top of page

Thought Forms
Annie Bessant and Charles Leadbeater

Thought Forms: A Record of Clairvoyant Investigation is a seminal occult book compiled by the leaders of the Theosophical Society, Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater.

It was originally published in 1905 in London. According to the teachings of Theosophy, thoughts and emotions create distinctive patterns of color and formin the human aura—visible only to those who are gifted with a sufficient degree of clairvoyance and can see beyond our normal perceptions. Besant and Leadbeater dictated their clairvoyant "thought-forms" to a group of friends who then created the 58 magnificent illustrations contained in the book.

This book was a major influence on the artists Hilma Af Klint and Wassily Kandinsky (we read Kandinskys' "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" that had clear influences from this book) among many others but has long been overlooked as a foundational pillar in art history. 

Besant was also an early suffragist and political activist and was far ahead of her time as an artist and thinker. Theosophy was the first occult group to open its doors to women and Thought Forms offers a reminder that the history of modernist abstraction and women’s contribution to it is still being written.

Thought Forms
Thought Forms Meeting
bottom of page