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Volume 2:351-422

With the Twelfth Stanza, the reader is finally brought into modern history, "This verse (47) relates to the Fifth Race. History does not begin with it, but living and ever-recurring tradition does. History--or what is called history--does not go further back than the fantastic origins of our fifth sub-race, a 'few thousands' of years." This "fifth sub-race" is not a million-year Sub-Race cycle, but one of the "little tribes, shoots, and offshoots" from The Secret Doctrine 2:434 belonging to a National Race. Most likely, it is the 5th Germanic Tribal Race of the 4th European National Race of the 3rd Indo-European Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race of the Fifth Root Race, and it only stretches back into time a "few thousands" of years. In G. de Purucker's Studies on pages 21 and 39, "only the last of these minor sub-races of the Root-Race is known to us, the Germanic." It is the "type of souls called the Teutonic." Therefore, in the "National European Race we are just closing or ending the Fifth, which is a racelet, a small race." To understand how H.P. Blavatsky arrived at modern history, it is necessary to revisit the 3rd Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race and follow its development into the current 4th Sub-Race.

In The Secret Doctrine 2:415-419, H.P. Blavatsky recounted the tale of Prometheus and Io from Aeschylus's play, Prometheus Bound. She wrote, "It points to the last of the mysteries of cyclic transformations, in the series of which mankind, having passed from the ethereal to the solid physical state, from spiritual to physiological procreation, is now carried onward on the opposite arc of the cycle, toward that second phase of its primitive state, when woman knew no man, and human progeny was created, not begotten." As such, Prometheus represents the recalibrated and androgynous Sixth Root-Race. The "Olympic Zeus," who Prometheus someday overthrows, represents the Fifth Root-Race linked to its "lower passions" as the "jealous God, revengeful and cruel in its egotism or I-AM-NESS." This 5th principle, through the assistance of the 6th principle, begets in "the course of cyclic evolution the 'Man-Saviour,' the Solar Bacchus or 'Dionysos,' more than a man" as the 7th principle. During the process, Zeus transforms Io into a white cow to protect her from the goddess Hera, a symbol of physical matter, but gadflies pursue her in her wanderings. Io's identity is easily uncovered due to this transformation. She is the Fifth Root-Race in its 3rd Sub-Race from one million years ago embarking on its journeys to escape the successive destructions of the later portions of Atlantis, or Hera as physical matter. Io is the 3rd stage in any series of cycles, and she is the "cow-horned maid" or Vach, the sacred speech of the 3rd Logos. H.P. Blavatsky previously explained that the divine instructors re-descended in the 3rd Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race to save its humanity. This is why Io meets Prometheus as the divine instructor of the Sixth Root-Race. To reach him, she first escapes the sinking of Atlantis some 850,000 years ago and continues wandering. Then she reaches the Nile River and gives birth to Epaphos in Verses 835-866. Epaphos is the "dark-skinned son to Zeus" and therefore symbolizes the 3rd Sub-Race in its 4th Family Race. He is born on the Nile River because the 3rd Sub-Race, fleeing from Atlantis, settles Egypt. Her journeys through "five generations" symbolize the 5th Family Race of the 3rd Sub-Race and they set the stage for Io's descendant, Heracles, to unleash the Sixth Root-Race in the 6th Family Race of the 3rd Sub-Race.

H.P. Blavatsky recounted the battles along the "coasts of Western Africa" between the Atlanteans and the Hindu-Aryans, per The Secret Doctrine 2:405. The Hindu-Aryans ultimately arrived in Ethiopia, which had previously been an island, and then gradually headed up to the delta along the Nile River where they established Egyptian civilization between 400,000 and 100,000 years ago. But there were further migrations into Egypt by the Hindu-Aryans some 100,000 to 80,000 years ago. The Hindu-Aryans renewed themselves through these migrations into a redesigned generation, the 3rd Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race or the Indo-Europeans. This revitalized Indo-European Family Race, comprising a variety of skin colors from deep brown to pale white, underwent its own series of wanderings until it reached the 3rd National Race. The Indo-European Family Race possessed the Egyptian wisdom from the Hindu-Aryan Sub-Race. With the rumblings of Poseidonis sinking some "nine thousand years" ago in Plato's Critias in Verse 2 or 11,500 years ago in theosophical literature, the 3rd National Race had to flee again. This time, carrying the seeds of the 4th National Race, it journeyed into the Mediterarrean. Here, the Kali-Yuga of the Indo-European Family Race began, though it will not drop to the lowest point of the Kali-Yuga for another 16,000 years. It gave birth to the Pelasgians (Greek forerunners) as well as a host of other continental and island peoples in the 4th National Race. This is why Herodotus (5th century BC) in The Histories 2.50 maintained that "the names of almost all the gods also came to Greece from Egypt." He even mentioned Egyptian records in The Histories 2.142 tracing the line of ancient Egyptian kings to "11,340 years" ago, or the approximate time of the sinking of Poseidonis. It must be remembered that King Danaus, the grandson of Io, brought the ancient female mystery rites of the Thesmophoria (sacred to Demeter) from Egypt and "taught it to the Pelasgian women," per The Histories 2.171. Similarly, Io ended her travels in Syria, thereby signifying the birth of the contemporary Semitic tribes in the region, whether Jewish or Arabic, per The Secret Doctrine 1:319 and 2:5. These contemporary Semitic tribes are "some 8,000 years old," per The Secret Doctrine 2:471.

Now, the explosion of Thera (the Aegean Sea volcano on the Cyclades island) in 1600 BC did not just devastate the island of Santorini but completely altered the course of European culture and migration. Thera was the largest volcanic eruption on record in the last 10,000 years and it signaled a close--though not fully effected until 1240 AD according to Baron Bunsen's model in Isis Unveiled 2:366--to those 3rd National Race civilizations that had previously sought refuge in the Mediterranean. It also signaled the impending split of the 4th National Race in its 4th Tribal Race. The 5th Tribal Race, a Germanic continental people as opposed to an island nation, spread across Europe and dominated the landscape. Soon after, many of these 5th Tribal Race people left Europe to further establish the 5th National Race in the Americas--truly a geographical as well as a cultural split. As the 5th Germanic Tribal Race rose to prominence, the early history of the 3rd and 4th National Races faded into the background as Celtic (they were once "continental" Europeans) and Mediterranean folklore. The 5th Tribal Race had its own cyclical history, most probably originating sometime around the collapse of Santorini and progressing towards its own middle point with the eruption of Vesuvius and the burying of Pompeii in 79 AD. The Dark Ages followed with a "cycle of spiritual barrenness that began "to come to pass about the time of the beginning of the Christian era," per Purucker's Questions We All Ask from January 7, 1930. The 5th Tribal Race reached its middle point and entered its own short Kali-Yuga. The 4th National Race had previously entered its much longer Kali-Yuga with the destruction of Santorini, but with the close of the 3rd National Race probably somewhere between 1600 BC and 1240 AD, it began its rise in the higher aspects of its 5th Tribal Race. G. de Purucker wrote about the bottom of the 5th Tribal Race and the 4th National Race in slightly different ways, but in Dialogues 2:134-135 the lowest point is "reached about the time when Christopher Columbus is stated to have made his Atlantic journey." For him, the cycle we are "now entering upon, or have been entering upon, is a rising one." With the conclusion of downward descent some "three or four hundred years ago," the 4th National Race began its ascent into the 5th National Race and the 5th Tribal Race began its ascent into the 6th Tribal Race. H.P. Blavatsky held the same position in The Secret Doctrine 1:417, "the same law of descent into materiality and re-ascent into spirituality asserted itself during the Christian Era, the reaction having stopped only just now, in our own special sub-race." In Isis Unveiled 1:38, an "era of disenchantment and rebuilding" had already begun. In Letter 23B in The Mahatma Letters on pages 149-150, Mahatma K.H. clarified that the "Western sub-race" as a "small cycle" is "running on to its apex" while the greater cycle is "beginning on its downward course"--an obvious reference to the 4th European National Race in its ascent through the 5th and 6th Tribal Races within the broader descent of the Fifth Root-Race. Like H.P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker, Mahatma K.H. described the "curious rush" running to the apex in the recent Tribal Races over a few "dozens of centuries."


Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound and Other Plays, trans. Philip Vellacott (London: Penguin Books, 1961).

A.T. Barker, comp., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1975).

H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1998).

H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).

Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Plato, Timaeus and Critias, trans. Desmond Lee (London: Penguin Books, 1977).

G. de Purucker, The Dialogues of G. de Purucker (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1948).

G. de Purucker, Questions We All Ask, No. 15 (January 7, 1930). Retrieved from

G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1973).

(Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash)

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