Theosophical Society

Date began: 
01 Jan 1875
Precise date began unknown: 

The Theosophical Society was founded by Madame H. P. Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in New York in 1875. In 1882, the headquarters of the Society were established in Adyar, near Madras (now Chennai) in India.

Theosophy was a philosophy combining mysticism and spiritualism (with heavy influences from Buddhist and Hindu thought) with metaphysics. The Society was fashioned as a 'brotherhood' promoting unity. The Society was also concerned with preparing the world for the coming of the 'World Teacher' when he arrived on Earth.

Key individuals: 
Published works: 

The Theosophical Society produced a number of periodicals, see

They include: 

Lucifer (1887-1897), ed. by H. P. Blavatsky and then Annie Besant.

The Theosophical Review (1897-1909), ed. by Annie Besant and G. R. S. Mead.

The Herald of the Star (1912-1927),  nominally ed. by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

The Star Review (1928-9), ed. by Emily Lutyens.


Secondary works: 

Besant, Annie, Theosophy (London: T. C. & E. C. Jack, 1912)

Ransom, Josephine, A Short History of the Theosophical Society (Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938)

Sinnett, A. P., The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe (London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1922)

Archive source: 

Theosophical Society Achives, Adyar, India

The Theosophical Society in England, London

The College of Psychic Studies, South Kensington