Theos-World about Occult brotherhood of Luxor where Burgoyne was secretary
Jan 10, 2009 03:28 PM
The Occult Society
The T. S. verses the H. B. of L.
The Occult Society
"In 1870 (and not in 1884, as the Theosophists claimed), an adept
of calm, of the ever-existing ancient Order of the H. B. of L., after
having received the consent of his fellow-initiates, decided to
choose in Great Britain a neophyte who would answer his designs. He
landed in Great Britain in 1873. There he discovered a neophyte who
satisfied his requirements and he gradually instructed him. Later,
the actual neophyte received permission to establish the Exterior
Circle of the H. B. of L."
The adept in the above paragraph (from the introduction by Pascal
Themanlys to the book Visions of the Eternal Present) is Max Theon,
at the time a mere 22 years of age. I assume the disciple referred to
is Peter Davidson (1842-1916), a Scottish philosopher. In London
Theon was the Grand Master of the H. B. of L. - Exterior Circle of
the Holy Brotherhood of Luxor, and Davidson, its visible head. One of
Davidson's other teachers was the Rosicrucian external link Hargrave
Jennings (c. 1817 - 1890). were joined in 1883 by Thomas H. Burgoyne
(AKA Thomas Dalton, 1855-1895).
The function of this "Outer Circle" of the H. B. of L. was to offer a
correspondence course on practical occultism; which set it apart from
the Theosophical Society. Its curriculum included a number of
selections from the writings of Hargrave Jennings and Paschal Beverly
Theon and Davidson were heirs to an already established tradition,
influences of which go back at least to Rosicrucian-Freemasonic ideas
and movements of the eighteenth century. There are in fact a number
of different, if related and overlapping, references here. As T Allen
Greenfield points out, there seems to be
"a parallel tradition running through the eighteenth century
Fratres Lucis and Asiatic Brethren on the one hand, and Cagliostro's
Egyptian Rite (androgynous) Freemasonry on the other. These fuse with
primordial Egyptian traditions during the Napoleonic conquests in
Egypt, passed on to Metamon, Theon, Levi, Randolph, Davidson and
other nineteenth century luminaries, down to Papus, Reuss, Kellner
and, eventually, Aleister Crowley and his successors and heirs within
Thus Theon and Davidson and the H. B. of L. had an influence not only
on Theosophy but also, directly and indirectly, with the OTO and
hence Steiner (who was a member before the OTO became mostly
thelemite), Crowley and most of modern occultism.
"The interior Circle of the H. B. of L. was formed within a
distinct Hermetic Order in consequence of a division that took place
in the ranks of the Hermetic Initiates. This division was the outcome
of the natural difference between the initiates belonging to the
Sacerdotal Caste and those who were seriously tested and graduated in
the schools of occultism."
In the last decades of the 19th century, the Order of the The
Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor had considerable influence in all the
milieu of Western occultism. It was the only order of its time that
taught practical occultism in the Western Mystery Tradition. This
very secretive order, which counted among its members many of the
well-known figures of late 19th-century occultism, spiritualism, and
Theosophy. The researcher, G. Marvin Williams, wrote that Madam
Blavalsky's claim of being involved with the H.B. of L. was just a
creation of imagination designed to gain publicity. But, despite
Marvin's scepticism, Madam Blavatsky was indeed a member of the Order.
In later years, Peter Davidson emigrated to the United States and
there published several books. While in 1889 some the H.B. of L.
material in the form of lessons by Burgoyne was published as The
Light of Egypt, minus only the practical teachings
The charter of the Ancient and Noble Order of H. B. of L. which was
signed: "M. Theon, Grand Master pro temp of the Exterior Circle,"
contains high principles and important data:
"We recognize the eternal existence of the Great Cause of Light, the
invisible center whose vibrating soul, gloriously radiant, is the
living breath, the vital principle of all that exists and will ever
exist. It is from this divine summit that goes forth the invisible
Power which binds the vast universe in an harmonious whole."
"We teach that from this incomprehensible center of Divinity emanate
sparks of the eternal Spirit,which,after accomplishing their orbit,
the great cycle of Necessity, constitute the sole immortal element of
the human soul. Accepting thus the universal brotherhood of humanity,
we reject, nevertheless,the doctrine of universal quality."
"We have no personal preferences and no one makes progress in "the
Order without having accomplished his assigned task thereby
indicating aptitude for more advanced initiation."
"Remember, we teach freely, without reservation, anyone worthy of
"The Order devotes its energies and resources to discover and apply
the hidden laws and active forces in all fields of nature, and to
subjugate them to the higher will of the human soul, whose power and
attributes our Order strives to develop, in order to build up the
immortal individuality so that the complete spirit can say I AM."
"The members engage themselves, to the best of their ability, in a
life of moral purity and brotherly love, abstaining from the use of
intoxicants except for medicinal purposes, working for the progress
of all social reforms beneficial for humanity."
"Finally, the members have full freedom of thought and judgment. By
no means may one member be disrespectful towards members of other
religious beliefs or impose his own convictions on others."
"Each member of our ancient and noble Order has to maintain, human
dignity by living as an example of purity, justice and goodwill. No
matter what the circumstances may be, one can become a living center
of goodness, radiating virtue, nobility and truth."
The T. S. verses the H. B. of L.
According to William Emmette Coleman
In 1875 Mme. B. had claimed to be in communication with an
Egyptian Lodge, called the Brotherhood of Luxor, composed of "Adepts"
or "Brothers"; Masters in magical lore, and she also caused Olcott to
believe that one or more of these "Brothers" had accepted him as a
pupil, and that certain communications to him purporting to come from
them, and received by the Colonel through her, were the veritable
productions of these "Adepts." Olcott asserts that one of them once
visited him in his room in a materialized astral form, and as proof
of his objectivity left with him his headcovering, which the Colonel
retains to this day.
The indication here is that the Theosophical doctrine of Masters is
directly based on the H. B. of L. Later however Blavatsky accused
that magical order of swindling money from the gullible. The
definition in the on-line Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary: defines
the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor as "a spurious "esoteric" society
started about 1884 in England, which later spread to America before
it was exposed as a fraud in Yorkshire by theosophists around 1887,"
and that in August, 1887, Burgoyne "issued to the members a secret
circular, the essence of which was that he had studied Chaldean
Astrology for eighteen years, but could not communicate the 'lessons'
in it and Occultism without a payment to him of $60; that his
teachings had the full approval of the Masters...He was 28 years old
at the time. He later published the same material in a book, external
link The Light of Egypt, sold for $3.00."
We have seeen that the H. B. of L. was established in 1870, although
perhaps it (as the O.T.O. historical documents suggest) only emerged
publicly at the later date. Another minor point: if Burgoyne was born
in 1855 than in 1887 he was 32, not 28. The reference to the
"Masters" is interesting because it seems that the H. B. of L. is
where Blavatsky originally developed the idea from. One wonders how
much of this material is genuine, and how much slander. There was
certainly an ideological difference (apart from her short-lived
"Esoteric Section", Blavatsky was very much against teaching
practical occultism, considering it too dangerous), and in Lodges of
Magic Blavatsky warns members of Randolph and other love-philter
sellers. This is evident in a number of letters abnd represents a
long-running feud, at leats on Blavatsky's part. For example in a
letter A. P. Sinnett, Blavatsky warns him of the "Hindu Brotherhood
of Luxor with Davison in it and others working now in the U.S.
It is interesting that most of the few hits on the Web for the
Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor are Theosophical propaganda of this
nature; this stemming perhaps from a number of factors: a falling out
between Blavatsky and Theon, and also clearly the puritan
theosophists dislike of the controversial sex-magician Randolph who
seems to have been associated (rightly or wrongly) with the love-
philter con-artists and other quacks that would have been quite
numerous at that time.
Web links Links and References Web links
Hermetic Brotherhood Of Luxor: Initiatic & Historical Documents Of An
Order Of Occultism by Chanel, Christian et al (Eds.) Publisher:
Samuel Weiser, Inc. - biography of founding and important members and
presentation of documents; very important for the occulkt historian
T. Allen Greenfield, The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light,
Looking Glass 1997 1st Ed Paperback vi + 194pp Illus - another book
with of early documents from the H.B. of L.; a lot of material on
Paschal Beverly Randolph
Web Page T Allen Greenfield, Hermetic Brotherhood Revisited -
Thoughts on the Antiquity and Continuity of the Hermetic Brotherhood
Web Page The Invisible Basilica: Paschal Beverly Randolph by T Allen
Greenfield and Notes on P.B. Randolph and the Hermetic Brotherhood of
Light - based on a talk by Allen Greenfield
The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett - Theosophical
University Press Online Edition
Critical Historical Review of The Theosophical Society [An Expose of
Madame Blavatsky] by William Emmette Coleman, Member American
Oriental Society, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,
and Pali Text Society. [Originally published in The Religio-
Philosophical Journal, Chicago, Illinois, September 16, 1893, pp.
264-266.] - Published by The Blavatsky Archives Online. Online
Edition copyright 1999.
Lodges of Magic, by H. P. Blavatsky
Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary Copyright 1999 by Theosophical
The Light of Egypt Or The Science of The Soul And The Stars by Henry
O. Wagner/Belle M. Wagner/Thomas H. Burgoyne - free e-text versions
of vol. 2 of the Light of Egypt
on-line essay The Influence of Egypt on the Modern Western Mystery
Tradition: The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor by Samuel Scarborough.
Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 1, Autumnal Equinox 2001
blog Corpus Mmothra: La Tradition Cosmique- Via Antiquities of the
Illuminati and Kheper blog by Jonathan Sellers (Monday, March 21,
2005), includes interesting comments on Theon and the Tradition, and
Web Page The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Initiatic and Historical
Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism, by Joscelyn Godwin,
Christian Chanel and John P. Deveney. book review at The Second-Hand
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page uploaded 4 October 2000 last modified 14 March 2006
--- In email@example.com, Augoeides-222@... wrote:
> I got interested about this post because I have an 1898 edition
of "The Light of Egypt", in it the author is signed with a Swastika
(clockwise). Google reveales new editions of the work but they
publich only Volume Two and Volume one is not found. However the
original Author is revealed to have been one "Thomas H. Burgoyne" who
in the new editions is called "Zanoni" on the Title Page. here are a
few interesting links in regards to him below. BTW, none of the
Contents headings match my 1898 version so I think I have Volume One
which isn't found today.
> The Light of Egypt-Thomas H. Burgoyne- HBof L
> His Astrological Chart and Biography
> Thge Light of Egypt Museum with Burgoyne's Manuscript
> New light on old topics for our Forum members
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