The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

“The three founders , William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia . . . Westcott appears to have been the initial driving force . . . The Golden Dawn system was based on hierarchy and initiation like the Masonic Lodges; however women were admitted on an equal basis with men. [ Quoting Wikipedia from 2016–see current article here… ]

The ‘Golden Dawn’ [strictly speaking] was the first of three Orders, although all three are [also] collectively referred to as the ‘Golden Dawn’.

  1. The First Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four Classical Elements as well as the basics of astrology, tarot divination, and geomancy.
  2. The Second or ‘Inner’ Order . . . (the Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold) taught magic, including scrying, astral travel, and alchemy.
  3. The Third Order was that of the ‘Secret Chiefs’, who were said to be highly skilled . . . [and who] supposedly directed the activities of the lower two orders . . .”

Some of the more famous members included:

  • Arthur Edward Waite
    (of Rider-Waite-Smith fame)
  • Pamela Coleman Smith
    (of Rider-Waite-Smith fame)
  • Aleister Crowley
    (of OTO & Thoth Tarot fame)
  • Dr. Gerard Encausse
    (aka Papus) briefly…
  • William Butler Yeats
    (world famous poet)
  • Charles Williams
    (friend of C.S. Lewis/fellow inkling)
  • Evelyn Underhill
    (famous author/researcher/mystic)
  • Paul Foster Case
    (founder of B.O.T.A.)

Two Esoteric Schools Worthy of Special Mention:

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn [see above]

Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.)

Next Up:  –>  9. Contemplative Tarot

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