In the research I did for my new book King over the Water, I came across one very interesting fact which surprised me. There have been a number of Orders out there who claim that they have lineage from the Isis-Urania Temple of Mathers. This was the temple that Mina set up in London after her husbands death and which continued under one of her students Garstin. Garstin was not the supreme chief of that order. Mina had handed the chief-ship to someone else I have named in my book.
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This Supreme Chief was ordered in the 1940’s to close the Order down. The AO’s work, it was said by them had been done and it was no longer an appropriate vessel for the post war era. Garston and his two co-chiefs were commanded by the Secret Chiefs to take all the material they could find, equipment and vault and consign it to the flames.
According to Garston everything (other than personal equipment) was destroyed. This event coincidently coincided with Transhall-Hayes joining with Dion Fortune. The pair were motivated by TH’s contacts to hatch out a new Golden Dawn tradition, although this never completely came about.
The AO did continue in a form under Carnegie Dickson. Dickson had been appointed the head of the AO by Brodie Innes. But he also became chief of the Bristol Temple and thus the two strains merged somewhat. He ran Bristol but also a temple in London which recognised AO and SM).
What is important however is that if Mather’s branch of the order was shut down by its secret chiefs then it could not give out any lineage. If any modern order believes in secret chiefs they must equally accept that the Death of the Mathers branch of the Order was ordered by them and therefore any lineage derived from that source must be bogus.
Equally it must be accepted that if the secret chiefs clearly allowed Carnegie Dickson and his lineage to continue in some form (and they seemed happy with the merger with the SM) then that branch of the AO tree died with the closure of the Bristol temple.
Lineage comes from the authority to set up a temple or Order. It is defined by the Order itself. In the case of Whare Ra it was defined by a 7=4 being given the link by someone qualified to receive it.
But this makes it tricky for any modern AO order to claim direct living lineage from Mina Mathers’ group. They have to come up with the fact that they were ordered to shut by their temporal and secret chiefs in the 1940s. Unless they reject the doctrine of Secret Chiefs, they cannot claim a right to even exist, because the Secret Chiefs of the Order said they shouldn’t. In many ways this could also explain why Carnegie Dickson stuck to the SM and Transhall-Hayes buried her magical gear. They took the Secret Chiefs seriously so they could not disobey them.
King over the Water will come out in a couple of weeks and pre-orders for the hardback are going rather well. You can pre-order the limited edition here the paperback will come out later in the year.