Making sense of articles by and for theosophists
Katinka Hesselink 2008
Theosophists make use of quite a lot of abbreviations. For instance, one could find the following in a magazine like the Theosophist (I made this up - it's historically accurate though):
HPB and HSO founded the TS in 1875 in the company of fourteen other esotericists, among the young lawyer WQJ. In her final years HPB founded the ES in which WQJ and AB came to have a central place.
This is obviously confusing to people who don't know the code. So here are the explanations for these abbreviations - and other common ones. I'll add more as necessary.
- AB - A.B.
- Annie Besant
- CW - BCW - C.W. - B.C.W.
- Blavatsky Collected Writings. 15 volumes of articles by Blavatsky gathered by Boris de Zirkoff.
- CWL - C.W.L.
- Charles Webster Leadbeater
- ES - E.S.
- Esoteric Section or Esoteric School.
- HPB - H.P.B.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. This tendency to use abbreviations for theosophists started in her day. She actually wrote in her own copy of 'The Voice of the Silence' "From HPB to H.P. Blavatsky, with no kind regards". This is usually interpreted to mean that the inner HPB - the higher self - didn't appreciate the troubles her personality - H.P.Blavatsky - got herself into.
- HSO - H.S.O.
- Henry Steel Olcott
- JK - J.K. - also K and Krisnaji
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
- KH - K.H.
- Koot Hoomi, one of the theosophical mahatmas. (It's tempting to use it for Katinka Hesselink as well, but due to the mahatmic connotation I've usually used KH7 or variations thereof as screen names.)
- Morya, another of the theosophical adepts.
- Old Diary Leaves. Olcott's description of historical developments during his time of presidency of the Theosophical Society.
- SD - S.D.
- The Secret Doctrine, by H.P. Blavatsky. Two volumes. A third volume was compiled after Blavatsky's passing.
- SPR - S.P.R.
- Society for Psychical Research
- Theosophical Order of Service
- TPH - T.P.H.
- Theosophical Publishing House
- TUP - T.U.P.
- Theosophical University Press
- TM - T.M.
- Theosophical Movement. Used to refer to all the theosophical organisations and individual people as a whole.
- TS - T.S.
- Theosophical Society. Often used this way, even though there are technically several Theosophical Societies these days.
- TSA - T.S.A.
- 1) Theosophical Society in America. Like TS it's actually a term that is used to refer to several Theosophical organizations.
2) Theosophical Society Adyar ; See my FAQ on the Theosophical Movement
- TSP - T.S.P.
- Theosophical Society with headquarters in Pasadena. This abreviation is not used often. ; See my FAQ on the Theosophical Movement
- ULT - U.L.T.
- United Lodge of Theosophists ; See my FAQ on the Theosophical Movement
- WQJ - W.Q.J.
- William Quan Judge