Social Victorians/Golden Dawn

The Hermetic Order of the Golden DawnEdit

The Golden Dawn referred to here is the spiritual organization that arose and flourished at the end of the 19th century, mostly in the U.K., and for all intents and purposes came crashing down at the beginning of the 20th century. People argue about the organizations that followed, some of which were named the Golden Dawn; this project is not concerned with them.

This project treats the Golden Dawn as a social network, more interested in the people and their relationships than the ideas or their history.

People in the OrganizationEdit

A total of 315 people were initiated into the Golden Dawn, in all the temples, between 1888 and 1896, 196 of them men and 119 women (Howe 49).

Related OrganizationsEdit

TemplesEdit

Temples beyond the Scope of This ProjectEdit

  • Ihme, Golden Dawn Temple in the United States
  • Thoth-Hermes Temple, Chicago, U.S.
  • Amoun Temple, "Outer Order Temple" of Stella Matutina (Howe 257)
  • Alpha et Omega

Notable EventsEdit

1888 February 12, "Of uncertain parentage, and with an unknown date of conception, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn came into being in the material world on 12 February 1888 when the three founding Chiefs of the Isis-Urania Temple -- Westcott, Woodman, and Mathers -- signed their pledges of fidelity" (Gilbert 86 1).

1888 March 14, Theresa J. O'Connell admitted to the 0=0 grade of the Golden Dawn. She says, "At the time of my admission the only other initiates were the late Dr Wm. Woodman ... L.L. MacGregor Mathers [sic on "L.L."] ... and Westcott, Woodman, and Miss M. Bergson" (Gilbert 86 11-12). She leaves out Westcott, whom Gilbert says was one of the founding members on 12 February 1888?

1889 May, the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn met at 11 Hatton Garden, E.C., London, offices of the Sanitary Wood Wool Co. (Howe 85 31).

1890 January, Annie Horniman was initiated into the Golden Dawn (Gilbert 86 144).

1890 July, Florence Farr was initiated into the Golden Dawn (Gilbert 86 145).

1890 December, meeting of the Order in which MacGregor Mathers was installed as Imperator and Berridge as Praemonstrator.

  • Theresa J. O'Connell says, "Dr. Woodman who was advanced in years passed away. He, from the first opening of Isis Urania, had held the office of Imperator and after his death Dr. Westcott was empowered by the Continental Chiefs to appoint S. L MacGregor Mathers Imperator in his place. I was present at a meeting of the Order at Mark Masons' Lodge when Dr. Westcott as Installing Adept conferred the office on MacGregor Mathers. Another member, Dr. E. Berridge being appointed to the vacated office of Praemonstrator. I may mention here that at this date [1890] the Order was increasing in numbers and it was difficult to obtain a suitable place of meeting, therefore Dr. Wynn Westcott was permitted by the Mark Lodge of Freemasons to have the use of their halls for the meetings of the Order" (Gilbert 86 12, interpolation his).

1891, Westcott learned that Anna Sprengel would no longer be communicating with him.

1891 August 2, Florence Farr was admitted to the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn (Gilbert 86 20).

1891 December 7, Annie Horniman was initiated into the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn (Gilbert 86 21).

1892, possibly January through June or so, Florence Farr was Cancellarius "for the first half of 1892" (Gilbert 86 32). Percy Bullock succeeded her.

1894 December, Maud Gonne "demits" from the Golden Dawn (Gilbert 86 147). According to Harper, she attained the 4=7 degree, the highest in the Outer Order (Harperr 74 165, n. 20), but Gilbert says she attained only 3=8 (86 147).

1895 June, the Matherses were in London "for the annual Corpus Christi ceremony" (Howe 154).

1896, Florence Farr's "Egyptian Magic," "By S.S.D.D.," published (Berridge 316).

1896 January 27, MacGregor Mathers wrote "a long letter" to Farr, as she put it, "in reply to a letter of mine sending a charged drawing of the Egyptian and asking him if I were not grossly deceived by her claiming to be equal in rank to an 8-3 of our Order at the same time giving me numbers which I afterwards calculated to be correct for that grade. I still [on 17 January 1901] possess his letter approving altogether of my working with her, and saying it was necessary to make offerings & then all would be well -- &c &c" (Harper 74 221).

1896 March, the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn moved its headquarters to 62 Oakley Square, where it stayed until September 1897 (Howe 126).

1896 April, Henry Pullen Burry "was Sub-Cancellarius of Isis-Urania, Miss Horniman was Sub-Praemonstratrix, and Dr Berridge was Sub-Imperator but acting as Imperator for Mathers" (Harper 80 7).

1896 23 November, Annie Horniman wrote Frederick Gardner: "Care 'Daffodil'" -- "What a time of it you must give S.S.D.D. [Farr]. She wants me to study Egyptian too, but I find one new language enough at a time and am hard at work at Italian" (Harper 74 225).

1896 December 3, Horniman's name was removed "from the Roll of the Order" of the Golden Dawn (Howe 136).

1896, neither John William nor Frances Brodie-Innes signed the 1896 petition to reinstate Annie Horniman. They did not want to "challenge" the "superiors" (Howe 142).

1896, end of, Florence Kennedy was, like Horniman, threatened with explusion.

1897, John Brodie-Innes founded a subgroup; Gilbert says that he was "sending details" to Wynn Westcott during 1896 (Gilbert 86 38).

1897, late January, Moina and MacGregor Mathers were in London. Did they travel with Yeats? Where did they stay? (Harper 80 80, citing Howe 140).

1897 March, Westcott resigned from the Golden Dawn. Florence Farr "succeeded Westcott as Chief Adept in Anglia and Mathers's personal representative in England. Westcott was an able, even enthusiastic administrator. Florence Farr, indolent by nature, was never willing to bother herself with the multifarious detail work which Westcott had obviously enjoyed" (Cavendish 105). So the thorough, even exhaustive examination system for advancement in the Order fell into disuse.

1897 May 1, MacGregor Mathers demoted John Brodie-Innes to Praemonstrator of the Amen-Ra Temple by this time (Howe 190).

1897 May 5, Florence Farr called a meeting of the Golden Dawn (or the Inner Order?), which was held at 62 Oakley Square (Howe 126).

1897 September, the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn moved its headquarters from 62 Oakley Square, where they had been from March 1896, to 36 Blythe Road (Howe 126).

1897 September, a subgroup in the Golden Dawn, including Annie Horniman and Frederick Gardner were meeting in Talgarth Road, West Kensington, London, at least during this month (Howe 197).

1899 March 19, a report in the Sunday Chronicle described "an Isis ceremony at a small theatre, the Boniniere Theatre. The Paris correspondent of the Sunday Chronicle saw it and described" how MacGregor and Moina Mathers "for some time past ... have been carrying on their devotions in an underground chapel which they have established at their residence" (Howe 200). ("The Rite of Isis, which was a kind of theatrical perfomance, incorporated material that he had discovered in the available literature.") Also, a brief account of the ceremony appeared in "the New York periodical the Humanist , February 1900" (Howe 201).

1900, before, "According to Israel Regardie the Golden Dawn had spread to the U.S.A. before 1900 and a Thoth-Hermes Temple had been established in Chicago" (King 89 111).

1900 January 12, meeting of the Golden Dawn. MacGregor Mathers got the minutes. In his 16 February letter to Florence Farr, he "accused her of bringing his 'private affairs' into a discussion at the meeting of 12 January. More particularly, he accused her of 'attempting to make a schism' within the Order to work 'under "Sapere Aude,"' Wynn Westcott (Harper 74 21). She sent the minutes?

1900 January 13, MacGregor Mathers got a letter from Farr. See 16 February letter for his reply. (Harper 74 21.)

1900 January 16, Mathers initiated Aleister Crowley into the Second Order in the Ahathoor Temple in Paris, overruling the Isis-Urania decision not to initiate him "on the grounds of his moral turpitude" (King 89 66).

1900, February, a brief account of the Matherses' Isis ceremony appeared in "the New York periodical the Humanist , February 1900" (Howe 201).

1900 February 16, MacGregor Mathers wrote Farr, accusing her of "making a schism" to work under Wynn Westcott "under the mistaken impression that [Westcott had] received an Epitome of the Second Order work from G. H. Soror, 'Sapiens Dominabitur Astris' [Anna Sprengel]. Westcott, he said, had never been in communication with the Secret Chiefs, the supposed correspondence between them and Westcott being 'forged'. According to Mathers 'every atom of the knowledge of the Order has come through me alone from 0=0 to 5=6 inclusive', and only he had been in communication with the Secret Chiefs. ... He warned her of the 'extreme gravity' of the matter, entreated her 'to keep this secret from the Order', and remarked that Sapiens Dominabitur Astris was in Paris assisting him. ... His time, he said, was 'enormously occupied with the arrangements for the Buildings and Decorations of the Egyptian Temple of Isis in Paris'" (Harper 74 21). Mather "had not in fact marked the letter 'private', though he had urged her to 'Read this letter carefully before showing any part of it to anyone!'" (Harper 74 22).

Mathers's letter reads, in part:

...Now with regard to the Second Order, it would be with the very greatest regret, both from my personal regard for you as well as the occult standpoint, that I should receive your resignation as my Representative in the Second Order in London; but I cannot let you form a combination to make a schism therein with the idea of working secretly or avowedly under Sapere Aude [Westcott] under the mistaken impression that he received an Epitome of the Second Order work from G. H. Soror Dominabitur Astris [Sprengel]. For this forces me to tell you plainly (and understand me well, I can prove to the hilt every word I say here, and more) and were I confronted with S.A. I would say the same, though for the sake of the Order, and for the circumstances that it would mean so deadly a blow to S.A.'s reputation, I entreat you to keep this secret from the / Order for the present, at least, though you are at perfect liberty to show him this if you think fit, after mature consideration. He was NEVER been at any time either in personal or written communication with the Secret Chiefs of the (third) Order, he having himself forged or procured to be forged the professed correspondence between him and them, and my tongue having been tied all these years by a previous Oath of Secrecy to him, demanded by him, from me, before showing me what he had done, or caused to be done, or both. You must comprehend from what little I say here the extreme gravity of such a matter, and again I ask you, for both his sake and that of the Order, not to force me to go further into the subject. (King 89 67-68)

Mather concludes "his letter by stating (erroneously) that she was with him in Paris," and King offers this as proof that Mathers still believed in Sprengel, but of course he could be saying so in order not to shake Farr's faith in her authority for establishing the Order (King 89 68).

1900 March 23, Mathers dismissed Farr as his London Representative (King 89 69).

1900 March 29, the London Adepti called "a general meeting of the Second Order for March 29th. At this general meeting the Second Order voted, with only five exceptions, to depose their Chief from his headship and to expel him from the Order. ["According to another account Mathers was only deposed at this meeting and was not expelled until April 19th" (n. 6).]" (King 89 69). King describes the "five exceptions": "The Five who remained loyal to Mathers were Frater Resurgam (Dr. Berridge), Frater Volo Noscere (G. C. Jones), Soror Perseverantia et Cura Quies (Mrs. Simpson), Soror Fidelis (Miss Elaine Simpson), and rather surprisingly, Fater Non Sine Numine (Col. Webber). With the exception of Webber and Berridge all these were personal friends of Crowley" (King 89 69, n. 5).

1900 September, Farr's group had been meeting for three years, she wrote on 17 January 1901, "when I found everything I proposed was objected to. After a few weeks I discovered that my group ... was being violently attacked" (Harper 74 222). The "attack" was over meeting rooms at first. Then Farr was accused of secrecy: "I was then accused of keeping valuable information to myself. You will understand I think that with the anti-Egyptian Feeling about I shall still refuse to discuss Egyptian formulae with anyone not specially in sympathy with the ancient Egyptians." The group's purpose was to study Egyptology?

1901 January, John Brodie-Innes was Imperator of the Amen-Ra Temple again (Harper 80 33).

1901 January 17, Florence Farr wrote to John Brodie-Innes, who was in the country (as opposed to being in the city) where she couldn't speak with him, to justify the Sphere Group:

  • "On Jan 27th 1896 I received a long letter from DDCF. [MacGregor Mathers] in reply to a letter of mine sending a charged drawing of the Egyptian and asking him if I were not grossly deceived by her claiming to be equal in rank to an 8-3 of our Order at the same time giving me numbers which I afterwards calculated to be correct for that grade. I still possess his letter approving altogether of my working with her, and saying it was necessary to make offerings & then all would be well - &c &c. I soon found there was a considerable prejudice against Egyptian Symbolism amongst the members of the Order and I began to hold my tongue after having recommended the various clearly marked groups of thinkers (such as Indian, Christian and so on) to work steadily and regularly by themselves each under some more advanced person. To you and to those who were not antipathetic I spoke more freely. When the splits in the Order itself became more and more pronounced my work with 3 others having become extremely interesting we resolved to carry out a plan suggested by an Egyptian for the holding together of a strong nucleus on purely Order lines." (Harper 74 221)
  • One of the prejudiced ones was Frederick Gardner? In the 23 November 1896 "Care 'Daffodil'" letter, Horniman says, "What a time of it you must give S.S.D.D. [Farr]. She wants me to study Egyptian too, but I find one new language enough at a time and am hard at work at Italian" (Harper 74 225).
  • One of the "3 others" was Robert Felkin, I think. Another was "Volo"? (Florence Kennedy)
  • "All went well until September 1900 when I found everything I proposed was objected to. After a few weeks I discovered that my group which had been working quietly for 3 years was being violently attacked." (Harper 74 222) First she was "attacked" because of a conflict over rooms to meet in, so Farr agreed to a policy requiring groups to reserve meeting rooms.
  • "I was then accused of keeping valuable information to myself. You will understand I think that with the anti-Egyptian Feeling about I shall still refuse to discuss Egyptian formulae with anyone not specially in sympathy with the ancient Egyptians." (Harper 74 223)

1903, end of, Robert Felkin founded the Stella Matutina branch of the Golden Dawn along with Percy Bullock and John Brodie-Innes (Harper 74 124). Those members of the Golden Dawn who kept the "magical ethos" of the Order "followed Dr Felkin ..., renamed their branch of the Order the Stella Matutina and set up the Amoun Temple" (Gilbert 86 41).

1907-1914, "According to Regardie the Golden Dawn had spread to the U.S.A. before 1900 and a Thoth-Hermes Temple had been established in Chicago. Certainly, many Americans received Parisian initiations during the period 1904-1914, and it is alleged by more than one source that in return for high fees Mathers admitted people to supposedly high grades far beyond the actual attainments of the people concerned; in his 'Equinox' Crowley sneered at a woman who, he said, had paid hundreds of dollars for the nominal grade of Exempt Adept. By the commencement of the First World War Mathers had succeeded in not only establishing two or three American Temples, but in bringing the Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in America increasingly under the influence of himself and his followers" (King 89 111).

1910, John Brodie-Innes left the Stella Matutina "to refound Amen-Ra" (Gilbert 86 41).

Organization DocumentsEdit

Officers, Titles and PositionsEdit

  • Imperator
  • Cancellarius
  • Praemonstratus
  • Hierophant
    • Assisted by the Dadouchos
  • Hiereus
  • Hegemon
  • Kerux
  • Stolistes

Rituals and DocumentsEdit

0=0 through 5=6, written by MacGregor Mathers, revised some by Annie Horniman and W. B. Yeats (see Harper 74).

Ritual D, the Lotus Wand (Harper 74 178, n. 38).

Ritual E, the Rose Cross (Harper 74 178, n. 38).

Ritual F, Sigil from the Rose (Harper 74 178, n. 38).

Ritual G, Fire Implements (Harper 74 178, n. 38).

Ritual W, Minutum Mundum (Harper 74 178, n. 38).

"The diagram consists of ten circles, representing the Cabbalistic Sephiroth, connected by lines. 'The First Diagram of MM' in the study manual for the students of 5=6 'Sheweth the Sephiroth in the colours of the Queen and the Paths in the colours of the King'. The 'Minutum Mundum' was the first section of the 'Liber Hodos Chamelionis', a title which Yeats borrowed for one section of The Trembling of the Veil " (Harper 74 177, n. 30).

Z1, transcribed in 1895 by H. Dorothea Hunter (Gilbert 86 79).

Z2, which describes "Mathers's system [of correspondences], still widely used by Western practitioners of Ritual Magic" (Cavendish 258). "Z2" is actually what the manuscript is called.

The Ritual of the Qabalistic Cross

"Israel Regardie has written two books, The Middle Pillar and The Art of True Healing, which are little more than amplifications of the Ritual of the Qabalistic Cross and the Lesser Pentagram" (King 89 57).

The Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram, or the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

  • taught in "the first 'Knowledge Lecture'" given to Neophytes. "Israel Regardie has written two books, The Middle Pillar and The Art of True Healing, which are little more than amplifications of the Ritual of the Qabalistic Cross and the Lesser Pentagram" (King 89 57).
  • See W. B. Yeats letter to Thomas Horton 13 April 1896.
  • Israel Regardie says "the pentagram represents 'the operation of the Eternal Spirit and the Four Elements under the divine Presidency of the letters of the Name Yeheshuah. ... These two Pentagrams are in general use for invocation or banishing'. (Harper 80 77, n. 27, quoting Regardie).

Ritual of the Bornless One, "derived from a Graeco-Egyptian magical papyrus" (King 89 187, n. 3), used now in the Order of the Cubic Stone.

The Cypher MS may have been among Fred Hockley's papers when he died (Howe 85 39, n. 3) and thus may have gone to George Redway (King 89 42).

VersionsEdit

Grades with Outer Order Sephira

The Outer Order
0=0 Neophyte Sephira
1-10 Zelator Malkuth
2=9 Theoricus Yesod
3=8 Practicus Hod
4=7 Philosophus Zetzach

Grades with Inner Order Sephira

The Inner Order
5=6 Adeptus Minor Tiphereth
6=5 Adeptus Major
7=4 Adeptus Exemplus

Among others, there was a Hod clause in the 5=6 Obligation against "everlasting fault-finding," aimed at Annie Horniman (Howe 245).

Inner or Second Order: R.R. et A.C. -- Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (the Red Rose and the Gold Cross)

The Secret Chiefs
8=3 Magister Templi
9=2 Magus
10=1 Ipsissimus Kether

Questions and NotesEdit

  1. Find the Second Order diaries to see exactly when AEFH was there -- exactly what dates (summarized in Howe 101).
  2. John Brodie-Innes headed a committee to revise the Golden Dawn constitution and "Bye-Laws" (Harper 74 93). He was Cancellarius of the new Order. He was staying in London?
  3. On dissension between the Sphere Group "and the rest of the Adepti Minores": "A contributory factor may have been Florence Farr's own occasional tendencies to autocracy; she suspended one Frater because his manner of reciting the ritual did not meet with her approval -- the poor man had to temporarily transfer himself to the Bradford Temple. It is good to know that he was ultimately forgiven, for Yorkshire did not particularly agree with him" (King 89 66 and n. 1). This can't have been Gardner? If so, the "manner of reciting the ritual" would have been more than that. Who was it?
  4. Charles Rosher

BibliographyEdit

Golden Dawn Works CitedEdit

  • Alastor, Frater. "The Golden Dawn Roll Call." The Golden Dawn Lectures. Online. Retrieved 15 February 2013. http://www.angelfire.com/ab6/imuhtuk/rollcall.htm.
  • Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage, as delivered by Abraham the Jew unto his son Lamech, A.D. 1458, The. Translated by MacGregor Mathers in 1898.
  • Berridge, Edward. Internal Respiration.
  • Cavendish, Richard, ed. Encylopedia of the Unexplained: Magic, Occultism and Parapsychology. New York: McGraw Hill, 1974.
  • Encyclopedia of Occultism and Paraspychology: A Compendium of Information on the Occult Sciences, Magic, Demonology, Superstition, Spiritism, Mysticism, Metaphysics, Psychical Sciences, and Parapsychology. Ed. Leslie A. Shephard. 3d ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991.
  • Gilbert. 1983.
  • Gilbert. 1986.
  • Gilbert. 1987.
  • Harper. 1974.
  • Harper. 1980.
  • Horniman, Annie. Typescript. Howe.
  • Howe. 1985.
  • The Alchemist of the Golden Dawn
  • King. 1989.
  • Kinne. manmyth. Man, Myth and Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion, and the Unknown. Richard Cavendish, Ed. in Chief. North Bellmore, New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1994.
  • Moore. 1954.
  • O'Connor. Pogson.
  • Wade.

Works Referred to Some Other WayEdit

  • Farr, Florence, "Egyptian Magic" By S.S.D.D. 1896 [cited in Berridge 316].
  • Harrison, Michael. In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes. Cited in Baring-Gould II 153-54, n. 2.
  • Regardie, Israel. The Art of True Healing.
  • Regardie, Israel. The Middle Pillar.
  • Eugene Jacob
  • Star, Ely (Eugene Jacob). Les mysteres de l'horoscope, 1887.

Golden Dawn PapersEdit

  • Private Collection A -- held by member of Felkin's Stella Matutina (magical branch). 25 letters from Macgregor Mathers to Annie Horniman. Also Berridge and Moina Mathers letters. Howe says he can't make much sense of them (117).
  • Private Collection B -- held by member of Waite's branch (mystical). Contains, among other Second Order MSS, The Book of the Concourse of the Forces, Binding together the Powers of the Squares in the Terrestrial Quadrangle of Enoch, compiled by Florence Farr in October 1893 (Gilbert 87 167).
  • Private Collection C -- held by member of Waite's branch (mystical). 24 volumes in the Collins Collection (Gilbert 87 170).
  • Yorke Collection -- at Warburg Institute library (University College London? -- Howe says?): papers of A. Crowley and F. L. Gardner.
    • Gardner's Golden Dawn papers, including 7 "Astral Vision" workings of AEFH? (Gilbert 87 168-9).
    • Also "the replies to the petition against Annie Horniman's expulsion from the Order in 1896 (the standard form of the petition is printed in Howe)" (Gilbert 87 169).
    • The letters from W. A. Ayton to Frederick Gardner Yorke Collection are published in Howe's The Alchemist of the Golden Dawn Gilbert 86 178).
    • Yorke bequeathed an "enormous collection of Aleister Crowley manuscripts" to the Warburg Institute Library (Gilbert 86 176).
    • Yorke was one of Crowley's trustees (Harper 74 183, n. 19).
  • Yeats papers.
  • Collins Collection -- early MSS copies by Mrs. Hunter and W. E. H. Humphrys; MS notebooks in Mathers' hand. Mr. Carr P. Collins. Jr.
  • Gilbert Collection -- Waite
  • Colquhoun acknowledges a Dr. Oliver Edwards "for showing me letters from Miss Horniman and Mrs. Rand ..." (5).
  • The Cypher MS may have been among Fred Hockley's papers when he died (Howe 85 39, n. 3) and thus may have gone to George Redway (King 89 42).
  • King owns "the notebooks and letters of an Adeptus Minor, dated circa 1913" of the loyal Berridge Temple (King 89 110).