The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing a form of theurgy and spiritual development . It was possibly the single greatest influence on twentieth century Western occultism.
Concepts of magic and ritual that became core elements of many other traditions, including Wicca, Thelema, and other forms of magical spirituality popular today, are drawn from the Golden Dawn tradition.
The Golden Dawn was founded in 1888 as an offshoot of the Societas Rosicruciana founded by Robert Wentworth Little in 1865, and thus continued a very long tradition of Rosicrucianism, with precursors including the Golden and Rosy Cross, of which Samuel Hahnemann was reputedly connected to.
There has always been equal access to the Golden Dawn which does not bar women or any religious group.
By the mid 1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established in Great Britain, with membership rising to over a hundred from every class of Victorian society. Many men and women of the 19th century Fin de siècle social culture were members of the Golden Dawn.
There have been many Orders of the Rose Cross throughout history, intimately connected to the Holy Grail. These organisations were Occult, basically ‘hidden’ due to the persecutions of orthodoxy throughout history. They were set up to transmit ancient wisdom and to facilitate art, literature, education and liberation and they are to be sharply contrasted with other, dark occult movements whose aims, even today, are never wholesome.
The basic principle of homeopathy arose from the alchemical tradition, beginning with Paracelsus, and its real origins reach back into the Dawn of Time.
- William Alexander Ayton 1816-1909
- Sara Allgood 1879-1950
- Charles Henry Allan Bennett 1872-1923
- Arnold Bennett
- Edward William Berridge homeopathic physician
- M W Blackden
- Algernon Henry Blackwood 1869-1951
- John William Brodie Innes 1848-1923
- P W Bullock
- Paul Foster Case 1884 – 1954
- Ithell Colquhoun 1906 – 1988
- Aleister Crowley 1875-1947
- Gerard Anaclet Vincent Encausse homeopathic physician
- Florence Farr 1860-1917
- Robert William Felkin 1853-1926
- Dion Fortune 1890 – 1946
- Frederick Leigh Gardner
- Edward John Langford Garstin 1893 – 1955 cousin of Ithell Colquhoun
- Battiscombe ‘Jack’ George Gunn (1883-1950)
- Frederick Hockley
- Maud Gonne 1866-1953
- Annie Horniman 1860-1937
- William Horton
- Gerald Kelly
- Edward Bulwer Lytton ?honorary patron of the Society of Eight
- Arthur Machen 1863-1947
- Kenneth Robert Henderson MacKenzie
- Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers 1854 – 1918 and his wife Moina Mathers (Mina Bergson)
- Gustav Meyrink 1868–1932
- Edith Nesbit 1858–1924
- Henry Marriott Paget 1856 – 1936 married to Henrietta – Florence Farr’s sister
- William Peck
- Israel Francis Regardie 1907 – 1985
- Charles Rosher 1885–1974
- William Sharp
- Pamela Colman Smith 1878–1951
- Bram Stoker
- Robert Masters Theobald homeopathic physician
- John Todhunter 1839 – 1916
- Charles Lloyd Tuckey homeopathic physician
- Neville Gauntlett Tudor Meakin
- Evelyn Underhill 1875-1941
- Arthur Edward Waite 1857-1942
- Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward 1883 – 1953
- William Wynn Westcott 1848 – 1925
- Constance Lloyd Wilde wife of Oscar Wilde
- Charles W. S. Williams 1886-1945
- William Robert Woodman 1828 – 1891
- William Butler Yeats
People otherwise associated with the Golden Dawn:
Stone Age Shamans have existed from the Dawn of Time, and they proved their use to The Tribe in multiple ways, to detect quarry for the hunt, for healing, for directing the Numinous life of the people and as Oracles to guide The Tribe. The Shamans will have identified successors and trained them to identify plants and herbs, to remember the Tribal Histories and stories and to act as a stabilising force across the generations.
Since the Dawn of Time, the Mysteries have been taught from generation to generation, thus enabling humanity to survive in a hostile and confusing World and allowing people to fully come into their potential. Over the hundred of thousands of years of pre history, the Shamans moulded and guided The Tribes and slowly our species evolved into the modern human form.
As our numbers increased, our societies changed. Land became important as the hunter gatherers gave way to settled agricultural populations. As the Bronze Age and the Iron Age arrived, aristocracies and Tribal leaders increasingly fought for territory. The Shamans were afraid of metal, and magic had to change. Celtic legends are full of warnings about the impact of metal on magic, and this change must have also been World wide.
The Tribal leaders needed an edge, and they would have turned to their Shamans for advice as well as to their warriors. The farmers and the families would need protection and so would the land.
The warriors used the new metals and developed the art of war. The Shamans knew the best way they could help was to train many more Shamans who would be able to use their heightened mental powers to protect The Tribe. The Shamans knew that without training, the natural clairvoyant abilities of our species cannot be harnessed and used with focus. It would not have taken our ancestors long to realise that with strong mental focus, these abilities can be used to direct untrained minds, and such abilities will have been very useful as a strategy for war, for Tribal identity and also to blend The Tribes together into kingdoms.
It would not have taken long for Religions to form under such circumstances. The first Religions were Polytheistic, with many gods vying for precedence as the Shamans reinterpreted the Legends of the people to explain the changing circumstances of our World. A priestly class would develop quickly in such circumstances.
In Druidic times, people with a natural tendency were identified and trained, whereas other members of society were encouraged to establish families or to become warriors or farmers. As society specialised, an aristocratic class developed who would have been trained as warriors and adepts, though not everyone would have become a Druid or a Bard, these trained mental abilities were far too useful to be restricted to priestly class. However, the fact that this knowledge existed, though restricted, was common knowledge to all the peoples of The Tribes and would have been throughout the development of human societies.
Across the World in other cultures, these specialisations would have developed along similar lines.
Across the World, other developments wrought changes as deep as metal. The written word was such a development. It is well known that the Druids did not favour the written word as they believed that it stunted mental abilities and memory. Shamans across the World must have agreed, though history proves that the written word was to be as devastating a tool for humanity as metal.
The next development wrought changes deeper than metal, far deeper that the written word. The concept of Monetheism enabled kingdoms to become Empires and for those Empires to win against other Empires. The command that ‘thou shalt have no gods but me’ sounded out across the World and proved the ultimate tool of power, such that any challenge to this concept would become blasphemy.
This development reached its ultimate pinnacle of power when it forbade the natural clairvoyant ability of our species away from individuals, restricting this power to the priests who served the one god who won this dreadful round in human history.
Thus Constantine and his new Holy Roman Empire outlawed the human spirit at the Council of Nicea. In future, the only path to the divine for the ordinary person was to be through ordained priests of the one god.
Of course, women were also forbidden their souls as well in the next few centuries, so naturally connected to the divine soul of Nature as they were believed to be, they were singled out for special treatment.
Justinian exiled all of the pagan intelligentsia from the Byzantium Empire, and so he believed that his church had achieved total control of the Eastern Empire. Rome was by this time well underway with its banishment of heresies in the Western Empire, and the enforcement of orthodoxy that resulted from this pogrom of knowledge reduced the Christian World to complete ignorance for several centuries.
This of course, was not the end of the story.
The Christian World was not the whole World. Even within its territories, the Mysteries still existed underground, taught in secret and great danger, but they survived nonetheless. The rest of the World carried on as if nothing had happened, to be discovered anew by the Western World in later centuries. However, such knowledge had to be coded and spread from adept to adept. Great care had to be taken as the Inquisitions of the church coiled like a dreadful multi headed serpent around the natural abilities of our species.
This state of affairs resulted in a great battle in the West. The Western Mystery Traditions emerged, irrepressibly from time to time, and as each was identified, dark forces developed to break them down.
Power is never a tool to be given up lightly.
However, suppression is the hidden development that creates as it destroys, as the Hindu myth of Kali describes so well. One footstep is of creation and one is of destruction, an engine of creation which develops a life all of its own.
The concepts of Jesus and his life of the peaceful spirit, the very basis of the one god that united the Christian Empires, now becomes twisted and of secondary importance in this Struggle of the Ages.
After the Crusades and contact with the Islamic World, the Mysteries emerge again with the Templars, and when the Templars are destroyed, they emerge again as the tales of Romance and Chivalry. The stories of the Grail encode the steps to wisdom, such that adepts understand them very well. The multitudes become fascinated by the stories and they seeped into human consciousness.
One side claimed these tales as Christian and attempted to incorporate them within the church, but the adepts understood them far too well. The hoary age of antiquity streamed off these tales as they encompassed their true nature, bringing the knowledge of the ancients back to life for those with eyes to see it. These stories become the treasured tales of Christians and pagans alike.
With the Renaissance, humanity breaks loose from the fettered chains of orthodoxy. The Roman Church spawned the Protestant Church through its excesses, and the growth of Occult Societies became unstoppable.
These ancient Mysteries had never gone away. They were contained in folk lore and stories told by firelight by traveling story tellers, as they had always been. No amount of Christianisation could stem them, in fact such Christianisation had allowed them to flourish and survive. The common people understood them far too well.
The Occult Societies took braver form. They had public lodges and undertook charitable functions, ostensibly Christian for cover, they were still mystery cults at heart. The adepts of the higher levels still learnt the mental focus of natural human abilities of the spirit. They still learnt how to liberate the natural tendencies inherent in all of us, and how to focus them. They learnt how to come back to themselves and how to touch the divine, all by themselves, without the permissions of the orthodox churches. They no longer required the services of a priest.
Such knowledge spread because it is raw power.
As the ancients discovered so long ago, it is a most useful tool to direct the masses and to influence events, all the better that it is ‘hidden’. Spin and disinformation is not a modern tool. So too, it is also a useful way to influence concepts of freedoms and liberty.
Sauce for the goose is indeed sauce for the gander!
Soon, people of all dispositions began to utilise the structures set up by powerful elites to direct wars and grab power. A tool used to oppress can be used to enable people to wriggle out from underneath suppression and ignorance. Human nature soon learnt how to turn the tables and use the methods of oppression to gain their freedom, of thought, of countries, of health and of belief.
This Occult struggle took on a language of its own. Dark Occult and Light Occult entered human consciousness, but in truth it is impossible to direct human intelligence. Once it is out of the bag, it simply does not fit back into the small spaces it has escaped from. It would take more than a Constantine or a Justinian or even an Inquisition to push it back into the Dark Ages.
This struggle has given us the United Nations, Human Rights, Liberty, Fraternity and political correctness! It has also given us two World Wars which has changed the face of the planet forever. We are still in the grip of this struggle today, when the rich devour the poor and plot their wars in their ivory towers and flood the World with their poisons.
Of course, it is possible that dark forces will flood the planet with wars, chemicals, modified foods and pollution, using their favoured tactics of spin and disinformation as always to break us. And of course the light forces will respond by educating people to educate themselves, such that the one force creates the other and this terrible struggle will continue till the end of Time, as the Hindus believe in their myth of Kali.
We are looking at the Act of Creation, played out before our eyes. We are all participants whether we will it or not. It is up to us, individually, to become wise.
Rudolf Steiner believed that the time of the Occult Societies has gone. He advocates that we develop our natural abilities in the full glare of consciousness. Rudolf Steiner developed a new path to spiritual knowledge which he called ‘Spiritual Science‘, maintaining that in our modern World, we should gain a direct knowledge of the supersensible by developing our latent spirituality in full rational consciousness.
I tend to agree with him. That’s why I am a homeopath.