Katherine Tingley

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Katherine Augusta Westcott Tingley was the successor to William Quan Judge in the leadership of the Theosophical Society in America, which she merged with the Universal Brotherhood to form the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society. She is best known for establishing the Point Loma community in San Diego.

Early years

Mrs. Tingley was born July 6, 1847, Newbury, Massachusetts, to James P. and Susan Westcott. She was a social worker and did relief and emergency hospital work during the Spanish American War. She was later instrumental in opening hospitals in Cuba and the Philippines. Mrs. Tingley worked with children, particularly orphans, throughout her career.

Introduction to the Theosophical Society

While working in New York, Mrs. Tingley met WQ Judge. She joined the Theosophical Society on October 13, 1894.

Successor to William Quan Judge

Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society

International travels

Point Loma community

On February 13, 1900, she transferred the Society's international headquarters from New York City to the new colony at Point Loma.

Raja Yoga schools

Later years

Writings

Mrs. Tingley served as editor of several periodicals, including The Theosophical Path and The New Way. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 6 articles under the name Katherine A. Tingley, and she may have contributed more anonymously. There are also 125 articles under the name Katherine Tingley that are reprints of her writings and lectures, mostly in Sunrise magazine.

She also wrote several books and compilations of speeches:

  • Helena Petrovna Blavatsky: Foundress of the Original Theosophical Society in New York, 1875, the International Headquarters of Which are Now at Point Loma, California. Point Loma, CA: Woman's International Theosophical League, 1921. This is a compilation by Tingley of materials by and about H. P. Blavatsky. Available at Hathitrust, Internet Archive, and Internet Archive.
  • The Path of the Mystic. Point Loma, CA: Aryan Theosophical Press, 1922. Compiled by Grace Frances Knoche. 185 pages. Available at Hathitrust. Second edition entitled Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic is available at Blavatsky House
  • The Wine of Life. Point Loma, CA: Woman's International Theosophical League, 1925. Preface by Talbot Mundy. "A compilation from extemporaneous public addresses by Katherine Tingley ... delivered in America and Europe, principally in 1923 and 1924; and from private instructions to her students." Available at Blavatsky House
  • The Gods Await. Point Loma, CA: Woman's International Theosophical League, 1926. Contents are described as "Dogma versus the god in man.--War versus patriotism.--For the downtrodden and outcast.--The philosophy of nature." Available at Blavatsky House
  • The Travail of the Soul. Point Loma, CA: Woman's International Theosophical League, 1927. Available at Hathitrust and Blavatsky House
  • The Voice of the Soul. Point Loma, CA: Woman's International Theosophical League, 1928. Available at Blavatsky House
  • The Mysteries of the Heart Doctrine. Point Loma, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1902. Available at Blavatsky House
  • The Wisdom of the Heart. San Diego, CA: Point Loma Publications, 1978. Available at Blavatsky House

Additional resources

  • Ashcraft, W. Michael. The Dawn of the New Cycle: Point Loma Theosophists and American Culture. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2002.
  • Greenwalt, Emmett A. California Utopia: Point Loma: 1897-1942 2nd revised edition San Diego, CA: Point Loma Publications, 1978.
  • Stevenson, Gertrude. "Katherine Tingley Explains Her Work and Aims: An Interview." The Boston Herald. (Septmber 21, 1913). Originallly titled "Newburyport Girl Evolves Amazing New Educational System: Katherine Tingley Here Explains Life Work and Aims." Reprinted in Sunrise magazine, April/May 1998. Available at Theosophy Northwest web page.
  • Whiting, Lilian. Katherine Tingley and Her Raja-Yoga System of Education. Point Loma, CA: Aryan Theosophical Press, 1919. 23 pages.
  • Whiting, Lilian. Katherine Tingley: Theosophist and Humanitarian. Point Loma, CA: Aryan Theosophical Press, 1919. 23 pages.

Notes