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Spiritism is a religious movement formed in France in the 19th century by Hypolite Léon Denizard Rivail under the pseudonym Allan Kardec, that believe in the existence of incorporeal spirits living in non-material spirit world, who can communicate with living people through mediumship. Although it shares many features with the American Spiritualism, it also has an important difference. As H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

Spiritism. The same as [Spiritualism] with the difference that the Spiritualists reject almost unanimously the doctrine of Reincarnation, while the Spiritists make of it the fundamental principle in their belief. There is, however, a vast difference between the views of the latter and the philosophical teachings of Eastern Occultists. Spiritists belong to the French School founded by Allan Kardec, and the Spiritualists of America and England to that of the "Fox girls" (...) Theosophists, while believing in the mediumistic phenomena of both Spiritualists and Spiritists, reject the idea of "spirits."[1]

Spiritism teaches reincarnation or rebirth into human life after death. However, according to Mme. Blavatsky they teach the reincarnation of the personality, while Theosophy teaches the reincarnation of the spiritual individuality.

Online resources



  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, "The Key to Theosophy" Glossary (Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1972), 364.