I was conducting some research for a side project, looking at more magical Orders that had existed and how some of them were related to Freemasonry. As with most side projects, it was permanently placed on the side, so I thought I’d post their histories in brief here.
l’Odre du Temple
Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat founded the l’Odre du Temple in 1804, a neo-Templar imitation order, somewhat inspired by the revived interest of Templar Orders seen previously with the Strict Observance. Fabré-Palaprat then went on to found the Johannite Church in 1812, and he claimed to possess a list of 22 successive Grand Masters starting from Jacques de Molay in 1324 to Fabré-Palapratin 1804. This was an early example of trying to establish a ‘legitimate lineage’ that was pure fantasy.
The Brotherhood of Luxor
The late nineteenth century Brotherhood of Luxor were heavily influenced from the sex-magic of Paschal Beverly Randolph and certainly went on to influence the magico-sexual flavour of the OTO. Peter Davidson, a Scottish Occultist who later emigrated to the US, was influential in the Order. Paschal Beverly Randolph is a fascinating leading occult figure of the nineteenth century, being one of the first to promote sex-magic.
The Brotherhood of Light
Author Elbert Benjamine – pen name CC Zane – wrote the Brotherhood of Light lessons from 1910 -1950, who was a central figure of the Order, astrology being a main theme, though the Lessons contained other thoughts such as The Inner Nature of Poverty, Failure and Disease, which was published in 1936, and presented how birth charts and astrological reports could help. The Church of Light seems to have been a progression from the Brotherhood of Light, led by Benjamine, both being based in Los Angeles.
William G. Gray (1913-1992) was a founder of the order in 1980, a magical society that allowed its members to find their own inner identities and values. When he was younger, Gray had met Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune before finding his own pathway. He worked traditional magic with Robert Cochrane and went on to write numerous works on ‘folk magic’ such as The Rollright Ritual and By Standing Stone and Elder Tree: Ritual and the Unconscious. Gray put forward a folk-tradition approach to his practice of magic, saying that ‘Real esotericism was not just dressing up in handsome robes and manipulating symbols for the sake of doing so. It was knowing how to apply the meaning of such symbols to Life itself.’ Temples, lodges or chapters can be formed by members of the Sangreal Sodality and can be operated independently from one another, so anyone that is inspired by the teachings and practices of the order can, with like-minded people, set up a lodge.
The Clan of Tubal Cain
Robert Cochrane (1931-1966) founded the Masonic sounding Clan of Tubal Cain in the early 1960s, the clan worshiping Herne the Horned God and the White Goddess, the particular brand of Wicca being closer to nature, Cochrane being referred to as the man behind what is now called Traditional Witchcraft. Cochrane committed suicide in 1966. Despite the name of the Clan, there was no apparent link to Freemasonry, though some colleagues of Cochrane have admitted being Freemasons in private interviews.
The Builders of the Adytum
This order, founded in 1922, has its roots in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn of which Paul Foster Case was a senior member. After having a disagreement with Moina Mathers, the widow of Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers over the teaching of sex magic, Case formed the Builders of Adytum (Adytum being Latin for Inner Shrine or the Holy of Holies) and the order has since flourished. Case later objected to the Enochian magic performed by the Golden Dawn, disliking the scrying work of Dee and Kelley, Case exploring a different method, that of the tarot and dreams.
Fraternity of the Hidden Light
This is an order that, like the Builders of the Adytum, traces its lineage to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It was founded in the 1980s by Dr Paul Clark, who was trained by Ann Davies, a protégé of Paul Foster Case. Dion Fortune, who had corresponded with Case, was also an influence on the order.
Fraternity of the Inner Light
Dion Fortune founded the Fraternity of the Inner Light in 1922 after a disagreement with Moina Mathers. Preliminary training was given to her followers by Fortune before they entered into the Lesser Mysteries, then journeyed onward into the Greater Mysteries. The society has since moved away from the ceremonial content of the Golden Dawn as alterations were introduced, the fraternity progressing and transforming into a separate order with its own identity. Fortune was also associated with Alpha et Omega, and the Rite of Isis and the Rite of Pan were two of Fortune’s major rituals.
Servants of the Light
This was an order founded by Walter Ernest Butler (1898-1978) in 1965, who had previously done his training with the Fraternity of the Inner Light. Butler was a medium, a student of the Qabalah and had met Theosophist and Co-Freemason Annie Besant. The Servants of Light were founded with the intention of spreading esoteric knowledge.