The Occult Roots of The Wizard of Oz


With its memorable story and its cast of colorful characters, the Wizard of Oz quickly became an American classic. More than a hundred years after the release of this book, kids everywhere are still enchanted by Oz’s world of wonder. Few, however, recognize that, under its deceptive simplicity, the story of the Wizard of Oz conceals deep esoteric truths inspired by Theosophy. Here we’ll look at the Wizard of Oz’s occult meaning and its author’s background.


Although the Wizard of Oz is widely perceived as an innocent children’s fairy tale, it is almost impossible not to attribute a symbolic meaning to Dorothy’s quest. As in all great stories, the characters and the symbols of the Wizard of Oz can be given a second layer of interpretation, which may vary depending on the reader’s perception. Many analyses appeared throughout the years describing the story as  an “atheist manifesto” while others saw  it as a promotion of populism. It is through an understanding of the author’s philosophical bckground and beliefs, however,  that the story’s true meaning can be grasped.

L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz was a member of the Theosophical Society, which is an organization based on occult research and the comparative study of religions. Baum had a deep understanding of Theosophy and, consciously or not,  created an allegory of Theosophic teachings when he wrote the Wizard of Oz.

What is Theosophy?


The Theosophical Society is an occult organization, mainly based on the teachings of  Helena P. Blavatsky, which seeks to extract the common roots of all religions in order to form a universal doctrine.

“But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion,.neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized.”
-H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine

The three declared objects of the original Theosophical Society as established by Blavatsky, Judge and Olcott (its founders) were as follows:

“First — To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
Second — To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
Third — To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.”

-The Theosophist, vol 75, No 6


H.P. Blavatsky

The main tenets of Theosophy are thoroughly described in Blavatsky works Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. At the core of Theosophical teachings are the same tenets found in many other occult schools: the belief of the presence of a “divine spark” within every person which, with the proper discipline and training, can lead to spiritual illumination and a state of virtual godliness.

Another important principle found in Theosophy is reincarnation. It is believed that the human soul, like all other things in the universe, go through seven stages of development.

“Theosophical writings propose that human civilizations, like all other parts of the universe, develop cyclically through seven stages. Blavatsky posited that the whole humanity, and indeed every reincarnating human monad, evolves through a series of seven “Root Races”. Thus in the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age, they were sexless beings inhabiting the now lost continent of Hyperborea; in the third age the giant Lemurians were informed by spiritual impulses endowing them with human consciousness and sexual reproduction. Modern humans finally developed on the continent of Atlantis. Since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a time of reawakening humanity’s psychic gifts. The term psychic here really means the realization of the permeability of consciousness as it had not been known earlier in evolution, although sensed by some more sensitive individuals of our species.”

The ultimate goal is of course to return to the state of divinity from which we’ve emerged. The same tenets (with subtle variations) can be found in other schools such as Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and other orders teachings the Mysteries.


L.Frank Baum, a Notable Theosophist


Before writing the Wizard of Oz (or even contemplating becoming a children’s story author), Baum held many jobs – one of which was editor of the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. In 1890, Baum wrote a series of articles introducing his readers to Theosophy, including his views on Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius and Christ. At that time, he wasn’t a member of the Theosophical Society but he already showed a deep understanding of its philosophy. Here’s an excerpt of his “Editor’s Musings”:

“Amongst various sects so numerous in America today who find their fundamental basis in occultism, the Theosophist stands pre-eminent both in intelligence and point of numbers. Theosophy is not a religion. Its followers are simply “searchers after Truth”. The Theosophists, in fact, are the dissatisfied with the world, dissenters from all creeds. They owe their origin to the wise men of India, and are numerous, not only in the far famed mystic East, but in England, France, Germany and Russia. They admit the existence of a God – not necessarily of a personal God. To them God is Nature and Nature is God…But despite this, if Christianity is Truth, as our education has taught us to believe, there can be no menace to it in Theosophy.”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, January 25th 1890

In another of his “Editor’s Musings”, Baum discusses the use of mystic symbolism in fiction, something he accomplished ten years later with the Wizard of Oz:

“There is a strong tendency in modern novelists towards introducing some vein of mysticism or occultism into their writings. Books of this character are eagerly bought and read by the people, both in Europe and America. It shows the innate longing in our natures to unravel the mysterious: to seek some explanation, however fictitious, of the unexplainable in nature and in our daily existence. For, as we advance in education, our desire for knowledge increases, and we are less satisfied to remain in ignorance of that mysterious fountain-head from which emanates all that is sublime and grand and incomprehensible in nature.”

At the end of this article, Baum goes into an all-out plead for more occultism in literature:

“The appetite of our age for occultism demands to be satisfied, and while with the mediocrity of people will result in mere sensationalism, it will lead in many to higher and nobler and bolder thought; and who can tell what mysteries these braver and abler intellects may unravel in future ages?”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, February 22nd 1890

Two years after writing those articles, L. Frank Baum and his wife Maud Gage joined the Theosophical Society in Chicago. The archives of the Theosophical Society in  Pasadena, California  recorded the start of their membership as September 4th, 1892. In 1890, the Wizard of Oz was published. When asked about how Baum got his inspiration for the story,  he replied:

“It was pure inspiration…It came to me right out of the blue. I think that sometimes the Great Author has a message to get across and He has to use the instrument at hand. I happened to be that medium, and I believe the magic key was given me to open the doors to sympathy and understanding, joy, peace and happiness.”
-L. Frank Baum, cited by Hearn 73

The Wizard of Oz is much appreciated within the Theosophical Society. In 1986, The American Theosophist magazine recognized Baum as a “notable Theosophist” who thoroughly represented the organization’s philosophy.

“Although readers have not looked at his fairy tales for their Theosophical content, it is significant  that Baum became a famous writer of children’s books after he came into contact with Theosophy. Theosophical ideas permeate his work and provided inspiration for it. Indeed, The Wizard can be regarded as Theosophical allegory, pervaded by Theosophical ideas from beginning to end. The story came to Baum as an inspiration, and he accepted it with a certain awe as a gift from outside, or perhaps from deep within, himself.”
-American Theosophist no 74, 1986

So what is the esoteric meaning of this children’s story, which came to Baum as a “divine inspiration”?

1 2

Leave a Comment

182 Comments on "The Occult Roots of The Wizard of Oz"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Missed it
5 years 8 months ago
You're still caught up in the left/right paradigm that Alex Jones has so expertly plagiarized from his betters. The Holy Spirit (holy simply means set-apart from the world) is rooted in the truth of the scriptures and not the mystery religions that you seem to have fallen for. I wonder how much you have truly studied these things for if you had you would know that all of the mystery religions are joined by the same themes, all of which have their root in Sumer and the fall of the tower of Babylon. Nimrod (Osiris) was the first city builder… Read more »
2 years 11 months ago

zeitgeist isn't false. i believe in jesus, but zeitgeist simply points out the church misappropriates lots of pagan rituals to trick people into joining them. that is a fact. like you said, this doesnt make the true message of christ false, it makes organized religion false

Wide awake and liste
5 years 3 months ago

Well stated, your insight is dead on. Too often we get side-tracked with what we see and neglect the absolute truth that God is a spirit and cannot be seen with natural eyes. We must commune with him in spirit and in truth. In order to do so we must have a willing and honest heart, he will not force himself into your life but ratherhe will knock patiently awaiting your response.

3 months 27 days ago

@ “missed it “- well said. I’ll be seeing you someday on the other side of the narrow gate.

They Live
5 years 5 months ago

Wonderful breakdown!

2 years 11 months ago

I always hated this movie. I never even got halfway before calling it quits. I found it to be boring and annoying lol

3 years 1 month ago

pour la couleur vert emeraude , on dit qu'une emeraude est tombée sur le front de lucifer lors de sa chute et au passage la substance chimique bio luminessante produite par les Lucioles est de couleur verte emeraude et se nomme luciferinne…

5 years 4 months ago

This is crazy, my mom has been OBSESSED with this movie ever since she was little. She has two curio cabinets full of Wizard of Oz items…

5 years 9 months ago

Vigilant, you are an amazing individual. I love how you keep posting these illuminating articles in the face of unfortunate criticism from the foolish profane (esp concerning the lady gaga stuff). Anyways, I just wanted thank you for posting your great material and let you know that I look forward to reading your insights every time you come out with them. I'm a fan. Namaste!

Steven Michael Roussos
1 month 14 days ago
FYI: No rainbow in the book. I doubt it describes a spiral in the road, is the road even yellow brick in the book? You are surely onto something, but are sloppily conflating the film with the book. Oscar-winning lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg became a lyricist at the suggestion of George Gershwin, wrote the famous depression era song “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” which also mentions rainbows, and wrote the “book” for the musical “Finian’s Rainbow” so rainbows were surely in HIS air. But, alas, no mention of rainbows in Baum’s book, so at least that part of the… Read more »
Jeremy Jarvis
2 months 2 days ago

Didn’t miss it at all

Jeremy Jarvis
2 months 2 days ago

Illuminati has been here since before they even counted time , yo

1 year 4 months ago
A dog(god) revealed the deceitful wizard- from the imaginary emerald city, of green. Yellow is the journey. Red is Dorothy's shoes which save her. The four of them in one, Heart soul mind body. The dog God reveals the bad wizard. (Lazy christian leaders) The wizard admits he is bad and has no real power so he offers religious jargon and jibirish and trinkets false hope based on self worth and not gods power to save. So dorothy had god all along(god dog). Man has a conscience of truth, right and wrong. Now the balloon is leaders hot air, it… Read more »
1 year 5 months ago

Actually if u notice in the movie in some part of the movie theres a ghost or man that was trying to commit suicide and after the ghost hanged himself u could see the guy swinging in the tree and i think u will notice cuz it looks more like a black shadow

1 year 5 months ago

The root of Freemasonry is theosophy , a word that contradicts itself , is but the term Divination posing as Divinity.

1 year 7 months ago

Ah darn that was my favorite movie when I was little, but thanks anyway VC. Ignorance is not bliss…

1 year 9 months ago

"The Wizard is in fact a stand-in for the personal God of the Christians and the Jews, the oppressive figure used by conventional religions to keep the masses in spiritual darkness: Jehova or Yahwe." Ummmm usually i rock with this site but are you saying that The Most High is an oppressive figure????

4 months 5 days ago

No it’s saying the story protrays Him that way.

1 month 19 days ago

Jehova or Yahwe are the names with which I associate the God of the Old Testament. In my mind, he is a Jewish God, with typical Jewish characteristics. He is certainly not the loving father who Jesus speaks about! So, is he oppressive? Well, let’s see… he forbade Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and he caused a mighty flood to consume the whole world, among other things. He’s not coming across as Mister Nice-guy!

1 year 10 months ago
Hello Everyone, there is still more to know God said; " My people perish because the lack of knowledge " Only the ones with the hunger to know the truth, will be lighted by the truth. And the ones who don"t believes, they are walking in the shadows of darkness. And God is always available to show you what is not uncovered, the conspiracy and what"s behind the scene. Not only the WIZARD OF OZ has it's occult meanings, but WALT DISNEY's background as well. There is more to know also about other topics like: 1) The New World Order… Read more »
Eye on Oz
2 years 2 months ago
The mystery maps found on the end papers of Tik Tok of Oz reveal the origin to be the transposing from the twelve tribes of Israel revealing the blueprint to the process of human imagination as depicted in the tale of Job. Job was from the land of Uz (Oz). Job had three friends, Dorothy had three friends. The friends are transposed from grasping the imagery of Ezekiel. We can speculate all we like, but the bible is the most published book on earth, and The Wizard of Oz is the most watched film on earth, revealing a hidden communication… Read more »
Laurel Kornfeld
2 years 7 months ago

The Wizard of Oz was published in 1900, not 1890. All the same, this is fascinating information for me, since I became fascinated with the Oz books as a child. After reading The Emerald City of Oz, in which Baum notes there is no money in Oz, I decided that I hated money, and I've never looked back. I was 11 years old at the time.

2 years 7 months ago

Has anyone noticed the Blavastky picture in the background wall of the mental asylum in the new series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland?

2 years 8 months ago
"Almost all documentation relating to the MK Ultra project and Mind Control mention the importance of the Wizard of Oz." Almost all documentation? Everything I find relating MKUltra to Wizard of Oz is traced back to the Springmeier book which needless to say does not cite any credible documentation on MKUltra, so at the very least it is a gross exagerration to say "almost all" documentation related to the MKUltra project mentions the film. I am open to the possibility though. It is interesting that in Robert Altman's Nashville, from 1975, there is a character named Barbara Jean who is… Read more »
2 years 10 months ago
I know this is extremely old but I'm going to post anyways. I have an issue with astral projection and the silver cord reference, because I myself astral project spontaneously, without wanting or willing myself to do so. I've astral projected many times while in the REM state right before sleep. I am a christian and I always go with my gut feeling and nothing has ever felt wrong when that happens. But yet I'll read things that astral projection is occult work and devil's work. But that's not how I feel about it at all. It's not as if… Read more »
2 years 10 months ago

speaking of movies: "Elysium" with M.Damon .Just see the trailer.

2 years 10 months ago

Perhaps check out the animated movie "Ghost in the Shell". Sometimes it seems animes are really prophecies, especially from certain studios.
But one scene that caught my eye in context of symbols within Gits was a tree image on a wall, with a top marked "hominis" and various branches that were also marked but one would have to see it in slo mo to read em.

3 years 1 month ago
So many esoteric opinions! One has mentioned how evil the Talmud is and I agree, maybe more so than the Cabala. The Zionist state of Israel is evil! The small percentage of true Torah students and all other religions are in much danger there! As for the Wizard of OZ, I read the Islamic Mother of all Books and in it was mentioned the Emerald City and the one behind the curtain! There is much more to the story written by Baum than meets the eye. Many levels maybe to hide the truth. Theosophy and the other religions mentioned are… Read more »
3 years 1 month ago
Is illumination a bad thing? I've considered it bad if it's what the Illuminati want and what the initiates desire. But isn't illumination enlightenment? Enlightenment is good. There's also transformation, which is becoming a psychic vampire, by taking the oath, but that's something different. Then there's the Great Work, which s merging your lower self with your higher self, is this the illumination? Is illumination brought by understanding Lucifer and evil though? Or is it by understanding and knowing good and evil? What about neutral? So illumination, and allllllllll of this talk about it, when we die we know all… Read more »
3 years 2 months ago
I just watched the recently released Oz the Great and Powerful in the movie theater which got me thinking about the original Wizard of Oz in which I always thought there was religious symbolism. Oh how Google can be so handy directing me to your post. Whether Baum intended it or not I think your argument is very well supported (up until the Monarch mind control stuff which comes out of left field.) Further, I think your analysis is the most concrete out there – even more so than the dominant "political satire" reading of it. I'm one who thinks… Read more »
3 years 3 months ago

Thank you for the article, it is such and excellent reference, as is your site. And now to see the video of the Newton kids singing Over the Rainbow"!

5 years 4 months ago

Read dna in the sands of time its life changing and that book will tell you who created you where you came from and where your going