Theurgy

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Theurgy (Greek: θεουργία) describes the practice of rituals, sometimes magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action or evoking the presence of one or more gods, especially with the goal of uniting with the divine, achieving henosis, and perfecting oneself.

Theosophical view

H. P. Blavatsky defined it as "a communication with, and means of bringing down to earth, planetary spirits and angels--the 'gods of Light'".[1] She clarified:

Spirits (but not those of the dead, the evocation of which was called Necromancy) were made visible to the eyes of mortals. Thus a theurgist had to be a hierophant and an expert in the esoteric learning of the Sanctuaries of all great countries.[2]

However, she warned about its practice in modern times, known today as "channeling":

The practice of theurgy is very undesirable and even dangerous in the present day. The world has become too corrupt and wicked for the practice of that which such holy and learned men as Ammonius, Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus (the most learned Theurgist of all) could alone attempt with impunity. In our day theurgy or divine, beneficent magic is but too apt to become goetic, or in other words Sorcery.[3]
Practical theurgy or “ceremonial magic,” so often resorted to in their exorcisms by the Roman Catholic clergy—was discarded by the Theosophists. It is but Iamblichus alone who, transcending the other Eclectics, added to Theosophy the doctrine of Theurgy. When ignorant of the true meaning of the esoteric divine symbols of nature, man is apt to miscalculate the powers of his soul, and, instead of communing spiritually and mentally with the higher, celestial beings, the good spirits (the gods of the theurgists of the Platonic school), he will unconsciously call forth the evil, dark powers which lurk around humanity—the undying, grim creations of human crimes and vices—and thus fall from theurgia (white magic) into goëtia (or black magic, sorcery).[4]

To be able to enter into communion with spiritual beings, occult knowledge, training, and a purified moral nature are necessary:

Knowledge of the inner meaning of their hierarchies, and purity of life alone can lead to the acquisition of the powers necessary for communion with them. To arrive at such an exalted goal the aspirant must be absolutely worthy and unselfish.[5]
Theurgy has to be preceded by a training of our senses and the knowledge of the human Self in relation to the Divine SELF. So long as man has not thoroughly mastered this preliminary study, it is idle to anthropomorphize the formless. By “formless” I mean the higher and the lower Gods, the supermundane as well as mundane Spirits, or Beings, which to beginners can be revealed only in Colors and Sounds. For none but a high Adept can perceive a “God” in its true transcendental form, which to the untrained intellect, to the Chela, will be visible only by its Aura.[6]

See also

Online resources

Articles

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 329.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 329.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy (Pasadena, CA: Theosophical Universtity Press, 1972), 367.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. II (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, [1967]), 96.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 329.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 560.