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Women of the Golden Dawn

Rebels and Priestesses
Paperback Book
Inner Traditions
December, 1990
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Banyen's Description: 

This book is dedicated to exploring the lives of four women members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one of the major influences in the Western esoteric tradition in the last 100 years, and a watershed from which many Western esoteric schools have descended.

 An absorbing, curl-up-by-the-fire read, Women of the Golden Dawn explores the lives, aspirations, and revelations of four heroines, who were all key figures in the Golden Dawn: Annie Horniman, the stubborn, spinsterish daughter of a wealthy family; Maud Gonne, the beautiful, psychic, and passionate Irish nationalist; Florence Farr, a gifted actress, liberal with her sexual favours, and perhaps ultimately the most mystical and talented of the four; and Moina Mathers, the psychic channel and neo-Egyptian priestess serving the autocratic occult whims of her husband MacGregor Mathers in their celibate marriage.

Greer’s presentation takes us to the heart of their lives, and we realize, perhaps with surprise, that some of their concerns in the realm of feminine spirituality were very similar to our own today. As thoughtfully related here, their contributions transformed the Western traditions of alchemy, astrology, Hermeticism, and ceremonial magic from an intellectual exercise into a dynamic psychospiritual process of self-growth, creativity, and healing.

An Appendix guides readers to The Golden Dawn Today: who, where, what.

“Hurray for the “new biography”! A good biography is one of the best reads there is, and here, with an approach that gives serious attention to the magical and mystical elements of life and includes sound astrological data, we have a valuable new genre emerging. The purely scholastic approach has always picked its way uneasily through any hint of “weird” interests in the subject’s life, ultimately distorting its portrayal. Mary K. Greer may not be the first to combine thorough research with esoteric insight, but in her book we have an excellent model of the type of biography that is needed if we are to evaluate and draw on magical lives of the past.” —Cherry Gilchrist, in Gnosis

Publisher’s Description: 

These four remarkable women, core members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, left a lasting imprint on the politics, literature, and theater of 19th-century Europe. Less well-known than the famous men in their lives, including Yeats and Shaw, their stories are now told.

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