Golden Dawn discussion with Steven Ashe.
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Steven has been interested in Golden Dawn source material since 1979 when he joined a noteworthy esoteric study group. This group had access to unpublished hand penned Golden Dawn manuscripts from the Victorian era and a small set of early John Dee's Enochian manuscripts in the British Library. The Golden Dawn documents and copies of material by Hockley, Merric Causabon, etc had been obtained via the sponsorship of Aleister Crowley's pupil and benefactor Gerald Yorke. This was just prior to Regardie's publishing the second larger Golden Dawn through New Falcon which employs alternate sources from the earlier Llewellyn editions.
Essentially, the Golden Dawn of the Victorian and Edwardian eras synthesized an extant body of esoteric literature and Biblical mythological motifs. This was limited to the scholarship of the time which was passing out of the hands of capable amateurs and those rich enough to fund their own pursuits into the a more organized and self critical academia. An evolution in anthropology was also underway through the school of Malinovsky and Levi-Strauss. This caused a revolution which uprooted armchair anthropologists such as Fraser, whose work The Golden Bough had hitherto dominated the field.
My 'Complete Golden Dawn Initiate' is really a collection of works, many of which would have taken pride of place in the collections of the initiates of elder days - but which, sadly, are themselves only available in hard to obtain collections.
If one were to study the rituals of Freemasonry it would be forgivable to come to the conclusion that the organizations sole purpose was the admission of candidates. In fact, one would not be far wrong. The real business of Freemasonry goes on behind closed doors. So it was with the Golden Dawn.
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