About Gnosis

About the Lumen Foundation

List Back Issues The Lumen Foundation was founded in California in 1984 by Jay Kinney and Dixie Tracy-Kinney. Their original intention, as stated in the organization's Articles of Incorporation as a nonprofit public benefit corporation [501(c)(3)], was to start an institution "for the purpose of providing instruction in, and dissemination of, educational material in the public interest including, but not limited to, material relating to the fields of Western philosophy and esoteric, mystical, and spiritual traditions, through publications, lectures, or otherwise. Also to provide a public forum for discussion of such matters primarily through, but not limited to, the medium of print."

From the beginning, the main project was GNOSIS Magazine: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions. Starting without grants from corporations, foundations, or government agencies, the Kinneys hoped to attract enough support for the project from friends and other members of the public who shared their interest in spirituality to enable the magazine to be published. Thus, through a couple of fundraising parties, donations, and advance subscriptions from early supporters, approximately $2000 was raised in 1984-85. This was combined with $1200 from Jay Kinney's savings, resulting in $3200, which was just enough to print up 5000 copies of GNOSIS #1 in the fall of 1985.

The first several issues of GNOSIS were produced with all-volunteer labor from its small staff, and the journal was headquartered in Jay Kinney's home office. However, in the spring of 1988, the Lumen Foundation and GNOSIS were able to move to new offices in a modified classroom of a former Catholic girls' high school across from Mission Dolores in San Francisco. The Kinneys and friends sanded and repainted the office walls and ceiling, risked the major expense of three desks, and christened the new one-room office.

In the years since its founding, the Lumen Foundation has initiated occasional projects besides GNOSIS, including pilgrimages to sacred sites, and GNOSIS study groups. However, the publication of GNOSIS Magazine has been its primary project up to the present.

In 2019, the Lumen Foundation was dissolved and its remaining assets turned over to the Theosophical Society in America, a kindred 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization.

Search Back Issues
Sample Articles
How to Order