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"With Westcott’s death, masonic research lost the one man whose influence might have led to the development of a distinct, reputable 'esoteric school' whose work could have complemented that of the authentic school. His criticisms might also have kept the wilder proponents of the 'esoteric' approach within the bounds of reason."


The masonic career of A.E. Waite By Bro. R. A. Gilbert (1986)

1. The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry (Rider, 1937).  The prospectus is a 4 pp. quarto sheet, written by Waite although not so attributed.

2. Shadows of Life and Thought.  A Retrospective Review in the Form of Memoirs (Selwyn and Blount, 1938).

3. There is no record of a marriage between two people of these or similar names over a period from 1848 to 1857 at St. Catherine’s House, nor is there any reference in the registers of Kensington Parish Church where Waite claims that the marriage took place.

4. Waite’s education was of the 'dame school' variety, save for two terms at the Roman Catholic school, St. Charles’s college in Bayswater, in 1874.

5. SLT, chapter 2, passim

6. Eliphas Levi was the pseudonym of the French occultist Alphonse Louis Constant (1810-75).  The standard biography is by Chacornac, Eliphas Levi (Paris, Chacornac, 1926).

7. His first published work was An Ode to Astronomy (1877).  He published many poems and stories in minor literary journals between 1876 and 1886

8. The Mysteries of Magic, a Digest of the Writings of Eliphas Levi, with a Biographical and Critical Essay (Redway, 1886)

9. Jennings’s book was The Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries (Chatto & Windus, 1879, 2nd ed.). It was savaged by Waite in Redway’s journal, Walford’s Antiquarian and with justice; it is a hotchpotch of irrelevant and misleading data.

10. The Real History of the Rosicrucians, founded on their own Manifestos and on Facts and Documents collected from the Writings of Initiated Brethren (Redway, 1887) pp. 403-4

11. Ibid., p. 405

12. The Rosicrucian; a Quarterly Record, No. 1, July 1868, pp. 6-9.  This journal was the official organ of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, a body for which the qualification for membership was that the applicant must be a Master Mason.

13. Real History of the Rosicrucians, p. 424

14. Published in the Minutes of the High Council of the S.R.I.A. for 13 October 1887, pp. 5-6

15. Westcott pointed out the lack of copyright at the High Council meeting (above).  See p. 5 of the Minutes

16. The British Mail, vol. 20, No. 172, New Series, March 1890, pp. 20-1

17. Ibid., p. 21

18. The Occult Sciences, a Compendium of Transcendental Doctrine and Experiment (Kegan Paul, 1891)

19. This unpublished work was advertised occasionally as 'forthcoming' in others of Waite’s publications during the 1890s.  The manuscript, if one was ever written, has as not survived.

20. A full, documented account of the origins and history of the Golden Dawn is to be found in Ellic Howe, The Magicians of the Golden Dawn (Routledge, 1972).

21. The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia of History, Rites, Symbolism and Biography (John Hogg, 1877).  The tables are on pp. 617-18.

22. According to the Golden Dawn’s address book and record of members' progress, Waite had attained the grade of Zelator in September 1891.  He was no. 98 on the Order’s Roll and, from the dates of initiation of surrounding members, June 1891 seems to be his date of entry.  He demitted in 1893

23. An insignificant work on fortune-telling, published by Redway.  Waite never permitted his connection with it to be known publicly, but he admitted it to Voorhis and others in private.

24. SLT, p. 126

25. The Second Order worked a spectacular Rosicrucian Initiation, devised by S. L. MacGregor Mathers who 'had a genius for constructing such rituals.  It is printed in Israel Regardie’s four-volume work, The Golden Dawn (Chicago, Aries Press, 1937-1940).

26. SLT, p. 160

27. There are twelve in all, the most important being Revelation completes sur la Franc-Maconnerie (1886) and Les Freres Trois-Points (1885).

28. Op. cit., p. 247

29. Waite’s letters were printed in the issues of 7 December 1895, 4 January, 28 March and 6 June 1896.

30. Devil-Worship in France, or the Question of Lucifer.  A Record of things seen and heard in the Secret Societies according to the evidence of Initiates (Redway, 1896)

31. Ibid., p. 306

32. In the prospectus for Devil- Worship in France, written by Waite himself

33. Devil- Worship in France.  See pp. 214 and 254 for Yarker, pp. 227 and 279-81 for Westcott, and pp. 282-3 for the S.R.I.A.

34. e.g. The Echo, 11 July 1896; The New Saturday, 12 September 1896, and F. Legge’s review in The

Contemporary Review (date not ascertained).

35. The typescript survives.  It is on 130 leaves, typed on one side only

36. Ibid., ff. 121 and 122

37. L. Floquet, Luciferianism or Satanism in English Freemasonry (Montreal, Cadieux and Derome, 1898).  Quoted in Light for 7 January 1899

38. The X-Rays in Freemasonry by 'A.  Cowan' (Effingham Wilson, 1901).  The cover design, free-style lettering in red on black boards, is consciously modelled on the cover of Waite’s Devil- Worship in France

39. Letter from Yarker to Waite, Manchester 30 January, 1897.  In the collection of the late Geoffrey Watkins

40. Letter from Waite to Yarker, Gunnersbury, 5 February 1897.  Formerly in the Yarker Library, now in private hands.

41. Printed in Light, for 2 July 1898

42. The Life of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, The Unknown Philosopher, and the Substance of his Transcendental Doctrine (Wellby, 1901).  The book was to have been issued in 1900 by Redway but his business had failed in the interim and was taken over by Wellby.

43. Ibid., p. 73

44. Ibid., p. 459

45. Letter from Waite to Papus, London, 25 May 1901.  Original in the Martinist Order archives at Lyon.  Copy supplied by M. Robert Amadou

46. ibid

47. The Harmonial Philosophy.  A Compendium and Digest of the Works of Andrew Jackson Davis, the Seer of Poughkeepsie, edited by 'A Doctor of Hermetic Science' (Rider, 1917)

48. SLT, p. 164

49. Ibid., p. 165

50. Ibid., p. 161

51. Ibid., p. 161

52. Ibid., p. 162

53. It has not been possible, in spite of several requests, to see the Minute Books of Runymede Lodge.

54. SLT, p. 162

55. Diary for 1902/1903, 10 October.  Waite called this diary 'Annus Mirabilis Redivivus' because of its record of his great successes in ritual matters.

56. Ibid., 18 March 1903

57. Ibid., 17 July 1903

58. Beeching’s verses were printed as a broadsheet entitled 'The Masque of Runymede'.

59. 'An Ode of Welcome', Runymede Lodge, 21 January 1909.  The verse quoted is no. 5. Waite also wrote an 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Preferment in Runymede Lodge' (1907).  It was privately printed as a broadsheet for members of the lodge

60. Quoted as item (d) on the summons for the Winter Dinner of the lodge, 15 January 1911

61. Springett wrote a number of books on secret societies and on masonic symbolism.  He was an active supporter of the F.R.C. and of the later Golden Dawn before it, but there is no evidence that he was involved prior to 1910 and thus it cannot be assumed that it was he who introduced Waite to Runymede Lodge

62. SLT, p. 164

63. The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry and an analysis of the Inter-Relation between the Craft and the High

Grades in respect of their term of Research (New York, Rebman, 1911) 2 vols

64. For the complex tale of the schism in the Golden Dawn, see Howe, op. cit.

65. Diary, 2 December 1902

66. Ibid., 23 October 1902

67. Ibid., 30 March 1903

68. Ibid., 7 April 1903

69. Ibid., 13 October 1903

70. Ibid., Diary for 8 February 1903.  All the quotations concerning his visit to Kilmarnock are from this entry

71. Quoted from his carbon copy of the replies, pasted into his Diary for 1902/03

72. Diary, 16 February 1903

73. Ibid., 22 February 1903.  The motto was that which he used in the Golden Dawn and in the F.R.C. It is taken from the Vulgate (of the Book of Tobit).  The arms are reproduced on the covers of A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry

74. Diary, 3 March 1903

75. Ibid 2 May 1903

76. Ibid., 27 October 1902

77. In 1905; they were printed, or rather mimeographed, in 1934 by F. F. Bahnson at Warrenton in North


78. His letter of Obligation is dated 26 November 1907.  It is preserved in the archives of the Independent Great Priory of Helvetia at Geneva

79. Letter from Bridge to F. Amez-Droz, Chancellor of the Order, 27 September 1929.  In the same archives

80. Ibid.

81. Letter from Waite to Arnez-Droz, 18 May 1929

82. Letter from Waite to Shute, 22 November 1938

83. AQC 15 (1902), pp. 163-74.  Waite’s comments are printed on pp. 170-2

84. Diary, 3 October 1902

85. Ibid., 18 October 1902

86. SLT, p. 179

87. SLT, p. 178

88. E.g. The Saturday Review, 18 November 1911

89. The Bookman, October 1911; The Occult Review, October, 1911; The Freemason, 25 May 1912

90. SLT, p. 229

91. Diary, 30 April 1903

92. Ibid., 5 October 1902

93. Ibid., 23 March 1903

94. SLT, p. 207

95. Ibid., pp. 207-8

96. Diary, 21 May 1917

97. Ibid., 3 July 1917

98. SLT, p. 208

99. Diary, 12 March 1921.  The review appeared in The Occult Review for April, 1921

100. 'Occult Freemasonry and the Jewish Peril', The Occult Review, vol. 32, September 1920, pp. 142-53

101. SLT, p. 208

102. The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, being Records of the House of the Holy Spirit in its Inward and Outward

History (Rider, 1924)

103. SLT, p. 177

104. The details of the quarrel and of the demise of the Isis-Urania Temple are given in R. A. Gilbert, The Golden Dawn: Twilight of the Magicians (Aquarian Press, 1983)

105. Twelve of the rituals were printed in 1916 and 1917.  Many of them are in the library of the United Grand Lodge of England.

106. The five were Waite himself, G. Barrett-Dobb, E. B. Florence, H. J. Lloyd and B. H. Springett

107. E. g. Coburn’s paper, 'The Kabbalah', for the Lancashire College of the S.R.I.A. lists fourteen books in its bibliography - two are by Waite

108. The Occult Review for July 1915

109. The Builders, pp. 55-6

110. On 3 July 1916 Waite was a guest at the reception for Fort Newton held at America Lodge No. 3368.  On 20 July Fort Newton was Waite’s guest at Runymede Lodge.

111. Voorhis first wrote in August 1928 and continued his correspondence up to Waite’s death, continuing then to correspond with Mrs. Waite until her death in 1955.

112. Information from the Commonwealth of Virginia, State Department of Education.

113. The Secret Tradition in ]Freemasonry (1937), p. x

114. Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism (1916).  The forward is by Fort Newton, pp 6-7.


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