Natal Charts in the Brotherhood of Light Lessons

The names mentioned in the 21 volumes of Brotherhood of Light lessons have been indexed by Dennis Sutton with hyperlinks on this page of the church website.  As I prepare for a conference presentation on Thomas H. Burgoyne, it is interesting to find his name on the same line of the index as those of Edward Bulwer-Lytton and Richard Francis Burton, as all three are literary associates of Emma Hardinge Britten who would also be alphabetically adjacent to them were she included. Of 108 names, many are of broad cultural influence and don’t tell us much about the thinking of the Brotherhood of Light founders and members. But 14 are from the milieu of the early Theosophical Society, roughly evenly divided between supporters, critics, and dissidents and several of whom are represented in Letters to the Sage.  Blavatsky, Judge, and Olcott were the best-known founders of the Theosophical Society; Collins, Hartman, Mead and Yeats were in the first generation of writers drawn into its orbit.  Burgoyne and Grimke were leading writers in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, strongly influenced by Bulwer-Lytton and Burton. Kingsford and Peebles were dissident TS members more affiliated with Hermeticism and Spiritualism respectively than with Theosophy. Finally Hodgson was a strong critic of the TS but an adherent of Spiritualism whose investigation of Blavatsky was endorsed by fellow TS founder Emma Hardinge Britten. (Starting with the biennial Church of Light conference next month, future posts will be focused on the early 20th century Brotherhood of Light rather than its predecessors in the Spiritualist, Theosophical, New Thought, and Rosicrucian movements of the 19th century.)

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