Krotona School of Theosophy Fall – Winter 2023


Catherine Ann Jones

Great Films as Portals to Timeless Themes

Onsite – Krotona Hall

Thursdays, September 14, 21, 28

Wednesday, October 4 6:30 – 8:30 pm PDT

The essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in Man.
H.P. Blavatsky

Film is without question the medium of our times. Producer David Putnam (Chariots of Fire, the Mission) once said, “If films were what they might be, there would be no need to go to church.” Four films will be screened – not for entertainment alone — but as a catalyst to explore universal facets of human experience and philosophical themes. Catherine will introduce each film briefly. After screening an open dialogue will follow.
Single Session $15 Series $50 Students by donation

September 14 Breaker Morant (1980) Australian soldiers are made scapegoats during the Boer War. Based on a true story of how often the innocents pay for the foibles of our leaders. An anti-war movie without battle scenes.

September 21 Matter of Heart (1985) A documentary of the extraordinary journey of Carl Gustav Jung into the many dimensions of the human soul.

September 28 Touched by an Angel: A Joyful Noise (1996) A nine year-old girl who hears angel voices is confronted by a determined psychiatrist intent on stopping her voices. Higher allies arrive, proving that the child’s experience is genuine.

October 4 The Enchanted Cottage (1945) Lovers are magically transformed in a film called “the best love story ever written. ” How a shift in perspective enables one to create a better world.

Catherine Ann Jones, M.A. in Depth Psychology, is an award-winning author, playwright, and screenwriter (The Christmas Wife, Unlikely Angel, Touched by an Angel series) and author of eight books. A Fulbright Research Scholar to India with over 30 years of teaching experience at The New School University (NYC) and U.S.C. Film School (LA), she has presented workshops at the Esalen and Omega Institutes, and in Europe and Asia. Her six online courses at DailyOM have drawn over 60,000 subscribers. Blog, workshop schedule, writing and personal consultations:

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Pablo Sender

Seeking the True Self: A Weekend Meditation Retreat

Onsite and Zoom

September 29 – October 1
Friday 7:30 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 – noon and 2 – 4 pm, Sunday 10 – noon PDT

The renowned proverb “Man Know Thyself” was carved into the doorway of the temple of Delphi in Greece. According to many spiritual traditions, the source of misery and strife lies in our ignorance of who we really are. However, self-knowledge is challenging. It requires not only the removal of layers of false notions and mistaken identities that obscure our true nature, but also awakening a deeper perception that may be able to realize it. In this silent retreat, we will engage in four meditative practices: self-examination, self-inquiry, self-observation and self-dwelling. Participants are encouraged to attend the full series, as each session will build on the previous ones. However, individual sessions will be offered as they will be useful as well.
Single Session $15 Series $50

Pablo Sender, PhD, joined the Theosophical Society in 1996 in Argentina. He has lived and worked at the international headquarters of the TS in Adyar, India, at the national center of the TS in America, and is currently residing in the Krotona Institute of Theosophy in Ojai, California. He has presented programs and retreats in India, Europe, Oceania, and the three Americas. He writes for many Theosophical journals and is the author of The Evolution of the Higher Consciousness and Approaching the Secret Doctrine.

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Barbara Hebert

Expanding Our Understanding of Compassion

Onsite and Zoom
October 9 – 13
Monday – Friday 10 am – noon PDT

Compassion is discussed throughout the theosophical literature, yet we rarely inquire into its deeper implications. How do we learn to be compassionate? What does it require from us? Why should we be compassionate? During these interactive five mornings, we will delve into the various aspects of compassion through lectures, discussions, thoughts for contemplation, and meditations.
Single Session $15  *Series $65

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* Includes a complementary Yoga class, only on site, with Mihaela Wachsman on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (description below).

Barbara B. Hebert, Ph.D., recently served as the president of the Theosophical Society in America (2017-2023). A third-generation Theosophist, Barbara has been involved in local, regional, and national offices throughout over 40 years’ membership. As an adjunct professor at South Eastern Louisiana University in the health and human services department, she also served as executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center – Hope House and maintained a private mental health practice. Barbara presents internationally for the Society and has written regularly for its journals, The Quest and The Theosophist.


Mihaela Wachsman

Movement, Meditation, Breath:

A Yoga Practice with Heart

Onsite, Krotona Hall
Tuesday and Thursday,
October 10 and 12 3:00 – 4:30 pm Krotona Hall

Mihaela Wachsman, MA in Exercise Science, has a unique approach in incorporating Yoga, Qigong, Self Transformation and Meditation into a gentle, loving and compassionate, yet powerful practice, meant to awaken one’s capacity to directly experience one’s true nature.  Conscious movement, breathwork, (pranayama), meditation, relaxation of effort, along with practical knowledge can bring about stability, equilibrium and a state of heightened awareness. Moveover, it can bring about an ongoing “being aware of being aware”, which can delight one in unexpected ways!
$10 per session.

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Anastasia Katsikaris

Tarot: Icons of Perennial Wisdom

Onsite and Zoom
Sunday, October 15 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm PDT

Tarot cards have fascinated occultists, artists, and fortune tellers from their inception in Renaissance Italy to the contemporary Tarot Renaissance. We will explore the visual wisdom encoded in Tarot’s Major Arcana – from its Neo Platonic and Hermetic roots in the Renaissance up to its modern iteration emerging from the Occult Revival of the 1890’s. We’ll touch upon Theosophical concepts embedded in Tarot and explore how to use its rich iconography as a visual guide to universal wisdom teachings and a pathway to the soul’s realization. Single session $15 Series $25

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Anastasia Katsikaris has been reading Tarot for 44 years and practicing Vedic Astrology for 10 years. She holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara College of Creative Studies and is a graduate of the Academy of Vedic Sciences 3-year Jyotish certification. She has studied Ayurveda in both the USA and India. Her groundbreaking research into the connections between Vedic Astrology, Renaissance Tarocchi, and modern Tarot decodes many of Tarot’s mysteries and distinguishes folklore from fakelore. Anastasia lives and volunteers at Krotona in Ojai, CA with her partner and two cats. For information about readings, classes and The Yoga of Tarot book release, please visit


Adelle Chabelski

Reflections on Hope:
Acts of Courage and Compassion

in Times of Darkness

On site and Zoom
October 17 – 20 Tuesday – Friday 10 am – noon PDT

During times of persecution and war, both ordinary and influential people have acted selflessly and with courage and compassion to help others. Even under the threat of death, these people upheld the highest human values in an attempt to save lives and ease the suffering of the innocent. Through their stories, we will see how such men and women of conscience – in the face of brutality, mass murder, and indifference – rescued the dignity of humanity, restoring our faith in universal principles and in the bonds we share. Today as the flames of bigotry and hatred are being fanned globally, such people inspire and empower us, showing that each can make a difference. The class will focus on these acts during the Holocaust in WWII and touch on present day challenges.
Single session $15 Series $50

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Adelle Chabelski, translator, writer and human rights advocate, was consultant and interviewer for two award-winning documentaries, one on the Former Soviet Union and the other, produced by Steven Spielberg, on the Holocaust. She served on the Women’s Rights Committee of Human Rights watch, has chaired international conferences on human rights issues and has guided academic and professional delegations, including peace delegations. She covered the UN War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, Netherlands. Among other presentations, Adelle has taught for the Krotona School and served as president of the T.S. in the Ojai Valley. Currently, she is translating a collection of satirical short stories entitled “Bombshells.”


P. Sender, M. Sender, P. Wouters, G. Kiffe,

M. Leiderman, E. Carbonell

Third Biennial Forum: The Secret Doctrine
Stanzas IV – V
One and Many:
Celestial Hierarchies and the Wonder of Awakening

On site and Zoom
October 26 – 29
Thursday – Saturday 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm PDT Sunday 10 – noon

This Work I Dedicate to all True Theosophists in every Country, and of every Race,
for they called it forth, and for them it is recorded.
Helena Blavatsky, 1888

The Secret Doctrine – The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, is H. P. Blavatsky’s greatest work. Based on the secret aphorisms in the ancient Stanzas of Dzyan, it presents a panoramic, esoteric view of the evolution of all life. HPB states, “These truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation. For what is contained in this work is to be found scattered throughout thousands of volumes embodying the scriptures of the great Asiatic and early European religions, hidden under glyph and symbol … left unnoticed because of this veil. What is now attempted is to gather the oldest tenets together and to make of them one harmonious and unbroken whole.” In this recurring forum, we explore together various themes to arrive at deeper insights into the teachings and their applications to our lives. Continuing our study of the seven stanzas in Volume I, Cosmic Evolution, our inquiry focuses on Stanza IV (The Septenary Hierarchies) and Stanza V (Fohat: The Child of the Seven Hierarchies).

Single Session $15 Day $25 Full Series $80
Krotona Lodging: Register by October 1
Housing priority given for full-series participants

Review: SD Proem and Stanza I – III
MORNING INQUIRY Pablo Sender joined the TS in Argentina in 1998. He teaches internationally for the Society, directs the Online School of Theosophy and authored recently Approaching the Secret Doctrine: Its Teachings and Practical Applications.
AFTERNOON PRACTICUM Michele Sender, a TS member since 2006, presents on Theosophy and its practical applications in both in the U.S. and abroad. The founder of Fohat Productions, she worked with Pablo as editor and consultant for Approaching the Secret Doctrine.

Stanza IV

MORNING INQUIRY Pierre Wouters is an associate of the United Lodge of Theosophists. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, he has been studying and giving talks on Theosophy for over 45 years.
AFTERNOON PRACTICUM Gerry Kiffe has been an avid theosophical student for over 40 years, leading various studies for the United Lodge of Theosophists.

Stanza V

MORNING INQUIRY Martin Leiderman originally from Venezuela, lectures internationally for the TS in English and Spanish especially in The Secret Doctrine, the Mahatma letters, and The Voice of the Silence.
AFTERNOON PRACTICUM Eneida Elena Carbonell, born in Cuba, has served in the T.S. Espania Lodge in Los Angeles for many years, has travelled and taught for the Inter-American Theosophical Federation and presents regularly for Krotona.

Faculty Panel, Student Participation


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Francine Oller and Ananya Sri Ram

Communications Across the Veil:
Shared Experiences of Life Beyond Life

November 4
Saturday 10 – noon, 2 – 4 pm PDT
On site and Zoom

Visits from loved ones who have passed over often leave us with more questions than answers. Visits can happen in various ways—the appearance of a loved one, a visit while sleeping, hearing their voice, electrical activity, or even a message through another person. Questions that are often posed are: Is this real? How can this happen? Is my loved one suffering because they have not moved on? The Theosophical principle that all life is One and that life continues despite the demise of the physical body helps provide a framework to explain these events. This framework can provide comfort to those grieving loss and offer a new perspective to that which we call death, but in reality, is life beyond life. Join us for this interactive workshop as we share stories, explore explanations, and lift the veil on this profound and life-changing topic.
Single session $15 Full Day $25

Francine Oller A student of Theosophy since 2009, Francine is continually inspired by the reflection of the Ancient Wisdom in her life. Her commitment to serve at the bedside of the dying began thirty years ago and has been informed by her relationship with her mother during her mother’s time of transition and beyond.

Ananya Sri Ram A member of the Theosophical Society since 1983, Ananya’s introduction into Theosophy began after visits from her parents who had passed when she was a teenager. Since then, she uses theosophical concepts in her practice as a mental health counselor. She presently lives and volunteers at the Krotona Institute of Theosophy in Ojai, California.

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Aryel Sanat

Dawn of a New Era: Krishnamurti and the Wisdom Explosion in the American Age

On Zoom only
November 6 – 9 Monday – Thursday 10 am – noon PST

Drawing from his recent text of the same title, Aryel Sanat will introduce a synthesis of inter-related forces important to an understanding of the dynamics of our rapidly changing times. The workshop will consider influential elements of the perennial wisdom, philosophy East and West, religion, conceptual Theosophy, history, psychology, education, America, personal transformation, and democracy. J. Krishnamurti’s researches and insights illuminate the present watershed inflection point, worldwide; his insights inspire a comprehensive, holistic view of our challenging times.

Aryel Sanat is the author of the just published Dawn of a New Era: Krishnamurti and the Wisdom Explosion in the American Age. He was an adjunct professor in the department of Philosophy and Religion at the American University in Washington, DC, has been an active member of the TS since 1963 and has lectured on Krishnamurti’s teachings since 1964. A committed student of H.P. Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine, his research has shown the SD’s very intimate relationship to Krishnamurti’s insights. Aryel is also the author of The Analytical Fallacy.
Single session $15 Series $50

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Eduardo Gramaglia and Marcela Pardella

Living the Teachings of the Bhagavad Gita

November 28 – 30
Tuesday – Thursday
Onsite and Zoom

In the Bhagavad Gita we find a symbolic though accurate description of that spiritual path that takes us back to the Source. The narrative is a dialogue between Arjuna, the struggling disciple, and the God Krishna, a symbol of the soul. When a monumental battle is about to begin, a most unusual situation takes place: as tension builds between the two armies, Krishna in the middle of the battlefield, gives Arjuna the most sacred teachings. These teachings become the Bhagavad Gita, or “The Song of the Lord, Krishna”. Its symbolic language is universal, not limited to a certain time or culture. In the ancient Gita, modern aspirants may discover clues to their own path forward today.
Single session $15 Series $50

Eduardo Javier Gramaglia holds a degree in Classical Philology from the National University, Argentina, where he currently teaches Ancient Religion and Myth as well as Sanskrit and literature. He joined the Theosophical Society in 2004 and has presented in both English and Spanish on a wide range of theosophical subjects. His main area of research is the late Hellenistic tradition, particularly its hermetic texts on Mystery traditions and astrology. He published “Hermetic Astrology” in 2006, the first book in Spanish on the ancient astrological traditions, and authored two English translations of ancient Greek astrological manuals as well as many articles on the subject.

Marcela Pardella has been a member of the Theosophical Society in Argentina since 2010. A native of Buenos Aires, Marcela is an active member at the TS Argentinian headquarters, carrying out various administrative activities as well as giving public lectures and workshops. Since 2019, Marcela has been the coordinator for a new branch called Virya which survived the pandemic and steadfastly continues today. She holds a degree in Human Resource Administration and teaches English as a second language.

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Eduardo Javier Gramaglia y Marcela Pardella

Viviendo las Enseñanzas del Bhagavad Gita

diciembre 1 – 3
Martes – Jueves
En persona y por Zoom
Sesión única – $15 / Serie = $50

En el Bhagavad Gita encontramos una descripción simbólica, aunque precisa, del sendero espiritual que nos lleva de vuelta a nuestro hogar. La narrativa es un diálogo entre Arjuna, el discípulo luchador, y el Dios Krishna, un símbolo del alma. Cuando una batalla monumental está a punto de comenzar, una situación muy inusual tiene lugar: a medida que aumenta la tensión entre los dos ejércitos, Krishna en medio del campo de batalla, le da a Arjuna las enseñanzas más sagradas, que se convierten en el Bhagavad Gita, o “La Canción del Señor Krishna”. Su lenguaje simbólico es universal, no limitado a un determinado tiempo o cultura. En el antiguo Gita, los aspirantes modernos pueden descubrir pistas sobre su propio sendero hacia delante de hoy en día.

Eduardo Javier Gramaglia es licenciado en Filología Clásica por la Universidad Nacional Argentina, donde actualmente enseña Religión y Mitos Antiguos, así como Sánscrito y literatura. Se unió a la Sociedad Teosófica (ST) en el 2004 y ha presentado en inglés y español sobre una amplia gama de temas teosóficos. Su principal área de investigación es la tradición helenística tardía, particularmente sus textos herméticos sobre tradiciones de misterio y astrología. Publicó “Astrología Hermética” en el 2006, el primer libro en español sobre las antiguas tradiciones astrológicas, y es autor de dos traducciones al inglés de manuales astrológicos griegos antiguos, así como muchos artículos sobre el tema.

Marcela Pardella es miembro de la ST en Argentina desde el 2010. Nacida en Buenos Aires, ella es miembro activo de la sede de la ST Argentina, realizando diversas actividades administrativas, así como dando conferencias y talleres públicos. Desde 2019, Marcela ha sido la coordinadora de una nueva rama llamada Virya que sobrevivió a la pandemia y continúa firmemente hoy. Es licenciada en Administración de Recursos Humanos y enseña inglés como segunda lengua.

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