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Barrett, Francis

(876 words)

Author(s): Gilbert, Robert A.
Barrett, Francis, * 18 Jan 1774 (Marylebone, London), † probably ca. 1830 (London) Barrett described himself, on the title-page of The Magus, the book on which his reputation rests, as a ‘Professor of Chemistry, natural and occult Philosophy, the Cabala, &c., &c.’ This was a somewhat grandiose claim for a man whose profession was that of apothecary and it brought derision from his contemporaries: the poet Robert Southey described him as a rascal who ‘professes to teach the occult sciences’ while being ‘a greater rogue than Solomon’. This jaundiced view was due in part to the notor…

Waite, Arthur Edward

(1,286 words)

Author(s): Gilbert, Robert A.
Waite, Arthur Edward, * 2 Jan 1857 (Brooklyn, N.Y.), † 19 May 1942 (Bridge, Canterbury (England)) Writing as an apologist and critical historian of his subject matter, Waite was the author, editor or translator of more than eighty works on → alchemy, → Freemasonry, kabbalah [→ Jewish Influences], → magic, → mysticism, → Rosicrucianism and other aspects of western esotericism. Through a series of translations of → Eliphas Lévi's major works on magic he effectively introduced Lévi to the English-speaking world, w…

Stella Matutina

(1,798 words)

Author(s): Gilbert, Robert A.
The Order of the Stella Matutina was the largest and most successful of the three segments into which the → Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn divided in 1903. At the time of that division the Isis-Urania Temple of the Golden Dawn remained in the hands of → A.E. Waite who interpreted the workings of the Order in a mystical sense, while those members who remained loyal to → S.L.M. Mathers continued the magical tradition. The Stella Matutina followed a rather different path, which reflected the cre…

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

(5,369 words)

Author(s): Gilbert, Robert A.
The foremost esoteric, and later magical, initiatic Order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was founded in March 1888 but its roots lie in the plethora of fringe masonic Orders and quasi-masonic societies that flourished from the 1860s onwards. Both the administrative structure of the Order and the form of its ceremonies were masonic, but the symbolism and doctrinal content of the rituals were drawn almost exclusively from Western esoteric sources, and in its essentials the Golden Da…