Vasanta Way

Vasanta Way and Temple Hill Drive recall the days when the Theosophical Society had a colony in these hills. (See also: Alcyona and Helios drives.) There’s a lot to unpack about Theosophy, but in short, it’s a New Agey pseudo-religion – a benign cult, if you will – that was founded in New York City in 1875 by Helena P. Blavatsky (1831-1891), a Russian expat inspired by Eastern religions and mysticism. After her death, the society was taken over by Englishwoman Annie Besant (1847-1933) and was brought to Hollywood in 1912 by Albert Powell Warrington, who ran its North American branch. He and his fellow disciples bought 10 acres of these hills and established the utopian “Krotona Institute” here. Temple Hill and Vasanta were both named in 1914 when Theosophist Henry Hotchener bought 5 additional acres for the colony. Temple Hill refers to the colony’s “Temple of the Rosy Cross”, now an apartment building; Vasanta is Sanskrit for “spring” but is also a play on “Besant”. A.P. Warrington moved Krotona to Ojai in 1924 but several of its houses remain here.