Sunday, July 17, 2011

Emma Hardinge Britten and Blavatsky

Marc Demarest looks at the relationship between the medium Emma Hardinge Britten (1823-1899), an early councilor of the Theosophical Society, and Blavatsky, in a July 15 post on his blog Chasing Down Emma.

However committed Emma was to the mission of the First Theosophical Society (and there's plenty of evidence that she was committed), by the time she founds The Two Worlds her occultism is of a purely theoretical and historical variety, and after Olcott brings Theosophy into Emma's backyard in the late 1880s, her position is an uncompromisingly Spiritual (and anti-TS) one -- right down to her repudiation of that which she alleged, from time to time, in the 1870s: that elemental spirits could obsess mortals, and so produce fraudulent communications through mediums.

Demarest has also announced his forthcoming edition of Art Magic, an early attempt to introduce the public to the ideas of occultism, edited by Emma in 1876, which should give us some new insights into this forgotten text.

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