Tag Archives: William Butler Yeats

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]

British Poets and Secret Societies

British Poets and Secret Societies by Marie Roberts, the 1986 first US printing hardcover from Barnes & Noble Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marie Roberts British Poets and Secret Societies from Barnes and Noble Books

“A surprisingly large number of English poets have either belonged to one or other secret society, or been strongly influenced by its tenets. one of the best known examples is Christopher Smart’s membership of the Freemasons, and the resulting influence of Masonic doctrines on A Song to David; a study of this work in the light of Freemasonry has long been a desideratum. but many other poets have belonged to, or been influenced by (since in many cases membership is hard to prove) not only the Freemasons, but the Rosicrucians, Gormogons and Hell-Fire Clubs. This study concentrates on five major examples: Smart, Burns, William Blake, William Butler Yeats and Rudyard Kipling. A number of other poets are considered in the course of the book, among them Churchill, Goldsmith, Scott, Shelley and Wilde. The author asks the question why so many poets have been powerfully attracted to the secret societies, and considers the effectiveness of poetry as a medium for conveying complex secret emblems and ritual. She shows how some poets believed that poetry would prove a hidden symbolic language in which to reveal great truths. The longevity of such symbolism as a poetic theme, particularly in Freemasonry, is particularly illuminating. The beliefs of these poets are as diverse as their practice, and the book is an unusually stimulating light on several major poets.” — flap copy

 

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.

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.

The Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites & Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order by Israel Regardie, in Llewellyn’s Golden Dawn series, the 1989 sixth edition paperback from Llewellyn Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Israel Regardie's The Golden Dawn from Llewellyn Publications

Apparently I purchased this on Dec 5, 1990, from Seattle’s old Astrology Et Al when it was on University Ave, according to the original receipt that is still bookmarking the LBRP. It’s extremely amusing to think about how long I dithered over finally making what was, at the time, a rather costly $19.95 purchase given what I’ve paid for other various volumes since … but, at the time, I recall it was quite a commitment. And, in case you hadn’t noticed before, check out the epilogue written back in 1986 by Hermetic Library fellow Sam Webster.

“AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PRACTICAL OCCULTISM

The Original Account of the Teaching, Rites and Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as revealed by Israel Regardie, with further revision, expansion, and additional notes by Israel Regardie, Cris Monnastre, and others. A comprehensive index has been supplied by noted occultist David Godwin for this new edition.

Originally published in four volumes of some 1200 pages, this 6th Revised and Enlarged Edition has been reset in half the pages (retaining the original pagination in marginal notation for reference) for greater ease of use.

Corrections of errors in the original editions have been made, with further revision and additional text and notes by actual practitioners of the Golden Dawn system of magick, with an introduction by the only student ever accepted for personal training by Regardie.

The Golden Dawn, once a secret order, was one of the most prestigious groups flourishing at the turn of the century. Membership included such notables as W. B. Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Lady Frieda Harris, Brodie Innes, S. L. MacGregor Mathers, A. E. Waite, Evelyn Underhill and W. Wynn Westcott. Its influence on 20th century spiritual science has been enormous!

Today there are independent lodges practicing the Golden Dawn system of Magick all over the world, and the Knowledge Lectures included in this book are fundamental to nearly all aspects of Western Esotericism.

Also included are Initiation Ceremonies, important rituals for consecration and invocation, methods of meditation and magical working based on the Enochian Tablets, studies in the Tarot, and the system of Qabalistic Correspondences that unite the world’s religions and magical traditions into a comprehensive and practical whole.

This volume is designed as a study and practice curriculum suited to both group and private practice. Meditation upon, and following with the Active Imagination, the Initiation Ceremonies are fully experiential without need of participation in group or lodge.

The Golden Dawn, a system for perfecting the raw material that is humanity; a system for awakening the consciousness within and uniting with that of the universe itself.”

 

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.

Revolt of the Magicians

Aleister Crowley – Revolt of the Magicians: A Novel by Lon Milo DuQuette and James M Bratkowsky, the 2011 softcover edition, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Lon Milo DuQuette and James Bratkowsky's Aleister Crowley The Revolt of the Magicians

“The dawning twentieth century is not big enough for eccentric genius Aleister Crowley. He is an acclaimed poet, chess master, world-class mountaineer, and probably the most passionately liberated man in Victorian London. His real devotion, however, is magic … and the search for his own soul. An infamous fourteenth century Arabic book of magic survives the centuries to spawn the formation of a hidden society of magicians in London. The Order is led by occult scholar MacGregor Mathers and his wife Moina, who claim to be in touch with secret masters that give them ever-increasing magical knowledge and power. For several years the Order grows, drawing on new members from the giants of British commerce, art, and literature. Suddenly, at the height of the Order’s influence, MacGregor and Moina appear to lose contact with the secret masters. They move to Paris and ignore the Order’s plea for more teachings and higher initiations. The London lodge threatens to sever ties with them and make magical contact with the secret masters themselves. Five very famous members lead the revolt:
• the poet William Butler Yeats
• the playwright Maude Gonne
• Bram Stoker, author of Dracula
• Florence Farr, the most acclaimed actress of her day
• and one of the wealthiest women in the world, tea heiress Annie Horniman.
Crowley naively joins the Order at the beginning of the revolt. Blinded by his intense spiritual aspirations, he is not only drawn into the conflict, but unwittingly becomes the catalyst that brings about their destruction.”

 

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]