The Inner Teachings of the Golden Dawn

Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn
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The Order was founded in by Dr. It survived in its original form until The story goes that Westcott was sent parts of a strange, encrypted document by a Reverend Woodford, a Mason and Hermeticist, who claimed to have found it in a London bookstall. Once Westcott had deciphered the manuscript, it turned out to be an outline for the rituals and teachings of a magical order, with instructions to contact Sapiens Dominabitur Astris , in care of Anna Sprengel in Hanover.

Westcott did this and was told that he could found "an elementary branch of the Rosicrucian Order in England. Its three chiefs were Westcott, Mathers and Dr. Over the next eight years over initiates joined the Order. The program of lodge work and individual magical training created for the Golden Dawn made the important step forward of linking the secret, group work of the Order to the ritual work performed by initiates as part of their own training and practice. The teachings of the Golden Dawn were diverse, and included Ceremonial Magic, Kabbalah , inner alchemy, Tarot , Enochian Magic, astrology , divination and Egyptian Magic - all with the aim of performing the Great Work of self-realization.

The Order was arranged in a hierarchy of eleven degrees through which initiates could progress: the neophyte degree followed by ten further degrees corresponding to the sefirot on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Prominent members of the Golden Dawn included Dr. The clash of egos inherent in this talented potpourri pulled the Golden Dawn apart from the inside.

Mathers wanted to be the sole chief of the Order, and claimed that he was in contact with Secret Chiefs who had proclaimed him the "Visible Head of the Order. The Woodford document and subsequent letters from Anna Sprengel, used by Westcott to give the Golden Dawn some legitimizing lineage, were almost certainly forgeries, and accusations along these lines saw Westcott resign in In his resignation letter, Westcott cited the stigma still attached to the magical arts: "having received an intimation that it had somehow become known to state officers that I was a prominent official of a society in which I was foolishly posturing as one possessed of magical powers and that if this became more public it would not do for a Coroner of the Crown to be made shame of in such a mad way.

The founders of the Golden Dawn were intelligent, creative individuals who came together to craft a unique system of magical teachings and initiatory rites. In spite of the shortcomings of some of its founding members, the accomplishments of the Golden Dawn have benefited many people, as is evidenced by just how much of the system has been borrowed by other magical groups. Teachings and rituals that were originally created by the Golden Dawn are now standard fare in many esoteric organizations.

This is because the teachings themselves are valid and useful. And for those whose first love is the Golden Dawn tradition, there is no question about its value. In fact, when Golden Dawn magicians are able to come to terms with the mixed bag of the Order's history, they are less likely to fall into the trap of egotism — the scourge of magical Orders and religions alike. Instead, they are more likely to concentrate on what is really important in the Order — spiritual growth.

Golden Dawn, Its Inner Teachings

The Great Work. In the mids Europe was experiencing a huge growth of interest in general occultism and the Hermetic Tradition in particular. This interest was seen in England and especially in France. Levi was the first person to point out the correspondences between the Tarot and the Qabalah — a theory that would later become an important part of Golden Dawn teachings.

This was a time of discovery, as England continued to explore the farthest reaches of the world. There was much interest in ancient Egypt, as well as the archaic traditions of the Celts and the mysticism of the Far East. However, most occult studies at the time were strictly theoretical. But there was definitely a change in the air with regard to spiritual beliefs. Many people were dissatisfied with the status quo of the orthodox religions. They were hungry for something new and stimulating.

The Spiritualist movement evolved to satiate this hunger. Spiritualism was established as an alternative form of religious belief in America in the late s. Founded in by the Fox sisters Margaretta, Leah and Kate , the focus of Spiritualism was on communication with the dead. A deceased person was said to speak through a medium in order to give information to the living. This was sometimes accompanied by certain physical manifestations such as rapping on a table, the moving of objects around the medium and the materialization of the deceased spirit.

Spiritualism caused great excitement and attracted many followers when it came into being, because it provided direct and personal experience with the spiritual. It was dynamic and exhilarating, especially when compared to the tamer, dogmatic experiences of the orthodox churches. However, the limitations of spiritualism were many. It seemed to offer contact with only the lowest levels of the spiritual world — the shells and spirits of the dead. Magicians have a saying about Spiritualism — "Just because someone has died, doesn't mean they've become any wiser. In addition, there was a disturbing number of mediums who were frauds.

In the s and s there was also an increased interest in Freemasonry, a world-wide fraternity of men, supposed to have been founded at the building of King Solomon's Temple.

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THE GOLDEN DAWN: The Inner Teachings [R. G. Torrens] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. For more than years secret magical manuscripts from the Order of the Golden Dawn's inner order of adepts Rosae Rubeae et Aureae have been unseen by.

Because of an influx of men who wished to become Masons, there were many new lodges formed during the later part of the s. Theosophy meaning "Divine Wisdom" was welcomed by many educated people in America and in Britain, because it offered a vital and stimulating alternative to the religion of the masses. It also offered an alternative to material science, which was busy destroying all the spiritual ideas of the universe.

Theosophy was spiritually and intellectually satisfying to people who were looking for a new kind of spirituality. Instead of dead relatives, the Theosophists sought the advice of enlightened Masters — higher spiritual beings.

THE GOLDEN DAWN: The Inner Teachings

Theosophy also made an intriguing claim to represent an archaic secret tradition. Its aim was to bring the esoteric knowledge of the ancients to the modern world and to study comparative religions, the laws of nature and humanity's spiritual faculties.

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In addition to promoting the idea of brotherly love, Theosophists also popularized the idea of an esoteric wisdom — teaching that was common to all humanity. It is interesting to note that there was not a single representative of the Eastern Mystical Tradition among the founders of the Theosophical Society. At this early stage, Madame Blavatsky or HPB as she was often called identified her inner contacts, or Secret Chiefs as non-physical masters from an Egyptian Order that was carrying on the work of Zoroaster and Solomon. In other words, the Theosophical Society was founded as a Western esoteric society.

It was years later that Blavatsky and Olcott converted to Buddhism. The Theosophical Society then shifted to an Eastern orientation. But there was still a need for a group that emphasized the Western Esoteric Tradition. Another important figure who influenced the creation of the Golden Dawn was Anna Kingsford. Along with her spiritual partner, Edward Maitland, Mrs. Kingsford revived the idea of esoteric Christianity. Both Kingsford and Maitland were mystics who were said to have frequent spiritual visions. They called their work Christian Pantheism, which explored the Bible in terms of esoteric symbolism, Qabalah and the mythologies of Egypt, Greece and Rome.

Their doctrine had similarities to certain Neo-Platonic, Gnostic and Alchemical ideas. In the early s Kingsford and Maitland were members of the Theosophical Society, and by they were the heads of the London Theosophical Lodge. However, they resigned when they realized that the Eastern focus of the society could never truly be reconciled with their own Western beliefs.

In , they formed the Hermetic Society which attracted people like S. MacGregor Mathers and Dr. There is no doubt that Anna Kingsford impressed both Mathers and Westcott with the idea that men and women should work together on the spiritual quest, as did the Theosophical Society. In , three Qabalists, Freemasons and Rosicrucians founded the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, to carry out the work that was abandoned by the Theosophical Society. These founders of the Golden Dawn intended that the Order should serve as the guardian of the Western Esoteric Tradition — keeping its knowledge intact, while at the same time preparing and teaching those individuals called to the initiatory path of the mysteries.

The primary creator of the Golden Dawn was Dr. William Wynn Westcott. Westcott, along with two others founded the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn in However, the Golden Dawn was definitely Westcott's brainchild. Westcott's colleagues in this endeavor were Dr. Woodman was a retired physician and a leading member of the SRIA.

Along with Mathers, Woodman was asked by Westcott to become one of the leaders of his new Order in Woodman was an excellent Qabalist who had probably had a leading role in developing in the Qabalistic studies of the Golden Dawn. However, he died in , before the Order was fully developed.

The true magician of the Golden Dawn, S. MacGregor Mathers, was an accomplished ritualist. Of the three founding members of the Order, Mathers was the one most responsible for making the Golden Dawn a truly magical and initiatory Order. No history of the Golden Dawn can be given without some reference to the Cipher Manuscript — the enigmatic document upon which the rituals and Knowledge Lectures of the Golden Dawn are based. According to Westcott, some sixty pages of a manuscript written in cipher were given to him in by the Reverend A.

Woodford, an elderly Mason who, it was claimed, received the manuscript from "a dealer in curios. The manuscript proved to be a series of ritual outlines of an occult Order. Westcott fleshed-out the outlines into full working rituals. There continue to be many questions about where the Cipher Manuscript came from. Some people tend to think that Westcott created them.

Others think that they were written by Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the author of an occult novel called Zanoni, A Strange Story, or by Frederick Hockley, a famous Rosicrucian "seer" and transcriber of occult manuscripts. Both of these groups have been suspected by some to have been tied to the enigmatic second Hermanoubis Temple of the Golden Dawn. However, there is no evidence to support any of these theories. The real truth about the Cipher Manuscript is probably as follows.

Leading Golden Dawn historian R. Gilbert suspects that the real Hermanoubis Temple was a Golden Dawn prototype founded in founded by Holland. Westcott acquired the papers after Mackenzie's death. With such a strong Masonic background, Westcott was familiar with the notion of organization through hierarchy.

Masonic lodges could not exist without a legitimate charter from the Grand Lodge. Westcott must have felt the need to provide evidence that the Golden Dawn was not something that was merely created out of thin air — that it had a written history. He needed a "pedigree" of a sort to prove that the G. Since such no hierarchical authority existed for the Golden Dawn, Westcott fabricated one.

Why did he do this? It was probably the only way he could attract Freemasons and other serious occultists to his new Order.

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An additional paper, written in cipher, was inserted into the manuscript by someone — more than likely Westcott himself. She supposedly authorized Westcott, through a series of letters, to establish a new temple in England and gave Westcott permission to sign her name on any document that was needed.

While the Cipher manuscripts are genuine, it is certain that Westcott made up the story about Anna Sprengel and her letters. By making her a high-ranking official in an obscure German Order, Westcott made her authoritative, credible and unreachable.

⭐Golden Dawn Simplified Course in Magick (Summary)

And once the mythical Soror SDA had served her purpose, she conveniently died. By the end of , Isis-Urania Temple in London had thirty-two members, nine women and twenty-three men. That same year, two more temples were established. Amen-Ra Temple 6 in Edinburgh, Scotland was not founded until During its early years from to , the Golden Dawn was primarily a theoretical school, which performed the initiation ceremonies of the Outer Order and taught its members the basics of Qabalah, astrology, alchemical symbolism, geomancy and tarot, but no practical magic other than the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

In the later part of , Isis-Urania Temple had over eighty initiates, while other temples had a couple of dozen members. In December of , Dr. Woodman died and no one was chosen to take his place. The story, as described in the Fama Fraternitatis[6] is as follows: The great spiritual teacher and founder of the Rosicrucian fraternity, Christian Rosenkreuz, died and was secretly buried. Years later, members of the Order chanced upon the tomb, which was hidden behind some masonry.

The tomb they found was a seven-sided room inscribed with elaborate symbolism. Each wall of the tomb was eight feet high by five feet wide. In the center of the room was a circular altar over a sarcophagus, in which lay the perfectly preserved body of CRC. Moina Mathers was an accomplished artist, a gifted clairvoyant and MacGregor's personal "skryer. Moina painted most of the wall decorations, godforms and temple furnishings for the mother temple, Isis-Urania, in London.

Since the Fama did not give many details on the symbolism of the room, the Matherses were able to draw upon their own formidable creativity to produce this impressive chamber.

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Anyone initiated in such a Vault could testify to its potent psychic impact. Admission to the secret Second Order was gained by invitation as well as examination and the work of the Second Order was also extensive. Members were required to make and consecrate several magical implements. MacGregor Mathers also created a curriculum and a series of eight examinations which led up to the subgrade of Theoricus Adeptus Minor. Few members had the time or stamina to complete the gradework and all eight examinations.

Those who did, could rightly profess to have obtained a complete education in nearly every facet of Western Hermetic magic. It was comparable to a university degree in magic. In the spring of , the Matherses moved to Paris and sent up the Ahathoor Temple 7. Westcott became the Chief of the Order in England.

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Through his correspondence with Mathers, he received additional material for the ever-expanding Second Order curriculum. The Order continued to thrive from to Shortly after this, a handful of American temples were chartered by the A. Trouble in the Order began , when MacGregor Mathers's relationship with his financier, Annie Horniman, began to deteriorate. Horniman, a long-time member of the Order, was the daughter of an affluent tea importer. She was a close friend of Moina Mathers when the two attended art school together.

After their move to Paris, Horniman supported the Matherses financially from England with a generous subsidy. In return, she expected Mathers to dedicate all of his time to the work of the Order. But instead he become increasingly distracted by Jacobite politics and other pursuits. MacGregor Mathers was a talented magician, but also a demanding, eccentric and autocratic Chief.

In the spring of , a disagreement erupted between Horniman and Mathers over the matter of his politics taking time away from his Order responsibilities. Mathers accused his benefactress of trying to weaken his authority, and she in turn withdrew her financial support from him. Increased restlessness on the part of the Second Order Adepts in London, resulted in swift action from Mathers. In the fall of , he sent each of them a copy of a manifesto demanding complete obedience to him on everything related to the First and Second Orders. All but Horniman submitted to the demand.

Mathers promptly expelled her from the Order, which shocked many of the members and only added to their discontent.

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Another problem developed in March of , when Westcott's association with the Golden Dawn become known to the authorities. Westcott resigned from all offices within the Golden Dawn and the R. Florence Farr, the famous stage actress, then became the head of the London branch of the Order. But, without Westcott's enthusiastic supervision and propensity for orderly paperwork, the extensive gradework and examination system of the Second Order in London began to decline.

A major crisis for the Golden Dawn occurred in February of Mathers was governing the Order from a distance and he was increasingly out of touch with the English temples. Florence Farr was growing tired of Mathers's personal quirks and domineering behavior. In a letter to Mathers, she suggested that the Order should be dissolved.