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The Secret Teachings of All Ages

4.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,313 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
A classic since 1928, this masterly encyclopedia of ancient mythology, ritual, symbolism, and the arcane mysteries of the ages is available for the first time in a compact "reader's edition."

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
Paperback, 768 pages
Published October 27th 2003 by TarcherPerigee (first published 1928)
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Religion, Occultism, Mysticism, Metaphysical and New Age
10th out of 359 books — 282 voters
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1st out of 81 books — 63 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jonny Henningson
Feb 18, 2012 Jonny Henningson rated it liked it
Extremely fun, extremely interesting, but fundamentally unreliable. Manly wrote this book in his early twenties. He's obviously well read and very intelligent but this book is written with a pretty significant bias toward his own obvious Masonic leanings, and most of the lore he has absorbed due to this association is accepted by him and presented as unsubstantiated fact. I will admit it lends a certain kind of mystique to the yarns he spins. For instance, I would personally love to believe that ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Blake4d rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grady Ormsby
Jan 04, 2013 Grady Ormsby rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: only those with patience.
Recommended to Grady by: The writings of Dan Brown
The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manley P. Hall is fascinating. It is a masterful compendium of esoteric teachings of all time. It is a summation of hidden wisdom from the arcane and mystical teachings of Druidic, Mithraic, Christian, Gnostic, Odinic, Gothic, Eleusinian, Orphic, Bacchic, Dionysian, Platonic, Atlantean, Cabric, Hermetic, Zodiacal, Astrological, Chaldean, Delphic, Orphic, Dodonean, Pythagorean, Numerological, Hiramic, Paracelsian, Mosaic, Qabbalistic, Sephirothic, Rosicrucian, ...more
I've actually read and re-read this book- in sum and in sections- many, many times. Totally comprehensive, interesting, with an insanely useful bibliography. Good for anyone interested in the supernatural, occult, or secret societies.
Lynne King
I'm writing a review on a book at the moment regarding freemasonry amongst other things, and this book of mine came to mind. I'm pleased to see that it is on Goodreads.

If you're an individual who is interested in secret societies of all ages, well then this is an ideal reference book. It is "an encylopedic outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy" and is fascinating reading, especially the latter, with its symbolism throughout.

Jan 21, 2014 Maxi rated it really liked it
This Book proves an interesting read it is an interpretation of secret messages the author sees as being hidden within rituals, allegories and ancient mysteries through out the ages. Manly P Hall provides indepth accounts and explanations of masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian symbolic philosophy. Starting with ancient systems of education, Druidic,and Mithraic mysteries and teachings, you are guided through the ancient mysteries of secret societies, and of manmy countries and culture ...more
Brad Thompson
Dec 04, 2009 Brad Thompson rated it it was amazing
Ok this would be one of those rare occasions where I actually type a review on one of my books. My friends have asked me this one question.

Out of all my books on the occult, magick and things that are suppose to elevate the human conscience. What book would I recomend to explain it ALL.

I would have to say this book. No question about it. Mr. Hall can put into everyday language the facts. There is no judgement calls in any of his writings. This book was his first and finest. he wrote it in 1927
Todd Hansink
May 21, 2012 Todd Hansink rated it really liked it
I marked up this book probably more than any other in my life. This book was my gateway to the "mystery" religions. I don't consider it to be the authoritative "last word" but it contained so many new ideas (to me) that it became my new study agenda for quite a while. From here I studied the use of symbols in religion from the Eleusinians to the Free Masons. I give this book five stars for the sheer volume of great ideas under one cover and for the introduction of the very inspiring and charisma ...more
Abe Fabella
Feb 23, 2012 Abe Fabella rated it it was amazing
This book was a phenomenal adventure into the realm of humanity's symbols and myths. Written with elegance and poise, the words played a dance in the black box of my mind. And, I became present in the scenes and with the human personalities and divine possibilities he so endearingly paints in each cogently crafted chapter. I highly recommend this book for curious and seasoned philosophers, seekers and mystics alike. It is a resource of knowledge without equal; it is, in fact, the most brilliant ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it
I've only read bits here and there, as it's more of a reference book than something to be read from start to finish. Having said that, the book is very impressive in its detailed analysis of esoteric and mystical traditions found throughout history, and around the world. The subjects are very varied - you can read about ancient Greek oracles, religion in ancient Egypt, black magic, the Kabbalah, the philosophy of alchemy, the pagan origins of Christianity, archetypes found in the world religions ...more
Alex Towey
Feb 17, 2013 Alex Towey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: esoterism, favorites
This is one of the books that got me into researching and studying Esoterism/Hermetics/Mystery School Traditions/Etc... I have two copies stationed at different parts of my house because at any time I can pick it up, flip to any page and start reading and gain some new knowledge that I haven't acquired yet.
Jan 26, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I could probably read and re-read for the rest of my life. It is very informative with a different perspective then the norm. It looks at history with a different light but it is not for everyone. It is full of variety of ancient knowledge
T.L. Cooper
Dec 27, 2014 T.L. Cooper rated it liked it
The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall languished in my to-be-read pile for several years. I didn't really expect to find any secrets revealed. I bought it because I find belief systems and their origins fascinating. The Secret Teachings of All Ages doesn't so much reveal "secret teachings" as draw connections between current belief systems and ancient belief systems. While there is some supposition that what is being presented obscures the secret teachings, it feels like the books tr ...more
Ramona P.
Jun 06, 2008 Ramona P. rated it it was amazing
Wow! Manly Hall's ability to gather, explain and present these complex and ancient traditions in one comprehensive book is amazing. He has helped me to understand how important the mystery schools and their proponents were in establishing the foundation for our current cultural imprint. Though most of their rituals, messages and doctrines have been visually hidden from the "everyman," they are nonetheless imbedded in our psyche and are being activated into consciousness by the current thrust of ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
This review is for the 'Diamond Jubilee Edition' of "Secret Teachings of All Ages" paperback issued by the Philosophical Research Society in 1989 (1st pb edition - all b&w) and reprinted in 2000 (54 illustrations are in color - the rest in b&w). This is the best trade edition available of this incredible book. This edition has all of the illustrations from the original text reproduced in good quality (all in b&w in the 1989 edition - 54 illustrations in color and the rest in b&w ...more
Alex Kartelias
Mar 05, 2015 Alex Kartelias rated it it was amazing
There's no doubt this book is filled with so much valuable information and wisdom. This is more of an introduction than an in depth discussion of numerous topics but, unlike most books,the parallels between these different topics are acknowledged and emphasized. The perennial philosophy is evident once you finish a book of this enormous scholarship. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about esoteric philosophy and the sacred sciences.
Dec 16, 2015 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read this cover to cover but it's an amazingly neutral treatment of the subject matter, for any time. And especially for when it was published. Wide range of ancient symbolism and a number of interpretations, lots of history. Wild stuff to think about on the origins of all religions.
Mar 01, 2014 Benjamin rated it it was amazing
One of the best comprehensive studies of world beliefs. The depth and span of this book is strikingly impressive. To imagine that he finished this work before the age of 30 only adds to the achievement. For anyone interested in the topic, this book is a must read.
Oct 16, 2012 Ysanne rated it it was amazing
I was given this book by Genesis P-Orridge in 1990, and it's a treasured possession. It introduced my young mind to exactly what it says in the title. A classic book from the 1920's that really introduced many, many paradigms to people at the time.
The Elves
Sep 10, 2014 The Elves rated it really liked it
Someone brought us this book some time ago and it is a real treasure that we have kept even in our migration to the farthest Western shores!

The Silver Elves
authors of books on magic and enchantment
Nov 24, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took 2 years and a half reading this, and it was worth every year. It's an encyclopedia of ancient spiritual knowledge. It is a blessed antidote for the materialist dystopia we moderns call "civilization."
Apr 25, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Not a book for readers who are looking for short explanations, but certainly for who is interested in an overview of history and content of esoteric traditions. An asset to anyone's library.
Adam Long
Aug 07, 2014 Adam Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening book. Really enjoyed it. Reads a lot like an encyclopedia so I'm sure I'll be referencing it as I read and research topics it covers.
Jun 06, 2014 Strings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-own
I wish i would have found and read this book from an early age. A must read! Then again I have never been let down by anything from Manly P Hall
One of the best collection of esoteric material. You can also find this book online, so check out sections and see if it interests you.
Album Lepus
Jan 24, 2016 Album Lepus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone willing to read
Manly P. Hall did a splendid job writing this immersive and "almost" complete philosophical account on secret teachings found through various religions and school of thoughts. Ranging from the concepts for both men and women this work is fundamental to the beginner mystic and spiritualist.
This work allows the reader to grasp many accounts and thoughtful ideas that were present and gaining popularity in the early 20th century.
Anyone who wants to understand and start to unravel the mysteries of
James Haze
Oct 11, 2014 James Haze rated it it was amazing
An encyclopedia (of sorts) like no other!
Sol Vent
Dec 19, 2015 Sol Vent rated it it was amazing
There is a lifetime of study in this book. Get the Diamond Jubilee edition.
The original did not include some chapters, and the readers edition is missing some extremely important full color plates.

Spend several hours on it, then go visit your local Masonic lodge with it in hand.
Trust me, the experience will be well worth your time.
Steve Werner
Aug 31, 2015 Steve Werner rated it it was amazing
A fantastic tour of esotericism, covering pretty much all the major topics from secret societies, to occult lore/history(Atlantis), the Qabbalah, Alchemy, Astrology, ceremonial magic, symbolism, and much more. Despite being an enormous tomb, I couldn't put it down.
Alex Scales
Jul 24, 2014 Alex Scales rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Recently had my love of the occult reignited and picked this up. I love this book. Great overview of western mysticism and philosophy, and a lot of ideas I had never been exposed to before, much like discovering Madame Blavatsky for the first time.
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Canadian born, Manly Palmer Hall is the author of over 150 published works, the best known of which are Initiates of the Flame, The Story of Healing, The Divine Art,Aliens Magick and Sorcery The Secret Teachings of All Ages, and An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy.
He was also the author of a masonic curiosity, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry in
More about Manly P. Hall...

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