Defining Psychism: Psyche & Soul Metamorphosis

A quick search on the internet might give you the impression the term psychism is a new one within the illumined vocabulary.

Not so.  My research indicates the term psychism was first documented in the 1800s with the start of modern spiritualism in North America.

Theosophists deem the term psychism to mean: every kind of mental phenomena, (like mediumship, telepathy, etc.) this includes all higher forms of sensitiveness.

The word psychism is actually a combination of the Greek term psyche and  ism.

The Greek suffix, ism means: the condition of, the belief in or the practice of.

The term psyche is a Greek reference to the following:

  • Breath of Life
  • Spirit
  • Consciousness
  • Soul
  • Mind

Ergo, in a nutshell, we could say psychism is the condition of the soul.  Furthermore, psychism is an umbrella for all things relating to the motion of consciousness.

More than a common noun, the terms psyche and psychism points to pervasive knowing.  It is the verbal home of a larger knowing.

Moreover,  the act of involving oneself with psychism is akin to participation in flux of the divine.

The Greeks also used the term psyche as a moniker for one of their adored mythological muses.  The myth describes Psyche as a mortal human, although she was a princess and devastatingly beautiful.

The story illustrates a long procession of personal transformations as Psyche moves through many layers of awareness on her journey through love and personal development. Ultimately, her transformative adventure ends in her ascension to immortality.  To this day she is one of the most celebrated muses in Greek myth.

It’s noteworthy the term psyche is also synonymous with butterfly.  Indeed, artistic renditions of the visage of Psyche show her with lovely gossamer butterfly wings to symbolize her ephemeral beauty.

The butterfly is a phenomenal example of Psyche’s journey through transformation.  Further, the butterfly is a worthy mascot for the meaning of psychism.


Because the butterfly conveys the journey of consciousness in esoteric and evolutionary terms.  The human soul must undergo a series of developmental stages before it can unfurl its wings and fly into limitless atmospheres.

The stages of butterfly metamorphosis coincide with the three degrees of theosophical mystery schools, which make the butterfly an eloquent illustration of soul-evolution.  The evolutional triad unfolds thusly:

  • Stage One:  Ovum to Larva

Scads of accounts convey this stage as a period of helplessness or ignorance.  I vehemently oppose this view.  I see this first stage as ultimate potential.  At this stage, the human soul is tightly coiled within a dark, protective casing – it is housed as a seed.  Stage one represents latent promise.  As pre-human, infants and even throughout our physical development the potential grandeur of the soul is sleeping, but dynamically poised until stage two.

  • Stage Two: Larva to Pupa

This is the opportune moment.  The sleeper stirs.  That potential which has laid dormant is quaking within the darkness.  What has prompted the soul to answer a higher call is irrelevant.  What matters is the *spark* has been ignited.  Now the sleeper becomes the seeker.  This stage represents a keen awareness.  This awareness is effervescent and alive – it animates everything within the human experience.  It’s important to note, “soul-awareness” always exists, but is only truly recognized after humankind is rousted from slumber.  After awakening and stepping into stage two, we engage in study, meditation, progress and our awareness evolves into higher levels of spiritual fulfillment.

  • Stage Three: Pupa to Imago

An imago is the fully developed form of the psyche.  Butterfly wings have been fully developed in stage two, and they are strong enough to pulse to a rhythm of intoxicating flight through the spiritual ethers.  This stage is the manifestation.  Although, it is not necessarily the end of progress – simply the beginning of a new kind of initiation.  This stage is about settling into full potential.  Materialization of the truest, most divine self.  Stage three in psychism is embracing full-blown, mega-soul-power.  This stage represents the culmination of agreement, allowance and awareness of all the parts of humanity.  It is the epitome of a blossomed psyche.

Take some time to consider the overwhelmingly diverse meaning of the term psychism and all its implications.  Relate it to the story of Psyche and the evolution of the soul as the butterfly so deftly illustrates.

In pondering the realm of psychism, our soul’s journey becomes more purposeful too.

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on the inherent potential within the realm of psychism.

Written by Avia Venefica of

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