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The Society was founded in 1875 by Helena P. Blavatsky (1831-1891) in an effort to promote the expressed awareness of the Oneness of Life. The word is derived from the Greek theos (god, divinity) and sophia (wisdom). Its philosophy is a contemporary presentation of the perennial wisdom underlying the world's religions, sciences, and philosophies.The primary purpose of the Theosophical Society is to encourage altruism and compassion.


The Theosophical Society is a worldwide association dedicated to the uplifting of humanity through a better understanding of the oneness of life and the practical application of this principle. Founded in New York City in 1875 by Helena P. Blavatsky, Henry S. Olcott, William Q. Judge, and several others; it is an expression of a spiritual and educational movement.

A few years after the death of Blavatsky, the Society split into two organizations; one, moving to the international headquarters in India  under the direction of  Olcott and Annie Besant (known as TS in America); the second under the direction of Judge to New York City and then finally, under the direction of Colonel Arthur L. Conger in 1945 to Altadena, California. Both continue to uphold the Society's objectives.  

Its library is located at 2416 N. Lake Avenue, Altadena, California 91001 USA. 

"History of the Theosophical Society." https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/ts/h_tshist.htm.