Hermetic Society

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NOTE: This article is about the Hermetic Society in London. A Boston group of the same name formed
for the study of The Perfect Way. It was linked to Clara Erskine Clement Waters.[1]

The Hermetic Society was formed on May 9, 1884 in London, as an offspring of the short-lived Hermetic Lodge of the Theosophical Society.

The first meeting took place at the residence of Mr. Francis Lloyd, 43 Rutland Gate, London W., with Dr. Kingsford as President, Mr. Maitland as Vice-President, and Mr. Lloyd as Treasurer.[2] Col. Olcott, President-Founder of the Theosophical Society was present at this inaugural meeting and made a friendly address of good wishes and sympathy for the new society.

Other members of the Hermetic Society included C. C. Massey, artist Isabelle de Steiger, Irish poet and mythologist Ella Young and writer Kenneth Morris. Lecturers included Dr. Kingsford, E. Maitland, C. C. Massey, Mohini Mohun Chatterji, Roden Noel, Arthur Lillie, MacGregor Mathers, and William Wynn Westcott.

P. G. Bowen claims that his father (Robert Bowen), "was a very intimate friend of Anna Kingsford." According to him, in manuscripts left by his father,

he states definitely that Anna Kingsford, in 1885 (I think) formed an Inner Group in her Hermetic Society, and in it were Wynn Westcott and MacGregor Mathers. There was another member whom my father often mentions as ‘X’, or ‘A-A’ and sometimes as ‘Druid friend X’ or simply ‘The Druid’, and this person it was who brought the ‘Club’ material to A[nna]. K[ingsford]. Westcott and Mathers were given access to it, and later made it the basis of the Golden Dawn rituals.[3]

The "Club" refers to a "secret school for the practical teaching of magick, founded under the name of a club" in the 1860s in London, mentioned by Mahatma K.H. in Letter No. 11.

See also


  1. Edward Maitland, Anna Kingsford: Her Letters, Diary, and Work Volume II, Third Edition, edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart. (London: John M. Watkins, 1913), 229. Available at Internet Archive].
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1989), 213-214.
  3. Letter to Mr. MacKinnon (written in July 22, 1937) preserved at Kenneth R. Small Archive of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society at Lomaland, 1874-1960 held in Special Collections University Archives, San Diego State University.