Secret Teachings of All Ages
many thousands of copies have sold since its initial publication in
1928, The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall has previously
been available only in oversized, expensive editions costing up to $500.
For the first time, Hall's celebrated classic is now published in an
affordable 672-page trade paperback volume that measures 9.5 x 6 x 2
inches and weighs 2.5 pounds! 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
easier-to-read text makes this edition of The Secret Teachings of All
Ages newly accessible to readers everywhere. The Secret Teachings of
All Ages will tutor you on the ancient mysteries, secret societies,
philosophy, myth and religion. The massive tome includes chapters on
Alchemy, Pythagoras, the Rosicrucians, Qabbalism, mystic Christianity,
the Tarot, the Zodiac – 46 chapters in all. 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. Order now
to receive a free copy of Alchemy of the Heart.
About Manley Palmer Hall
Manly P. Hall (1901 -1990), born in Peterborough, Ontario was raised
in United States by his maternal grandmother. He began his studies in
esoteric knowledge at a very young age and by 20 (see picture at right)
was giving lectures in California. In 1934 he founded the Philosophical
Research Society in Los Angeles, dedicating it to the "ensoulment
of all arts, sciences, and crafts, and devoted to the one basic purpose
of advancing the brotherhood of all that lives, to meet all lovers of
wisdom on a common ground." In over seventy-five years of dynamic
public activity, he delivered more than 8,000 lectures in the United
States and abroad, and authored countless books, essays, and articles.
In his lectures and writings, Manly Hall always emphasized the practical
aspects of philosophy and religion as they applied to daily living.
He restated for modern man those spiritual and ethical doctrines which
have given humanity its noblest ideals and most adequate codes of conduct.
Believing that philosophy is a working tool to help the individual in
building a solid foundation for his dreams and purposes, Manly Hall
steadfastly sought recognition of the belief that world civilization
can be perfected only when human beings meet on a common ground of intelligence,
cooperation, and worthy purpose.
1901 - 1990
PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN SAGE
The 1920s and 1930s were times of great religious, philosophical, and
spiritual renewal and discovery in America—times much like our
own. A number of outstanding teachers emerged from this period.
Born on March 18, 1901 in Peterborough, Ontario, Manly Palmer Hall was
raised by his maternal grandmother who brought him to the United States
when he was very young. From an early age, Mr. Hall studied the full
range of the world’s ancient wisdom traditions. Unlike so many
of his contemporaries, he concluded that wisdom was not to be found
on only one path or in only one religion. Instead, he saw wisdom as
the highest realm where philosophy, religion, and science come together
without boundaries. Barely twenty years old, the gifted young man began
his public career in the fall of 1920 when he was invited to speak to
a small group in a room over a bank in Santa Monica, California on the
subject of reincarnation. The following year he was asked to hold a
lecture program in Los Angeles and continued teaching and writing for
another six decades. He showed thousands how universal wisdom could
be found in the myths, mysteries, and symbols of the ancient Western
Mystery teachings and how to embody this wisdom in their own lives.
Once when a young student asked him to autograph one of his books, he
wrote the following:
“To learn is to live, to study is to grow, and growth is the measurement
of life. The mind must be taught to think, the heart to feel, and the
hands to labor. When these have been educated to their highest point,
then is the time to offer them to the service of their fellowman, not
Mr. Hall always felt that before the student could embark on an esoteric
career, they must first build a sound and sane personality from which
to launch such an endeavor, this he explains in his book, Self Unfoldment
By Disciplines of Realization.
His first publications were two small pamphlets, The Breastplate of
the High Priest and Wands and Serpents. (These are still in print as
part of a booklet entitled Symbolic Essays). Two books he wrote in the
early 1920s, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry and The Ways of the Lonely
Ones, are also available and have enjoyed numerous re-printings through
During this period Mr. Hall began planning his large volume on symbolical
philosophy, The Secret Teachings of All Ages. He traveled extensively
in 1923 and 1924, visiting many great cultural centers in Europe, Asia,
and Egypt. A favorite place of Mr. Hall’s for searching out rare
and ancient wisdom texts was the British Museum in London.
“The great center of learning in England is the British Museum,
with its miles of bookcases, which caused De Quincy to sit and weep
because he could not read all the volumes. In order to gain access to
the two principal departments of the museum-one of rare books, and the
other of manuscripts—it was necessary to be appropriately sponsored.
I had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with General Sir Francis
Younghusband, the man who led the British expedition into Tibet in 1903-1904,
and camped his army at the foot of the Potola at Lhasa. While dining
one day at the Officer’s Club, Sir Francis confided to me that
he was known as the conqueror of Tibet, but he regarded this as a dubious
honor. The real fact, he said, was that Tibetan religion and philosophy
had conquered him. A note from Sir Francis immediately gave me admission
to the most valuable parts of the British Museum, and I was able to
examine the originals of many of the world’s most priceless books
and manuscripts.” (from the PRS Journal Winter 1959)
These travels strengthened his convictions about the importance of comparative
religion and deepened his understanding of significant contributions
made in the interest of human spiritual evolution. Immediately upon
his return, he set seriously to work on his encyclopedic outline of
the Western esoteric tradition, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, which
describes in some detail the most ancient theory of education, which
was in the keeping of the Mystery schools.
It took Mr. Hall six years to complete the work on the book and raise
the enormous sum of $100,000 in 1928 necessary to print the first edition.
During this time he had a brief career on Wall Street, the outstanding
event of which was witnessing a man depressed over investment losses
take his own life, of this period he wrote.
“My fleeting contact with high finance resulted in serious doubts
concerning business as it was being conducted at that time. It was apparent
that materialism was in complete control of the economic structure,
the final objective of which was for the individual to become part of
a system providing an economic security at the expense of the human
soul, mind, and body.
I felt strongly moved to explore the problems of humanity, its origin
and destiny, and I spent a number of quiet hours in the New York Public
Library tracing the confused course of civilization. With a very few
exceptions modern authorities downgraded all systems of idealistic philosophy
and the deeper aspects of comparative religion. Translations of classical
authors could differ greatly, but in most cases the noblest thoughts
were eliminated or denigrated. Those more sincere authors whose knowledge
of ancient languages was profound were never included as required reading,
and scholarship was based largely upon the acceptance of a sterile materialism.
Fortunately, since contemporary scholarship had little regard for the
wisdom of the past, there was no premium on the earlier texts. As a
result I assembled a fair collection of the works of those forgotten
sages to whose labors the world owes a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
(from The Secret Teachings of All Ages).
In 1934 Mr. Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society, dedicating
it to the ensoulment of all arts, sciences, and crafts, and devoted
to the one basic purpose of advancing the brotherhood of all that lives,
to meet all lovers of wisdom on a common ground. The society still hosts
a wide range of lectures, seminars, workshops and performances on philosophical
subjects and runs a bookstore and library. Located in the Los Feliz
area of Los Angeles since its inception, it has for decades been a place
of learning for all spiritual traditions and was designated a Cultural
Site by Los Angeles City Council in 1994.
In 1990 Mr. Hall was recognized as an honorary 33º Mason (the highest
rank possible in the Scottish Rite). To understand this honor we observe
that others on this list are former President Gerald Ford, Norman Vincent
Peale, Senator J. Strom Thurmond, and Gene Autry! No doubt this honor
is due to Mr. Hall’s lifelong study of the philosophical basis
of Freemasonry, writing several books on the subject, The Lost Keys
of Freemasonry, Masonic Orders of Fraternity, Freemasonry of the Ancient
Egyptian, The Secret Destiny of America, and his belief our continent
was set aside for a great experiment of enlightened self-government
by ancient philosophers, and that the seeds of this plan for the founding
of America were planted one thousand years before the Christian era
and is partly revealed in the symbolism of the Great Seal of the United
“Thousands of years ago, in Egypt, these mystical orders were
aware of the existence of the western hemisphere and the great continent
which we call America. The bold resolution was made that this western
continent should become the site of the philosophic empire. Just when
this was done it is impossible now to say, but certainly the decision
was reached prior to the time of Plato, for a thinly veiled statement
of this resolution is the substance of his treatise on the Atlantic
Islands.” (from his book, The Secret Destiny of America).
However to allay any conspiracy enthusiasts, it should be clearly stated
that PRS is an entirely separate and independent organization with no
links to the Masonic movement. Surely it must be a measure of the man,
that Mr. Hall never used PRS as a recruiting station for Masonic membership,
and what he held important was the inner philosophical tradition of
Of all the adepts in history perhaps Mr. Hall’s favorite was Sir
Francis Bacon, Viscount St. Albans, whose genius still shines down to
us through the centuries. It was his sincere belief that Bacon, a Rosicrucian
Initiate, was the real author who penned the Shakesperean plays, for
what has come to be known as the Bacon-Shakespeare-Rosicrucian Controversy.
“The philosophic ideals promulgated throughout the Shakespearean
plays distinctly demonstrate their author to have been thoroughly familiar
with certain doctrines and tenets peculiar to Rosicrucianism; in fact
the profundity of the Shakespearean productions stamps their creator
as one of the Illuminati of the ages. Most of those seeking a solution
for the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy have been intellectualists. Notwithstanding
their scholarly attainments, they have overlooked the important part
played by transcendentalism in the philosophic achievements of the ages.
The mysteries of superphysics are inexplicable to the materialist, whose
training does not equip him to estimate the extent of their ramifications
and complexities. Yet who but a Platonist, a Qabbalist, or a Pythagorean
could have written The Tempest, Macbeth, Hamlet, or the Tragedy of Cymbeline?
Who but one deeply versed in Paracelsian lore could have conceived A
Midsummer’s Night’s Dream?” (from The Secret Teachings
of All Ages).
Writing about the life of Manly P. Hall is no simple matter, as he was
unremittingly prolific in all his endeavors. Mr. Hall authored over
two hundred books on occult subjects ranging from works on astrology,
the Bible, Tarot, dreams, mysticism, Eastern and Western philosophy,
religion, psychology, symbology, and reincarnation, plus hundreds of
essays and a monthly magazine published called the PRS Journal. Over
the course of six decades he delivered eight thousand lectures. He spoke
for up to two hours extemporaneously, weaving a mesmerizing tapestry
of wisdom. He was recognized both in the United States and in Europe
by rare book-dealers as a knowledgeable collector of philosophical treatises
and hermetic/alchemical manuscripts, some dating back to the fifteenth
century. His collection of books brought about the creation of the PRS
Library, which is still visited by scholars today and is perhaps unique
in the US. Mr. Hall loaned books on Alchemy from his collection to Professor
Carl Jung when he was writing his now famous book entitled Psychology
Many people admired and respected this man for many individual reasons.
He was well-traveled, having trekked and collected throughout the Far
East; it was fun to hear his marvelous travel stories. Some knew him
as an internationally famed stamp collector, many were charmed by his
childhood memories from his book Growing up with Grandmother; but always
he spoke to people with dignity and respect, never trying to overwhelm
them with his encyclopedic knowledge of the spiritual traditions. He
championed the value of an idealistic philosophical education for all
in the classical tradition of Pythagoras, Paracelsus, Lord Bacon, Plato,
Socrates, and all the philosophers of history who believed in a rational
world soul. He wanted nothing more than to assist the great philosophers
of history to fulfill their honorable plans for the nation and the planet.
"Hence the disciple of the Ancient Wisdom is taught to realize
that man is not essentially a personality, but a spirit."—Manly
One of the metaphysical giants of the Twentieth Century, Manly P. Hall
spent decades researching eastern philosophy, occult studies, astrology,
and a wide variety of related topics at a time when such subjects were
still unknown territory in the western world. It is in no small measure
due to his extensive writings and teachings that these subjects are
so widely known today.
A prime example of the visionary Balsamic Moon type, Hall had Sun in
Pisces, Moon in Aquarius. He earned a Ph.D. in literature, was a 33rd
Degree Mason, was a Rosicrucian initiate, and wrote over 200 books.
In 1934, Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society, which continues
his work and preserves his legacy today. An extensive tribute and biography
is available at their website.
BIRTH AND DEATH DATA: AstroDatabank classes his data as DD because there
are conflicting reports. The following information was provided by the
Philosophical Research Society to Lois Rodden. He was born on March
18, 1901, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, between 5:00 and 6:00 AM,
but rectified to 4:57 AM, which would give him Aquarius rising as well.
He died on August 29, 1990, in his long-time residence of Hollywood,
California, at the age of 89.
On June 8, 2004, Will Dotson wrote to this Memorial, "Manly P.
Hall was born at 6:02 AM and not the time mentioned. He is a double
Pisces.I have personally retified Manly's chart from a list of all the
major events in his life. After I told Manly his correct time, some
years later Manly found a slip of paper in one of his drawers where
his mother had written his time of birth. The time I had given Manly
was the same as his mother's."