At the time of his death on March 10, 1985, Dr. Francis Israel Regardie was considered by many occultists to be the last living adept of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a magical tradition that had numbered among its members William Butler Yeats (1865–1939), Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), and Dion Fortune. Regardie had demystified many esoteric mysteries surrounding the occult and presented understandable texts on practical magic.
By age 19, he began to correspond with Aleister Crowley. In 1928, he accepted the position of Crowley's personal secretary, hoping that the magician would tutor him in the mystic arts; however, Crowley left him to independently study magic. When Crowley's publisher declared bankruptcy, Regardie lost his job.
Although the Golden Dawn had ceased to exist as a functioning magical society as early as 1903, it continued to exist in various descendant orders, such as the Stella Matutina and the Alpha et Omega. In 1932, Regardie's distillation of the teachings of the Golden Dawn was published in The Tree of Life, and at once he was embroiled in controversy with those occultists who associated him with Crowley. While some demanded he never again dare to mention the name of the society, others, such as Dion Fortune, invited him to join the Order of Stella Matutina. In 1937 Regardie published four volumes entitled simply The Golden Dawn. It was Regardie's belief that the heritage of magic was the spiritual birthright of every man and woman and that the principles of such magical systems as the Golden Dawn should be made available to all who wished to pursue the ancient wisdom teachings.
Regardie's work The Philosopher's Stone (1937) was written from the perspective of Jungian symbolism. In 1941, he took up practice as a lay analyst, and in 1947, he relocated to California where he taught psychiatry. Regardie retired from practice in 1981 and moved to Sedona, Arizona, continuing to write until his death.
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Monnastre, Cris, and David Griffin. Israel Regardie, Initiation, and Psychotherapy. [Online] http://www.tarot.nu/gd/initiat.htm.
Regardie, Israel. The Tree of Life: A Study in Magic. New York:
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