Category Archives: The Gaeltacht of William Butler Yeats

The Gaeltacht of William Butler Yeats

Celtic cultural stories of occult, folklore and mythology

Homage to Pythagoras

Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, edited by Christopher Bamford, with essays by Christopher Bamford, Keith Critchlow, Robert Lawlor, Anne Macauly, Kathleen Raine, and Arthur G Zajonc, a 1994 paperback from Lindisfarne Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Christopher Bamford Homage to Pythagoras from Lindisfarne Press

“These articles, both scholarly and sympathetic to the Pythagorean perspective, are proof of the contemporary interest in Pythagoras’ philosophy as a living reality. Homage to Pythagoras is a major addition to the field of Pythagorean studies and traditional mathematics.

Here is a collection of essential documents by people at the leading edge of the sacred sciences in our time.” [via]

Essays include:
· Christopher Bamford, Introduction: Homage to Pythagoras
· Robert Lawlor, Ancient Temple Architecture
· Keith Critchlow, The Platonic Tradition on the Nature of Proportion
· Keith Critchlow, What is Sacred in Architecture?
· Keith Critchlow, Twelve Criteria for Sacred Architecture
· Robert Lawlor, Pythagorean Number as Form, Color, and Light
· Arthur Zajonc, The Two Lights
· Anne Macauley, Apollo: The Pythagorean Definition of God
· Kathleen Raine, Blake, Yeats and Pythagoras


The Nag Hammadi Library

The Nag Hammadi Library, edited by James M Robinson, the 1990 paperback from HarperCollins, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. There is a newer revision The Nag Hammadi Scriptures which may be of more current interest.

James M Robinson The Nag Hammadi Library from HarperCollins

“This revised, expanded, and updated edition of The Nag Hammadi Library is the only complete, one-volume, modern language version of the renowned library of fourth-century manuscripts discovered in Egypt in 1945.

First published in 1978, The Nag Hammadi Library launched modern Gnostic studies and exposed a movement whose teachings are in many ways as relevant today as they were sixteen centuries ago.

James M. Robinson’s updated introduction reflects ten years of additional researcha nd editorial and critical work. An afterword by Richard Smith discusses the modern relevance of Gnosticism and its influence on such writers as Voltaire, Blake, Melville, Yeats, Kerouac, and Philip K. Dick.

Acclaimed by scholars and general readers alike, The Nag Hammadi Library is a work of major importance to everyone interested in the evolution of Christianity, the Bible, archaeology, and the story of Western civilization.” — back cover


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]

What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn

What You Should Know About The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, with a foreword by Christopher S Hyatt, the fifth and enlarged 1988 printing of the paperback from Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Israel Regardie What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn from Falcon Press

Apparently, there’s also a 2011 ebook edition of this as well, which may be of interest, which includes at least some new material, from the 2010 New Falcon revised print edition, by Chic and Tabatha Cicero and Regardie’s 1934 Stella Matutina Enochian Examination from his personal archives.

“This fascinating book has been out of print and highly sought after for many years since its first publication as My Rosicrucian Adventure in 1936.

In this work Israel Regardie relates his own personal experience with those secret societies which have exerted such a great influence on the development of modern Occultism.

Regardie lifts the cloak of mystery which has shrouded The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, The Rosicrucian Fraternity, and The Masonic Lodge.

From his close personal association Regardie reveals the true nature and actions of such leading Occult authorities as Aleister Crowley, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Dr W.W. Westcott, Dion Fortune.

‘Israel Regardie is the last representative of the great occult tradition of the late 19th century, whose major names include Madame Blavatsky, W.B. Yeats, MacGregor Mathers, A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune. Even in such distinguished company, Regardie stands out as a figure of central importance.’ — Colin Wilson”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

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.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Mythologies

Mythologies by William Butler Yeats, the 1969 softcover edition from Collier Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

William Butler Yeats' Mythologies

“Banshees and faeries, demons and curses, village ghosts and mystic poets…

work their Gaelic magic in this enthralling collection of supernatural tales from the pen of William Butler Yeats. Based on Irish country beliefs, traditions, and folk tales, the stories were first published at the height of Yeats’ romantic period in three collections entitled The Celtic Twilight, The Secret Rose, and Stories of Red Hanrahan.

A concluding section of essays reveal Yeats’ own speculations on and experiences of the supernatural and his philosophy of self and not-self. Together with the stories, they offer rich and varied perspectives of Yeats’ genius and eloquent proof that the great poet could work unique enchantment in prose as well as in poetry and drama.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Yeats’ system

Yeats' system
Yeats’ system, originally uploaded by chasing the rabbit.

 

“after Yeats’ drawing in ‘A vision’ (1925).”

 

The Hermetic Library visual pool is a visual scavenger hunt for images of a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the visual pool, head over to the Hermetic Library visual pool or contact the librarian.

The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study

The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study by Hermetic Library fellow John Michael Greer is due Feb 2013, published by Llewellyn.

 

 

“A century ago, groups decending from the famed Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn fused the occult lore of the Western magical tradition with the nature spirituality of the Druid Revival. They invoked Pagan Celtic powers instead of the Judeo-Christian names and symbols. Respected occult author and Grand Archdruid John Michael Greer has re-created a complete magical system based on the Celtic Golden Dawn traditions. This new book provides students with a complete curriculum of Druidical magic and occult wisdom, including training in ceremonial magic, meditation, pathworking, divination, geomancy, and herbal alchemy, allowing self-initiation into the three degrees of Ovate, Bard, and Druid. It features spectacular magical techniques for such things as invisibility, etheric shapeshifing, and conjuring spirits.” [via]

 

Although the book description doesn’t say so, I’ve seen some comments which state this work has to do with the Celtic Revival of William Butler Yeats, and will cover materials related to Yeats’ attempt to create rituals for his Castle of Heroes and a neo-romantic reconstruction of Celtic Mysteries which was his focus for a time. I was curious whether that was the case, so I asked John and he clarifies:

“Since only fragmentary material survives from the Druid/Golden Dawn hybrid orders of the early 20th century — orders such as the Cabbalistic Order of Druids and the Ancient Order of Druid Hermetists — the sole available option was for someone with a solid grasp of Golden Dawn and Druid traditions to reverse engineer a fusion between them. Since I have the qualifications, I decided to give it a shot. The completed system is an original creation of mine, based on my sense of what the study program of such an order would have been like.” — John Michael Greer [via email]

 

Stolen Child Tarot

You may be interested in this project to develop a new tarot deck, the Stolen Child Tarot by Monica Knighton. The name of the deck is inspired by a William Butler Yeats poem, The Stolen Child:

“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”

“To create the atmosphere of the poem, I’m designing the imagery without man-made objects like the usual tools you would see in a traditional deck — for example, a crown could be represented by antlers, or an animal’s form could represent the clothing for a human station. Also, there won’t be any adult figures. The humans in this deck are all changeling children that have embraced different parts of the natural world.”