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Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation
     

Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation

by Henrik Bogdan
 

ISBN-10: 0791470695

ISBN-13: 9780791470695

Pub. Date: 04/12/2007

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Historical exploration of Masonic rituals of initiation.

For more than three hundred years the practice of Masonic rituals of initiation has been part of Western culture, spreading far beyond the boundaries of traditional Freemasonry. Henrik Bogdan explores the historical development of these rituals and their relationship with Western esotericism.

Overview

Historical exploration of Masonic rituals of initiation.

For more than three hundred years the practice of Masonic rituals of initiation has been part of Western culture, spreading far beyond the boundaries of traditional Freemasonry. Henrik Bogdan explores the historical development of these rituals and their relationship with Western esotericism. Beginning with the Craft degrees of Freemasonry—the blueprints, as it were, of all later Masonic rituals of initiation—Bogdan examines the development of the Masonic High Degrees, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—the most influential of all nineteenth-century occultist initiatory societies—and Gerald Gardner’s Witchcraft movement of the 1950s, one of the first large-scale Western esoteric New Religions Movements.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791470695
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
04/12/2007
Series:
SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions Series
Pages:
247
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Western Esotericism

Introduction
The Delimitation of a Field of Research
The Research Paradigms of Western Esotericism
Western Esotericism in Theory and Practice
Western Esoteric Currents
Western Esoteric Rituals of Initiation
Concluding Remarks

2. Rituals of Initiation, Secret Societies, and Masonic Initiatory Societies

Ritual as a Field of Research
Rites de Passage
Rites of Initiation
Secret Societies
Secrecy and Masonic Initiatory Societies
Masonic Initiatory Societies
Masonic Rituals of Initiation
Eighteenth-Century Masonic Terminology
Concluding Remarks

3. Historical Background

Ancient and Medieval Sources
The "New Platonic Academy" of Florence
The Spread of Western Esotericism Across Europe
The Esoteric Missions of Giordano Bruno and John Dee
Christian Rosencreutz and the Rosicrucian Manifestos
Concluding Remarks

4. The Craft Degrees of Freemasonry

The Emergence of Freemasonry
Early Freemasonry and Western Esotericism
The Pre-1730 Ritual Evidence
The Master Mason Degree and the Ritual Enactment of the Hiramic Legend
Concluding Remarks

5. High or Additional Degrees of Freemasonry

Introduction
Templar and Ecossais Rites
Egyptian Rites
"Esoteric" Freemasonry
True Mason, or Académie des Vrais Maçons
Concluding Remarks

6. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Introduction
History
A Note on Sources
Description of the Neophyte Ritual
Analysis of the Neophyte Ritual
Concluding Remarks

7. Modern Pagan Witchcraft or Wicca

Gerald Gardner and the Birth of Wicca
The Crowley Connection
Gardner and the Witchcraft Rituals of Initiation
First Degree: Witch and Priest/Priestess
The First Degree Initiation
Second Degree: High Priest/Priestess
Third Degree: High Priest/Priestess
Concluding Remarks

8. Conclusions

Appendix
Notes
References
Index

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