I recently stumbled across an article on the topic of Occult Chemistry while researching something else (which is how I end up finding most of the coolest weird stuff I find). Interestingly, the article was about Francis Aston’s discovery in the early 1900s of a new type of neon gas and his linking it with an atom whose existence had previously been predicted via clairvoyance by two “occult chemists”–Charles Webster Leadbeater and Mrs. Annie Besant. Both were members of The Theosophical Society (founded in November 1875 in New York City to advance the study of esoteric philosophy).
While a majority of the scientific information I read goes over my head, I consider myself at least intelligent enough to grasp the concepts presented, and so here I endeavor to rewrite the story in plain English.
In August 1895, Leadbeater, Besant and a small group of Theosophists gathered in Box Hill, Surrey, England to use “clairvoyant powers” to directly observe atoms. They observed 57 of the the 78 recognized chemical elements and later recorded their findings regarding hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen in an article entitled “Occult Chemistry” in the Theosophical magazine Lucifer in November 1895. Later observations of all of the elements would be published in The Theosophist and in three editions of Occult Chemistry in 1909, 1919, and 1951. These published findings included schematic diagrams and later realistic drawings of individual atoms.
Aston’s “meta-neon” was later found to actually be isotopes and part of the basis for nuclear physics. However, when Aston reported his research, he essentially rewrote the scientific history of his discoveries by leaving out reference to his earlier corroboration of Leadbeater and Besant’s findings, believing that reference to “occult chemistry” may have proved embarrassing to the scientific community of the time.
However, in the late 1970s, a physics graduate student at the University of California, Stephen Phillips, came across some of the diagrams and drawings from Leadbeater and Besant’s Occult Chemistry and said that “Besant and Leadbeater’s clairvoyant descriptions of the chemical elements are completely consistent with the Quark, Quantum Chromodynamic and Super-String theories of modern subatomic physics,” essentially reinterpreting their identifications to be not of atoms (which had been previously discredited by the scientific establishment), but of subquarks and quarks, the introduction of the latter into modern physics being only as recent as 1964.
The shapes they described, the fact that they observed isotopes of elements before isotopes were widely recognized in science, the fact that they observed spinning and vibrating motions of these particles, and a host of other relevant observations; all of these are ideas that were completely unknown to the science of their day. Gary Pnym, engineer.
I’m not presenting this information here as anything other than an interesting footnote in the history of science and the occult. I’m a longtime firm believer in the theory that “magic” is nothing more than science that we haven’t the capacity to understand, or explain…yet.
For more information:
Occultism and the atom: the curious story of isotopes (Physics World Archives)
MicroPsi and String Theory: How Occultists Beat Physicists to the Punch
Occult Chemistry by Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater (Project Gutenberg)