Sunday, January 15, 2012

When Henry met Helena

The initial meeting of Olcott and Blavatsky continues to be one of the most written about areas of her life. The task is expedited by Olcott’s People from the other World, published in 1875 before the founding of the Theosophical Society and republished by Tuttle in 1972 in a facsimile edition. It is a record of Olcott’s experiences with the mediums at the Eddy farmhouse in Chittenden, Vermont. Published serially in the fall of 1874 in the New York Daily Graphic, an illustrated newspaper, it also introduced Mme. Blavatsky to a wider audience. “The arrival of a Russian lady of distinguished birth and rare educational abilities and natural endowments, on the 14th of October was an important event in the history of the Chittenden manifestations.” Shapes of the spirits of an assortment of people that Mme. Blavatsky had met in her travels began to appear.

The story is revisited at the blog Interesting Articles, Links and Other Media, with sketches of some the apparitions that appeared during her stay at Chittenden. The writer of the piece tries to relate it to his own experiences.

The Eddy farmhouse where Olcott and Blavatsky met is still in existence, though now a ski lodge, and its present state is shown in a previous post. It has also been the subject of a novel by Greg Guma, who has had a long interest in this subject and met many of the remaining old timers in Chittenden, Spirits of Desire, cited in a previous post here.

Mark Russell Bell, the writer of the piece, follows it up with a post on January 15, “H. S. Olcott and ‘The Science of Eastern Magic’”, where he covers Olcott’s subsequent work with the Holmes mediums in New York.

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