Category Archives: Florence Farr: The scattered ashes of sacred wisdom

Florence Farr: The scattered ashes of sacred wisdom

The work of and resources about this important woman of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, actress, composer and director

The Battle of Blythe Road

The Battle of Blythe Road: A Golden Dawn Affair: Aleister Crowley and the Revolt of the Adepti edited and introduced by Darcy Kuntz, with material on and from Aleister Crowley, William Wynn Westcott, William Butler Yeats, Florence Farr and more from a pivotal moment for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Western esotericism as a whole, Vol 14 of the Golden Dawn Studies Series, the 2005 second edition published by J D Holmes, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Darcy Kuntz The Battle of Blythe Road

“The history of the magical battle that Crowley ignited so he could win control of the Second Order of the Golden Dawn. Included are a number of the official documents that were issued as fallout from the events and excerpts from Crowley’s diary from that period.” [via]

The Magic of a Symbol

The Magic of a Symbol by Florence Farr, edited with an introduction by Darcy Kuntz, Vol 6 of the Golden Dawn Studies Series, the 2005 second revised edition published by J D Holmes, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Florence Farr The Magic of a Symbol

“This book contains Florence Farr’s ideas on Symbolism, the Kabbalah, Egyptian Magic, the Vedanta, Rosicrucians, Alchemy and the Tree of Life. Edited with Introductory Note by Darcy Kuntz.” [via]

The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn

The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn: Enochian Alphabet Clairvoyantly Examined by Florence Farr, edited with an introduction and notes by Darcy Kuntz, Vol 7 of the Golden Dawn Studies Series, the 2007 third revised edition published by J D Holmes, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Florence Farr The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Gawn

“The experiments Farr conducted with the Sphere Group in 1901 with the events and experiences chronicled in her diary. Keys to the Enochian Language; a corrected Holy Table; and a rare full page plate also are included.” [via]

The Serpent’s Path

The Serpent’s Path: The Magical Plays of Florence Farr, compiled, edited and introduced by Darcy Kuntz, Vol 25 of the Golden Dawn Studies Series, the 2005 revised edition published by J D Holmes, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Florence Farr The Serpent's Path from Golden Dawn Studies Series

This volume contains four plays by Florence Farr: The Beloved of Hathor, The Shrine of the Golden Hawk, The Mystery of Time, and A Dialogue of Vision.

The Magicians of the Golden Dawn

Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order, 1887-1923 by Ellic Howe, with a foreword by Gerald Yorke, the 1984 second printing softcover from Samuel Weiser, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Ellic Howe The Magicians of the Golden Dawn from Samuel Weiser

“W.B. Yeats, Annie Horniman, Florence Farr, MacGregor Mathers, Fraülin Sprengel, Dr Westcott, Dr R.W. Felkin, Rev W.A. Ayton, F.L. Gardner, A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley, et alii

The Golden Dawn story, with its cast of eccentric characters and its saga of faked documents, mythical ‘Rosicrucian’ adepts, ‘Secret Chiefs’ and bitter internecine quarrels, will delight amateurs of the unusual and fantastic. The Hermetic Order fo the Golden Dawn, whose heyday was during the 1890s, has an almost legendary reputation. Those interested in Ritual Magic and occultism suppose that it represents a preeminent source of authority and knowledge. A wider public has been intrigued by W.B. Yeats’ lengthy connection with the Order, also by the membership of his friends Annie Horniman and Florence Farr. Miss Horniman later built the famous Abbey Theatre at Dublin for him, while Florence Farr was G.B. Shaw’s mistress during her Golden Dawn period.

Ellic Howe is neither a magician nor an occultist but has an unrivaled knowledge of modern (post-1850) European ‘underground’ occult movements and sects. The Magicians of the Golden Dawn is based upon previously inaccessible contemporary letters and other papers. Mr. Howe has provided a most scholarly and detailed work. It is the first documentary study of this curious Order’s tangled and incredible history.”

 

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Aleister Crowley is acknowledged as one of the Earth’s historic alchemists in an article about acting

Aleister Crowley is acknowledged as one of the Earth’s historic alchemists in an article about acting at “Nicolas Cage: alchemist and shaman?” by DJ Pangburn. I suppose it’s novel that Crowley is being called out as an alchemist, in a positive light. (The snide comment I want to make is, “why the prejudice against alchemists from other planets?” But, I won’t stoop … Oops.)

 

“Earth’s history is rich with alchemists—Albertus Magnus, Hermes Trismegistus, Nicolas Flamel, Isaac Newton, Aleister Crowley, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Paracelsus, John Dee, Terrence McKenna and even Carl Jung. Alchemy was a proto-science that paved the way for modern science (chemistry, modern medicine, physics) but also had a spiritual, shamanistic aspect.

This is not to say that alchemists and shamans were and are officially coterminous, only that they both aspire to a better understanding of existence through various means: mysticism, magic, study, and drugs (which we know shamans have done, though whether Alchemists ever did is uncertain. In fact, McKenna attempted to synthesize alchemy with shamanism in various lectures, and described alchemists as pursuing a ‘magical theory of nature’ (like Shamans) in the film ‘The Alchemical Dream.'”

 

“Ghost Rider was an entirely new experience, and he got me thinking about something I read in a book called The Way Of Wyrd by Brian Bates, and he also wrote a book called The Way Of The Actor. He put forth the concept that all actors, whether they know it or not, stem from thousands of years ago — pre-Christian times — when they were the medicine men or shamans of the village. And these shamans, who by today’s standards would be considered psychotic, were actually going into flights of the imagination and locating answers to problems within the village. They would use masks or rocks or some sort of magical object that had power to it.

It occurred to me, because I was doing a character as far out of our reference point as the spirit of vengeance, I could use these techniques. I would paint my face with black and white make up to look like a Afro-Caribbean icon called Baron Samedi, or an Afro-New Orleans icon who is also called Baron Saturday. He is a spirit of death but he loves children; he’s very lustful, so he’s a conflict in forces. And I would put black contact lenses in my eyes so that you could see no white and no pupil, so I would look more like a skull or a white shark on attack.

On my costume, my leather jacket, I would sew in ancient, thousands-of-years-old Egyptian relics, and gather bits of tourmaline and onyx and would stuff them in my pockets to gather these energies together and shock my imagination into believing that I was augmented in some way by them, or in contact with ancient ghosts. I would walk on the set looking like this, loaded with all these magical trinkets, and I wouldn’t say a word to my co-stars or crew or directors. I saw the fear in their eyes, and it was like oxygen to a forest fire. I believed I was the Ghost Rider.”

 

I’m not convinced that “alchemical” is the way to describe the technique Cage uses, but it sure does sound like a magickal aspect of theatre, and related to aspecting and similar techniques from the more ecstatic traditions, modern and historic, but also the idea of assuming a Godform in more ceremonial rituals. Of course, that also brings me to think about one of the quotes from Florence Farr posted last week, actually Iamblichus quoted by Farr, “The Priest who invokes is a man; but when he commands powers it is because through arcane symbols, he, in a certain respect, is invested with the sacred Form of the Gods” [via]

Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“The Laws of Moses were to a great extent derived from the Laws of Ancient Egypt, and whatever else may be said of them they certainly tend to sanitary conditions, and length of life, individual and racial.

Now we know that with the Jews Magic was practised in the Sanctuary, but denounced by the Priesthood; it was only when Saul found the Sacred Oracles of the Urim and Thummim deaf to his questions that he consulted a mistress of the AUB or Astral Light.—I Samuel xxviii. v. 7.” [via]

Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“Mild saintliness was by no means the ideal of the Egyptian Priesthood. Intense practical interest in the life of their country, and the ennobling of natural functions, drew a sharp contrast between them and the ascetics of India and Christendom. ‘Whatever your hand findeth to do, do it with your might,’ is a text that may well have come down to us from Ancient Egypt. The generative processes of Nature were honoured by them at special festivals—but at the same time the degradation of natural functions by excess was sternly reprimanded.” [via]