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Anna Kingsford and Helena Blavatsky on the True Ancient Meaning of Satan



Satan יְהֹוָה in its original conception means adversary, and differs from the later Dantian and Christian conception of popular imagination. According to H.P. Blavatsky, SATAN, a concept held by other ancient nationalities, “is one of the most profoundly philosophical and ideal conceptions of ancient thought” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 233). Now, there are two things we must take into consideration:

  1. the change in the meaning of the shedim, angels, demons and the Devil from the Hebrew to the Christian tradition, including the differences between European artistic depictions and scriptural imagery of the appearance of angels (Why Bible Accurate Angels Are So Creepy).
  2. the role of the angel of death and Satan in the Torah, which is more like that of an inspector, tax (debt) collector.

The Jews and other cultures throughout the ancient world held to beliefs in supermundane gods and supersensible elements, and like many of them, the god of death in this case, Satan has its origin and significance. This significance is that, the real metaphysical and philosophical meaning of the nature of Satan is a key to the Mysteries of life and nature. In this view put forth, the cause for good and evil lies in the necessity of contraries and contrasts — something that is inherent to life due to the nature of MATTER itself.

Satan is from the first line we find him in the Jewish literature, an attorney in the court of El, one of the Bene Elohim בני האלהים, an angel of God, whom God sends to tempt man. This chief elohim of the Torah is made to say in Isaiah: “I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7), and therefore it is God that commands and controls the angel (malak) of death and the adversary (satan).

Concerning the dual principle of Good and Evil in Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, Satan, the traditional principle of Evil, or the Shadow of Light is also called Logos, or Wisdom. This is because of the doctrinal position in Theosophy on the nature of the “real existence” of all phenomena that make up the world, which is in principle, monistic. This demonstrates, that an argument of Christians, that Theosophy is merely based on their straw-man notion of Gnostic dualism is incorrect.

“But St. James teaches two kinds of wisdom; a teaching with which we fully concur. He draws a strong line of separation between the divine or noëtic “Sophia”—the Wisdom from above—and the terrestrial, psychic, or devilish wisdom—the Sophia επιγειος ψυχη δαιμονιωδης. For the true Theosophist there is no wisdom save the former.”


There are no two dual supreme gods in this position, and the position expressly rejects the dual existences of God and Devil as you can see strongly stated by Blavatsky’s teachers:

“The God of the Theologians is simply an imaginary
power, un loup garou as d’Holbach expressed it – a
power which has never yet manifested itself.”

“…He who reads our Buddhist scriptures written
for the superstitious masses will fail to find in them a demon so vindictive, unjust, so cruel and so stupid as the celestial tyrant upon whom the Christians prodigally lavish their servile worship and on whom their theologians heap those perfections that are contradicted on every page of their Bible.”

“The existence of matter then is a fact; the existence of motion is another fact, their self existence and eternity or indestructibility is a third fact. And the idea of pure spirit as a Being or an Existence – give it whatever name you will – is a chimera, a gigantic absurdity.”

At first glance, the position appears heretical, and yet the highest philosophies and mystics within Judaism and Christianity would fail to disagree. As you know, the God of the Bible is usually not considered to be SUBSTANCE (Sk. mūlaprakṛti), but a Being or super-entity with opinions and thoughts about “his” creations. This is how the Creator is written as directly or indirectly interacting with his creations. It is a very inflexible concept of a Being somehow not connected to matter or atoms, yet exists beyond Space and Time. It is the popular anthropomorphic image of a gigantic Man, that still influences our notions of the ground of being, even when trying to think beyond it. An idol built of thought in itself, and that is problematic from even certain strong Rabbinical points-of-view.

This is an issue of human limitation of perception, language, overuse of one among many symbols (God as a seed, or God as the paternalistic father), including one’s position on the history of early Jewish schools of thought and their conflicts. Nevertheless, the metaphysics of God as ESSENCE, or SUBSTANCE — considered heretical — yet exists within the Jewish tradition, and it is more necessary than one thinks.

Now, the Theosophical position is identified within the heretical Shentong Great Madhayamaka position in Tibetan Buddhism, in regards to the dharmatā, or true nature of all things. The Logos is Light and Wisdom (Sophia, or Dharma), according to the Ophites and Valentinian Gnostics under Ennoia and Ophis, the Serpent, or the symbolically “seven-headed” Adishesha (Ādi Śeṣa) of Vishnu. It is represented as dual-natured, but so long as there exists manifested worlds. So long as there exists manifested worlds, the One Unity manifests as dual principles: Good and Evil, centripetal or centrifugal force, negative or positive, advantageous or disadvantageous, and so forth.

Devil Worship

The term superstition from the early 13th c. means “false religious belief; irrational faith in supernatural powers,” “excessive fear of the gods, religious belief based on fear or ignorance and considered incompatible with truth or reason.” The term superstition has become used as a slur on religion and rejected (or heterodox) traditions, but that “excessive fear of the gods,” or a belief based on, or motivated by fear or ignorance is not a very common trait to an occultist. In fact, in most practical cases this is the very opposite attitude any operator ought to have in their work. A cooperative of the gods could be hardly said to hold an irrationally excessive fear of them, other than an admiration, or respect. The ancient theurgist conducted their purported operations under this feeling. Likewise, I will conduct my investigation using scholars and the original sources from Theosophical literature to provide clarification.

Lets get SATANISM out of the way. Anton Levey once said, “My religion is just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added” (Anton Levey, Raising the devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media, pg. 180).

The core beliefs of Satanism are as follows:

  • Individualism
  • Epicureanism
  • Secularism
  • Egoism
  • Self-Deification
  • Naturalism
  • Social Darwinism
  • Lex Talionis, or the Law of Retaliation

This does not describe Theosophy. Now, onto Lucifer. The belief that Theosophical doctrines also teach LUCIFERIANISM is not only false, but illogical on close reading and within context. Such persons care more about devising sensationalist titles, than facts. There are several quotations, that were and still remain commonly used to charge Theosophists and H.P. Blavatsky with Satanism, secret devil-worship, or promulgating a Luciferianism through a “reinterpretation of Genesis.” Lucifer, having no literary existence in Bere’shith, nor the New Testament rids us of the belief, that the occult philosophical interpretation is an untrustworthy one.

There is a commonly referred to passage in The Secret Doctrine (1888) used to accuse H.P.B. and the Theosophists of being Luciferians and Satanists, which reads:

It is “Satan who is the god of our planet and the only god,”† and this without any allusive metaphor to its wickedness and depravity. For he is one with the Logos, “the first son, eldest of the gods,” in the order of microcosmic (divine) evolution; Saturn (Satan), astronomically, “is the seventh and last in the order of macrocosmic emanation, being the circumference of the kingdom of which Phoebus (the light of wisdom, also the Sun) is the centre”. (see The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pp. 234-35).

see The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pp. 234-35

Only “It is “Satan who is the god of our planet and the only god” is incorrectly quoted as coming from H.P. Blavatsky. About Lucifer, recognized in The Secret Doctrine are old Christian sects, known as the Luciferians and Lucianists. The Luciferians were a “sect of the fourth century who are alleged to have taught that the Soul was a carnal body transmitted to the child by its father; — and that other religious and still earlier sect of the second century A.D., the Lucianists, who taught all this, and further, that the animal Soul was not immortal, were philosophizing on the grounds of the real Kabalistic and Occult teachings” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., fn. pg. 239) Blavatsky adds.

The out-of-context quoted passage above, “Satan who is the god of our planet and the only god,” wasn’t written by H.P.B., but by theosophist and medical doctor, Anna Kingsford, MD, who was the proponent of a Christian Hermeticism. What H.P. Blavatsky is referencing is from the elegantly poetic Dr. Kingsford’s book Perfect Way, where H.P.B. celebrates it to be the true esoteric view of Satan, which is similar to the understanding of the role of the ancient Greek god of Hades — Pluto. I will continue to explore the Christian Hermeticism of Anna Kingsford in the second chapter on the original source of the misquote in Life’s Greatest Mystery: Victorian Theosophist Anna Kingsford’s Vision Teachings on Satan.

updated 8-8-2021

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