Blavatsky questions Eliphas Levi Christian interpretation of the Astral Light and Lucifer, refutes hysterical Christian Conspiracists

The Christian Lucifer is a fiction. This text refutes the Christian argument equating the Astral Light in Occultism to their extra-Biblical myth of Lucifer. The Astral Light is not a cosmic and anthropomorphic being, but a theory about the medium of all light, energy, and movement, which was said to be in accordance with the Luminiferous aether theory of the 19th century.

It actually doesn’t matter if this subject is no longer relevant to astrophysicists, who even in our day, speak on dark energy and dark matter in the universe, nor if the theory is truly an occult fact of nature. Understanding the theory from the words of H.P.B. herself, and in light of the occult philosophy, the Christian accusations appear entirely foolish, and embarrassing to the record of modern theology. Eliphas Levi calls the Astral Light lucifer, Satan, the great Serpent and the Dragon “from which radiates on Humanity every evil influence.” H.P.B. explains that perhaps to the second half, but why use Biblical terminology and be literal — blaming it on his Catholic-Jesuit learning.

The Astral, or “Sidereal Light” (a term of medieval alchemists and Christian esotericists) is not a person, but a theory about the medium of all light, energy, and movement, which was said to be in accordance with the Luminiferous aether theory of the 19th century. It is defined as being the pure reflection of the higher planes, the “phosphorescent radiation” of the universal Substance. In what line of the Bible is this idea even remotely justified, in hysterically viewing H.P.B.’s elucidation on the theory as Luciferian, or Satanist:

“In its primordial genesis, the astral light as a radiation is quite pure, though the lower it descends approaching our terrestrial sphere, the more it differentiates, and becomes as a result impure in its very constitution. But man helps considerably in this pollution, and gives it back its essence far worse than when he received it.” (H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary, TPH, 1918 ed, pg. 35.)

H.P.B. further specifies a difference from the 19th century theory of ether, which theosophists argued was not the real ether of Occult theory. The Primordial Substance (Aether) is confused with this Astral Light by theorists learning the concepts, but ether is still of terrestrial matter, whereas the Primordial Substance is a spiritual agent. The Astral Light describes but the highest principle of the terrestrial atmosphere. This real ether, “…is one of the lower principles of what we call PRIMORDIAL SUBSTANCE (Akâsa, in Sanskrit), one of the dreams of old, and which has now become again the dream of modern science. It is the greatest, just as it is the boldest, of the surviving speculations of ancient philosophers. For the Occultists, however, both ETHER and the Primordial Substance are a reality. To put it plainly, ETHER is the Astral Light, and the Primordial Substance is AKÂSA…” (Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, pg. 326)

This indicates a metaphysical property, a scientific, albeit occult view of cosmology underlying mythology, making accusations on “luciferian doctrine” ignorant and misplaced. This theory will be explained in a separate article.

“Thus, the true and uncompromising Kabalists admit that, for all purposes of Science and philosophy, it is enough that the profane should know that the great magic agent called by the followers of the Marquis de St. Martin — the Martinists — astral light, by the mediaeval Kabalists and Alchemists the Sidereal Virgin and the Mysterium Magnum, and by the Eastern Occultists Aether (Space), the reflection of Akasais that which the Church calls Lucifer. That the Latin scholastics have succeeded in transforming the universal soul and Pleroma, the vehicle of Light and the receptacle of all the forms, a force spread throughout the whole Universe, with its direct and indirect effects, into Satan and his works, is no news to any one. But now they are prepared to give out to the above-mentioned profane even the secrets hinted at by Eliphas Levi without adequate explanation; for the latter’s policy of veiled revelations could only lead to further superstition and misunderstanding. What, indeed, can a student of Occultism, a beginner, gather from the following highly poetical sentences of Eliphas Levi, as apocalyptic as the writings of any of the Alchemists?

footnote —————–

*Aether is another word for Akasa which means space or sky. Akasa is seen as the spiritual primordial substance that pervades the whole of space.

“Lucifer, the Astral Light . . . . is an intermediate force existing in all creation, it serves to create and to destroy, and the Fall of Adam was an erotic intoxication which has rendered his generation a slave to this fatal light . . . every sexual passion that overpowers our senses is a whirlwind of that light which seeks to drag us towards the abyss of death, Folly. Hallucinations, visions, ecstasies are all forms of a very dangerous excitation due to this interior phosphorus (?). Thus light, finally, is of the nature of fire, the intelligent use of which warms and vivifies, and the excess of which, on the contrary, dissolves and annihilates. Thus man is called upon to assume a sovereign empire over that (astral) light and conquer thereby his immortality, and is threatened at the same time with being intoxicated, absorbed, and eternally destroyed by it. This light, therefore, inasmuch as it is devouring, revengeful, and fatal, would thus really be hell-fire, the serpent of the legend; the tormented errors of which it is full, the tears and the gnashing of teeth of the abortive beings it devours, the phantom of life that escapes them, and seems to mock and insult their agony, all this would be the devil or Satan indeed.” (Histoire de la Magie, p. 197).

There is no wrong statement in all this; nothing save a superabundance of ill-applied metaphors, as in the application of Adam — a myth — to the illustration of the astral effects. Akasa — the astral light* — can be defined in a few words; it is the universal Soul, the Matrix of the Universe, the “Mysterium Magnum” from which all that exists is born by separation or differentiation. It is the cause of existence; it fills all the infinite Space; is Space itself, in one sense, or both its Sixth and Seventh principles.* But as the finite in the Infinite, as regards manifestation, this light must have its shadowy side — as already remarked. And as the infinite can never be manifested, hence the finite world has to be satisfied with the shadow alone, which its actions draw upon humanity and which men attract and force to activity.

Hence, while it is the universal Cause in its unmanifested unity and infinity, the Astral light becomes, with regard to Mankind, simply the effects of the causes produced by men in their sinful lives. It is not its bright denizens — whether they are called Spirits of Light or Darkness — that produce Good or Evil, but mankind itself that determines the unavoidable action and reaction in the great magic agent. It is mankind which has become the “Serpent of Genesis,” and thus causes daily and hourly the Fall and sin of the “Celestial Virgin” — which thus becomes the Mother of gods and devils at one and the same time; for she is the ever-loving, beneficent deity to all those who stir her Soul and heart, instead of attracting to themselves her shadowy manifested essence, called by Eliphas Levi — “the fatal light” which kills and destroys. Humanity, in its units, can overpower and master its effects; but only by the holiness of their lives and by producing good causes.

It has power only on the manifested lower principles — the shadow of the Unknown and Incognizable Deity in Space. But in antiquity and reality, Lucifer, or Luciferus, is the name of the angelic Entity presiding over the light of truth as over the light of the day. In the great Valentinian gospel Pistis Sophia (§ 361) it is taught that of the three Powers emanating from the Holy names of the Three [[Tridunameis]], that of Sophia (the Holy Ghost according to these gnostics — the most cultured of all), resides in the planet Venus or Lucifer.”

– The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 511-512.

Eliphas Levi’s “Warning to the Impudent” on Occultism

Éliphas Lévi (Alphonso Louis Constant), 19th century French priest influenced by occult philosophy and thinkers like Joseph de Maistre, warns impudent students rushing into occult studies. [Translated by Arthur Edward Waite in Transcendental Magic, 1896] If there are two lessons to take from this, they are — Occultism is not an occupation. Contribute to society. Find a career. Continue reading Eliphas Levi’s “Warning to the Impudent” on Occultism

When Helena Blavatsky wrote to a close student of Eliphas Levi on the state of the Western traditions, Kabbalism, and Christological influences. The letter highlights something to be taken into important account and not by-pass it as insignificant, or a trifling detail. She states, Eliphas Levi helps us so far, as it helps to compare Western philosophers and theologists with Eastern esotericism. In another case, H.P.B. even compares the tenets and interpretations of Father Eliphas Levi (who later became more conservative in life) accepted by European Occultists, with that of the Eastern esoteric explanations.

Baron J. Spéalieri and Helena Blavatsky Correspondence Letter

Madam, – Since you have published a posthumous letter of my master and beloved friend, the late Éliphas Lévi, I think it would be agreeable to you to publish, if judged suitable, a few extracts of the many manuscripts in my possession, written expressly for, and given to, me by my ever regretted master.

To begin with, I send you “Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan” from his pen.

I cannot close this letter without expressing the deep indignation aroused in me by the base diatribes published in the London Spiritualist against your Society and its members. Every honest heart is irritated at such unfair treatment, especially when proceeding from a man of honour as Mr. Harrison (editor of The Spiritualist) who admits in his journal anonymous contributions that are tantamount to libels.

With the utmost respect, I remain, Madam,’

Yours devotedly,

Marseilles, July 29th, 1881

“The late Éliphas Lévi was the most learned Kabalist and Occultist of our age in Europe, and everything from his pen is precious to us, in so far as it helps us to compare notes with the Eastern Occult doctrines and, by the light thrown upon both, to prove to the world of Spiritualists and Mystics, that the two systems – the Eastern Âryan, and the Western or the Chaldæo-Jewish Kabalah – are one in their principal metaphysical tenets. Only, while the Eastern Occultists have never lost the key to their esotericism, and are daily verifying and elaborating their doctrines by personal experiments, and by the additional light of modern science, the Western or Jewish Kabalists, besides having been misled for centuries by the introduction of foreign elements in it such as Christian dogmas, dead-letter interpretations of the Bible, etc., have most undeniably lost the true key to the esoteric meaning of Simeon Ben Iochai’s Kabalah, and are trying to make up for the loss by interpretations emanating from the depths of their imagination and inner consciousness . . . “

— Extract from H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophist, Vol. III. No. 1, Oct., 1881.

The Primordial Fire and the Seven Sons in Ancient Theology and The Secret Doctrine

ANCIENT BELIEFS ON THE SUN AND FIRE-GODS, THE LOGOS, “THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF THE PRESENCE,” AND THE “SEVEN SONS” IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE  The Ancients of the East erected Highplaces, from the pyramids of Giza, through Ramah, Philistine, Shiloh, Beth Shemesh, Moab, to Babylon, sacred to Baal, Adon, Iao, or El, the Sun (a High-God). Who Continue reading The Primordial Fire and the Seven Sons in Ancient Theology and The Secret Doctrine

Beelzebub and Baphomet

Beelzebub (Gr. Βεελζεβούλ., Heb. ba’al z’bub). Described as “Monarch of Hell” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., 389 fn.) in Demonology. This god is defined as “lord of the flies” in the text of the Torah: 2 Kings 1: 2-3, 6, and 16; and in the Christian canon: Matthew 10:24-26, Matthew 12:22-28, Mark 3:21-26, and Luke 11:14-20, where Iesous Continue reading Beelzebub and Baphomet

English Magic in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: If Occultism became Reputable

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell takes place in an alternative timeline in the early nineteenth-century, where magic becomes demonstrated and reputable amongst society. It delves into an issue and disputes within the history of Occultism to consider.  Despite exaggerating Magic at times, it would still be of interest to those that study ancient, medieval and nineteenth-century occult Continue reading English Magic in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: If Occultism became Reputable

Helena Blavatsky On Pseudo-Theosophy And Pseudo-Messiahs