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[[File: Alphonse-Louis_Constant.jpg|right|260px|thumb|Alphonse-Louis Constant in 1836]]
 
[[File: Alphonse-Louis_Constant.jpg|right|260px|thumb|Alphonse-Louis Constant in 1836]]
'''Alphonse Louis Constant''' (February 8, 1810 – May 31, 1875), who wrote later in his life under the pen-name '''Éliphas Lévi''', was a French author and would become one of the most important esoteric writers of all time. His most famous books, ''Dogme et rituel de la haute magie'', ''Histoire de la magi''e, and ''La clef des grands mystères'' are considered to be the founding works of occultism. They would go on to inspire a number of key esotericists, among them [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky]]. Constant's theory and history of magic, his interpretation of the Kabbalah and the Tarot, as well as his emblematic drawings like the “Baphomet,” remain highly influential. <ref>Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926. Accessed on 11/12/2018</ref> His influence is apparent in the work and thought of figures as diverse as Papus (founder of the modern Martinist Order and former Theosophist), A.E. Waite (co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck), W. Wynn Westcott (from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn); and Aleister Crowley (English occultist). His notion of the all-pervading [[astral light]] was adopted by H.P.B. and used in her writings. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref>  
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'''Alphonse Louis Constant''' (February 8, 1810 – May 31, 1875), who wrote later in his life under the pen-name '''Éliphas Lévi''', was a French author and would become one of the most important esoteric writers of all time. His most famous books, ''Dogme et rituel de la haute magie'', ''Histoire de la magie'', and ''La clef des grands mystères'' are considered to be the founding works of [[occultism]]. They would go on to inspire a number of key esotericists, among them [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky]].  
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Constant's theory and history of [[magic]], his interpretation of the [[Kabbalah]] and the [[Tarot]], as well as his emblematic drawings like the “Baphomet,” remain highly influential. <ref>Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926. Accessed on 11/12/2018.</ref> His influence is apparent in the work and thought of figures as diverse as [[Papus]] (founder of the modern [[Martinism|Martinist Order]] and former Theosophist), A.E. Waite (co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck), [[William Wynn Westcott|W. Wynn Westcott]] (from the [[Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn]]); and Aleister Crowley (English occultist). His notion of the all-pervading [[astral light]] was adopted by H.P.B. and used in her writings.<ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of ''The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled'' by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000.</ref>  
  
 
==Early Life==
 
==Early Life==
  
Alphonse Louis Constant was the son of a poor shoemaker in Paris and was known as “the clever lad”.  The curé of his parish obtained a free education for him at the Seminary of St. Sulpice. He became a good Latin, Greek and Hebrew scholar and wanted to become a priest. <ref>Unpublished Letters of Éliphas Levi (1) from Lucifer 1887-1897. London, HP Blavatsky. Year 1894, v 14, March, page 51</ref> In 1836, shortly before he was ordained, he was forced to leave the Seminary due to a love affair. His mother committed suicide because of his failure. For several years after that he socialized with a circle of friends, young Bohemians, a heterogenous group of artists and socialists. His attempt to return to clerical life in 1839 by joining a Dominican monastery did not work out due to conflicts and he was desperately looking for a new perspective. He felt hope when he was offered a teaching position in Juilly but was only allowed to do the lowest kind of jobs and was treated badly. He felt despair and wrote during that time secretly the infamous Bible de la liberté [Bible of Freedom] which was published on February 13th, 1841. It was confiscated within an hour of publication but only after numerous copies were successfully distributed. He was arrested in April 1941 and convicted to 8 months in prison on May 11th after showing no remorse. The trial made him instantly famous in and outside of the country. The Bible de la liberté was the first of many publications with which Constant distinguished himself in the 1840s as one of the most sensational representatives of Christian Revolutionary Socialism. His role model was the priest Félicité de Lamennais, the founder of the so-called Neo-Catholicism. <ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition</ref> The young and enthusiastic Neo-Catholics wanted to reconcile Catholicism with post-revolutionary society, by establishing a liberal, progressive, and social Catholicism that sought to actively engage with contemporary philosophical, political, and scientific discourses. The Neo-Catholics achieved a public breakthrough in 1830 with their journal L'Avenir. However, the movement was swiftly and violently crushed soon after. .<ref>Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926. Accessed on 11/12/2018</ref>
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[[File: Abbe_Constant.jpg|left|260px|thumb|]]
  
His personal life had its disappointments, too. He seduced an assistant head mistress, who bore him an illegitimate child. This was the one time in his life, which was usually devoted to social utopianism and mystical absorption, Constant abandoned the teacher and became infatuated with her student, Noémi Cadiot. In 1846, at the age of thirty-six, Constant married the 17-year-old girl. It was a disastrous marriage. They had a daughter who died in childhood, and soon after her death, Noémi left him. But the radical tracts continued to appear, stimulated by the Revolution of 1848. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 47</ref>Because of the publication of a violently revolutionary pamphlet, La voix de la famine (1846b), he was again imprisoned in 1847. After the February Revolution, he presided over the Club de la Montagne which was described by contemporaries as one of the most radical clubs. At that time, Constant published his Testament de la liberté (1848), which has later been misunderstood as representing the end of his political ambitions but was in fact a euphoric writing about the beginning of a new regenerated world and the emancipation of the people.  
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Alphonse Louis Constant was the son of a poor shoemaker in Paris and was known as "the clever lad." The curé of his parish obtained a free education for him at the Seminary of St. Sulpice. He became a good Latin, Greek and Hebrew scholar and wanted to become a priest. <ref>Unpublished Letters of Éliphas Levi (1) from ''Lucifer'' 1887-1897. London, HP Blavatsky. Year 1894, v 14, March, page 51.</ref> In 1836, shortly before he was ordained, he was forced to leave the Seminary due to a love affair. His mother committed suicide because of his failure. For several years after that he socialized with a circle of friends, young Bohemians, a heterogeneous group of artists and socialists. His attempt to return to clerical life in 1839 by joining a Dominican monastery did not work out due to conflicts and he was desperately looking for a new perspective. He felt hope when he was offered a teaching position in Juilly but was only allowed to do the lowest kind of jobs and was treated badly. He felt despair and wrote during that time secretly the infamous '''''Bible de la liberté''''' [Bible of Freedom] which was published on February 13th, 1841. It was confiscated within an hour of publication but only after numerous copies were successfully distributed. He was arrested in April 1941 and convicted to 8 months in prison on May 11th after showing no remorse. The trial made him instantly famous in and outside of the country. ''The Bible de la liberté'' was the first of many publications with which Constant distinguished himself in the 1840s as one of the most sensational representatives of Christian Revolutionary Socialism. His role model was the priest Félicité de Lamennais, the founder of the so-called Neo-Catholicism.<ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition.</ref> The young and enthusiastic Neo-Catholics wanted to reconcile Catholicism with post-revolutionary society, by establishing a liberal, progressive, and social Catholicism that sought to actively engage with contemporary philosophical, political, and scientific discourses. The Neo-Catholics achieved a public breakthrough in 1830 with their journal ''L'Avenir''. However, the movement was swiftly and violently crushed soon after.<ref>Strube, Julian. ''Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France''. From [[https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926 TandFOnline]. Accessed on 11/12/2018.</ref>
  
The years between 1848 and 1855 marked for him, as for many other socialists, a period of great uncertainty. After he had initially partaken in the enthusiasm about Louis-Napoléon, he turned against the repressive Emperor with a highly polemical chanson that led to his third political imprisonment, in 1855. As a result, he kept a low profile in subsequent years, albeit without abandoning his political stance. <ref>Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926. Accessed on 11/12/2018</ref>
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His personal life had its disappointments, too. He seduced an assistant head mistress, who bore him an illegitimate child. This was the one time in his life, which was usually devoted to social utopianism and mystical absorption, when Constant committed a misdeed, abandoned the teacher and became infatuated with her student, Noémi Cadiot. In 1846, at the age of thirty-six, Constant married the 17-year-old girl. It was a disastrous marriage. They had a daughter who died in childhood, and soon after her death, Noémi left him. But the radical tracts continued to appear, stimulated by the Revolution of 1848.<ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of ''The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled'' by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000.</ref><ref>Lachman, Gary. ''To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere'', Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 47.</ref>Because of the publication of a violently revolutionary pamphlet, '''''La voix de la famine''''', he was again imprisoned in 1847. After the February Revolution, he presided over the '''Club de la Montagne''' which was described by contemporaries as one of the most radical clubs. At that time, Constant published his ''Testament de la liberté'' (1848), which has later been misunderstood as representing the end of his political ambitions but was in fact a euphoric writing about the beginning of a new regenerated world and the emancipation of the people.
  
In 1851 he produced a substantial and wholly orthodox Dictionaiare de Litterérature Chrétienne. It was to be his last truly orthodox work – religious, political, or esoteric – for the direction of his life was changed dramatically by two quite unrelated events.  
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The years between 1848 and 1855 marked for him, as for many other socialists, a period of great uncertainty. After he had initially partaken in the enthusiasm about Louis-Napoléon, he turned against the repressive Emperor with a highly polemical chanson that led to his third political imprisonment, in 1855. As a result, he kept a low profile in subsequent years, albeit without abandoning his political stance.<ref>Strube, Julian. ''Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France''. From [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926 TandFOnline]. Accessed on 11/12/2018.</ref>
  
In 1852 Constant met the Polish metaphysician and eccentric Hoëné Wronski (1778-1853) and was greatly influenced and inspired by his doctrine of Messianisme the name he gave to his synthesis of philosophy, religion, science, and politics: a strange amalgam of esoteric philosophy, Utopianism, and revealed religion. <ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 47</ref>The effect of Wronski’s influence was to reconcile a number of opposing elements in Constant’s thinking. Up till then the staunch Christian in him had conflicted with the socialist, the rationalist with the mystic. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 98 </ref>
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In 1851 he produced a substantial and wholly orthodox '''''Dictionaiare de Litterérature Chrétienne'''''. It was to be his last truly orthodox work religious, political, or esoteric – for the direction of his life was changed dramatically by two quite unrelated events.  
  
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In 1852 Constant met the Polish metaphysician and eccentric Hoëné Wronski (1778-1853) and was greatly influenced and inspired by his doctrine of '''Messianisme''' – the name he gave to his synthesis of philosophy, religion, science, and politics: a strange amalgam of esoteric philosophy, Utopianism, and revealed religion.<ref>Lachman, 47.</ref>The effect of Wronski’s influence was to reconcile a number of opposing elements in Constant’s thinking. Up till then the staunch Christian in him had conflicted with the socialist, the rationalist with the mystic. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. ''Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival''. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Page 98.</ref>
  
Within twelve months of their meeting, Wronski was dead and Constant’s wife had left him. Constant had contributed to a leftist paper, the Revue progressive, owned by the Marquis de Montferrier and his wife Noémi soon became the Marquis’ mistress. Immersed in his Kabbalistic studies, Constant did not notice what was going on until it was too late. To escape the pain of his betrayal he immersed himself in his writing, and in due course the Dogme appeared. It bore the name he was to use for the rest of his life: Éliphas Lévi. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Page 100 </ref>This was the point that Abbé Constant, to be succeeded by this new identity. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> <ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 48</ref>  
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Within twelve months of their meeting, Wronski was dead and Constant’s wife had left him. Constant had contributed to a leftist paper, the ''Revue progressive'', owned by the Marquis de Montferrier and his wife Noémi soon became the Marquis’ mistress. Immersed in his Kabbalistic studies, Constant did not notice what was going on until it was too late. To escape the pain of his betrayal he immersed himself in his writing, and in due course the ''Dogme'' appeared. It bore the name he was to use for the rest of his life: '''Éliphas Lévi'''.<ref>McIntosh, 100.</ref>This was the point that Abbé Constant died, to be succeeded by this new identity.<ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert.</ref> <ref>Lachman, 48.</ref>
  
 
== Éliphas Lévi==
 
== Éliphas Lévi==
  
As Éliphas Lévi - supposedly the Hebrew equivalent of his birth name <ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 45</ref>-, Constant became one of the most influential esoteric authors, writing and publishing a remarkable series of magical works by which his fame was established and on which it still rests. <ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition</ref><ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> <ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 47</ref>
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As Éliphas Lévi - supposedly the Hebrew equivalent of his birth name <ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 45</ref>-, Constant became one of the most influential esoteric authors, writing and publishing a remarkable series of magical works by which his fame was established and on which it still rests. <ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition</ref><ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> <ref>Lachman, 47.</ref>
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[[File: History_of_Magic.jpeg|right|260px|thumb|]]
  
His most famous books, Dogme et rituel de la haute magie [Dogma and Ritual of High Magic] (1854–1856), Histoire de la magie [History of Magic] (1860), and La clef des grands mystères [The Key of the Mysteries] (1861) are considered to be the founding works of occultism. These three works contain his most original and influential ideas: the application of the Hebrew alphabet to the tarot Trumps and their placing on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life; the doctrine of the Astral Light, and the effective revival of a Christian Kabbalah. They also contain a host of maddening contradictions – the result of Lévi’s attempt to balance his occult philosophy with his continuing devotion to the Catholic Church. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref>
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His most famous books, '''''Dogme et rituel de la haute magie''''' [Dogma and Ritual of High Magic] (1854–1856), '''''Histoire de la magie''''' [History of Magic] (1860), and '''''La clef des grands mystères''''' [The Key of the Mysteries] (1861) are considered to be the founding works of [[occultism]]. These three works contain his most original and influential ideas: the application of the Hebrew alphabet to the Tarot trumps and their placing on the [[Kabbalah|Kabbalistic Tree of Life]]; the doctrine of the [[Astral Light]], and the effective revival of a Christian Kabbalah. They also contain a host of maddening contradictions – the result of Lévi’s attempt to balance his occult philosophy with his continuing devotion to the Catholic Church. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref>
  
In 1855 he founded, in collaboration with Charles Fauverty and Charles Lemmonier, a monthly called La revue philosophique et religieuse, to which he contributed poetry and articles on the Kabbalah. This periodical lasted for only three years, but it helped to spread his reputation together with his first books. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 105 </ref>The late 1850s were a happy time for Lévi. He was well established as an occultist, basked in the affection and esteem of a lively circle of friends, and could be seen at gatherings all over Paris. Over the years he also travelled numerous times to London and made friends there as well. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 101 ff. </ref> During one of his London visits his famous invocation of the the ghost of Apollonius of Tyana, one of the greatest magicians of antiquity. Lévi’s account reads like something out of a supernatural thriller. The ceremony, commissioned by a mysterious woman in black, took three weeks to prepare and is described in his Rituel de la haut magie (Ritual of high magic, 1856).<ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 50</ref>
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In 1855 he founded, in collaboration with Charles Fauverty and Charles Lemmonier, a monthly called '''''La revue philosophique et religieuse''''', to which he contributed poetry and articles on the Kabbalah. This periodical lasted for only three years, but it helped to spread his reputation together with his first books. <ref>McIntosh, 105.</ref>The late 1850s were a happy time for Lévi. He was well established as an occultist, basked in the affection and esteem of a lively circle of friends, and could be seen at gatherings all over Paris. Over the years he also traveled numerous times to London and made friends there as well. <ref>McIntosh, 101. </ref> During one of his London visits his famous invocation of the the ghost of [[Apollonius of Tyana]], one of the greatest magicians of antiquity, took place. Lévi’s account reads like something out of a supernatural thriller. The ceremony, commissioned by a mysterious woman in black, took three weeks to prepare and is described in his ''Rituel de la haut magie'' (Ritual of High Magic, 1856).<ref>Lachman, 50.</ref>
  
In 1861 he became a freemason but left the society in later years. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 115 ff. </ref>
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In 1861 he became a [[Freemasonry|freemason]] but left the society in later years. <ref>McIntosh, 115. </ref>
  
 
Lévi’s fame as a master of the occult mysteries brought him a number of eager and supportive students. One of them was Mrs. Hutchinson, wife of the English Consul in Paris, who wrote:  
 
Lévi’s fame as a master of the occult mysteries brought him a number of eager and supportive students. One of them was Mrs. Hutchinson, wife of the English Consul in Paris, who wrote:  
  
<blockquote> “Éliphas Lévi is the only man I have known to have arrived at a state of profound peace. His good humour was indestructible, his gaiety and liveliness inexhaustible. His brilliant, Rabelaisian wit, profound for those who understood the philosophical sense of his words, was equally pleasing to humbler people who only detect amusing jokes in them and succumbed to the charm of this amiable man. Whatever were the faculties of the souls who approached his soul, he put himself within their reach while at the same time elevating them as much as possible without deceiving himself as to the degree to which they could attain. Talking much, without every venturing an indiscreet word, he displayed at the same time a complete frankness and an extreme reserve; his conscience was a priestly sanctuary.”<ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 131-132 </ref></blockquote>
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<blockquote> “Éliphas Lévi is the only man I have known to have arrived at a state of profound peace. His good humour was indestructible, his gaiety and liveliness inexhaustible. His brilliant, Rabelaisian wit, profound for those who understood the philosophical sense of his words, was equally pleasing to humbler people who only detect amusing jokes in them and succumbed to the charm of this amiable man. Whatever were the faculties of the souls who approached his soul, he put himself within their reach while at the same time elevating them as much as possible without deceiving himself as to the degree to which they could attain. Talking much, without every venturing an indiscreet word, he displayed at the same time a complete frankness and an extreme reserve; his conscience was a priestly sanctuary.”<ref>McIntosh, Christopher. ''Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival''. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 131-132.</ref></blockquote>
  
 
==The Last Years==
 
==The Last Years==
  
  
By 1861 Lévi had entered upon the final, teaching phase of his life. He was known and respected as an occultist and magician in both France and England, and he began to acquire disciples in both countries. Among them were Kenneth MacKenzie and Frederic Hickley in England; and Baron Spedalieri, Constantin Branicki, Jean-Baptiste Pitois, Jacques Charrot, and the Theosophist [[Mary Gebhard]]. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Eliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> To all of these he gave instruction freely, describing his method in a letter to Spedalieri:
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By 1861 Lévi had entered upon the final, teaching phase of his life. He was known and respected as an occultist and magician in both France and England, and he began to acquire disciples in both countries. Among them were Kenneth MacKenzie and Frederic Hickley in England; and Baron Spedalieri, Constantin Branicki, Jean-Baptiste Pitois, Jacques Charrot, and the Theosophist [[Mary Gebhard]].<ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of ''The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled'' by Eliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000.</ref> To all of these he gave instruction freely, describing his method in a letter to Spedalieri:
  
<blockquote>“As regards our lessons – I have no manuscript course – I give to my disciples according to the need of their minds what the spirit gives me for them. I demand nothing, and I refuse nothing from them in return. It is a communion and an exchange of bread: spiritual for bodily. But the needs of the body are of so little account for me that the generous gifts of those of my children and brothers who are rich serve mainly to satisfy the first and greatest need of my soul and of all our sould: charity”. <ref>Unpublished Letters of Éliphas Levi (1) from Lucifer 1887-1897. London, HP Blavatsky. Year 1894, v 14, March, page 54; http://www.iapsop.com/archive/materials/lucifer/lucifer_v14_n79_mar_15_1894.pdf</ref></blockquote>
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<blockquote>“As regards our lessons – I have no manuscript course – I give to my disciples according to the need of their minds what the spirit gives me for them. I demand nothing, and I refuse nothing from them in return. It is a communion and an exchange of bread: spiritual for bodily. But the needs of the body are of so little account for me that the generous gifts of those of my children and brothers who are rich serve mainly to satisfy the first and greatest need of my soul and of all our souls: charity”. <ref>Unpublished Letters of Éliphas Levi (1) from Lucifer 1887-1897. London, HP Blavatsky. Year 1894, v 14, March, page 54. From [http://www.iapsop.com/archive/materials/lucifer/lucifer_v14_n79_mar_15_1894.pdf IAPSOP].</ref></blockquote>
  
 
[[File: Eliphas_Levi_on_his_death_bed.jpeg|left|260px|thumb|]]
 
[[File: Eliphas_Levi_on_his_death_bed.jpeg|left|260px|thumb|]]
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The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the humiliating defeat of France were a horrible blow to Éliphas Lévi because he saw France as the future savior of civilization. At the end of the war Lévi had no resources and was saved from starvation by [[Mary Gebhard]], who invited him to stay with her at her home in Germany where he remained for about two months in the summer of 1871. Lévi’s periods of illness were becoming increasingly frequent, but in between he continued to maintain contact with his followers and to write. He was grateful for the continued devotion of close disciples. He also received accolades from the literary world.  
 
The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the humiliating defeat of France were a horrible blow to Éliphas Lévi because he saw France as the future savior of civilization. At the end of the war Lévi had no resources and was saved from starvation by [[Mary Gebhard]], who invited him to stay with her at her home in Germany where he remained for about two months in the summer of 1871. Lévi’s periods of illness were becoming increasingly frequent, but in between he continued to maintain contact with his followers and to write. He was grateful for the continued devotion of close disciples. He also received accolades from the literary world.  
  
As the year 1875 wore on, his condition became steadily worse. Dropsy had also developed, and gangrene had begun to attack his feet. Lévi faced his last agonizing days with courage and preserved his mental faculties until the last moment. His friends were constantly with him. He passed away on May 31st and the funeral was held two days later. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 136-139</ref>
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As the year 1875 wore on, his condition became steadily worse. Dropsy had also developed, and gangrene had begun to attack his feet. Lévi faced his last agonizing days with courage and preserved his mental faculties until the last moment. His friends were constantly with him. He passed away on May 31st and the funeral was held two days later. <ref>McIntosh, 136-139.</ref>
  
The year of his death was predicted for him. A curious character named Juliano Capella he met only once told him that his life was “regulated by the inexorable law of numbers”, that he was “a man of the pentagram”, that “the years marked by the number five are always fateful ones” for him and that he would die in 1875. <ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 52</ref>  
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The year of his death was predicted for him. A curious character named Juliano Capella he met only once told him that his life was “regulated by the inexorable law of numbers”, that he was “a man of the pentagram”, that “the years marked by the number five are always fateful ones” for him and that he would die in 1875. <ref>Lachman, 52.</ref>  
  
 
== Astral Light==
 
== Astral Light==
  
Magicians before Éliphas Lévi had already explained in principle how magic works by illustrating it through analogy, which connects heaven and earth.  And Lévi never questioned the old hermetic principle “As above so below” and other theories.  But he conceptualized these theories using terminology of his time. He propagated a new term that best described the magic medium in his opinion, the [[Astral Light]]. He defines it as a force that permeates the whole universe and can be harnessed for magic.  
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Magicians before Éliphas Lévi had already explained in principle how [[magic]] works by illustrating it through analogy, which connects heaven and earth.  And Lévi never questioned the old [[Hermeticism|hermetic principle]] “As above so below” and other theories.  But he conceptualized these theories using terminology of his time. He propagated a new term that best described the magic medium in his opinion, the [[Astral Light]]. He defines it as a force that permeates the whole universe and can be harnessed for magic.  
  
He admitted readily, that others before him had come across this force but gave it a different name. According to Lévi, the astral light is identical with the Odic force called “Od” discovered by the German Baron Carl von Reichenbach in 1854; with the animal magnetism, also known as “mesmerism”, an invisible natural force discovered by the German doctor Franz Mesmer and the “Azoth” achieved by Paracelsus. Azoth is analogous to the light of nature or mind of God, the universal life force, and was believed to be the essential agent of transformation in alchemy.
+
He admitted readily, that others before him had come across this force but gave it a different name. According to Lévi, the astral light is identical with the '''[[Odic Force]]''' called “''Od”'' discovered by the German [[Carl Reichenbach|Baron Carl von Reichenbach]] in 1854; with the animal magnetism, also known as '''[[Mesmerism|mesmerism]]''', an invisible natural force discovered by the German doctor [[Franz Anton Mesmer]] and the '''Azoth''' achieved by [[Paracelsus]]. Azoth is analogous to the light of nature or mind of God, the universal life force, and was believed to be the essential agent of transformation in [[alchemy]].
  
If one were to substitute the word “world spirit” from chapter 14 in Agrippa’s first book “Hidden Wisdom” with the word “astral light”, the respective passage could be found verbatim in Lévi’s writings. Both Agrippa and Lévi speak about a medium which permeates everything and connects the soul with the body. Except that Lévi ‘s astral light takes up more space. The astral light, which is poured down at the moment of conception adjusts to the soul at contact and represents its first shell, even before the physical body is developed. The astral light also explains the influence of the planets at birth because it carries along their influence at this crucial moment. Thus, if one wants to influence the body, it is best done with the help of the astral light. If the form of the astral body would be changed, the physical body would follow automatically in accordance with the only dogma known by magic: The visible is the manifestation of the invisible.  
+
If one were to substitute the term '''world spirit''' from chapter 14 in Agrippa’s first book ''Hidden Wisdom'' with "astral light," the respective passage could be found verbatim in Lévi's writings. Both Agrippa and Lévi speak about a medium which permeates everything and connects the [[soul]] with the body. Except that Lévi's astral light takes up more space. The astral light, which is poured down at the moment of conception adjusts to the soul at contact and represents its first shell, even before the physical body is developed. The astral light also explains the influence of the planets at birth because it carries along their influence at this crucial moment. Thus, if one wants to influence the body, it is best done with the help of the astral light. If the form of the [[astral body]] would be changed, the physical body would follow automatically in accordance with the only dogma known by magic: the visible is the manifestation of the invisible.  
  
Lévi further explained that the immortal soul rises at death and that the astral body continues to live a bit longer in the astral sphere when everyone encounters his own heaven or hell. Those were guided by their lower instincts all their life experience an unbearable fear of death, other move like fish in water because they had already during their life been able to control the astral light. <ref>Hauf, Monika (2016). Kompendium der Magie und des Okkultismus. Bohmeier Verlag, Leipzig, Germany; pages 150-151</ref>
+
Lévi associated - with reference to Paracelsus -  the astral light, which surrounds us, with the existence of man right after [[death]]. The immortal soul rises at death and the astral body continues to live a bit longer in the astral sphere where everyone encounters his own heaven or hell. Those who were guided all their life by lower instincts will experience an unbearable fear of death, the others will move like fish in water: They had already been able to control the astral light during their life. <ref>Hauf, Monika (2016). ''Kompendium der Magie und des Okkultismus''. Bohmeier Verlag, Leipzig, Germany; pages 150-151.</ref>
  
 
==Éliphas Lévi and Theosophy==
 
==Éliphas Lévi and Theosophy==
  
The influence of Éliphas Lévi upon H.P.B. was significant. Her work Isis Unveiled (1877) is indebted to Lévi’s ideas on the Kabbalah, and especially to his notion of the all-pervading Astral Light. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Eliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> Masters M and KH frequently referred to his writings and indicated that there was much of value in them if one had the right key to understanding. <ref> George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 237-238.</ref>
+
[[File: Astral_Light_by_Blavatsky.jpeg|right|260px|thumb]]
  
If we go through the Collected Writings of Blavatsky we realize that H.P.B. mentions Levi’s name often <ref>Information about Éliphas Levi: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v15/cum_index_l.htm</ref>.
+
The influence of Éliphas Lévi upon [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky|H.P.B.]] was significant. Her work [[Isis Unveiled (book)|''Isis Unveiled'']] (1877) is indebted to Lévi’s ideas on the [[Kabbalah]], and especially to his notion of the all-pervading [[Astral Light]]. <ref>Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of ''The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled'' by Eliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000</ref> Masters [[Morya|M]]  and [[Koot Hoomi|KH]] frequently referred to his writings and indicated that there was much of value in them if one had the right key to understanding. <ref> George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 237-238.</ref>
  
She was of the opinion that Éliphas Lévi “was undoubtedly a great occultist <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 6, page 180. Accessed at http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v6/y1884_021.htm on 12/26/218)</ref> and refers to him when writing about the astral light <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 13, page 241.Accessed at http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v13/ph_007.htm on 12/26/218) .  
+
If we go through the [[Collected Writings (book)|''Collected Writings'']] of Blavatsky we realize that H.P.B. mentions Levi’s name often. <ref>Information about Éliphas Levi: [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v15/cum_index_l.htm Katinkahesselink.net]</ref>.
 +
She was of the opinion that Éliphas Lévi “was undoubtedly a great occultist <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 6, page 180. Accessed at [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v6/y1884_021.htm Katinkahesselink.net] on 12/26/2018.</ref> and referred to him when writing about the astral light <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 13, page 241.Accessed at [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v13/ph_007.htm Katinkahesselink.net] on 12/26/2018.</ref>
  
Even though she referenced and praised him often, she criticized him as well.  When reading her articles, we learn that she considered his language “rather too rhapsodically rhetorical to be sufficiently clear to the beginner” in regard to some of the unpublished manuscripts she had read <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 233. Accessed at http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm on 12/26/2018</ref>; that his “teaching does not embrace the Occult Cosmogony, but deals simply with Occult Geology and the formation of our cosmic speck” <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 234. Accessed at http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm on 12/26/2018</ref>; that she had a different opinion when it came to certain aspects of his statements about the Kabbalah<ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 237. Accessed at http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm on 12/26/2018</ref>; and that she stressed that “the philosophy which Éliphas Lévi gives out as Kabalistic is simply mystical Roman Catholicism adapted to the Christian Kabbalah”. <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 239. Accessed at http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm on 12/26/2018</ref>  
+
Even though she referenced and praised him often, she criticized him as well.  When reading her articles, we learn that she considered his language “rather too rhapsodically rhetorical to be sufficiently clear to the beginner” in regard to some of the unpublished manuscripts she had read <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 233. Accessed at [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm Katinkahesselink.net] on 12/26/2018.</ref>; that his “teaching does not embrace the Occult Cosmogony, but deals simply with Occult Geology and the formation of our cosmic speck” <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 234. Accessed at [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm Katinkahesselink.net]] on 12/26/2018.</ref>; that she had a different opinion when it came to certain aspects of his statements about the Kabbalah<ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 237. Accessed at [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm Katinkahesselink.net] on 12/26/2018.</ref>; and that she stressed that “the philosophy which Éliphas Lévi gives out as Kabalistic is simply mystical Roman Catholicism adapted to the Christian Kabbalah”. <ref>Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 239. Accessed at [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v14/ph_059.htm Katinkahesselink.net] on 12/26/2018.</ref>  
  
In one of her articles she noted out that “he died, as his famous predecessor in the occult arts, Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, [] – a pauper”<ref>The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 10, July 1881, p. 211</ref> and stated “though we do not personally agree with all his views, we do concur in the verdict of the world of letters that Éliphas Lévi was one of the cleverest, most learned, and interesting of writers”. In another article she explains that ”though personally we are far from agreeing with all his opinion – for having been a priest, Éliphas Lévi could never rid himself to his last day of a certain theological bias – we are yet prepared to always lend a respectful ear to the teachings of so learned a Kabbalist.<ref>The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 10, July 1881, p. 212</ref>
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In one of her articles she noted out that “he died, as his famous predecessor in the occult arts, [[Cornelius Agrippa]], [[Paracelsus]], [] – a pauper”<ref>The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 10, July 1881, p. 211</ref> and stated “though we do not personally agree with all his views, we do concur in the verdict of the world of letters that Éliphas Lévi was one of the cleverest, most learned, and interesting of writers”. In another article she explains that ”though personally we are far from agreeing with all his opinion – for having been a priest, Éliphas Lévi could never rid himself to his last day of a certain theological bias – we are yet prepared to always lend a respectful ear to the teachings of so learned a Kabbalist.<ref>''The Theosophist'', Vol. II, No. 10, July 1881, p. 212</ref>
  
 
One of his devoted students, the Theosophist, [[Mary Gebhard]], who met him when he lived in Paris and helped him at the end of his life, when he had financial difficulties wrote:  
 
One of his devoted students, the Theosophist, [[Mary Gebhard]], who met him when he lived in Paris and helped him at the end of his life, when he had financial difficulties wrote:  
  
<blockquote>” I found in him what I have never met in any other individual since – a profound knowledge on occult subjects; I believe there was not a book on mysticism that he had not read. He had a wonderful memory and a marvelous flow of language, his expressions and illustrations being of the choicest and rarest character. One could sit for hours listening to his eloquent discourses on the occult side of nature.  With all these wonderful gifts he combined a benevolent, noble, and truthful nature. Never did I leave his presence without feeling that my own nature had been uplifted to nobler and better things, and I look upon Éliphas Lévi as one of the truest friends I ever had, for he taught me the highest truth which it is in the power of man or woman to grasp”</blockquote><ref>Gebhard, Mary. Personal Recollections of Eliphas Lévi. The Theosophist. Vol. VII, No. 76, January 1886, page 241. https://theosophy.world/sites/default/files/Theosophical%20Publications/The%20Theosophist/1886/the_theosophist_vol_7_jan_1886.pdf</ref>
+
<blockquote>”I found in him what I have never met in any other individual since – a profound knowledge on occult subjects; I believe there was not a book on mysticism that he had not read. He had a wonderful memory and a marvelous flow of language, his expressions and illustrations being of the choicest and rarest character. One could sit for hours listening to his eloquent discourses on the occult side of nature.  With all these wonderful gifts he combined a benevolent, noble, and truthful nature. Never did I leave his presence without feeling that my own nature had been uplifted to nobler and better things, and I look upon Éliphas Lévi as one of the truest friends I ever had, for he taught me the highest truth which it is in the power of man or woman to grasp.”<ref>Mary Gebhard, "Personal Recollections of Eliphas Lévi " ''The Theosophist'' Vol. VII, No. 76, January 1886, page 241. Accessed at [https://theosophy.world/sites/default/files/Theosophical%20Publications/The%20Theosophist/1886/the_theosophist_vol_7_jan_1886.pdf Theosophy World]</ref></blockquote>
 +
 
 +
Some of the unpublished writings on occult sciences by Éliphas Lévi were published in ''The Theosophist'' between February 1884 and November 1884 as “The Veil of the Temple Rent” and “Stray Thoughts” appeared in  December 1884. These are the titles:
 +
 
 +
::1. On Universal Mythology<br>
 +
::2. The Great Arcanum and the Great Work<br>
 +
::3. What is Necessary to Become Initiated<br>
 +
::4. The Object of Initiation<br>
 +
::5. The Pope and the Sphinx<br>
 +
::6. What we should Will; What we should Dare; and about what we should keep Silent<br>
 +
::7. Power and Forces<br>
 +
::8. How to govern Influences through Power<br>
 +
::9. The Sacred Books of Science<br>
 +
::10. Magnetic Irregularities and Crimes against Nature + Stray Thoughts<br>
  
 
==Baphomet==
 
==Baphomet==
 +
[[File: Baphomet.jpg|left|260px|thumb|]]
  
Since 1856, the name Baphomet - a deity that the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping - has been associated with a "Sabbatic Goat" image drawn by Éliphas Lévi which contains binary elements representing the "sum total of the universe". Originally a sacred goat in the Egyptian city of Mendes, the Goat of Mendes was conflated by later occult writers with the Christian devil, Baphomet.<ref> Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. page 10n30</ref>. Lévi mentioned Baphomet often in his works, especially in the Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. <ref> Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. pages 10, 15, 172, 251, 315-324, 368 </ref>Lévi's depiction of Baphomet is similar to that of The Devil in early Tarot. <ref> Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. page 316</ref>
+
Since 1856, the name Baphomet - a deity that the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping - has been associated with a "Sabbatic Goat" image drawn by Éliphas Lévi which contains binary elements representing the '''"sum total of the universe"'''. Originally a sacred goat in the Egyptian city of Mendes, the Goat of Mendes was conflated by later occult writers with the Christian devil, Baphomet.<ref> Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. page 10n30</ref>. Lévi mentioned Baphomet often in his works, especially in the ''Doctrine'' and ''Ritual of High Magic''. <ref> Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. pages 10, 15, 172, 251, 315-324, 368 </ref>Lévi's depiction of Baphomet is similar to that of The Devil in early Tarot. <ref> Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. page 316</ref>
  
 
== Assessment==
 
== Assessment==
  
Self-referential esoterics doing research agree since the end of the 19th century that the French word occultisme has been popularized first by Éliphas Lévi before the word started appearing in other languages. The writings by Lévi gave direction to the writings by H.P. Blavatsky, who used the English word occultism the first time in an article with the title “A Few Questions to Hiraf” in 1875.  In “Isis Unveiled“ she referred explicitly to Lévi when defining the term occultist. <ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition</ref>
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Self-referential esoterics doing research agree since the end of the 19th century that the French word ''occultisme'' has been popularized first by Éliphas Lévi before the word started appearing in other languages. The writings by Lévi gave direction to the writings by H.P. Blavatsky, who used the English word '''[[occultism]]''' the first time in an article with the title "A Few Questions to Hiraf" in 1875.  In [[Isis Unveiled (book)|''Isis Unveiled'']] she referred explicitly to Lévi when defining the term occultist. <ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition</ref>
 
 
The generation of occultists that followed Lévi regarded him as its guide and master and his name was not only revered in France. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 141-153</ref><ref>Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 45 </ref>
 
The famous occultist Aleister Crowler even thought to be his reincarnation. <ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition</ref>
 
  
Even though, many people who read his works are disappointed because a lot of his writings are pompous, confused and naïve and contain contradictions. He was a radical and traditionalist, a rationalist and a believer in the supra-rational, an occultist and an orthodox Catholic and his writings are full of apparent inconsistencies.  
+
The generation of occultists that followed Lévi regarded him as its guide and master and his name was not only revered in France. <ref>McIntosh, 141-153.</ref><ref>Lachman, 45.</ref> The famous occultist Aleister Crowley even thought to be his reincarnation.<ref>Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition.</ref>
  
One should remember though, that Lévi did not develop his occult philosophy suddenly; he evolved towards it and therefore changed course several times. In the end, he did find a method and a point of view.  
+
Even though, many people who read his works are disappointed because a lot of his writings are pompous, confused, and naïve, and contain contradictions. He was a radical and traditionalist, a rationalist and a believer in the supra-rational, an occultist and an orthodox Catholic and his writings are full of apparent inconsistencies. One should remember though, that Lévi did not develop his occult philosophy suddenly; he evolved towards it and therefore changed course several times. In the end, he did find a method and a point of view.  
  
 
Lévi was an occult philosopher whose occult philosophy was based on faith, science, and reason even though this combination seems incompatible to many. He was a man who might have known next to nothing about magical tradition and who covered up his ignorance by pretending to hold back knowledge.  
 
Lévi was an occult philosopher whose occult philosophy was based on faith, science, and reason even though this combination seems incompatible to many. He was a man who might have known next to nothing about magical tradition and who covered up his ignorance by pretending to hold back knowledge.  
  
Much of what Lévi wrote was based on ideas that were common currency in western occultism as expounded in the works of such writers as Trithemius, Paracelsus, and Cornelius Agrippa. But his most startling innovation was in connecting the Kabbalah with the Tarot and modern occultists take this connection for granted. He also brought in certain new ideas, one of the most important being his theory of the [[Astral Light]] as mentioned above.  
+
Much of what Lévi wrote was based on ideas that were common currency in western occultism as expounded in the works of such writers as Trithemius, [[Paracelsus]], and [[Cornelius Agrippa]]. But his most startling innovation was in connecting the Kabbalah with the Tarot and modern occultists take this connection for granted. He also brought in certain new ideas, one of the most important being his theory of the [[Astral Light]] as mentioned above.  
 
 
Lévi changed the popular concept of magic. Whereas magic had until then been regarded by most people as a means of manipulating forces of nature, he presented it as a way of drawing the will through certain channels and turning the magician into a more fully realized human being.
 
 
 
Apart from the bad treatment of his mistress Eugénie, the mother of the son he never saw, Lévi was an honorable man. His courage, honesty, warmth and compassion, as much as his teachings, endeared him to his pupils. <ref>McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 141-153</ref>
 
 
 
  
'''Éliphas Lévi Zahed''' ([[February 8]], 1810 - [[May 31]], 1875) was the pseudonym of [[Alphonse-Louis Constant]], a French [[Mysticism|mystic]] and writer.  
+
Lévi changed the '''popular concept of magic'''. Whereas magic had until then been regarded by most people as a means of manipulating forces of nature, he presented it as a way of drawing the will through certain channels and turning the magician into a more fully realized human being.  
  
According to [[Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (book)|''Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett'']]:<br>
+
Apart from the bad treatment of his mistress Eugénie, the mother of the son he never saw, Lévi was an honorable man. His courage, honesty, warmth and compassion, as much as his teachings, endeared him to his pupils. <ref>McIntosh, 141-153.</ref>
<blockquote>
 
Lévi, Eliphas, 1810-75. A pseudonym for Abbe Louis Constant, a French abbe, who became interested in [[Occultism|occultism]] and the [[Kabbalah|Kabbala]] and wrote extensively on such subjects. [[Morya|M]] and [[Koot Hoomi|KH]] frequently referred to his writings and indicated that there was much of value in them if one had the right key to understanding. he was at one time a member of [[Edward Bulwer-Lytton|Bulwer-Lytton's]] club for the study of [[Magic|practical magic]]. [[The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (book)|ML]] index; [[The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett (book)|LBS]], Appendix 1; [[The Theosophist (periodical)|''The Theosophist'']], January 1886; [[H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings (book)| HPB]] IV: 136, 238, 439.
 
<ref>George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., ''Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett'' (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 237-238.</ref>
 
</blockquote>
 
  
 
== Online resources ==
 
== Online resources ==
 
===Articles===
 
===Articles===
 
*[http://theosophy.ph/encyclo/index.php?title=Levi_Zahed,_%C3%89liphas# Éliphas Levi Zahed] at Theosopedia
 
*[http://theosophy.ph/encyclo/index.php?title=Levi_Zahed,_%C3%89liphas# Éliphas Levi Zahed] at Theosopedia
*[http://www.blavatsky.net/blavatsky/arts/StrayThoughtsOnDeathAndSatan.htm# Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan] by H. P. Blavatsky
+
*[http://www.blavatsky.net/index.php/stray-thoughts-on-death-and-satan Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan] by H. P. Blavatsky
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==
Line 117: Line 125:
 
[[Category:Christians|Levi, Eliphas]]
 
[[Category:Christians|Levi, Eliphas]]
 
[[Category:Mystics|Levi, Eliphas]]
 
[[Category:Mystics|Levi, Eliphas]]
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[[Category:Imprisoned|Levi, Eliphas]]
 
[[Category:Nationality French|Levi, Eliphas]]
 
[[Category:Nationality French|Levi, Eliphas]]
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[[Category:Pseudonyms|Levi, Eliphas]]
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[[Category:People|Levi, Eliphas]]

Revision as of 18:49, 27 March 2019

Alphonse-Louis Constant in 1836

Alphonse Louis Constant (February 8, 1810 – May 31, 1875), who wrote later in his life under the pen-name Éliphas Lévi, was a French author and would become one of the most important esoteric writers of all time. His most famous books, Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, Histoire de la magie, and La clef des grands mystères are considered to be the founding works of occultism. They would go on to inspire a number of key esotericists, among them Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Constant's theory and history of magic, his interpretation of the Kabbalah and the Tarot, as well as his emblematic drawings like the “Baphomet,” remain highly influential. [1] His influence is apparent in the work and thought of figures as diverse as Papus (founder of the modern Martinist Order and former Theosophist), A.E. Waite (co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck), W. Wynn Westcott (from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn); and Aleister Crowley (English occultist). His notion of the all-pervading astral light was adopted by H.P.B. and used in her writings.[2]

Early Life

Abbe Constant.jpg

Alphonse Louis Constant was the son of a poor shoemaker in Paris and was known as "the clever lad." The curé of his parish obtained a free education for him at the Seminary of St. Sulpice. He became a good Latin, Greek and Hebrew scholar and wanted to become a priest. [3] In 1836, shortly before he was ordained, he was forced to leave the Seminary due to a love affair. His mother committed suicide because of his failure. For several years after that he socialized with a circle of friends, young Bohemians, a heterogeneous group of artists and socialists. His attempt to return to clerical life in 1839 by joining a Dominican monastery did not work out due to conflicts and he was desperately looking for a new perspective. He felt hope when he was offered a teaching position in Juilly but was only allowed to do the lowest kind of jobs and was treated badly. He felt despair and wrote during that time secretly the infamous Bible de la liberté [Bible of Freedom] which was published on February 13th, 1841. It was confiscated within an hour of publication but only after numerous copies were successfully distributed. He was arrested in April 1941 and convicted to 8 months in prison on May 11th after showing no remorse. The trial made him instantly famous in and outside of the country. The Bible de la liberté was the first of many publications with which Constant distinguished himself in the 1840s as one of the most sensational representatives of Christian Revolutionary Socialism. His role model was the priest Félicité de Lamennais, the founder of the so-called Neo-Catholicism.[4] The young and enthusiastic Neo-Catholics wanted to reconcile Catholicism with post-revolutionary society, by establishing a liberal, progressive, and social Catholicism that sought to actively engage with contemporary philosophical, political, and scientific discourses. The Neo-Catholics achieved a public breakthrough in 1830 with their journal L'Avenir. However, the movement was swiftly and violently crushed soon after.[5]

His personal life had its disappointments, too. He seduced an assistant head mistress, who bore him an illegitimate child. This was the one time in his life, which was usually devoted to social utopianism and mystical absorption, when Constant committed a misdeed, abandoned the teacher and became infatuated with her student, Noémi Cadiot. In 1846, at the age of thirty-six, Constant married the 17-year-old girl. It was a disastrous marriage. They had a daughter who died in childhood, and soon after her death, Noémi left him. But the radical tracts continued to appear, stimulated by the Revolution of 1848.[6][7]Because of the publication of a violently revolutionary pamphlet, La voix de la famine, he was again imprisoned in 1847. After the February Revolution, he presided over the Club de la Montagne which was described by contemporaries as one of the most radical clubs. At that time, Constant published his Testament de la liberté (1848), which has later been misunderstood as representing the end of his political ambitions but was in fact a euphoric writing about the beginning of a new regenerated world and the emancipation of the people.

The years between 1848 and 1855 marked for him, as for many other socialists, a period of great uncertainty. After he had initially partaken in the enthusiasm about Louis-Napoléon, he turned against the repressive Emperor with a highly polemical chanson that led to his third political imprisonment, in 1855. As a result, he kept a low profile in subsequent years, albeit without abandoning his political stance.[8]

In 1851 he produced a substantial and wholly orthodox Dictionaiare de Litterérature Chrétienne. It was to be his last truly orthodox work – religious, political, or esoteric – for the direction of his life was changed dramatically by two quite unrelated events.

In 1852 Constant met the Polish metaphysician and eccentric Hoëné Wronski (1778-1853) and was greatly influenced and inspired by his doctrine of Messianisme – the name he gave to his synthesis of philosophy, religion, science, and politics: a strange amalgam of esoteric philosophy, Utopianism, and revealed religion.[9]The effect of Wronski’s influence was to reconcile a number of opposing elements in Constant’s thinking. Up till then the staunch Christian in him had conflicted with the socialist, the rationalist with the mystic. [10]

Within twelve months of their meeting, Wronski was dead and Constant’s wife had left him. Constant had contributed to a leftist paper, the Revue progressive, owned by the Marquis de Montferrier and his wife Noémi soon became the Marquis’ mistress. Immersed in his Kabbalistic studies, Constant did not notice what was going on until it was too late. To escape the pain of his betrayal he immersed himself in his writing, and in due course the Dogme appeared. It bore the name he was to use for the rest of his life: Éliphas Lévi.[11]This was the point that Abbé Constant died, to be succeeded by this new identity.[12] [13]

Éliphas Lévi

As Éliphas Lévi - supposedly the Hebrew equivalent of his birth name [14]-, Constant became one of the most influential esoteric authors, writing and publishing a remarkable series of magical works by which his fame was established and on which it still rests. [15][16] [17]

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His most famous books, Dogme et rituel de la haute magie [Dogma and Ritual of High Magic] (1854–1856), Histoire de la magie [History of Magic] (1860), and La clef des grands mystères [The Key of the Mysteries] (1861) are considered to be the founding works of occultism. These three works contain his most original and influential ideas: the application of the Hebrew alphabet to the Tarot trumps and their placing on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life; the doctrine of the Astral Light, and the effective revival of a Christian Kabbalah. They also contain a host of maddening contradictions – the result of Lévi’s attempt to balance his occult philosophy with his continuing devotion to the Catholic Church. [18]

In 1855 he founded, in collaboration with Charles Fauverty and Charles Lemmonier, a monthly called La revue philosophique et religieuse, to which he contributed poetry and articles on the Kabbalah. This periodical lasted for only three years, but it helped to spread his reputation together with his first books. [19]The late 1850s were a happy time for Lévi. He was well established as an occultist, basked in the affection and esteem of a lively circle of friends, and could be seen at gatherings all over Paris. Over the years he also traveled numerous times to London and made friends there as well. [20] During one of his London visits his famous invocation of the the ghost of Apollonius of Tyana, one of the greatest magicians of antiquity, took place. Lévi’s account reads like something out of a supernatural thriller. The ceremony, commissioned by a mysterious woman in black, took three weeks to prepare and is described in his Rituel de la haut magie (Ritual of High Magic, 1856).[21]

In 1861 he became a freemason but left the society in later years. [22]

Lévi’s fame as a master of the occult mysteries brought him a number of eager and supportive students. One of them was Mrs. Hutchinson, wife of the English Consul in Paris, who wrote:

“Éliphas Lévi is the only man I have known to have arrived at a state of profound peace. His good humour was indestructible, his gaiety and liveliness inexhaustible. His brilliant, Rabelaisian wit, profound for those who understood the philosophical sense of his words, was equally pleasing to humbler people who only detect amusing jokes in them and succumbed to the charm of this amiable man. Whatever were the faculties of the souls who approached his soul, he put himself within their reach while at the same time elevating them as much as possible without deceiving himself as to the degree to which they could attain. Talking much, without every venturing an indiscreet word, he displayed at the same time a complete frankness and an extreme reserve; his conscience was a priestly sanctuary.”[23]

The Last Years

By 1861 Lévi had entered upon the final, teaching phase of his life. He was known and respected as an occultist and magician in both France and England, and he began to acquire disciples in both countries. Among them were Kenneth MacKenzie and Frederic Hickley in England; and Baron Spedalieri, Constantin Branicki, Jean-Baptiste Pitois, Jacques Charrot, and the Theosophist Mary Gebhard.[24] To all of these he gave instruction freely, describing his method in a letter to Spedalieri:

“As regards our lessons – I have no manuscript course – I give to my disciples according to the need of their minds what the spirit gives me for them. I demand nothing, and I refuse nothing from them in return. It is a communion and an exchange of bread: spiritual for bodily. But the needs of the body are of so little account for me that the generous gifts of those of my children and brothers who are rich serve mainly to satisfy the first and greatest need of my soul and of all our souls: charity”. [25]
Eliphas Levi on his death bed.jpeg

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the humiliating defeat of France were a horrible blow to Éliphas Lévi because he saw France as the future savior of civilization. At the end of the war Lévi had no resources and was saved from starvation by Mary Gebhard, who invited him to stay with her at her home in Germany where he remained for about two months in the summer of 1871. Lévi’s periods of illness were becoming increasingly frequent, but in between he continued to maintain contact with his followers and to write. He was grateful for the continued devotion of close disciples. He also received accolades from the literary world.

As the year 1875 wore on, his condition became steadily worse. Dropsy had also developed, and gangrene had begun to attack his feet. Lévi faced his last agonizing days with courage and preserved his mental faculties until the last moment. His friends were constantly with him. He passed away on May 31st and the funeral was held two days later. [26]

The year of his death was predicted for him. A curious character named Juliano Capella he met only once told him that his life was “regulated by the inexorable law of numbers”, that he was “a man of the pentagram”, that “the years marked by the number five are always fateful ones” for him and that he would die in 1875. [27]

Astral Light

Magicians before Éliphas Lévi had already explained in principle how magic works by illustrating it through analogy, which connects heaven and earth. And Lévi never questioned the old hermetic principle “As above so below” and other theories. But he conceptualized these theories using terminology of his time. He propagated a new term that best described the magic medium in his opinion, the Astral Light. He defines it as a force that permeates the whole universe and can be harnessed for magic.

He admitted readily, that others before him had come across this force but gave it a different name. According to Lévi, the astral light is identical with the Odic Force called “Od” discovered by the German Baron Carl von Reichenbach in 1854; with the animal magnetism, also known as mesmerism, an invisible natural force discovered by the German doctor Franz Anton Mesmer and the Azoth achieved by Paracelsus. Azoth is analogous to the light of nature or mind of God, the universal life force, and was believed to be the essential agent of transformation in alchemy.

If one were to substitute the term world spirit from chapter 14 in Agrippa’s first book Hidden Wisdom with "astral light," the respective passage could be found verbatim in Lévi's writings. Both Agrippa and Lévi speak about a medium which permeates everything and connects the soul with the body. Except that Lévi's astral light takes up more space. The astral light, which is poured down at the moment of conception adjusts to the soul at contact and represents its first shell, even before the physical body is developed. The astral light also explains the influence of the planets at birth because it carries along their influence at this crucial moment. Thus, if one wants to influence the body, it is best done with the help of the astral light. If the form of the astral body would be changed, the physical body would follow automatically in accordance with the only dogma known by magic: the visible is the manifestation of the invisible.

Lévi associated - with reference to Paracelsus - the astral light, which surrounds us, with the existence of man right after death. The immortal soul rises at death and the astral body continues to live a bit longer in the astral sphere where everyone encounters his own heaven or hell. Those who were guided all their life by lower instincts will experience an unbearable fear of death, the others will move like fish in water: They had already been able to control the astral light during their life. [28]

Éliphas Lévi and Theosophy

Astral Light by Blavatsky.jpeg

The influence of Éliphas Lévi upon H.P.B. was significant. Her work Isis Unveiled (1877) is indebted to Lévi’s ideas on the Kabbalah, and especially to his notion of the all-pervading Astral Light. [29] Masters M and KH frequently referred to his writings and indicated that there was much of value in them if one had the right key to understanding. [30]

If we go through the Collected Writings of Blavatsky we realize that H.P.B. mentions Levi’s name often. [31]. She was of the opinion that Éliphas Lévi “was undoubtedly a great occultist [32] and referred to him when writing about the astral light [33]

Even though she referenced and praised him often, she criticized him as well. When reading her articles, we learn that she considered his language “rather too rhapsodically rhetorical to be sufficiently clear to the beginner” in regard to some of the unpublished manuscripts she had read [34]; that his “teaching does not embrace the Occult Cosmogony, but deals simply with Occult Geology and the formation of our cosmic speck” [35]; that she had a different opinion when it came to certain aspects of his statements about the Kabbalah[36]; and that she stressed that “the philosophy which Éliphas Lévi gives out as Kabalistic is simply mystical Roman Catholicism adapted to the Christian Kabbalah”. [37]

In one of her articles she noted out that “he died, as his famous predecessor in the occult arts, Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, [] – a pauper”[38] and stated “though we do not personally agree with all his views, we do concur in the verdict of the world of letters that Éliphas Lévi was one of the cleverest, most learned, and interesting of writers”. In another article she explains that ”though personally we are far from agreeing with all his opinion – for having been a priest, Éliphas Lévi could never rid himself to his last day of a certain theological bias – we are yet prepared to always lend a respectful ear to the teachings of so learned a Kabbalist.[39]

One of his devoted students, the Theosophist, Mary Gebhard, who met him when he lived in Paris and helped him at the end of his life, when he had financial difficulties wrote:

”I found in him what I have never met in any other individual since – a profound knowledge on occult subjects; I believe there was not a book on mysticism that he had not read. He had a wonderful memory and a marvelous flow of language, his expressions and illustrations being of the choicest and rarest character. One could sit for hours listening to his eloquent discourses on the occult side of nature. With all these wonderful gifts he combined a benevolent, noble, and truthful nature. Never did I leave his presence without feeling that my own nature had been uplifted to nobler and better things, and I look upon Éliphas Lévi as one of the truest friends I ever had, for he taught me the highest truth which it is in the power of man or woman to grasp.”[40]

Some of the unpublished writings on occult sciences by Éliphas Lévi were published in The Theosophist between February 1884 and November 1884 as “The Veil of the Temple Rent” and “Stray Thoughts” appeared in December 1884. These are the titles:

1. On Universal Mythology
2. The Great Arcanum and the Great Work
3. What is Necessary to Become Initiated
4. The Object of Initiation
5. The Pope and the Sphinx
6. What we should Will; What we should Dare; and about what we should keep Silent
7. Power and Forces
8. How to govern Influences through Power
9. The Sacred Books of Science
10. Magnetic Irregularities and Crimes against Nature + Stray Thoughts

Baphomet

Baphomet.jpg

Since 1856, the name Baphomet - a deity that the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping - has been associated with a "Sabbatic Goat" image drawn by Éliphas Lévi which contains binary elements representing the "sum total of the universe". Originally a sacred goat in the Egyptian city of Mendes, the Goat of Mendes was conflated by later occult writers with the Christian devil, Baphomet.[41]. Lévi mentioned Baphomet often in his works, especially in the Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. [42]Lévi's depiction of Baphomet is similar to that of The Devil in early Tarot. [43]

Assessment

Self-referential esoterics doing research agree since the end of the 19th century that the French word occultisme has been popularized first by Éliphas Lévi before the word started appearing in other languages. The writings by Lévi gave direction to the writings by H.P. Blavatsky, who used the English word occultism the first time in an article with the title "A Few Questions to Hiraf" in 1875. In Isis Unveiled she referred explicitly to Lévi when defining the term occultist. [44]

The generation of occultists that followed Lévi regarded him as its guide and master and his name was not only revered in France. [45][46] The famous occultist Aleister Crowley even thought to be his reincarnation.[47]

Even though, many people who read his works are disappointed because a lot of his writings are pompous, confused, and naïve, and contain contradictions. He was a radical and traditionalist, a rationalist and a believer in the supra-rational, an occultist and an orthodox Catholic and his writings are full of apparent inconsistencies. One should remember though, that Lévi did not develop his occult philosophy suddenly; he evolved towards it and therefore changed course several times. In the end, he did find a method and a point of view.

Lévi was an occult philosopher whose occult philosophy was based on faith, science, and reason even though this combination seems incompatible to many. He was a man who might have known next to nothing about magical tradition and who covered up his ignorance by pretending to hold back knowledge.

Much of what Lévi wrote was based on ideas that were common currency in western occultism as expounded in the works of such writers as Trithemius, Paracelsus, and Cornelius Agrippa. But his most startling innovation was in connecting the Kabbalah with the Tarot and modern occultists take this connection for granted. He also brought in certain new ideas, one of the most important being his theory of the Astral Light as mentioned above.

Lévi changed the popular concept of magic. Whereas magic had until then been regarded by most people as a means of manipulating forces of nature, he presented it as a way of drawing the will through certain channels and turning the magician into a more fully realized human being.

Apart from the bad treatment of his mistress Eugénie, the mother of the son he never saw, Lévi was an honorable man. His courage, honesty, warmth and compassion, as much as his teachings, endeared him to his pupils. [48]

Online resources

Articles

Notes

  1. Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0048721X.2016.1146926. Accessed on 11/12/2018.
  2. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000.
  3. Unpublished Letters of Éliphas Levi (1) from Lucifer 1887-1897. London, HP Blavatsky. Year 1894, v 14, March, page 51.
  4. Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition.
  5. Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. From [TandFOnline. Accessed on 11/12/2018.
  6. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000.
  7. Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 47.
  8. Strube, Julian. Socialist religion and the emergence of occultism: a genealogical approach to socialism and secularization in 19th-century France. From TandFOnline. Accessed on 11/12/2018.
  9. Lachman, 47.
  10. McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Page 98.
  11. McIntosh, 100.
  12. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert.
  13. Lachman, 48.
  14. Lachman, Gary. To Revolutionaries of the Soul Everywhere, Quest Books, Wheaton, Ill. 2014, page 45
  15. Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition
  16. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000
  17. Lachman, 47.
  18. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Éliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000
  19. McIntosh, 105.
  20. McIntosh, 101.
  21. Lachman, 50.
  22. McIntosh, 115.
  23. McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. Rider and Company, London. 1972. Pages 131-132.
  24. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Eliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000.
  25. Unpublished Letters of Éliphas Levi (1) from Lucifer 1887-1897. London, HP Blavatsky. Year 1894, v 14, March, page 54. From IAPSOP.
  26. McIntosh, 136-139.
  27. Lachman, 52.
  28. Hauf, Monika (2016). Kompendium der Magie und des Okkultismus. Bohmeier Verlag, Leipzig, Germany; pages 150-151.
  29. Bristol, R.A. Gilbert. In the Preface of The Great Secret of Occultism Unveiled by Eliphas Lévi. Weiser Books sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2000
  30. George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 237-238.
  31. Information about Éliphas Levi: Katinkahesselink.net
  32. Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 6, page 180. Accessed at Katinkahesselink.net on 12/26/2018.
  33. Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 13, page 241.Accessed at Katinkahesselink.net on 12/26/2018.
  34. Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 233. Accessed at Katinkahesselink.net on 12/26/2018.
  35. Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 234. Accessed at Katinkahesselink.net] on 12/26/2018.
  36. Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 237. Accessed at Katinkahesselink.net on 12/26/2018.
  37. Blavatsky’s Collective Writings, Volume 14, page 239. Accessed at Katinkahesselink.net on 12/26/2018.
  38. The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 10, July 1881, p. 211
  39. The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 10, July 1881, p. 212
  40. Mary Gebhard, "Personal Recollections of Eliphas Lévi " The Theosophist Vol. VII, No. 76, January 1886, page 241. Accessed at Theosophy World
  41. Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. page 10n30
  42. Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. pages 10, 15, 172, 251, 315-324, 368
  43. Lévi, Éliphas. The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. (2017) Penguin Random House LLC. New York, N.Y. page 316
  44. Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition
  45. McIntosh, 141-153.
  46. Lachman, 45.
  47. Strube, Julian (2016), Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhundert: Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi. Walter de Gruyter Gmbh & Co. Chapter 1.1.1. – Kindle edition.
  48. McIntosh, 141-153.