Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blavatsky News

*   The site Honor and Magic reprints an October 1874 letter from Blavatsky that starts her Collected Writings in English. The letter titled “Marvellous Spirit Manifestations” was published in the October 30, 1874, New York Daily Graphic. It lists the different materialized spirit forms she saw while at the Eddy mediums in Vermont, which led to her meeting Col. Olcott. Whether they were actually spirits of the dead was another thing, as she noted when pasting this article in her Scrapbook. The site has recently put up a guide to another American woman Theosophist of whom more needs to be known, Mrs. Josephine Cables Aldrich, “an author, editor, and philanthropist prominent in the early Theosophical Movement,” who led the movement from Rochester New York, and published one of the earliest occult magazines in America, The Occult Word. Copies of this scarce publication can now be read at the The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals (IAPSOP) database.

*   The Montreal Theosophy Project has been charting the development of the recent rise of the recognition of  Blavatsky’s influence: “By the 1980s, with the publication of the entirety of her complete works, spearheaded by Boris de Zirkoff, HPB's reputation was on the upswing.  In 1985, a serious historical research project, the Theosophical History journal begins publication. Michael Gomes’ The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement in 1987 arguably brings a more objective and accurate level of research to theosophical publications. His 2009 Penguin Books abridgement of The Secret Doctrine  made a key Blavatsky work accessible to a wider audience.”

*   The Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK gives some background on an obscure female swami, “Maji”, whom Olcott and Blavatsky met in Benares at the end of 1879, and who offered independent testimony about the Masters. “Although apparently fairly well known in certain circles during her lifetime (1826-1898), she is very much unknown today, even in India and amongst the Hindus of Benares, now named Varanasi.”

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