domingo, fevereiro 27, 2005

Golden Dawn II

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an occult group that emerged at the end of the XIX century having a great influence on the society of those days. The group wanted to create a working system of magic, from the various separate strands of tradition. The group was founded in 1888 by William Wynn Westcott (1848-1925), a doctor, and a master mason, William Robert Woodman (1828 - 1891), also a doctor and a mason, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (1854-1918), also a mason. The order claimed its pedigree from documents in Dr Wynn Westcott's possession; these claimed the group was a branch of a German Rosicrucian Order (Christian Rosenkreutz - 1378-1484, appeared to be the physical vehicle of the Master who came to be known the originator of the association known as the Brethren of the Rosy Cross, later "Rosicrucian": as with all Masters, he existed previous to this time period in some other form and name, but incarnated consciously -as a Bodhisattva- in order to perform a specific function at that particular place and time). They outlined 5 Masonic rituals, which were expanded upon by Mathers. It is highly likely that these papers were forged by Westcott, and it was this accusation that later led to the dissolution of the order. The prime mover of the Golden Dawn turned out to be Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. He was responsible in main for the cohesion the Golden Dawns. Mathers was a romantic about all Celtic things. He claimed descendance from the Scottish Clan. It was his confidence and charm that lead to the orders popularity among society at that time. Like other members of the Golden Dawn, he had a passion for reworking and translating some of the Medieval Grimoires (part of his time spend in researching in the British Library). Mathers wrote much of the Golden Dawn's material. He used Eliphas Levi's system of magic, Egyptian magic, Graeco-Egyptian magic, and Jewish magic, fused with ideas from medieval grimoires, the Tarot and Eastern mysticism. Dee's Enochain language was also incorporated in places.The hierarchical structure of the Golden Dawn was divided into 10 degrees, based on the 10 degrees of the Sephiroth from the Kabbalah. Members passed through each of the levels by sitting exams and rituals. The rituals took place in specially temples named after the Egyptian gods. The main motive of passing through the degrees was to develop the personality through the higher self, and achieve god like status by identifying with universal energies and archetypes.( These energies were seen as present within the human psyche, they just needed to be brought to the surface and controlled with the force of the will and imagination. As with other occult groups, the leading members, claimed that they were in contact with a secret order of higher intelligences. These beings guided the order. The Golden Dawn had some influential people as members. Aleister Crowley, Constance Wilde, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, A. Waite, Annie Horniman, Florence Farr, Gerald Kelly and W. Yeats were members. By the year 1900, schisms were created within the group. Aleister Crowley had a major part in this. He was not well liked, and he sided with Mathers, Mathers accusing Wynn Wescott of faking the Rosicrucian documents on which the Golden Dawn was founded. The allegation was probably true, but Mathers was expelled. Mathers left England for Paris with his wife in 1892. In Paris he founded a splinter group of the Golden Dawn that was never as powerful as it had been in Britain. Mathers helped Aleister Crowley in its progression on the higher degrees in the order, even against the English part of the order. William Butler Yeats (from the Theosophical Society) took over the Golden Dawn Core group after Mather's departure, but it was A. E. Waite who took the order down a different path. He changed the name to The Holy Order of the Golden Dawn, and pushed the order towards Christianity. He finally closed the Order around 1914 because of apathy of its members. By that time there were temples as far apart as Bradford and Paris. There were also groups in Weston Super Mare, Edinburgh and Chicago. Many occult groups today claim to descent from the Golden Dawn.

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