An Interview With Israel Regardie: His Final Thoughts and Views

 
9780941404310: An Interview With Israel Regardie: His Final Thoughts and Views
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Israel Regardie (born Francis Israel Regudy on November 17th, 1907 in London, England) was one of the most influential Adepts of the Golden Dawn. He was also a dedicated writer, chiropractor and therapist. It was his main ambition to preserve and perpetuate the teachings and work of the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. Israel Regardie met with the Golden Dawn magician Aleister Crowley (October 12th, 1875 - December 1st, 1947) in Paris in October of 1928 to become his personal secretary and student (he also became Crowley's Confidential Agent and a IX° Member of Crowley's O.T.O.). On October 28th, 1930, Regardie took the Oath of the Probationer in Crowley's Order of the A.·. A.·., which was Crowley's reformulated and advanced version of the system of the Golden Dawn (Crowley even maintained the name of the Golden Dawn for the Outer Order). Then in January of 1933, shortly after severing with Crowley, Regardie, like his magical mentor, joined the Golden Dawn (or, more appropriately, an offshoot of the Order called the Stella Matutina) at Hermes Temple in Bristol with the Neophyte motto Frater Ad Majorem Adonai Gloriam. Regardie states in his book, The Eye in the Triangle: An Interpretation of Aleister Crowley, that he retained this same Neophyte Motto for his 5=6 Adept degree, the Adeptus Minor Grade. (Regardie resigned from Hermes Temple of the Stella Matutina on December 5th, 1934.) Regardie was an Adept who was devoted to the Great Work of preserving and perpetuating the teachings of both Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn about which he once stated: "They have left indelible marks on my life, and my career if I want to use that term, but certainly on my personal life. On the other hand, I cannot separate Crowley from The Golden Dawn, because Crowley was The Golden Dawn and The Golden Dawn was Crowley." - From An Interview with Israel Regardie: His Final Thoughts and Views (Falcon Press, 1985).

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About the Author:

EARLY YEARS Francis Israel Regardie was born in 1907 to an Orthodox Jewish family in the East End of London, an impoverished area that twenty years previously had been the stalking ground of Jack the Ripper. When he was still a teenager, he emigrated along with his family to the United States, settling in Washington, D.C. Regardie was early on attracted to the writings of Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society, in addition to Qabalistic and Rosicrucian studies. While living in D.C., at the age of 20, Regardie became an Initiate of a Rosicrucian group there. Shortly after, Regardie came across a book of Aleister Crowley's and was immediately awestruck by the elder magician's talent and evident genius. In 1928 He began a correspondence with Crowley, who was then living in Parib, and was eventually offered a job as Crowley's personal secretary. Regardie traveled to Paris to join him at a great personal sacrifice and while there he served as Crowley's secretary. He also provided the British magician with some financial assistance needed to help the latter maintain his outlandish hedonistic lifestyle. The arrangement may have been ideal for Crowley, who utilized Regardie's services as secretary and errand-boy, while pursuing women and drugs to his heart's content. It was less than idyllic for Regardie, who became disillusioned by Crowley's failure to truly teach him the higher secrets of magic, which he had to get from extensive reading instead. The whole episode came to an end less than a year later, when Crowley was deported from France, accused of being a German spy. Regardie then attempted to return to the land of his birth, but England would not have him due to his known association with the already-infamous Crowley, whose patriotism was in question due to his having worked for a pro-German newspaper in New York during the Great War. Despite his association with, and admiration for, Aleister Crowley, Regardie never considered himself a Thelemite. It is telling that he joined an offshoot of the Golden Dawn in 1933, over thirty years after Crowley himself terminated his association with the order. In fact, Crowley was actively involved with the Ordo Tempi' Orientis during the 1920s and later, yet it appears that Regardie either had no interest, or Crowley did not invite him to participate therein. Regardie's resonance with the Golden Dawn derived in part from the intuitive knowledge that he demonstrated in his 1932 book, The Tree of Life. With the sponsorship of Dion Fortune, he joined the Stella Matutina in 1933 but quickly became disillusioned with its egotistical leadership and departed less than two years later after attaining the grade of Adeptus Minor. Three years after that, he published his landmark collection The Golden Dawn, making the "secret" rites and teachings of the on-again, off-again Order available to a wider public for the first time, and making possible today's resurgence of interest in the Order. Several years later, Regardie and Crowley parted company after an acrimonious public clash of personalities. Regardie returned to the United States and studied chiropractic medicine in New York. He served in the Army during World War II, and afterward moved to Los Angeles to open a chiropractic clinic and also work as a Reichian therapist. He had studied psychology and psychiatry with several notable teachers and was a strong proponent of Jungian analysis all his life, as well as the more controversial work of Wilhelm Reich. Both writers are known among the 20th century's most unique and controversial psychological theorists, whose writings straddled the border between science, religion and myth, and incorporated a strong element of sexuality. It is easy to see how this emphasis blended well with Regardie's magical and esoteric studies.

Review:

Dr. Regardie's final thoughts and views are both profound and illuminating. His touching final interview with his long-time student Dr.Christopher S. Hyatt is amazing and offers a rare glimpse into the mature mind of Regardie. --Colin Wilson

Here is a wonderful selection of Regardie's selected writings spanning decades. This is a must have book for an overview of Regardie's life and thoughts and how he evolved with time. --Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D.

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