Theosophical Society - Cape Town Lodge





About us

The theosophical societies around the world attract those who desire to learn more about deeper spiritual and universal truths. Theosophy looks holistically at: the makeup of man, as well as the cosmos. 

The Johannesburg Lodge is the oldest lodge in Southern Africa. We offer a variety of lectures and activities centered around theosophy and related subjects. 

Sunday evening lectures

Every second Sunday in the evening at 7pm, we have a formal lecture given by a variety of well known and professional individuals who are well versed in their specific field. Please have a look at the ‘programme tab’ to see what lectures are coming up. 

Movie night

Every third Saturday we have a “movie night” at 4:40 pm. we watch an esoteric type movie that has been released on the media circuit and afterwards we discuss the esoteric themes and symbolism in the movie.


Every alternate Sunday an in depth study on specific subjects are given. These workshops are specifically focused on the teaching of theosophy as given to us by Madam Blavatsky.

There is also a well equipped library that members of the society may use. The library has books on a variety of esoteric and spiritual subjects etc. 


The Johannesburg Lodge received its charter on April 14 1899. the first lodge president (1902) was Louis L. Playford. a magazine called: ‘The South African Theosophist’ was also published in March 1903. Membership expanded from 16 members to 123 in 1903. 

Mahatma Gandhi gave a lecture at the lodge-22 August 1905- entitled ‘the real life’. Although not a member he contributed much to theosophy in Johannesburg.

The lodges amalgamated into the South African Theosophical Society in 1909 (Charter dated April 27, 1909). It changed to the “Theosophical Society in South Africa” at the Convention of May 1911 and to the “Theosophical Society in Southern Africa” in 1932.

The first Convention of the National Society was held in The Pretoria Masonic Hall on September 30, 1909. The first General Secretary was Henry Dykman, followed by E. C. Nelson from 1910 to 1916 who was an important driving force and founding member of the Society. The 1909 Charter named 7 lodges — Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria, Germiston, Pietermaritzburg and Harmony (Johannesburg). In 1914 lodges were formed in Bulawayo and Salisbury in Rhodesia and in the Cape. In 1945 de Aar, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley. The first lodge premises built in South Africa was in Pretoria in 1928. 


The decrease in attendance of esoteric communities is a world wide problem. The Theosophical Society is no exception. Many member have been loyal in their participation and attendance of the Johannesburg Lodge, but sadly due to old age many members can no longer be actively involved. If the Theosophical Society is to survive in South Africa, new (younger) members will need to be recruited.

Those who do attend enjoy a wealth of various activities. The highlight of each month is the variety of lecturers that come every second Sunday evening to give a lecture in their specialised field. There are also a variety of workshops ranging from the most basic forms of Theosophy to more advanced courses. Helena Blavatsky’s great work ‘The Secret Doctrine’ takes on a central role in the workshops and all other activities. On a more lighter side, we also show a movie every third Saturday. these movies are chosen for their esoteric and symbolic themes. Commentary and discussion of the films is given after the movie.