Leadbeater and Jewels

Leadbeater developed a complex system of correspondence between jewels and Rays, seen especially in the use of jewels in the Liberal Catholic Church. There is a long tradition in Western occultism of the use of gems, and elaborate systems of correspondences between gems, planets, plants and other things. A good, basic introduction to this subject is: W.B. Crow Precious Stones. Their Occult Power and Hidden Significance The Aquarian Press, London, 1968.

A correspondent has asked me if Leadbeater’s source(s) for his system of correspondence between jewels and Rays has been identified. He drew my attention to one possible source: William Thomas Pavitt and Kate Pavitt The Book of Talismans, Amulets, and Zodiacal Gems.


William Thomas Pavitt and Kate Pavitt The Book of Talismans, Amulets, and Zodiacal Gems 1st edition: William Rider and Son, London, 1914; and 2nd revised edition: William Rider and Son, London, 1922, and David McKay Company, Philadelphia, 1922; and 3rd edition William Rider and Son, London, 1929

Digital version available on-line at: https://archive.org/details/bookoftalismansa00paviiala (Rider) and https://archive.org/details/bookoftalismansa1915pavi (McKay)

This work is particularly interesting, given the following reference to two noted Theosophists [note that Wedgwood’s name is mis-spelled]:

Evidence of undoubted authenticity of wonderful occult powers and experiences has within recent years become readily accessible to all. Psychometry [the art of sensing past happenings to individuals from the handling of something belonging to them, such as a glove or jewel] may be said to be established as a fact; and that this power is not confined to human affairs but permeates also the lower kingdoms is aptly illustrated by a personal experience which occurred during the summer of 1912. Mr. J. Wedgewood of the Theosophical Society, who is much interested in sensing colours from the touch of Precious Stones, and with whom I have frequently experimented in this direction, called one day at my office with a lady friend, Mrs. Russak, also of the Theosophical Society, and a well-known occultist. In the course of conversation Mr. Wedgewood said, “If you want to know anything about any of your stones, this lady can tell you,” and, being desirous of getting a real test, I selected two new stones that I knew had never been used, as will be seen by what follows: I handed one to Mrs. Russak which she held in the palm of her hand for a moment or so, and then gave me what was, as far as I could judge, a description of the processes of its formation; then, holding it out to me, went on to say, “I am sorry I cannot give you any events connected with this stone, but within the last month you have changed its centre of gravity.” The stone was a Jargoon that I had only just received back from the lapidary with whom I had left it in the rough to be cut; it was a very decided oval in shape whilst in its rough state, and the lapidary had advised me to have practically half of it cutaway, leaving the stone quite circular and only about half its original size, although much more valuable and finer in colour than it would have been had it been cut as an oval twice the size. (pp. 7-8)

William Thomas Pavitt was an English Arts and Crafts jeweller who worked between c.1900-c.1915.


Further research into system of correspondence between jewels and Rays is continuing. Any information or suggestions of sources will be greatly appreciated.

Leadbeater on Christian Doctrine

Orthodox doctrine, as it is generally put before us today, is really repugnant to reason and common sense, and furthermore much of it is obviously untrue. It is blindly accepted by a certain number of people who have never really ventured to face facts for themselves, but as was said before, often the more intelligent and educated sections of society are repelled by its crudities. They either gloss it over and smooth away its corners – that is to say, they do not really accept it as it is offered at all – or else they think as little about it as they can, and many of them make the mistake of turning their backs upon religion altogether, thinking that there is no good to be gained from it at all. Many Christians are themselves often shocked and horrified if the real crudity is that their religion are put before them, but it is nevertheless true that any orthodox Church or body to which they may be long has never definitely disavowed these crudity. Individual preachers may and do, but the churches as a whole do not.

Let us consider exactly what the fundamental teaching is in its barest and crudest form, as we get it in the Salvation Army and in some of the less advanced sects. Baldly, the idea is that an omnipotent and all-powerful Deity, who could have done quite differently if He had so willed, chooses to bring us here under a horrible curse which is called “original sin”, and furthermore that He has prepared an endless future of purposeless torture for nearly everybody. Awful as it sounds, that is stated to be God’s intention towards men. Moved by very natural horror at such a perfectly appalling piece of senseless cruelty as that would be, the Son of the Deity is alleged to come forward and offer Himself as a sacrifice instead of the world. He apparently offers Himself on condition (I am putting it just as baldly and as crudely as I can) that a minute fraction of mankind – at best only a very minute fraction – may escape that awful fate by believing a story for which there is no historical support whatsoever – believing in the face of evidence and reason. All the rest, all the countless millions who lived before this little arrangement was made, and all the other people who never heard of it, or if they have heard of it do not see their way to believing in the story – all of these are allowed to drift to perdition at their own sweet will; and – most amazing feature of the whole astounding concept – the Father accepts that heroic offer, and allows the guiltless Son to suffer.

Is that a rational theory to be put before any reasonable human being? Obviously it is not. It is a nightmare of inconsequence and horror. Any God Who could be guilty of such action as that is not a God that anyone would want to worship. If we heard of a savage king in central Africa behaving like that we would say he ought to be instantly exterminated. We would consider that such savagery marked him off from humanity. It will be said, perhaps, that no one ever really believe that. It has certainly been the custom to slur over many of these points and to surround them with a mist of verbiage, but nevertheless the faith held by numbers of people depends upon that theory, and it is absolute nonsense – it is nonsense anyway – without that theory.

An extract from Chapter 1 of Leadbeater’s unpublished manuscript on Christian doctrine. I am currently working on editing and annotating that work for publication. The manuscript that I am using dates from the early 1930s. I have now been given access to a copy of an earlier, and variant, manuscript of the work, which seems to be that which was given to Bishop Frank Pigott when he visited Sydney in 1924, and which, on the basis of Pigott’s opinion that the work was “not theology”, was never published.

An account of the subsequent publication of what purports to be most of that manuscript can be found at https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/christian-gnosis/

“The Elder Brother” Reprinted

I was very pleased to receive this afternoon my author’s copies of the recent reprint of my book, “The Elder Brother. A Biography of C.W. Leadbeater” (originally published by Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1982), and even more pleased to read that it had been reprinted as part of the “Routledge Revivals” series described as “restoring to print books of some of the most influential academics of the last 120 years”. I have already received the e-book version, and will receive my author’s copies of the paperback edition when it is released next month.

Elder Brother

Leadbeater’s Last Great Unpublished Work

C.W. Leadbeater’s last great unpublished work was his study of Christian theology, intended to complete a trilogy of which The Science of the Sacraments (1920) and The Hidden Side of Christian Festivals (1920) had been published during his lifetime. It exists in manuscript form, under the title “An Enquiry Into The Failure of Christianity”, in the Theosophical Society Library at Adyar: L*091 Lea AF. His earliest work on the subject, The Christian Creed. Its Origin and Signification (1904) has been continually in print.

 For my posts on this topic, see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/christian-gnosis-again/ , https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/christian-gnosis/ , https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/leadbeaters-final-work-on-christianity/ and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/an-enquiry-into-the-failure-of-christianity/

I now have copies of two, slightly varying, copies of the original manuscript of the work, both with slightly varying handwritten annotations, together with the two published works which purport to represent at least most of the original work: A Christian Gnosis (1983) and Christian Gnosis (2011).

It is indeed curious, to say the least, that neither the Theosophical Society nor the Liberal Catholic Church has been prepared to publish the full, un-redacted manuscript of the only unpublished book written by Leadbeater. Virtually all of Leadbeater’s books, even the most obscure, are currently in print in various forms, especially since the copyright on those works has expired. Many of them are in current editions of the Theosophical Publishing House. Many of them are available on-line.

Much to my surprise, following my postings on this site, a number of people have contacted me expressing enthusiasm for an annotated version of Leadbeater’s final work on Christianity (now with the advantage of several manuscripts for comparison, and the whole, as opposed to the “Christian Gnosis” redactions).

While I regard preparing an accurate, un-redacted, annotated version of Leadbeater’s final work on Christianity with something only slightly less than unmitigated horror, I think that it is a project that should be undertaken.

I am eager for responses to this proposal. Please offer responses directly to me – gregory1@pacific.net.au – rather than via this site.

“Christian Gnosis” – again

One of the benefits to me of publishing this blog has been the generosity of those who offer me (often rare and unpublished) material, sometimes anonymously, often with a request that their identities not be made public.

I have now received another copy of the manuscript of Leadbeater’s final work on Christianity, somewhat different from the version I had previously received, and with additional and different annotations. It will be interesting to compare the two manuscripts, and to compare them with what are claimed to be, more or less, the published versions.

Scan_20170408 (2)

The question of the title of the manuscript remains unresolved. The copy I consulted in the Adyar Library had the title “An Enquiry into the Failure of Christianity”, and that is the title under which it is catalogued in the library.

Pigott and Theosophical Schools

I am very grateful to David Cursons for offering the following corrections to my comments on Frank Waters Pigott and Theosophical schools in England: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/frank-waters-pigott/  Mr Cursons is a former member of staff at St Christopher’s School, now in retirement and looking after its Old Scholars’ Club [www.oldscholars.info] and cataloguing and delving into its archive material.

Please allow me to point out an error which you might at some point wish to correct. It relates to the paragraph:  “From 1919-1923 [Pigott] was residing at The Home School, Grindleford, Derbyshire, and without any clerical appointment. The Home School, a fee-paying secondary school, was operated by the Theosophical Society; it became Grindleford College and closed after World War II. It later became St Christopher’s School at Letchworth, Hertfordshire, with a vegetarian rather than theosophical ethos.”

The Theosophical Educational Trust (in Great Britain and Ireland) Ltd. did indeed take over the Home School, Grindleford in the summer of 1919 from Mr William Platt and his wife, who had previously run it, and Frank Pigott became the headmaster from September 1919.

There were also Theosophical Educational Trusts in other countries, and there is often
confusion and the belief that they were all one organisation, run from Adyar.

StC class

However, there were difficulties with the situation in England, and the Theosophical
Educational Trust (in Great Britain and Ireland) Ltd. sold the school to Mr E. W. Phibbs, who took it over in time for the autumn term of 1922.  Rev Pigott was therefore head there for only three years.  He (and some of his former Grindleford pupils) moved to Letchworth, where he was put in charge of Arundale House, the boarding part of St Christopher School.  (He is generally referred to as Mr Pigott in the school records of this time, not as Rev.).
However, he handed in his resignation in the summer of 1923, as he had been offered an appointment as Regionary Bishop for the Liberal Catholic Church in England, and he left the school to take up his new duties in December 1923.
Pigott bishop

It is not the case, as your paragraph states, that Grindleford became St Christopher.  The original UK theosophical school, at first known as The Garden City Theosophical School, but which soon changed its name to The Arundale School, started in Letchworth in January 1915, and the Theosophical Educational Trust (in Great Britain and Ireland) Ltd. was originally formed to run it.  In autumn 1920 the teaching moved into newly built classroom buildings about a mile from the original site of the Arundale School.  When laying the foundation stone for these buildings Annie Besant gave it the name St Christopher.  From autumn 1920 the former site still housed the boarders and the playing fields, and was still known for a while as Arundale School, but a little later, more accurately, as Arundale House.  This was the House of which Rev Pigott became head.

StC library

One might also add that the vegetarian diet was there from the start of the Letchworth schools, but Grindleford was also largely vegetarian. The Grindleford prospectus says: “vegetarian diet is recommended by the Directors, who have found it eminently satisfactory in their other schools, and given it to all their scholars.  But it is not compulsory, and if parents object to it they have only to inform the Principal of the fact.” The original head of the Letchworth School stated that there would be tolerance if too great an insistence on a vegetarian diet meant they had to turn away promising pupils, although there is little evidence about whether this possibility was ever exercised.  So there is probably little difference between the various schools run by the Theosophical Educational Trust in the matter of diet.

 StC dining

St Christopher moved back to its original Arundale site in 1928, and became independent of the Theosophical Society in 1930.  The Theosophical Educational Trust in Great Britain and Ireland, which had run St Christopher, Grindleford and other establishments was put into voluntary liquidation in 1932.

I am always grateful for corrections, additions or comments regarding anything that I publish.

The history of Theosophical schools is a subject worthy of considerably more attention than it has received. Mr Cursons commented in a later communication:

It would indeed be interesting for more to be known about Theosophical Schools, and I hope I may be able to contribute a little in due course in respect of the English ones.  They were created with great optimism, adopting progressive ideas which were not unique to the Theosophical schools.  However the theosophists considered that they could provide a theoretical underpinning to the idea of a child-centred education by considering that the child already came with the experience of previous lives and could not therefore be thought
of as a ‘blank slate’ on which to write new understanding.  Unfortunately the English schools, at least, fell foul of the troubles in the TS as a whole – an overhasty expansion when generous donors were available was followed by financial problems stemming from the tensions in the TS in the latter part of the 1920s.  It was partly the loss of support from Mrs Douglas-Hamilton which resulted in St Christopher abandoning its new buildings after only eight years and reforming as a somewhat smaller school on the old Arundale site.  As far as
I can gather, somewhat similar fates happened to the schools in Australia and New Zealand, as the wider troubles in the TS created problems for them. It seems to have been different in Sri Lanka, where there were many Buddhist schools founded by the TS which continued to thrive, I believe, up to independence.

 Our Relation to Children (2)

Leadbeater’s major work on education was Our Relation to Children Theosophical Publishing Society, London, 1898. An abridged text of that work is available on-line at: http://www.anandgholap.net/Our_Relation_To_Children-CWL.htm

It will help us much in our dealings with children if we remember that they also are egos, that their small and feeble physical bodies are after all but the accident of the moment, and that in reality we are all about the same age. Our business in training them is to develop only that in their lower nature which will co-operate with the ego — which will make it a better channel for the ego to work through. Long ago, in the golden age of the old Atlantean civilization, the importance of the office of the teacher of the children was so fully recognized that none was permitted to hold it except a trained clairvoyant, who could see all the latent qualities and capabilities of his charges, and could, therefore, work intelligently with each so as to develop what was good in him, and to amend what was evil.

 In the distant future it may be that that will be so once more; but that time is as yet far away, and we have to do our best under less favourable conditions. Yet unselfish affection is a wonderful quickener of the intuition, and those who really love their children will rarely be at a loss to comprehend their needs; and keen and persistent observation will give them, though at the cost of much more trouble, some approach to the clearer insight of their Atlantean predecessors. At any rate, it is well worth the trying, for when once we realize our true responsibility in relation to children, we shall assuredly think no labour too great which enables us to discharge it better.

For Theosophical schools generally, see:

“The Educational Work of Theosophists” in C. Jinarajadasa (ed) The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society. A Brief History of The Society’s Growth from 1875-1925 Theosophical Publish House, Adyar, 1925:295-303:

  1. Olcott Panchama Free Schools: 295-297
  2. Education in India: 297-29
  3. Education in Ceylon: 299-300
  4. Education in England: 300-301
  5. Education in Java: 301-302
  6. Education in America: 302
  7. Education in Australia: 302
  8. Education in New Zealand: 302
  9. Brahmavidya Ashrama: 302-303


A. C. Stewart and W. P. McCann The Educational Innovators: Volume II: Progressive Schools 1881–1967 Springer, 1968: 55-64

A. C. Stewart Progressives and Radicals in English Education 1750–1970 Springer, 1972: 193-201

For the Theosophical Educational Trust, see:

Kevin J. Brehony “To Letchworth via India: The Transformation of the Theosophical Educational Trust” Paper available on-line at: https://www.academia.edu/2697965/To_Letchworth_via_India_The_Transformation_of_the_Theosophical_Educational_Trust

Jinarajadasa (ed) The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society. A Brief History of The Society’s Growth from 1875-1925 Theosophical Publish House, Adyar, 1925:300-301

For the Theosophical Fraternity in Education, see:

Jinarajadasa (ed) The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society. A Brief History of The Society’s Growth from 1875-1925 Theosophical Publish House, Adyar, 1925:301

For the New Education Fellowship (later World Education Fellowship), see:


Kevin J. Brehony  “A new education for a new era: the contribution of the conferences of the New Education Fellowship to the disciplinary field of education 1921–1938” Paedagogica Historica. International Journal of the History of Education Volume 40, 2004 – Issue 5-6: 733-755 – text available on-line at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0030923042000293742

For the Olcott Panchama Free Schools in India, see:


For Theosophical Education in England, see:

Kevin Tingay “The Ancient Wisdom and the Modern Child – Theosophy and Progressive Education in England” Paper delivered at Theosophical History Conference, London, 1988. Available on-line at: https://www.academia.edu/28649383/The_Ancient_Wisdom_and_the_Modern_Child_Theosophy_and_Progressive_Education_in_England

For Grindleford College, see:


The Home School, known later as Grindleford College was a fee paying school, day and boarding. In 1911 its Schoolmaster was William PLATT. He was aged 44, born in St Pancras, London, and described himself as “Head-master, own day & boarding school”. He was living at the school. Also resident were his wife Susan, aged 48, born Loughall, Armagh, two children, Gladys E. CLARKE, single, aged 23, Art Mistress, born Chatteris, Isle of Ely, Clara YOUNGMAN, Cook-Housekeeper, aged 38, single, born Aldeby, Norfolk, and a servant, Lucy Dane, aged 15, born Eyam. As ‘Grindleford College’, it was still accepting pupils during WWII, but was closed probably very soon after. The building is sited to the north of St Helen’s Church, and is now Pinegrove, a Residential Home for the elderly.

For The Garden City Theosophical School, see

G.E. Rogers “The Garden City Theosophical School” The Theosophist, Vol XXXVIII. No 3 December, 1915.

For St Christopher School, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Christopher_School,_Letchworth http://www.oldscholars.info/firstclass.htm

Reginald Snell St Christopher School 1915-1975 Letchworth, Aldine Press, 1975

For The St Christopher Club see: www.oldscholars.info

For Theosophical schools in Sydney, see:

https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/theosophical-schools-in-sydney/ R.C. Petersen “Australian Progressive Schools. 1. Theosophical Schools” The Australian Journal of Education Vol 13 No 3 October 1969:241-250

Jill Roe Beyond Belief: Theosophy in Australia 1879-1939 (The Modern History Series), University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 1986: 240-243

Morven garden school

Morven Garden School, North Sydney, NSW, Australia

For Theosophical Schools in New Zealand, see: http://vasantagardenschool.weebly.com/a-new-era.html

Vasanta Garden School

Vasanta Garden School, Auckland, New Zealand

For the (Adyar) approach to Theosophical education, see:

Kevin Tingay “Theosophy and the Education and Children” in FOTA Newsletter No 5 October 2015:14-17 – available on-line at: http://hypatia.gr/fota/images/newsletter/Fota_Newsletter_05.pdf

Annie Besant Education in the Light of Theosophy Adyar Pamphlet No. 16, “The Theosophist” Office, Adyar, 1912 – text available on-line at: http://www.theosophical.ca/adyar_pamphlets/AdyarPamphlet_No16.pdf

 Besant education

The fundamental teachings of Theosophy so alter our views of the child, that a very revolution is wrought by them in the relations of the child and his elders. Formerly we regarded him either as a soul fresh from the hands of God, clad in a body furnished by his parents; or as an intelligence dependent on the brain and nervous organisation built up by the laws of heredity working through countless generations in the past. Some thought that the child’s mind was a blank page on which his environment wrote his character, so that everything depended on the influences brought to bear on him from outside; others, that he

brought his mental and emotional qualities with him through heredity, and could only be slightly modified from outside, since “nature was stronger than nurture”. From every point of view, he was practically a new being, a new consciousness, to be trained, disciplined, guided, ordered, by his elders, a creature without experience, living in a world new to him, which he entered for the first time.

Theosophy has placed before us a conception of the child as an immortal Individual, taking birth amongst us after many hundreds of such births upon our earth, with experiences gathered through many lives and wrought into him as faculties and powers, with a character which is the incarnate memory of his past, with a receptivity which is limited and conditioned by that past, and which determines his response to impressions from outside. He is no longer a plastic soul, ductile in the hands of his elders, but a being to be studied, to be understood, before he can be effectively helped. His body, truly, is young and not yet well under his control, a scarce-broken animal; but he himself may be older than his parents and his teachers, may be wiser than his elders. To the Theosophist each child is a study, and instead of imposing his own will on him and supposing that age and size of body give a right to order and to dominate, he tries to discover through the young body the features of the indwelling owner, and to understand what the Ruler Immortal is seeking to achieve in his new kingdom of the flesh. He endeavours to aid the indwelling Ruler, not to usurp his throne, to be an advisor, a councillor, not a master. He ever remembers that each Ego has his own path, his own method, and he treats him with a tender reverence — tender, because of the youth and weakness of the body; reverence, because of the sacredness of the Individual, on whose empire none should encroach.

Further the Theosophist knows that the new bodies which clothe the ancient and eternal Spirit, while representing the results of his embodied past, may be immensely modified by the influences which play upon them in the present. The astral body contains germs of good and evil emotions, the seeds sown by the experiences of previous lives; these are germs, not fully developed qualities, and they may be nourished or atrophied by the influences which play upon them; an Ego who possesses an astral body with germs of violent temper or of deceit, may be helped by the peacefulness and honesty of his parents, and these germs, played upon by their opposites, may be nearly starved out of existence; one who has an astral body in which are germs of generosity and benevolence, may have these fostered into strength by the play upon them of similar virtues in his elders. So also the mental body possesses the germs of mental faculties, and these may be similarly nurtured or stunted. In the Ego are the qualities or the deficiencies, and in his permanent atoms the material potentialities for the bodies; the building-up, the modifying, of the astral and mental bodies during childhood and youth is — save in most exceptional cases — largely dependent on the influences which surround him; here comes in the powerful karma of environment generated in his past, and the heavy responsibilities of his elders; his whole future in this birth being largely determined by the influences which play upon him during his early years.

George Arundale also wrote on Theosophy and education: see, for example, his books:

The Bedrock of Education (1924)

Education for Happiness (1938)

Theosophical Education (1940)

Real Education (1941).


The book attributed to Krishnamurti, Education as Service (1912), was probably written by, or under the influence of, Arundale – text available on-line at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/11345/11345-h/11345-h.htm


A Conference on Annie Besant

Annie Besant

From Leslie Price in England:

Which Theosophist had the biggest impact on Theosophy in England and indeed the world, yet is most neglected today? Not of course H.P.B. who is rightly much studied, but Annie Besant, whose conversion to Theosophy in 1889 so delighted Madame Blavatsky. Annie also made significant contributions to politics, religion, and equality. So, to coincide with her birthday, and with the help of international scholars, the TSE has called a conference on Annie Besant for the weekend 30 September and 1 October 2017. It is worth writing that in your diary now. While the first day will focus on her social activism, the second will look at her Theosophical work.

Even among Theosophists, this event will not be universally popular. For Mrs Besant angered supporters of the American Theosophist William Judge; critics of the English Theosophist Charles Leadbeater; some old pupils of HPB; etc.etc. It should be a lively weekend.






Leadbeater, Bacon and Shakespeare

A number of Theosophical and other occult writers have published works arguing that “that Bacon wrote the plays that pass as Shakespeare’s”. See, for example, Ernest Francis Udny Later Incarnations of Francis Bacon Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, 1925. For Udny, see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/ernest-francis-udny/

Francis Bacon

Leadbeater also made that claim on the basis of his occult investigations.

I recall being present at one of these investigations when in some way Francis Bacon’s work came to be examined. Knowing who Bacon is today, as one of the Adepts, Bishop Leadbeater felt that to investigate Bacon’s affairs clairvoyantly was like a piece of impertinence. But he did note that Bacon wrote the plays that pass as Shakespeare’s. However, what particularly drew my attention at the time was not that fact, which was fairly obvious to me upon the examination of the evidence, but rather something else which Bishop Leadbeater noted on higher planes. If Bacon is Shakespeare, and also if several other works passing under the names of other authors are also from Bacon’s brain, then, there must have been a terrific creative energy in Bacon at the time. Bishop Leadbeater said that, as he watched, it was as if some wonderful ray from a great creative centre on the inner planes had converged upon Bacon, so that he threw off one work after another in the way of plays, poems, philosophical theses, etc., without any particular effort. This little glimpse into the power of the creative consciousness behind everything was far more fascinating to me than the solution of the Bacon-Shakespeare problem.

Jinarajadasa Occult Investigations. A Description of the Work of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1938:40-41

In “The Lives” research, Bacon (as the Master the Comte de St. Germain) was given the Star Name of Venus.

The Head of the Seventh Ray is the Master the Comte de St. Germain, known to history in the eighteenth century, whom we sometimes call the Master Rakoczy, as He is the last survivor of that royal house. He was Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, in the seventeenth century, Robertus the monk in the sixteenth, Hunyadi Janos in the fifteenth, Christian Rosenkreuz in the fourteenth, and Roger Bacon in the thirteenth; He is the Hungarian Adept of The Occult World. Further back in time He was the great Neoplatonist Proclus and before that St. Alban. He works to a large extent through ceremonial magic, and employs the services of great Angels, who obey Him implicitly and rejoice to do His will. Though He speaks all European and many Oriental languages, much of His working is in Latin, the language which is the especial vehicle of His thought, and the splendour and rhythm of it is unsurpassed by   anything that we know down here. In His various rituals He wears wonderful and many-coloured robes and jewels. He has a suit of golden chain-mail, which once belonged to a Roman Emperor; over it is thrown a magnificent cloak of crimson, with on its clasp a seven-pointed star in diamond and amethyst, and sometimes He wears a glorious robe of violet. Though He is thus engaged with ceremonial, and still works some of the rituals of the Ancient Mysteries, even the names of which have long been forgotten in the outer world, He is also much concerned with the political situation in Europe and the growth of modern physical science.

C.W. Leadbeater The Masters and The Path Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 2nd edition, 1927

For a contrary Theosophical view, see: https://blavatskytheosophy.com/francis-bacon-a-great-adept-and-theosophist/

Sir Francis Bacon is sometimes spoken of by students of Theosophy as having been a great Adept, Theosophist, Occultist, even as being Christian Rosenkreuz, founder of the Rosicrucians, himself, and as having a connection with the Brotherhood or Lodge of those Masters who are behind the modern Theosophical Movement.

It is also sometimes claimed that Bacon was the real author of most, if not all, of the plays of William Shakespeare.

These ideas are widely accepted in some groups, primarily the followers of the pseudo-theosophical distortions of such people as C.W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant, Alice Bailey, and Benjamin Creme.

Theosophists who study and respect H.P. Blavatsky and the real Mahatmas ought to acquaint themselves with the actual Theosophical position – on this, as on all other matters – as it appears to be completely different to the above and to contradict such notions.


Leadbeater and Astrology

One subject of passing interest to Leadbeater and a short-lived area of his occult investigation, although little publicised, was astrology.

I must not forget to mention an unusual investigation which is interesting because it revealed the true spiritual significance of astrology. Most astrologers today look upon their science from the standpoint of gaining indications of favourable or unfavourable aspects for undertakings. But when the inner meaning of astrology is understood, modern astrology appears very much as a mere bony skeleton compared to the living body. It was through occult investigation that a glimpse was obtained of real astrology.

Among the Theosophists in London were two astrologers, Mr. Alan Leo and Mrs. Bessie Leo. They were both greatly devoted to Dr. Besant, but as I shall narrate, felt a profound gratitude to Bishop Leadbeater for what he did for them. Mr. Alan Leo had not had the opportunity of much higher education but he was (and possibly for the lack of that) very intuitive. Though Mrs. Leo was also intuitive, he was the more intuitive of the two. He was remarkable for an unusual understanding of the significance of the various indications received from his astrological charts. He felt convinced that modern astrology is only the outer husk of something far grander, and he and his wife asked Bishop Leadbeater if he could not in any way assist them.

As I have already narrated, the first investigation into past lives began with a life of Mr. John Varley, where he was a Chaldean priest, and performed a ceremony of invocation of the Star Spirits. Bishop Leadbeater had therefore already a touch with a period of the long past in Chaldea. At that epoch, Chaldean civilization had a religion which, in its higher aspects, was a worship of the Planetary Logoi and Star Spirits, and in its lower, a system of rules for conduct guided by the position of the planets. The religion was full of gorgeous ceremonial, and little by little he investigated this religion of astrology in ancient Chaldea.

The material thus supplied meant a great revelation to the Leos. It made them more mystical and fuller of insight, and was indeed the beginning of the striking contribution to astrology given by both, and particularly by Alan Leo. These investigations were first published in The Theosophical Review [The Theosophical Review, February, March, April 1900] and were later incorporated into Man: Whence, How and Whither, Chapter XIII.

Some day in the future, when once again the Third or Astrological Ray will influence mankind, true astrology will be the predominating religion of man-kind. But it will be really a religion, that is, a worship, and not this modern time-table astrology beyond which its professors do not seem to be able to pass. True astrology begins when a man knows who is his “Father Star”, and reaches out in aspiration towards the Planetary Logos of his Ray, or to some representative of that great Being. While a man will use the forces, which the combination of the spheres will give him, to find out the best way to achieve a result, yet his highest life will be in communion with his Father Star. It is this inner vision of astrology which was given to Alan Leo which enabled him to theosophise astrology.\

Jinarajadasa Occult Investigations. A Description of the Work of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1938:63-66

Leadbeater’s writings on astrology are found in Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater Man: Whence, How and Whither. A Record of Clairvoyant Investigation Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1913: 192-106. A digital version of the 1947 reprint of Man: Whence, How and Whither, Chapter XIII can be found on-line at: https://archive.org/stream/manwhencehowandw031919mbp/manwhencehowandw031919mbp_djvu.txt and the text can also be found at: http://www.anandgholap.net/Man_Whence_How_And_Whither-CWL.htm

The idea that it is possible for the physical planets themselves to have any influence over human affairs was of course never held by any of the priests or teachers, nor even, so far as we can see, by the most ignorant of the common people at the early period of which we are now speaking. The theory given to the priests was an exceedingly elaborate mathematical one, probably handed down to them through an unbroken line of tradition from earlier teachers, who had direct and first-hand knowledge of the great facts of nature. The broad idea of their scheme is not difficult to grasp, but it seems impossible in our three dimensions to construct any mathematical figure which will satisfy the requirements of their hypothesis in all its details at least with the knowledge at present at our disposal.

The entire solar system, then, in all its vast complexity, was regarded as simply one great Being, and all its parts as partial expressions of Him. All its physical constituents the sun with his worderful corona, all the planets with their satellites, their oceans, their atmospheres, and the various ethers surrounding them all these collectively made up His physical body, the expression of Him on the physical plane. In the same way the collective astral worlds (not only the astral spheres belonging to these physical planets, but also the purely astral planets of all the chains of the system such, for example, as planets B and F of our own Chain) made up His astral body, and the collective worlds of the mental plane were His mental body the vehicle through which He manifested Himself upon that particular plane.

 So far the idea is clear, and corresponds closely with what we have ourselves been taught with regard to the great LOGOS of our system. Now let it be supposed that in these ‘bodies’ of His at their various levels there are certain different classes or types of matter fairly equally distributed over the whole system. These types do not at all correspond to our usual division into subplanes a division which is made according to the degree of density of the matter, so that in the physical world, for example, we get the solid, liquid, gaseous and etheric conditions of matter. On the contrary, they constitute a totally distinct series of cross-divisions, each containing matter in all these different conditions, so that if we denote the various types by numbers, we should have solid, liquid, and gaseous matter of the first type, solid, liquid and gaseous matter indeed, we may sat at once that the Chaldean theory upon these subjects was practically that which is held by many Theosophists at the present day. Mr. C. W. Leadbeater, in A Textbook of Theosophy and The Hidden Side of Things, has made, as the result of his own investigations, a statement on planetary influences which is to all intents and purposes identical with the belief held thousands of years ago (as the result of similar investigations) by the Chaldaean priests of the second type, and so on all the way through.

Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater Man: Whence, How and Whither. A Record of Clairvoyant Investigation Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1913:192-194

Alan leo photo

Alan Leo (William Frederick Allan)(1860-1917) and his wife Bessie (Ada Elizabeth Murray Allan nee Phillips)(1858-1931) were both astrologers and Theosophists in London. Leo had joined the Society in 1890, Mrs Leo in 1892, and in 1915 he founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society in London. He had been chosen by Mrs Besant as one of the founders of Co-Freemasonry in England, rising to the 30th degree in 1908.

In 1908 Leo was a member of the Executive of the British Section of the Theosophical Society that voted in support of the reinstatement of Leadbeater to membership of the Theosophical Society following the 1906 scandals: see https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/the-other-1908-committee-again/


For Leo, see: http://www.skyscript.co.uk/Alan_Leo.html and http://www.astrolodge.co.uk/articles/an-astrological-article

Leo was the author of numerous works on astrology. A bibliography of his major works can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Leo

esoteric astrology (2)

For the Astrological Lodge, see: http://www.astrolodge.co.uk/history-of-the-lodge


See also: Bessie Leo The Life and Work of Alan Leo, Theosophist, Astrologer, Mason London: “Modern Astrology” Office, 1919 [Foreword by Annie Besant] Digital version available on-line at: https://archive.org/details/lifeworkofalanle00leob




Leadbeater’s Final Work on Christianity

Leadbeater’s final work on Christianity has long remained something of a mystery. It exists in manuscript form, under the title “An Enquiry Into The Failure of Christianity”, in the Theosophical Society Library at Adyar: L*091 Lea AF

The work has supposedly already published as “The Christian Gnosis” or “A Christian Gnosis” – see my comments at https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/christian-gnosis/ and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/an-enquiry-into-the-failure-of-christianity/ and https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/leadbeaters-christian-trilogy/

One of the benefits of this blog has been the number of people who have contacted me (often requesting a strict assurance of anonymity) to provide me with unpublished material, or references to previously unknown sources.

One “informant” (to revert to my original discipline of anthropology), reading of my interest in the matter, offered – on conditions of strictest confidentiality, oaths of secrecy written in blood…well, not quite, but all very CIA-M16-Watergate like – to make available to me a copy of Leadbeater’s original manuscript, via a courier. I have now returned it to my informant, via a courier (international, and very expensive), having copied and/or scanned the whole work, with some difficulties in quality, given the problems of copying/scanning copies, often of poor quality.

Scan_20170313 (4)

The work is truly tedious and theologically primitive, and largely theologically and historically illiterate, not to mention very poorly written. By the time that he finished this work, Leadbeater was in serious decline. But, of course, the work is interesting. Reading the manuscript, it is obvious why neither the St Alban Press nor Quest was prepared to publish the original text, even with very judicious editing.

Chapter Title
1 Why is Christianity not more successful?
2 God’s Attitude to Man
3 The Scheme called Salvation
4 “Eternal” and “Everlasting”
5 The Descent into Matter
6 The Method of Human Progress
7 Reincarnation
8 A Rational Creed
9 The Real Meaning of Salvation
10 The Inner Teaching of Early Christianity
11 Salvation
12 The Father Almighty
13 The Son
14 The Incarnation
15 The Crucifixion
16 The Descent into Hell
17 The Resurrection
18 The Ascension
19 The Holy Ghost
20 The Holy Catholic Church, The Communion of Saints
21 The Remission of Sins
22 The Resurrection of the Dead

It would be fascinating to publish an annotated version of the original of this strange work purporting to be on Christianity – I may work on it gradually, linking it to Leadbeater’s other works relating to his confused understanding of Christianity.