the Golden Dawn
Sub-Figura vel Liber Caeruleus
The Dawn of Magic
by Louis Pauwells y Jacques Bergier
1st published in France under the title
"Le Matin des Magiciens"
1960 by Editions Gallimard, Paris
Adolf und die Ubermen
von der Golden Dawn
In the history of Hitlerism, or rather in certain aspects of this
history, everything happens as if the whole conception on which it
was based has baffled the ordinary historian so that, if we want to
understand, we shall have to abandon our positive way of looking at
things and try to enter a Universe where Cartesian reason and
reality are no longer valid.
We have been concerned to describe these aspects of Hitlerism
because, as M. Marcel Ray pointed out in I939, the war that
imposed on the world was a "Manichaean war," or as the Bible says,
"a struggle between gods." It is not, of course, a question of a
struggle between Fascism and Democracy, or between a
liberal and an
authoritarian conception of society.
That is the exoteric side of the
conflict; but there is an esoteric side as well. This struggle
between gods, which has been going on behind visible events, is not
yet over on this planet, but the formidable progress in human
knowledge made in the last few years is about to give it another
Now that the gates of knowledge are beginning to open on to
the infinite, it is important to understand what this struggle is
about. If we consciously want to be men of today, that is to say,
the contemporaries of tomorrow, we must have an exact and clear
picture of the moment when the fantastic first invaded the realm of
This is what we are now going to examine.
"At bottom," said Rauschning, "every
German has one foot in
Atlantis, where he seeks a better
Fatherland and a better patrimony. This double nature of the
Germans, this faculty they have of splitting their personality
which enables them to live in the real world and at the same
time to project themselves into an imaginary world, is
especially noticeable in Hitler and provides the key to his
And Rauschning in an attempt to explain
the rise to power of this "high priest of a secret religion," tried
to convince himself that several times in history,
"whole nations have fallen into a
state of inexplicable agitation. They follow the flagellants’
procession, or are seized by St. Vitus’s Dance....
National-Socialism is the St. Vitus’s Dance of the twentieth
But where does this strange malady come
from? To this question he failed to find a satisfactory answer. "Its
deepest roots are hidden in secret places."
It is these secret places that we feel we ought to explore. And it
is not a historian, but a poet who will be our guide.
Toulet and Arthur Machen
"Two men who have read Paul-Jean Toulet and who meet (probably in a bar) imagine that that means
they belong to an aristocracy."
Toulet himself wrote that. It happens
sometimes that important things are suspended on a pin’s head. It is
thanks to a minor but charming writer, unknown despite the efforts
of a few admirers, that I first heard the name of Arthur Machen,
practically unknown in France.
After some study, we discovered that Machen’s works (there are some
thirty volumes in all) are, from a "spiritual" point of view, more
important than those of H.G. Wells.
Pursuing our researches on Machen, we discovered an English Society
of Initiates with a very distinguished membership. This society, to
which Machen was indebted for an experience that had a decisive
influence on his inner development and which was a great source of
inspiration, is unknown even to specialists. Finally, some of
Machen’s writings, in particular the text we shall be quoting, throw
into clear relief an uncommon notion of the nature of Evil, which is
quite indispensable for an understanding of those aspects of
contemporary history we are examining in this part of our book.
Before entering into the heart of our
subject we would therefore like to say a few words about this
curious man, beginning with a little literary digression concerning
a minor Parisian author, P.J. Toulet, and ending with a vision of a
great subterranean gateway behind which lie, still smoking, the
remains of the martyrs and the ruins of the Nazi tragedy which
disrupted the whole world.
The paths of "fantastic realism," as we
shall see once again, do not resemble the ordinary paths of
In November 1897 a friend, "somewhat given to the occult sciences,"
brought to the notice of Paul-Jean Toulet a novel by an unknown
thirty-four-year-old author entitled The Great God Pan. This book,
which evokes a primitive pagan world, not entirely submerged but
still cautiously surviving and occasionally releasing among us its
God of Evil and his cloven-hoofed angels, made a profound
impression on Toulet and started him on his literary career.
began translating The Great God Pan and, borrowing from Machen his
nightmarish decor with the Great Pan lurking in the thickets of our
countryside, wrote his first novel: Monsieur du Paur, homme public.
Monsieur du Paur was published towards the end of 1898, and met with
no success. It is not an important work, and might never have been
heard of had not M. Henri Martineau, a great Stendhalian and a
friend of Toulet, taken it upon himself, twenty years later, to
republish the book at his own expense in the Editions du Divan.
M. Martineau was determined to show that
Monsieur du Paur was inspired
by Machen’s book, but was nevertheless an original work, so that it
was through him that the attention of a few literary people was
drawn to Arthur Machen and his Great God Pan and some correspondence
between Toulet and Machen was brought to light.
For Machen, as is apparent in all his works, "man is made of mystery
and exists for mysteries and visions." Reality is the supernatural.
The external world can teach us little, unless we look upon it as a
reservoir of symbols and hidden meanings. The only works which have
some chance of being real and serving some useful. purpose are works
of imagination produced by a mind in search of eternal verities. As
the critic Philip van Doren Stern has pointed out:
stories of Arthur Machen perhaps contain more essential truths than
all the graphs and statistics in the world."
It was a strange adventure that brought Machen back to literature.
It made his name famous in a few weeks, and the shock this gave him
decided him to devote the rest of his life to writing.
He found journalism irksome, and no longer wanted to write for his
own satisfaction. War had just broken out. There was a demand for
"heroic" literature. This was hardly his line. The Evening News,
however, asked him for a story. He wrote it straight off, but in his
own individual style, calling it The Bowmen. The newspaper published
this story on 29th September, 1914, the day after the retreat from
Mons. Machen had imagined an incident in this battle: St. George in
shining armour, at the head of his angels in the guise of the old
archers of the battle of Agincourt, comes to the rescue of the
The next thing that happened was that scores of soldiers wrote into
the newspaper to say that this Mr. Machen had invented nothing. They
had seen with their own eyes on the Mons front the angels of St.
George mingling in their ranks. This they could swear to on their
honour. Many of these letters were published. England, anxious for a
miracle in her hour of peril, was profoundly stirred. Machen had
been hurt when no notice was taken of him when he had tried to
reveal the secrets of reality.
Now, with a cheap kind of fantasy, he
had aroused the whole country. Or could it be that hidden forces
rose up, in one form or another, summoned by his imagination that
had so often been concerned with essential truths and was now,
perhaps unconsciously, at work deep down within him? Dozens of times Machen insisted in the Press that his story was pure invention. No
one ever believed it.
Right up to his death, thirty years later,
Machen, now an old man, often reverted in conversation to this
fantastic story of the Angels of Mons.
Discovered an English Secret Society
About the year 1880, in France, in England and in Germany some
secret societies of Initiates and members of hermetic orders were
founded to which a number of very influential people belonged. The
story of this mystical post-romantic crisis has not yet been
written. It deserves to be, as it might throw light upon the origin
of several important trends of thought which have determined certain
In two letters written by Arthur Machen to Toulet we find the
following remarkable passages. In the first, written in 1899, he
"When I was writing Pan and The
White Powder I did not believe that such strange things had ever
happened in real life, or could ever have happened. Since then,
and quite recently, I have had certain experiences in my own
life which have entirely changed my point of view in these
matters....Henceforward I am quite convinced that nothing is
impossible on this Earth. I need scarcely add, I suppose, that
none of the experiences I have had has any connection whatever
with such impostures as spiritualism or theosophy. But I believe
that we are living in a world of the greatest mystery full of
unsuspected and quite astonishing things."
In 1900 he wrote as follows:
"It may amuse you to know that I
sent a copy of my Great God Pan to an adept, an advanced
’occultist’ whom I met in secret, and this is what he wrote me:
’The book amply proves that by thought and meditation rather
than through reading, you have attained a certain degree of
initiation independently of orders or organizations.’"
Who was this "adept?" And what were
In another letter, after Toulet had been to London, he wrote:
"Mr. Waite, who likes you very much,
asks me to send you his best regards."
We were interested to learn the name of
this friend of Machen and to discover that he was one of the best
authorities on alchemy and a Rosicrucian specialist.
We had reached this point in our researches into the intellectual
interests of Arthur Machen, when a friend revealed to us the
existence in England, at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of
the twentieth century, of a secret "initiatory" society of
Rosicrucian inspiration. [See Nos. 2 and 3 of the review La Tour
Saint-Jacques, 1956: ’L’ordre hermetique de la Golden Dawn’ by
This society was called the Golden Dawn, and its members included
some of the most brilliant minds in the country. Arthur Machen was
himself a member.
The Golden Dawn, founded in 1887, was an offshoot of the English
Rosicrucian Society created twenty years earlier by Robert Wentworth
Little, and consisted largely of leading Freemasons. The latter
society had about 144 members, including Bulwer Lytton, author of
The Last Days of Pompeii.
The Golden Dawn, with a smaller membership, was formed for the
practice of ceremonial magic and the acquisition of initiatory
knowledge and powers. Its leaders were Woodman, Mathers and
Westcott (the "occultist" mentioned by Toulet in his letter of
It was in contact with similar German societies, some of whose
members were later associated with Rudolf Steiner’s famous anthroposophical movement and other influential sects during the
Later on it came under the leadership of
Crowley, an altogether extraordinary man who was certainly one of
the greatest exponents of the neo-paganism whose development in
Germany we have noted.
S.L. Mathers, after the death of Woodman and the resignation of
Westcott, was the Grand Master of the Golden Dawn, which he directed
for some time from Paris, where he had just married Henri Bergson’s
Nobel-Prize Winner in a Black Mask
Mathers was succeeded in his office by the celebrated poet
Yeats, who was later to become a Nobel Prize-winner.
Yeats took the name of "Frere Demon est Deus Inversus." He used to
preside over the meetings dressed in a kilt, wearing a black mask
and a golden dagger in his belt.
Arthur Machen took the name of "Filus Aquarti." The Golden Dawn had
one woman member [no mention of Fraulien Sprengel...? -B:.B:.]:
Florence Farr, Director of the Abbey Theatre and an intimate friend
of Bernard Shaw. Other members included:
Stoker (the author of Dracula)
Peck, the Astronomer
Royal of Scotland
the celebrated engineer Allan Bennett
Gerald Kelly, President of the Royal Academy
It seems that on these
exceptional people the Golden Dawn exercised a lasting influence,
and they themselves admitted that their outlook on the world was
changed, while the activities they indulged in never failed to prove
both efficacious and uplifting.
Earth, A Frozen World, A New Man
Earth is hollow. We are living inside it. The stars are blocks
of ice. Several Moons have already fallen on the Earth. The whole
history of humanity is contained in the struggle between ice and
Man is not finished. He is on the brink of a formidable mutation
["alien hybridization" -B:.B:.] which will confer on him the powers
the ancients attributed to the gods. A few specimens of the New Man
exist in the world, who have perhaps come here from beyond the
frontiers of time and space.
Alliances could be formed with the Master of the World or the King
of Fear who reigns over a city hidden somewhere in the East. Those
who conclude a pact will change the surface of the Earth and endow
the human adventure with a new meaning for many thousands of years.
Such are the "scientific" theories and "religious" conceptions on
which Nazism was originally based and in which Hitler and the
members of his group believed -- theories which, to a large extent,
have dominated social and political trends in recent history. This
may seem extravagant.
Any explanation, even partial, of contemporary
history based on ideas and beliefs of this kind may seem repugnant.
In our view, nothing is repugnant that is in the interests of the
Nature and Against God
It is well known that the Nazi party was openly, and even
flamboyantly anti-intellectual; that it burnt books and relegated
the theoretical physicists among its "Judaeo-Marxist" enemies. Less
is known about the reasons which led it to reject official Western
science, and still less with regard to the basic conception of the
nature of man on which Nazism was founded -- at any rate in the
minds of some of its leaders. If we knew this it would be easier to
place the last World War within the category of great spiritual
conflicts: history animated once again by the spirit of La Legende
Hitler used to say:
"We are often abused for being the
enemies of the mind and spirit. Well, that is what we are, but
in a far deeper sense than bourgeois science, in its idiotic
pride, could ever imagine."
This is very like what Gurdjieff said to
his disciple Ouspensky after having condemned science:
"My way is to develop the hidden
potentialities of man; a way that is against Nature and against
This idea of the hidden potentialities
of Man is fundamental. It often leads to the rejection of science
and a disdain for ordinary human beings. On this level very few men
really exist. To be, means to be something different. The ordinary
man, "natural" man is nothing but a worm, and the Christians’ God
nothing but a guardian for worms.
Dr. Willy Ley, one of the world’s greatest rocket experts, fled from
Germany in 1933. It was from him that we learned of the existence in
Berlin shortly before the Nazis came to power, of a little spiritual
community that is of great interest to us.
Haushofer and the Vril
This secret community was founded, literally, on Bulwer Lytton’s
novel The Coming Race. The book describes a race of men psychically
far in advance of ours. They have acquired powers over themselves
and over things that make them almost godlike. For the moment they
are in hiding. They live in caves in the centre of the Earth. Soon
they will emerge to reign over us.
This appears to be as much as Dr. Ley could tell us. He added with a
smile that the disciples believed they had secret knowledge that
would enable them to change their race and become the equals of the
men hidden in the bowels of the Earth. Methods of concentration, a
whole system of internal gymnastics by which they would be
transformed. They began their exercises by staring fixedly at an
apple cut in half.... We continued our researches.
This Berlin group called itself The Luminous Lodge, or
Society. The vril [the notion of the ’vril’ is mentioned for the
first time in the works of the French writer Jacolliot, French
Consul in Calcutta under the Second Empire] is the enormous energy
of which we only use a minute proportion in our daily life, the
nerve-centre of our potential divinity. Whoever becomes master of
the vril will be the master of himself, of others round him and of
the world. [Reich’s "orgone"...? -B:.B:.]
This should be the only object of our desires, and all our efforts
should be directed to that end. All the rest belongs to official
psychology, morality, and religions and is worthless.
The world will change: the Lords will emerge from the centre of the
Earth. Unless we have made an alliance with them and become Lords
ourselves, we shall find ourselves among the slaves, on the
dung-heap that will nourish the roots of the New Cities that will
arise. [shades of Crowley’s Liber AL? -B:.B:.]
The Luminous Lodge [Silver Star, Argon Astron, L.V.X. and latter-day
"Lightworkers" woven together in this Luciferian tapestry? -B:.B:.]
had associations with the theosophical and Rosicrucian groups.
According to Jack Fishman, author of a curious book entitled
Seven Men of Spandau, Karl Haushofer was a member of this lodge.
shall have more to say about him later, when it will be seen that
his association with this Vril Society helps to explain certain
of the Mutation of Man
The reader will recall that the writer, Arthur Machen, we discovered
was connected with an English society of Initiates, the Golden Dawn.
This neo-pagan society, which had a distinguished membership, was an
offshoot of the English Rosicrucian Society, founded by Wentworth
Little in 1867. Little was in contact with the German Rosicrucians.
He recruited his followers, to the number of 144, from the ranks of
the higher-ranking Freemasons.
One of his disciples was Bulwer
Bulwer Lytton, a learned man of genius, celebrated throughout the
world for his novel The Last Days of Pompeii, little thought that
one of his books, in some ten years’ time, would inspire a mystical
pre-Nazi group in Germany. Yet in works like
The Coming Race or
Zanoni, he set out to emphasize the realities of the spiritual
world, and more especially, the infernal world. He considered
himself an Initiate. Through his romantic works of fiction he
expressed the conviction that there are beings endowed with
superhuman powers. These beings will supplant us and bring about a
formidable mutation in the elect of the human race.
We must beware of this notion of a mutation. It crops up again with
Hitler, and is not yet extinct today.
Hitler’s aim was neither the founding of a race of supermen, nor the
conquest of the world; these were only means towards the realization
of the great work he dreamed of. His real aim was to perform an act
of creation, a divine operation, the goal of a biological mutation
which would result in an unprecedented exaltation of the human race
and the "apparition of a new race of heroes and demigods and
god-men." (Dr. Achille Delmas)
[Perhaps these same neo-Nephilim
Nazi "ubermen" are today clothed in the time and culture-appropriate
sci-fi regalia of "alien"/human "hybrids" a la
Harvard’s Dr. John Mack, and a veritable cornucopia of other
associated - often
Rockefeller-financed - socio-cultural metaprogrammers. -B:.B:.]
We must also beware of the notion of the "Unknown Supermen." It is
found in all the "black" mystical writings both in the West and in
the East. Whether they live under the Earth or came from other
planets, whether in the form of giants like those which are said to
lie encased in cloth of gold in the crypts of Tibetan monasteries,
or of shapeless and terrifying beings such as
do these "Unknown Supermen," evoked in pagan and Satanic rites,
When Machen speaks of the World of Evil, "full of
caverns and crepuscular beings dwelling therein," he is referring,
as an adept of the Golden Dawn, to that other world in which man
comes into contact with the "Unknown Supermen."
It seems certain
that Hitler shared this belief, and even claimed to have been in
touch with these "Supermen."
D.’. Mathers Meets the "Great Terrorists"
We have already mentioned the Golden Dawn and the German
Society. We shall have something to say later about
the Thule Group.
We are not so foolish as to try to explain history in the light of
secret societies. What we shall see, curiously enough, is that it
all "ties up," and that with the coming of Nazism it was the "other
world" which ruled over us for a number of years. That world has
been defeated, but it is not dead, either on the Rhine or elsewhere.
And there is nothing alarming about it: only our ignorance is
alarming. [Indeed, those who forget history, etc. -B:.B:.]
We pointed out that Samuel Mathers was the founder of the Golden
Dawn. Mathers claimed to be in communication with these "Unknown
Supermen" and to have established contact with them in the company
of his wife, the sister of Henri Bergson.
Here follows a page of the
manifesto addressed to "Members of the Second Order" in 1896:
"As to the Secret Chiefs with whom I
am in touch and from whom I have received the wisdom of the
Second Order which I communicated to you, I can tell you
nothing. I do not even know their Earthly names, and I have very
seldom seen them in their physical bodies....They used to meet
me physically at a time and place fixed in advance. For my part,
I believe they are human beings living on this Earth, but
possessed of terrible and superhuman powers....
encounters with them have shown me how difficult it is for a
mortal, however "advanced," to support their presence.... I do
not mean that during my rare meetings with them I experienced
the same feeling of intense physical depression that accompanies
the loss of magnetism. On the contrary, I felt I was in contact
with a force so terrible that I can only compare it to the shock
one would receive from being near a flash of lightning during a
great thunder-storm, experiencing at the same time great
difficulty in breathing....
The nervous prostration I spoke of
was accompanied by cold sweats and bleeding from the nose, mouth
and sometimes the ears."
Hitler Claims to Have
Met Them Too
Hitler was talking one day to Rauschning, the Governor of Danzig,
about the problem of a mutation of the human race. Rauschning, not
possessing the key to such strange preoccupations, interpreted
Hitler’s remarks in terms of a stock-breeder interested in the
amelioration of German blood.
"But all you can do," he replied,
"is to assist Nature and shorten the road to be followed! It is
Nature herself who must create for you a new species. Up till
now the breeder has only rarely succeeded in developing
mutations in animals -- that is to say, creating himself new
"The new man is living amongst us
now! He is here!" exclaimed Hitler, triumphantly. "Isn’t that
enough for you? I will tell you a secret. I have seen the new
man. He is intrepid and cruel. I was afraid of him."
"In uttering these words," added Rauschning, "Hitler was
trembling in a kind of ecstasy."
It was Rauschning, too, who related the
following strange episode, about which Dr. Achille Delmas, a
specialist in applied psychology, questioned him in vain: It is true
that in a case like this psychology does not apply:
"A person close to Hitler told me
that he wakes up in the night screaming and in convulsions. He
calls for help, and appears to be half paralyzed. He is seized
with a panic that makes him tremble until the bed shakes. He
utters confused and unintelligible sounds, gasping, as if on
the point of suffocation. The same person described to me one of
these fits, with details that I would refuse to believe had I
not complete confidence in my informant.
"Hitler was standing up in his room, swaying and looking all
round him as if he were lost. ’It’s he, it’s he,’ he groaned,
’he’s come for me!’ His lips were white; he was sweating
profusely. Suddenly he uttered a string of meaningless figures,
then words and scraps of sentences. It was terrifying. He used
strange expressions strung together in bizarre disorder.
relapsed again into silence, but his lips still continued to
move. He was then given a friction and something to drink. Then
suddenly he screamed: ’There! there! Over in the comer! He is
there!’ - all the time stamping with his feet and shouting. To quieten him he was assured that nothing extraordinary had
happened, and finally he gradually calmed down. After that he
slept for a long time and became normal again..."
[Hermann Rauschning: Hitler m’a dit.
Ed. Co-operation, Paris, 1939. Dr. Achille Delmas: Hitler, essai
de biographie psycho- pathologique. Lib. Marcel Rivimere, Paris,
We leave it to the reader to compare the
statement of Mathers, head of a small neo-pagan society at the end
of the nineteenth century, and the utterances of a man who, at the
time Rauschning recorded them, was preparing to launch the world
into an adventure which caused the death of twenty million men. We
beg him not to ignore this comparison and the lesson to be drawn
from it on the grounds that the Golden Dawn and Nazism, in the eyes
of a "reasonable" historian, have nothing in common. The historian
may be reasonable, but history is not.
These two men shared the same beliefs:
their fundamental experiences were the same, and they were guided by
the same force. They belong to the same trend of thought and to the
same religion. This religion has never up to now been seriously
studied. Neither the Church nor the Rationalists -- that other
Church -- have ever allowed it. We are now entering an epoch in the
history of knowledge when such studies will become possible because
now that reality is revealing its fantastic side, ideas and
techniques which seem abnormal, contemptible or repellent will be
found useful in so far as they enable us to understand a "reality"
that becomes more and more disquieting.
We are not suggesting that the reader should study an affiliation
Rosy Cross-Bulwer Lytton-Little-Mathers-Crowley- Hitler, or any
similar association which would include also Mme Blavatsky and
Gurdjieff. Looking for affiliations is a game, like looking for
"influences" in literature; when the game is over, the problem is
still there. In literature it’s a question of genius; in history, of
The Golden Dawn is not enough to explain the Thule Group, or the
Luminous Lodge, the Ahnenherbe. Naturally there are cross-currents
and secret or apparent links between the various groups, which we
shall not fail to point out. Like all "little" history, that is an
absorbing pastime. But our concern is with "big" history.
We believe that these societies, great or small, related or
unrelated, with or without ramifications, are manifestations, more
or less apparent and more or less important, of a world other than
the one in which we live. Let us call it the world of Evil, in
Machen’s sense of the word. The truth is, we know just as little
about the world of Good. We are living between two worlds, and
pretending that this "no-man’s-land" is identical with our whole
The rise of Nazism was one of those rare moments in the
history of our civilization, when a door was noisily and
ostentatiously opened on to something "Other." What is strange is
that people pretend not to have seen or heard anything apart from
the sights and sounds inseparable from war and political strife.
All these movements: the modern Rosy-Cross, Golden Dawn, the German
Vril Society (which will bring us to the
where we shall
find Haushofer, Hess and Hitler) were more or less closely
associated with the powerful and well organized Theosophical
Society. Theosophy added to neo-pagan magic an oriental setting and
a Hindu terminology. Or, rather, it provided a link between a
certain oriental Satanism and the West.
Theosophy was the name finally given to the whole vast renaissance
in the world of magic that affected many thinkers so profoundly at
the beginning of the century.
In his study Le Thiosophisme, histoire d’une pseudo-religion,
published in 1921, the philosopher Rene Guenon foresaw what was
likely to occur. He realized the dangers lurking behind theosophy
and the neo-pagan Initiatory groups that were more or less connected
with Mme Blavatsky and her sect.
This is what he wrote:
"The false Messiahs we have seen so
far have only performed very inferior miracles, and their
disciples were probably not very difficult to convert. But who
knows what the future has in store? When you reflect that these
false Messiahs have never been anything but the more or less
unconscious tools of those who conjured them up, and when one
thinks more particularly of the series of attempts made in
succession by the theosophists, one is forced to the conclusion
that these were only trials, experiments as it were, which will
be renewed in various forms until success is achieved, and which
in the meantime invariably produce a somewhat disquieting
Not that we believe that the
theosophists, any more than the occultists and the
spiritualists, are strong enough by themselves to carry out
successfully an enterprise of this nature. But might there not
be, behind all these movements, something far more dangerous
which their leaders perhaps know nothing about, being themselves
in turn the unconscious tools of a higher power?"
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