Golden Dawn in New Zealand

Excerpts from Whare Ra Wikipedia:

Whare Ra, is the name of the building which housed the New Zealand branch of the Order of the Stella Matutina. It was designed and made by one of New Zealand’s most famous architects, and a senior member of the Order, James Walter Chapman-Taylor.

Whare Ra and the Stella Matutina in New Zealand

The foundations for the Order in New Zealand were laid by Reginald Gardiner, born in New South Wales, Australia, son of an Anglican vicar and brother of the Anglican vicar of St Luke’s Church, Havelock North, who finally settled in New Zealand in 1907, settling in the village of Havelock North. He formed about him an artistic, cultural and spiritual group whose activities became known as the “Havelock Work“, and produced a publication called “The Forerunner”. The Havelock Work grew and in time the group became known as the Society of the Southern Cross.

In 1910, Revd. Father J. Fitzgerald travelled to New Zealand on Church business, and was introduced to the group. He was suitably impressed, and prior to his return to Britain, promised to stay in touch and to do what he could to help. In due course he wrote that if further progress were to be made, that certain people of his acquaintance would need to come out from England. In 1912 Dr. Robert Felkin, Chief of the Order of the Stella Matutina, arrived, assisted by his appointment as Inspector of the Australasian Colleges of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia by William Wynn Westcott, one of the original Chiefs of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A.

Travelling with his wife and daughter, he initiated a group of members into the Order. A sizeable piece of land was donated, and a home for the Order constructed, which they named “Whare Ra”, or House of the Sun. It was in the basement of this house, that the large Temple was built. During their three month stay, sufficient members had been initiated to make a beginning, a trust had been set up to manage the monetary affairs of the Order, and the building commissioned and sufficiently advanced to enable its Consecration. Before leaving New Zealand to return to England, a Warrant was issued establishing the Smaragdum Thallasses Temple No. 49 of the Order of the Stella Matutina.

The North side of Whare Ra

In 1916, at the invitation of the members of the New Zealand branch, and with the offer of life tenancy of “Whare Ra”, Dr Felkin and his family returned to New Zealand for good. He issued a new constitution for the Order of the Stella Matutina in the same year, informing members that the Mother Temple of the Order was now in New Zealand. The Order, governed by three ruling Chiefs, prospered under their leadership. By the time of the death of Dr Felkin in 1926, it had a very active membership and was well established – its membership included bishops, senior ranking military officers, members of Parliament, and local dignitaries and officials.

Felkin’s grave inscription.

Mr Gardiner replaced Dr Felkin as a Greatly Honoured Chief of the Order, and with Mrs and Miss Felkin, ruled for a further stable period of 33 years. It was during this time that the Temple distanced itself from the affairs of the Stella Matutina in Britain, and renamed itself simply the Order of Smaragdum Thallasses. In 1959 Mr Gardiner and Mrs Felkin died, followed by Miss Felkin three years later.

By 1978 it was clear that Whare Ra was a spent force. On 24 August 1978 a letter was circulated to members announcing the closure:

“Dear Fratres and Sorores,
This letter is addressed to all members of the Order of S.T., including members of the Second Order.
It is with great great regret that we write to inform you that the Temple is closing and there will be no Vernal Equinox Ceremony.
Those of you who have been present at recent Equinox Ceremonies will surely have been aware, not only of the lack of numbers, but also the lack of power, in the Temple. Those who have read their annual reports can scarcely have failed to notice that no new members have been admitted since 1975. Indeed there have been no grade ceremonies at all for the last two years or more. …”

Much to the regret of many esoteric historians they burnt most of the group’s regalia, Temple furnishings and records. Fortunately some things survived, including the Temple’s pillars, the two sphinxes which flanked either side of the dais steps, and many copies of the rituals and lectures were passed on and preserved.

Whare Ra is now in private hands, and has been registered as a category “I” protected building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.


  • Golden Dawn Companion, R A Gilbert, Aquarian Press (1986), ISBN 0-85030-436-9
  • Islands of the Dawn: The Story of Alternative Spirituality in New Zealand, Robert S. Ellwood, University of Hawaii Press (May 1993),ISBN 0-8248-1487-8
  • James Walter Chapman-Taylor in the Hawkes Bay 1913-1922, Judy Siers, Hawkes Bay Cultural Trust (1991), ISBN 0-473-01211-1
  • Havelock North The History of a Village, Mathew Wright, Hastings District Council (1996), ISBN 0-473-03962-1
  • Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn, Pat Zalewski, Falcon Press (1988) ISBN 0-941404-65-X
  • New Zealand Occult and Esoteric Fraternities, Roel van Leeuwen (March 2003), published at

From the Anticum to the Order

It is with great pleasure that the members of Aurora Aurea Hibernia would like to invite interested parties to apply to the Order.

Due to the limited availability of space we are requesting that sincere seekers apply to the Order first so that a representative of the Order may meet with you to explore your interests and expectations and ease the process for attending our antica.

Anticum 2012-11-24

The Anticum

If you have been wondering what its like to work ceremonial or ritual magic within the context of a working group or temple, the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea has devised a platform for non-initiated individuals to attend the Anticum to the Order.

An anticum is the portico or outer area of a temple, where historically rituals were conducted on behalf of the followers of that temple. Now since the Golden Dawn is not a comprised of a priesthood it was felt that we could offer some rituals designed to give the seeker an experience of ritual magic.

The Irish Anticum is faciltated by a Warden of the Order, generally someone of the Zelator grade (1=10) or above, who can offer talks and lectures on various historical parts of the Order and the wider tradition as well as conducting the rites. The Warden is often supported by Priests of Fire and Water to help prepare the ritual space by purifying and consecrating. This is reminiscent of the roles of the Stolistes and Dadouchos in the Neophyte grade (0=0). The Warden may also be supported by an officer called a Guide, whose job it is to assist in the opening of the anticum.

It is the belief of the Order that such rites and rituals will not only benefit attendees of the anticum but also help to benefit the world by ushering forth LVX or Light into the world. It is part of the Order’s belief that a magician should exemplify their own personal growth in their daily lives as much as is possible and this is a belief we try to bring forward into the anticum.

Some of the rituals we host are invocations using Divine images of the Archangels; Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael. The rituals are structured in such a way that participants use a technique called Telesmatic imagery to “build-up” the image of the Archangel mentally and on the astral plane.

Such techniques are not the entirety of the Golden Dawn system nor that employed in the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea but they do offer some experiential basis to the seeker before they commit to becoming an initiated member of the Order and continue on their spiritual and magical path.

If you’d like more information email us at:

Pax et LVX,

Aurora Aurea Hibernia

Magical Egregore 101

This is a reblogged post from which examines the constuction of a Magical Egregore. Read below or click the link above to see the original post in context.

auroraaureasealSince the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea decided to leave the Golden Dawn, there has been some somewhat strange comments about egregores including one very confused comment from one clearly uninformed “chief of an order.” Ironically there has been one comment from a chap who has spent a long time claiming that the Head of our Order was not Golden Dawn for years, suddenly insisting that Nick was, because Nick did the same rituals as him. It is nice to be wanted!

An explanation of magical egregores may be in order given the rise in such strange comments from people. If anything it will make why we have walked away from the GD egregore clearer.

An egregore is a spirit, similar to the Roman concept of a Lare in that it forms spontaneously and appears to have a personality. It is formed when a group is started and in psychological terms is called a “group mind”. In his book, ‘Gathering the Magic’, Nick said that this egregore is made up of the sum total of aspirations, beliefs of all group members past and present. In psychological terms they refer to it as a ‘group mentality’, however they stop short of describing it as an individual, although some like the British psychoanalyst Wilfred Ruprecht Bion from the Tavistock Clinic who pioneered some work on the ‘group mentality’ have found them themselves reluctantly labelling it as an entity.

Among his therapy group Bion found this entity could behave like primitive human with the entire attendant drives. For example, if the group was attacked they would all behave in a ‘flight or fight’ reaction against the external foe. This is all standard stuff. It could be seen a rowing club or a drama club. Bion noted that an egregore personified the ‘basic assumption of the group’, which if the person fought against a ‘group undertow’ would drag them in another direction. If they don’t go with the flow then the group will enact a fight or flight reaction against them. Again, this is something that an unscrupulous leader will use. If a second in command can present enough of a case to the group that the leader should be removed, they will work quickly to expel him on the flimsiest of evidence extremely quickly. This can happen intentionally, but sometimes it happens that the second in command gets swept along with the group mind if they find that their leader has been misbehaving. In the Golden Dawn revolt of 1901, Florence Farr and William Butler Yeats, who until then had been identified as friends of Samuel Mathers, found themselves with the rest of the mob holding the pitchforks and torches.

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“Gathering the Magic: Creating 21st Century Esoteric Groups” – Nick Farrell (2007)

Magical groups, because of their dependence on imagination and astral images develop an unusual form of particularly powerful egregore. It can actually assist them reach higher states and do more than an individual could manage. A group egregore is powered up every time a rite is performed and the longer and more often a group meets the more powerful it becomes until it has the power to do lots of interesting things some good, some bad.

On the plus side it means that all the magic you do, whether you are with the others or not, suddenly develops a special power. It is like you are tapping into a reservoir of energy that you never had as a solo magician. I had been carrying out a Golden Dawn ritual called the Ritual of the Pentagram to clear out any lower astral nasties from a room for years before joining a Golden Dawn group. But somehow, upon joining the old dusty rite developed a brand new sparkle; it was easier to visualise and the room felt completely different afterward.

On the negative side you can fall foul of a group egregore if you don’t toe the group line on everything. You can wake up one morning with a different view of the world, go to your group working as normal and find that you just do not get on with any one any more. After a while it becomes clear that you are not welcome and you have to leave.

There after the people in the same group that you have known and loved will shun you and speak your name in whispers. Nothing particularly bad, although you might have the distinct opinion that if they had the choice they would beat you with sticks and shove your head down a toilet. This is because your sudden change of viewpoint goes against the mindset of the egregore.

Each group has an egoregore and it is part of a larger one for an Order. There is often a larger one which represents the tradition (in our case the Rosicrucian tradition). When a group is formed its leaders and teachers attempt to form a link with first the tradition and then a contact which agrees to work with them. This link is then attached to the egoregore. In the Golden Dawn this egregore is powered by the Second Order.

Over the years egregores will become corrupted. Some of their members, or chiefs might let the side down. Or a politically motivated person might try to take over the group. They can also attract astral parasites, which are the astral wildlife which feed off intense generation of energy and emotion. The Golden Dawn had several methods to spring clean every year (the equinox ritual and the use of the HRU and HUA).

While a group is active it is fairly easy to see how it all works. The difficultly comes when a group breaks up or becomes inactive as was the case with the Golden Dawn. Generally an egregore remains dormant on the astral and will become activated again when people start to identify with it.

Despite what many might think, working with another group’s egregore is easy. It is a matter entirely of identification. If you think your group is connected to the Golden Dawn, or Gerald Gardner or Alistair Crowley it is. It might not be rational, egregores are not intelligent. If you say you are a Golden Dawn order you are – even if there is a lot of evidence that you are actually a four kids with a copy of Regardie. This issue of identification is more important than things like rituals. Rituals might help you focus on an egregore but they are not needed for the egregore. External identification is also important. How outsiders see your group will help define it because an egregore is built by thought, and thought can change it. It is for this reason that the Golden Dawn oath prohibited the disclosure of the name of the temple. It is also the reason why, after the Horos Trial the Golden Dawn changed its name. Suddenly its egregore could be modified by the great unwashed.

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Felkin pulled his ST Order out of the GD and the SM egregore

When we started the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea we were firmly connected to the Golden Dawn egregore by our own identification. It was because we saw ourselves as working within the Golden Dawn tradition. This was particularly important when I was the only member of the Second Order. But what we found was that the egregore of the Golden Dawn was ultra-conservative. If we bought about a logical change, the egregore kicked and screamed – after all it had more than 100 years defending itself against too much change. Identifying too much with the Golden Dawn egregore opened us up to all the pathology of a 120 year old order which had not cleaned itself up enough.

However connection to the Golden Dawn egregore was optional. There had been several cases even within the GD history where leaders had NOT connected to the GD egregore. Dr Felkin disconnected his Stella Matutina from the GD egregore and later disconnected his Smaragdum Thallasses from the SM. Paul Foster Case pulled his order from the AO egregore and Waite did it several times.

The way they did it was by reconnecting their new order to an impulse behind it. They also proceeded to identify themselves with the new current rather than the old one. This meant purging the old name from the rituals and course material and (often) changing godforms, moving the inner locations of the temples and of course using a different name.

The claim that the rituals are important to the Golden Dawn egregore is pretty bogus. The rituals were written by someone who was never in the order, after being reworked by someone who was never initiated into it. They have been used by a wide range of different orders who have clearly different egregores – BOTA, Stella Matutina, Waite’s Holy Order, Whare Ra, HOGD, AO, and Hidden Light.

Whare Ra Vault Redesign

The Whare Ra Vault based on different designs

What this allowed was for changes to come in which would not be contested by the egregore and means that you do not have to deal with the sins of the past, or its old chiefs or the old parasites.

For us, this desire to change seemed to arrive with the creation of our Second Order – which powers the first. Initiations started to take on a different favour and power of their own. Much of this came as an experience of the 5=6 and approach which was different from the original order. This flowed into the outer order where the Golden Dawn egregore came up to bite it. It is obviously better to spend a few months rewiring that egregore into something new, than it is to keep fighting it.

Nick ends is post with an aside stating, “I am also disappointed that the GD safeguards to clean up its egregore clearly do not work. HRU and HUA appear to be too obscure (and unknown) to help. It might be because we have lot any teaching to do with these figures”.

The Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea is not a Golden Dawn Group

For a long while the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea  has described itself as a traditional Golden Dawn group. From today it is not and we will stop describing ourselves in that way.

MOAA will no longer look to the past for any particular knowledge or security, but to its future. And rather than trying to pour new wine into old skins we will be more secure in our own independence and ability to move in our own direction.

The word “Golden Dawn” has come to mean the tradition which encompasses all its offshoots including the modern renditions of the Stella Matutina, Smaragdum Thallasses and the Alpha et Omega. However, most of these traditions do not run anything like the original Golden Dawn and have been connected to an egregore which was founded in the birth of the original Order of the Golden Dawn and due to various reasons was never afforded the fullest opportunity to develop an appreciation of magical work.

The Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea, with its emphasis on experimentation and developing the magical tradition is completely at odds with this “Golden Dawn” egregore. In fact in our opinion this particular egregore has done its best to commit suicide over the last 20 years. Its use by Greek Fascists has placed another nail in a coffin which has been sledgehammered by people trying to turn it into a cult or a business, or by kids, armed with a copy of Regardie trying to set up Magical Orders without knowledge or ability.

It should not be necessary to summon the ghost of a long dead and dysfunctional order to prop up an order which in most cases works much better. Self-confident groups which have something real to offer do not need to evoke the past to describe what they are doing now or in the future.

In any event the historical Golden Dawn egregore is nowhere near as magical as the groups that replaced it and is a quasi-masonic shadow of the modern groups that bear its name. In our view the use of this egregore actively works to undermine the ability of good groups to function within the 21st century.

That is not to say that the “Golden Dawn” methods do not work. Indeed the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea will continue to use the rituals and general structure of the Smaragdum Thallasses (Whare Ra) order, which was descended from the Golden Dawn but resolved its egregore problem by rewiring itself.

As the Smaragdum Thallasses found its own roots to a Hermetic source independent of the Golden Dawn, so has the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea. We have developed our own contacts and method of using the Smaragdum Thallasses system and have our own set of goals which we feel would be constrained by continuing to adopt the old Golden Dawn egregore and name.

It is the aim of the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea to continue being seen as being part of a wider “Golden Dawn Community”. Indeed, to most people looking at our system we may appear to be a bunch of “Golden Dawn people” who emphase magical techniques, but at a deeper level, particularly within our Second Order, we are not and it is felt by members of the Order that it is time to make that clear.

In many ways this statement makes us “new” and will be the beginning of work we will be doing to distance ourselves from the “Golden Dawn” egregore and evolve our own connection with the source behind it. We will be updating our websites and material accordingly. While Aurora Aurea is Latin for Golden Dawn, placing it in a “dead tongue” means that it goes to a “different place” and or own lineage and egregore, and therefore ‘rebranding the label’ so-to-speak is not necessary.

MOAA continues to be a traditional magic order, but is not a traditional Golden Dawn order.

The goals of the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea:

  1. Fuse the Inner and Outer plane traditions of the Smaragdum Thallasses (as expressed by the Dion Fortune tradition and the pure Golden Dawn).
  2. To develop a scientific and individualist approach to magic.
  3. Restore a balance between religions within magic so that a person might develop their own religious understanding free from any dogma.
  4. To provide magical training to those who are ready using the latest communication methods.
  5. To experiment with new methods of magical expression and to share that information.
  6. To eliminate any discrimination within occultism on the basis of sex, religion, race, sexuality or beliefs.
  7. To establish better communication between Western Mystery traditions to the enhancement of our own.
  8. To encourage each student to develop their magical gifts to the best of their ability so that they can take a pivotal role within an evolving humanity.
  9. To assist a student and adept in the attainment of their own spiritual destiny.
  10. To continue to study and adapt the Smaragdum Thallasses system.
  11. To create a magical order where practical techniques are given priority over intellectual understanding.
Issued in the Hour of Venus on the Day of Venus
20 December 2013

Lecture 1: What to expect from a Golden Dawn initiation

Head of the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea, Nick Farrell, leads this discussion on YouTube as a means to explore some of the more common questions people have coming into the Golden Dawn system of magic and exploring the process of personal change within an individual.

The video below discusses the experiences common to each of the elemental grades and a person’s exposure to the astrological and Sephiroth symbolism contained within the rituals.

Magical Imagination: The Keys to Magic

Nick Farrell’s new book Magical Imagination: The Keys to Magic will be out in a week or so… here is a sneak preview of the cover. The book is based on Magical Pathworking with a lot more information and more recent workings from Nick Farrell.


The cover image was taken my Nick himself and is of the Pantheon located in Rome, Italy, close to where MOAA’s Mother-Temple is located and is a beautiful spot to visit if one is traveling through Rome.  We’ll keep you updated with details of release dates for this book as they happen so check back in on this blog.

Below are some of Nick’s other titles

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Nick Farrell on Skylight Press

Review of the life and works to date of Nick Farrell, head of the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea (MOAA) by Daniel over on Skylight Press. See the article below…

Through the Skylight

nick farrellNick Farrell is an esoteric author and journalist who has dedicated his life to the Western Mystery Tradition. Joining the Builders of the Adytum in New Zealand at age 17, he started to read everything he could find on the Golden Dawn and Magic. He moved to Hawkes Bay where he was trained by some of the elderly high-grade members of Whare Ra, which was the last Golden Dawn temple to close its doors, before moving to England in 1989. There he joined Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki’s Servants of the Light School where he worked with David Goddard and later followed him into his Pharos organisation.

In 1997, Farrell left Pharos and joined Chic and Tabatha Cicero’s Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and formed a branch of their Order in the UK. Around that time he wrote his first book Making Talismans, a work that sought to present a complete magical system in…

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