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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter I
My sister later took up cancer research and has made herself a brilliant name in the field of this most needed work. I am very proud of her. I have never altered in my affection for her and should she ever read this autobiography, I want her to know this. Fortunately, I believe in [16] the great Law of Rebirth and she and I will some day work out, more satisfactorily, our definite relationship.

I suppose one of the greatest drawbacks in the life of any child is having no real home. The lack of it most certainly conditioned my sister and me. Both my parents died before I was nine years old and both died of tuberculosis (consumption, as it was called in those days). The fear of tuberculosis lay like an imminent threat over both of us in our early years and also our father's resentment over our existence, particularly, for some reason, over mine. He probably felt my mother would be alive if having two children had not drained her physical resources.

My father was Frederic Foster La Trobe-Bateman and my mother was Alice Hollinshead. Both were of very old stock - my father's family dating back for centuries, even antedating the Crusades, and my mother's forebears being descended from Hollinshead, "the Chronicler," from whom it is claimed that Shakespeare got so many of his stories. Family trees and pedigrees have never seemed to me to be of very real importance. Everybody has them; only some families have kept records. As far as I know none of my ancestors did anything particularly interesting. They were worthy but apparently dull. As my sister once put it, "they sat among their cabbages for centuries." It was good, clean and cultured stock but none of the people attained any famous or infamous notoriety.

The family crest is, however, a very interesting one and, from the angle of esoteric symbolism, extraordinarily significant. I know nothing of heraldry or the correct terms in which to describe it. It consists of a rod with a wing at each end and between the wings are to be seen the five-pointed star and the crescent moon. The latter harks back, of course, to the Crusades in which some of my forebears must have apparently participated but I like to think of the whole [17] symbol as typifying the wings of aspiration, the Rod of Initiation and as portraying the goal and the means, the objective of evolution and the incentive which drives us all on towards perfection - a perfection which eventually receives the accolade of recognition by means of the Rod. In the language of symbolism the five-pointed star has always signified perfected man and the crescent moon is supposed to rule the lower or form nature. This is the A.B.C. of occult symbolism but it interests me to find it all brought together in our family crest.

My grandfather was John Frederic La Trobe-Bateman. He was a very well known engineer, consultant to the British Government and responsible in his day for several of the municipal water systems of Great Britain. He had a large family. His eldest daughter, my aunt Dora, married Brian Barttelot, brother of Sir Walter Barttelot of Stopham Park, Pulborough, Sussex, and as she was appointed our guardian on the death of our grandparents we saw much of her and her four children. Two of these cousins remained my close friends all through my life. They were both considerably older than I but we liked and understood each other. Brian (Admiral Sir Brian Barttelot) only passed over two years ago and it has meant a real loss to me and my husband, Foster Bailey. We were three close friends and his constant letters are greatly missed by us.

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