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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Pogossky, Alexandra

(1848-1921). Prominent Russian theosophist. Pogossky was born in Russia at a time when many of the educated younger generation were enthusiastically taking up the cause of oppressed peasantry and incurring the wrath of the ruling classes thereby. Pogossky was no exception to the revolutionary cause and left her parents estate to work as a village schoolteacher and in so doing, became familiar with and learned to love the local peasantry. Two of her three brothers were sentenced to hard labor for life in Siberia and Ivan died there; the third brother escaped from the authorities and lived a wandering life in foreign lands.

After marriage to K. Pogossky and the birth of her children, the family emigrated to America where they gained permission from the government to occupy and clear land in Florida. There were now five children and life was hard and eventually her husband left her and returned to Russia leaving Alexandra to carry on alone. When her health failed and the physical tasks were beyond her strength she returned to Russia, only to find that she was not welcome as her husband was now living with another woman and had children by her. Her youngest brother was now living in England and she joined him there, but had to leave the two youngest children in Russia in the hope that her husband would look after them.

Arriving in London Pogossky supported herself and family by making pieces for interior decoration and her talent was such that she attracted the attention of William Morris and Keir Hardy. At this time she conceived the idea of importing needlework done by Russian peasant women and traveled all over Russia arranging the collection and exporting of this material.

Pogossky became interested in theosophy in 1909 when she attended a Summer School devoted to that subject. In 1912 she decided to return to Russia and there met Anna Kamensky who was at that time General Secretary of the Russian Section of the Theosophical Society (TS). From that time on Pogossky devoted much of her time to theosophical work in Russia and was in charge of the Order of the Star in the East. In 1919 the Communists took the property where the theosophical work was centered and she went to live in a monastery for a while until it was decided to relocate theosophical work far away from the activities of the Communists, in central Russia where she passed away in February 1921.

Pogossky did most of her theosophical work with young children in Russia and although it was of great value, it was of course, undocumented; she formed local groups of the GOLDEN CHAIN, a movement mainly for children intended to inculcate the Principle of Universal Love.

P.S.H.

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