Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, born in Russia in 1831, was a highly influential occultist, author, and co-founder of the Theosophical Society. Blavatsky’s work in the occult and her writings significantly impacted the spiritual and esoteric movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her beliefs in reincarnation, karma, and the existence of a Secret Brotherhood of Adepts (powerful, perfected spiritual beings) influenced a wide range of thinkers, writers, and spiritual practitioners.
Blavatsky’s early life was marked by extensive travel, and she claimed to have studied under various spiritual masters in India, Tibet, and Egypt. Her experiences during her travels informed her later writings, which synthesized elements of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. In 1875, she published her magnum opus, “The Secret Doctrine,” a massive two-volume work that presented her esoteric beliefs and philosophy.
Aryan Race Origin
One of Blavatsky’s most significant and unfortunate contributions to occultism was her concept of the “Aryan race.” She believed that the Aryans were an ancient, highly advanced race who once inhabited the earth and that their spiritual teachings and knowledge had been passed down through a Secret Brotherhood of Adepts. Blavatsky claimed that the Aryans were the root of all civilization and that their teachings could be found in the religions and philosophies of the world.
This concept of the Aryan race later became central to German Nazi ideology, which adopted Blavatsky’s beliefs to justify its racist policies. The Nazi belief in the superiority of the Aryan race led to the persecution and genocide of millions of people during World War II.
Blavatsky’s teachings and philosophy also profoundly impacted the spiritual movements that emerged in the 20th century, including the New Age movement. Her ideas about karma, reincarnation, and the existence of a Secret Brotherhood of Adepts are still influential in esoteric and spiritual circles.
Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian independence leader, and spiritual teacher, were deeply influenced by Blavatsky’s ideas about karma, reincarnation, and the spiritual unity of humanity. He often referred to her teachings in his speeches and writings and even wrote a foreword to one of her books, “The Key to Theosophy.”
Another prominent figure who Blavatsky influenced was psychologist Carl Jung. Jung was interested in the occult and spiritual traditions and was particularly drawn to Blavatsky’s concept of the collective unconscious, which he adapted into his theories of archetypes and the collective psyche.
Blavatsky’s writings and teachings paved the way for the modern practice of channeling spirits. Channeling is communicating with spirit guides, or entities from other realms and dimensions. Blavatsky claimed to have received knowledge and teachings from spiritual masters and entities during her travels and through psychic means. This idea of communicating with spirits and other entities has become a common practice in modern spiritual and metaphysical circles.
The Theosophical Society
Blavatsky co-founded The Theosophical Society, primarily based on her writings and teachings. However, she claimed she was mainly dictated only by the knowledge and wisdom of ascended masters. Ascended masters are held to be spiritually enlightened beings who were ordinary humans in past incarnations but have undergone a series of spiritual transformations originally called initiations. Jesus and Buddha would be historical examples. This new age philosophy penetrates modern pop culture, with one example being Star Wars with an entire Jedi ascended master’s council, Yoda being a grand master.
The Theosophical Society made its headquarters in Beachwood Canyon in 1911, establishing a utopian community called Krotona on ten acres attracting Hollywood elites such as Charlie Chaplin.
Thomas Edison: the famed inventor was reportedly interested in Theosophy and its ideas. He was known to have met with Helena Blavatsky and to have discussed spiritual and metaphysical matters with her.
The Wizard of Oz
Theosophical beliefs are believed to have influenced Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Some scholars suggest that the story is an allegory for theosophical teachings, including the journey toward spiritual enlightenment, the search for a higher truth, and the importance of individual empowerment. The characters in the story, including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, are said to represent different aspects of the human psyche and the journey toward self-discovery. The story’s themes of reincarnation, karma, and the interconnectedness of all beings are also believed to reflect theosophical beliefs. The Yellow Brick Road is a journey through enlightenment only to find the god of religion has been nothing but a phony and truth lies elsewhere.
Theosophy Influence Continues
While Theosophy is not as well-known or widely practiced today as it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its ideas have influenced many contemporary spiritual and philosophical movements. Some individuals and organizations today may be inspired by Theosophical teachings, either directly or indirectly. Here are a few examples:
Oprah Winfrey – Oprah has been known to promote spiritual and philosophical ideas similar to Theosophical teachings, including the importance of self-discovery, the interconnectedness of all beings, and the pursuit of spiritual growth.
Henry Wallace – former Vice President of the United States and Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was a prominent supporter of Theosophy and believed in the importance of spiritual values in politics.
Helen Keller – a famous author and activist introduced to Theosophy by Annie Besant and became interested in society’s teachings on spirituality and the interconnectedness of all life.
Madonna– the singer has incorporated spiritual and philosophical themes into her music and art. Some of these are similar to Theosophical ideas, such as pursuing spiritual growth and the interconnectedness of all life.
George Lucas – the creator of the “Star Wars” franchise, has acknowledged being influenced by Theosophical ideas, particularly the concept of the hero’s journey and the pursuit of spiritual growth.
David Lynch – the filmmaker, and creator of “Twin Peaks,” has been influenced by Theosophical ideas, including the pursuit of spiritual growth and the concept of the interconnectedness of all life.
Jim Carrey – the comedian, and actor, has expressed interest in spiritual and philosophical ideas, including Theosophical concepts such as the pursuit of self-discovery and the interconnectedness of all beings.
Russell Brand– is a comedian, actor, and writer who has explored many spiritual and philosophical ideas in his work, including Theosophical concepts such as pursuing spiritual growth and the interconnectedness of all life.
Al Gore– Gore has expressed interest in Theosophical ideas, particularly environmental stewardship and the interconnectedness of all life. He has advocated for policies to address climate change and emphasized the importance of a holistic approach to environmental issues.
Anthony William, AKA The Medical Medium – New York Times best seller and famous for his celery cleanse drink gets his recipes from a spirit guide. “Anthony was born with the unique ability to converse with the Spirit of Compassion, who provides him with extraordinarily advanced healing medical information that’s far ahead of its time.”
Helena Blavatsky’s Death
Helena Blavatsky died on May 8, 1891, in London, England, at 59. Her death was attributed to influenza and complications from Bright’s kidney disease.
According to witnesses, Blavatsky’s final words were, “Keep the link unbroken! Do not let my last incarnation be a failure.” These words are believed to refer to her desire for her work in the Theosophical Society to continue after her death and for her followers to remain committed to her teachings and ideas.
View or listen to the Becoming Outlaws episode with a former professional psychic.