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The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (Latin: Ordo Hermeticus Aurorae Aureae), more commonly the Golden Dawn (Aurora Aurea), is a secret society and cult devoted to the study and practice of occult Hermeticism and metaphysics from the late 19th century to the modern day. Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development from the late 19th to late 20th century. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic that are at the centre of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn, which became one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.
Chiefs of the Second Order
The three founders, William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell Mathers, were Freemasons and members of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. Westcott appears to have been the initial driving force behind the establishment of the Golden Dawn.
The "Golden Dawn" was the first of three Orders, although all three are often collectively referred to as the "Golden Dawn". The First Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four classical elements, as well as the basics of astrology, tarot divination, and geomancy. The Second or Inner Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, taught magic, including scrying, astral travel, and alchemy. The Third Order was that of the Secret Chiefs, who were said to be highly skilled; they supposedly directed the activities of the lower two orders by spirit communication with the Chiefs of the Second Order.
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