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March 7, 2004

The Golden Dawn

By Lee Prosser

Also known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, it is now considered by occult historians as one of the most influential and secret Western occult societies and was important as an occult organization from the 19th to the early 20th Century. Its key founder was Dr. William Wynn Westcott, and other members included Dr. W. R. Woodman, W. B. Yeats, MacGregor Mathers, and A. E. Waite. 

All studies dealt to some degree with magick, including meditations, prayers, spells and incantations. Studies centered around the Tree of Life. As certain texts did focus on Christian motifs, an approach was seen to focus on a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Golden Dawn admitted both men and women to its membership.

Israel Regardie published the secret rituals of this society. Aleister Crowley published some of the society's secrets in his magazine. 

Many of the rituals found in this society have been absorbed into contemporary Witchcraft. For those further interested in the workings of this society, a reading of Israel Regardie's books The Golden Dawn and What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn should prove interesting. 

With the coming of the Internet and widespread use of the home computer, much information about the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn can be found at numerous Web sites and in print. It is a topic of research that is unending. The word, hermetic, refers to the occult science of alchemy. Alchemy was not the transforming of lead into gold. Alchemy is the transformation of the human being into its true spiritual destiny.

For those interested in more information on the Magickal Order of the Golden Dawn, the following website is available:

Lee Prosser is's book reviewer and a regular contributor.

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