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The modern magical revival

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Chapter Summary

The modern magical revival has been unfolding for over a century. This chapter explores the principal sources of the Western esoteric tradition that helped generate the revival of magical thought and practice in the modern era. According to Gershom Scholem, widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent authorities on the origins and symbolism of the Kabbalah, the medieval Kabbalah belongs to an emanationist cosmological tradition that has its origins in Gnosticism. In addition to the Kabbalah, Hermetica and medieval Tarot, the Western esoteric tradition has also been strongly influenced by two mystical fraternities, the Freemasons and Rosicrucians. Mathers autocratic style and the expulsion of Annie Horniman from the Golden Dawn caused considerable disquiet among Order members. Apart from Aleister Crowley, who abandoned Golden Dawn theurgy in order to practise Thelemic sex magic, one of the other notable figures to emerge from the Golden Dawn was Dion Fortune.

Keywords: Freemasonry; Golden Dawn; Mathers autocratic style; medieval Kabbalah; medieval Tarot; modern magical revival; Rosicrucianism; Western esoteric tradition

10.1163/ej.9789004163737.i-650.7
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