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Fellowship of the Golden Dawn

The Order of the Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti

The founders of the original Golden Dawn Tradition: Woodman, MacGregor Mathers, and Westcott William Robert Woodman Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers William Wynn Westcott

The Golden Dawn was born in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which practiced spiritual development through theurgy; it has been one of the largest single influences on 20th Century Western Occultism. Concepts of magic and ritual at the center of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn. Founded by William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers; Freemasons and members of S.R.I.A. ( Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia ). 

The Golden Dawn system was based on hierarchy and initiation like the Masonic Lodges; however, women were admitted on an equal basis with men. The "Golden Dawn" was the first of three Orders, although all three are often collectively referred to as the "Golden Dawn". The 1st(“Outer”) Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four Classical Elements as well as the basics of astrology, alchemy,  divination, and Neo-Platonism . The 2nd ("Inner") Order; the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis  (“Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold”), taught practical Qabalah and Enochian. The 3rd (“Secret”) Order was that of the "Secret Chiefs", who were said to be highly skilled; they direct the activities of the other two orders by spirit communication with the Chiefs of the 2nd Order.

In October 1887, Westcott wrote to Anna Sprengel, whose name and address he received through the decoding of the Cipher Manuscripts. The Cipher Manuscripts of the Golden Dawn.Westcott claimed to receive a wise reply and chartered a Golden Dawn temple consisting of the five grades outlined in the manuscripts.In 1888, the Isis-Urania Temple was founded in London,  where the rituals decoded from the cipher manuscripts were developed and practiced.  In addition, there was an insistence on women being allowed to participate in the Order in "perfect equality" with men, in contrast to the S.R.I.A. and Masonry.  This first Lodge did not teach any magical practices per se (except for basic "banishing" rituals and meditation), but was rather a philosophical and metaphysical teaching order. It was called "the Outer Order" or "1st Order" and for four years the Golden Dawn existed only in this order.

The "Inner Order", which became active in 1892 was the circle of adepts who had completed the entire course of study for the Outer Order. This group eventually became known as the 2nd Order. In a short time, the Osiris temple in Weston-super-Mare, the Horus Temple in Bradford, and the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were founded; a few years after this, Mathers founded the Ahathoor Temple in Paris.

In 1891, Westcott's correspondence with Anna Sprengel suddenly ceased, and he received word from Germany either that she was dead or The Rose Crossthat her companions did not approve of the founding of the Order and no further contact was to be made. If the founders were to contact the Secret Chiefs; therefore, it had to be done on their own. In 1892, Mathers claimed a link to the Secret Chiefs had been formed and supplied rituals for the 2nd Order, called the Red Rose and Cross of Gold. These rituals were based on the tradition of the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz and a Vault of Adepts became the controlling force behind the Outer Order. Later in 1916, Westcott claimed that Mathers also constructed these rituals from materials he received from Frater Lux ex Tenebris, a purported Continental Adept.

By the mid 1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established in Great Britain, with membership rising to over a hundred and including every class of Victorian society. In its heyday, many celebrities belonged to the Golden Dawn, such as actress Florence Farr and Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, Irish writer William Butler Yeats, Welsh author Arthur Machen, English author Evelyn Underhill, and English writer Aleister Crowley.

Around 1897, Westcott broke all ties to the Golden Dawn, leaving Mathers in control. It is speculated that this was due to some occult papers having been found in a hansom cab, in which Westcott's connection to the Golden Dawn came to the attention of his superiors. He may have been told to either resign from the Order or to give up his occupation as coroner.After Westcott's departure, Mathers appointed Florence Farr to be Chief Adept in Anglia.

Matherswas the only active founding member after Westcott's "departure"; however, due to personality clashes with other members and absences from the center of Lodge activity in Great Britain, challenges to Mathers' authority as leader developed among the members of the Second Order.

Towards the end of 1899, the Adepts of the Isis-Urania and Amen-Ra Temples had become dissatisfied with Mathers' leadership as well as his growing friendship with Crowley. They were also anxious to make contact with the Secret Chiefs themselves, instead of relying on Mathers.Among the personal disagreements within the Isis-UraniaTemple, disputes were arising from Florence Farr's The Sphere, a secret society within the Isis-Urania, and the rest of the Adept Minors.n

Crowley was refused initiation into the Adeptus Minor grade by the London officials;Mathersoverrode their decision and quickly initiated him at the AhathoorTemple in Paris on January 16, 1900. Upon his return to the London Temple, Crowley requested the grade papers to which he was now entitled from Miss Cracknell, the acting secretary. To the London Adepts, this was the last straw. Farr, already of the opinion that the London Temple should be closed, wrote to Mathers expressing her wish to resign as his representative, though she was willing to carry on until a successor was found.Mathers replied on February 16, believing Westcott was behind this turn of events. Once the other Adepts in London were notified, they elected a committee of seven on March 3rd and requested a full investigation of the matter. Matherssent an immediate reply, declining to provide proof, refusing to acknowledge the London Temple, and dismissing Farr as his representative on March 23rd.  In response, a general meeting was called on March 29thin London to remove Mathers as chief and expel him from the Order.

In 1901, W. B. Yeats privately published a pamphlet titled Is the Order of R. R. & A. C. to Remain a Magical Order? After the Isis-UraniaTemple claimed its independence, there were even more disputes, leading to Yeats resigning. A committee of three was to temporarily govern, which included P.W. Bullock, M.W. Blackden, and J. W. Brodie-Innes. After a short time, Bullock resigned, and Dr. Robert Felkin  took his place.In 1903,  A.E. Waite  and Blackden joined forces to retain the name Isis-Urania, while Felkin and other London members formed the  Stella Matutina, Yeats remaining in it until 1921, and Brodie-Innes continued his Amen-Ra temple in Edinburgh.

Once Mathers realized that reconciliation was impossible, he made efforts to reestablish himself in London. The Bradford and Weston-super-Mare Temples remained loyal to him, but their numbers were few. He then appointed  Edward Berridge as his representative.  According to Francis King, historical evidence shows that there were "twenty three members of a flourishing 2nd Order under Berridge-Mathersin 1913."

J.W. Brodie-Innes continued leading the Amen-Ra Temple, deciding that the revolt was unjustified. By 1908, Mathers and Brodie-Innes were in complete accord. Sometime between 1901 and 1913 Mathers renamed the branch of the Golden Dawn remaining loyal to his leadership to  Alpha et Omega.Brodie-Innes assumed command of the English and Scottish Temples, while Mathersconcentrated on building up his AhathoorTemple and extending his American connections. According to occultist  Israel Regardie, the Golden Dawn had spread to the  United States of America before 1900 and a Thoth-Hermes Temple had been founded in Chicago. By the beginning of the World War I in 1914, Mathers had established two to three American Temples.

Most Temples of the and Stella Matutina closed or went into abeyance by the end of the 1930s, with the exceptions of two Temples: Hermes Temple in Bristol, which operated sporadically until 1970, and theWhare Ra in Havelock NorthNew Zealand, which operated regularly until its closure in 1978.Alpha etOmega also receded; the Ma’at Temple in Florida under the direction of M.A. Cross endured the Great Depression and World War II until the early 70’s. Tim Sabin carried the torch with Anubis Temple in Texas from 1957 until 1986.  Little is known of Nephthyes Temple in Oregon other than it was led by Karen White from 1977 until the mid to late 90’s. 

The Stella Matutina was resurrected by Charles “Chic” Cicero from the writings and blessings of Israel Regardie founding H.O.G.D. (Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) in Florida. From this came about David Griffin operating under the same name, but independent from Cicero teaches his version of the traditions. H.O.M.S.I. (Hermetic Order of the Morning Star International) formerly the Eternal Cirle of Lightled by Robert Zink in the 90’s claimed lineage to the Alpha et Omega and founded the Isis Temple in California. Resurgence of the tradition was born – Uriel in Georgia, Tehuti and Isis-Osiris in Canada, Ptah in Chicago, and Aset-Asar in Washington founded in the late 90’s and 2000’s. After the millennium H.O.M.S.I. changed their name to E.O.G.D. (Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn).  

In the early years of the new millennium Zink consolidated his power over the other 2nd Order Chiefs of the E.O.G.D. ( and proclaimed himself Supreme Chief Magus of the 9=2 grade). This along with fraudulent peddling of his own merchandise to the membership moved one of the Chiefs Alex Walker to call for a “no confidence vote.” By vote of an overwhelming majority, Robert Zink was expelled from the Order; however, Zink claiming that he is above accountability took a small handful of adepts and continued to practice the tradition under the E.O.G.D. name. Instead of fighting Zink over the name, it was changed to G.D.C.S.S. (Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti) in late 2010 early 2011.

From the G.D.C.S.S. Thoth-Hermes in Colorado and Het Heret in Washington was founded and lasted as such until 2017.  Several Adepts from the midwestern region had more modern ideas of how to run their temples, and thus in 2017 took the G.D.C.S.S. name legally and rebuilt it in their image.  The remaining temples and their Adepts renewed their faith in the founding tenets of the Order, and thus the Fellowship was born and the tradition continues . . . . 




















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