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The Golden Dawn and Freemasonry

from the Donmeh mail list

Both Freemasony and Kabbalah were formative in the development of the 19th century English occult magickal organisation - The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (founded by S.L. MacGregor Mathers and Dr Wynn Wescott).  Mathers was also influential upon Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society - hence we see how Freemasonry and Kabbalah have become the underpinnings of the modern so-called Western Magical (Hermetic/Occult) Tradition.

M.Alan Kazlev


I can't resist adding a point or two to the connexions Alan makes between one branch of fringe Freemasonry and its ancestor, especially as I live in Salt Lake, where as recently as yesterday's paper a letter of heartfelt disappointment appeared from one who was set to become a Mormon but recognised as he came into contact with the beliefs and ceremonies of that Church, that it was "nothing at all but his grandfather's Masonry."

The original Order of the Golden Dawn, aka the Lodge of the Nascent Dawn, the Order of the Asiatic Brethren, the Knights of the Rising Dawn, the Brothers of St. John the Evangelist of Asia in Europe, that is, the lodge founded by Hirschfeld and the brothers von Ecker und Eckhoffen, advised by Franz Thomas von Schoenfeld, aka Junius Frey (ne Moshe Dobruschka, the son of Shlomo and Schoendl, she being Frank's cousin and their home at Brno being his residence from the time he left prison in Czestochowa until he, for very good reasons apparently, moved to Offenbach to live in the castle of Wolfgang Ernst II, Prince of Ysenburg) was both the source for many ideas and symbols in Frank's last period.

It is with wonderment that one looks at Richard Cosway's self-portrait with the caption (in Hebrew) "His name is Esau," in Joscelyn Godwin's, The Theosophical Enlightenment and finds how strong is the binding woven by these delicate threads, from Offenbach to Strasbourg and Paris and London.  (Though, as an antidote to Godwin's work, one really ought to read what Frederick Crewes writes and the very pleasant book, Madame Blavatsky's Baboon.)

Harris Lenowitz


Hermetica - Western Esotericism
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page uploaded 25 November 1998