Stella Matutina - Origins


After a revolt of London Adepts against the then-head of the Order (Samuel MacGregor Mathers) in early 1900, the Order segmented into two new groups. Those who remained loyal to Mathers took on the name Alpha et Omega, while the London group took on the name Hermetic Society of the Morgenrothe. The latter group retained such members as Robert Felkin (a British doctor), John William Brodie-Innes, A.E. Waite, Rev. Ayton, W.B. Yeats and others.

The Morgenrothe had a very short existence before it, too, schismed into two groups. Those who were most interested in Christian Mysticism (led by A.E. Waite) took over the remnants of Isis-Urania, and formed the Independent and Rectified Rite of the Golden Dawn, and later the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. Those from the Morgerothe who were more interested in occultism (led by Dr. Felkin) formed the group "Stella Matutina"- naming their Mother Temple "Amoun."

The outer order was changed by Dr. Felkin and other members of the Golden Dawn based in London. Among others who helped form Stella Matutina was J.W. Brodie-Innes, though he soon made peace with Mathers and left for the Alpha et Omega.

The first gesture of independence brought a committee of twelve to govern for a year. Further developments forced them to realise that this was far from satisfactory. With pettiness and further dispute, they abandoned every reform and went back to the original scheme of appointing three chiefs to lead and govern them.

While visiting New Zealand, Dr. Felkin and his wife set up a new temple called Smaragdine Thalasses which was closely associated with the New Zealand Province of the Societas Rosicruciana. The stay was supposed to be permanent, but Mr. Meakin, who was to take over as chief of the Amoun Temple, died in the autumn of 1912.

The Amoun Temple of the Stella Matutina in London closed its doors in 1919. due to two members becoming schizophrenic, one of whom, a clergyman, was later to die in a mental institution.

Felkin set up Whare Ra (Maori for "House of the Sun"), a Stella Matutina temple, in his home at Havelock North, in the Hawke's Bay Region. During the next few years, Felkin established Hermes Lodge in Bristol, the Secret College in London, and Merlin Lodge, also in London.

In 1933, Israel Regardie joined the Hermes Temple in Bristol, and resigned from Amoun Temple in 1934, finding it, according to him, in a state of low morale and decay. Many of the original Golden Dawn's Knowledge Lectures had been "removed or heavily amended, largely because they were beyond the capacity of the chiefs." These same chiefs claimed "extraordinarily exalted" grades, but Regardie found them lacking. As an example, he recounted that no one in the temple knew how to play Enochian chess, in fact the Order's chess set had never been used. He constructed his own boards and he challenged his superiors in the Order to play: all refused with excuses.

By 1939, Stella Matutina became largely dormant, although the Hermes Temple continued until 1970. Whare Ra in New Zealand continued until 1978.

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