About Althea

Althea Northage-Orr has been interested in self-development for most of her life, beginning with a yoga and meditation practice at the age of 15. During her teen years her primary focus was on the eastern traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism; she also explored the emerging western spirituality of the 1960’s via the writings of Edgar Cayce, mythological studies of the west, Tarot and Astrological studies and the field of parapsychology.

She went to college at St. Mary’s of Norte Dame, Ind., where she majored in English Literature, Philosophy and History. She then went to Indiana University where she obtained a Masters degree in Medieval English.

At the age of 21 she was initiated into a Hermetic Lodge in the Golden Dawn lineage. This began a 37 year long journey into the esoteric traditions of the West. She became a teacher / priestess in the Hermetic tradition and has founded / led a series of groups: Agape; Stargate; The Hermetic Order of Chicago (which existed for over fifteen years); and the Hermetic Fellowship of Chicago.

Currently she leads the Hermetic Fellowship and splits her time between her family, the Fellowship and her busy clinical practice as a practitioner of Oriental Medicine, Nutrition, Bodywork and Herbalism. She is also a certified teacher of Psychophysical Re-education, Gestalt Therapy and has studied Hakomi body-centered psychotherapy. She has practiced and studied hypnosis and shamanism, and has completed a two year Human Capacities Training Program.

For the last twenty-five years Althea has studied and practiced Tantra, drawing upon the traditions of India, Taoism and the western magical traditions. She currently teaches these practices. Until his recent passing, this instruction was provided in active collaboration with her husband, John Northage,

She has been actively involved for over thirty years in the study of Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which she has practiced since 1981. For the last decade she has pursued an active practice of Neidan, the Chinese system of Internal Alchemy. In addition to her personal exploration of the practices, she has actively taught and written about them. These practices are designed to clear the body of negative emotional energies, extend the lifespan, improve vitality and ultimately to create an immortal body.

Althea believes passionately in taking a universalist approach, and is dedicated to interweaving the knowledge of both the east and the west. In 2000 she founded her school, The Chicago College of Healing Arts, where she created curriculums for Bodywork, Chinese Medicine, Herbalism, Psychophysical Re-education and other healing modalities blending both eastern energetic approaches and western sciences. She served on the governing council of the American Herbalists Guild and currently sits on their professional admissions committee. In addition to writing about and teaching the use of western herbs, she has an 80 acre country sanctuary where she cultivates over 140 species of herbs and does much of her spiritual teaching.