Charles J. Ryan

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Charles James Ryan, Jr. (1865-1949) was an Irish Theosophist who lived at Point Loma. He was astronomer, painter, and anthropologist, and wrote several important Theosophical books including HP Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement.[1]

According to the website of the British Section of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena):

Charles. J. Ryan (1865-1949) born in Halifax, England. Of wide-ranging interests and talents, his art was exhibited at London’s Royal Academy and, at age 26, he succeeded his father as principal of the government School of Art in Ventnor, Isle of Wight. In 1894, he met a pupil of H. P. Blavatsky and soon joined the Theosophical Society. A few years later, in 1900, he accepted Katherine Tingley’s invitation to help build the Society’s new international headquarters at Point Loma, California where he served until his death as a teacher at its schools and a frequent contributor on literary, historical, scientific, and theosophical topics.[2]


The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 56 articles by or about Charles Ryan. Many were book reviews for The Theosophical Forum and articles for Sunrise magazine. Mr. Ryan wrote the first and last volumes in the Theosophical Manuals series (1930-1940) published by Theosophical University Press:

  • What Is Theosophy? A General View for Inquirers. This was an expansion of "Theosophy in Brief Outline," originally printed in 1931.
  • Yoga and Yoga Discipline: A Theosophical Interpretation.

Other books were:

  • Star Habits and Orbits, written with L. Gordon Plummer.
  • HP Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement'.'

Additional resources


  1. Boris de Zirkoff letter to Dorothy M. Emerson. July 24, 1975. Boris de Zirkoff Papers. Records Series 22. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
  2. Theosophical Society (Pasadena) British Section website.