Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor

From Theosophy Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor was an organization that operated from 1884 until the early 1890s in the United States and England. Many of the members were Theosophists who were seeking instruction in practical occultism.

Not to be confused with the Brotherhood of Luxor, a subset of the Brotherhood of Adepts, or the Hermetic Brotherhood of Atlantis, Luxor and Elephanta.

History and organization

Instruction and practices

Theosophical Society reaction to H. B. of L.

Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa called the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor a "quack organization" in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom.[1] He was reflecting the viewpoint of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Helena P. BLAVATSKY was hostile to the H.B. of L. as soon as she became aware of it in 1885. While the H.B. of L. claimed to be the senior Order, Blavatsky and Henry S. OLCOTT regarded it as a parody of the “BROTHERHOOD OF LUXOR” whose Masters had instructed them in 1875. The multiple defection of theosophists who found practical teaching lacking in the Theosophical Society (TS) was one reason for the foundation of the latter’s ESOTERIC SECTION in 1888. Hostility became mutual as the H.B. of L. opposed its own Western or Hermetic tradition to the ESOTERIC BUDDHISM of the TS.[2]

Members of the H. B. of L. were keenly aware that the leadership of the Theosophical Society viewed their activities in a negative light. The correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson, particularly with Silas Randall, provides great insight into the relationship of the TS and the American Board of Control with the H. B. of L. Some Board members - Thomas Moore Johnson, Elliott B. Page, and Josephine Cables were enthusiastic participants in the Brotherhood. Dr. J. D. Buck was admitted as a member, but gave his first loyalty to the TS and its founders - Madame Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge. Dr. Buck formed the Cincinnati Theosophical Society on May 9, 1886, and played a major role in establishing the American Section of the Theosophical Society when he chaired a convention held in his home on October 30, 1886.[3]


These are some of the people involved with the HBL.

Additional resources

  • Bowen, Patrick D. Bowen, and Johnson, K. Paul Johnson, eds. Letters to the Sage: Selected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson Volume One: The Esotericists. Forest Grove, OR: The Typhon Press, 2016. See Introduction by Patrick D. Bowen, pages 46-83 for detailed history of the H B of L, and the letters of S. H. Randall.
  • Chanel, Christian, Deveney, John. P., and Godwin, Joscelyn, eds., The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Historical and Initiatic Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1995.
  • Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor in Internet Archive. Book by Joscelyn Godwin, Christian Chanel, and John P. Deveney. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1995. A very useful volume.
  • Brotherhood of Luxor in Theosophy World. Article contributed by Joscelyn Godwin.
  • Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor in Wikipedia.


  1. Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom Second Series, Letter No. 3 (Chicago: Theosophical Press, 1977), 16-18.
  2. Joscelyn Godwin, "Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor" in Theosophy World.
  3. Joy Mills. 100 Years of Theosophy: A History of The Theosophical Society in America (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1987), 4.