Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary

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Hierarchies [from Greek hieros sacred + archein to rule] Primarily the field of influence of a ruler or hierarch of a body of beings — divine, human, or otherwise — organically disposed in serial grades or ranks; and secondarily, the power or post of a hierarch or ruler in sacred rites, copied after the cosmic pattern. In theosophy both meanings blend. Hierarchies, or the interpenetrating of beings, is a key teaching regarding the structure and operation of the universe. This applies not only to the entities comprising a universe but to all its planes and spheres, for these, as well as the entities therein, interblend and interlock in an endless series, one group linking to its superior or inferior in evolutionary grade, in its turn being the link to the ascending or descending group: thus everything exists in and because of everything else. The essential nature or hyparxis of the hierarchy flows forth from the hierarch, and is delegated in proportionate lower degrees to inferior members of the hierarchy, so that all is vitally and organically connected. The hierarchical system is inherent potentially in the cosmic germ or seed from which the entire manifested universe springs; and thus the hierarchical system pervades the manifested universe throughout in all its parts from the highest to the lowest.

Scales of seven, ten, or twelve may be used to define this hierarchical structure. Using the denary scale as an example, we see that the hierarch of any given hierarchy is the lowest member of the immediately superior decad; while the lowest member of the same hierarchy is the hierarch of the immediately inferior decad, so that the scale is a scale of nine. This may explain the use of nine as a sacred number, the difference between ancient inclusive methods of counting and our present methods, and the principle of overlapping cycles. The generalized Greek pre-Christian hierarchy is: 1) divine hierarchies; 2) gods, or divine-spiritual; 3) demigods; 4) heroes; 5) men; 6) animals; 7) plants; 8) minerals; 9) elementals, to which may be added the supreme source as hyparxis of this hierarchy, which is itself the lowest member of the immediately preceding superdivine hierarchy. See also LOKA; TALA; CELESTIAL ORDER OF BEINGS

Hierarchy of Compassion, Spiritual-psychological Hierarchy The hierarchy of spiritual beings extending from the highest solar or galactic monad, to the least element forming its vehicles or being. “It is built of divinities, demigods, buddhas, bodhisattvas, and great and noble men, who serve as a living channel for the spiritual currents coming to this and every other planet of our system from the heart of the solar divinity, and who themselves shed glory and light and peace upon that pathway from the compassionate deeps of their own being. . . .

“On our earth there is a minor hierarchy of light. Working in this sphere there are lofty intelligences, human souls, having their respective places in the hierarchical degrees. These masters or mahatmas are living forces in the spiritual life of the world; and awakened minds and intuitive hearts sense their presence, at least at times” (FSO 467-8). The head of the terrestrial spiritual-psychological hierarchy is a being sometimes called the Silent Watcher, who acts as a channel for all the spiritual forces flowing to and from the earth, and who is connected inwardly with all the beings on earth.

In theosophical literature, the Hierarchy of Compassion of our solar system is sometimes given as: 1) adi-buddhi (primal wisdom), the mystic universally diffused essence; 2) mahabuddhi (universal buddhi), the Logos; 3) daiviprakriti (universal divine light), universal life, the Second Logos; 4) Sons of Light, the seven cosmic logoi, the logoi of cosmic life, the Third Logos; 5) dhyani-buddhas (buddhas of contemplation); 6) dhyani-bodhisattvas (bodhisattvas of contemplation); 7) manushya-buddhas (human buddhas), racial buddhas; 8) bodhisattvas; and 9) men. Here, the Sons of Light or the seven cosmic logoi emanating from the sun and working in its kingdom are the parents of the rectors or planetary spirits of the seven sacred planets. The seven dhyani-buddhas, also called the celestial buddhas or causal buddhas, through their emanated representatives each govern one round of the septenary cycles of evolution on a planetary chain. The seven dhyani-bodhisattvas, or bodhisattvas of the celestial realms, similarly through their emanated representatives each govern one of the seven globes comprising a planetary chain. The manushya-buddhas are the buddhas which watch over the root-races in a round, two appearing in every race, one near the commencement and one near the midpoint of each root-race. Gautama Buddha was the second racial buddha of the fifth root-race. The bodhisattvas of earth are those spiritual and intellectually advanced human beings who leave the nirvana of buddhahood in order to remain on earth for their sublime work of aiding, stimulating, and guiding those hosts of entities, including humanity, trailing behind them.

Hierogrammatists [from Greek hierogrammateus from hieros sacred + grammateus scribe] Applied by Greek writers to the sacred scribes of ancient Egypt, who wrote and read the sacred records, and among whose functions was that of the instruction of initiants or neophytes preparing for initiation.

Hierophant [from Greek hierophantes from hieros sacred + phainein to show] A revealer of sacred mysteries; title given to the highest adepts in the temples of antiquity, who taught and expounded the Mysteries. The attributes of a hierophant were those of Hermes or Mercury, being both expounder and mystagog or conductor of souls. In Hebrew an equivalent is found in the hierarchy of the ’elohim. Many names of man-gods refer to archaic hierophants, such as Orpheus, Enoch, etc. The hierophants of ancient Egypt handed down the sacred teachings, some of which were, however, lost by the deaths of hierophants before they had completed their message because, due to the degeneration which had come upon the West, they were unable to find appropriate pupils to receive the wisdom.

During the celebration of the ancient Mysteries, the hierophant in the drama of the Mysteries represented the demiurge, the Third Logos, opening or revealing the mysteries of the universe and, in consequence, of human nature to the neophytes. He was thus the sacred teacher.

Higher Ego The individuality, as contrasted with the personality; the higher ego lies in atma-buddhi-manas as the reincarnating ego, and is a reflection or minor projection of the higher self or atman. The higher ego is contrasted with the lower or personal ego which is formed from the kamic, astral, and physical imbodiments of the former.

Higher Manas The aspect of the dual manas or human mental principle, which is attracted to buddhi or the spiritual principle, and which therefore is conditionally immortal. The lower manas is attracted to the kama or desire principle and dissolves after death as part of the kama-rupa. ( )

Higher Self The divine-spiritual essence or essential egoity overshadowing the human being, the atma-buddhi with the efflorescence of manas. The higher self is the god within, the source of all right motive, the fountain of intuition, and the voice of divine harmony seeking to control the individual’s life and to transform or transmute all the voices of personal desire.

Higher Triad In theosophical literature a distinction is often made between that part of human nature which is immortal and that which is mortal. Hence the seven principles were divided into the higher triad — comprising atman, buddhi, and manas — and lower quaternary — kama, prana, linga-sarira, and sthula-sarira. Another division is also frequently used: higher triad — atman, buddhi, and higher manas; lower quaternary — lower manas or kama-manas, prana, linga-sarira, and sthula-sarira.


Thus, the higher triad is what is occasionally called the immortal reimbodying ego or monad.

Hilasira. See DAWN

Hilkiah (Hebrew) Ḥilqiyyāh The high priest of Jerusalem during the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22), who found again the manuscripts of the Bible. Blavatsky stresses the fact that he was unable to read “the Book of God,” and states that this copy disappeared (IU 2:470); and that the real Hebrew Bible was and is a volume partly written in cipher, which is what a large number of Qabbalists have always claimed. “What could remain, we ask, of the original writings of Moses, if such ever existed, when they had been lost for nearly 800 years and then found when every remembrance of them must have disappeared from the minds of the most learned, and Hilkiah has them re-written by Shaphan, the scribe?” (BCW 7:263).

Hillel, Heilel (Hebrew) Hēilel [from hālal to shine] Shining brightly or gloriously; used in Isaiah (14:12), referring to the king of Babylon: “How art thou fallen from the heavens, Lucifer [Hillel], Son of the Morning, how art thou cast down unto the earth, thou who didst cast down the nations.” (BCW 8:27-8n)

Himadri (Sanskrit) Himādri [from hima cold, frost + adri mountain] The cold mountain; applied to the Himalayas; other names are himachala (trembling with cold), himaga (snow mountain), and himavat.


Himavat, Himavan (Sanskrit) Himavat, Himavān The snowy; a name of the Himalaya range, especially the personified aspect, mythologically considered as the husband of Mena or Menaka, whose eldest daughter was Himavatsuta — the Ganges. Also used as an adjective, snow-clad. The mountain range is known as Himavan-mekhala (the snowy mountain belt or girdle). In the esoteric commentaries on the Book of Dzyan this chain of mountains is represented as a belt that encircles the earth — whether above or below water (SD 2:401).

Hinayana (Sanskrit) Hīnayāna Little vehicle; the Theravada school of Southern Buddhism, with its representative in the Buddhism of the North; usually considered the exoteric school in contrast with the Mahayana (great vehicle), the so-called esoteric school. The Hinayana represents what Buddhist mystics have called the eye doctrine, that portion of the Buddha’s teaching which is exoteric or for the public, and therefore visible to the eye; while the Mahayana is called the heart doctrine, meaning that portion of the Buddha’s teaching which was hid, the secret or heart of the teaching. But there is also a distinctly esoteric side to the Hinayana when it is properly analyzed and understood.

Hindu Trinity. See TRIMURTI

Hindu Schools, Six. See DARSANA

Hippocentaurs [from Greek hippos horse + kentauros centaur] Centaurs said to be half man, half horse. The prefix hippo distinguishes them from another kind of monster, the ichthyscentaurus — half man, half fish. They are among the monsters resulting from nature’s unaided attempts to create in the early stages of evolution.

Hippopotamus In ancient Egypt, a symbol connected with every goddess, especially Rert or Rertu, Apet, and Ta-urt. It was used as a kindly guardian of the dead in the underworld in the Book of the Dead. In a contrary aspect, the monster Am-mit, which appears in the judgment scene, has the hindquarters of a hippopotamus. It represents the horrors and fear of the astral world awaiting the defunct, which spring into life if that person’s karma has brought about awakening self-consciousness in kama-loka.

The hippopotamus, the crocodile, and the frog were all either aquatic or amphibious animals, and as all ancient zoocosmology took its figures of speech from the surrounding world, these animals were chosen as symbolic of the early creative action in the waters of space, out of which arose the world. In an equally important sense, however, the hippopotamus has distinct reference to the astral world, and hence so far as the individual is concerned, to the post-mortem peregrination of the latter in kama-loka.

In another aspect the hippopotamus goddess was the female counterpart of Set and the mother of the sun god, whom she brought into the world at Ombos. “In Egyptian symbolism Typhon was called ‘the hippopotamus who slew his father and violated his mother,’ Rhea (mother of the gods). His father was Chronos. As applied therefore to Time and Nature (Chronos and Rhea), the accusation becomes comprehensible. The type of Cosmic Disharmony, Typhon, who is also Python, the monster formed of the slime of the Deluge of Deucalion, ‘violates’ his mother Primordial Harmony, whose beneficence was so great that she was called ‘The Mother of the Golden Age.’ It was Typhon, who put an end to the latter, i.e., produced the first war of the elements” (TG 142).

In ancient Persia the hippopotamus appears as a symbol in connection with the twelve-legged steed of Hushang. It also appears as a divine symbol in Mexico.

Hiquet. See HEQET

Hiram, Huram, King of Tyre (Hebrew) Ḥīrām, Ḥūrām [from ḥāwar to become white or pale; or from ḥārāh to burn (as with ardor), be noble or free-born; or ḥāram to devote, consecrate as to religion or destruction, be killed or destroyed] A contemporary of the kings of Israel David and Solomon, who sent David cedar trees, carpenters, and masons in order to build him a house and who later, in response to a request from Solomon, sent timber from Lebanon and a skillful man, Hiram Abif or Huram ’abiu, to aid him in building Solomon’s Temple (2 Chron 3:12-13). All the ancient records speak of King Hiram as a master builder who built the temples of Hercules and Astarte, virtually rebuilt Tyre, and reconstructed the national temple of Melkarth (Melekartha). At the entrance to this temple were two pillars, one of gold and one of smaragdus or emerald, which probably were the immediate prototypes of the pillars Jachin and Boaz in front of the temple which Solomon later built with Hiram’s assistance, thus connecting the worship of Jehovah with that of Melkarth or Baal. The original prototype of these pillars were the Pillars of Hermes.

Hiram Abif, Huram Abif (Hebrew) Ḥīrām ’Ābīv, Ḥūrām ’Ābīv [from ḥāwar to become white or pale; or from ḥārāh to burn (as with ardor), be noble or free-born; or ḥāram to devote, consecrate as to religion or destruction, be killed or destroyed] The last derivation is descriptive of the character and fate (according to Masonic tradition) of Hiram Abif; while the second derivation befits the character of Hiram King of Tyre. Hiram Abif is described as a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali (1 Kings 7:14), and a skillful, knowledgeable man, a worker in gold, silver, brass, and iron, as was his father (2 Chron 2:12). Hiram Abif was sent by Hiram King of Tyre to King Solomon to aid in the building of his Temple.

In Freemasonry Hiram Abif is the central figure in the drama of the Third or Master Mason’s degree, and one of the Three Ancient Grand Masters of the Craft (the other two being King Solomon and Hiram King of Tyre). Before the completion of the building of the Temple he was slain by three ruffians because he refused to communicate to them the Master Mason’s Word, which on account of his death was said to be lost, for it can be communicated only when all the Three Ancient Grand Masters are present. Hiram Abif was hastily buried in a shallow grave marked by a sprig of acacia or myrtle, which led to its discovery and the subsequent raising of Hiram Abif by the power of a Substitute Word which, it was decreed, should be used until the Lost Word be again found.

The Masonic initiation was modeled on that of the Lesser Mysteries of Egypt, also used in India from time immemorial with Loka-chaksu (eye of the world) and Dinkara (day-maker or the sun). “In Egypt the third degree was called Porte de la Mort (the gate of death) . . . in the modern rite, one finds the reproduction of this Egyptian myth, except that in place of Osiris, inventor of the arts, or the Sun, one finds the name of Hiram, which signifies raisedeleve, (the epithet which belongs to the Sun) and who is skillful in the arts” (Ragon, Orthodoxie Maçonnique 101-2). The slaying of Hiram signifies the annual slaying of the sun by the last three months of the year, the sun being reborn or raised at the winter solstice, one of the four great initiation periods celebrated in antiquity.

Hiram Abif is a type-figure of all the saviors of humanity who sacrificed themselves for the salvation of mankind, a direct human representative of its prototype among the divinities, such as Odin and Visvakarman, the builder and artificer of the gods. Hiram Abif is also the type-figure of the individual’s inner god, crucified upon the cross of material existence.

Hiranya (Sanskrit) Hiraṇya Golden, hence any vessel or ornament made of gold; also substance, imperishable matter. See also HIRANYAGARBHA

Hiranyagarbha (Sanskrit) Hiraṇyagarbha [from hiraṇya imperishable substance, golden + garbha womb, embryo, fetus, also the interior of anything, hence a temple] Golden egg or womb; the matrix of imperishable substance. “The luminous ‘fire mist’ or ethereal stuff from which the Universe was formed” (TG 142); applied to Brahma, described in the Rig-Veda as born from a golden egg formed out of the seed deposited in the waters when they were produced as the first vikaras of the Self-existent; according to Manu (1:9) this seed became a golden egg, resplendent as the sun, in which the self-existent Brahman while remaining transcendent in its higher parts, evolved into Brahma the Creator, who is therefore regarded as a manifestation of the Self-existent. Having continued a year in the egg, Brahma divided it into two parts by his mere thought, and with these two he formed the heavens and the earth; and in the middle he placed the sky, the eight regions, and the eternal abode of the waters.

“The ‘Mundane Egg’ is, perhaps, one of the most universally adopted symbols, highly suggestive as it is, equally in the spiritual, physiological, and cosmological sense. . . . The mystery of apparent self-generation and evolution through its own creative power repeating in miniature the process of Cosmic evolution in the egg, both being due to heat and moisture under the efflux of the unseen creative spirit, justified fully the selection of this graphic symbol. The ‘Virgin Egg’ is the microcosmic symbol of the macrocosmic prototype — the ‘Virgin Mother’ — Chaos or the Primeval Deep. The male Creator (under whatever name) springs forth from the Virgin female, the immaculate root fructified by the Ray. Who, if versed in astronomy and natural sciences, can fail to see its suggestiveness? Cosmos as receptive Nature is an Egg fructified — yet left immaculate; once regarded as boundless, it could have no other representation than a spheroid. The Golden Egg was surrounded by seven natural elements (ether, fire, air, water), ‘four ready, three secret’ ” (SD 1:65).

In Vedantic philosophy, used somewhat equivalently to sutratman, atman invested with the sukshma-sarira, as well as with the other sariras flowing forth from this and permeating and infilling them all as the thread-self.

Hiranyakasipu (Sanskrit) Hiraṇyakaśipu [from hiraṇya golden + kaśipu clothing, vesture] Golden clothing; one of the most celebrated of the Hindu titans or daityas, son of the sage Kasyapa and Diti. As related in the Mahabharata, he obtained the favor of Brahma and was granted sovereignty of the three worlds for a million years. He became all-powerful because he could not be slain either by god, man, or animal. But his power was used evilly, so that he became notorious for his impiety. He persecuted his son Prahlada for worshiping Vishnu until once, when Prahlada was engaged in his observances, Vishnu during his fourth avataric incarnation appeared out of a pillar in the form of Narasimha (half man, half lion) and tore Hiranyakasipu to pieces.

Hiranyakasipu, after being slain by the Narasimha-avatara was born as Ravana, who in turn was slain by Rama (another avatara of Vishnu); after which he is reborn as Sisupala, who was slain by Krishna (the latest avatara of Vishnu). “This parallel evolution of Vishnu (spirit) with a Daitya, as men, . . . gives us the key not only to the respective dates of Rama and Krishna but even to a certain psychological mystery” (SD 2:225).

Hiranyaksha (Sanskrit) Hiraṇyākṣa [from hiraṇya golden + akṣa eye] Golden eye; one of the principal daityas (titans), twin brother of Hrianyakasipu. In the Mahabharata, he dragged the earth to the depths of the ocean, and because of this was slain by Vishnu in his third avataric manifestation of the Varaha-avatara (the boar incarnation). His progeny is said to number 77 crores, or 770 millions. “Hiranyaksha is the ruler or king of the fifth region or Patala, a Snake-god” (SD 2:382n).

Hiranyapura (Sanskrit) Hiraṇyapura [from hiraṇya golden + pura city] Golden city; in Hindu mythology, a city which floats in the air, the abode of the danavas (one class of titans); again an asura town situated beyond the ocean. Generally asura was employed in the ancient popular writings to designate, among other things, members of the fourth root-race, who indeed were giants in stature and dwelt in the lands beyond the ocean, in Atlantis.

Hisi or Hiisi (Finnish) Also Juntas, Piru, and Lempo. The principle of evil in ancient Finnish mythology, described as a cruel, bloodthirsty spirit, responsible for all the evil in the world, inflicting diseases and misfortunes upon mankind. The Kalevala relates that when the highest deity, Ukko, refused to give life to the evil serpent formed from the spittle of Suoyatar, Hisi breathed a soul into the beast so it might aid him.

Hitopadesa (Sanskrit) Hitopadeśa [from hita good, proper + upadeśa counsel, advice] Good counsel; a well-known Sanskrit collection of ethical precepts, allegories, and tales from a larger and older work called the Panchatantra, both books consisting of mingled verse and prose. The verses, mostly proverbs and maxims of practical wisdom, are supported by prose fables in which animals often play the part of human beings.

Hivim (Hebrew) Ḥiwwiyīm [from ḥāwāh to live, breathe] Plural of hivi (ḥiwwī), which mystically signifies a serpent; likewise one of the tribes mentioned in the Old Testament as originating from Canaan (Genesis 10:17), the serpent tribe of Palestine who were ministers to the temples, somewhat like the Levites or Ophites of Israel and Asia Minor respectively (cf IU 2:481).

In ancient America hivim was also used in association with the serpent: the chiefs called Votan, the Quetzalcohuatl or serpent deity of the Mexicans, say: “I am Hivim”; “Being a Hivim, I am of the great race of the Dragon (snake). I am a snake myself, for I am a Hivim” (IU 1:554).

Hiwyai’ Bisha’ (Aramaic) Ḥiwyāi’ Bīshā’ [ḥiwyāi’ animal + bīshā’ evil, wrong] The beast (of evil); from the union of Samael (Prince of Poison) and his wife ’Esheth Zenunim (woman of whoredoms) is produced the Beast: forming an infernal triad, the nether pole of the divine triad — which becomes the devil and the tempter in the Zohar. “Esoterically our lower animal passions” (TG 137). See also LILITH.

Hler (Icelandic) [from hles shelter from Anglo-Saxon hleo] The Norse god of the sea, more often named Aegir in the Eddas, one of the three sons of the primeval giant Ymir. Comparable to the Greek Oceanos or Okeanos and the Welsh Llyr (sea); his nine daughters, Hles-doetr (daughters of Hler), are the waves.

Hlidskjalf (Icelandic) [from hlid side, gate; or from hlifd protection + skjalf shelf, bench, plane] The word may mean either that the gods are arrayed by our side in the struggle of life; or deriving it from the Scandinavian lida (to suffer), it could be by extension of meaning the “shelf of compassion,” whence their protection extends over the human race. In the Norse Edda, it is on Hlidskjalf that Odin is enthroned with his consort Frigga and whence he is able to survey all worlds. Frey, the deity of our terrestrial world, also oversees his domain from this vantage point.

Hoa. See HU’

Hoang Ty. See HUANG TI

Hobilgans. See KHOBILGAN

Hochmah (Hebrew) Ḥokhmāh Also transliterated as Chochmah, Hhokhmah, Chokmah, etc. Wisdom; the second Sephirah, regarded in the Qabbalah as the first emanation from the first Sephirah, Kether. Wisdom is considered as a masculine active potency, and is therefore called ’Ab, the Father, to whom Binah, the Mother and third of the Sephiroth, is united. It is the head of one of the three pillars in the Sephirothal Tree, called the Column of Benignity, Mercy, or Grace, placed on the right side. Its Divine Name is Yah (a substitute for the mystery-name Iao), whereas the Divine Name for the third Sephirah is the so-called four-lettered name or Tetragrammaton IHVH — Jehovah. Among the angelic hosts it is represented by the ’ophanim, the wheels of Ezekiel’s vision. In its human application, Hochmah is represented as infilling the skull and brain, and less accurately as corresponding to the right shoulder. “Wisdom generates all things. By means of the 32 paths, Wisdom is spread throughout the universe, it gives to everything form and measure” (Zohar iii, 290a).

Hod (Hebrew) Hōd Splendor, glory, majesty; the eighth Sephirah, regarded in the Qabbalah as the emanation of the seven preceding Sephiroth. It is classed as a passive potency, feminine in aspect, forming the base of the left pillar of the Sephirothal Tree. Its Divine Name is ’Elohim Tseba’oth; in the angelic order it is represented as the Benei ’Elohim (Sons of God). In its application to the human body, as representative of ’Adam Qadmon (Heavenly Man), Hod is regarded as the left pillar or leg; while in its application to the seven globes of our planetary chain it corresponds to globe B (SD 1:200). From Hod is emanated the ninth Sephirah, Yesod.

Hoddmimir’s Holt (Icelandic) [from hodd treasury + Mimir, Mimer a giant, the root of matter + holt grove] In Norse myths the sacred grove where is guarded the treasury that is being sought by the gods in matter during manifestation. In that grove Lif and Lifthrasir, the immortal principles in humanity, are secreted when the world has ended its lifetime and before it is reborn.

Hokhmah. See HOCHMAH

Holy City Many spiritual traditions symbolize the goal of human attainment or the abode of the gods as a holy city. With the Hindus, Brahmapura is the capital of Brahma on Mt. Kailasa in the Himalayas or on Mt. Meru, as well as being the inmost chamber of the heart. According to the Chhandogya Upanishad (8:1:1), within the Brahmapura “is an abode, a small lotus-flower; within it is a small space (antarakasa). What is within that, should be searched out; that, assuredly, is what one should desire to understand.” Hiranyapura (golden city) stands for the sun and for the invisible, etheric regions of space; while the Siddhapura or White Island is both the indestructible home of adepts on earth and the poles of the earth or Mt. Meru.

The Jews and Christians speak of the City of God or heavenly Jerusalem, the secret or sacred Salem, which is the goal of human spiritual attainment. This is contrasted with the earthly Jerusalem, the earth or human world. In the Qabbalah, the Holy City symbolizes both the holy of holies and the maqom which is “(the Secret Place or the Shrine) on Earth: in other words, the human womb, the microcosmic copy and reflection of the Heavenly Matrix, the female space or primeval Chaos, in which the male Spirit fecundates the germ of the Son, or the visible Universe” (SD 2:84).

Holy Flame Qabbalistic term (particularly among Eastern Asiatic Semites), synonymous with anima mundi (the soul of the world). Initiates were called Sons of the Holy Flame.

Holy Ghost [from Greek hagion pneuma holy spirit or breath] The Holy Ghost or Spirit in the Occident usually means the Third Person of the Christian Trinity or Triune God. The typical form of the primary philosophic and cosmogonic triad is Father-Mother-Son with the female potency figuring both as mother, wife, and daughter of the Son. The Holy Ghost is strictly speaking the feminine principle in the Christian Trinity, and in primitive Christianity was counted the second in serial order or procession, although in later times the West, led by the Roman Catholic Church, transferred the position of the Holy Ghost from second to third. Thus the original series was Father, Holy Ghost or Mother, and Son, whereas the Occident now reckons the series in the procession as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and this difference of opinion which arose in the Middle Ages was one of the great factors splitting the Christian Church into the Eastern or Greek Orthodox and the Western. In Christianity, the Son is said to be God made manifest in a particular man; the Holy Ghost is the divine spirit which works in all men and brings them into conformity with the image of the Son or Christ.

The Holy Ghost is the spiritual ray from the central sun, which passes down through the planes of manifestation, penetrating all hierarchies in its course and therefore likewise the human mind when it is permitted ingress into his soul. It is equivalent to the Light of the Logos, daiviprakriti, the Gnostic Sophia, the Qabbalistic Shechinah (or perhaps Sephirah), the Mother of the Ogdoad, and in Indian thought the feminine sakti. But while daiviprakriti is the Light of the Logos, this is only because the Logos transmits to itself the light from above.

Holy of Holies Equivalent to the Latin Sanctum sanctorum, referring to the sacred place in temples or churches from which all but the chief priest or hierophant were excluded. In pre-Christian times the ancient temples each had its especial sanctuary, in which was placed an altar or receptacle of some kind, be it ark, box, or some similar thing, perhaps even a sarcophagus.

The Holy of Holies in theory was the seat, residence, or sanctuary of the god or goddess to whom the temple had been consecrated; and piety always considered that the divine power was present there. A similar series of ideas clothes the chancel and its contained altar in Christian Churches even today.

The Holy of Holies, however, must not be confused with initiation chambers also contained in many temples and caves of antiquity, in which during the rites of initiation the neophyte entered, was initiated, and thereafter left the sacred precincts as reborn. In ancient Egypt the holy of holies par excellence of this latter type was the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid; and the coffer there was the sarcophagus used for initiation purposes. The sarcophagus was symbolic of the female principle, as from the feminine principle of nature, as a mother, was born the new “child” or disciple, now become a twice-born. The idea of the twice-born was that the physical birth came from the human mother, while the mystic birth took place from the womb of nature, of which the initiation chamber was the emblem. Hence at a much later date arose the phallic idea of the Jews that the human female womb was the maqom (the place).

Although part of the Hindu ceremonies necessitated a passing through the golden cow, as an emblem of Mother Nature, the neophyte did this in the same stooping position that was done in passing through the gallery in the ancient pyramids of Egypt. “The ceremony of passing through the Holy of Holies (now symbolized by the cow), in the beginning through the temple Hiranya gharba (the radiant Egg) — in itself a symbol of Universal, abstract nature — meant spiritual conception and birth, or rather the re-birth of the individual and his regeneration: the stooping man at the entrance of the Sanctum Sanctorum, ready to pass through the matrix of mother nature, or the physical creature ready to re-become the original spiritual Being, pre-natal Man” (SD 2:469-70).

Holy of Holies has a specific meaning in connection with the Jewish tabernacle, as explained in Exodus, referring to the inner part, the western division of the tabernacle. Three of the sides of the holy place were the walls of the tabernacle itself, while the fourth or eastern end of the sanctum was closed by a curtain or veil — upon which were the figures of the cherubim — suspended from four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold. The intention was to have this Holy of Holies in the shape of a perfect cube, the length, breath, and height being each ten cubits. In this sanctuary was placed the Ark of the Covenant or Testament, made of shittim wood overlaid with gold. Upon the Ark was the golden mercy-seat (the kapporeth), also two golden cherubim facing towards the center. Instead of being a “sarcophagus (the symbol of the matrix of Nature and resurrection) as in the Sanctum sanctorum of the pagans, they had the ark made still more realistic in its construction by the two cherubs set up on the coffer or ark of the covenant, facing each other, with their wings spread in such a manner as to form a perfect yoni (as now seen in India). Besides which, this generative symbol had its significance enforced by the four mystic letters of Jehovah’s name, namely hebrew text; or text meaning Jod (membrum Virile, see Kabala); text (He, the womb); text (Vau, a crook or a hook, a nail), and text again, meaning also ‘an opening’; the whole forming the perfect bisexual emblem or symbol or Y(e)H(o)V(a)H, the male and female symbol” (SD 2:460). However, “the worship of the ‘god in the ark’ dates only from David; and for a thousand years Israel knew of no phallic Jehovah” (SD 2:469). See also ARK

Holy Spirit. See HOLY GHOST

Holy Water As practiced in the Roman Catholic Church the rite is virtually identical with that of the ancient Egyptians: the water which has been blessed or consecrated is used to sprinkle the worshipers and objects used in the church service. It was unquestionably adopted from the ancient Mysteries, and became a rite of external symbolic purification. In Egypt and pagan Rome, it “accompanied the rite of bread and wine. ‘Holy water was sprinkled by the Egyptian priest alike upon his gods’ images and the faithful. It was both poured and sprinkled. A brush has been found, supposed to have been used for that purpose, as at this day.’ (Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief [p. 418]) As to the bread, ‘the cakes of Isis . . . were placed upon the altar. Gliddon writes that they were “identical in shape with the consecrated cake of the Roman and Eastern Churches.” Melville assures us “the Egyptians marked this holy bread with St. Andrew’s cross.” The Presence bread was broken before being distributed by the priests to the people, and was supposed to become the flesh and blood of the Deity. The miracle was wrought by the hand of the officiating priest, who blessed the food. . . . Rouge tells us “the bread offerings bear the imprint of the fingers, the mark of consecration”.’ (Ibid, page 418)” (TG 144-5).

Homoeomerian (Homoiomerian) System [from Greek homoios similar + meros part] The theory of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras that the spiritual originants or seeds of all classes of beings and things existed in the primordial cosmic chaos, and that each such originant or seed was of like substance with all others, and therefore in a more extended sense likewise with the species to which these gave rise through emanational evolution. These seeds, particles, monads, or spiritual atoms were called homoiomere (of similar part — often verging in meaning into identity). It was the action of nous (cosmic intelligence) on chaos — or in Hindu terms, of mahat on svabhavat — which at the opening of a period of cosmic evolution separated and discriminated these quasi-identical atoms, starting them on their respective evolutions in the families of hierarchies to which they belong, the various individuals thereof manifesting as beings and things of various kinds, such as atoms of grain or gold, etc., each according to its original nature or svabhava.

This profound system of philosophy traces all things back to an original cosmic fountain or identical source, as seeds from the world tree, out of which has grown the theosophical concept of universal brotherhood.


Homoiomerian. See HOMOEOMERIAN

Homunculi (Latin) Mannikins; in medieval alchemical thought, artificially created little men, little not necessarily in stature but in being incomplete. Paracelsus claims to have made them, and detailed sometimes gruesome accounts of their manufacture, and the result can be found in old books on magic. The principles of earth and water are required to give a body and vitality, the will of the magician is the directive force, and some kind of nature spirit must be imbodied therein, as the ’Ishonim mentioned in the Zohar. But this makes only an animal with human (or other) shape; and to make a complete human being it would be necessary to imitate the act of the manasaputras. Blavatsky anticipates that science may and undoubtedly one day will be able to make homunculi, as the medieval alchemists dreamed of doing.

Honavar, Ahunavar (Pahlavi) Hōnavar, Ahuna-Vairya (Avestan) Ancient Persian name for the Logos or cosmic reason, Word or Verbum; the Holy Word of the Avesta is given by Ahura-Mazda to Zoroaster “in the boundless time,” and it is the great weapon of Zoroaster in prevailing over Angra-Mainyu. It was by reciting the Honavar at the beginning of the world that Ahura-Mazda likewise confounded Angra-Mainyu.

Also a prayer in the Avesta.

Honer, Hoener, Haenir (Scandinavian, Icelandic) In the Norse Edda, one of the three creative gods who fashion humanity from the ash and alder trees and endow their creation with their own divine properties. Each of the creative forces corresponds to one of the cosmic elements, the tattvas of Brahmanic philosophy. Honer stands for the principle of fluidity: he gives the intelligence which illumines the soul with understanding, thus corresponding in one aspect with the manasaputras. Odin, who corresponds to air, gives breath or spirit, while Lodur or Lodurr, the fiery element, gives warm blood, color, and keen senses.

Honer was sent as a hostage to the vanir at the battle of the gods (the war in heaven) and will remain captive until the final confrontation at Ragnarok, when the gods withdraw to their own spheres.

Honey, Honey-dew Used by some ancient writers as a symbol for wisdom, the idea being that just as the bees (emblem of initiates) gather nectar or honey (knowledge) from the flowers (of life) and digest it into honey, so are the experiences of human life stored in the memory, and the knowledge so garnered is digested into wisdom. The priestesses of certain Greek temples were called Melissai (bees).

In the ancient Scandinavian conception of the World Tree (Yggdrasil), the dew that fell from this cosmic tree was called honey-dew, and was gathered by the bees — the initiates who through successes in passing the rites are enabled to bring themselves into synchronous harmony with the different cosmic powers and planes, and thus become channels or interpreters of cosmic wisdom to humanity. The idea is akin to the real meaning of the ambrosia of the ancient Greeks, which was the food of the gods — standing for the ancient wisdom.

Honir. See HONER

Honover, Hononer. See HONAVAR

Hoong. See HUM

Ho-pahme. See AMITABHA


Horaios, Horaeus. See OURAIOS

Hor-Ammon (Greek) Heru-Amen (Egyptian) Ḥeru-Ȧmen. “ ‘The Self-engendered,’ a word in theogony which answers to the Sanskrit Anupadaka, parentless. Hor-Ammon is a combination of the ram-headed god of Thebes and of Horus” (TG 145) (SD 2:464)

Horchia (Chaldean) A goddess of fire, and hence of the hearth, whether of the State or the family, and thus equivalent in some respects to the Roman Vesta. Also known under the name Titea Aretia and associated with the Earth Mother or the womb of planetary fire which brought the earth forth as one of the globes of the chain.

Horizontal Line Used in the symbols of the triangle and the cross. In an isosceles triangle with the point of the apex representing a Logos, and the two equal sides flowing from it representing the masculine and feminine rays, the horizontal base-line stands for the physical foundation from which the manifested objective world starts into existence. In the cross, the horizontal line represents matter or vehicle, the perpendicular line spirit or life; the horizontal line is differentiated matter on the plane of perception and is called feminine.

Hor-Jared. See ARARAT; JARED

Horn, Door or Gate of. See WIND

Horns Much used in the Bible, often as a symbol of might; and the altar in the tabernacle had horns, which were seized as sanctuary by the fugitive suppliant. In the prophetic and apocalyptic books of Christianity and other religions, we find dragons and other monsters with horns, the number of horns possibly having a symbolical reference to races. Its most general sense is as a symbol of natural generative power, whence it is characteristic of several symbolic animals, as the ram, the bull and cow, the goat, etc. It is seen in Greece in Pan, the god of natural generation and procreative fertility; and in Judaism in the goat which, as the scapegoat, stands among other things for the fall into generation, and was thus said to bear away the burden of the people’s sins in early and medieval Europe. Satan or the Devil is represented with horns in a similar sense, for actually he represents the nether aspect of nature, and in popular belief his horns, like his hoofs and tail, are regarded as horrific and bestial attributes. The moon, the oldest and most graphic symbol of productive generation, is said to have horns and the same are seen in the zodiacal Taurus, the sign of the moon’s elevation, while the ram’s horns are seen in Aries — the one representing the passive, the other the active principle in nature.

Horos. See HORUS

Horoscope [from Greek horoskopos observing the hours] The charts drawn in natal astrology for the birth-moment of a child, and the character and destiny to be read from them. The analogy between the positions of the heavenly bodies and the character and destiny of the native is deducible from theosophic principles and can be proved by the experience of really competent astrologers. To arrive at any completeness in such forecasts, however, it would be necessary to take into account vastly more data than are usually considered by, or accessible to, modern astrologers: the influence of fixed stars and of planets which are not visible to physical sight, and the immense influences of circumambiant space. At best, too, astrologers can but ascertain the environmental circumstances which surround the native, without being able to estimate those indeterminate factors which result from a free will and an active intelligence. See also ASTROLOGY

Horse In the ancient Mediterranean and Northern European mythologies, used in connection with the sun and standing as a symbol for the solar powers or the sun itself. The sun is frequently represented in ancient thought as being drawn along the heavens by means of horses. In ancient Persia and Greece, individual heroes, as for instance Hushenk and Bellerophon, are said to have obtained mastery over and consequent use of wonderful horses with which they were enabled to approach the sun. In Scandinavian mythology, horses were represented as carrying the heroes into the under- and over-world, and as mounts of the Valkyries they bore the fallen heroes to Valhalla.

In this connection, the Kalki-avatara — stated to be the final incarnation of Vishnu in Hinduism or the incarnation of Maitreya-Buddha in Northern Buddhism — and the final great hero and savior of mankind of the Zoroastrians called Sosiosh, as well as the Faithful and True one of the Christian book of Revelation, all appear on a white horse. All these heroes or saviors are connected emblematically with horses of power because the horse has been from immemorial time a representation of solar, spiritual, and intellectual energies. See also ASVAMEDHA

Hoshang. See HUSHANG


Horus (Latin) Heru (Egyptian) Ḥeru [from ḥeru above] Egyptian deity associated with the sun god Ra, equivalent in certain respects to Apollo of the Greeks and, similarly, a slayer of a serpent. Originally two distinct deities were recognized: Heru-ur (Aroeris or Haroiri, Horus the Elder) and Heru-pa-khart (Harpocrates, Horus the Younger or Horus the Child). The older Horus was represented as the winged globe or solar disk, while the younger Horus represented the sun reborn each morning from the waters, carried on the lotus flower. But in later times the characteristics of the two were merged into one, and a further change was made from an original self-born deity to the mythological aspect of a holy child found in the triad Osiris-Isis-Horus — Father-Mother-Son. Thus the representations of Isis suckling the babe Horus are numerous. Each aspect of this god was represented in a different manner, yet all portrayed the deity as hawk-headed: the hieroglyph for Horus is a hawk.

Horus is helper to the dead in the Book of the Dead, where he is shown as presenting the justified pilgrim to Osiris, pleading in his behalf, so that the former may enter the regions of the glorified. In the Pyramid Texts, Horus and Set are portrayed as setting the ladder so that the deceased may proceed on his journey, Horus helping the pilgrim to mount the ladder into the other regions.

“If we bear in mind the definition of the chief Egyptian gods by Plutarch, these myths will become more comprehensible; as he well says: ‘Osiris represents the beginning and principle; Isis, that which receives; and Horus, the compound of both. Horus engendered between them, is not eternal nor incorruptible, but, being always in generation, he endeavours by vicissitudes of imitations, and by periodical passion [suffering] (yearly re-awakening to life) to continue always young, as if he should never die.’ Thus, since Horus is the personified physical world, Aroueris, or the ‘elder Horus’ is the ideal Universe; and this accounts for the saying that ‘he was begotten by Osiris and Isis when these were still in the bosom of their mother’ — Space” (TG 31).

And further: “the older Horus was the Idea of the world remaining in the demiurgic mind ‘born in Darkness before the creation of the world’; the second Horus was the same Idea going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with matter and assuming an actual existence” (SD 1:366).

Hoshang. See HUSHANG

Host, Hostia, Hostes. See BREAD AND WINE


Hotri (Sanskrit) Hotṛ An offerer of an oblation with fire, or burnt offering; hence a sacrificer, a priest. As used in the Rig-Veda, one of the four kinds of officiating priests at a sacrifice: he who invokes the gods by reciting the mantras from the Rig-Veda. In the Anugita the plural is used symbolically for the seven senses, which are represented as being seven priests: “the senses supply the fire of mind (i.e., desire) with the oblations of external pleasures.” Thus these seven are the causes of emancipation (cf TG 146).

Houah. See EVE

Houen (Chinese) The lower portion of the human soul, corresponding to kama. The other human aspect is the ling, the higher ling corresponding to buddhi and the lower ling to manas (BCW 7:202). The houen after death becomes the kama-rupa or astral elementary. Chinese used to evoke houen in cases of murder to receive information on the case (BCW 7:205).

Houris [French of Persian huri, Arabic hawra‘ from hawira to be black-eyed] Women with large black eyes set in large whites, described in the Koran as beautiful virgins of unfading youth and free from disease, who await the devout Moslem in paradise. Every Moslem who attains paradise is allotted 72 houris.

Houses or Mansions Receptacles, vehicles, stations; the visible planets are called the houses of the planetary regents. In astrology, the signs of the zodiac are called twelve houses: the sun and moon have one house each, and the other five planets have two houses each.

Houtouktou. See CHUTUKTU

Hovah. See EVE

Hozim. See HAZIM

Hpho-wa (Tibetan) ’pho-ba (pho-wa) Also Fo-wa. The changing of one’s place, the moving of one’s self; applied especially to the occult exercise of the inner power by which one is enabled to transfer his consciousness to any desired place on earth, or even to heavenly bodies, while the physical body is left entranced. This occult power was well known among the ancients and is still well known today among those who are acquainted with certain occult laws, and in theosophical writings is called projection of the mayavi-rupa.

Also the yogic practice of the transference of one person’s consciousness into the body of another, newly dead, person.

Hrada (Sanskrit) Hrāda According to a legend in the Puranas, there was in the night of time a war between the gods and the asuras or daityas, beings who opposed ritualism and dogma, which lasted one divine year. On this occasion the gods were defeated by the daityas under the leadership of Hrada.

Hrimthurses, Hrimthursar. See FROST GIANTS

Hrishikesa (Sanskrit) Hṛṣīkeśa [from hṛṣīka sense + īś to rule] Lord of the senses; applied to manas or the mentality. A distinction should be drawn between senses and sense organs. Also one of the names of Krishna and of Vishnu, with pointed reference to their manasic attributes.

Hsien-Chan(g). See T’IEN-CHAN

Hsin (Chinese) Mind, heart; philosophic term of the school of Ch’i (4th and 3rd centuries BC), which called its doctrine hsin shu (the art of mind). By mind is meant not the brain or the heart, but a “mind within the mind” that bears to the human constitution the same relation as the sun bears to its system. It is the ruler of the lower human aspects including the body, and the component parts of these lower aspects are its ministers (Kuan Tzu, P’ien 12,36).

Hsing (Chinese) Used in the I Ching for an individual’s character or the soul’s qualities. In the sevenfold classification of human principles, equivalent to kama: “Zhing [hsing], which is translated correctly enough ‘essence,’ is the more subtle and pure part of matter — the grosser form of the elementary ether” (BCW 4:242).

Hsi-tsang (Chinese) [from hsi west + tsang (cf Tibet tsan) a central province of Tibet whose most important city is Shigatse] Blavatsky spells Si-dzang. The name for Tibet “mentioned in the MSS. of the sacred library of the province of Fo-Kien [Fu-chien], as the great seat of Occult learning from time immemorial, ages before Buddha” (SD 1:271n).

Hu’ (Hebrew) Hū’ The pronoun he or it; used in the Qabbalah to represent the Macroprosopus or macrocosm because Macroprosopus is not so closely known as to be addressed in the second person, but is called in the third person Hu’. “That, from which proceeds Ab, the ‘Father’; therefore the Concealed Logos” (TG 143).

Huan (Chinese) Also hwun. Spirit; used in the I Ching, equivalent to atman.

Huang Ti or Hoang Ty (Chinese) Great spirit; according to a legend, the Great Spirit’s sons fall into the Valley of Pain (our earth), by which they acquire new wisdom of the lower spheres, their leader, the Flying Dragon, having drunk of the forbidden ambrosia. They are identical with the Fallen Angels or reincarnating egos (TG 143).

Hubilgan. See KHOBILGAN

Huen. See HOUEN

Hu Gadarn (Welsh) Hu the Mighty; from the time of Owen Glyndwr to that of Henry VII of England, Hu Gadarn is constantly mentioned in poetry, sometimes identified with Jesus Christ. From the period of Owen Glyndwr comes a hymn to Hu:

The smallest of the small
Is Hu Gadarn. . . .
And he is the greatest of the Great.
An atom of light is his chariot.

Hu led the Cymry into the Island of the Mighty; with his yoke of Exalted Oxen he drew the Afangc out of the Lake of Floods, thus preventing the drowning of the world; these Exalted Oxen, Nynnio and Peibio, had been formerly kings of England and Scotland who, because of their arrogance in claiming kingship of the galaxy, had been deposed by Rhita Giaut, King of Wales, and turned into oxen. Hu Gadarn is also said to have had a white shield — corresponding in this instance to the shield of Gyan of Persia.

There is no reference to Hu in the Mabinogi or the 6th century poets, though there was a Gaulish god, Hesus, who may be the same individual.

Hugin (Icelandic) [from hug mind] One of two ravens which fly daily over the battlefield earth (Vigridsslatten) and report back to Allfather Odin. The word hug connotes thought and thinking, mood, courage, wish, opinion, desire, foreboding; in addition it is used in numerous combinations, such as strength of mind, peace of mind, etc.

Odin’s other raven, Munin (memory), is its inseparable companion. Both are indispensable for the growth of consciousness which evolves through the kingdoms from less to greater by means of experience in the realms of life.

Hum (Sanskrit) Hum, Hūm A mystical syllable used as an interjection or exclamation in sentences in sacred texts such as mantras, closely akin to and virtually identic with the sacred syllables Om and Aum. In Vedic ritual, used before the singing of the Prastava (prelude), as well as during the chanting of the Pratihara (response). It is present in the well-known Tibetan mystical sentence Om mani padme hum.

Human Ego The center of human egoity belonging to the higher part of manas. A vehicle or ray of the human monad, its expression is the human soul. It is distinguished from the animal soul or personal ego.

Human Kingdom One of the great kingdoms or divisions of monads on earth. Below it are the animal, plant, mineral, and also three elemental kingdoms; above are kingdoms of dhyanis or highly evolved human beings and gods. One of the critical points in evolution, at which self-consciousness is attained, although by no means fully developed. Here the spiritual and the material meet: the spiritual self finds its house in the organism built up of lower elements, and the two-natured human being of earth is thus formed. See MAN; ROOT-RACES

Human Monad In the human constitution, the fourth monadic focus or center on the descending scale of individualizing consciousness. It is the basis or root of the human ego from which emanates the human soul — a temporary or periodic appearance enduring for one incarnation, having for its range of consciousness the ordinary human consciousness of daily life.

At death the essence of the human soul is united to the human ego, which in its turn at the second death is reunited with the upper duad (atma-buddhi); and the human ego thereupon enters into the state of consciousness called devachan. Having become at one with its spiritual parent, at least for the duration of devachan, the ego rests and digests its garnered store of wisdom, knowledge, and experience, and upon the completion of this period of devachanic recuperation it issues forth again when the karmic hour strikes, once more to become the human ego at its succeeding birth.

Human Soul The clothing or ray of the human ego; it is the egoic center in manas, under the influence of both buddhi and the kamic nature. We may speak of a threefold human soul — buddhi-manas or the spiritual soul, manas or the human soul, and kama-manas or the animal soul, each the expression of its own ego. Each ego is the expression of its monad. The characteristic of the human soul is duality, affording the field for the interaction of spiritual and lower forces.

Humors In medieval European medical thought, a fluid or juice, applied especially the four fluids — blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile), and melancholy (black bile) — which were thought to determine a person’s health and temperament. This theory derived from classical sources. “These vital spirits and humors corresponded, however imperfectly, to the pranic fluids of ancient Hindu teaching — considered to be both ethereal essences and physical humors. From early mediaeval times up to the recent present, medicine consistently taught that normal physical health in the human body was maintained when these vital spirits and humors were operating in equilibrium, and that disease and even death were products of their malfunctioning. The archaic ages were unanimous in their agreement on these points” (FSO 556).

Huperouranioi (Greek) Hyperuranii (Latin) Above the heavens, or in highest heaven; the name given by Plato, Proclus, and other Greek philosophers to the highest orders of celestial beings, those above the enkosmioi (intercosmic gods).

Huschenk. See HUSHANG

Hushang (Persian) Also Husheng, Hoshang, Hosheng, Haoshyanha; Ushhanj (Arabic) Second king of the legendary Pishdadi dynasty, who succeeded his grandfather Kaimurath. In Firdusi’s Shahnamah, he is noted as having introduced and taught his people the method of making bread and the art of cookery. He first brought out fire from stone, and thus founded the religion of the Fire-worshipers, calling the flame which was produced the Light of the Divinity, and introducing the Festival of Sadah. His celestial guardian was Manishram or Behram, the planet Mars.

He had a twelve-legged horse, born of a hippopotamus and a crocodile and found on the dry island (a new continent) seven months’ journey distant. The horse was the Persian symbol for the sun and, interpreting a leg as a cycle, we have twelve divine cycles or the sum of the yugas — 12,000 divine years; which is the length of the Mazdean Zervan daregho-hvadata (the Sovereign Time of the long period). Again, Hushang mounted on his steed is the monad pursuing its journey on and through the twelve mansions.

Hutukhtu. See CHUTUKHTU

Hvaniratha (Avestan) Also Khvaniratha, Qaniratha. In the Avesta, the name of globe D of our earth planetary chain, the six other globes also being named in the Vendidad, where Hvaniratha is the fourth or lowest of the karshvares. See also KARSHVAR

Hvanuatha. See HVANIRATHA

Hvergelmir, Hvergalmer (Icelandic) [from hverr cauldron, boiler + gelmir loud one, screamer] Roaring cauldron; in Norse myths, the spring which waters the third root of Yggdrasil (the World Tree) which reaches into Niflheim, the home of mists (nebulae). From Hvergelmir flow the thrice twelve plus one ice streams or glaciers, elivagar, which furnish the various life forms for the kingdoms of nature, each one suitable to the type of being which is to inhabit and use that form.

Hwan (Chinese) Spirit.

Hwergelmir. See HVERGELMIR

Hwun. See HWAN

Hwyl (Welsh) Sail; the method of chanting used in Wales for poetry and rhetoric, the idea being that the inspiration drives and fills the spoken words with a certain vibrant, singing quality of sound, as the wind fills, swells, and drives the sails of a ship.

Hyades [from Greek hyo to rain] The rainers, or daughters of rain; the stars in the head of Taurus the Bull, the brightest of them being Aldebaran. The usual explanation, borrowed from the Greeks and Romans, is that their rising with the sun, which occurs in May, indicates rain, but they also indicate periodical deluges (SD 2:785).

In Greek mythology they were nymphs, the daughters of Atlas and Aethra, and sisters of the Pleiades, their number varying from two to seven. They were worshiped as nurses of Zeus or Dionysos, and for this service were put in the sky as stars.

Hydra (Greek) A water serpent, feminine, corresponding to a masculine hydros; usually the monster which Hercules overcomes in one of his twelve labors. As the twelve labors signify, among other things, the trials of an initiant in the Mysteries, the mythologic hydra symbolizes the psycho-astral forces which have to be mastered.

In past stages of evolution, when inchoate attempts at formation were made, and when planes and states of matter were not as they are now, strange monsters existed, which were at first purely lower astral, then astral-physical, and finally physical, before they died out. Hence the idea that the hydra was derived from traditions or astral visions of some reptile-monster of the Mesozoic Age may be an imperfect intuition of the facts.

Hydranos (Greek) Baptizer; “a name of the ancient Hierophant of the Mysteries who made the candidate pass through the ‘trial by water,’ wherein he was plunged thrice. This was his baptism by the Holy Spirit which moves on the waters of Space. Paul refers to St. John as Hydranos, the Baptist. The Christian Church took this rite from the ritualism of the Eleusinian and other Mysteries” (TG 146).

Hydrogen The chemical element hydrogen is a terrestrial manifestation of an Element fundamental throughout the universe; and it is in this general sense that it is often spoken of in The Secret Doctrine. There we find hydrogen described as the material and spiritual basis, its subjective or abstract essence occupying a similar position in the world of mental and subjective phenomena to that which its physical equivalent occupies among the chemical elements. It is Spiritual Fire, the Ray which proceeds from its still greater Spiritual Noumenon, the Dhyani of the First Element. It is a gas only on our terrestrial plane, and is very closely allied to the physical protyle or root-element. It is the Upadhi of both Air and Water, and is fire, air, and water — one under three aspects (SD 2:105, 112-13).

Blavatsky also states that all the matter of the universe, when analyzed by science to its ultimates, yields only four elements: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. These four are the basis of organic matter, and are correlated with the four lower human principles: hydrogen with kama and with the primary creative powers, so that the trinity of Mother-Father-Son corresponds to hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen (SD 2:592-3).

Hydromancy. See DIVINATION

Hygeia or Hygea (Greek) hygieia. Health; goddess of health, daughter of Aesculapius, represented as a maiden feeding a serpent from a cup — the serpent referring generally to the vital pathways or flow of the buddhi, often alluded to in Hindu writings as kundalini, drinking from the cup of knowledge. Identified with the Roman Salus.

Hyksos The Shepherd-Kings of Egypt, who invaded and conquered Egypt from the east sometime after the beginning of the 13th dynasty. Under Salatis they made Memphis their capital city and their descendants held Egypt for 511 years. “According to Josephus, the Hyk-sos were the ancestors of the Israelites. This is doubtless substantially true” (IU 2:487).

Hyle (Greek) Wood, material; primordial matter as first manifested in and from Chaos, but as yet undifferentiated; the Mother, paired with spirit as Father. A Pythagorean word and, according to Plutarch, one of a lower tetraktys consisting of to agathon (the good), nous (intelligence), psyche (soul), and hyle (matter). Equivalent to ilus.

Hylo-idealism A philosophic cult founded by Dr. Robert Lewins, popular at the time when The Secret Doctrine was written (1887-8). It regarded self as the reality. The main reason Blavatsky seems to have so strongly criticized this group was for its materialistic basis, as it derived the cognizing self from matter (as expressed by the hylo in its name). This is directly contrary to theosophic teachings which derive both the primordial self and all its manifestations from cosmic spirit or the Logos.

Hylozoism [from Greek hyle matter + zoe life] A term used by Ralph Cudworth (1617-88); the doctrine that matter includes its own vitalizing principle. Contrasted in The Secret Doctrine with crude materialism on the one hand and anthropomorphic deism on the other, it is said to be tantamount to a kind of pantheism. The Stoics, using the word matter to mean something that actually exists, argued that the vitalizing agents in matter, although spiritual in origin, must themselves be material in order to affect matter. The duality between spirit and matter, or the active and passive potencies, they regarded as formal and a concession to Aristotelianism. They recognized the mind and vitality inherent in nature: “Nature is a habit moved from itself, according to seminal principles,” says Laertius, after Zeno. This is equivalent to recognizing the hierarchies of gods, in contrast with the notion that one “Supreme Architect” concerns himself directly with the innumerable details of the inferior ranges of the universe.

Hyparxis (Greek) Essential nature; Neoplatonic term for the summit, beginning, or hierarch of a hierarchy: “this army of beings in any one hierarchy is . . . more than a mere collective entity, because it is united in its apex, in what is actually the fount of that hierarchy. This fount is the hyparxis or spiritual sun from which all the other nine planes or classes of the hierarchy emanate . . .; even as the hyparxis of any one hierarchy is the lowest class or plane of a superior hierarchy, and so practically ad infinitum” (Fund 108-9). Equivalent to the First Logos.

Hyperborean [from Greek hyperboreos beyond the north wind] In Greek mythology the Hyperboreans dwelt in the inaccessible extreme north, in bliss and everlasting spring, exempt from death and old age, toil and war. Sometimes it was said that sunshine was continuous for six months, and that Phoebes (the sun) visited the region every year. The Secret Doctrine adopts this name for the continent or homeland of the second great root-race of mankind. See also ROOT-RACE, SECOND

Hyperion (Greek) [from hyper above, high + ion he that goes] The sun god, commonly joined with Helios in Homer, as Hyperion Helios or Helios Hyperion. Also a titan descended from Ouranos and Gaia (heaven and earth) who pairs with Thea. Strictly speaking, the sun god and the titan are one, the distinction lying in this individual’s being viewed from two different aspects.

Hypnotism [from Greek hypnos sleep] One name for an artificially produced somnambulistic, entranced, or psychologized state. A better word for the procedure is psychologization, hypnotism being but one phase of the general subject which includes fascination, multiple or double personality, some religious ecstasies, and different methods of psychic healing. All these things operate in and upon the important intermediate part between our spiritual and physical-astral self and usually affect the latter self very strongly. This intermediate part is the human soul of the reincarnating entity — the man or woman we see and know. As this includes the psychomental-emotional powers and faculties, it is intimately related to intelligence and sanity, to emotions and conduct, and to health.

Theosophy holds that mesmerism is not hypnotism. In hypnotism the subject’s intermediate nature is disjoined from its natural relations with his physical and astral body and put out of the control of the person himself, becoming susceptible to other influences. This process is a reversal of all evolutionary currents which in every being unfold and manifest from conscious centers within. Such a reversal is dangerous and far-reaching in its results, spiritually, mentally, morally, psychically, and physically.

Moreover, the hypnotizer endangers himself by such intimate linking with the lower mind and feeling of his subject — whose spiritual nature is always beyond another’s control. From the operator’s entrance into, and operation of, the subject’s physico-astral body, there results a mutual infection with each other’s faulty human nature. Whoever thus changes the forces and trend of another’s life, obligates himself to share karmically in those changes to the end.

Psychologizing a person to heal him of disease or rid him of some injurious habit is also harmful. Bodily ills, in themselves, are the cleansing processes by which past inner wrongs of thought and feeling, having reached the material plane, can be worked out of the system. As for karmic faults and failings in character, the person restrained from them by hypnotism or psychologization merely loses a timely opportunity to develop his spiritual will by which alone every human being must consciously work out his own destiny. The apparent cure of disease, or of a weakness, means that these have been driven inwards, dammed back, inevitably to reappear with accumulated force at a less opportune time in this or a future life. Nor does the practice of self-hypnotization or self-psychologization prevent a disjunction of the person’s intermediate nature from his immortal self. The results finally appear as mental disease resulting in crime or as physical disease which is the minor evil.

Suggestion has a dual power: for good or for ill, the results depending upon both the motive and the method of its use. The conscious and unconscious use of it for self-interest is unfortunately met with everywhere; as a part of modern training in high-power salesmanship, it pervades the methods popular in both commercial and professional circles. However, suggestion has a power of noble appeal to the intelligence and spiritual will of others whose better nature responds to a good example, impersonal teaching, and pure and helpful thoughts and feelings. Hypnotism and other such practices are dangerous because they so often fall into black magic or sorcery.

Hypostasis (Greek) [from hypo under + sta stand, cf Latin substantia, English substance, Sanskrit avastha] The essential nature of a thing, the thing’s original foundation, apart from any attributes. In Greek philosophy, used to signify the underlying basis or primordial origin of what flowed forth, that which flowed forth becoming the differentiated. It is also used to denote the persons of a trinity, as in theology and in the triune Vishnu.

Hysteria This protean disorder is regarded as a functional neurosis with abnormal sensations, emotions, or paroxysms, manifesting itself chiefly by emotional instability, by the ease with which it is influenced, in negativism and impulsiveness, a tendency to make sensations, a remarkable egotism, desire to talk, to fabricate, and to simulate. There is constant, capricious change of mood and activity. No other disorder can counterfeit so many diseases as hysteria. The psychic faculties at times displayed in clairvoyance, hallucinations, cataleptic and somnambulistic states, etc., show an active functioning in the astral body; while convulsive and other abnormal movements, and mental absences in which the actor does and says bizarre, unwonted, and inexplicable things for various periods of which only a vague or no remembrance is retained, point to the play of some astral entity, as occurs in other obsessions.

The theosophical interpretation of hysteria is that some obsessing astral entity, not always excarnate human or wholly human, is playing upon the human being in unnatural and useless ways. The patient’s unconscious includes his various past lives in which he developed the neurotic tendencies which now attract harmful psychic influences. Among the various types and grades of astral entities from which the normal body and mind are a protection, there are the elementaries dominated and enslaved by some special form or forms of desire. Of such, there may be those with the intense love of attention and the egoism which is so generally marked in hysterical types.

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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

MU - Mundaka Upanishad

M-Wms Dict - Sanskrit-English Dictionary, by Monier Williams

N on BG - Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, by T. Subba Row

OG - Occult Glossary, by G. de Purucker

Rev - Revelations

RV - Rig Veda

SBE - Sacred Books of the East, ed. Max Müller

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 University Press Online Edition