Alice A. Bailey


Alice A. Bailey – image from Atmanet

A prolific writer on mysticism and the founder of an international esoteric movement, Alice Bailey was born on 16th June 1880, in Manchester, the daughter of an engineer. After a cloistered upbringing she entered on a period of evangelical work with the British army, which took her to India. In 1907 she married Walter Evans, whom she had met while he was serving in the army in India, and they emigrated to America, where he became an Episcopalian minister. The marriage was not a success, and after the birth of three daughters she obtained a separation and later a divorce.

In America she discovered the works of Madame Blavatsky and became active in the Theosophical Society. The narrow, dogmatic Christianity which she had previously followed gave way to wider spiritual horizons, though the figure of Christ remained central to her beliefs. She later grew disillusioned with the petty intrigues of the Theosophical Society and ceased to play an active part in it, but she always recognized the valuable part that Theosophy had played in her life.

Blavatsky’s doctrine of occult Masters led her to identify a spirit that, she said, had guided her from the age of fifteen, with the Theosophical Kut Humi. In 1919 she said she was contacted by the spirit of another individual whom she called ‘the Tibetan’ and identified with the occult adept Djual Khool mentioned by Blavatsky. After some initial reluctance she agreed to be his amanuensis. The result was a series of books which she claims the Tibetan (whose name she spelt “Djwhal Khul”) dictated through an inner voice, and which she wrote down word for word.  The most popular, also the most unreadable, is the weighty Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which is even more difficult to read than Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine, but does contain some interesting cosmic diagrams.  Some of these diagrams had originally appeared in earlier Theosophical literature, while others were original.

None of this voluminous material, incidentally, has anything to do with authentic Tibetan Buddhism, although there was quite a bit of Theosophy and folksy Christianity in it.  Clearly we have here an example of a channelled communication, incorporating elements from the medium’s subconscious; but also, as in the case of Jane Robert’s “Seth”, one cannot discount the possibility of psychic symbiosis with an elevated entity expressing itself through her subconscious.

In 1920 Alice married another Theosophist, Foster Bailey, and in 1923 they started The Arcane School to teach disciples how to further the Great Universal Plan under the guidance of the inner hierarchy of spiritual masters led by Christ. After her death in 1949 the school was carried on by her husband.  It still flourishes as a large international organization, and an organisation, the Lucis Trust, was formed to overlook the legal aspects of the School and the published books. The influence of Ms Bailey’s difficult writings has been, if anything, even greater than that of Blavatsky in the New Age movement.

To date, the Alice Bailey stream has inspired and continues to inspire many. That it has not gone the way of lesser theosophic and new age teachings like Summit Lighthouse (which also with a series of masters, rays, and so on, derivative of AAB, via the “I AM” movement) may indicate that it belongs to a higher class of channelled communications.


Planetary Hierarchy

The Five Kumaras and Seven Creative Hierarchies

both diagrams © Vicktorya


(Note added 22 Oct 2007) – one reader took exception to my rejection of Tibetan Buddhism as an authentic source of AAB’s knowledge. This person sent me an extract of Bailey’s autobiography which supports the objective existence of the Tibetan masters. I am not in a position to judge the authenticity of this material, whichjis for historians and scholars to determine, using actual historical records abnd documents. All I can do is reiterate that from my own studies of Tibetan Buddhism there is no actual Vajrayana doctrine in the AAB corpus, but instead a Christianised Theosophy reminiscent of Leadbeater’s celestial hierarchy (masters, logoi, etc) and messianism (the Maitreya). Which means either Bailey influenced Leadbeater, Leadbeater influenced Bailey [1], or each independently influenced the other. There is also various original additions such as the Seven Rays, additional chakras, and so on. While it is not impossible that – assuming the hierrachy of masters are physically real, – a hypothetical Tibetan adept might incorporate concepts from Blavatsky, Leadbeater, and Christianity, it seems strange that someone living immersed in Buddhist culture would not also incorporate even a little traditional Buddhist material (the Tibetan Buddhist conception of Chakras for example is totally different to that of AAB).


[1] One passing reference mentions that AAB was accused by the Theosophists – whether this is true or a trumped up charge I don’t know – of stealing Leadbeater’s manuscripts in 1920 – see Adam Possamai, Link to Amazon com In Search of New Age Spiritualities – Google books Page 90; I haven’t been able to find any other refernces, so maybe this is heresay?.


  Alice Bailey Links  

About Alice Bailey and her books

 Lucis Trust & Lucis Publishing Companies: 24 Books by Alice Bailey – also the official site of World Goodwill and the Arcane School.

 Alice Bailey and Theosophy (pdf format, opens new wimdow in browser) – an interesting essay by Kenneth Sørensen that uses statements from “the Tibetan” to shed some very interesting light on Leadbeater’s psychism and his role in the decline of the T.S.; exposing the personality glamour connected with psychism.

 Alice A. Bailey – sympathetic biography from Atmanet

 Ponder on This – excerpts taken from the book “Ponder on This”, a compilation of material from Alice A. Bailey’s Books on various topics

 Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul Esoteric Philosophy – Table of Contents – also Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul Esoteric Philosophy – Download Page

 The Return of the Christ – material explaining the AAB / DK teaching. Includes writings on the return of the Christ/Maitreya (see Planetary Hierarchy diagram, the Christ or Maitreya is represented by the central purple sphere, and is an important element inthe AAB teachings), the great invocation (with a nice selection of bookmarks you can print out), material for students, links, and more.

 Esoteric Spirituality, Tibetan Master, Great Invocation, Alice Bailey, John Nash – essays on the Alice Bailey / Djwhal Khul teaching. The essays and presentations address various topics, ranging from the nature of the trinity to the esoteric aspects of the labor movement. See this page for material on Alice Bailey’s teachings and a spiritual approach to economics.

 Alice Bailey – Natal Horoscope – the astrological birth chart of Alice Bailey, from Khaldea

 and an interpretation (along with some biography by Adele Barger Wilson

 Alice Bailey – wikipedia page, still pretty basic when I last checked

Controversy – anti-semitism and racism

 Alice Bailey: a balanced look – strives presents a non-biased interpretation (with many people contributing)

 Antisemitic Stereotypes in Alice Bailey’s Writings – Purported anti-semitic comments by Alice Bailey

 Alice A. Bailey – Contrasting Views on Christianity, Racism, and Antisemitism, and Nationalism – by James Davis – essay defending Alice Bailey from charges of racism, etc.


 The Morya Federation of Esoteric Education is an online interactive Campus for group Meditation, Study of the Ageless Wisdom and discussion on Service and world needs. This training is based directly upon the work as outlined in the Future Schools Chapter, in Letters on Occult Meditation, by Alice Bailey.

Controversy – Theosophy

 Theosophy’s Shadow by Nicholas Weeks – a polemical and pro-traditional Theosophical essay critical of Alice Bailey, interesting for pointing out the difference between Madame Blavatsky and Ms Bailey’s worldviews

 H. P. BLAVATSKY & ALICE BAILEY – from PROTOGONUS SPRING 1989 – The Pseudo-Occultism of Mrs. A. Bailey By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump – a series of essays and comments that are very critical of Alice Bailey for departing from the teachings of Blavatsky

 H. P. Blavatsky versus Alice A. Bailey – a response to Nicholas Weeks’ “Theosophy’s Shadow” essay, supporting AAB. (It can also serve as a response to Cleather and Crump). From Global Theosophy (a Danish site)

 J.J. Dewey, Answers For The Critics Of Alice A. Bailey, 2007 – The link is to part 1. There are eight sections; click links at bottom of each section to read all.

Alice Bailey and the Esoteric Philosophy

Ma Ka Ra

Makara is a clearinghouse of established and modern, evolving esoteric philosophy of Trans-Himalayan or Ageless Wisdom Teachings as dispensed for modern day through H. P. Blavatsky and A. A. Bailey

Ageless Wisdom extensive reference of texts and new commentary. Online courses and egroups available to freely share Universal Teachings, based out of the Secret Doctrine and the works of Alice Bailey. Centralized source for new forms of teaching, meditation for modern thinkers, humanitarians, leaders, artists, scientists, and business manifestors.Collected Works of Michael Robbins, home to the Fellowship of Cosmic Fire, and all around fun.