Cover image for The secret teachings of all ages : an encyclopedic outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic, and Rosicrucian symbolical philosophy : being an interpretation of the secret teachings concealed within the rituals, allegories, and mysteries of the ages
The secret teachings of all ages : an encyclopedic outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic, and Rosicrucian symbolical philosophy : being an interpretation of the secret teachings concealed within the rituals, allegories, and mysteries of the ages
Hall, Manly P. (Manly Palmer), 1901-1990.
Reader's edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, [2003]

Physical Description:
751 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Los Angeles, Calif : Philosophical Research Society, 1928.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF1411 .H3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
BF1411 .H3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BF1411 .H3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A classic since 1928, this masterly encyclopedia of ancient mythology, ritual, symbolism, and the arcane mysteries of the ages is available for the first time in a compact "reader's edition."

Like no other book of the twentieth century, Manly P. Hall's legendary The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a codex to the ancient occult and esoteric traditions of the world. Students of hidden wisdom, ancient symbols, and arcane practices treasure Hall's magnum opus above all other works.

While many thousands of copies have sold since its initial publication in 1928, The Secret Teachings of All Ages has previously been available only in oversized, expensive editions. For the first time, Hall's celebrated classic is now published in an affordable trade paperback volume. Literally hundreds of entries shine a rare light on some of the most fascinating and closely held aspects of myth, religion, and philosophy from throughout the centuries.

More than one hundred line drawings and a sixteen-page color insert reproduce some of the finest illustrations of the original book, while reset and reformatted text makes this edition of The Secret Teachings of All Ages newly accessible to readers everywhere.

Author Notes

Manly P. Hall (1901-1990) was one of the leading esoteric scholars of the twentieth century. In 1934, he founded the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1928, a 20-something Renaissance man named Manly Hall self-published a vast encyclopedia of the occult, believing that "modern" ideas of progress and materialism were displacing more important and ancient modes of knowledge. Hall's text has become a classic reference, dizzying in its breadth: various chapters explore Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, alchemy, cryptology, Tarot, pyramids, the Zodiac, Pythagorean philosophy, Masonry and gemology, among other topics. This affordably priced edition would be vastly improved by a new foreword, placing the work in some kind of historical and critical context and introducing readers to the basic contours of Hall's sweeping corpus. Instead, we have a disciple's adulatory 1975 foreword, which merely parrots the same themes of mystery and esoterica that are espoused in the book. Readers who are unfamiliar with Hall's work will be at a loss in ferreting out which chapters have stood the test of time and which have been vigorously debunked (like the one on Islam, which actually uses novelist Washington Irving as a primary source on the prophet Muhammad). However, they will also marvel at the sheer scope of Hall's research and imagination, and at J. Augustus Knapp's famous illustrations, including a 16-page color insert. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Originally published in 1928, this encyclopedia of ancient mythology, symbolism, and arcane mysteries was written when Hall (1901-90), a respected scholar of esoteric traditions and founder of the Philosophical Research Society, was only 27. Now resized and reformatted for ease of understanding, this affordable "reader's edition" retains Hall's original text and bibliography, along with reproductions of the finest illustrations of the original. The work contains hundreds of entries that define everything from "mystery" religions (those with secret lore, legends, and rites) and Pythagorian philosophy to the Qabbalah, the Tarot, alchemy, the Rosicrusians, Islam, and American Indian symbolism. Because Hall was a 33 Freemason, much of the book is devoted to examining how the ancient mysteries have contributed to Masonic symbolism. This classic of the occult must be read with an open mind since many biases of the time are evident. For example, Hall states categorically that Francis Bacon is the real author of Shakespeare's works and that the "true" facts concerning the identity of Jesus are to be found only in the "secret vaults beneath the "Houses of the Brethren." Although none of the secrets of any mystery religion is actually revealed here, its accessible new format will warrant interest among public and academic library patrons.-Kathy Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Reader's Editionp. 1
Preface to the Diamond Jubilee Editionp. 3
Forewordp. 5
Prefacep. 9
I Introductionp. 13
II The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies Which Have Influenced Modern Masonic Symbolism, Part Ip. 39
Ancient systems of education
Celsus concerning the Christians
Knowledge necessary to right living
The Druidic Mysteries of Britain and Gaul
The Rites of Mithras
The Mithraic and Christian Mysteries contrasted
III The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies, Part IIp. 53
The Gnostic Mysteries
Simon Magus and Basilides
Abraxas, the Gnostic concept of Deity
The Mysteries of Serapis
Labyrinth symbolism
The Odinic, or Gothic, Mysteries
IV The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies, Part IIIp. 67
The Eleusinian Mysteries
The Lesser Rites
The Greater Rites
The Orphic Mysteries
The Bacchic Mysteries
The Dionysiac Mysteries
V Atlantis and the gods of Antiquityp. 79
Plato's Atlantis in the light of modern science
The Myth of the Dying God
The Rite of Tammuz and Ishtar
The Mysteries of Atys and Adonis
The Rites of Sabazius
The Cabiric Mysteries of Samothrace
VI The Life and Writings of Thoth Hermes Trismegistusp. 92
Suppositions concerning identity of Hermes
The mutilated Hermetic fragments
The Book of Thoth
Poimandres, the Vision of Hermes
The Mystery of Universal Mind
The Seven Governors of the World
VII The Initiation of the Pyramidp. 107
The opening of the Great Pyramid by Caliph al Mamoun
The passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid
The riddle of the Sphinx
The Pyramid Mysteries
The secret of the Pyramid coffer
The dwelling place of the Hidden God
VIII Isis, the Virgin of the Worldp. 121
The birthdays of the gods
The murder of Osiris
The Hermetic Isis
The symbols peculiar to Isis
The Troubadours
The mummification of the deadp. 121
IX The Sun, a Universal Deityp. 134
The Solar Trinity
Christianity and the Sun
The birthday of the Sun
The three Suns
The celestial inhabitants of the Sun
The midnight Sun
X The Zodiac and Its Signsp. 148
Primitive astronomical instruments
The equinoxes and solstices
The astrological ages of the world
The circular zodiac of Tentyra
An interpretation of the zodiacal signs
The horoscope of the world
XI The Bembine Table of Isisp. 162
Plato's initiation in the Great Pyramid
The history of the Bembine Table
Platonic theory of ideas
The interplay of the three philosophical zodiacs
The Chaldean philosophy of triads
The Orphic Egg
XII Wonders of Antiquityp. 178
The ever-burning lamps
The oracle of Delphi
The Dodonean oracle
The oracle of Trophonius
The Seven Wonders of the world
The initiated architects
XIII The Life and Philosophy of Pythagorasp. 191
Pythagoras and the School of Crotona
Pythagoric fundamentals
The symmetrical solids
The symbolic aphorisms of Pythagoras
Pythagorean astronomy
Kepler's theory of the universe
XIV Pythagorean Mathematicsp. 206
The theory of numbers
The numerical values of letters
Method of securing the numerical power of words
An introduction to the Pythagorean theory of numbers
The sieve of Eratosthenes
The meanings of the ten numbers
XV The Human Body in Symbolismp. 222
The philosophical manikin
The three universal centers
The temples of initiation
The hand in symbolism
The greater and lesser man
The Anthropos, or Oversoul
XVI The Hiramic Legendp. 234
The building of Solomon's Temple
The murder of CHiram Abiff
The martyrdom of Jacques de Molay
The spirit fire and the pineal gland
The wanderings of the astronomical CHiram
Cleopatra's Needle and Masons' marks
XVII The Pythagorean Theory of Music and Colorp. 249
Pythagoras and the diatonic scale
Therapeutic music
The music of the spheres
The use of color in symbolism
The colors of the spectrum and the musical scale
Zodiacal and planetary colors
XVIII Fishes, Insects, Animals, Reptiles, and Birds, Part Ip. 261
Jonah and the whale
The fish, the symbol of Christ
The Egyptian scarab
Jupiter's fly
The serpent of wisdom
The sacred crocodile
IXX Fishes, Insects, Animals, Reptiles, and Birds, Part IIp. 276
The dove, the yonic emblem
The self-renewing phoenix
The Great Seal of the United States of America
Bast, the cat goddess of the Ptolemies
Apis, the sacred bull
The monoceros, or unicorn
XX Flowers, Plants, Fruits, and Treesp. 290
The flower, a phallic symbol
The lotus blossom
The Scandinavian World Tree, Yggdrasil
The sprig of acacia
The juice of the grape
The magical powers of the mandrake
XXI Stones, Metals, and Gemsp. 302
Prehistoric monuments
The tablets of the Law
The Holy Grail
The ages of the world
Talismanic jewels
Zodiacal and planetary stones and gems
XXII Ceremonial Magic and Sorceryp. 315
The black magic of Egypt
Doctor Johannes Faustus
The Mephistopheles of the Grimores
The invocation of spirits
Pacts with demons
The symbolism of the pentagram
XXIII The Elements and Their Inhabitantsp. 328
The Paracelsian theory of submundanes
The orders of elemental beings
The Gnomes, Undines, Salamanders, and Sylphs
The incubus and succubus
XXIV Hermetic Pharmacology, Chemistry, and Therapeuticsp. 343
The healing methods of Paracelsus
Hermetic theories concerning the cause of disease
Medicinal properties of herbs
The use of drugs in the Mysteries
The sect of the Assassins
XXV The Qabbalah, the Secret Doctrine of Israelp. 356
The written and unwritten laws
The origin of the Qabbalistic writings
Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai
The great Qabbalistic books
The divisions of the Qabbalistic system
The Sepher Yetzirah
XXVI Fundamentals of Qabbalistic Cosmogonyp. 371
AIN SOPH and the Cosmic Egg
The Qabbalistic system of worlds
The Qabbalistic interpretation of Ezekiel's vision
The great image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream
The Grand Man of the universe
The fifty gates of life
XXVII The Tree of the Sephirothp. 385
The thirty-two paths of wisdom
The Greater and the Lesser Face
Kircher's Sephirothic Tree
The mystery of Daath
The three pillars supporting the Sephirothic Tree
The four letters of the Sacred Name
XXVIII Qabbalistic Keys to the Creation of Manp. 395
Gematria, Notarikon, and Temurah
The Elohim
The four Adams
Arabian traditions concerning Adam
Adam as the archetype of mankind
The Early Christian Church on the subject of marriage
XXIX An Analysis of the Tarot Cardsp. 409
The origin of playing cards
The rota mundi of the Rosicrucians
The problem of Tarot symbolism
The unnumbered card
The symbolism of the twenty-one major trumps
The suit cards
XXX The Tabernacle in the Wildernessp. 427
Moses, the Egyptian initiate
The building of the Tabernacle
The furnishings of the Tabernacle
The Ark of the Covenant
The Robes of Glory
The Urim and Thummim
XXXI The Fraternity of the Rose Crossp. 441
The life of Father C.R.C.
Johann Valentin Andreae
The alchemical teachings of the Rosicrucians
Significance of the Rose Cross
The Rosicrucian Temple
The adepts of the Rose Cross
XXXII Rosicrucian Doctrines and Tenetsp. 455
The Confessio Fraternitatis
The Anatomy of Melancholy
John Heydon on Rosicrucianism
The three mountains of the wise
The philosophical egg
The objects of the Rosicrucian Order
XXXIII Fifteen Rosicrucian and Gabbalistic Diagramsp. 467
Schamayim, the Ocean of Spirit
The Seven Days of Creation
The symbolic tomb of Christian Rosencreutz
The regions of the elements
The New Jerusalem
The grand secret of Nature
XXXIV Alchemy and Its Exponentsp. 480
The multiplication of metals
The medal of Emperor Leopold I
Paracelsus of Hohenheim
Raymond Lully
Nicholas Flammel
Count Bernard of Treviso
XXXV The Theory and Practice of Alchemy, Part Ip. 494
The origin of alchemical philosophy
Alexander the Great and the talking trees
Nature and art
Alchemical symbolism
The Song of Solomon
The Philosopher's Gold
XXXVI The Theory and Practice of Alchemy, Part IIp. 510
The alchemical prayer
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes
A letter from the Brothers of R.C.
The magical Mountain of the Moon
An alchemical formula
The dew of the sages
XXXVII The Chemical Marriagep. 525
Christian Rosencreutz is invited to the Chemical Wedding
The Virgo Lucifera
The philosophical Inquisition
The Tower of Olympus
The homunculi
The Knights of the Golden Stone
XXXVIII Bacon, Shakspere, and the Rosicruciansp. 539
The Rosicrucian mask
Life of William Shakspere
Sir Francis Bacon
The acrostic signatures
The significant number thirty-three
The philosophic death
XXXIX The Cryptogram as a Factor in Symbolic Philosophyp. 552
Secret alphabets
The biliteral cipher
Pictorial ciphers
Acroamatic ciphers
Numerical and musical ciphers
Code ciphers
XL Freemasonic Symbolismp. 566
The pillars raised by the son of Seth
Enoch and the Royal Arches
The Dionysiac Architects
The Roman Collegia
Solomon, the personification of Universal Wisdom
Freemasonry's priceless heritage
XLI Mystic Christianityp. 579
St. Iranaeus on the life of Christ
The original name of Jesus
The Christened man
The Essenes
The Arthurian cycle
Merlin the Mage
XLII The Cross and the Crucifixionp. 592
The Aurea Legenda
The lost libraries of Alexandria
The cross in pagan symbolism
The crucifixion, a cosmic allegory
The crucifixion of Quetzalcoatl
The nails of the Passion
XLIII The Mystery of the Apocalypsep. 607
The sacred city of Ephesus
The authorship of the Apocalypse
The Alpha and Omega
The Lamb of God
The Four Horsemen
The number of the beast
XLIV The Faith of Islamp. 619
The life of Mohammed
The revelation of the Koran
The valedictory pilgrimage
The tomb of the Prophet
The Caaba at Mecca
The secret doctrine of Islam
XLV American Indian Symbolismp. 633
The ceremony of the peace pipe
The historical Hiawatha
The Popol Vuh
American Indian sorcery
The Mysteries of Xibalba
The Midewiwin
XLVI The Mysteries and Their Emissariesp. 647
The Golden Chain of Homer
Hypatia, the Alexandrian Neo-Platonist
The "divine" Cagliostro
The Comte de St.-Germain
The designing of the American flag
The Declaration of Independence
XLVII Conclusionp. 661
Bibliographyp. 673
Indexp. 693
About the Authorp. 755