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John William Brodie-Innes


Ithel Colquhoun

From external link Ithel ColquhounThe Sword of Wisdom MacGregor Mathers & the Golden Dawn G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1975, pp.149-151

"A Doctor of Laws from Milton Brodie in Morayshire, he practised as a lawyer in Edinburgh where he joined the Scottish Section of the Theosophical Society in its early days. No doubt it was in this milieu that he and his wife heard of the Golden Dawn; when Amen-Ra Temple was consecrated he became its first Imperator.

He published a fair amount of literary work on various subjects (including a massive legal tome) dating from 1887 with a verse-play in four acts, Thomas a Becket, to 1919 with The Golden Rope. He is best known for his novels dealing with witchcraft and Scottish folk-lore, the earliest of which was Morag the Seal (1908).

He had problems with Amen-Ra a few years after its foundation when one of its most active members, the astronomer William Peck, led a faction against him. However, the temple remained loyal to Mathers at the Schism only to lose Peck and others after the Horos scandal a year or two later. Thereafter it seems to have slackened its grip and Brodie-Innes gave countenance to the Dissidents - Felkin, and even Waite who detested him. By 1908 he returned to Mathers and he collaborated with Dr. Berridge's Isis Temple in London.

Around 1912 he revived Amen-Ra and with renewed allegiance to Mathers; Edinburgh put forth a daughter-temple (subsequently led by Mrs. Maiya Tranchell Hayes), the second Alpha Omega (A:.O:.) Lodge in London. Mathers had authorised this name for post-Schism 'regular' developments. Brodie-Innes was also concerned in the establishment of the Cromlech Temple, known outwardly as the Solar Group, a side-Order of mystical rather than magical intent. It attracted members of the Anglican clergy, and of the Episcopalian Church of Scotland who, in contrast to Presbyterians, tend towards the High Anglican outlook. Here the situation is not clear-cut as regards 'regularity' since the Cromlech Temple also maintained close relations with the Stella Matutina and shared the Felkin's astral guide, Ara ben Shemesh.

In her treatise, Psychic Self-Defence (1930), Dion Fortune recounts several incidents involving an adept whom she designates by the letter Z and of whom she had a high opinion. She tells how, at the outset of her career, she attended an 'occult college which was hidden away in the sandy fastnesses of the Hampshire barrens' and of which Z was in charge. One is fairly safe in identifying him with Brodie-Innes, whom she elsewhere acclaims as her first guru: Z's magical techniques are certainly those of the GD, and Brodie-Innes was reputed to use such hypnotic powers as she describes.

She does not mention the date of her Hampshire stay but it may have been before her initiation into the A:.O:. in 1919. If it were later, Brodie-Innes would have been quite an old gentleman; it seems more likely that, as she remained only a year in his A:.O:. Lodge, she had studied with him previously. From this it would seem that he had moved south, and the Hampshire hideout was the country-retreat which many occult teachers find a helpful supplement to city headquarters.  Brodie-Innes was model for the "soul doctor" in The Secrets of Dr. Taverner."


Regular Orders Deriving from Isis Urania no.3 Regular and Dissident Orders Deriving from Isis Urania no.3

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