Dead Names, Dead Dog: Blinded by the Dawn

The introduction to the Necronomicon holds the following cryptic reference that has baffled occultists everywhere:

The Golden Dawn, a famous British and American Occult lodge of the turn of the Century, was said to have possessed a manuscript called “the Veils of Negative Existence” by another Arab.

In Dead Names, Simon expands upon this information:

We raised the possibility that Lovecraft’s information might have been related to a book on Arab mysticism in the possession of the Golden Dawn as early as 1915, an eighth century AD (or earlier) manuscript called The Veils of Negative Existence, mentioned by occult historian, Francis King.

Looking at the first quote, it’s clear that “Simon” actually didn’t “raise the possibility,” but that’s par for the course at this point.  We return to this in his critique of John:

I imagine that his considerable library does not have a copy of Francis King’s Modern Ritual Magic, where such a manuscript – the “Veils of Negative Existence”- is mentioned on page 136 of the 1989 edition and which “purports to be an English translation of an Arabic work of the sixth, seventh or eighth centuries” that was cited by Golden Dawn initiate and Mathers protégé R.W. Felkin in a lecture he gave before the occult society Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in 1915. (An eighth century Arab occult work is certainly suggestive, though by no means a confirmation that the Golden Dawn knew of the existence of the Necronomicon in 1915, long before Lovecraft published any stories with that name and placed in that era.)

Isn’t that odd?  Somewhere between these two quotes, we’ve gone from the Golden Dawn owning this book to the Golden Dawn knowing about it.  Could “Simon” be attempting to slip something past his readers?

Do we even have to ask at this point?

Next, I want everyone to buy, borrow, or interlibrary loan a copy of King’s Modern Ritual Magic, turn to page 136, and see what it says.  I’ll wait.

All right, so you actually didn’t do that.  That’s what “Simon” was counting on – he could toss out the reference and most people wouldn’t check him on it.

I won’t quote directly, so I can encourage you to check for yourself.  Suffice to say that the book was actually not in the possession of the Golden Dawn, that famous magical order that numbered Yeats, Crowley, Mathers, Machen, and Blackwood among its members.  It was not even in the possession of one of the offshoots that claimed the title, rightly or wrongly, down through the ages.  No, right there on page 136 is the statement that this book was actually in the possession of – the Cromlech Temple.

Who’s the Cromlech Temple?  We’ll pick that up next time.

Published in: on July 25, 2006 at 9:47 pm  Comments (7)  

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  1. “…we’ll pick that up next time?”

    When’s “next time?” Google tells me the Cromlech Temple was an offshoot of the Golden Dawn founded by Amen-Ra in 1913.

    If you take a gander at the Golden Dawn timeline and the names of the temples they used (they didn’t use the name “Golden Dawn” very often), it becomes quite clear that Simon did not mislead or “pull a fast one” on the readers:

  2. I’ll save you the trouble. Pay close attention to all the “Golden Dawn” Temple names up until 1913, where you find the Cromlech Temple Simon is talking about. Ummmm….? Yeah.

    Golden Dawn Time Line


    Westcott decodes the Cipher Manuscript. He asks Mathers and Woodman to join him in setting up the new Order.

    March 1, 1888

    Isis-Urania Temple #3 is chartered. Westcott, Woodman, and Mathers are the Three Chiefs. Mina Bergson (Moina Mathers) is the 1st initiate.

    (The numbering system marks the mythical Anna Sprengel�s temple in Germany, Licht, Liebe und Leben as #1. Hermanoubis Temple #2 in London, was supposedly chartered but never active.)


    Osiris Temple # 4 at Weston-Super-Mare is chartered. All members are Masons.

    Horus Temple # 5 at Bradford is chartered.

    Fall, 1891

    The R.R. et A.C. is established.

    December, 1891

    Dr. Woodman dies. No one is appointed to take his place.

    Dec. 7, 1891

    Annie Horniman is the first initiate into the R.R. et A.C.

    May 21, 1892

    The Matherses move to Paris.


    Amen-Ra Temple #6 is chartered in Edinburgh. Members included J.W. Brodie-Innes and Dr. Felkin.

    Westcott�s resigns as Praemonstrator. Florence Farr takes on the position. Annie Horniman is made Sub-Praemonstrator.

    January, 1894

    Mather�s Ahathoor Temple #7 is consecrated in Paris. Famous French occultist Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse) is a member.


    Florence Farr begins the �Sphere Group,� a separate group of skryers within the Golden Dawn.

    Spring, 1896

    Annie Horniman and MacGregor Mathers have a falling out.

    Oct. 29, 1896

    Mathers issues manifesto demanding written submission of Second Order members to his authority.

    Dec. 3, 1896

    Annie Horniman is expelled from the Golden Dawn for insubordination.

    Spring, 1897

    Westcott�s association with the Order is made public. He resigns from office in the Golden Dawn and the R.R. et A.C. Florence Farr takes over his position as head of the Order in England.


    Thm� Temple No. 8 is established in Chicago. Ill.

    Thoth-Hermes Temple No. 9 is established in New York.

    Jan. 16, 1900

    Mathers initiates Aleister Crowley into the 5=6 Grade in Paris after London Adepts refuse to initiate him. The London Adepts refuse to recognize Crowley�s initiation.

    January, 1900

    Florence Farr writes to Mathers. He accuses her of attempting to bring back Westcott as head of the Order. She resigns.

    February, 1900

    Mathers introduces Madame Horos as Anna Sprengel at Ahathoor.

    Feb. 16, 1900

    Mathers refuses Ms. Farr�s resignation. He accuses Westcott of forging the Anna Sprengel letters.

    March , 1900

    Second Order committee members in London investigate charges of fraud and expel MacGregor and Moina Mathers. Annie Horniman is reinstated.

    April, 1900

    Schism. Mathers annuls Second Order committee and sends Aleister Crowley to take control of R.R. et A.C.�s property in London. The take-over fails.


    Isis Temple #11 is created by Dr. Berridge in London. It remains loyal to Mathers. (This temple is also called Alpha et Omega 1)


    Internal battles over Florence Farr�s �Sphere Group.� Horos Trials and unwanted publicity.

    January, 1902

    Florence Farr resigns from the Golden Dawn, which changes its name to the Hermetic Society of the Morgenrothe.


    Horus Temple at Bradford gradually pulls away from G.D. teachings. Eventually turns from G.D. to SRIA ideals, and accepts only Master Masons.

    Spring, 1903

    Schism. Brodie-Innes, Felkin, and the magically-inclined members form the Stella Matutina. Their Mother temple is called Amoun.

    Waite, Blackden, Rev. Ayton, and the more mystically-inclined members take over the remnants of Isis-Urania #3. Waite forms the Independent and Rectified Rite of the Golden Dawn (and the later Fellowship of the Rosy Cross in 1916).

    Temples loyal to Mathers take on the name Alpha et Omega.


    Alpha et Omega 2 (temple) is formed in Edinburgh as a daughter temple to Amen-Ra. Brodie-Innes is its chief, (after having made peace with Mathers and broken off with Felkin).

    Felkin establishes Smaragdum Thalasses Temple of the Stella Matutina in Havelock North, New Zealand. The Order in New Zealand became known by the Maori name of Whare Ra or �The House of the Sun.�


    Amen-Ra also sires a spin-off hybrid called Cromlech Temple or the Solar Order�a collaboration between Alpha et Omega 2 and Anglican clergymen.

    Brodie-Innes, establishes an A.O. temple in London as a southern branch of his revived Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh. (It functions separately from Moina Mathers�s Alpha et Omega 3.)


    Felkin establishes the following temples of the Stella Matutina: Hermes Lodge in Bristol, The Secret College in London (open only to SRIA members), and Merlin Lodge in London.

    Felkin establishes another Order, the Guild of St. Raphael � a guild of the Anglican Church.


    Paul Foster Case is initiated into the 0=0 grade at Thoth-Hermes Temple No. 9 in New York (November).


    Moina Mathers returns to London after MacGregor�s death and establishes the Alpha et Omega 3.

    Dion Fortune joins Broddie-Innes� A.O. temple in London.

    The A.O. establishes Ptah Temple No. 10 in Philadelphia.


    The Amoun Temple of the Stella Matutina in London is closed down due to the paranoid behavior of its chief (Mrs. Stoddart).

    The A.O. establishes Atoum Temple No. 20 in Los Angeles.


    In January Moina expels Paul Foster Case from the Golden Dawn. Case goes on to create his own Order, the Builders of the Adytum or BOTA.

    Dion Fortune leaves the Alpha et Omega Lodge to form the Fraternity of the Inner Light.

    [Spinoff groups from the Fraternity of the Inner Light included The Guild of the Master Jesus (London – 1925) Helios (Gareth Knight �Toddington �1956), the Enochian Temple (London 1969) and the Servants of the Light (W.E. Butler).]


    The Stella Matutina is close to collapse. Yeats resigns.


    Israel Regardie was initiated into the SRIAm (Societas Rosicruciana in America)


    Israel Regardie into the Hermes Temple of the Stella Matutina in Bristol.


    Israel Regardie begins to publish the Order�s teachings as The Golden Dawn.


    Most temples of the A.O. and the Stella Matutina become dormant (with the exception of the Hermes Temple in Bristol which worked sporadically until 1970 and the Whare Ra temple in New

    Zealand which lasted into the late 1970�s).


    Chic Cicero and his wife start a Golden Dawn Temple in Columbus, Georgia.


    Israel Regardie consecrates the Vault of the Adepti in Columbus, Georgia, and performs initiations into the 5=6 grade, re-establishing the Golden Dawn’s Second Order in America.

    A couple in New Zealand (Pat and Chris Zalewski) found a Golden Dawn temple there.


    More people than ever before have access to Golden Dawn teachings. Numerous individuals now actively refer to themselves as practicing Golden Dawn magicians.

  3. As it happens I have a copy of the ‘The Veils of Negative Existence’ It is a paper of the Cromlech Temple but was also distributed amongst senior members of the Stella Matutina and Mathers’ Alpha et Omega Order. Its alleged ancient origin is actually Persian rather than Arab. It is a lengthy document, somewhat Kabbalistic in parts.


  4. […] You might be surprised that I’m jumping back into this old series, but I just got some interesting information from one of our commenters on the Veils of Negative Existence.  I can’t verify it at this point without starting a new research project, but I’ll post it here and see what others might say. It was called ‘The Veils of Negative Existence’ but within the Cromlech Temple it was called ‘The Veil of the Eternal Mother’. Although I do [not -DH] have an AO version it appears in a list of AO documents which I do have. Additionally, many of the copies of the Cromlech rituals I have bear AO labels. […]

  5. […] Actually, it’s just a person I’m calling “Dan Clore” due to his use of an Abramelin talisman to accomplish his questionable ends. This former Clore, whatever his or her real name might have been, told his story in the December 1929 issue of the Occult Review, another magazine collected at very few libraries near me.  I’ll be quoting from the letter as provided in Francis King’s Modern Ritual Magic, a book from my considerable library. […]

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    • Sweet forum indeed!

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