Monday, 21 September 2015


Magical Strokes of a Pen

William Butler Yeats is one of Ireland’s greatest poets and was a giant of the literary world in the late 19th and early 20th century. 
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923, which was the pinnacle of his career. 
WB YEATS was a magician as well a writer, a member of the secret society, The Golden Dawn. The stories in *The Secret Rose* revolve around men who must spend themselves in service to this rose, the symbol of mysticism, through love, battle, excess, patriotism or the search for transcendent wisdom. 

The linked stories stories provide a way to understand Yeats deepest personal beliefs, the strange things he did with his life, his relationship with Ireland and the occult. And the part allocated to his muse, Maud Gonne.

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales 

Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry 

Being Poems Chiefly of the
Irish Heroic Age

by W. B. YEATS

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, The Golden Dawn) was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic that are at the centre of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn, which became one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.

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 First 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, tarot divination, and geomancy. The Second or "Inner" Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (the Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold), taught proper magic, including scrying, astral travel, and alchemy. The Third Order was that of the "Secret Chiefs", who were said to be highly skilled; they supposedly directed the activities of the lower two orders by spirit communication with the Chiefs of the Second Order.

Influences on Golden Dawn concepts and work include: Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, Ancient Egyptian religion, Theurgy, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Astrology, Eliphas Levi, Papus, John Dee & Edward Kelly, Enochian magic, and Renaissance grimoires, as well as Anna Kingsford & Frederick Hockley.

The foundational documents of the original Order of the Golden Dawn, known as the Cipher Manuscripts, are written in English using Trithemius cipher.

According to the records of the Order, the manuscripts passed from Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, a Masonic scholar, to the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, whom British occult writer Francis King describes as the fourth founder (although Woodford died shortly after the Order was founded).

The order claimed its pedigree from coded documents in Dr Wynn Westcott's possession; these claimed the group was a branch of a German Rosicrucian Order. They outlined five 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 break up of the order.
(Goddess and Septagram)

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-Urania temple claimed its independence, there were even more disputes, leading to Yeats resigning.

The encyclopedic text The Golden Dawn, by Israel Regardie, has been the most intensively used source for modern western occult and magical practice.

The Golden Dawn had some very influential people within its ranks. W. B. Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Constance Wilde, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, A. E. Waite, Annie Horniman, Florence Farr, Gerald Kelly and Maude Gonne were all members. There was also a rumour that Wallace Budge, who was in charge of Egyptology at the British Museum, was also involved, although this has never been verified.

Her Secret Rose (2015) - Orna Ross

I've spent years writing a trilogy about the true-life love triangle that was Yeats's relationship with the Gonne women: Maud and Iseult, mother and daughter. Her Secret Rose (2015) is the first book of the three.

Yeats made a myth (and a poetic career) out of his unrequited love for Maud but this novel goes behind the poetic myth. As its opening page says, "When looked at from the woman’s side of the bedsheet, most tales take a turning. This one more than most." 

"A delicate balance of fact and fiction which kept me riveted from beginning to end."

Packed with emotional twists and surprises, Her Secret Rose is closely based on the letters, journals and notebooks of these two fascinating people. It's a novel of secrets and intrigue, passion and politics, mystery and magic and surprise -- and tells the story of what was going on it Yeats's life in the turbulent years leading up to the publication of his mystical stories.

"...Ross has ransacked (her word) the best scholarly sources for her facts and ingeniously knitted a complex tale of betrayal, revenge, suspense, murder mystery — and surprise."

The Irish Independent.

love and light,

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