wicked things and deeds will have to be regarded as

meritorious, and holy actions as madness." Beliefs are dying out,

divine life is mocked at; art and genius, truth and justice are

daily sacrificed to the insatiable mammon of the age – money

grubbing. The artificial replaces everywhere the real, the false

substitutes the true. Not a sunny valley, not a shadowy grove left

immaculate on the bosom of mother nature. And yet what marble

fountain in fashionable square or city park, what bronze lions or

tumble-down dolphins with upturned tails can compare with an old

worm-eaten, moss-covered, weather-stained country well, or a rural

windmill in a green meadow! What Arc de Triomphe can ever compare

with the low arch of Grotto Azzurra, at Capri, and what city park or

Champs Elysées, rival Sorrento, "the wild garden of the world," the

birth-place of Tasso? Ancient civilizations have never sacrificed

Nature to speculation, but holding it as divine, have honoured her

natural beauties by the erection of works of art, such as our modern

electric civilization could never produce even in dream. The sublime

grandeur, the mournful gloom and majesty of the ruined temples of

Pæstum, that stand for ages like so many sentries over the sepulchre

of the Past and the forlorn hope of the Future amid the mountain

wilderness of Sorrento, have inspired more men of genius than the

new civilization will ever produce. Give us the banditti who once

infested these ruins, rather than the railroads that cut through the

old Etruscan tombs; the first may take the purse and life of the

few; the second are undermining the lives of the millions by

poisoning with foul gases the sweet breath of the pure air. In ten

years, by century xxth, Southern France with its Nice and Cannes,

and even Engadine, may hope to rival the London atmosphere with its

fogs, thanks to the increase of population and changes of climate.

We hear that Speculation is preparing a new iniquity against Nature:

smoky, greasy, stench-breathing funiculaires (baby-railways) are

being contemplated for some world-renowned mountains. They are

preparing to creep like so many loathsome, fire-vomiting reptiles

over the immaculate body of the Jungfrau, and a railway-tunnel is to

pierce the heart of the snow-capped Virgin mountain, the glory of

Europe. And why not? Has not national speculation pulled down the

priceless remains of the grand Temple of Neptune at Rome, to build

over its colossal corpse and sculptured pillars the present Custom



Are we so wrong then, in maintaining that modern civilization

with its Spirit of Speculation is the very Genius of Destruction;

and as such, what better words can be addressed to it than this

definition of Burke:


"A Spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish

temper and confined views. People will not look forward to

posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."


Lucifer, May, 1891

H. P. Blavatsky




1 Read the "Cut Throat's Paradise" in the Edinburgh Review for

April, 1877, and the digest of it in the Pall Mall Gazette of April

15th, 1891, "Murder as a Profession,"


2 To take one instance. A Reuter's telegram from America, where such

accidents are almost of daily occurrence, gives the following

details of a wrecked train: "One of the cars which was attached to a

gravel train and which contained five Italian workmen, was thrown

forward into the center of the wreck, and the whole mass caught

fire. Two of the men were killed outright and the remaining three

were injured, pinioned in the wreckage. As the flames reached them

their cries and groans were heartrending. Owing to the position of

the car and the intense heat the rescuers were unable to reach them,

and were compelled to watch them slowly burn to death. It is

understood that all the victims leave families."










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About aspects of Theosophy


Great Theosophists

The Big Names of Theosophy

H P Blavatsky is usually the only

Theosophist that most people have ever

heard of. Let’s put that right





The Blavatsky Blogger’s

Instant Guide To

Death & The Afterlife


Blavatsky Calling

The Voice of the Silence Website


The Blavatsky Free State

An Independent Theosophical Republic

Links to Free Online Theosophy 

Study Resources; Courses, Writings, 

Commentaries, Forums, Blogs


Selection of Writings by

C Jinarajadasa




Visit the Feelgood Lodge

The main criteria for the inclusion of

links on this site is that they have some

relationship (however tenuous) to Theosophy

and are lightweight, amusing or entertaining.

Topics include Quantum Theory and Socks,

Dick Dastardly and Legendary Blues Singers.


Theosophy and Reincarnation

A selection of articles on Reincarnation

by Theosophical writers

Provided in response to the large 

number of enquiries we receive at 

Cardiff Theosophical Society on this subject


Nothing answers questions

like Theosophy can!

The Key to Theosophy


Applied Theosophy

Henry Steel Olcott


Blavatsky Calling

and I Don’t Wanna Shout

The Voice of the Silence Website


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Devachan


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Dreams


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Angels


Theosophy and Help From

The Universe


Wales! Wales! Theosophy Wales

The All Wales Guide to

Getting Started in Theosophy

This is for everyone, you don’t have to live

in Wales to make good use of this Website


Theosophy Avalon

The Theosophy Wales

King Arthur Pages







No Aardvarks were harmed in the

preparation of this Website




Heavy Metal Overview




Rock ‘n Roll Chronology


The Tooting Broadway

Underground Theosophy Website

The Spiritual Home of Urban Theosophy


The Mornington Crescent

Underground Theosophy Website

The Earth Base for Evolutionary Theosophy


H P Blavatsky’s Heavy Duty

Theosophical Glossary

Published 1892



Complete Theosophical Glossary in Plain Text Format




The Ocean of Theosophy

William Quan Judge


Preface    Theosophy and the Masters    General Principles


The Earth Chain    Body and Astral Body    Kama – Desire


Manas    Of Reincarnation    Reincarnation Continued


Karma    Kama Loka    Devachan    Cycles


Septenary Constitution Of Man


Arguments Supporting Reincarnation


Differentiation Of Species Missing Links


Psychic Laws, Forces, and Phenomena


Psychic Phenomena and Spiritualism


Instant Guide to Theosophy

Quick Explanations with Links to More Detailed Info



What is Theosophy ?  Theosophy Defined (More Detail)


Three Fundamental Propositions  Key Concepts of Theosophy


Cosmogenesis  Anthropogenesis  Root Races


Ascended Masters  After Death States


The Seven Principles of Man  Karma


Reincarnation   Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


Colonel Henry Steel Olcott  William Quan Judge


The Start of the Theosophical Society


History of the Theosophical Society


Theosophical Society Presidents


History of the Theosophical Society in Wales


The Three Objectives of the Theosophical Society


Explanation of the Theosophical Society Emblem


The Theosophical Order of Service (TOS)


Ocean of Theosophy

William Quan Judge


Glossaries of Theosophical Terms


Worldwide Theosophical Links




Index of Searchable

Full Text Versions of


Theosophical Works



H P Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine


Isis Unveiled by H P Blavatsky


H P Blavatsky’s Esoteric Glossary


Mahatma Letters to A P Sinnett 1 - 25


A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom

Alvin Boyd Kuhn


Studies in Occultism

(Selection of Articles by H P Blavatsky)


The Conquest of Illusion

J J van der Leeuw


The Secret Doctrine – Volume 3

A compilation of H P Blavatsky’s

writings published after her death


Esoteric Christianity or the Lesser Mysteries

Annie Besant


The Ancient Wisdom

Annie Besant



Annie Besant


The Early Teachings of The Masters


Edited by

C. Jinarajadasa


Study in Consciousness

Annie Besant



A Textbook of Theosophy

C W Leadbeater


A Modern Panarion

A Collection of Fugitive Fragments

From the Pen of

H P Blavatsky


The Perfect Way or,

The Finding of Christ

Anna Bonus Kingsford

& Edward Maitland



The Perfect Way or,

The Finding of Christ

Anna Bonus Kingsford

& Edward Maitland



Pistis Sophia

A Gnostic Gospel

Foreword by G R S Mead


The Devachanic Plane.

Its Characteristics

and Inhabitants

C. W. Leadbeater



Annie Besant



Bhagavad Gita

Translated from the Sanskrit


William Quan Judge


Psychic Glossary


Sanskrit Dictionary


Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy

G de Purucker


In The Outer Court

Annie Besant


Dreams and


Anna Kingsford


My Path to Atheism

Annie Besant


From the Caves and

Jungles of Hindostan

H P Blavatsky


The Hidden Side

Of Things

C W Leadbeater


Glimpses of

Masonic History

C W Leadbeater


Five Years Of


Various Theosophical


Mystical, Philosophical, Theosophical, Historical

and Scientific Essays Selected from "The Theosophist"

Edited by George Robert Stow Mead


Spiritualism and Theosophy

C W Leadbeater


Commentary on

The Voice of the Silence

Annie Besant and

C W Leadbeater

From Talks on the Path of Occultism - Vol. II


Is This Theosophy?

Ernest Egerton Wood


In The Twilight

Annie Besant

In the Twilight” Series of Articles

The In the Twilight” series appeared during

1898 in The Theosophical Review and

from 1909-1913 in The Theosophist.


Incidents in the Life

of Madame Blavatsky

compiled from information supplied by

her relatives and friends and edited by A P Sinnett


The Friendly Philosopher

Robert Crosbie

Letters and Talks on Theosophy and the Theosophical Life



Obras Teosoficas En Espanol


La Sabiduria Antigua

Annie Besant


Glosario Teosofico


H P Blavatsky



Theosophische Schriften Auf Deutsch


Die Geheimlehre


H P Blavatsky




Elementary Theosophy

An Outstanding Introduction to Theosophy

By a student of Katherine Tingley


Elementary Theosophy Who is the Man?  Body and Soul   


Body, Soul and Spirit  Reincarnation  Karma


The Seven in Man and Nature


The Meaning of Death




Theosophy Avalon

Guide to the

Theosophy Wales King Arthur Pages



Arthur draws the Sword from the Stone


King Arthur

Fact or Myth


King Arthur &

The Knights of The Round Table


Arthur’s Table

The Roman Amphitheatre at Caerleon,

Gwent, South Wales.


Kings Arthur’s Round Table

Eamont Bridge, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, England.


King Arthur’s Round Table

At Winchester


Isle of Avalon


The Holy Grail

A Brief Overview


The Holy Grail and

the Celtic Tradition


The Lady of the Lake


Geoffrey of Monmouth

(?- 1155)

Historia Regum Britanniae

(History of the Kings of Britain)

The reliabilty of this work has long been a subject of

debate but it is the first definitive account of Arthur’s Reign

and one which puts Arthur in a historcal context.


The Arthur Story according to

Geoffrey of Monmouth

and his version’s political agenda


Geoffrey of Monmouth

His Life & Works


King Arthur’s Family Tree

According to Geoffrey of Monmouth



Historia Brittanum

History of the Britons

800 CE

The first written mention of Arthur as a heroic figure

The British leader who fought twelve battles

against the Anglo Saxons


Where were Arthur’s Twelve

Victories against the Saxons?


King Arthur’s ninth victory at

The Battle of the City of the Legion



The Battle of Badon Hill

King Arthur ambushes an advancing Saxon

army then defeats them at Liddington Castle,

Badbury, Near Swindon, Wiltshire, England.

King Arthur’s twelfth and last victory against the Saxons


The Battle of Camlann

Traditionally Arthur’s last battle in which he was

mortally wounded although his side went on to win



The 6th century Welsh bard

No contemporary writings or accounts of his life

but he is placed 50 to 100 years after the accepted

King Arthur period. He refers to Arthur in his inspiring

poems but the earliest written record of these dates

from over three hundred years after Taliesin’s death.


The Elegy of Uther Pendragon

From the Book of Taliesin


Pendragon Castle

Mallerstang Valley, Nr Kirkby Stephen,

Cumbria, England.

A 12th Century Norman ruin on the site of what is

reputed to have been a stronghold of Uther Pendragon



His origins and development

over centuries

From wise child with no earthly father to

Megastar of Arthurian Legend


The Prophecy of Merlin

From Geoffrey of Monmouth’s

History of the Kings of Britain


Merlin’s Vision

on Pendle Hill

Near Burnley Lancashire



Drawn from the Stone or received from the Lady of the Lake.

Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur has both versions

with both swords called Excalibur. Other versions

have two different swords.


Chronology of Britain

in the 5th Century CE


Celtic Kingdoms Prior to the

Anglo – Saxon invasion


The Saxon Invasion of Britain


Where did the 

Angles, Saxons & Jutes

Come from?


5th & 6th Century Timeline of Britain

From the departure of the Romans from

Britain to the establishment of sizeable

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Glossary of

Arthurian Legend



Arthur’s uncle:- The puppet ruler of the Britons

controlled and eventually killed by Vortigern

Circa 440 -445CE


Hengist & Horsa


The Massacre of Amesbury

Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. Circa 450CE

An alleged massacre of Celtic Nobility by the Saxons

at a “Peace” conference


Caer-Anderida (Pevensey)

Falls to the Saxons 491 CE


King Arthur is Crowned

at Silchester

From Geoffrey of Monmouth’s

History of the Kings of Britain


King Arthwys of the Pennines

Born Circa 455 CE

Ruled the Kingdom of Ebrauc

(North Yorkshire)


Athrwys / Arthrwys
King of Ergyng

Circa  618 - 655 CE
Latin: Artorius; English: Arthur

A warrior King born in Gwent and associated with

Caerleon, a possible Camelot. Although over 100 years

later that the accepted Arthur period, the exploits of

Athrwys may have contributed to the King Arthur Legend.

He became King of Ergyng, a kingdom between

Gwent and Brycheiniog (Brecon)


King Morgan Bulc of Bernaccia

Angles under Ida seized the Celtic Kingdom of

Bernaccia in North East England in 547 CE forcing

King Morgan Bulc into exile.

Although much later than the accepted King Arthur

period, the events of Morgan Bulc’s 50 year campaign

to regain his kingdom may have contributed to

the King Arthur Legend.




Old Welsh: Guorthigirn; Anglo-Saxon: Wyrtgeorn;

Breton: Gurthiern; Modern Welsh; Gwrtheyrn;

Latin; Vertigernus:


An earlier ruler than King Arthur and not a heroic figure.

He is credited with policies that weakened Celtic Britain

to a point from which it never recovered.

Although there are no contemporary accounts of

his rule, there is more written evidence for his

existence than of King Arthur.


How Sir Lancelot slew two giants,

And made a castle free.

From Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Published 1485


How Sir Lancelot rode disguised

in Sir Kay's harness, and how he

smote down a knight.

From Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Published 1485


How Sir Lancelot jousted against

four knights of the Round Table,

and overthrew them.

From Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Published 1485


The Passing of Arthur

Alfred, Lord Tennyson





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Theosophy House

206 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, UK. CF24 -1DL