The Campbell Library has an extensive collection of periodicals available for research — about 200 titles. In many cases individual collections are complete, whereas in other cases there are gaps which the Library is trying to fill.
In Selected Periodicals below there are links where all or part of the text of a Periodical is also available online. These links are to Theosophical Texts Online: Online Periodicals and Series which gives specific links to the texts.
In other cases in Selected Periodicals the entry refers to Periodicals available in the Library (although a complete set is not always available).
Where a Periodical is specifically indexed in the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals, a direct link to the relevant Index within that is also provided. Where there is a group of periodicals indexed there is a link to the full list of Periodicals within the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals where indices for these may be found.
The Campbell Library also houses a number of lesser known and rare periodicals, examples of which are listed in Lesser Known/Rare Periodicals. Linking is as described above.
In Information about Australian Periodicals some detailed and historical information about Australian Theosophical Periodicals is provided.
There is available an Index of Australian Theosophical Periodicals Keyword Search.
Pamphlets and Series: a wide range — see Pamphlets
Theosophy-Science journals: a full range
Australian/Australasian ES/EST Bulletin 1912-1929
Broad Views 1904-1906
The Halcyon 1912-1915
The Link 1908-1912
The Magnet 1918-1928
The National Reformer 1876-1884, edited by Charles Bradlaugh. Later, Annie Besant was co-editor and contributor.
The New Californian 1891-1894
The Path (Independent Theosophical Society) 1925-1949
Phoenix Rising 1978-1979
The Pilgrim Way 1941-1947
The Platonist 1881-1885
The Saturn Lodge Monthly 1920 (China)
Theosophical Notes 1950-1978 — * Union Index
The Upadhi 1892-1893 — * Union Index
Probably the most familiar publication produced by the Theosophical Society in Australia is its current magazine Theosophy in Australia. Since the Theosophical Society (TS) came to Australia toward the end of the 19th century various periodicals have been published by different theosophical groups and it is informative to look back at some of them and see what they were and what they aimed to achieve.
The Australasian Section of the TS was founded in 1895. However, theosophists had been active individually and in groups in Australia since the 1880s, and were sufficiently enthusiastic to produce their own publications. These informed members and other readers about local, national and international matters of theosophical interest, provided information about theosophical ideas, provided a forum for discussion on these issues, and reproduced texts of lectures given by members and others. Few books on theosophical ideas were available so the journals and magazines played an important role in making those ideas more widely known. The Campbell Library has a comprehensive collection of Australian periodicals produced by groups and dating from 1892.
The Upadhi was an ‘Australian Monthly Theosophical Publication of News and Opinions’. Edited by TW Willans, the first issue appeared in October 1892 continuing to May 1893. The masthead included the motto: ‘Believe only that which appeals to your reason’. It was a typewritten manuscript as funds for professional printing were not available. It aimed to publish each month two or three questions and answers on theosophical subjects and readers were invited to contribute. Some of the topics covered were: reincarnation, life after death, hypnotism, methods of studying theosophy, atavism and immortality. It also included news from lodges.
The Upadhi continued as The Austral Theosophist, professionally produced, which appeared in January 1894. It was ‘A Magazine devoted to the Diffusion of Knowledge on the Esoteric Philosophy and kindred subjects’. It stated that one of its functions was to dispel misconceptions about theosophy which had ‘no creed to espouse’ and they welcomed ‘criticism from any quarter’. The editor was Ernest Besant-Scott, son-in-law of Annie Besant.
It contained news about lodges as well as reports of papers read at meetings, such as:
Later issues coincided with the visit in 1895 of Annie Besant to Australia. The final issue appeared in February 1895.
Magic, a ‘Monthly Australasian Theosophical Magazine Devoted to Universal Brotherhood, Theosophy and Archaic Science’, first appeared in October 1896 and finished in December of that year. Articles focused on theosophy and associated topics and it included news from branches of the TS in Australasia plus reports of overseas activities, including the founding of the ‘Crusaders’ movement under the leadership of Katherine Tingley
Magic continued as Australian Theosophist, which appeared from January 1897 to February 1898, edited by TW Willans. It also contained news about Australian and overseas branches of the TS, reports of conventions, and articles on topics such as meditation, ethical living, the meaning of life.
Theosophy in Australasia, published by the Australasian Section of the TS, appeared first in April 1895, first edited by John C Staples. It was ‘with extreme modesty and diffidence …. addressed primarily to members of the Society in Australasia and secondarily to all those who, not being members, are yet interested in theosophic lines of thought and activity’. It had three aims: to supply a ‘miniature mirror of the movement in Australasia and elsewhere; to answer questions raised by students of theosophy; and to provide each month ‘one good original article of some subject of general theosophic interest’. It continued to April 1921.
Theosophy in Australia was first published from May 1921 to June 1926. Some of that time it was edited by Josephine Ransom. In July 1926 it became The Australian Theosophist which was edited by GS Arundale. The Australian Theosophist ceased as an official organ of the TS in April 1928. The Australian Section was not able to afford producing both Advance! Australia (see below) and The Australian Theosophist and therefore decided to discontinue production of the latter. CW Leadbeater wrote that he considered that this magazine had a particularly significant part to play in the work of the Society and therefore should continue. Consequently, he and others produced it as a ‘private’ publication from August 1928 to March 1929 after which it again became the official organ of the TS in Australia.
In 1933 The Australian Theosophist incorporating Theosophy in Australia and Advance! Australia was produced in pocket-book size. CW Leadbeater was one of the editors and advertising for selected products was allowed. Again, lack of finance meant it had to cease publication in the same year.
Advance! Australia, published by the Australian Section from July 1926 to April 1929, was ‘A monthly magazine of Australian Citizenship and Ideals in Religion, Education, Literature, Science, Art, Music, Social Life, Politics, etc’. It stood for ‘Brotherhood — National and International and is an organ for all movements whose object is brotherhood and welcomes all constructive discussion and the expression of divergent views set forth in a spirit of courtesy and respect’. Its purpose was the ‘strenuous promotion of Australia’s growth into noble manhood’. Many articles were social and political commentary on pertinent issues — both Australian and international. The editor, George Arundale, expressed the hope that Advance! Australia would become the ‘recognised platform for movements and persons working for Australia’s advancement’.
News and Notes of The TS in Australia was produced from September 1934 to April-May 1936. Clara Codd, the then General Secretary, was editor and it covered: editorial, international and lodge news, book reviews and reprints of valuable articles from various sources. Originally it was type-written then printed professionally.
Theosophy in Australia appeared again in 1936 and has continued to the present.
Australian ES Bulletin was published from 1912 to 1929. The editors were first TH Martin and later CW Leadbeater.
The Star in the East (Australian Division) was published in 1918-1926, initially edited by TH Martyn and later by Mary E Rocke.
Australian Star News was published 1926-1927, edited by JL Davidge.
Star — Australia and New Zealand was published in 1928, edited by JL Davidge.
Dawn, a ‘Magazine devoted to the promotion of Universal Brotherhood’, was the official organ of the TS Loyalty League which originated in Sydney in 1921. The magazine lasted from November 1921 to November 1924 and was published in alternate months. Articles covered topics such as the future of the TS, meditation, clairvoyants, schools of occultism, spiritual healing.
The Path was the international official organ of the Independent Theosophical Society (ITS). It was ‘A magazine devoted to the theosophical message of HP Blavatsky’. It was published from 1925 to 1949. [The ITS was changed to the Sydney Theosophical Society (STS) in 1957. The STS was dissolved in 1959 and most of its members formed the ISIS Lodge of the TS (Adyar).]
Voyage was published 1946-1950, edited by Sidney Dorne. (Krishnamurti)
Cosmos was published as a broadsheet magazine from 1973 to 1983. The editors and contributing editors included Peter Glasson, Nevill Drury, Yvonne Malykke, John Cooper.
Inner Dialogue was published from 1983 to 1989. The editors included Dara Kobor, Baden Offord, John Ryan and Christopher McFarlane.
Theosophy-Science Group Newsletter has been published since 1984, edited by Hugh Murdoch from 1984 to March 2011 and by Victor Gostin from December 2011.