Aletheia (Gr.). Truth; also Alethia, one of Apollo’s nurses.
Alexadrian School (of Philosophers). This famous school arose in Alexandria (Egypt) which was for several centuries the great seat of learning and philosophy. Famous for its library, which bears the name of “Alexandrian”, founded by Ptolemy Soter, who died in 283 B.C., at the very beginning of his reign ; that library which once boasted of 700,000 rolls or volumes (Aulus Gellius); for its museum, the first real academy of sciences and arts ; for its world-famous scholars, such as Euclid (the father of scientific geometry), Apollonius of Perga (the author of the still extant work on conic sections), Nicomachus (the arithmetician); astronomers, natural philosophers, anatomists such as Herophilus and
Erasistratus, physicians, musicians, artists, etc., etc. ; it became still more famous for its Eclectic, or the New Platonic school, founded in 193 A.D., by Ammonius Saccas, whose disciples were Origen, Plotinus, and many others now famous in history. The most celebrated schools of Gnostics had their origin in Alexandria. Philo Judæus Josephus, lamblichus, Porphyry, Clement of Alexandria, Eratosthenes the astronomer, Hypatia the virgin philosopher, and numberless other stars of second magnitude, all belonged at various times to these great schools, and helped to make Alexandria one of the most justly renowned seats of learning that the world has ever produced.
Alhim(Heb.). See “Elohim”.
Alkahest (Arab.). The universal solvent in Alchemy (see "Alchemy "); but in mysticism, the Higher Self, the union with which makes of matter (lead), gold, and restores all compound things such as the human body and its attributes to their primæval essence.
Almadel; the Book. A treatise on Theurgia or White Magic by an unknown mediæval European author; it is not infrequently found in volumes of MSS. called Keys of Solomon. [ w.w.w.]
Alpha Polaris (Lat.). The same as Dhruva, the pole-star of 31,105 years ago.
Alswider (Scand.). ‘‘ All-swift’’, the name of the horse of the moon, in the Eddas.
Altruism (Lat.). From alter = other. A quality opposed to egoism. Actions tending to do good to others, regardless of self.
Aize, Liber; de Lapide Philosophico. An alchemic treatise by an unknown German author; dated 1677. It is to be found reprinted in the Hermetic Museum; in it is the well known design of a man with legs extended and his body hidden by a seven pointed star. Eliphaz Lévi has copied it. [ w.w.w.]
Ama (Heb.)., Amia, (Chald.). Mother. A title of Sephira Binah, whose “divine name is Jehovah” and who is called “Supernal Mother”.
Amânasa (Sk.). The “ Mindless”, the early races of this planet; also certain Hindu gods.
Amara-Kosha (Sk.). The “immortal vocabulary”. The oldest dictionary known in the world and the most perfect vocabulary of classical Sanskrit ; by Amara Sinha, a sage of the second century.
Ambâ (Sk.). The name of the eldest of the seven Pleiades, the heavenly sisters married each to a Rishi belonging to the Saptariksha or the seven Rishis of the constellation known as the Great Bear.
Ambhâmsi(Sk.). A name of the chief of the Kumâras Sanat-Sujâta, signifying the “waters”. This epithet will become more comprehensible when we remember that the later type of Sanat-Sujâta was Michael, the Archangel, who is called in the Talmud “the Prince of Waters”, and in the Roman Catholic Church is regarded as the patron of gulfs and promontories. Sanat-Sujâta is the immaculate son of the immaculate mother (Ambâ or Aditi, chaos and space) or the “waters” of limitless space.
(See Secret Doctrine-, Vol. I., p. 460.)
Amdo (Tib.). A sacred locality, the birthplace of Tson-kha-pa, the great Tibetan reformer and the founder of the Gelukpa (yellow caps), who is regarded as an Avatar of Amita-buddha.
Amên. In Hebrew is formed of the letters A M N = 1,40,50 =91,and is thus a simile of “Jehovah Adonai”=10, 5, 6, 5 and 1,4, 50,10 =91 together; it is one form of the Hebrew word for “truth”. In common parlance Amen is said to mean “so be it”. [ w.w.w.]
But, in esoteric parlance Amen means “the concealed”. Manetho Sebennites says the word signifies that which is hidden and we know through Hecatæus and others that the Egyptians used the word to call upon their great God of Mystery, Ammon (or “Ammas, the hidden god ”) to make himself conspicuous and manifest to them. Bonomi, the famous hieroglyphist, calls his worshippers very pertinently the “Amenoph”, and Mr. Bonwick quotes a writer who says: “Ammon, the hidden god, will remain for ever hidden till anthropomorphically revealed; gods who are afar off are useless”. Amen is styled “Lord of the new-moon festival”. Jehovah-Adonai is a new form of the ram-headed god Amoun or Ammon (q.v.) who was invoked by the Egyptian priests under the name of Amen.
Amenti (Eg.). Esoterically and literally, the dwelling of the God Amen, or Amoun, or the “hidden”, secret god. Exoterically the kingdom of Osiris divided into fourteen parts, each of which was set aside for some purpose connected with the after state of the defunct. Among other things, in one of these was the Hall of Judgment. It was the “Land of the West”, the “Secret Dwelling”, the dark land, and the “doorless house”. But it was also Ker-noter, the “abode of the gods”, and the “land of ghosts” like the “ Hades” of the Greeks (q.v.). It was also the “Good Father’s House” (in which there are “many mansions”). The fourteen divisions comprised, among many others, Aanroo (q.v.), the hall of the Two Truths, the Land of Bliss, Neter-xev “the funeral (or burial) place” Otamer-xev, the “Silence-loving Fields”, and also many other mystical halls and dwellings, one like the Sheol of the Hebrews, another like the Devachan of the Occultists, etc., etc. Out of the fifteen gates of the abode of Osiris, there were two chief ones,
the “gate of entrance” or Rustu, and the “gate of exit” (reincarnation) Amh. But there was no room in Amenti to represent the orthodox Christian Hell. The worst of all was the Hall of the eternal Sleep and Darkness. As Lepsius has it, the defunct “sleep (therein) in incorruptible forms, they wake not to see their brethren, they recognize no longer father and mother, their hearts feel nought toward their wife and children. This is the dwelling of the god All-Dead. . . . Each trembles to pray to him, for he hears not. Nobody can praise him, for he regards not those who adore him. Neither does he notice any offering brought to him.” This god is Karmic Decree; the land of Silence—the abode of those who die absolute disbelievers, those dead from accident before their allotted time, and finally the dead on the threshold of Avitchi, which is never in Amenti or any other subjective state, save in one case, but on this land of forced re-birth. These tarried not very long even in their state of heavy sleep, of oblivion and darkness, but, were carried more or less speedily toward Amh the “exit gate”.
Amesha Spentas (Zend). Amshaspends. The six angels or divine Forces personified as gods who attend upon Ahura Mazda, of which he is the synthesis and the seventh. They are one of the prototypes of the Roman Catholic “Seven Spirits” or Angels with Michael as chief, or the “Celestial Host”; the “ Seven Angels of the Presence”. They are the Builders, Cosmocratores, of the Gnostics and identical with the Seven Prajâpatis, the Sephiroth, etc. (q.v.).
Amitâbha. The Chinese perversion of the Sanskrit Amrita Buddha, or the “Immortal Enlightened”, a name of Gautama Buddha. The name has such variations as Amita, Abida, Amitâya, etc., and. is explained as meaning both “Boundless Age” and “Boundless Light”. The original conception of the ideal of an impersonal divine light has been anthrdpomorphized with time.
Ammon(Eg.). One of the great gods of Egypt. Ammon or Amoun is far older than Amoun-Ra, and is identified with Baal. Hammon, the Lord of Heaven. Amoun-Ra was Ra the Spiritual Sun, the “Sun of Righteousness”, etc., for—“the Lord God is a Sun”. He is the God of Mystery and the hieroglyphics of his name are often reversed. He is Pan, All-Nature esoterically, and therefore the universe, and the “Lord of Eternity”. Ra, as declared by an old inscription, was “begotten by Neith but not engendered”. He is called the “self- begotten” Ra,, and created goodness from a glance of his fiery eye, as Set-Typhon created evil from his. As Ammon (also Amoun and Amen), Ra, he is “Lord of the worlds enthroned on the Sun’s disk and appears in the abyss of heaven”. A very ancient hymn spells the name “Amen-ra”, and hails the “Lord of the thrones of the earth...Lord
of Truth, father of the gods, maker of man, creator of the beasts, Lord of Existence, Enlightener of the Earth, sailing in heaven in tranquillity. . . All hearts are softened at beholding thee, sovereign of life, health and strength We worship thy spirit who alonemade us”, etc., etc. (See Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief.) Ammon Ra is called “his mother’s husband” and her son. (See “Chnourmis” and “Chnouphis” and also Secret Doctrine I, pp. 91 and It was to the “ram-headed” god that the Jews sacrificed lambs, and the lamb of Christian theology is a disguised reminiscence of the ram.
Ammonius Saccas. A great and good philosopher who lived in Alexandria between the second and third centuries of our era, and who was the founder of the Neo-Platonic School of Philaletheians or “lovers of truth”. He was of poor birth and born of Christian parents, but endowed with such prominent, almost divine, goodness as to he called Theodidaktos, the “god-taught”. He honoured that which was good in Christianity, but broke with it and the churches very early, being unable to find in it any superiority over the older religions.
Amrita (Sk.). The ambrosial drink or food of the gods; the food giving immortality. The elixir of life churned out of the ocean of milk in the Purânic allegory. An old Vedic term applied to the sacred Soma juice in the Temple Mysteries.
Amûlam Mûlam(Sk.). Lit., the “rootless root” ; Mulâprakriti of the Vedantins the spiritual “root of nature”.
Amun (Copt.). The Egyptian god of wisdom, who had only Initiates or Hierophants to serve him as priests.
Anâ (Chald.). The “invisible heaven”or Astral Light ; the heavenly mother of the terrestrial sea, Mar, whence probably the origin of Anna, the mother of Mary.
Anacalypsis (Gr.)., or an “Attempt to withdraw the veil of the Saitic Isis”, by Godfrey Higgins. This is a very valuable work, now only obtainable at extravagant prices; it treats of the origin of all myths, religions and mysteries, and displays an immense fund of classical erudition. [ w.w.w.]
Anâgâmin (Sk.). Anagam. One who is no longer to be reborn into the world of desire. One stage before becoming Arhat and ready for Nirvâna. The third of the four grades of holiness on the way to final Initiation.
Anâhata Chakram (Sk.). The seat or “wheel” of life; the heart, according to some commentators.
Anâhata Shabda (Sk.). The mystic voices and sounds heard by the Yogi at the incipient stage of his meditation, The third of the four states
of sound, otherwise called Madhyamâ—the fourth state being when it is perceptible by the physical sense of hearing. The sound in its previous stages is not heard except by those who have developed their internal, highest spiritual senses. The four stages are called respectively, Parâ, Pashyantî, Madhyamâ and Vaikharî.
Anaitia (Chald.). A derivation from Anâ (q.v.), a goddess identical with the Hindu Annapurna, one of the names of Kâlî—the female aspect of Siva—at her best.
Analogeticists. The disciples of Ammonius Saccas (q.v.), so called because of their practice of interpreting all sacred legends, myths and mysteries by a principle of analogy and correspondence, which is now found in the Kabbalistic system, and pre-eminently so in the Schools of Esoteric Philosophy, in the East. (See “ The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac,” by T. Subba Row in Five Years of Theosophy.)
Ânanda (Sk.). Bliss, joy, felicity, happiness. A name of the favourite disciple of Gautama, the Lord Buddha.
Ânanda-Lahari (Sk.). “The wave of joy”; a beautiful poem written by Sankarâchârya, a hymn to Pârvati, very mystical and occult.
Ânandamaya-Kosha (Sk.). “The illusive Sheath of Bliss”, i.e., the mâyâvic or illusory form, the appearance of that which is formless. “Bliss”, or the higher soul. The Vedantic name for one of the five Koshas or “principles” in man; identical with our Âtmâ-Buddhi or the Spiritual Soul.
Ananga(Sk.). The “Bodiless”. An epithet of Kâma, god of love.
Ananta-Sesha (Sk.). The Serpent of Eternity—the couch of Vishnu during Pralaya
(lit., endless remain).
Anastasis (Gr.). The continued existence of the soul.
Anatu (Chald.). The female aspect of Anu (q.v.). She represents the Earth and Depth, while her consort represents the Heaven and Height. She is the mother of the god Hea, and produces heaven and earth. Astronomically she is Ishtar, Venus, the Ashtoreth of the Jews.
Anaxagoras (Gr.) A famous Ionian philosopher who lived 500 B.C., studied philosophy under Anaximenes of Miletus, and settled in the days of Pericles at Athens. Socrates, Euripides, Archelaus and other distinguished men and philosophers were among his disciples and pupils. He was a most learned astronomer and was one of the first to explain openly that which was taught by Pythagoras secretly, namely, the movements of the planets, the eclipses of the sun and moon, etc. It was he who taught the theory of Chaos, on the principle that “nothing comes from nothing”; and of atoms, as the underlying essence and substance of all bodies, “of the same nature as the bodies which they formed”.
These atoms, he taught, were primarily put in motion by Nous (Universal Intelligence, the Mahat of the Hindus), which Nous is an immaterial, eternal, spiritual entity; by this combination the world was formed, the material gross bodies sinking down, and the ethereal atoms (or fiery ether) rising and spreading in the upper celestial regions. Antedating modern science by over 2000 years, he taught that the stars were of the same material as our earth, and the sun a glowing mass; that the moon was a dark, uninhabitable body, receiving its light from the sun; the comets, wandering stars or bodies ; and over and above the said science, he confessed himself thoroughly convinced that the real existence of things, perceived by our senses, could not be demonstrably proved. He died in exile at Lampsacus at the age of seventy-two.
Ancients, The. A name given by Occultists to the seven creative Rays, born of Chaos, or the “Deep”.
Anda-Katâha (Sk.). The outer covering, or the “shell” of Brahmâ’s egg; the area within which our manifested universe is encompassed.
Androgyne Goat(of Mendes). See “Baphomet”.
Androgyne Ray (Esot.). The first differentiated ray; the Second Logos; Adam Kadmon in the Kabalah; the “male and female created he them”, of the first chapter of Genesis.
Audumla(Scand.). The symbol of nature in the Norse mythology; the cow who licks the salt rock, whence the divine Buri is born, before man’s creation.
Angâraka(Sk.). Fire Star; the planet Mars; in Tibetan, Mig-mar.
Augiras. One of the Prajâpatis. A son of Daksha ; a lawyer, etc., etc.
Angirasas (Sk.). The generic name of several Purânic individuals and things; a class of Pitris, the ancestors of man ; a river in Plaksha, one of the Sapta dwîpas (q.v).
Angra Mainyus (Zend.). The Zoroastrian name for Ahriman; the evil spirit of destruction and opposition who (in the Vendidâd, Fargard I.) is said by Ahura Mazda to “counter-create by his witchcraft” every beautiful land the God creates; for “Angra Mainyu is all death”.
AnimaMundi (Lat.). The“Soul of the World”, the same as the Alaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine essence which permeates, animates and informs all, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense the “seven-skinned mother” of the stanzas in the Secret Doctrine, the essence of seven planes of sentience, consciousness and differentiation, moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvâna, in its lowest Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes. Of igneous, ethereal nature in the
objective world of form (and then ether), and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it means, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, which is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal ABSOLUTE.
Anjala (Sk.). One of the personified powers which spring from Brahmâ’s body—the Prajâpatis.
Anjana (Sk.). A serpent, a son of Kasyapa Rishi.
Annamaya Kosha (Sk.). A Vedantic term. The same as Sthûla Sharîra or the physical body. It is the first “sheath” of the five sheaths accepted by the Vedantins, a sheath being the same as that which is called “principle” in Theosophy.
Annapura(Sk.). See “Anâ”.
Annedotus (Gr.). The generic name for the Dragons or Men-Fishes, of which there were five. The historian Berosus narrates that there rose out of the Erythræan Sea on several occasions a semi-dæmon named Oannes or Annedotus, who although part animal yet taught the Chaldeans useful arts and everything that could humanise them. (See Lenormant Chaldean Magic, p. 203, and also “Oannes”.) [w.w.w.]
Anoia (Gr.). “Want of understanding”, “folly”. Anoia is the name given by Plato and others to the lower Manas when too closely allied with Kâma, which is irrational (agnoia). The Greek word agnoia is evidently a derivation from and cognate to the Sanskrit word ajnâna (phonetically, agnyana) or ignorance, irrationality, absence of knowledge. (See “Agnoia” and “Agnostic”.)
Anouki(Eg.). A form of Isis; the goddess of life, from which name the Hebrew Ank, life. (See “Anuki.”)
Ansumat (Sk.). A Purânic personage, the “nephew of 60,000 uncles” King Sagara’s sons, who were reduced to ashes by a single glance from Kapila Rishi’s “Eye”.
Antahkarana (Sk.)., or Antaskarana. The term has various meanings, which differ with every school of philosophy and sect. Thus Sankârachârya renders the word as “understanding”; others, as “the internal instrument, the Soul, formed by the thinking principle and egoism”; whereas the Occultists explain it as the path or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, the divine Ego, and the personal Soul of man. It serves as a medium of communication between the two, and conveys from the Lower to the Higher Ego all those personal impressions and thoughts of men which can, by their nature, be assimilated and stored by the undying Entity, and be thus made immortal with it, these being the only elements of the evanescent Personality that survive death and time. It thus stands to reason that
only that which is noble, spiritual and divine in man can testify in Eternity to his having lived.
Anthesteria (Gr.). The feast of Flowers (Floralia): during this festival the rite of Baptism or purification was performed in the Eleusinian Mysteries in the temple lakes, the Limnae, when the
Mystæ were made to pass through the “narrow gate” of Dionysus, to emerge therefrom as full Initiates.
Anthropology. The Science of man; it embraces among other things :—Physiology, or that branch of natural science which discloses the mysteries of the organs and their functions in men, animals and plants; and also, and especially,—Psychology or the great, and in our days, too much neglected science of the soul, both as an entity distinct from the spirit, and in its relation to the spirit and body. In modern science, psychology deals only or principally with conditions of the nervous system, and almost absolutely ignores the psychical essence and nature. Physicians denominate the science of insanity psychology, and name the lunacy chair in medical colleges by that designation. (Isis Unveiled.)
Anthropomorphism(Gr.). From “anthropos” meaning man. The act of endowing god or gods with a human form and human attributes or qualities.
Anu (Sk.). An “atom”, a title of Brahmâ, who is said to be an atom just as is the infinite universe. A hint at the pantheistic nature of the god.
Anu (Chald.). One of the highest of Babylonian deities, “King of Angels and Spirits, Lord of the city of Erech”. He is the Ruler and God of Heaven and Earth. His symbol is a star and a kind of Maltese cross—emblems of divinity and sovereignty. He is an abstract divinity supposed to inform the whole expense of ethereal space or heaven, while his “wife” informs the more material planes. Both are the types of the Ouranos and Gaia of Hesiod. They sprang from the original Chaos. All his titles and attributes are grapfiic and indicate health, purity physical and moral, antiquity and holiness. Anu was the earliest god of the city of Erech. One of his sons was Bil orVil-Kan, the god of fire, of various metals, and of weapons. George Smith very pertinently sees in this deity a close connection with a kind of cross breed between “the biblical Tubal Cain and the classical Vulcan” . .who is considered to be moreover “the most potent deity in relation to witchcraft and spells generally”.
Anubis (Gr.) The dog -headed god, identical, in a certain aspect, with Horus. He is pre-eminently the god who deals with the disembodied, or the resurrected in post mortem life. Anepou is his Egyptian