Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary: Ia-Iz

Copyright © 1999 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.

EDITORS’ NOTE: This online version of the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary is a work in progress. The manuscript, originally produced in the 1930s and ’40s, is currently being revised and expanded, and will be updated periodically. Comments, corrections, and suggestions are welcome; please send to eglossary@theosociety.org

For ease of searching, diacritical marks are omitted, with the exception of Hebrew and Sanskrit terms, where after the main head a current transliteration with accents is given.

Quick links: Aa-Adh | Adi-Ag | Ah-Al | Am-Ani | Anj-Arc | Ard-Asr | Ass-Atm | Ato-Az | Ba-Be | Bh-Bo | Br-Bz | Ca-Ce | Cha-Chy | Ci-Cz | Da-Der | Des-Dir | Dis-Dz | Ea-El | Em-Ez | F | Ga-Gl | Gn-Gz | Ha-Hh | Hi-Hz | J | Ka |Ke-Kz | La-Li | Lo-Lz | Ma-Mam | Man-Mar | Mas-Me | Mi-Mo | Mp-Mz | Na-Ne | Nf-Nz | O | Pa-Peq | Per-Pi | Pl-Pral | Pram-Prj | Pro-Pz | Q-Rec | Red-Roos | Root-Rz | Sa-Sal | Sam-Saq | Sar-Sec | Sed-Sez | Sh-Sir | Sis-Som | Son-Sq | Sr-Sum | Sun-Sz | Ta-Tel | Tem-Thn | Tho-Tre | Tri-Tz | U | Va-Vih | Vij-Vz | W-X | Y | Z

ETG Main Page

List of Abbreviations


Iacchos (Greek) [from iacho or iakcheo to shout] A sacred name of Bacchus (Dionysos) in the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which he is son of Zeus and Demeter, not of Zeus and Semele as was the Theban Bacchus. The name, an allusion to the invocations accompanying the rites, is mystically connected with Iao and Jehovah.

Iabraoth (Gnostic) In the Pistis Sophia, ruler of six of the twelve aeons, who in response to the opposition of Ieu, Father of the Father of Jesus, do not persist in the Mystery of Intercourse, Converted to the Mysteries of Light, they are raised “into a pure Air, into the Light of the Sun, amid the Region of the Midst, and of the Invisible Deity” (BCW 13:34).

Iah(o). See IAO; YAH

Ialdabaoth (Gnostic) [from Shem ilda + baoth] Child from the egg (of Chaos); the spirit of matter, the chief of the lower ’elohim and father of the six dark stellar spirits or terrestrial angels, and thus one of the lower group of the Qabbalistic Sephiroth, the shadow or reflection on the lower four cosmic planes of the arupa or formless higher Sephirothic range. These emanations from the stellar spirits become darker and more material as they recede in descent from their sources, and are thus properly represented as the seven planetary (and global) genii or rectors.

Ialdabaoth’s mother, Sophia Achamoth (wisdom of the lower four of the cosmic planes) is the daughter or manifested reflection of the Heavenly Sophia — divine wisdom, or the mahat-side of akasa. Therefore Ialdabaoth is equivalent to the Nazarene Demiourgos of the Codex Nazaraeus, which makes him identical with the Hebrew Jehovah, the creator of the physical earth and the material side of the rector of the planet Saturn. He is also identical with Tsebaoth-Adamas, “the Pthahil of the Codex Nazaraeus, the Demiurge of the Valentinian system, the Proarchose of the Barbelitae, the Great Archon of Basilides and the Elohim of Justinus, etc. Ialdabaoth (the Child of Chaos) was . . . the Chief of the Creative Forces and the representative of one of the classes of Pitris” (BCW 13:43n). In the Ophite scheme he is the first of the superior septenate.

As a creative spirit, Ialdabaoth generates six sons (the lower terrestrial angels or stellar spirits) without assistance of any female, and when these sons strive with him he creates Ophiomorphos, the serpent-shaped spirit of all that is basest in matter. When Ialdabaoth proclaims that he is Father and God, and that none is above him, Sophia tells him that the first and second Anthropos (heavenly man) are above him. So Ialdabaoth’s sons create a man, Adam, to whom Ialdabaoth gives the breath of life, emptying himself of creative power. Having rebelled against his mother, his production is mindless and has to be endowed with mind by Sophia Achamoth — a reference to the descent of the manasaputras. The man, thus informed, aspires away from his producer, who thereupon becomes his adversary, produces the three lower kingdoms of beings, and imprisons man in a house of clay (flesh). Ialdabaoth also makes Eve (Lilith) to deprive the man of his light powers. Sophia sends the serpent or intelligence to make Adam and Eve transgress the commands of Ialdabaoth, who casts them from Paradise into the world along with the serpent. Sophia deprives Adam and Eve of their light power, but eventually restores this power so that they awoke mentally. Here there is much the same confusion that surrounds the various meanings of Satan and the serpent.

Ialdabaoth, who is lion-headed or in the form of a lion, represents the kama principle, the false light that draws the soul into matter and struggles against its rise again to spirit. Some Gnostics held that Sophia sent Christos to help humankind when Ialdabaoth and his forces were shutting out the divine light, and Ialdabaoth, “discovering that Christos was bringing to an end his kingdom of Matter, stirred up the Jews, his own people, against Him, and Jesus was put to death” (BCW 14:161). See also JEHOVAH

I-am, I-am-I I-am-I denotes self-consciousness in which the essential consciousness is reflected in a transmitting vehicle or soul. I-am denotes simple unadulterated being, and is used as a name for the cosmic self. Thus the I-am-I is a lower manifestation of the I-am, which is abstract and incomprehensible to ordinary human mentality. Philosophically, I-am-I is a temporary production of Purusha working in and through the prakritis, or of the image-making power inherent in human consciousness called ahankara (the “I-creating” faculty); so that when evolution has been completed, the I-am-I or self-consciousness will have risen through its various higher forms to become at least for a manvantara the cosmic self.

The consciousness expressed into the phrase I-am is also, when compared with the cosmic self, the limited and therefore imperfect demiurgic state, the Demiurge being the production of that cosmic self. Hence, not only the I-am-I, but likewise the I-am, are withdrawn and become latent during pralaya in paramatman or the inexpressible divine. See also EGO; SELF

I-am-ness Ahankara, self-hood, egoship; an evolution of consciousness centered in manas, by which manas becomes the field for the play of self-consciousness. Also, the illusion of separate selfhood.

I Am That I Am (Hebrew) ’Ehyeh ’Asher ’Ehyeh A title given by Jehovah to himself, a variation of I-am-I, indicating that Jehovah, whatever he may claim to be, is merely one of the gods of the manifested world, a Demiourgos, and not the Supreme. See also ’EHYEH

Iao (Gnostic) A three-letter mystery-name, parallel in one sense with the Sanskrit pranava, and reminiscent of triune deities represented by a triplicity of sounds. It occurs in many variations: Io, the Grecian moon goddess; Iaho, Jevo, Jehovah, and other Hebraic forms; Iaso, the possible origin of the name Jesus; Iacchos, the Bacchus of the Mysteries. It is at once threefold, fourfold, and sevenfold in meaning.

Iao Hebdomad (sevenfold) was one of the septenary mystery-gods of the Gnostics, given by Origen as the regent of the moon. The Gnostics had a superior hebdomad, an inferior or celestial one, and the terrestrial one. Iao was regarded as the chief of the superior seven heavens above the earth and is identical with the chief of the lunar pitris (SD 1:448).

Again, Iao Hebdomad is the septenary Iao or the collective seven cosmic rectors, each one representing a heaven, and therefore identifying this Iao Hebdomad at once with the seven mystery-planets of the ancients. Iao, sometimes connected with Yaho, from another standpoint is the collective seven or ten classes of the manasaputras. It is also connected with the Chaldean heptakis. Thus Iao or Iao Hebdomas, according to the point of view, is not only the septenary groups of the lunar dhyanis or pitris, but likewise the seven or ten groups of the manasaputras.

In its association with the moon, it is either male, female, or androgyne according to the particular relationship in which it is being viewed. It is also the serpent of Eden, the bright angel, one of the elohim clothed with radiance and glory, the Iao of the Mysteries, chief of the androgyne creators of mankind. Like Bacchus and other divinities, there was a degraded meaning, leading to phallic doctrines and rituals.

As a mystery-name, Iao or Yaho had a far higher and more spiritual significance, representing the triune forces and substances connected with the supreme divinity of our own cosmic hierarchy, whose seat was superior to the seven heavens, and which therefore made this divinity equivalent to the universal atman, or paramatman, the cosmic spiritual light whose radiations were the individual noetic monads.

Iapetus, Iapetos (Greek) A titan, son of Ouranos and Gaia, thrown into Tartarus by Zeus. He was father of Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas, and Menoetius.

Iavar-Zivo. See IUKABAR ZIVO

Ibis Universally venerated throughout Egypt, especially at the city of Khemennu (Hermopolis), where the bird was associated with the moon. According to Herodotus (2:75), the ibis was particularly venerated because of destroying the winged serpents which came flying from Arabia in spring. The black ibis is especially venerated; there is also a commoner sort which is white and black, which “was sacred to the moon, because the latter planet is white and brilliant on her external side, dark and black on that side which she never turns to the earth. . . . Hermes, as shown by Abenephius (Se cultu Egypt.), watched under the form of that bird over the Egyptians, and taught them the occult arts and sciences” (SD 1:362), Thoth (Tehuti) being represented as ibis-headed. This bird is equivalent to the albatross and the kalahamsa or mythical white swan of eternity or time.

Iblis or Eblis [from Arabic iblis] An evil being, in Islamic belief, of spiritual or angelic origin, often named Shaitan and generally equivalent to Satan. In the Koran he is represented as the leader of the angels who rebelled against Allah, and was therefore hurled from Paradise. Although doomed to death his sentence has been withheld until the Judgment Day. Before his fall he was called Haris or Azazel. Often regarded as the leader of the jinn, or the wicked genii who are commonly considered by Moslems to be of evil spirituality; but popular legend likewise endows them with powers, often great, not infrequently for the benefit of mankind. See also AZAZEL


Ichchha (Sanskrit) Icchā [from the verbal root iṣ to desire] Wish, desire, intention; derivatively, will.

Ichchha-sakti (Sanskrit) Icchā-śakti [from icchā desire, will + śakti power] Will power or the force of desire; this power of the will is one of the occult forces of nature. Its most ordinary manifestation on the physical plane is the generation of the nerve currents necessary to set certain muscles in motion for the accomplishment of the desired object, and the paralysing of other muscles. A yogi generally performs his wonders by using ichchha-sakti combined with kriya-sakti. Desire arouses or motivates the will, which then moves in accordance with the direction given it through the desire, which always partakes of mental activity. From this general basis the adept with his knowledge of the laws of nature can utilize certain desires of a lofty character, which arouse the corresponding will on the different planes.

I Ching (Chinese) Also Yi King. The Book of Changes; also Holy Book of Mutations, these mutations being the manifestations of tao. The text of the original treatise is from a system of eight trigrams and 64 hexagrams, composed of whole and broken lines, thus:



which, by altering the positions of the whole and broken lines form the changes in the diagrams. This has been assigned by scholars to Fu-Hsi (30th century BC). The first extant commentary on it is assigned to Ching Wen, founder of the Chou dynasty in 1122 BC, and his son. There have been many explanations offered regarding this work, called by many the Qabbalah of China: some see in it only a system of divination, a lunar calendar, phallic worship, or again the vocabulary of a tribe whose very existence had to be postulated for this purpose. Both Taoists and Confucianists regard the I Ching as the holiest of books; Confucius declared that he would like to give another 50 years of his life to its study, while the only Chinese commentator who is said to have understood it was Chu Hsi (1130-1200).

In the Hi-ts’ze (or so-called Appendices to the work) the universe is described as a living organism called T’ai-ch’i (the supreme being, or most ultimate). The processes of birth and rebirth, or the production of life, are due to the manifestations of tao by means of the yang and yin. “To Yang belong the numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9; to Yin belong the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. There are then five celestial and five terrestrial numbers; these rows of five operate upon each other, and each number has one with which it corresponds. The sum of the celestial numbers is twenty-five. It is in accordance with these factors that the processes of the Universe are effected, and the kwei and the shen do their work” (Hi-ts’ze).

Speaking of the I Ching, Blavatsky says: “the Stanzas given in our text . . . represent precisely the same idea. The old archaic map of Cosmogony is full of lines in the Confucian style, of concentric circles and dots. Yet all these represent the most abstract and philosophical conceptions of the Cosmogony of our Universe” (SD 1:441).

Ichthus, Ichthys (Greek) Fish; used in a mystic sense of Jesus Christ, given acrostically by the initial Greek letters of the phrase ‘Iesous Christos Thiou Yios Soter (Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter) meaning Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

“The Gnostics had also a nickname for their ideal Jesus — or the man in the Chrest condition, the Neophyte on trial, and this nickname was Ichthus, the ‘fish.’
“With this fish, with the waters in general, and, for the Christians, with the Jordan waters in particular, the whole program of the ancient Mystery-Initiation is connected. The whole of the New Testament is an allegorical representation of the Cycle of Initiation, i.e., the natural birth of man in sin or flesh, and of his second or spiritual birth as an Initiate followed by his resurrection after three days of trance — a mode of purification — during which time his human body or Astral was in Hades or Hell, which is the earth, and his divine Ego in Heaven or the realm of truth” (BCW 11:495).

The word was also applied to Bacchus. It is similar to other figures associated with fish symbols, such as Jonas, Oannes, Dagon, Vishnu, etc. See also FISH; PISCES

Icshu. See IKSHU

Ida (Icelandic, Scandinavian) [from ida eddy, whirlpool] The restless, ever-moving; in the Norse Eddas the Field of Ida is the plain in the center of Asgard, abode of the gods, where the aesir assemble to hold counsel; comparable to the Vigridsslatt (plain of consecration) where human heroes struggle against the forces of darkness during their life cycle. Each plain is appropriate to the world and its denizens and each has its corresponding heavenly sphere above it (cf SD 2:100). The remaining aesir gods gather on the Field of Ida after Ragnarok, nothing else of Asgard having survived.

Ida or Ila (Sanskrit) Iḍā, Iḷā Refreshment, flow; the goddess of sacred speech, similar to Vach; in the Rig-Veda called the instructress of Manu, instituting the rules for the performing of sacrifices. The Satapatha-Brahmana represents Ida as arising from a sacrifice which Manu had performed for the purpose of obtaining offspring. Although claimed by the gods Mitra and Varuna, she became the wife of Manu, giving birth to the race of manus. In the Puranas, she is daughter of Vaivasvata-Manu, wife of Budha (wisdom), and mother of Pururavas. In some accounts she is born a woman, becomes a man named Sudyumna, then rebecomes a woman before finally becoming a man again. This refers to the androgynous third root-race, as well as to the later part of the second root-race.

“In their most mystical meaning, the union of Swayambhuva Manu with Vach-Sata-Rupa, his own daughter (this being the first ‘euhemerization’ of the dual principle of which Vaivasvata Manu and Ila are a secondary and a third form), stands in Cosmic symbolism as the Root-life, the germ from which spring all the Solar Systems, the worlds, angels and the gods” (SD 2:148).

See also ILA

Ida (-nadi) (Sanskrit) Iḍā-nāḍi [from iḍā refreshment + nāḍi tubular vessel] One of the three channels forming the spinal column of the body, which are the main avenues for not only the psychovital economy of the body, but likewise for spiritual and intellectual currents between the head and the body proper. In occultism the spinal column plays many physiological roles, but is especially threefold in its functions. The central channel is called the sushumna-nadi, with a channel on either side: the pingala-nadi on the right, and the ida-nadi on the left, although sometimes these positions are given as reversed. All the chakras are connected with the spinal column and the nadis “by the nervous and sympathetic systems as well as by the blood vessels. In occultism the spinal column is not only an organ, but it is actually threefold in its functions, being the foundation of the pranic vitality of the body, driven by the kama of pingala and more or less controlled by the higher manasic or directing attributes of ida” (FSO 462).

Idaean Mysteries Mysteries held in connection with the Magna Mater (Great Mother), Roman name for Rhea or Cybele, whose worship prevailed in Crete and Asia Minor, in both of which are places named Ida. The Phrygian worship degenerated in later times into profligate practices.

Idam (Sanskrit) Idam This; used by Vedic and other archaic sages to describe the manifested universe, contrasting it with tat (that), the ineffable source from which all universes spring and into which they again resolve for their pralaya (cosmic rest), and from which they later reissue for new periods of manifested activity.

Ida-nadi. See IDA (-NADI)

Idaspati (Sanskrit) Iḍaspati [from iḍ a refreshing draught, libation + pati lord, master] Lord of libations; applied to Brihaspati in the Rig-Veda; also to Pushan, a Vedic deity; in the Puranas applied to Vishnu, particularly in his aspect of Narayana (the mover on the waters).

Idavatsara (Sanskrit) Idāvatsara [from idā this present day + vatsara the fifth year of a five-year cycle] This year of a five year cycle; one of the single years of a lustrum, a period of five years. Also one of the five periods that form the yuga, the Vedic cycle taken as the basis of calculation for larger cycles (TG 151).

Iddhi (Pali) Iddhi [from the verbal root sidh to succeed, attain an objective, reach accomplishment] Equivalent to the Sanskrit siddhi, used to signify the powers or attributes of perfection: powers of various kinds, spiritual and intellectual as well as astral and physical, acquired through training, discipline, initiation, and individual holiness. In Buddhism it is generally rendered “occult power.” There are two classes of iddhis, the higher of which, according to the Digha-Nikaya and other Buddhist works, are eight in number: 1) the power to project mind-made images of oneself; 2) to become invisible; 3) to pass through solid things, such as a wall; 4) to penetrate solid ground as if it were water; 5) to walk on water; 6) to fly through the air; 7) to touch sun and moon; and 8) to ascend into the highest heavens. The same work represents the Buddha as saying: “It is because I see danger in the practice of these mystic wonders that I loathe and abhor and am ashamed thereof” (1:213) — a true statement although iddhis are powers of the most desirable kind when pertaining to the higher nature, for they are of spiritual, intellectual, and higher psychical character. It is only when iddhis or siddhis are limited to the meaning of the gross astral psychic attributes that the Buddha properly condemns them as being dangerous always, and to the ambitious and selfish person extremely perilous. Further, it was an offense against the regulations of the Brotherhood (Samgha) for any member to display any powers before the laity.

The bases for the acquirement of the iddhis rested upon four completed steps in training (iddhipada): determination in respect of concentration on purpose, on will, on thoughts, and on investigation.

Idealism Philosophical systems based fundamentally on consciousness, as contrasted with systems based on sensation or materialism. It affirms that the universe is an imbodiment of mind or, as stated by theosophy, the aggregated imbodiments of hierarchies of minds proceeding from a unitary divine root or universal hierarch. It states that reality is essentially divine, spiritual, or noumenal and, on a lower plane, that the psychic is noumenal to the physical, which is its phenomenon. As a theory of knowledge, idealism identifies reality, so far as humankind is concerned, with inner conscious experience, or asserts that the mental life alone is truly knowable.

Subjective idealism denies the existence of objective reality altogether, except perhaps as illusory, as for instance in the views of Berkeley. Objective idealism, such as the system of Schelling, recognizes the existence of objective worlds while regarding the ideal world as the primary production and paramount: the external world has a relative and temporary or mayavi reality. This latter view is the only strictly logical one; for if we annihilate the object, we must thereby annihilate the subject also, these two terms having no meaning except relatively to each other. In any theory of knowledge, there must be knower and thing known; and the latter is objective to the former. Absolute idealism logically is as unthinkable as is absolute materialism. See also MAYA


Ideation The faculty, power, or process of forming ideas. Cosmic ideation denotes an abstraction, being one aspect of cosmic egoity, and also the more concrete reality represented by mahat. Cosmic ideation, focused in a basis or upadhi, results as the abstract consciousness of space working through the monad or vehicle; and the manifestations vary according to the degree of the different upadhis. Cosmic ideation is sometimes called mahabuddhi or mahat, the universal world-soul, the cosmic or spiritual noumenon of matter. As mahat is the primordial essence or principle of cosmic consciousness and intelligence, it is the fountain of the seven prakritis — the seven planes or elements of the universe — and the guiding intelligence of manifested nature on all planes. Going deeper, we have precosmic ideation, which is an aspect of that metaphysical triad which is the root from which proceeds all manifestation.

Idea, as Plato pointed out, means primarily a prototype existing in the cosmic mind and manifested in forms by the action of cosmic energy, guided by ideation, working in matter. Therefore it must be regarded as innate, and our thoughts are mental manifestations of ideas. With Plato and Aristotle (when not using the word to denote species), ideas were the fundamental roots of manifested things, as viewed under the aspect of consciousness rather than under that of matter. Hence the faculty of ideation, considered cosmically, is originative and creative of what lies latent in ideation itself, and can be so in the human being, since each individual is a microcosm. This is quite different from the faculty of making mental images of sensory experiences, these images being really what the Greeks called phantasmata. Yet even this is a degree of the original process and may be called, perhaps, astral ideation.

Idei or Idaei, Idaeic Finger. See DACTYLI

Ideos Used by Paracelsus to denote primordial undifferentiated matter in Chaos.

Idises (Germanic) Applied to seeresses or prophetesses — same as the Scandinavian dises; more commonly called Wise Women, such as those who were able to succor the sick by means of herbs and potencies.

Idol, Idolotry [from Greek eidolon image, idol] The use of images of divinities, which pertains to exotericism, as do visible symbols, ceremonies, and rituals in general. Attitudes vary among religions: Judaism, Islam, and Protestant Christianity absolutely forbid it; Orthodox Christianity permits icons, such as pictures of saints; Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, and Buddhism permit it altogether. Varying degrees of ignorance or enlightenment may regard an idol as in itself a species of imbodied divinity, as transmitting the influence of a divinity or, more spiritually, as a reminder of a divinity. In a real sense, idolatry is the attaching of undue importance to the form rather than to the spirit, and often becomes degraded into worshiping the images made in our imagination and imbodied in work of the hands. “Esoteric history teaches that idols and their worship dies out with the Fourth Race, until the survivors of the hybrid races of the latter (Chinamen, African Negroes, etc.) gradually brought the worship back. The Vedas countenance no idols; all the modern Hindu writings do” (SD 2:723).

Idra(h) Rabba Qaddisha. See HA-’INDRA’ RABBA’ QADDISHA’

Idun(n) (Icelandic, Scandinavian) [from id rejuvenation] Norse goddess of eternal youth; the oldest of the moon god Ivaldi’s younger brood, representing the soul of the earth. Her spouse is Bragi, the patron and inspirer of bards. Idun is the guardian of the apples of immortality which she feeds the aesir (gods) daily (at each new cycle).

Idwatsara. See IDAVATSARA

I-em-hetep or Imhetep (Egyptian) Imouthis, Imouthes (Greek) Also Imhotep, Imhot-pou. He who comes in peace; the Egyptian deity presiding over medicine, especially in connection with its learning and science; a son of Ptah who, with his brother Nefer-tem, was regarded as the third member of the great triad of gods at Memphis. The Greeks equated him with Aesculapius. He was regarded as the god of study and in later times took on some of the attributes of Thoth or Tehuti as the scribe of the gods. During their life he healed men’s bodies; after their death he superintended the preservation of their bodies, and was regarded as one of the protectors of the dead in the underworld. He is termed the Logos-Creator in conjunction with Kneph (SD 1:353).

Iesous. See JESUS

Iesus Hominum Salvator. See I. H. S.

Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Latin) Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews; the initials are the same as those of the medieval Rosicrucian motto, Igne natura renovatur integra (by fire nature is restored in purity, or pure matter is restored by spirit).

Ieu, Ieon (Gnostic) Also Jeu. First man, used in the Pistis Sophia; other titles are: the Overseer of the Light, the Legate of the first Statute, the Guardian of the Veil, and the Father of the Father of Jesus. Thus it is another name for the Qabbalistic ’Adam Qadmon, the cosmic manifest intelligence or Third Logos.

Ieve, Ieva. See EVE


Ifing (Icelandic, Scandinavian) [from if, ef doubt] In Norse mythology, a wide, ever-flowing river which runs between Asgard (court of the gods) and Jotunheim (home of the giants where the worlds of the living are formed). This river never freezes over to form an ice-bridge which might be traversed by the unworthy, but all human souls must eventually cross the river Doubt and also the river Time (Tund) in order to gain the realm of the gods.

Igaga, Igege, Igigi (Chaldean) A hierarchy of superior angels: the angels or spirits of heaven as distinguished from the anunnaki, the angels of earth.

Igne Natura Renovatur Integra (Latin) By fire nature is restored in purity, or pure matter is restored by spirit; the medieval Rosicrucian motto signifying that the working of the inner fire of the spirit, when operating free and unchained by its surrounding veils, reduces these veils into oneness with itself, so that pure, complete, or original nature is restored to its primordial essence. Thus, in its application to the human being, when a person lives entirely in the light or fire of the spirit or god within, all his veils of consciousness coalesce with the inner fire, so that his original spiritual being is restored and he becomes a god-man.

Ignis (Latin) Fire; cf Sanskrit agni.

Ignis Fatuus (Latin) Foolish fire; will-o’-the-wisp.

I. H. S. Well-known Christian monogram, taken as being the initials of Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus Savior of Men); and the first three letters of the Greek Iesous (Jesus). It is also a monogram representative of Dionysos used in the Mysteries. As a Latin abbreviation, having mystic significance, it means acrostically, In hoc signo victor eris (in this sign thou shalt be victorious). See also JESUS


Ikhir Bonga (Kolarian) A spirit of the deep of the Kolarian tribes in Central India (TG 152).

Ikshu (Sanskrit) Ikṣu One of the legendary seven seas, supposed by some to be the Euxine or Black Sea.

Ikshvaku (Sanskrit) Ikṣvāku The son of Vaivasvata-Manu — progenitor of the present human race and son of Vivasvat (the sun). Ikshvaku was the founder of the solar race of kings (Suryavansa), reigning at Ayodhya at the commencement of the treta yuga (second age). It is said that he had a hundred sons, one of whom, Nimi, founded the Mithila dynasty.

Ila or Ila (Sanskrit) Ilā, Ila Closely connected with Ida, sometimes used interchangeably, meaning flow, speech, the earth. Ilagola means the earth globe. See also IDA, IDA (-NADI)

Ilavrita (Sanskrit) Ilāvṛta One of the nine varshas (divisions of the earth) according to ancient Hindu teaching; what is now the region of the north pole and surrounding Mount Meru, said to be the habitat of divinities.

Ildabaoth, Ilda Baoth. See IALDABAOTH

Iliados Used by Paracelsus as synonymous with Ideos, primordial matter in the subjective state.

Ilithyia (Latin) Eileithyia (Greek) [from Greek erchymai to come, come back] She who comes to aid women who are in travail; Greek goddess of childbirth, daughter of Zeus and Hera. Essentially a lunar divinity, her generative functions are often adopted by other divinities, such as Hera, Artemis, Juno, Lucina, and Diana. She was worshiped especially at Crete and Delos, though sanctuaries and statues were dedicated to her in many places.

Illa-ah, ‘Illa’ah. See ’ADAM ‘ILLA’AH

Illinus A god in the Chaldean theogony of Damascus (TG 153).

Illuminati (Latin) The enlightened, adepts; a title assumed in Europe by different bodies of mystics at different times, claiming to have attained the faculty of direct vision of divine truth, and also applied popularly to later bodies, such as Swedenborgians and Rosicrucians. Its most recent and common use is in reference to a secret society, partly religious, apparently partly political, which arose in Germany toward the end of the 18th century, spread its influence over other countries, had degrees of initiation, and entered into relationships with Masonic lodges.

Illupl. See ULUPI

Illusion Positive unreality, or that which is wholly and completely deceptive without basis in reality; as such some philosophers consider it to be rooted in the human mind itself, subjective or interior rather than external or objective. As thus understood, illusion falls far short of the significance of the Sanskrit maya, for which it is used as a translation. For the sense of maya is that of appearance rising out of reality, not something opposed to reality. It is evident that, if the universe can be said to exist at all, we must allow that illusion in the sense of maya has existence, a relative or temporary reality, for it obviously originates from and shadows forth the reality within and behind it. It is not that reality itself, but its multiform appearances. To say that the world in which we live, and all the people and beings and things in it, are an illusion, does not mean that all this is an empty dream; it means that what is so real to us, as long as we are conscious on this plane, will be seen as a maya or deceptive appearance from our viewpoint when we become conscious on a higher and more inclusive plane. See also MAYA

Ilmatar (Finnish) The ancient Finnish great cosmic Mother, who helped in the production of the earth and heavens. In the Kalevala, she is described as daughter of ether or air (ilma). After passing her existence for ages in the air, she descended to the waters — naught else then existed. After seven hundred years she raised her voice to the great deity and the primeval duck was sent to her. When the earth was formed, she was able to bring forth her seven sons, whose exploits constitute the principal narrative of the great Finnish epic.

Ilus (Greek) [from ilue mud] Primordial slime or mud; used by Berosus, the Chaldean, for the rude material out of which the cosmos was built; and by Sanchoniathon, the Phoenician writer, for the offspring of Chaos after the embrace of the spirit. The lotus flower or manifested universe grows out of the cosmic ilus or primordial substance. The elements differentiate or unfold into activity from their primeval ilus resting in laya. “Esoterically the homogeneous sediment of Chaos or the Great Deep. The first principle out of which the objective Universe was formed” (TG 146). The same as hyle.

Also, in Greek legend, the son of Tros and the mythical founder of Ilium (Troy).

Ilythia. See ILITHYIA


Imagination Usually the making of mental pictures; but this is actually merely fancy; imagination is “one of the plastic powers of the higher Soul, the memory of preceding incarnations, which, however, disfigured by the lower Manas, yet rests always on a ground of truth” (TG 153). Imagination is therefore a creative power which, used in conjunction with will, calls forth not only creative forces, but likewise their productions. Thus it can be used for spiritualization and also for the materialization of images conceived in the mind; to bring about the results we desire, whether good or evil. It may become our master, chaining us to the illusions we have created; when, however, we can direct this power and resist its suggestions of fancy, it becomes a powerful instrument in shaping our lives and destiny.

Imago (Latin) Image, similitude, simulacrum, apparition, ghost; sometimes used for the linga-sarira.

Imhot-pou. See I-EM-HETEP

Immaculate Conception A dogma of the Roman Catholic Church that Mary, mother of Jesus, was born immaculate, that is without original sin in the Christian sense. It is a misapprehension of ancient Mystery-teachings which entered into the original Church through some of the early Fathers who had been initiated in the Mystery schools of their time. The origin of the idea is in the primordial cosmic triad or trinity of Father-Mother-Son, where the principle personified as Mother must be conceived of as immaculate both in original and in productive power and action.

From this truly sublime cosmic idea there flowed forth coordinate ideas having application to the individual human being. For the individual human triad of atma-buddhi-manas is a reflection or ray from the cosmic triad; so that what the cosmic Father is to the universe, atman is in the human triad; the cosmic Mother corresponds to buddhi; and the cosmic Son to manas. And as the humanity of an individual resides in the manas and can become spiritual and immortal, or a christos, by alliance upwards with the other two individuals of the triad, the dogma gradually became materialized to signify that a human child was born of an immaculate mother, who in her turn was immaculately conceived without sin.

Immah Illa-ah, ‘Imma’ ‘Illa’ah (Chaldean) ’Immā’ ‘Illā’āh Mother or beginning of divinity, heavenly or supernal mother; Qabbalistic term applied to the third Sephirah, Binah, to distinguish it from Malchuth, the inferior mother (termed the Bride or Queen). It is the spiritual Shechinah, the divine matrix or source out of which flows the emanational hierarchy whose completed development is the manifested universe. See also AIMA; AM

Immortality That which is not subject to death, deathlessness. Death is the dissolution of a compound entity, where the compound itself ceases to exist, though its elements do not perish. Nor does the ensouling entity perish because of the dissolution of its physical, astral, or other vehicle. Hence in a restricted sense certain elements can be said to be immortal, relative to the compound they form.

Theosophy teaches the constant rebirths of the identic spiritual-intellectual individuality throughout the manvantara; and that, even after union into paranirvana, the individuality, precisely because it is then on its own higher plane or sphere of life, is not lost and will reemerge at a new manvantara to pursue its own particular cycle. This eternal monad, the spiritual-intellectual individuality, is the real and truly immortal essence of the person; and within this supreme cycle of immortality are a series of less immortalities, each representing the life cycle of one of the imbodiments of the monad. Death therefore of necessity becomes a recurrent process, precisely like birth or rebirth, and of many degrees, and simply means the dissolution of some group of lower sheaths enclosing the individual in imbodiment.

Viewing the question from the consciousness aspect, death means the exchange of one mode of consciousness for others. We cannot say offhand that we are either mortal or immortal, since we contain various elements of both kinds. The essence of the individuality is unconditionally immortal, its sheaths or bodies are mortal in various and relative degrees.

Immortality is conditional for the human soul: if it aspires to its inner god and allies itself therewith, the human soul becomes immortal because it is at one with its spiritual parent, the upper triad or monad. But if the personal or human soul refuse to recognize its spiritual essence and allies itself with increasing fullness with the complex compound of the lower human nature, it loses its chance of immortality and becomes but a psychological mortal compound itself.

The Buddha’s statement that “nothing composite endures and consequently that as man is a composite entity there is in him no immortal and unchanging ‘soul,’ is the key. The ‘soul’ of man is changing from instant to instant — learning, growing, expanding, evolving — so that at no two consecutive seconds of time or of experience is it the same. Therefore it is not immortal. For immortality means enduring continually as you are. If you evolve you change, and therefore you cannot be immortal in the part which evolves, because you are growing into something greater” (FSO 385). In this sense, portions of an entity may endure for long periods of time, and thus be called immortal; but they are not immortal in the sense of continuing to exist unchanged or in a state identical to what they are now.

Imothos, Imouthes. See I-EM-HETEP


In (Japanese) Equivalent to the Chinese yin; in Shintoism, the feminine principle of matter or earth, impregnated by Yo (the heavens), the male ethereal principle, and then precipitated into the universe. She forms the first ethereal, sexless objective being, and with him produces the seven divine spirits who emanate the seven creations.

Inachus, Inachos (Greek) River god, the most ancient king of Argos and forefather of the Pelasgic peoples; son of Oceanus and Tethys, father of Io and Phoroneus. After the flood of Deucalion, he led the inhabitants of southern Greece from the mountains to the plains.

Inca(s) (Peruvian) The creative gods in Peruvian theogony, and later the rulers of the country. The seven Incas are said to have repeopled the earth after the deluge: “They belonged at the beginning of the fifth Root-race to a dynasty of divine kings, such as those of Egypt, India, and Chaldea” (TG 154).

Incantation [from Latin cantare to sin] Charm, matra; the expert use of the power of unvocalized or vocalized sound in evolving occult forces of nature. Used in magic, especially of the ceremonial kind. The power of sound, akasic in character, is the “first of the keys which opens the door of communication between Mortals and the Immortals” (SD 1:464); one of the seven siddhis, mantrika-sakti.

Incarnation Imbodiments of an entity or monad in a body of flesh, usually human. It is also used of avataras, buddhas, etc., in treating of the manifold mystery of the union of godhood and humanhood. This mystery, both among Hindus and Christians, is a distorted and anthropomorphic understanding of the teaching as to the presence of the unseen cosmic principles throughout all nature and man, as symbolized by the circle and cross.

Divine incarnations do not mean that a divine being seizes upon and occupies the body of a human being as by a kind of obsession; but that every person has within him the powers by which he can manifest his own innate divinity, and that a few people have these powers developed in a special degree. When properly understood, a truly divine incarnation, as in avataras, was one of the greatest of the mysteries of every archaic religious system.

Incense Fragrant incense has been used from immemorial antiquity practically worldwide, often in ceremonial magic of various kinds. Incense may be simple, as in the usage of burning leaves, bark, or wood, the smoke itself being often so fragrant as to fall under the modern ideas of incense; or compound when it is composed of various ingredients, all of a more or less fragrant character when burned. The explanation of the original use of incense was that it was a strong purifying agent, some plants thus used in purificatory fumigations being far more powerful in effect than others. In its worst uses, incense is distinctly stupefying in character, and when so used its burning partakes of sorcery. Its purificatory effect is because smoke of various kinds, or the fumes from the burning, are antiseptic or cleansing in character; and some plants especially when burned repel evil-natured denizens in the astral light.

Incubus (Latin) [from in upon + cub lie] The nightmare, regarded as an astral goblin which lies upon the sleeper. Modern medicine regards it as a subjective impression produced by physiological disorders, but we must take into account as well the lower strata of the astral light, teeming with soulless elementals as well as astral vampires or elementaries, ready to take advantage of unguarded and disordered conditions.

Also a goblin which, in medieval belief, holds sexual intercourse with human beings, a belief found elsewhere, as in India, where the term used is pisacha. Incubi are sometimes spoken of as of either sex, but properly succuba is used for the female. They are “Ghools, Vampires, and soulless Elementals; formless centres of Life, devoid of sense; in short, subjective protoplasms when left alone, but called into a definite being and form by the creative and diseased imagination of certain mortals” (TG 154). Thus it is the lustful imagination and vitality of the victim that gives these beings their power upon him; without that, they are powerless and not to be feared.

Indeterminacy Used in science to mean that the investigation of intra-atomic phenomena has (for the time being) reached the limits of human power to determine the behavior of a particle. The Heisenberg principle of uncertainty states that it is impossible to increase the accuracy of measurement of the velocity of a particle without by this very observational act introducing an uncertainty into the determination of its position. The attempt to represent phenomena as a chain of cause and effect must lead sooner or later to a point where we can no longer trace the cause — not because causes vanish, but because of the imperfection of our observation and of our instruments, so that the chain of causation continues until we lose track of it because of incapacity. Hence we are unable to predict the behavior of a particle. Subsequent investigation may enable us to carry the chain of causation farther, but the process cannot go on indefinitely without carrying us beyond the physical plane. The standards of measurement successfully adopted for molar physics and for phenomena within terrestrial limits have proved inadequate for the definition of phenomena outside those limits; and both theory and experiment show that these standards are largely conceptual and must be changed to suit new conditions.

Some people try to introduce a volitional principle into nature at this point, but this is falsely to assume that the volitional principle is absent elsewhere — an assumption purely speculative, and which seems entirely unwarranted. It is not that the universe is divided into a mechanical section and a volitional section, arbitrarily separated by a hypothetical boundary that varies according to our progress in investigation. The mechanical interpretation therefore is a device adopted for practical purposes on the physical plane, which enables us to predict results within limits that do not bring the validity of its assumptions into question. Science finds that one form of motion is consequent upon another, but it knows nothing about the cause of motion; and words like force and mass are merely convenient abstractions. Hence there can be no reason for introducing a psychological element into nature at one point rather than at another, for such disjunct compartments do not exist in nature.

Indeterminacy, as used by science, is the contrary of determinism; both would seem to imply attitudes of mind rather than actualities in nature.

Indivisibles. See ATOM

Individuality [from Latin individuum undivided thing, unit] In philosophy, as well as in theosophy, used for inherent selfhood: monad, ego, atom. Used in theosophy for the higher ego in man as contrasted with the lower ego or personality — a distinction not made in ordinary parlance, where the two words may even be used in the opposite senses. The individuality is the immortal spiritual ego or monad; whereas the personality, or lower quaternary of the septenary human constitution, is the mortal human ego which goes to pieces at death.

Indolentia (Latin) Freedom from pain; an Epicurean term denoting the tranquility which was their ideal of attainment for the sage who sees that happiness is inseparable from virtue.

Indovansas. See INDUVANSA

Indra (Sanskrit) Indra Vedic god of the firmament, supporter or guardian of the eastern quarter of the visible kosmos, whose functions somewhat parallel those of the equivalent of the four Maharajas. Indra, Varuna, and Agni were considered among the three highest gods of the Vedas, although the triad of Vayu, Surya, and Agni is frequently mentioned, Indra often taking the place of Vayu. Indra is often described as the champion of all the gods and overthrower of their enemies, especially the conqueror of Vritra, the great cosmic serpent. Indra thus has numerous parallels with the St. Michael of the Occident, and some of his functions are identic with Karttikeya, the god of war.

“In the Rig Veda Indra is the highest and greatest of the Gods, and his Soma-drinking is allegorical of his highly spiritual nature. In the Puranas Indra becomes a profligate, a regular drunkard on the Soma juice, in the terrestrial way” (SD 2:378). Indra corresponds with the cosmic principle mahat and in the human constitution with its reflection, manas, in its dual aspect. At times he is connected with buddhi; at others he is dragged down by kama, the desire principle.

Indrani (Sanskrit) Indrāṇī [feminine of Indra] Also Aindri. The consort of Indra, personifying the aindriyaka, the evolution of the elements of senses (SD 2:614). As Indra stands for mahat — especially for the dual aspect of manas in man — his marriage to Indrani “because of her voluptuous attractions” may represent the enchaining of the higher manas to the lower because of the karmic links of both with the lower ternary in the human constitution, this union, combination, or marriage manifesting itself as the kama-manasic portion of human consciousness.

Indriya (Sanskrit) Indriya Power, force, especially with reference to the faculty of sense; sense itself, including the inner or astral organ of sense; also occasionally the number five as symbolic of the five senses. The buddhi-indriyani or jnanendriyani are the five inner organs or faculties of perception: eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin. To these are added the karmendriyani (organs of action): larynx, hand, foot, anus, and generative parts; between these ten organs and atman stands manas, which thus with the atman and the ten faculties and organs of sense, make twelve divisions of the human constitution. In Vedantic philosophy the four inner organic faculties (antar-indriyani) are manas, buddhi, ahamkara, and chitta.

Each of these fourteen faculties and organs is presided over by its own respective inyantri (ruler): the eye by the sun; the ear by the quarters of the world; the nose by the two Asvins; the tongue by Prachetas; the skin by the wind; the voice by fire; the hand by Indra; the foot by Vishnu; the anus by Mitra; the generative organs by Prajapati; manas by the moon; buddhi by Brahman; ahamkara by Siva; chitta by Vishnu as Achyuta. The differences in enumeration are to be accounted for by the different manners in which the various Indian philosophic schools enumerated and divided the different parts of the human constitution.

In the Puranas seven creations are enumerated, the third being called indriya, or organic evolution. See also AINDRIYAKA

In yoga training restraint of the senses is termed indriya-samyama, while indriyasanga is nonattachment to objects of sense or of the material world.

Indriyatman (Sanskrit) Indriyātman [from indriya sense + ātman self] A term used by Blavatsky (SD 2:108) to represent the third stage in the descending scale of the manifestation of Brahman. It implies that the spiritual or intellectual soul through its own particular radiations is the fundamental or guiding essence bringing about the evolution of the interior senses and their corresponding physical organs, and is likewise the latent guiding intelligence and instinct behind them.

Indu (Sanskrit) Indu In the Brahmanas, the moon; in the Vedas, a drop, especially of soma, or a spark. It refers to the physical moon and its functions, whereas Soma implies the somewhat more mystical and esoteric lunar attributes.

Inductive Method, Induction In logic, the process of reasoning from the parts to the whole, from the particular to the general, or from the individual to the universal; contrasted with the deductive method, which reasons from the whole to the parts, from the general to the particular, from the universal to the individual. It is associated with Aristotle as contrasted with Plato, also with Francis Bacon and modern science in general. Science endeavors to establish general laws by reasoning from particular observations; but it is necessary to assume that what is true in an individual case will be true in the general case of which it is only an instance. The hypotheses thus framed are necessarily and naturally regarded as provisional, subject to modification in the light of subsequent, more extended observations of nature. This method endeavors to come to an understanding of nature by a continued process of trial and error, the formulation of its laws becoming ever wider. But an essential part of this method itself is deductive, since we continually reason back from the provisional hypotheses we have laid down to the new facts which we seek to discover in support or in refutation of them. For this reason, the method of science has often been called a deductive-inductive method. Indeed, pure induction is probably inconceivable, since we cannot enter upon a mental process unless we first entertain some general ideas. Induction and deduction are interdependent functions of the ratiocinative mind.

Further, the data of scientific induction are sensory percepts; and no amount of such data will enable us to ascertain the truth about the causal worlds which underlie phenomena. If we admit, with Plato, the existence of intuition or direct perception of essential truths, or if we accept his doctrine of the existence of soul memories latent in the mind, we have a resource which will free us from complete reliance on this synthetic method of reaching general truths. See also BACONIAN METHODS

Induvansa, Induvamsa (Sanskrit) Induvaṃśa [from indu moon + vaṃśa race] The lunar race or dynasty in ancient Hindu stories. See also CHANDRAVANSA

Ineffable Name With the Jews, applied to the word Jehovah; with the Qabbalists, associated with the Tetragrammaton (JHVH, YHVH, or IHVH). The Ineffable Name is the secret of secrets, IHVH (or Jehovah) being used as a screen. The power of the Ineffable Name is the power or force of the natural harmony in nature, which the ancient Greek mystical philosophers called music or the cosmic harmony. The name used by the Western Qabbalists is not to be pronounced, rather than ineffable, for the “ ‘Ineffable Name’ of the true Occultist, is no name at all, least of all is it that of Jehovah. The latter implies, even in its Kabbalistical, esoteric meaning, an androgynous nature, YHVH, or one of a male and female nature. It is simply Adam and Eve, or man and woman blended in one, and as now written and pronounced, is itself a substitute. But the Rabbins do not care to remember the Zoharic admission that YHVH means ‘not as I Am written, Am I read” (Zohar, fol. III., 230a). One has to know how to divide the Tetragrammaton ad infinitum before one arrives at the sound of the truly unpronounceable name of the Jewish mystery-god” (TG 155-6).

Infallibility of Pope. See POPES


Infernal Deities [from Latin inferi or inferni inhabitants of the lower world] Cosmic powers pertaining to the lower planes of manifestation. Classical mythology shows the earth and its beings between the heavens and the infernal regions, under the double influence of the higher and the lower deities. Sometimes they are called chthonian deities, gods of the earth or underworld, implying a duality of heaven and earth, or above and below. They are usually doubles of the superior gods, often with the same name but distinguished by an epithet, as in Jupiter Chthonius or Osiris-Typhon. The contrast between good and evil has given a sinister aspect to these deities, as being connected with death, destruction, and affliction, though they are necessary cosmic powers. Christian theology in particular has turned them into devils.

Infinite [from Latin in not + finitus ended] That which is endless or not finite; ancient peoples expressed the frontierless, beginningless, and endless hierarchical immensities, whether of space, time, spirit, or matter in many ways, as in the ’eyn soph (without bounds or frontiers) of the Qabbalah, the Hindu parabrahman (beyond Brahman), the Void, the Sunyata of Buddhism, the Ginnungagap (gaping void) of the Scandinavians, the Deep of the Bible, or the waters of space, etc. Many philosophers of antiquity considered it futile to speculate upon that which is ex hypothesi beyond the understanding of the human mind, confessedly finite in function and range. For whatever the human mind can shape or figurate to itself as a concept must be de facto finite in itself, however great or grand. Infinite was never used as a synonym for deity or any divine being, for however immense in its incomprehensible vastness in both time and space, it could be nevertheless only finite, for the human mind itself had given birth to the human thought, and the human mind is finite.

Similarly, the Absolute is not the infinite, for absolute means “freed” or “liberated,” such as the cosmic hierarch of a universe; and this could not be infinite or boundless, but must have been of finite origin, grown into stature of divine grandeur. The ancients taught that the universe was filled with gods, and that the universes were as numerous in beginningless space and time, as number in itself is beginningless and endless and therefore incommensurable.

“The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned”; “the immutably Infinite and the absolutely Boundless can neither will, think, nor act. To do this it has to become finite, and it does so, by its ray penetrating into the mundane egg — infinite space — and emanating from it as a finite god” (SD 1:56, 354).

Inflectional Speech. See SPEECH

Influenza. See EPIDEMICS

Initiate [from Latin initio entering into, beginning] One who has entered into or begun, or passed at least one initiation in the sacred Mysteries; initiates can therefore be of various degrees. Synonymous with reborn, dvija (twice-born), Son of the Sun, etc.

Initiant [from Latin initio entering into, beginning] One who is preparing for initiation, as distinguished from one who has been initiated — the latter being an initiate. One who is an initiate in one degree may be only an initiant as to a higher degree.

Initiation [from Latin initio entering into, beginning] Generally, the induction of a pupil into a new way of living and into secret knowledge by the aid of a competent teacher. In ancient times initiation or the Mysteries were uniform and one everywhere, but as times passed, each country — though basing its Mysteries and initiation ceremonies on the one original wisdom common to mankind — followed manners of conducting the procedures native to the psychology and temperament of the different peoples. In still later times most of the original wisdom was but dimly remembered; and the Mysteries and the initiation ceremonies degenerated into little more than ceremonial rites, with more or less academic or theological teaching accompanying them — as was the case in the Mysteries of Greece, for instance; although it is true that there were genuine initiates in Greece down to the fall of the Mediterranean civilizations.

“Every nation had its exoteric and esoteric religion, the one for the masses, the other for the learned and elect. For example, the Hindus had three degrees with several sub-degrees. The Egyptians had also three preliminary degrees, personified under the ‘three guardians of the fire’ in the Mysteries. The Chinese had their most ancient Triad Society: and the Tibetans have to this day their ‘triple step’: which was symbolized in the ‘Vedas by the three strides of Vishnu. . . . The old Babylonians had their three stages of initiation into the priesthood (which was then esoteric knowledge); the Jews, the Kabbalists and mystics borrowed them from the Chaldees, and the Christian Church from the Jews” (TG 333).

In theosophy initiation is generally used in reference to entering into the sacred wisdom under the direction of initiates, in the schools of the Mysteries. By initiation the candidate quickens natural evolution and thus anticipates the growth which will be achieved by the generality of humanity at a much later time in developmental evolution. He or she unfolds from within the latent spiritual and intellectual powers, thus raising individual self-consciousness to a corresponding level. The induction into the various degrees was aptly spoken of as a new birth.

The seats of initiation were often situated on mountains, which because of this were regarded as holy mountains. Often rocky caves or recesses in mountains were chosen for their inaccessibility, and used as initiation crypts or chambers for teaching; in ancient Egypt the Great Pyramid was an initiation temple.

“The initiated adept, who had successfully passed through all the trials, was attached, not nailed, but simply tied on a couch in the form of a tau tau(in Egypt) of a Svastika without the four additional prolongations (thus: cross, not svastika ) plunged in a deep sleep (the ‘Sleep of Siloam’ it is called to this day among the Initiates in Asia Minor, in Syria, and even higher Egypt). He was allowed to remain in this state for three days and three nights, during which time his Spiritual Ego was said to confabulate with the ‘gods,’ descend into Hades, Amenti, or Patala (according to the country), and do works of charity to the invisible beings, whether souls of men or Elemental Spirits; his body remaining all the time in a temple crypt or subterranean cave. In Egypt it was placed in the Sarcophagus in the King’s Chamber of the Pyramid of Cheops, and carried during the night of the approaching third day to the entrance of a gallery, where at a certain hour the beams of the rising Sun struck full on the face of the entranced candidate, who awoke to be initiated by Osiris, and Thoth the God of Wisdom” (SD 2:558).

There were successive degrees of initiation, of which seven are usually enumerated. Of these the first three were preparatory, consisting of discipline of the whole nature: moral, mental, and physical. At each stage, the neophyte had to pass through a carefully graded series of tests or trials in order that he might prove his inner strength and capabilities to proceed. In this manner the neophyte reached and entered the fourth degree, in which the powers of his inner god having by now become at least partially active in his daily life and consciousness, he was enabled to begin the experience of passing into other planes and realms of life and of being, and thus to learn to known them by becoming them. In this way he acquired first-hand knowledge of the truths of nature and of the universe about which he previously had been taught.

In the fifth initiation, called in ancient Greece theophany (the appearance of a god), the candidate meets for at least a fleeting moment his own spiritual ego face to face, and in the most successful of these cases, for a time actually becomes one with it. Epiphany signifies a minor form of theophany.

In the sixth stage, theopneusty (in-breathing or through-breathing of a god, divine inspiration), the candidate becomes the vehicle of his own inner god, for a time depending on the neophyte’s own power of retention and observation, so that he is then inspired with the spiritual and intellectual powers and faculties of his higher self.

In the seventh degree, theophathy (the suffering a god — suffering oneself to be one’s own inner god), the personal self has become permanently at-one with the inner divinity. The successful passing of the seventh trial resulted in the initiant’s becoming a glorified Christ, to be followed by the last or ultimate stage of this degree known in Buddhism as achieving buddhahood or nirvana. Since limits cannot be set to attainment, however, still loftier stages of spiritual and intellectual unfolding or initiation await those who have already attained the degree of buddhahood.

In Buddhist works four degrees of training, in these cases equivalent to initiation, are given: 1) srotapatti (he who has entered the stream), one who has commenced the task of transmuting the forces of his nature to the purposes of his higher self; 2) sakridagamin (he who comes once more), one who will be reborn on earth only once again before reaching the lower degrees of nirvana; 3) anagamin (he who does not come), one who will no longer be reincarnated anymore, unless the choice be made to remain on earth in order to help humanity; and 4) arhat or arhan (the worthy one), one who at will can and does experience nirvana even during his life on earth.


Inner God Used for the higher self or divine monad, the focus of divine-spiritual individuality in the human constitution, especially in connection with the degree of initiation when the candidate comes into communion with his true spiritual self, the god within.

Inner Man The true and immortal entity in us, as contrasted with the outward and mortal form (physical body, astral body, etc.). The higher ego, the higher manas or manas in conjunction with atma-buddhi; nous as opposed to psyche.

Inner Round In theosophical literature, the passage of the ten classes or hosts of monads through all the globes comprising a planetary chain. An inner round begins on the highest globe and continues its progress around and through them all, concluding the cycle again at the globe from which it first started. The same journey is undergone by the spiritual monad after death.

Such a complete circuit of the life-waves on each and every one of the globes of a planetary chain is termed a planetary round or chain-round, whereas the complete passage of a life-wave on one globe before going to the next succeeding globe is termed a globe-round; seven or twelve of these globe-rounds comprise one planetary round. Each life-wave makes seven cycles on each globe, which are termed root-races. See also ROUND

Innocents In ancient Judea this name, and that of infants or little ones, was given to neophytes and initiates just born, meaning that they were newly become such. We find the same usage in the New Testament story of the murder of the Innocents by Herod: in its original it meant the murder of chelas or initiates, but has been adapted in the Christian scriptures to mean the slaughter of actual babies with a view to include the body of Jesus.

Inorganic. See LIFE

I. N. R. I. Four letters found at the head of pictures of Jesus on the cross, and generally interpreted as the initials of Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews) but according to others representing a Rosicrucian motto: Ingne natura renovatur integra (by fire, nature is renewed entire).

Insanity [from Latin in not + sanus sound] Unsoundness of the mental faculties or organs, with or without loss of volition and of consciousness. “Arcane science teaches that the abandonment of the living body by the soul frequently occurs, and that we encounter every day, in every condition of life, such living corpses. Various causes, among them overpowering fright, grief, despair, a violent attack of sickness, or excessive sensuality may bring this about. The vacant carcass may be entered and inhabited by the astral form of an adept sorcerer, or an elementary (an earth-bound disembodied human soul), or, very rarely, an elemental. . . . In insanity, the patient’s astral being is either semi-paralyzed, bewildered, and subject to the influence of every passing spirit of any sort, or it has departed forever, and the body is taken possession of by some vampirish entity near its own disintegration, and clinging desperately to earth, whose sensual pleasures it may enjoy for a brief season longer by this expedient” (IU 2:589).

Not all insane persons, however, suffer with the restless inner tension due to a besieging influence. Some grope along on their own kama-manasic level, bewildered because deprived of the directing influence of their higher principles. Some of these people are suffering from a dissociation of the inner conscious self from his brain which ordinarily connects him with the external world of things and people. Such cases know inwardly that they are not insane but, being unable to make themselves understood, and hence being regarded and treated as lunatics, they sometimes finally do become mentally deranged.

While karmic conditions may prevent a cure in this life for many cases, many others respond happily when, to the best resources of modern treatment, is added the knowledge of composite human nature with knowledge of its relations to the invisible astral sphere which interpenetrates and influences our world of mind and matter. Most important help may come from the confident, friendly, uplifting influence which emanates from intelligent, earnest, pure-minded attendants who deal with them.

Insignia Majestatis (Latin) The characteristics, badges, or tokens of majesty; used metaphorically of characteristic marks of spiritual grandeur or power.

Inspiration, Inspired [from Latin in into, upon + spiro breathe (cf afflatus from ad upon + flo breathe); adopted from Greek empneusis from en in + pneo breathe] Generally the reception of knowledge or influence from a source superior — or even inferior — to the ordinary consciousness.

Instinct The vegetative, passive, or automatic side of intuition, which expresses itself all through natural existences. The atoms move and sing by instinct, and by the instinctual faculty the animal guides its life. In human beings are the divine instincts of love, forgiveness, and pity. “Instinct, as a divine spark, lurks in the unconscious nerve-centre of the ascidian mollusk, and manifests itself at the first stage of action of its nervous system as what the physiologist terms the reflex action. It exists in the lowest classes of the acephalous animals as well as in those that have distinct heads; it grows and develops according to the law of the double evolution, physically and spiritually; and entering upon its conscious stage of development and progress in the cephalous species already endowed with a sensorium and symmetrically-arranged ganglia, this reflex action, whether men of science term it automatic, as in the lowest species, or instinctive, as in the more complex organisms which act under the guidance of the sensorium and the stimulus originating in distinct sensation, is still one and the same thing. It is the divine instinct in its ceaseless progress of development. This instinct of the animals, which act from the moment of their birth each in the confines prescribed to them by nature, and which know how, save in accident proceeding from a higher instinct than their own, to take care of themselves unerringly — this instinct may, for the sake of exact definition, be termed automatic; but it must have either within the animal which possesses it or without, something’s or some one’s intelligence to guide it” (IU 1:425).

Instinct may be considered as the automatic or quasi-intelligent functioning of the infinitude of rays flowing forth from the kosmic mind — these rays in their turn first passing through the divine intelligences, then through the spiritual intelligences, then through the hosts of beings of less degree, and finally reaching animate and inanimate entities. Instinct, thus, wherever functioning throughout nature is seen to be the action of kosmic mind. In proportion as intuitions are farther evolved along the ladder of life, instinct merges into intelligence, then into self-conscious intelligence, and finally into spiritual intelligence which is the veil of the kosmic divinity.

Instructors, Divine. See DYNASTIES

Intellect. See MANAS; MIND


Intermediate Nature In a threefold division of the human constitution, such as the Christian spirit, soul, and body, the intermediate nature would correspond to soul and would represent the intermediate duad — manas and kama. The upper duad (atman, buddhi) would correspond to spirit; and the lower triad (prana, linga-sarira, sthula-sarira) to body.

It is the intermediate nature, our human portion, which reincarnates: it is a ray of the spiritual part or upper duad, and by repeated incarnations, through unfolding of the latent spirituality within itself, it finally “ascends” to reach the status of its parent, the upper duad. Hence, the intermediate nature is often referred to as the human soul.


Intra-Mercurial Planet. See VULCAN

Intuition The working of the inner vision, instant and direct cognition of truth. This spiritual faculty, though not yet in any sense fully developed in the human race, yet occasionally shows itself as hunches. Every human being is born with at least the rudiment of this inner sense. Plotinus taught that the secret gnosis has three degrees — opinion, science or knowledge, and illumination — and that the instrument of the third is intuition. To this, reason is subordinate, for intuition is absolute knowledge, founded on the identification of the mind with the object. Iamblichus wrote of intuition: “There is a faculty of the human mind, which is superior to all which is born or begotten. Through it we are enabled to attain union with the superior intelligences, to be transported beyond the scenes of this world, and to partake of the higher life and peculiar powers of the heavenly ones.” From another point of view, intuition may be described as spiritual wisdom, gathered into the storehouse of the spirit-soul through experiences in past lives; but this form may be described as automatic intuition. The higher intuition is a filling of the functional human mind with a ray from the divinity within, furnishing the mind with illumination, perfect wisdom and, in its most developed form, virtual omniscience for our solar system. This is the full functioning of the buddhic faculty in the human being; and when this faculty is thus aroused and working, it produces the manushya or human buddha.


Invisible Worlds Theosophy teaches that the universe is a living organism, composed of an infinite number of minor organisms of all-various degrees of expression in both spirit and matter. These groups of minor organisms or worlds are separated from each other in consciousness, not in space, by planes. All the beings of any one plane have senses relating to that plane and are therefore usually unconscious of other planes by first perception. Further, these planes are of such different ranges of matter and therefore of vibration, that the entities within them intermingle without mutual interference. The suns and planets, therefore, of any one plane interpenetrate our physical sphere, and permeate it, so that in our own daily affairs we actually pass through the worlds, through the very beings, it may be, of the entities dwelling in these realms invisible to us. These invisible realms are made of matter just as is our physical world, but it is of matter more ethereal or gross than ours. We do not cognize them with our physical senses because of the different rates of vibration of the different planes.

Although our senses tell us nothing of these innumerable other planes, yet the inner and invisible higher spheres are inexpressibly important because they are the causal realms of which our physical universe is but the phenomenal production. But while these higher planes are the fountainhead, ultimately, of all the energies and matters of the whole physical world, yet to an entity inhabiting these inner and invisible worlds, these latter are as substantial and real to that entity as our physical world is to us. Just as we know in our physical world various grades or conditions of energy and matter, from the grossest to the most ethereal, so do the inhabitants of these other worlds know and cognize their own grossest and also most ethereal substances and energies.

The theosophical teaching about invisible worlds has no connection or parallel with the Summerland of the Spiritualists.

Involution Infolding, as contrasted with evolution or unfolding; used as correlative with evolution, it means the passing from a state of comparative manifestation to one of comparative latency. In the downward arc of progress, spirit is said to involve, and matter to evolve, these processes being reversed during the upward arc. See also ARC, ASCENDING AND DESCENDING

Io (Greek) The daughter of Inachos, first king of Argos, she was beloved by Zeus and changed into a heifer to avoid Hera’s jealousy. Hera, not deceived, had the heifer watched by the hundred-eyed Argos, who was then slain by Hermes at the command of Zeus. After many wanderings in Europe and Asia, Io recovered her form in Egypt and gave birth to the dark Epaphos who became king of Egypt and founded Memphis.

Io means the moon in Argive usage and in Egypt. She is again Isis, Diana, the arc of life, mother of gods and of generations, queen of earth, often symbolized with cow’s horns. Dark Epaphos is Dionysos-Sabazios, son of Zeus and Demeter in the Sabazian Mysteries (SD 2:415).

The name shows the stroke in the circle, which stands for the number ten. In Greek it is [[IO]], and in Gnostic gems is [[IAO]] (Iao), sometimes connected with Arbaxas as Abraxasiao. Students of literal symbology have written it Ioh and related it to Jehovah, etc.

Ioannes (Gnostic) “Ioannes, the Baptist who is usually associated with Waters, is but a Petro-Paulite name and symbol of the Hebrew Ionah [the Jonah swallowed by the whale] and the First Messenger, Assyrian Oannes . . . The fishermen and fishers of men in the Gospels are based on this mythos.” (Enoch, the Book of God 2:80, quoted BCW 3:217) Equivalent of John, Oannes, Dagon, and Vishnu, the personified microcosm (BCW 11:488).


Iolo Morganwg A Welsh stonemason of the 18th and early 19th centuries, who claimed to have copied the documents contained in the book Barddas from manuscripts he found in private libraries in Wales. These documents claim to detail the philosophy of the Druids; the teachings given make clear the meaning of numberless passages of Welsh literature from the 6th to the 15th century, and are also in accord with the esoteric doctrine of all the ancient nations.

Ionian or Ionic School A school of Greek philosophers of the 5th and 6th centuries BC in Ionia, considered to have been founded by Thales of Miletus (640-550 BC) and including Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Heraclitus, Diogenes of Apollonia, Archelaus, and Hippo. They were astronomers, geometers, and geographers who sought to explain the universe in terms of matter, movement, and force. Thales and Hippo make the cosmic element water the primordial originating element; Anaximenes and Diogenes of Apollonia make it the cosmic element air; Heraclitus, the cosmic element fire. Anaxagoras postulates a supreme hierarchical mind (nous) as imparting evolutionary form and order to chaos, the undeveloped substance of nature.

Iormungandr (Icelandic) [from Iormun huge, vast, superhuman + gandr magic, enchantment or andr spirit] In the Norse Edda, the Midgard serpent which girds the earth, one of three gigantic offspring of Loki. The other two are Fenris, the wolf destined to devour the sun when its life is spent, and Hel, queen of the realms of death. Iormungandr may refer to the equator, the plane of the ecliptic and, in a still larger context, to the Milky Way.

Irad. See CAIN

Irdhi. See IDDHI

Iri-sokhru. See KHENSU

Irkalla (Chaldean) The netherworld or underworld of the Babylonians, also known as Aralu, its entrance approached by a deep cavern. It was ruled over by the goddess Allatu, or Ereshkigal (lady of the netherworld), sister or alter ego of Ishtar, the great nature goddess. The same idea is present in the Egyptian conception of Isis and Nephthys. Irkalla was ruled conjointly by Allatu and Nergal, who was also considered the god of the dead.

Iron Age The fourth of the ages enumerated in the theogony of Hesiod, corresponding to the Hindu kali yuga (black age). It is described in all ancient writings as the worst of the four, because the most material; it marks the lowest point of a cycle of evolution. Each root-race is divided into four ages, following generally along the lines of the Hindu yugas; and the smaller divisions of a race are similarly subdivided. In fact, the four ages are inherent in nature’s evolutionary cycles of progression, so that the smaller is contained within the greater and repeats it on a minor scale. Thus there are the four serial ages applicable to the solar system as a whole, smaller series of four ages applicable to any planet, etc.

In modern paleoethnology, the iron age follows stone and bronze ages, in accordance with a supposed evolution in the use of materials for implements.

Isangi, Isanami. See IZANAGI AND IZANAMI

Isarim (Hebrew) [from ’asar to bind, confirm, frequently used in the sense of vows of abstinence.] A name for initiates or adepts among the ancient Hebrew, and particularly among the ancient Jewish Essenes, counterparts of the Egyptian hierophants.

Isatva (Sanskrit) Īśatva Supremacy, superiority, lordship; hence divine power.

Ish Amon (Gnostic) Among some Jewish Gnostics such as the Nazarenes, the equivalent of the divine thought abiding in quiescence or semi-activity in the pleroma or the Boundless, synonymous with Ferho which in the Nazarene system, together with Chaos (Dark Water) and Ptahil, form a trinity equivalent to the Christian Father-Mother-Son. Equivalent in theosophical terms to the unmanifest or First Logos. This Logos at the beginning of the evolution of a universe produces the Second Logos, described as feminine because productive or generative, and out of this latter again is generated the creative or Third Logos, called in Gnostic systems Iukabar Zivo.

Ischin. See ’ISHIN

’Ishin, ’Ishim (Hebrew, Chaldean) ’Īshīn, ’Īshīm In the Qabbalah, a lower order of angels, ranking ninth in the hierarchy of angels, corresponding to the Sephirah Yesod. The Zohar depicts the ’ishin as chained on a mountain in the desert, alluding to them as chained to the earth during the cycle of incarnation. The ’ishim are otherwise the Benei ’Elohim, who in human evolution were the prototypes of the fallen angels who by their fall made of the mindless races of protoplastic humanity the thinking and self-conscious human beings that men now are. Thus they correspond to the manasaputras . . . The ’ishin are also said to help magicians produce homunculi (SD 2:376). See also AZAZEL

Ishdubar. See IZDUBAR

Ishmonia (Arabic) A city in Arabia, near which is situated the “petrified city,” of which legend tells that immense subterranean galleries and halls still exist, containing libraries of ancient rolls and manuscripts.

Ishtar (Chaldean) Ancient Babylonian deity, eldest of heaven and earth, daughter of Anu (the lord of the heavens). Her worship was fervently pursued by the multitude both in Babylonia and Assyria, although she was known under various names in different localities — Anunit, Nina, Nanna, Innanna, Atar — even when represented as the consort of Marduk (Babylonia) and of Assur (Assyria). In popular conception, she was the bounteous nature goddess, queen of beauty and joyousness, equivalent to Aphrodite or Venus, however, rather than Ceres, although synthesizing certain attributes of both these goddesses. Her other aspect is as the grim, stern harvester, withdrawing the life-forces so that everything during this period shall have sleep and rest. This aspect was stressed by the warlike Assyrians, who represented her as armed with bow and arrows, and hence she becomes their chief goddess of battles; whereas the Babylonians stressed the mother and child idea. Her symbol was an eight-rayed star.

Ishtar, with Shamash and Sin (the life-force, the sun, and the moon), formed an important triad of divinities. In astronomy Ishtar was a name of the planet Venus — the double aspect of the goddess being made to correspond to the morning and evening star.

Ishtar likewise is mystically the theogonic representation of the earth itself in its productive and fecund aspects as the mother of all, and hence essentially to be considered as prakriti emanating from mulaprakriti.

Isis (Greek) Ast (Egyptian) Chief goddess of the Egyptian popular pantheon, daughter of Seb and Nut. Generally portrayed bearing the papyrus scepter and the ankh, wearing the vulture headdress with the uraeus on her forehead from which rose a pair of horns (either cow’s or ram’s) encircling the solar disk: the horns represented mystic nature and the moon (SD 2:31). Her attributes pertain to the Great Mother, the personification of concrete nature, giving birth to and nourishing all things, portrayed by ancient artists as the mother suckling her babe.

The mythological aspect stresses the dutiful mother and faithful wife. Her sorrow upon the death of her husband, Osiris, as well as her wanderings in search of his body, are very similar to those of the Greek nature goddess Demeter searching for her daughter Persephone. To Isis is also attributed the knowledge of the potency of mantras, with which she revivifies her poisoned son, Horus.

Osiris, Isis, and Horus form the Egyptian triad of Father-Mother-Son. Isis is credited with the characteristics of most of the other goddesses of the pantheon, but her chief attribute of producer and giver of life is manifested even in the underworld, where her help sustains the deceased. The symbol of Isis in the heavens was the star Sirius.

Israel (Hebrew) Yiśrā’ēl [from yāshar upright, straight, righteous + ’ēl a divinity] The national designation of the Jews, principally applied in Jewish history to the northern kingdom as distinct from Judah; later it referred to the Jews as a religious community united under the national god Jehovah. The name was assigned to Jacob (Genesis 32:28), who was regarded as the parent of the twelve tribes.

The original significance of Israel is, in the singular, an upright, righteous man, who strives for union with his inner god; hence an initiate. The Jews applied this term in reverential yearning to themselves, with a special application to the noblest Hebrews among them; but the term abstractly is as applicable to the righteous ones or initiates of any country.

Istar, Ister. See ISHTAR

Isvara (Sanskrit) Īśvara [from the verbal root īś to rule, be master] Lord; the supreme self or hierarch of any universe, large or small, likewise the divine spirit in man. Also a title for many gods in the Hindu pantheon, such as Vishnu and Siva.

In the Bhagavad-Gita Isvara is that which “dwelleth in the heart of every creature” and which “causeth all things and creatures to revolve mounted upon the universal wheel of time” (chs 43; 6l). It is the essence of the spiritual monad in any individualized evolving being, the spiritual root, the god within, and the source of the spiritual and vital streams in any being which bring about its unfolding in evolution and its peregrinations through the fields of experience. Equivalent to the Father in Heaven of Jesus, and hence the source of the inner Christos or Buddha. Thus in one sense it is the individualized dhyani-buddha of every being. See also LOGOS

Iswara, Iswur. See ISVARA

Itchasakti. See ICHCHHA-SAKTI

Ithyphallic [from Greek] Pertaining to the erect phallus, a symbol carried in Bacchic processions signifying abstract creative power.

Itihasa (Sanskrit) Itihāsa [from iti thus, so + ha indeed + āsa it was] Thus indeed it was; legend, tradition, history. From the custom of narrators to conclude their utterance with this phrase, it acquired the meaning of tradition. It is also “the narrative of the lives of some august personages, conveying at the same time meanings of the highest moral and occult importance” (BCW 6:42).

Itthammuktas. See NITYAMUKTAS

Iukabar Zivo (Gnostic) Also Iavar Ziva, Iu-Kabar Zivo, Javar-Zivo, Kebar Zivo, Cabar Zio. Known also as Nebat-Iavar-bar-Iufin-Ifafin (Lord of the Aeons) in the Nazarene system. The Codex Nazaraeus tells of the efforts at creation of the Lords of the Aeons. In order to counteract the creation of the seven badly disposed principles, the greatest lord, Mano, calls on Iukabar Zivo, the mighty Lord of Splendor, to create in his turn. He does so by emanating seven other lives: these are the cardinal beings or Virtues, the seven primordial archangels, “who shine in their own form and light ‘from on high’ and thus re-establish the balance between good and evil, light and darkness” (SD 1:196). These seven holy lives are the seven primal dhyani-chohans, while Iukabar Zivo is called the third life, the creative or Third Logos. He is also identical with Christ (Christos) as the true vine.

Iurbo Adonai (Gnostic) Also Iurbo Adunai. Term for Iao-Jehovah, whom the Gnostic Ophites regarded as an emanation of Ildabaoth, the son of Sophia Achamoth. Many Gnostics regarded Iurbo Adonai as the God Moses.

Ivaldi, Ivalde (Icelandic, Scandinavian) [from i in, into + valdi power, wielder] Wielder of power, or entering into power; in the Norse Edda, a dwarf (a not-yet-human consciousness) and also a giant, meaning a period of material life.

Ivaldi seemingly represents the previous lifetime of our planetary consciousness which was imbodied in the moon when it was living before the earth was formed. His is the home of the dark elves, said to be situated beneath Midgard (the earth). His children are Nanna (the lunar soul), and Idun (the terrestrial soul), while Hjuke and Bil are the children whose shadows are seen on the face of the full moon and who live on in the nursery rhyme of Jack and Jill. Additional descendants of Ivaldi are the dwarfs Brock and Sindri, representing respectively the mineral and vegetable kingdoms now on earth.

Iwaldi. See IVALDI

Izanagi and Izanami (Japanese) In Shintoism, the primordial male and female ancestors of humanity, who begot the first god of earth, Tenshoko doijin. “These ‘gods’ are simply our five races, Isanagi and Isanami being the two kinds of the ‘ancestors,’ the two preceding races which give birth to animal and to rational man” (SD 1:241). This heavenly pair was said to have created Japan from drops of brine. ( )

Izdubar (Babylonian) An ancient hero of Erech, whose exploits are recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the most important literary works to have been excavated in Nineveh, coming from the royal collection of Assurbanipal (668-26 BC), in the form of twelve tablets (although not all are completely preserved). The hero’s name, written ideographically, was formerly read Izdubar, until another fragment of the same cycle gave the rendition Gilgamesh. (See ref from Ishdubar) See GILGAMESH.

Ized, Izad (Pahlavi, Pers) A class of ancient Zoroastrian deities subordinate to Ahura-Mazda and carriers of his will. In the Avesta, the Yashts are addressed to the izeds. In the Bundahish, Neryosengh, the messenger of the gods, is referred to as an ized, as is Anahita, the goddess of the waters.

In later Zoroastrianism, a class of 33 divine beings or ancient Aryan deities are known as izeds.

Top of File


BCW - H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings

BG - Bhagavad-Gita

BP - Bhagavata Purana

cf - confer

ChU - Chandogya Upanishad

Dial, Dialogues - The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, ed. A. L. Conger

Echoes - Echoes of the Orient, by William Q. Judge (comp. Dara Eklund)

ET - The Esoteric Tradition, by G. de Purucker

FSO - Fountain-Source of Occultism, by G. de Purucker

Fund - Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, by G. de Purucker

IU - Isis Unveiled, by H. P. Blavatsky

MB - Mahabharata

MIE - Man in Evolution, by G. de Purucker

ML - The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, ed. A. Trevor Barker

OG - Occult Glossary, by G. de Purucker

Rev - Revelations

RV - Rig Veda

SD - The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky

SOPh - Studies in Occult Philosophy, by G. de Purucker

TBL - Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Secret Doctrine Commentary), by H. P. Blavatsky

TG - Theosophical Glossary, by H. P. Blavatsky

Theos - The Theosophist (magazine)

VP - Vishnu Purana

VS - The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky

WG - Working Glossary, by William Q. Judge

ZA - Zend-Avesta

Theosophical Society Homepage