Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), Russian-born Occultist
and co-founder of The Theosophical Society, demonstrated
psychic powers of a startling nature and claimed personal contact
with highly developed Masters living in Tibet and India. A
well-versed student of metaphysical and esoteric lore,
she promoted a greater Western knowledge of Eastern religions,
philosophies and mythologies. Madame Blavatsky's major works
(Isis Unveiled, The Secret Doctrine, The Key to
Theosophy, and The Voice of the Silence) are
considered classics in occult and Theosophical literature.
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came into contact with certain men, endowed with such mysterious powers and such profound
knowledge that we may truly designate them as the sages of the Orient. To their
instructions we lent a ready ear. The work now submitted to public judgment is the
fruit of a somewhat intimate acquaintance with [these] Eastern adepts and study of their
[esoteric & occult] science."
Isis Unveiled, 1877.
"Helena Petrovna Blavatsky is surely
among the most original and perceptive minds of her time. She is
among the modern worlds trailblazing psychologists
of the visionary mind."
Unfinished Animal: Aquarian Frontier
& the Evolution of Consciousness.
"Blavatsky's esoteric synthesis has
served as a basic source for later esotericists, literati, scientists, and entire
movements, including the New Age. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she is as
visible today as an modern trendsetting guru, and she will most likely
remain the most memorable and innovative esotericist of the 19th
James A. Santucci,
of Gnosis & Western Esotericism.
"Madame Blavatsky...stands out as the
fountainhead of modern occult thought, and was either the originator and/or
popularizer of many of the ideas and terms which have a century later been
assembled within the New Age Movement. The Theosophical Society, which she
cofounded, has been the major advocate of occult philosophy in the West and the single
most important avenue of Eastern teaching to the West."
J. Gordon Melton, Jerome Clark & Aidan A. Kelly,
New Age Almanac.
"Theosophy occupies a central place in
the history of new spiritual movements, for the writings of Blavatsky and some of her
followers have had a great influence outside of her organization.... The
importance of Theosophy in modern history should not be underestimated. Not only have the
writings of Blavatsky and others inspired several generations of
occultists, but the movement had a remarkable role in the restoration to the colonial
peoples of nineteenth century Asia their own spiritual heritage."
Robert S. Ellwood and Harry B. Partin,
Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America.