Madame Théon, Alta Una, Mother Superior

The Life and Personas of Mary Ware (1839–1908)

In: Aries

The Cosmic Movement was founded in the early 20th century by two mysterious esoteric teachers, Max Théon, and his wife, Madame Théon. Madame Théon, who was also known as Una and Alma, had a leading role in the movement—but, her disciples did not know her real name, her origins, or her history before she met Théon. This article shall introduce new information concerning the early history of Madame Théon, which enables to determine with precision her identity and origins, the main stages in her life, and her intellectual and spiritual activities and transformations.

  • 2

    NaharMirra the Occultist257.

  • 3

    Christian Chanel‘De La “Fraternite Hermetique De Louxor” au “Mouvement Cosmique”: L’Oeuvre de Max Théon’215.

  • 4

    Ibid.216.

  • 5

    Ibid.94.

  • 6

    Ibid.216–229.

  • 9

    See Chanel‘Théon Max’ 1112–1113; Heehs ‘The Kabbalah’226–227. For a comprehensive discussion of the Cosmic Philosophy see the second volume of Chanel’s ‘L’Oeuvre de Max Théon’.

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  • 10

    Godwin Chanel & DeveneyThe Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor338; Chanel ‘L’Oeuvre de Max Théon’ vol. 1 28; vol. 2 519; Heehs ‘The Kabbalah’ 233–239. According to Mirra Alfassa Sri Aurobindo read the publications of the Cosmic Movement found interest in them and adopted some of its terminology. See Nahar Mirra The Occultist 42.

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  • 13

    Heehs‘The Kabbalah’224.

  • 14

    ThémanlysUn séjour7.

  • 15

    Ibid.10.

  • 16

    Ibid.9.

  • 17

    Ibid.25.

  • 18

    Ibid.2628 etc.

  • 19

    Ibid.92.

  • 20

    Ibid.27.

  • 21

    Ibid.66–68.

  • 22

    Ibid.93.

  • 23

    Ibid.99.

  • 26

    Ibid.Without Passport51. Richard was less impressed with Théon who he says looked the part of the Master ‘with his long hair Jewish skull cup and monastic robe’ Ibid. 50. Richard says he didn’t learn anything special from him except some Kabbalistic interpretations of the scriptures.

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  • 28

    La MèreEntretiens 1957–195866.

  • 31

    NaharMirra the Occultist134.

  • 32

    La MèreEntretiens69–70. I have followed the translation of Nahar Mirra the Occultist 121–122.

  • 35

    La MèreEntretiens68; Mother’s Agenda vol. 1 441; Nahar Mirrra The Occultist 21 42 119. Sujata Nahar cites a postcard which was sent on August 25 1905 from Tlemcen in which Théon who signed the letter Aïa Aziz (Théon) applauds Mirra Alfassa for her rendering of the Chronicle of Chi: ‘Your transcription of the “Chron of Chi” is full of life and of liveliness. Merci. The termination of the brochure is worthy of our mutual friend and cannot fail to be of great use to the Cause we all love and serve together.’ Nahar Mirra the Occultist 25 (A photocopy of the postcard is included Ibid 26). Nahar cites another letter dated July 20 1905 which also relates to the preparation of texts for publication in the Cosmique Revue. See Ibid 24.

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  • 36

    Ibid441–442.

  • 45

    Entries of November 2 1884March 1 1885 and June 14 1885.

  • 47

    UnaObjects Axioms Laws &c. 2.

  • 48

    UnaSayings of the Sibyl Alta Una2.

  • 49

    Ibid.3.

  • 50

    Ibid.4.

  • 51

    Ibid.8.

  • 52

    Ibid.7.

  • 61

    Ibid.726.

  • 62

    Ibid.727.

  • 66

    Teresa’s Diary November 2 1884.

  • 73

    Teresa’s Diary 8 March 1886.

  • 76

    Ibid. (1885) 349.

  • 78

    Ibid. (1885) 350–351; and see Ibid. (1937) 313–314.

  • 79

    Ibid. (1885) 352; and see Ibid. (1937) 315.

  • 80

    Ibid. (1885) 352. According to the later version the Convent was intended for the reformation of dipsomaniacs Ibid. (1937) 319.

  • 81

    Ibid. (1937) 316–320.

  • 82

    Ibid. (1885) 352.

  • 83

    Ibid. (1885) 362. Cf. Ibid. (1937) 325.

  • 84

    Ibid. (1885) 361–362.

  • 85

    Ibid. (1885) 433. Cf. Ibid. (1937) 394–395.

  • 86

    Ibid. (1885) 433.

  • 87

    Ibid. (1885) 434. Cf. Ibid. (1937) 396–397.

  • 88

    See: Ibid. (1885) 350–351/(1937) 313–314; Ibid. (1885) 361/(1937) 325; Ibid. (1885) 368/(1937) 397; Ibid. (1885) 434.

  • 89

    Ibid. (1885) 353368.

  • 90

    Ibid. (1885) 351368 436.

  • 91

    Ibid. (1885) 349.

  • 92

    Ibid. (1885) 367–368.

  • 93

    Ibid. (1937) 317–319.

  • 102

    Teresa’s Diary April 5 1878June 17 1878.

  • 103

    Teresa’s Diary March 11 1879.

  • 104

    On July 7 1881Teresa wrote that she put off her habit. On September 16 1881 she wrote that she and Sister Camille came to live at 69 Saint Augustine Road Camden Square.

  • 114

    In her diary January 9 1877Teresa noted ‘This is my fete day I have been sister ten years today’.

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