Leadbeater and Wedgwood

The influence of James Ingall Wedgwood on Leadbeater led to a major change in Leadbeater’s occult interests, and the emergence of what can best be described as an obsession with ritual magic. Leadbeater had previously, as he had written, had no interest in Christian or Masonic ritual, but, having been introduced to both by Wedgwood, became preoccupied with them.


Just when Leadbeater and Wedgwood first met in this life is not certain, although Wedgwood recalled it as having been in 1906 in the home of a leading English Theosophist, Alfred Hodgson Smith, at Harrogate. See J.I. Wedgwood “Some Reminiscences of Mr Leadbeater” in Union Lodge Lectures (Union Lodge, TS), (London), 1918.

Wedgwood and Leadbeater talked for some time about Gregorian plainchant, and Wedgwood was impressed by demonstrations of Leadbeater’s psychic powers. Leadbeater “looked up” Frederick George Lee (1832-1902), the prime mover in the Order of Corporate Reunion, in the “Heaven World” while preparing for lunch. Wedgwood had some vague associations with supposed continuations of the Order of Corporate Reunion during his early Anglican years.

As Wedgwood commented that “The interesting thing was that C.W.L. could do a piece of work like that while washing his hands.”

Wedgwood and Leadbeater subsequently stayed together in Weiner Hirsch (with Mrs Marie Russak and Mrs Van Hook), at Colmar in Alsace-Lorraine (with Johann van Manen) and in Genoa (with Mr and Mrs Kirby). However, according to Leadbeater’s accounts of past lives, he and Wedgwood had lived and worked in many worlds before this. Wedgwood was known by the “Star Name” of “Lomia” in Man, Whence, How and Whither (1913) when his lives in India, 12,800 B.C. and Peru, 12,000 B.C. were described, and in The Lives of Alcyone (1924) where he featured amongst the leading figures.

The relationship between Leadbeater and Wedgwood, however it was later portrayed by writers from within the movements with which they were involved, was complex and not entirely happy. Wedgwood, who had formal education in theology, liturgy and Church music, regarded Leadbeater’s theological, liturgical and musical knowledge and abilities as somewhat primitive. He was especially critical of Leadbeater’s occult revision of the Eucharistic liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church which sought to make the rite more explicitly occult, and of Leadbeater’s introduction of explicitly Theosophical material (for example, “The First Ray Benediction”) into the liturgy. Wedgwood found Leadbeater’s contribution to the music of the Liberal Catholic liturgy amateurish.

The two men also held significantly different view about the supposed “Coming” of the Lord Maitreya through the person of Krishnamurti.

For, Wedgwood, see: https://cwleadbeater.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/james-ingall-wedgwood/


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