Cumulative Index to Lucifer, Volumes I-XX, Comp

Ted G, Davy
Edmonton, Alberta, T6E 5G4 Canada: Edmonton Theosophical Society, P O, Box 4587, 1997, Pp iv+224, Cloth.

Theosophy is both progressive and traditional. As modern Theosophy, its expression must be adapted to each generation so that its timeless truths can be communicated in current idiom; yet the writings of the first generation of modern Theosophists have a special claim on our attention as foundational.

The Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Theosophical Society has long had a program of making available important early works. Their latest publication is a Cumulative Index to volumes 1-20 (September 1887 to August 1897) of Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine, founded and edited during her lifetime by I--l. P. Blavatsky and afterwards by Annie Besant with the assistance during the last years of the magazine of CJ. R. S. Mead.

This index has been prepared by Ted G. Davy with the care and skill of all his work. Its publication in 1997 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of the magazine, or at least the end of its publication under the tide Lucifer; the magazine continued under the title The Theosophical Review. This index is a splendid contribution to Theosophical scholarship and an invaluable aid for students of the early writings. The main index (pages 1-164) presents the contents of the ten years of Lucifer by authors' names, subjects, and keywords. There are helpful cross-references for both subjects (Phenomena: see Natural Phenomena, Psychic Phenomena, Occult Phenomena, Unexplained Phenomena) and authors' names, both pseudonyms ("Philanthropos" see Blavatsky, H. Po) and initialisms (A. see Glass, A. M.) when the authors can. be identified.

As some indication of what can be found in this index, the entry for "Olcott, Henry .S. (1832-1907)" includes 145 references to him, followed by 21 entries for items written by him and several that he and HPB cosigned That is the pattern for persons: first references to them are indexed, then contributions authored by them.

The volume ends with several appendixes. One indexes book reviews first by the authors of the books and second by the book titles. The reviewers arc included in the main index. Another index lists the titles of journals and of pamphlets and book mentioned in the pages of Lucifer as having been received. A third appendix indexes by geographical locations and organizations Theosophical activities around the world, as reported in Lucifer.

This index is an invaluable guide to information about the history of the Society and the intellectual currents of early Theosophy. It also serves for fascinating browsing as, for example, one comes upon an article by the Anglo-Irish poet William Butler Yeats and a notice of his lecturing at the Dublin Lodge. All Theosophical students are deeply indebted to Ted Davy for preparing this index and to the Edmonton Theosophical Society for publishing it.

-John Algeo

January 1998