Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy 105th Birthday, Israel Regardie!

Born on November 17, 1907, today marks the 105th Birthday of Israel Regardie. 

As a Birthday gift to the Golden Dawn community, here is another photograph of Regardie's Air Dagger and sheath, taken from a different angle than has ever been shown before ...

NEW PHOTO: Israel Regardie's Air Dagger
Bequeathed by Regardie through Cris Monnastre to David Griffin

Israel Regardie (1907-1985) was born in England but emigrated with his parents to the United States in August 1921 and settled in Washington, DC. He studied art in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA. With a Hebrew tutor he gained a linguistic knowledge which would prove invaluable in his later studies of Hermetic Qabalah. With easy access to the Library of Congress, he read widely and became interested in Theosophy, Hindu philosophy and yoga.

After reading Part I of Magick (Book 4) by Aleister Crowley, Regardie initiated a correspondence which led to his return at 21 to the U.K. at Crowley's 1928 invitation. In England, Regardie became Aleister Crowley's secretary. When the two parted company four years later, in 1932, Regardie was devestated, and recuperated from the loss of his relationship with Crowley in the home of Dion Fortune.

Regardie distanced himself from Crowley personally, but still retained a great deal of respect for his writings. Shortly after this period he published The Tree of Life, a guide to magick, largely derived from Crowley's work, and A Garden of Pomegranates, a primer on Qabalah based on notes he had taken while working for Crowley. Regardie would later write a biography of Crowley, The Eye in the Triangle, and continue to edit and republish Crowley's works up until the 1970s.

In 1934 Regardie joined Stella Matutina, a schismatic offshoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. When the group disbanded, Regardie acquired the bulk of the Order's documents and compiled the book, The Golden Dawn, which earned him the enmity of many of the other former members and the reputation of being an oath-breaker because of the information it revealed. 

Despite Regardie's rationalizations, this act nearly destroyed both the Stella Matutina and the Alpha et Omega. In 1937, at the age of 30, Regardie returned to the U.S., entering Chiropractic College in New York. In addition, he studied psychoanalysis with Dr. E. Clegg and Dr. J. L. Bendit, and psychotherapy with Dr. Nandor Fodor. He opened a chiropractic office and taught Reichian body and breath work.

In the mid 1970's, Israel Regardie carried out a practical magical compaign together with his primary student and Soror Mystica, Cris Monnastre (Soror M.d.A. - Monocris de Astris). Unaware of the continuing existence of the Secret Chiefs and the Third Order, the Magical couple manifested their intention to resurrect the Golden Dawn, giving birth to today's Golden Dawn Rennaissance.

Once this protracted and momentous magical campaign reached its climax, Regardie gifted his Magical Tools to his Soror Mystica, Cris Monnastre, which she in turn in 1994 gifted to David Griffin, who she viewed as Regardie's rightful heir.

Another consequence of Regardie's and Monnastre's 1970's magical campaign, Israel Regardie consecrated a Vault of the Adepti in 1982, in order to initiate his Soror Mystica, Cris Monnastre, into the Adeptus Minor (5=6) grade.

Regardie died from a heart attack in the presence of close friends during a dinner at a restaurant in Sedona, Arizona on March 10, 1985 at the age of 77.

Today, despite his mistakes, Israel Regardie holds a place of honor in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and its parent order, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, and his Magical Tools are today displayed prominently in the Golden Dawn Museum.

Our order is well aware that any Golden Dawn lineage claims through Israel Regardie are highly questionable. Regardie stated this openly on numerous occasions, during his lifetime, including in a letter signed by Regardie you can read here.

This is why, although we hold Regardie in great esteem, the Alpha Omega has always made clear that our multiple Golden Dawn and derivitave esoteric lineages come entirely from other, more traditional sources of Golden Dawn lineage.

Even though Israel Regardie did make mistakes, and despite his all too human frailties, he will nonetheless always hold a special place in occult history and in the heart of the Golden Dawn.

Please join with the Alpha Omega today, in wishing across the veil:

"Happy Birthday, Israel Regardie!"

P.S. Here is another little present from Regardie, in celebration of his 105th Birthday.

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