A Six-Part Online Class with Mitch Horowitz

Thursdays, February 22–March 28 (6 classes), 7–8:30 p.m. CT/89:30 p.m. ET

A live, six-session online class on the iconic figures who shaped modern occult and esoteric philosophy, from Madame Blavatsky to Manly P. Hall — taught by historian Mitch Horowitz.

In six live Thursday evening Zoom sessions of 90 minutes each, Mitch explores the careers and ideas of six distinct figures who shaped esoteric and occult philosophy in modern life: 1) Madame H.P. Blavatsky; 2) Annie Besant; 3) Rudolf Steiner; 4) G.I. Gurdjieff; 5) Jiddu Krishnamurti; and 6) Manly P. Hall. Mitch leaves ample time for exchange and provides weekly key terms and readings. Registrants receive recording links for each session to rewatch favorites or catch missed classes.

First 25 registrants get a special early bird rate of $100!

TS Members: $100 • Nonmembers: $125

Modern Occultism: History, Theory, and Practice by Mitch Horowitz (optional): $25 includes free shipping within the continental U.S.

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Occultism_as_Philosophy_Mitch_Horowitz_2_8-24.jpgEnjoy a free introduction to the course with Mitch on Thursday February 8 via Zoom!

Course Syllabus (click each session for description)

Session 1: Modern Sphinx: Madame H.P. Blavatsky

The 20th and 21st centuries would look radically different without the impact of world-traveled Russian occultist and Theosophy cofounder H.P. Blavatsky (1831-1891). A seismic force in the modern occult revival and an influence on figures ranging from Mahatma Gandhi and Henry A. Wallace to W.B. Yeats and Hilma af Klint, Blavatsky’s fingerprints appear on nearly every aspect of modern life, from art and science to spirituality and politics. Mitch explores H.P.B.’s writings and outlook, her enigmatic persona—and directly addresses controversies and canards associated with the seeker’s life and legacy. Mitch also considers the intriguing “hidden hand” theory of Blavatsky’s career.

Session 2: Reformer and Refiner: Annie Besant
Session 3: Philosopher of the Infinite: Rudolf Steiner
Session 4: Warrior Against Sleep: G.I. Gurdjieff
Session 5: Pathless Explorer: Jiddu Krishnamurti
Session 6: Fitful Scholar: Manly P. Hall

Mitch Horowitz Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. Mitch is the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America, One Simple Idea, The Miracle Club, Daydream Believer, Uncertain Places, Modern Occultism, and the forthcoming Happy Warriors. The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.” Filmmaker Magazine calls him “a genius at distilling down esoteric concepts.” A former vice president at Penguin Random House, Mitch has written on alternative spirituality for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, Politico, and a wide range of zines and scholarly journals. Mitch’s writing has called attention to the worldwide problem of violence against accused witches, helping draw notice to the human rights element of the issue. Mitch’s books have been translated into French, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese. His work is censored in China.


Program Format

This is a live, interactive online program that will also be recorded. Our goal is to send recordings to you within two business days, often sooner. Recordings will be available for on-demand viewing for two weeks following the date of the final class.

Software Platform

Zoom for Windows, Mac, or mobile device; minimum recommended network bandwidth 1.5 Mbps. Please download Zoom for free at zoom.us/download, and test your connection at zoom.us/test. New to Zoom? Check out www.theosophical.org/FAQ. Please email webinars@theosophical.org for further information.