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A Greek term meaning the vast or Great Countenance. Used in Kabbalistic philosophy to refer to the Lord or “Face” of the Universe.


An epithet of Krishna.

Mādhyamā pratipad

Refers to the middle way or path between extremes of eternalism and nihilism.


The Middle Way. A major Ma­hayana Buddhist school of philosophy, which stresses the mid­dle way between all ex­tremes, that reality is beyond “being” and “non-being”. It was founded by Nagarjuna in the second century A.D.


The root term for the word Magician, to be seen in its esoteric render­ing.


(Plural for magus.) The name given to the wise men “magicians” of the ancient Persians. They were skilled in astrol­ogy, or astromancy. Three of these visited Jesus at the time of his birth, bearing the gifts that also symbolised their esoteric ac­complishments.


The ancient sacred science that allows one to contact and to control subjective forces and energies and with them manipulate aspects of the outer phenomenal world of seeming. H.P. Blavatsky states in her Theo­sophical Glossary that:

“Ancient and mediæval mystics divided magic into three classes – Theurgia, Goetia and natural magic. ” Theur­gia has long since been appro­priated as the peculiar sphere of the theosophists and metaphysi­cians”, says Kenneth Mackenzie. Goetia is black magic, and “natural (or white) magic has risen with healing in its wings to the proud position of an exact and progressive study.”

White Magic – the form of control over natural forces and energies obtained by members of the Hierarchy of Love, and con­sists of work­ing in cooperation with the greater Deva Builders.
Black Magic – the form of dominance over natural forces wielded by members of the dark brotherhood and those who are selfishly motivated; the forces of evil. They manipulate the lower forms of elemental lives, and thus cause the types of phenomenal happenings in the three worlds of human livingness that serve their ambitions.

Magna Mater

The Great Mother; the Mother of the World.


The law of attraction between opposite polarities of the same type of substance. It is one of the fundamental laws in Physics, and all large spheres such as the Earth and the Sun have magnetic properties. Esoterically it refers to the attractive force of Love blended with that of the Will, especially when magnetic radiance is spoken of. It is that force that draws to­gether and coheres all separative units into a unified whole. It can be viewed as the force of the Heart of the One beating out its attractive radiance or life force to the many, so that they can be again drawn to that which is the Source of Life to them.
Animal magnetism is that fluid radiatory attractive energy that emits from the vital (etheric) bodies of all animal forms, and which sounds out the note or well-being of that entity. It is liter­ally his jiva (converted prana) that can be used as a healing force, if the “animal” is intrinsically healthy, for it is the expres­sion of the Monadic force from the Heart, though modified with the sum of the qualities associated with the other organs of ex­pression within the body. It is that radiatory or attractive quality that is sometimes called “charisma” when associated with human beings. As such, it is modified also by the qualities of the char­acteristic of the mind, to the degree or extent that it is Soul-in­fused. This form of magnetism comes to be converted into the radiant aura of an enlightened Being, and which indicates the extent of his compassionate undertakings.

Magnum Opus

The final or major undertaking of any work by a Creative individual, the symbolic or effectual attainment of the philosopher’s stone by an individual through that accomplish­ment.


A Magician, or master of the entire life process, one who can willfully control the elements, an Adept.


The great war which Arjuna fought with the aid of Krishna. The book The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the great epic story of the Mahabharata.


Gross elements, the sum of the (four) El­ements.


The Great (maha) Chohan. Presently an Initiate of the seventh degree that has evolved along the Rays of the Mind, Who thus controls the dispensation of that element or quality into the sum of manifest space. He thus be­comes the Lord of Civilisation for any given epoch of evolution­ary devel­opment of the human race, for active intelli­gence still is the ma­jor charac­teristic to be developed by hu­manity. He is one of the three great Departmental Heads of the Hierar­chy; the Manu is the head of the first Ray department, the Christ is the head of the second Ray department, and the Maha­chohan rules the third Ray de­partment. Together they embody the three aspects of Deity, the Father, Son, and Mother, for hu­manity and the Hierarchy. Un­der the Mahachohan work the Chohans that are the Lords of the five Rays of Mind.


A title of Shiva, meaning the great (all-em­bracive) Deva or angelic Lord.

Maha Guru

A great or universal spiritual Teacher (guru).

Maha Kala

A major cycle of time. See Kala.

Maha Kalpa

A great or universal age. See Kalpa.


A great or Universal cy­cle of activity, generally meaning for the duration of the entire evolu­tionary history of a Solar System (or even a Universe). It incor­porates many lesser cycles of activity (manvantaras – Days of Brahma) and of rest (pralaya – Nights of Brahma). A Great Year in the Life of Brahma.


The Great Symbol. The absoluteness of Being, which unites all duality, male and female into a unity, a whole­ness, complet­edness. This Symbol can be depicted as the cypher zero, and involves the sum of the entire cause-effect world play, as it impresses itself upon our consciousness. The major schools of Mahayana Buddhism incorporates the Mahamudra teaching as its basic doctrine.

Maha Pralaya

The opposite of a Mahaman­vantara. Hence a major (Solar) period of rest, the Great (cosmic) Night, thus a period of dissolution of all activity, which the on­set of the Judgement Day pro­duces. Esoterically, abstraction into buddhic or etheric space.

Maha Purusha

A title of Vishnu, the supreme or Great overriding consciousness principle, the Soul of all Life.

Maharajas, the four

The four great Deva Lords that embody the substance of the Throne of God. These are the four great Rajah (kingly) lords that embody the four directions in Space, the four Continents or Elements in Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. They can be equated with the four Kumaras of eso­teric philosophy, (Sanat Kumara and the Bud­dhas of Activity) but more correctly are their Devic compli­ments, the Cherubim.


(Tib. grub thob chen po). A yogin/yogini with siddhi or great spiritual accomplishments. An accomplished Tantric yogin. See siddhi.


Indescribable happiness. The high­est Bliss.


This term, which means literally, “the great one” can best be under­stood as cosmic or Logoic Intelligence, the Fires of the Concrete Mind of such an Entity, and which conditions all mani­fest Life. The Mind of a Master of Wisdom can be consid­ered an aspect of Mahat. Manas, as we understand it is its lower reflection, and it can also be understood as that principle that causes the individuation of all manifest things, the ability of a (Logoic) Being to say “I AM” and thus differentiate Himself from all others. Hence it is the producer of differentiation on a Cosmic scale, when we are viewing Universals, or the interrela­tion of groups of individuals within a greater whole. It is the major factor in Creative Being. It is Agni’s Fiery Element.
The dark brotherhood evolve through waves of primordial Mahat to obtain their goals or cosmic destination.


A “great Being”, one who has united con­sciously with the highest factor of Individuation, the Spirit or “atma” or Monad. We thus use the term to refer to Initiates of the sixth degree (Chohans), but in the more common usage it can also refer to Initiates of the fourth or greater. Also equatable with the Hindu term Rishi.


A great rhythm of the Fire of cosmic Space, sensed by short periods of time by the followers of Agni yoga. See also Chota­van, a small rhythm. They are explained in para­graphs 357 and 401 of the book Agni Yoga by Helena Roerich.

Maha Vidya

The great Esoteric science, or Wisdom Teaching.


The illusional body of appearance.


The Great Vehicle. This is the northern school of Buddhism, espousing the Bodhisattva path, in con­tradistinction to the southern school, the Hinayana. See Hi­nayana Buddhism for further de­tail.

Maha Yuga

A Great Age. The aggregate of four yu­gas or ages of 4,320,000 solar years, making a Day of Brahma.

Maia, Maya, Maria, Mary, Ma

The names of the Goddesses that embody the Mother principle.

Maitreya Buddha

The forthcoming Buddha of Compassion. Hence the form the Christ (the Bodhisattva) will take when he appears. See also Bud­dha, Bodhisattva.


A most mystical term, meaning “the crocodile”. A early version of the sign Capricorn, and concerns the fusion of the watery element with that of the mind, hence has everything to do with the evolution of the desire-mind, and with all aspects of magical invocations wherein the watery aspect is invoked. Liter­ally the fusion of the signs Cancer and Capricorn, (earth and water) which are polar opposites. It is the title of the third Cre­ative Hierarchy, who fuse with the fourth Creative Hierar­chy to endow man with his periodical vehicles. Makara is the vehicle of Varuna, the God of the Waters.

Makaram, or Panchakaram

A Sanskrit term referring to the Mys­teries of the pentagram, and thus of the blueprint of etheric space.


A Hebrew term meaning the messengers or angels.


The sum of the qualities of the mind, or the fires thereof, the fifth principle.
Kama manas, the desire mind.
Higher manas, the archetypal, or abstract realms of the mind, wherein resides the Causal form of the Soul. The three higher subplanes of the mental plane as divorced from the four lower or concrete sub­planes.


“The efflux of the divine mind.”

Manasa Dhyanis

The Devic Lords of medita­tion sub­stance who helped build the Causal forms of humanity.


Sons or forms (putras) of Mind (manas). This is a term that refers to the human “man-plant”, to our Causal forms. We are sons of Will and Mind, Lords of Sac­rifice.


Circle, wheel. A literary or esoteric corpus filled with religious symbolism that is drawn by one wishing to contemplate things divine, or to evoke potencies and forces associated with Nature and the subjective realms. A perfected, completed, state of being and perception encompassing all phenomena when presented symbolically in a specific form or blueprint of what is to be. Used as a visualising tool during Deity Yoga.

Manipura Chakra

The Solar Plexus Centre, situ­ated in the naval area that has ten petals coloured green and rose. It expresses the qualities associated with the emotional body, our desires, feel­ings, and sense of touch. It is the ab­dominal brain and therefore the organ of clairvoyance, opening the entire psy­chic, astral, world to the mystic or occultist, and gives control of the Watery Element.


That aspect of mind that is dominated by the solar plexus centre, hence desire-mind, but it is more than that, for it concerns the ability of the emotions to colour all thought processes, causing the individual to see through a “glass darkly”, via his feeling perceptions. Hence, ev­erything becomes distorted, according to the sub­tle wish-ful­filling aspect of the solar plexus centre.


In Buddhism, the Bod­hisattva that embod­ies the sum of Wisdom. He is generally de­picted with the sword that can cut through all illusions and glamours, and he also holds the book of the good law, which rests on a lotus. Another term for this Bodhisattva is Man­jughosha, the glorious Gentle-voiced one. (Tibetan = Jampal.)

Manomaya Kosha

(Mano-maya-koa) The sheath or vehicle (Kosha) that holds the substance of the mind in its dual attributes (Mano) and veils it thereby (maya). Thus our mental body.


A sacred verse or word of power. Mantrams can be seen as the in­cantations uttered by the religious to bring about specific objectives. They are forms of Words or sacred syllables rhyth­mically expressed so that when sounded produce certain effects. They are used in all forms of magical and meditative practices and are given their potency according to the quality of the devic lives they attract, and which embody the re­lated sound pattern­ings. This is done according to the esoteric knowl­edge, directed will, and psychic purity of the person or group sending forth the Sound.

Mantra Tantra Shastras

Tantric (magical) works (shastras) on mantric sounds and incantations.

Mantrika Shakti

(Mantrika akti) The shakti or psychic power of these mantras, and their numerogical ordering and arrange­ment of the sound pat­ternings.


The title of one who holds office as the primal progenitor of a race of men, or of any other kingdom of Nature or aspect thereof. The Manu is responsible for the sum of the evolutionary development of the Life aspect that has incarnated into that class of individuals. He thus works along the line of the great first Ray department. Each of the Root Races of humanity have as ruler or director of their evolutionary impulse a presiding Manu. The present Manu that rules the journeying of the fifth Root Race is termed Vaivasvata Manu.

Manushi Buddhas

Human Buddhas, incarnate Bodhisattvas, Dhyan Chohans.


A cycle of evolution, part of a great or major cycle of evolu­tion. Specifically a Day of Brahma, said to be 4,320,000,000 Solar years. See Mahamanvantara.


The great deceiver (thus the creator of astral illu­sions), that which tempts one with the allurements of the mate­rial world and its sensual delights. The hordes of Mara (his demons of illusion) are the fi­nal thing that the Buddha had to overcome before He could gain His Nirvana under the Bo tree.


The lowest of the stratas of the astral realms, literally hell, inhabited by the most desolate of beings.


The path, or sacred way.


The Roman version ofhe Greek Ares, the God of war. He is the son of Juno and Jupiter/Zeus. In Esoteric Astrology Mars is a non-sacred planet and gov­erns the sixth Ray of Devotion.


Storm Gods, or primary Devic forces of the air. They must be tamed by the mind if the higher types of prana are to flow through the nadi system without whipping up the astral forces of a being, and thus psychically tearing him to pieces.


(Masorah) Hebrew word designating the traditional sys­tem of the registration of words, grammatical marks, conso­nants etc.

Materia Lucida

The intensely luminous substance of the higher as­tral sub­planes and mental spheres, with octaves of colours ranging beyond those known to our physical plane.

Materia Matrix

The substance of the highest spheres, equivalent to Akasha, the subtlest Primal ethereal substance that fills the whole of Space.


The shortest period of time in relation to the duration of sound, as the twinkling of an eye.
Matripadma. (Matri-padma) The Mother lotus (padma), the Womb of all Be­ing, the foundational matrix (mandala) that underlies the nadi system from which all manifest things can come into objec­tivity.


The Divine Mothers, the feminine or Dævic com­plements to the Creative Deities, generally seen as seven in num­ber, relating to the seven planes of perception, or seven king­doms in nature.


The Sanskrit term for illusion. D.K. de­fines maya on pages 148-9 of Glamour: A World Problem thusly:

“Maya is predomi­nantly (for the individual) the aggre­gate of the forces which control his septe­nary force centres to the exclusion, if I would emphasise, of the control­ling energy of the soul. There­fore, you will see that the bulk of humanity, until a man stands upon the Probationary Path, are under the control of maya, for a man suc­cumbs to maya when he is controlled by any other force or forces than those energies which come direct from the soul, conditioning and controlling the lesser forces of the personality as they eventually and inevitably must and will.
When a man is under the control of physical, astral and mental forces, he is convinced at the time that they are, for him, right forces. Herein lies the problem of maya. Such forces, however, when they con­trol a man, determine him in a separa­tive attitude and produce an effect which feeds and stimulates the personality and does not bring in the energy of the Soul, the true individuality….
Many people, particularly the unintelligent masses, are solely in­spired by desire – material, physical and temporary. Animal desire for the satisfaction of the animal appetites, material desire for possession and for the luxuries of existence, the longing for “things,” for comforts and for security – economic, social and religious – control the majority. The man is under the influence of the densest form of maya, and the forces of his nature are concentrated in the sacral centre. Others are mo­tivated by some form of aspiration or ambition – aspiration towards some mate­rial heaven (and most religions portray heaven in this man­ner), ambitions for power, desire for the satisfaction of the emotional or aesthetic appetites and for the possession of the more subtle realities, and the longing for emotional comfort, for mental sta­bility and assur­ance that the higher desires will meet with gratifi­cation. All this is maya in its emotional form, and it is not the same thing as glamour. In the case of glamour, the forces of a man’s nature are seated in the solar plexus. In the case of maya, they are seated in the sacral centre. Glam­our is subtle and emotional. Maya is tangible and etheric.”

Maya is literally the effect of the sum of the forces of the threefold personality that work through his etheric vehicle and which causes him to identify with and attach undue importance to the vicissitudes of the material world and its transient condi­tionings. It is thus that which veils and blinds him to the Real, the world of true and lasting values.


The etheric body, or double, through which maya finds its mode of expression. It is thus literally the body (rupa) of illusion (maya), the body of force currents and ever changing desire pat­ternings. It can also be viewed as the sheath of sub­stance and of mate­riality through we must all live and labour. As we begin to control the related pranas or forces, so we begin to become rulers of our destinies, and become Masters. We begin to live in the substance of the centres (chakras) above the diaphragm and not be subju­gated to the ef­fects of those below the diaphragm.


Hebrew for “the king of righteousness”. (Melchisedec, in the New Testament.) He is described in He­brews 7:1-3 thus:

“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
To who also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by inter­pretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
See also Genesis 14:18, Heb. 5:6, 10, 6:20, 7:17, 21, 7:10, 11 and 15.

He is the Avatara of the planetary Logos (and thus is “made like unto a son of God” and “abideth a priest continually”, and in the Hindu terminology is given the name Sanat Kumara. See Kumara, Sanat Ku­mara.


Hebrew, the singular of Malachim, an angel.

Mental unit

The permanent atom that exists upon the concrete levels of the mental plane. It differs from the other permanent atoms in that there are only four spirals and corresponding spirillae to it, related to the four lower mental subplanes, and to the quaternity that is the personality ve­hicle. (Concrete mind, astral body, etheric body and dense physical sheath.) The art of building the antahkarana concerns linking this per­manent atom with the man­asic permanent atom, through a sea of con­sciousness, thus by­passing the field of evolution of the Soul, but pro­ducing a direct link in consciousness with the spiritual Triad.


The Roman version of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. In Es­oteric Astrology, a sacred planet ruling the fourth Ray of Harmony through conflict.


The mountain that supports the kingdom of the Gods (as the Greek Mt. Olympus) and is said to be situated at the centre or navel of the world.


In the Hebrew philosophy he was a divine Charioteer, who im­parted knowledge of the heavenly realms, of the past, present and future to man. He can be equated with the Archangel Michael, and can also stand as the Soul, the Angel of the Pres­ence.


The doctrine of the transference of human souls into and out of animal forms and lesser evolved species than humanity. This doctrine is the exoteric account of reincarnation, but is not possible, for many reasons; one reason is that the animal form contains no mecha­nism whatsoever that would allow a human unit to appropriate it; an­other is that it serves ab­solutely no purpose for a human unit to re-use the animal forms that it had evolv