Elena's maternal grandparents were Andrey Mikhailovich Fadeyev, Governor of Saratov, later of Tbilisi, and his wife Helene (née Princess Dolgoruky) - prominent figures of the age of Russian enlightenment. Elena grew up amid a culture rich in spirituality and traditional Russian mythologies, which introduced her to the realm of the supernatural.
Elena's great-grand nephew Boris de Zirkoff (Борис Цирков, 1902-1981) was an active member of the Theosophical Society and editor of the Blavatsky Collected Writings; her great-grand niece, also Elena (b. 1935), lives in Moscow - her resemblance to HPB is striking.
Two different versions of how Agardi died are extant. In one, G. Williams states that Agardi had been taken sick with a fever and delirium in Ramleh, and that he died in bed April 19, 1870. In the second version, while bound for Cairo on a boat, the 'Evmonia', in 1871, an explosion claimed Agardi's life, but H. P. Blavatsky continued on to Cairo herself.
Another unfounded account is that while in Cairo she formed the Société Spirité for occult phenomena with Emma Cutting (later Emma Coulomb), which is said to have closed after dissatisfied customers complained of fraudulent activities.
Throughout her career she claimed to have demonstrated physical and mental psychic feats which included levitation, clairvoyance, out-of-body projection, telepathy, and clairaudience. Another claim of hers was materialization, that is, producing physical objects out of nothing, though in general, her interests were more in the area of 'theory' and 'laws' rather than demonstration.
In 1874 at the farm of the Eddy Brothers, Helena met Henry Steel Olcott, a lawyer, agricultural expert, and journalist who covered the Spiritualist phenomena. Soon they were working together in the "Lamasery" (alternate spelling: "Lamastery") where her book Isis Unveiled was written.
She married her second husband, Michael C. Betanelly on April 3, 1875 in New York City. She separated from Betanelly after a few months, and their divorce was legalized on May 25, 1878. On July 8, 1878, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Living in New York City, she founded the Theosophical Society in September 1875, with Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others. Madame Blavatsky wrote that all religions were both true in their inner teachings and problematic or imperfect in their external conventional manifestations. Her writings connecting esoteric spiritual knowledge with new science may be considered to be the first instance of what is now called New Age thinking. In fact, many researchers feel that much of New Age thought started with Blavatsky.
She also lived in Philadelphia for part of 1875, where she resided at 3420 Sansom Street, now home of the White Dog Cafe. While living on Sansom Street, Madame Blavatsky became ill with an infected leg. She claimed to have undergone a "transformation" during her illness which inspired her to found the Theosophical Society. In a letter dated June 12, 1875, she described her recovery, explaining that she dismissed the doctors and surgeons who threatened amputation. She is quoted as saying "Fancy my leg going to the spirit land before me!," and had a white dog sleep across her leg by night.
Sometime around December 1880, while at a dinner party with a group including A.O. Hume and his wife, she is claimed to have been instrumental in causing the materialization of Mrs. Hume's lost brooch.
The society headquartered here for some time, but she later went to Germany for a while, in between she stayed at Ostend (15 July 1886 - 1 May 1887) where she could easily meet her English friends. She wrote a big part of the Secret Doctrine in Ostend and there she claimed a revelation during an illness telling her to continue the book at any cost. Finally she went to England.
A disciple put her up in her own house in England and it was here that she lived until the end of her life.
Suffering from heart disease, rheumatism, Bright's disease, and complications from influenza, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky died at 19 Avenue Road, St Johns Wood, the home she shared, in England on May 8, 1891.
Her last words in regard to her work were: "Keep the link unbroken! Do not let my last incarnation be a failure."
Her body was cremated; one third of her ashes were sent to Europe, one third with William Quan Judge to the United States, and one third to India where her ashes were scattered in the Ganges River. May 8 is celebrated by Theosophists, and it is called White Lotus Day.
She was succeeded as head of one branch of the Theosophical Society by her protégé, Annie Besant. Her friend, W.Q. Judge, headed the American Section.
Blavatsky was influenced by the following authors:
Blavatsky's works have shown their influence on the following leaders, thinkers, authors, artists and musicians:
Her many articles have been collected in the Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky. This series has 15 numbered volumes including the index.
Natura sagax--Die geistige Natur: Zum Zusammenhang von Naturphilosophie und Mystik in der fruhen Neuzeit am Beispiel Johann Arndts.(Book review)
Jun 22, 2006; Hanns-Peter Neumann. Natura sagax--Die geistige Natur: Zum Zusammenhang von Naturphilosophie und Mystik in der fruhen Neuzeit am...
Drei Schriften des Theosophen von Tirmid: Das Buch vom Leben der Gottesfreunde; Ein Antwortschreiben nach Sarahs; Ein Antworschreiben nach Rayy.
Apr 01, 1994; Edited by Bernd Radtke. Bibliotheca Islamica, Bd. 35/a. Beirut and Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1991. Pp. 78 (German) + 295...