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What is Golden Dawn?

To: alt.occult.kabbalah.golden-dawn
From: Mark Ryan 
Subject: Re: What is Golden Dawn?
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 20:47:30 GMT

In article <4isvep$>, jack  writes:
|> Adam Wasserman  wrote:
|> >I have run accross refernces to GD in books and magazines that I read, but
|> >have no clear picture as to what the nature of the discipline is.
|> >Could anybody post a GD-for-beginners article?
|> >Adam
|> >--
|> >no .sig (sigh)
|> the G.D.)Golden Dawn) was at the end of the ninteenh century a secret
|> socity of adepts(magians) wich included among others Aliester
|> Crolwley, S.L. Mcgregor Mathers and t T.S Eliot(to name but a few)
|> alot of there teachings were handed down to other systems dow the
|> years,such notables as the late Isreal Regardie wrote a 4 set book
|> called  " THE GOLDEN DAWN", also a  tarot deack also called the golden
|> dawn deck released publickly after regardies death(problab;y the most
|> complete deck since crowleys thoth deck

Acutally, I think you mean Y.B. Yeats, not T.S. Eliot.
Eliot would have disapproved, if he had been born at the time.

Yeats's Order name was D.E.D.I. (Daemon Est Deus Inversus).  He belonged
to the G.D. and its successor the for at least 20 years.
For more on Yeats and the G.D.,  see --
   The Unicorn   by Viginia Moore
   The Mystery Religion of W.B. Yeats  by Graham Hough

Some other notable G.D. members:  
   Maude Gonne -- Irish Actress
   George Russell (AE)-- Irish poet and artist
   Arthur Edward Waite -- Englist occultist (and author of the Tarot deck
  	incorrectly attributed, above)
   Dr. Wynn Westcott -- English pathologist and occultist

Sources for G.D. tradition, from oldest to newest--
   Egyptian magical papyrii -- mostly just Egyptian trappings for rituals
   The Hermetic tradition  -- many ideas, especially that of correspondence
	between microcosm/macrocosm
   Jewish mysticism (the Kaballah, etc.) -- heavily drawn on for 
	system of correspondences and paths, including degrees of initiation
   Neo-Platonism -- Great Chain of Being, reincarnation
   Rosicrucianism  -- used for rituals, symbols
   Renaissance speculation (e.g., Giorgano Bruno, Ficcino)
   Dr. Dee's Enochian system, "Angelic" language
   "Grimoire" magical manuals
   18th and 19th Century magicians, e.g., Eliphas Levi
   19th Century spritualism

Anybody who can find any practical use for this disreputable hodgepodge 
of ideas has my admiration.  Somehow, the G.D. founders (the real ones,
Mathers and Westcott, not the fictitious Frauline Sprengle of Germany)
managed to make it all hang together, at least enough to capture the
interest of a guy like Yeats, who was no fool.  In fact, Yeats was asked
to leave Madam Blavatsky's group ("Theosophists") because he was given
to making practical experiments... Later, he used much of the G.D. doctrine
in his own system described in "A Vision," and said to have inspired or
influenced dmuch of his later poetry.    Despite this, a lot of the
G.D. is the most outrageous claptrap and balderdash.

Questions:  Is there anything of value in all this stuff? If so, what is it:
esthetic, mythological, psychological, philisophical--or what?  If not, why 
does the subject keep croping up every few hundred years, and why does it
interest so many otherwise intellegent people?  Lastly, why is the current
crop of "New Age" devotees so much less organized and talented than their
counterparts 100 years ago?

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