Sunday, December 12, 2010

Theosophical Writing

Without much fanfare the site, Theosophical Writing, has been uploading a mass of early theosophical literature, mainly from the series Theosophical Siftings. In November 46 items were made available. Theosophical Siftings was an attempt to reach a wider audience through worthwhile reprints from theosophical periodicals. Issued by the Theosophical Publishing Company of London from 1888 to 1895, the series eventually comprised seven volumes of eighteen pamphlets. The subjects cover a wide array, not only dealing with theosophy, but also hermeticism, kabbalah, and even giving one of the earliest layouts for reading the tarot. Theosophical Writing faithfully reproduces the illustrations, as can be seen here.

There is something for everyone’s taste. A Sketch of the Theosophic Organization Compiled from the "Theosophist" and Official Reports by Anonymous from Theosophical Siftings, Volume 2, 1889, one of the earliest attempts of the organization to define itself, yields this tidbit:

The finger of historic prophecy points to Russia as the home of the sixth Sub-Race, and to America as the cradle of the sixth Root-Race.

Editorial intervention is at a minimum, such as suggesting the identity of the person who wrote as Nizida was “likely Louise Off.” Theosophical Writing can be accessed here.

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