20190926_040836606.pdf - 33 After leaving the Golden Dawn Waite established the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn that emphasised analogous aspects of

20190926_040836606.pdf - 33 After leaving the Golden Dawn...

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33 After leaving the Golden Dawn, Waite established the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn that emphasised analogous aspects of magical and Christian teaching. 34 A.E. Waite, The Book of Spells (1911) (Herts.: Wordsworth, 1995), p. viii. 99 the ‘more inward purpose of the present investigation’ as ‘to place within reach of such persons who are inclined to such a subject the fullest evidence of the futility of Ceremonial Magic as it is found in books’. He goes on to condemn further the literature: As to the things which are implied within and may lie behind the literature, they are another consideration, about which I will say only at the moment that, judged by the fruits which they have produced, they are not incomparable to the second death beyond the gates of perdition.35 In Waite’s fervent opinion, the symbolism of ritual as illustrated in magical writing does not exist, and the failure of magicians to achieve spiritualisation through ritual is the proof. And perhaps, in light of Waite’s profound Christianity, his allusion to purgatory goes so far as to equate ritual with sacrilege.36 In a later chapter Waite’s distaste for ritual resurfaces in a discussion of the ‘The Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage’. The author’s ‘elaboration of general mise en scène’, he worries, is evidence of ‘new modes and even new intentions in respect of “magical vanity”’, a worry that was to be exacerbated, in the eyes of Waite and others, by the rise of a magician with an acute magical vanity, Aleister Crowley.37 35 Waite, p. xi. 36 Waite further denies the import of Ritual on the grounds that its true essence remains concealed: There is no extant Ritual, as there is no doctrine, which contains, or can possibly contain, the real secret of magical procedure or the essence of occult doctrine. The reason – whatever may be said in the excess of some self-constituted exponents – is not because there is, or can be, any indicible process, but because the knowledge in question is in the custody of those who have taken effectual measures for its
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  • Spring '16
  • jessy
  • Aleister Crowley, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, A.E. Waite

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