Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Pagan Pioneers: Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Francis Israel Regardie was
an occultist, author and one time secretary to the legendary Aleister
Crowley. As an adept of the now
defunct secret Order known as the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn”, he
became infamous among the occultists of his day for breaking his oath of secrecy
and publishing the Order’s complete rituals in his book “The Golden Dawn”.
Today this book is a classic best seller and has been revised and
re-issued several times. Overshadowed
by his association with Crowley, much of his other works have been left
unappreciated by those outside of the realms of high magic and occultism.
Regardie was born Francis
Israel Regudy in London, England on the 17th November 1907.
His parents were poor Jewish immigrants and during the course of WW1 when
his older brother joined the army, his name was accidentally written down as
“Regardie”. Rather than change
it, it was then adopted as the family name.
Later Regardie also dropped the use of Francis, preferring to be known
simply as Israel Regardie.
In August 1921 at the age of 13, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Washington D.C. There Regardie was educated and studied art in schools in Washington and Philadelphia. A bright an intuitive scholar, even at that age, he became interested in the theosophical works of Madame Blavatsky, yoga, and Hindu philosophy. He would often be found at the Library of Congress conducting his own studies. Soon after he found a Hebrew tutor who taught him to read Hebrew, an ability that aided him enormously when he started his Qabalistic studies.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
On the 18th
February 1926, Regardie applied for membership to the Washington College of the
Societas Rosicruciana in America (S.R.I.A.).
He was initiated into the Neophyte grade on 18th March 1926
and advanced to the Zelator grade on 2nd June 1927.
It was during this time that Regardie became interested in occultism and
having discovered a book by Aleister Crowley, was soon captivated by his
activities and writings.
Regardie wrote to Crowley in
Paris and eventually received a reply. Soon
after he was offered the job as his secretary in Paris.
Regardie saw this as an opportunity to learn magic from a published
authority, and in October 1928 he traveled to France and accepted the job. For the next three years Regardie tried to get Crowley to
teach him the magical arts. However
Crowley never offered and Regardie, a reserved and modest young man, did not
pursue the matter. Instead he
continued to study on his own, reading every book, article or manuscript that
became available to him.
As would happen with Crowley,
fueled on by the British tabloids, his reputation got the better of him and the
French authorities asked him to leave the country.
Crowley returned to England and later married
his second wife Maria Ferrari de Miramar in 1929.
In an effort
to repair Crowley’s damaged image, Regardie
co-authored with P.R. Stephenson (another of Crowley’s associates), a book
called “The Legend of Aleister Crowley “. It was published in 1930 by
which time they were gradually drifting apart.
continued with his occult studies and as an already established co-author, he
published two of his own books: “ A Garden of Pomegranates” and “The
Tree of Life” in 1932. The
first contained his Qabalistic studies and was based on research and knowledge
gleaned from various sources. The
Tree of Life however was based on the teachings of the Golden Dawn, which
had ceased to exist in 1903. When
published it caused a lot of excitement among the occult elite and was
considered one of the most complete and understandable texts on practical magic
ever written. That same year 1932
he became secretary to Thomas Burke.
the original Golden Dawn had ceased to exist, it continued to live on through
its descendant Orders, the “Stella Matutina” and the “Alpha et Omega”.
As a result of The Tree of Life and with the encouragement and
assistance of one of the old members, Dion Fortune,
Regardie was invited to join the Stella Matutina in 1933.
However as had happened to the original Order, there was much infighting
among its leaders and the Order was in an advanced state of decline.
Regardie due to his extraordinary abilities made rapid progress through
the grades, but considered the chiefs to be more concerned with attaining
grandiose titles than with the practice of magic. He also concluded that the Order and its teachings would not
survive much longer without some effort to place its teachings in the hands of a
greater number of people, those who could appreciate them.
After reaching the grade of Theoricus Adeptus Minor, he left the Order in
December of 1934.
same year in 1934, Aleister Crowley became embroiled in a famous and sensational
libel case in which he sued Nina Hamnett, a prominent sculptress.
Losing the case he was forced into bankruptcy and could
no longer afford to keep Regardie on as his secretary.
As a result, and as would happen with many of Crowley’s friends and
associates, they suffered a complete falling out.
Regardie was deeply wounded by the break-up of their friendship and was
only able to pardon him in later years. Regardie
throw himself into his work writing “The Art of True Healing”, and
doing his groundwork for “The Philosopher’s Stone”.
Regardie next turned his
attention to psychology and psychotherapy, and began studying psychoanalysis
with Dr. E. Clegg and Dr. J. L. Bendit in London.
He also continued writing and in 1936 published “My Rosicrucian
Adventure” followed by the completed “The Philosopher's Stone,
a book about alchemy from a Jungian perspective.
At the time he didn’t believe in the validity of laboratory alchemy,
(but later in the 1970’s while working with practical alchemists such as
Frater Albertus of the Paracelsus Research Society, he changed his mind on the
matter. Unfortunately one of his
alchemical experiments went wrong and he seriously burned his lungs in the lab.
He gave up the practice of alchemy and suffered from the effects of the
accident until the end of his life).
In 1937 breaking his oath of
secrecy to the Stella Matutina, he published the bulk of the Golden Dawn’s
rituals and teachings. Written in
four volumes he called it simply “The Golden Dawn”.
It caused a storm of protest at the time and some people openly
criticized him for his actions, although many Adepts of the Order were secretly
grateful to him. His reasons for
doing so he explains in his book “My Rosicrucian Adventure”:
“...it is essential that
the whole system should be publicly exhibited so that it may not be lost to
mankind, for it is the heritage of every man and woman and their spiritual
birthright. My motives have been to
prove without a doubt that no longer is the Order the ideal medium for the
transmission of Magic, and that since there have already been several partial
and irresponsible disclosures of the Order’s teachings, a more adequate
presentation of that system is urgently called for. Only thus may the widespread misconceptions as to Magic be
Later that year Regardie
returned to the U.S. where he entered the Chiropractic College in New York City
to study psychology. Studying
psychotherapy under Dr. Nandor, his training encompassed Freudian, Jungian, and
Reichian methods and techniques. A
year later in 1938 he published “The Middle Pillar”, which gives a
step-by-step account on how to perform the practical exercises of Golden
Dawn’s ceremonial magic. In the
same book he also compares these magical techniques to the methods and
hypotheses of psychoanalysis. He
sought to remove the synthetic walls that had been erected between magic and
After graduating in 1941,
Regardie served in the U.S. Army till the end of WWII, during which time he
explored Christian mysticism and wrote about his ideas in “The Romance of
Metaphysics” published in 1946.
After leaving the army he relocated to southern California and set up
practice as a chiropractor and Reichian therapist.
He taught psychiatry at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and
contributed articles to various psychology magazines.
He also wrote several more books including:
“The Art and Meaning of Magic”, “Roll Away the
Stone, Twelve Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment”, “A Practical
Guide to Geomantic Divination”, “How to Make and Use Talismans”,
and “Foundations of Practical Magic”.
During the 1960’s an old
acquaintance of Aleister Crowley moved into Los Angeles and made herself known
to him. They met occasionally for he and Sybil
Leek had much to reminisced about the great man.
Through out his career,
Regardie’s own achievements were often overshadowed by his association with
Aleister Crowley, which often frustrated him, but his charitable nature and his
ability to be forgiving toward his old friend was evident when he authored
perhaps the most definitive biography on Crowley called “The Eye in the
Triangle”. But he was also
irritated when people linked him solely to Crowley’s teachings:
“One of his pet hates was
people associating him with Crowley’s brand of Thelemic Magic and the Book of
the Law. I can still recall him
thumping the table at dinner one night saying “Dammit!! I’m a Golden Dawn
man and not a Thelemite and I wish people would realize it”, writes Pat
Zalewski author of “The Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn.”
Regardie retired from his
practice in 1981 and moved to Sedona, Arizona where he continued to write.
His later books included “Ceremonial Magic”, “The Lazy Man's Guide
to Relaxation”, and “The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic”.
While retired he continued to give advice on health and magical matters
until the end of his life. Sadly he died of a heart attack on the 10th March
1985 while having dinner with friends at one of his favorite restaurants.
Although he is gone, his legacy remains in his written works, which
continue to teach and inspire new generations of students.
One of Regardie’s primary
objectives throughout his career had been to preserve the teachings of the
Golden Dawn, but he had also set himself another task.
As an Adept
of the Golden Dawn,
he felt it was down to him to bring a valid branch of the initiatory lineage of
the Order to America. He waited
patiently for four decades before he was able to achieve his goal. A couple in Georgia were inspired to build a Rosicrucian
Vault, the powerful ritual chamber required to pass on the Adept Initiation.
At the same time two magicians (one on the east coast of the United
States and one on the west coast), unknown to each other or to the Georgia
couple, came to be ready to receive that Initiation.
Regardie was the connecting link between them and using his title and
Order motto “A. M. A. G.” he had the right to confer the initiation in such
a Vault. And so in one remarkable
weekend, Regardie presided over two initiations into the Inner Order, the first
and the last that he ever performed, and with the following oath the “Lamp of
the Keryx” was passed into American hands:
“I further promise and swear that with the Divine Permission, I will from this day forward, apply myself to the Great Work, which is: to purify and exalt my Spiritual Nature so that with the Divine Aid I may at length attain to be more than human, and thus gradually raise and unite to my Higher and Divine Genius, and that in this event I will not abuse the great power entrusted to me”.
Regardie's Order Motto
A.M.A.G. - Ad Majorem Adonai Gloriam - “To the Greater Glory of God”
To be posted later
First published on the 09th December 2001, 17:07:20 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar and Totem Animals) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Unicorn / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat / Rats / Unicorn
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Pioneers: Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others
Aidan A Kelly / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda Metteyya / Allan Kardec (Spiritism) / Alphonsus de Spina / Amber K / Ann Moura / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Balthasar Bekker / Biddy Early / Barbara Vickers / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christopher Penczak / Christina Oakley Harrington / Cornelius Loos / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Donald Michael Kraig / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edain McCoy / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Hermann Löher / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Heinrich Kramer / Idries Shah / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / Ivo Domínguez Jr. / Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jean Bodin / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johann Weyer / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim - the “Hexenbrenner” (witch burner) / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" / Lambert Daneau / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Lodovico Maria Sinistrari / Ludwig Lavater / Madeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Michael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" / Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Martin Antoine Del Rio / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Olivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Paul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school / Peter Binsfeld / Philip Heselton / Raven Grimassi / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Richard Baxter / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Rossell Hope Robbins / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / Walter Ernest Butler / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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