By Eric Vandenbroeck and co-workers


In an earlier article, we pointed out that while popular with Irish and Scottish Nationalists that the word "Celtic" slowly came to imply "indigenous", and any further distinctions were dropped. But there is another underesearched aspect to early Irish and Scottish Nationalism and that is (as among others pointed out by Dr. Mark Williams Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History) its relationship to the occult. Also in his book about the Celtic Revival Mark Williams points to occultists like William Butler Yeats  (in his relationship with the Golden Dawn) and George William Russell and his relationship with Theosophy.1

Early on a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and who served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State W. B. Yeats as we pointed out worked for Irish independence, but he conceived of it in terms that were primarily related to his occult studies. And Yeats hoped to gain intimate knowledge of a sacred or "hidden" Ireland through his occult practices. He saw the occult practice as a source of reliable information about the connections between what he used in his literary work and the wellsprings of national and occult knowledge. In order to claim this secret knowledge, he and several other students of the occult planned to revive the Druidic mysteries as mentioned, in a stone castle on Trinity Island. Here Irish republican revolutionary Maud Gonne, William Sharp (wrote under the name of Fiona Macleod) who took an interest in the La Jeune Belgique movement where he saw parallels with Scotland’s situation, the uncle of W.B. Yeats George Pollexfen (who like Yeats was initiated into the Golden Dawn, Annie Horniman (Yeats persuaded her to go to Dublin to back productions by the Irish National Theatre Society and later opened the Abbey Theatre), Dorothea Hunter, and Liberal politician George W. E. Russell, all worked closely with Yeats to design the Castle's rituals and symbolism.

Yeats also consulted with the founder of the Golden Dawn, MacGregor Mathers.

They read scholarship about Irish myths and described "astral" journeys in which they penetrated the recesses of a "bidden" Ireland and extracted its sacred power. As a rite of passage, the labyrinth gave shape to the Castle's underlying political fantasy: that a devoted cabal of ‘initiates’ could work secretly to shape Irish imaginative culture using the symbols they drew from Celtic myths and occult experience. For Yeats, the labyrinth reflected the imperfect conditions of human knowledge and the lengthy process by which self-awareness is achieved. As he wrote in Per Amico Silentia Lunae, the fate of human knowledge is to follow the winding "path of the serpent" and hope for "sudden lightning" flashes of illumination.2

Patrick Brantlinger has argued that the late-Victorian enthusiasm for the occult was at times tied to the late-imperial desire to explore and dominate new territories and was thus complicit in civilizing ‘missions. Furthermore, many practitioners of occultism and spiritualism framed their activities as a fusion of religion and science, not as antithetical to progress.3 Nevertheless, Brantlinger qualifies that practical supernaturalism could also resist progressivist narratives as it could be associated with the past and types of mentalities that were primitive or infantile.4 Social critic Max Nordau was keen to portray practical supernaturalism as degenerate by characterizing the mystics and those interested in the Philosopher‘s Stone, Kabbalah, and the Rosy Cross (like several associated with the Scots Renaissance) demonstrated below) as opposed to rational logic and science.5 Spiritualism, mysticism, occultism, and theosophy were reviving or developing throughout Europe in the period for numerous reasons, and in many cases, these interests indicated a desire for unorthodox.

What is striking is that it is this identity that Sharp used to write the vast majority of his Celtic writings. In part, this replayed the feminine encoding of Celtic identity in the nineteenth century that was furthered by Matthew Arnold, as did John Duncan‘s the Riders of the Sidhe an iconic image of the Celtic revival, a movement that evoked the ancient cultural identities of Scotland and Ireland pictured here:


Enter la Jeune Belgique

Among other nations, Scottish cultural nationalists looked to Belgium to gain inspiration and form a particular counter-hegemony. 

Performing cultural yokings with Belgium and included was also Japan helped the 'other‘ Scotland, distance it from the Metropole, as they were frequently associated with barbarity and orientalism. The Belgian Revival, in particular, was a key connection as it provided a close parallel for Scotland to model and ideas and styles to inspire and strengthen the Scot's Renascence. 

The fin-de-siècle enthusiasm for the Orient and the Belgian Revivalists‘ anti-materiality were two particularly loathed aspects of Decadent, degenerate culture for those who held to progressivist narratives. Belgium, in particular, was maligned as 'savage‘ and, like many cultural nationalists in Scotland, Belgian cultural nationalists embraced the label of 'barbarity‘ as a means of resistance to authenticate its difference from its larger neighbor (France).

Leela Ghandi has argued, several affective communities‘ were born at the fin de siècle: those on the margins within Britain were increasingly looking for solidarity with sub-cultures elsewhere. In Scotland, this 'politics of friendship‘,6 as Ghandi terms it, is particularly apparent, in many ways, it fuelled the Scot's Renascence.7 

This discourse of Decadent barbarity interacted with cultural representations of international power dynamics. Often, the barbarous‘ were taken to be those who stood against hegemonic notions of enlightened amelioration and were equated with colonial subjects, indeed, Decadence was frequently associated with imperial demise, as it was believed to be challenging progressivist narratives or supporting the primitive‘ in some way.8 This is revealed in Edward T. Reed‘s Britannia à la Aubrey Beardsley. 

Here, through mimicking the Decadent style of Aubrey Beardsley, the British national, imperial figure is represented as grotesque and dark-haired, a feature which was most commonly associated with Southern European, Catholic countries. At the same time, fair hair tended to be associated with the supposedly more civilized‘, evident in E. vom Baumgarten‘s Civilisation.‘ Furthermore, the Union flag on Britannia‘s shield is thorny, and various objects take on a subversive character.

Indeed even Charles Baudelaire wrote: I far prefer the cult of Teutates to that of Mammon, and the priest who offers up to the cruel extorter of Human sacrifice victims who die honorably, victims who take it upon themselves to die‘.9 Here, Baudelaire asserts his preference for the savage‘ Celtic cult to the civilized ‘ Christian and his fascination with druidic sacrifice and dying honorably a central traditional Highland custom. Cultural nationalists in Scotland were increasingly trying to rekindle an enthusiasm for such Highland and Celtic cultures, which, as in colonial resistance, involved embracing its own critique [of barbarity] to assert its authenticity and difference.10 Like Baudelaire, who found solidarity with the other‘ elsewhere, Scottish cultural nationalists at the fin de siècle were looking to other cultures for inspiration and yoking some of their cultural tropes to form a counter-hegemony, to distance (although not divorce) Scotland from the metropole. By performing cross-cultural triumph[s] of barbarism‘, Scottish cultural nationalists were aligning themselves with Decadent attempts to resist or complicate stadial narratives of improvement. Not only did Belgian and Japanese cultures have their own ties to Decadence in this period, the general styling of a politics of friendship‘ to resist narratives of civilization‘ is consistent with varieties of Decadence.

Like Scottish cultural nationalists, several Belgian Revivalists were too looking to the past and less civilized ‘ culture to revive their distinct nationality, which was increasingly marginalized. Through a cross-cultural association with Belgium, Scottish cultural nationalists could lend strength to their resistance to European stadialism, creating a counter-hegemony that could support the triumph of barbarism‘ while getting inspiration from the Belgians‘ ideas, subjects, and styles.

In the first volume of the Scottish Chapbook, from August 1922, Hugh MacDiarmid uses Belgium as a model for how Scotland can develop its own cultural revival. He writes: What Belgium did, Scotland can do […] Let the exponents of […] Scottish Literature today make common cause as the young Belgian writers […] did in La Jeune Belgique and elsewhere, and the next decade or two will see a Scottish Renascence as swift and irresistible as was the Belgian Revival between 1880 and 1910.11

He sees the above mentioned William Sharp, the Celtic Revivalist who contributed to (and was involved in the management of) The Evergreen and Patrick Geddes and Colleagues‘ Celtic Library, as the embodiment of this tendency; Sharp was an exponent of Old Romance‘ Scotland that suffocated a real Scottish revival of modernity and internationalism.12 What MacDiarmid overlooks here is that it was Sharp, the supposed inhibitor of a true Scottish Revival, who pioneered the idea of using la Jeune Belgique as a model for a Scottish national revival thirty years previously.

In his rejection of late nineteenth-century culture, critics often misunderstand that MacDiarmid was not simply circumventing inherited national inferiority‘, as Scott Lyall believes.13 Instead, MacDiarmid experienced his own anxiety of influence: he curtailed his indebtedness to previous work to foreground his own originality.14 Scottish Literature must address this anxiety of the Modernists. While other critical cultures have successfully traced the emergence of Modernism back to the 1890s, Scottish Literature has struggled to; one of the ways this can be done is by interrogating some of MacDiarmid‘s and his contemporaries‘ self-aggrandizing claims and tracing their ideas back to the nineteenth century.

Sharp‘s reputation had suffered due to critical attention almost entirely focussing on his Fiona Macleod‘ writings, which MacDiarmid most likely had in mind when he wrote his article for the Chapbook.

Sharp (what was almost like a split identity) could be incredibly contradictory: at times, his writings contribute towards marginalizing the Celt and are defeatist over the Celtic cause while, at others, they can challenge civilization‘, Yeats, for one, believed that Fiona held the keys to the gates of the primeval world, which shut behind more successful races when thy plunged into material progress.‘15 It is necessary to note a thread of resistance to centralization and marginalization in Sharp‘s oeuvre, which is revealed in his belief that London is so overwhelming provincial because it is the center of the provincial mind gravitates‘.16 Confronting the metropole and civilization ‘ underpins Sharp‘s enthusiasm for Belgian culture. Through studying Sharp‘s interest in the Belgian Revival (as well as the Glasgow School‘s), I reveal how Belgian national culture, which Sharp notes was also labeled as backward‘ in the period, confirmed by Max Nordau‘s styling of Maeterlinck‘s work as utterly childish idiotically-incoherent‘ Decadent mysticism,17 was used to support the Celtic Revival and Scottish cultural nationalism. Furthermore, the Belgian Revival offered a comparative in which the Celtic Revivalists could find fellowship and a literary and visual vocabulary to resist Sharp. The Glasgow School embraced incorporation, the subjects and, styles adopted by certain Belgian figures to support their efforts. This section will examine how the two nations were compared in the period and then demonstrate how a cross-cultural triumph of barbarism was performed by sharing and yoking visual and literary styles.

Criticism needs to acknowledge that Sharp played an important role in the UK‘s engagement with the Belgian Revival, being one of the first main importers of Maeterlinck into the British Isles. Previously, it has been understood that these writings came into the UK via Ireland (Katharine Worth argues that it was always a tale of three cities, Dublin, Paris and London‘18, but this understanding ignores the importance of Scotland. It also overlooks the Belgian cultural nationalist movement. Many of the writings of la Jeune Belgique intended to resist the metropole and complicate civilization-barbarity discourse, a core reason why several Scots styled a cultural politics of friendship‘ with it. Sharp prided himself on being the first major critic and enthusiast of the Belgian Revival. In a letter to Catharine Janvier, he comments on his article in The Academy, which concerns a subject wherein I am (I suppose) the only specialist among English men of letters, the Belgian Literary Renaissance since 1880‘.19 He certainly wasn‘t the first critic: William Archer, a Scot, wrote the first article in English on Maeterlinck (1891),20 followed by Hall Caine‘s introduction to Gérard Harry‘s English Translation of La Princess Maleine and The Intruder (1892), which Oscar Wilde was originally requested to do.21 However, Sharp‘s article in The Academy shows a far greater knowledge of the field. He himself dismisses Archer‘s and Caine‘s pieces, finding them inadequate‘ and questions their familiarity with the scope of the Belgian Literary Revival.22 It is worth noting that these four men were all born in Celtic‘ nations: Archer and Sharp were Scottish, Caine was Manx, and Wilde was Irish. Furthermore, Sharp was likely introduced to these texts by Edith Rinder, who would become closely involved in Geddes‘s Celtic Revival project and looked to other cultures for solidarity. Not only did she produce a collection of Breton Romances and folk tales for the Celtic Library, The Shadow of Arvor (1986), she translated several Belgian Revival texts that were compiled and published as The Massacre of the Innocents: and Other Tales (1895), after receiving consent from Maeterlinck.23 The Belgian movement was clearly appealing to those on the fringes. 

Sharp‘s desire to disseminate knowledge about the Revival is reflected in the fact that he wrote four other essays on the Belgian Revival, reviewed the work associated with it, and executed several translations. In the second volume of The Evergreen, which Geddes intended to distribute in Brussels,24 Sharp included his translation of The Night-Comers‘by Charles van Lerberghe and a note that gives some basic context for the Belgian Revival. The Glasgow Herald noted that Sharp was doing good service in opening what is practically a new field for readers in this country.25 His most important article on Belgium, where he reveals his cultural nationalism, is A Note on the Belgian Renascence‘ (1895). Here, Sharp highlights that the Belgian Revival was a means of resisting cultural centralization towards Paris. He writes: 

A group of writers, all young in heart and mind, if not youthful in point of age, cohered in a common bond: the bond of a national, independent, original literature. The whip of Baudelaire, if it had lashed some into servility, had strung others into revolt. It was not now a question of the Franco-Belgian but of the Belgian. (p. 152). 

For Sharp, Young Belgium‖ is […] concentrated in the effort to withstand Paris‘ and to resist any political attempt from France or Germany to appropriate their nation.26 Baudelaire‘s critiques of Belgian culture as slavish‘ (p. 150) and parochial had nurtured scorn for Belgium in France and ignited a new movement in Belgium; Sharp notes that Belgians were increasingly considered barbarian‘.27 Many of the works of the movement explicitly reflected this nationalism: Maeterlinck‘s The Massacre of the Innocents‘ (originally published in Pleïade in May 1886 and translated by Rinder) is set in a Flemish-speaking Nazareth, infiltrated by a Spanish army who kill the Flemish-speaking children; it is clearly concerned with the loss of Flemish culture. In Sharp‘s view, Belgian cultural nationalists tried to rekindle their distinctively Teutonic side‘ (p. 156). The national divide between the Teutonic and non-Teutonic in Belgium invites comparisons with Scotland. While the Scots and the Irish were trying to distance their racial heritage from Teutonism, Belgian cultural nationalists identified more with it. Despite the racial disparity, Sharp uses this discussion on Belgium and its relationship to the metropole to inject feeling into Scottish and Irish nationalism by drawing comparisons between them. Like Belgium, Sharp notes that Scotland and Ireland were neighbors with larger powers and felt pressure to incorporate into the larger culture or face being marginalized. Sharp believes that in the mid-nineteenth century, Celtic Irish and Celtic Scots obscured rather than obtruded their Celticism‘ (p. 151), something which had to change. The essay suggests that he still believes a centralizing force is evident in the UK in the 1890s; he writes:

As the Londoner smiles when he hears, the provincial‖ (whether from Edinburgh or Dublin or the darkest of the lost shires) speak of, society, so the Parisian man of letters condescended towards any new Belgian poet or novelist‘ (p. 150). Here, Sharp refers to the London-centric force in the present tense, but the Paris-centric in the past; while the Belgians had achieved cultural independence, Ireland and Scotland still had work.

Sharp draws from the Belgian Revivalists‘ ideas and their theatrical styles, which further yoked Belgian and Celtic cultures. This is evident in Sharp‘s final major connection with Maeterlinck and the Belgian Revival: producing one of his own Celtic plays alongside two Maeterlinck plays in 1900. Sharp was the first Chairman of The Stage Society in London and, at the fifth meeting, his play The House of Usna (written under the Fiona Macleod pseudonym and encouraged by Yeats, who wanted Fiona to supply work to the Irish theatrical revival.28 was performed, followed by two short Maeterlinck plays, The Interior and The Death of Tintagiles. The production was directed by Granville-Barker and overseen by Sharp. Although it was not universally well-received (a reviewer for The Outlook stated that the evening began in the gloom, continued in dejection and ended in despair‘,29 the content and style of Usna reflect Sharp‘s interests in associated cultural nationalisms. The production reveals how Sharp, like the Glasgow School of artists, used styles and ideas that Belgian Revivalists also used to help reject exteriority's bondage,30 as Symons named it, an idea connected to the triumph or barbarism‘ as it further distanced Scottish culture from civilized‘ materiality.

Sharp was not the only Celtic Revivalist who identified with la jeune Belgique. Visual artists, particularly in Glasgow, who Geddes believed headed‘ Scotland‘s Celtic movement,31 were enthusiasts of Maeterlinck‘s works and brought his styles and ideas to bear on their art. The Glasgow Four and many of their colleagues around the Glasgow School of Art were closely engaged with Maeterlinck‘s work. Still, this context has received little critical attention and has not been considered in light of Scotland‘s growing cultural nationalism. Like Sharp, drawing from Maeterlinck‘s work supported their attempts to develop a vocabulary of antimaterialistic images‘ to combat a period defined by material, utilitarian and scientific progress, which Mackintosh (like Yeats) believed was compromising traditional Scottish culture. For many associated with the Glasgow School, the Belgian connection to countering narratives of improvement helped distinguish and internationalize Scotland‘s culture.

Several of Maeterlinck‘s plays were performed in Scotland, between 1900 and 1920. In 1900, Mrs Patrick Campbell performed in Pelléas and Mélisande, as Mélisande, at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, which she reprised in 1905 (in French) alongside Sarah Bernhardt who (at the age of 60) played the male protagonist, Pelléas, in Edinburgh. A year after the first performance, a substantial assessment of Maeterlinck appeared in The Edinburgh Review.32


Underneath Sarah Bernhardt and Mrs Patrick Campbell in the 1904 reprisal of Pelléas and Mélisande:

Between 1900 and 1920, there was also a concerted effort to bring Belgian energy to Glasgow‘s artistic community. Francis Newberry hired Jean Delville, the noted Belgian Symbolist painter, occultist, and personal friend of Maeterlinck,33 to be the first head of painting at the Glasgow School of Art in 1900, a position he held until 1906. He also hired Frederick Cayley Robinson, an important illustrator of Maeterlinck‘s work who designed sets for The Blue Bird, approved by Maeterlinck, as Professor of Figure Composition between 1914 and 1924. These attempts to bring the Belgian energy to Glasgow certainly had an impact on the artists there. Jessie M King, one of the leading book illustrators in Scotland, designed five covers for Maeterlinck‘s plays: Alladine and Palomides (1907), The Interior (1908), The Seven Princesses (1909), The Death of Tintagiles (1909), and The Intruder, all of which were published by Gowan‘s and Gray Ltd, in Glasgow. She also drew a scene from Pelléas and Mélisande included in the special winter number of The Studio (1900-01). The flattened, elongated designs, disembodied figures, limited color range, and crisp, often sinuous, lines embody the less realistic and more symbolic and stylized representation that Yeats and Sharp wanted to pursue through other art forms; it also reflects the style used in her own Celtic Revivalist illustrations and jewelry.

This influence also involved Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of their most important commissions: Fritz Waerndorfer‘s Music Room in Vienna. The design is the most explicit expression of Maeterlinckian inspiration in their work and is now often referred to as the Maeterlinck room‘. Waerndorfer saw Mackintosh and Macdonald‘s work at the Eighth Secession Exhibition in Vienna and purchased a silver brooch by Margaret Macdonald, a drawing, and two prints‘ from the Scottish Section.34 Waerndorfer also went to Glasgow to see the Mackintoshes‘ work, and he commissioned them to design his music room.35 The result was a scheme called The Seven Princesses, based on Maeterlinck‘s play of the same title. In the play, Seven Princesses are locked in a glass room on the stage, sleeping. Prince Marcellus returns by sea to visit the Princesses and choose a bride, but by the time he manages to break into the room from below through the family crypt, Ursula, his chosen one, is dead. Stylistically, the play is akin to The Interior: presenting the audience with a glass cage, embodying the fourth wall. The haunting voices that recur throughout further interrogate theatrical illusionism, replacing exteriority with disembodied mystery. It is this plot and these styles that greatly influenced the room‘s design.


Margaret Macdonald, [left] Opera of the Winds; [right] Opera of the Seas, gesso panel, 1903

The subjects and styles of the Belgian movement offered the Scots a vocabulary of barbarity and resistance to materiality that informed their developments and allowed an associated cultural movement to develop. In doing this, they (perhaps unconsciously) contributed towards the development of a counter-hegemony. When considered in the context of Sharp‘s writings, their work reflects the desire to bring like-minded cultures together to subvert stadialist and utilitarian narratives that sought to malign cultures on the margins seeking to preserve or recover themselves.


Enter Patrick Geddes and the Scottish Nationalist Evergreen Club

Although previous biographers have mentioned that Geddes was familiar with Annie Besant, who headed the Theosophical Society, and Geddes’s close collaborator the artist John Duncan himself became a Theosophist in 1909 or Geddes links with Hindu revivalists, Swami Vivekananda, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and Rabindranath Tagore and where his ‘Inlook’ Tower was described as a place for meditation while leaving out the seership aspect we will, by using credible sources, go much further than that.

Ein Bild, das Text enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung

Luke Barnesmoore from the Center for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies who referred to "The Two Images of Sir. Patrick Geddes, Liberal and Mystic." Writes that though Patrick Geddes’ (1854-1932) has often been derided by Modernists as ‘a jack of all trades, and master of none’, as a poor writer, as an eccentric romantic whose own subjective desires led him into the seemingly (from the Modernist Worldview) impossible project of reconciling science and spirituality, etc., Geddes was a pure reflection of the ideal set forth by the Neoplatonic tradition in an era where science’s capacity to plumb the secrets of the manifest world was expanding exponentially.

And although Geddes’ does not appear to have had any commitment to the House of Stuarts, his edition of "The Evergreen" magazine included several references to Jacobite symbolism. Whereby in this case it was the Golden Dawn a key for expressing this neo-Jacobite identity and an ancestral Scottish past. 

Co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (who added the "MacGregor" surname as a claim to Highland Scottish heritage) imagined himself as a defender of Scottish cultural and political identity: Yeats stated that Mathers imagined a Napoleonic role for himself, a Europe transformed to his fancy, Scotland a principality, Egypt restored‘.36 Mathers also sought to re-establish the Celtic pantheon (like Yeats), which was partly the purpose behind his planned magazine Isis,37 which suggests that the ancient esoterica of the Celts and the Egyptians were interdependent for Mathers. This detail further supports the reading that the numerous Egyptian references in The Evergreen were not simply accidental and were connected to the Scots Renaissance. Mathers‘s ideas were not far removed from Brodie-Innes‘s, the Imperator of Amen-Ra, who was close to Mathers and whose writings fit into the wider trend of fin-de-siècle cultural nationalism. Not only was Brodie-Innes‘s father a member of the New Spalding Club, which published Historic Papers on the Jacobite Period in 1895, but Ithell Colquohoun has stated that he may have been a member of the White Rose Society, a neo-Jacobite club.38 Brodie-Innes‘s writings reveal that he was concerned with recovering the Celtic identity from complete incorporation; he wrote in 1917: 

Altogether the foot of the Saxon has been hefty on the west, and the old occultism and the old fairy lore have retreated out of sight, and largely I fear out of mind [...] I have tried to string together a few rambling memories [...] I can only vouch for their truth as personal experiences of a time when the occultism of the Celtic west was not only a genuine thing but was looked on as utterly natural.39

It is important to note here that Brodie-Innes believed that identity might exist even if it could not be seen and that he styles his work as concerned with preserving the marginal. Brodie-Innes also worked to maintain the independence of the Scottish Lodge of the Theosophical Society, according to R. A. Gilbert.40 Both Mathers and Brodie-Innes clearly had an interest in defying the incorporation of Scottish and Celtic identity. 

This fact may even have informed the Golden Dawn as it is known that members became disgruntled over how the Golden Dawn was becoming defined by Mathers‘s and Brodie-Innes‘s ideas. Annie Horniman, who was expelled from the Golden Dawn for not continuing to give Mathers money because he was using it for political over magical purposes,41 noted on this topic that Mr. Brodie Innes boasted to me that he was in continual correspondence on political matters with Mr. Mathers not on Order business‘.42 Perhaps their shared interest in reviving the Celtic pantheon and neo-Jacobitism started to define the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn may not only have provided the structure to express a disruptive, older Scottish self but there may even have been attempts to mobilize these temples in the name of cultural nationalism or Celtic Revivalism. Beyond these ties to Scottish cultural nationalism, the most direct connection between the Golden Dawn and Scots Renascence was The Evergreen Club‘.

In The Scots Renascence‘, the importance of the occult and practical supernaturalism to Geddes‘s ideas on the revival of Scottish cultural identity is revealed. Here, he describes Edinburgh as an ice-pack of frozen culture‘, in a manner that anticipates Muir‘s Scotland‘s Winter‘, Scottish culture has suffered a period of apparent death or dormancy. Towards the end of the essay, he evokes the nature of the nascent revival when he describes watching over the tombs of national heroes: 

And so in some young soul here and there, the spirit of the hero and the poet may awaken and press him onward into a life which can face defeat in turn. Such is our Scottish, our Celtic Renaissance, sadly set betwixt the Keening, the watching over our fathers died, and the second-sight of shroud rising about each other. Yet this is the Resurrection and the Life, when to faithful love and memory their dead arise.43

To revive an unacknowledged cultural identity is compared to contacting the dead. Geddes uses the language of exoteric spiritualism and second-sight to suggest that recovering Scotland‘s national cultural identity requires both the ability to see what is not recognized and the desire to revive (through collective memory) what is gone. 

Here, he expresses his belief in celebrating Celtic archaic survival[s]‘ and his faith in the indestructible sovereignty of the ever-returning past‘ which can challenge stadialism and stimulate a sense of continuity and connection.44 The importance of continuity to the Scot's Renascence is also evident in Geddes‘s use of the expression Ultimus Scotorum‘ in the essay to describe Blackie and Stevenson, as it indicates his belief that a stronger, ancestral identity has been preserved. His essay argues that these continuing flames need to be fanned.

William Sharp similarly shared the importance of recognizing the continuing but hidden collective self through concepts associated with practical supernaturalism. When writing to Catharine Janvier, he stated: „A deep current somewhere beneath the tide […] sustains us. We have meeting places that none knows of; we understand what few can understand and share a strange and inexplicable heritage in common.45 Like Geddes, Sharp, who was fascinated by the occult,46 believed that Celtic Revivalism would involve contacting the lost or hidden past; he even believed he could channel Colum‘s spirit and portrayed his Fiona writings as a form of mediumistic contact with a Celtic identity.47 

For Sharp, the Anima Celtica, represented by John Duncan, was in a spell-bound trance‘, another representation of the Celt as not dead but dormant, belonging to the occult sphere, and waiting for a blast‘ to be roused.48 These notions of a past identity that was hidden and depended on the occult sphere and spiritualist contact for expression were not simply rhetorical ideas for Sharp and Geddes: Geddes planned society for the contributors to The Evergreen that had many ties to the Golden Dawn and bears marked connections to Yeats‘s Order of Celtic Mysteries, also derived from the Golden Dawn. It strongly appears as though this occult-inspired club intended to provide a space to express an ancestral, hidden self: to give people their identification paper‘, as Frantz Fanon called it.

The Evergreen Club‘ was the product of a culture in Edinburgh that was captivated by esoteric occultism and supernaturalism. Geddes was deeply interested in the history of witchcraft in Scotland and frequently associated his Celtic Revivalism with practical supernaturalism. He wrote a collection of note cards on witchcraft which included references to Celtic witchery‘ and interestingly Fiona, ‘associating Celtic culture with practical supernaturalism.49

But the esoteric had other, more particular, roles to play in the Scot's Renascence. Practical supernaturalism was a tool that Geddes believed could help people imagine society anew, an idea that fed into his civic and national regeneration projects. The Outlook Tower, which was considered a cultural nationalist center, was also imagined as a Temple of Vision‘,50 as John Kelman states, intending to produce trained seers‘.51 Geddes wanted these seers to reveal the hiddenness of the obvious‘,52 to reject the norm and create mentalities where new activities may develop. Upon a higher plane than customary ones‘: with Geddes, the occult provided a framework for expressing counter-cultural ideas.53 Like several public buildings in the late nineteenth century, including Alois Bastl‘s planned scheme for a  palace for Scientific Occult Societies‘ (1902) in Paris, The Outlook Tower (and Geddes‘s comments on it) reflects the need for a quasi-religious space to fill the spiritual vacuum‘.54 As Nietzsche stated: The time is past when the Church possessed the monopoly of reflection‘:55 new forms of public space were required for self and collective reflection. Geddes referred to the Outlook Tower in these quasi-religious, quasi-occult terms, claiming: we have a temple, but what of the Mysteries? What of the initiation?‘.56 He also referred to his Camera as a wizard‘s mirror‘.57 Geddes‘s enthusiasm for alternative spiritual ideas is reflected in his interest in the Bahá‘ì faith (an interest shared with John Duncan and his wife, who was a friend of Wellesley Tudor-Pole and his mysticism;58 Tudor-Pole was involved with the Celtic revival and claimed to have found the H. Grail, whereby Boardman describes him as a skeptical Western scientist and an Indian mystic‘.59 Geddes clearly wanted the Outlook Tower to become more of an occult temple than it was and hoped it would produce seers‘. In his paper What is the Mystic Life‘, he outlines that he wanted to encourage a mystic life that can calm the ordinary life and subdue it‘.60 Part of Geddes‘s regeneration and cultural nationalist projects involved creating alternative spaces to imagine the world anew and develop different ideas.

One of these spaces was a planned society for contributors to The Evergreen, which heavily drew from the language of the Golden Dawn and was at least partly designed to provide a space for a Celtic counter-culture and to express an ancestral self, with strong similarities to Yeats‘s Order of Celtic Mysteries. Geddes‘s involvement with the Golden Dawn is obscure. As yet, no textual evidence has been found to suggest that he was a member of the Golden Dawn; however, Alexander Farquharson, who was Secretary of Le Play House, the hub of Geddes‘s and Branford‘s social betterment movement, claimed that Geddes was connected with the GD  [Golden Dawn] in some way‘.61 It is possible that Geddes could have been a member of the Golden Dawn as the address books which contain lists of the initiates are far from authoritative. However, even if Geddes was not an initiate of the Golden Dawn, it is undeniable that he was aware of it and shared many of the ideas espoused by the Order. For example, he made notes from Maeterlinck‘s study of mysticism 62, and Arthur Edward Waite‘s The Mysteries of Magic: a Digest of the Writings of Eliphas Levi. Waite was a member of the Golden Dawn, and this book covers various topics on occultism and specific concepts which the Golden Dawn adopted, including Kabbalistic doctrines, conjuration, the astral body and tarot, and Geddes makes specific reference to the second part of the book: Doctrines of Occult Force‘.63 Geddes is also known to have read Edouard Schuré‘s The Great Initiates 64, and he wanted to bring more of the ideas it espoused into his own system. Thus, he was clear that he was interested in and aware of the practices and ideas on which the Golden Dawn was founded. 

Furthermore, it can be demonstrated that he actively sought to encourage awareness about these ideas through the Outlook Tower. To prove this, both his work for The Evergreen and some of his rough notes in the Papers of Patrick Geddes archive need to be consulted together.

The Evergreen  Club was not just similar in structure to the Golden Dawn but was also closely bound up with its ideas and practice. Some of the words Geddes uses in his cards reveal this when considered together; they include Arbor Vitae‘, Rose Croise, ‘Thelema, ‘Chapel, PG, ‘robes‘ and wreaths. ‘ Each of these will be considered to demonstrate the ties between the Evergreen Club and occult orders.

[Left] Arbor Saeculorum, illustration in The Evergreen, 1895, [Right] The Serpent on the Tree of Life’ 65

The Arbor Vitae‘, or tree of life, was a central concept in the Golden Dawn, drawn from Kabbalah. Geddes‘s interest in the tree of life is reflected in his final contribution to the Spring edition of The Evergreen, which presents a tree of life, the Arbor Saeculorum (Figure 4.13). Geddes‘s tree (guarded by sphinxes) does not present a personal, spiritual development through ten sephiroth from Malkuth (earth) to Kether (invisible sublimity) as in Kabbalah but presents the development of society stemming from roots in the animal world and flourishing with a bud at the top. However, this in itself is highly reminiscent of the ascension and crown at the top of many Kabbalistic trees. The serpent-like smoke which links all of the various stages together in Geddes‘s design also echoes several representations of the tree of life in Kabbalistic iconography (Figure 4.14) and what Mathers refers to as the serpent of wisdom‘,66 a centripetal force, ever seeking to penetrate Paradise‘,67 or, as Yeats says, the Kabbalistic serpent-winding nature‘.68 This feature may have ties to Mackintosh‘s designs, with ascending helical spirals, drawing from Kabbalistic iconography. As was discussed in Chapter 3, Geddes‘s Arbor also partly challenges the notion of Enlightenment radicalism as he believed that each of these stages was intertwined with each other and the smoke represents the blindness of each generation to the thought and work of their ancestors The Rose Croise‘, or Rosy Cross, is an apparent reference to the symbol of the Rosicrucian Order, believed to have been established by the legendary alchemist Christian Rosenkreuz around the fifteenth century, consisting of a cross with a rose in the center. Rosicrucianism, which fused Eastern philosophy with traditional Christian beliefs and claimed to harbor esoteric secrets‘,69 was reviving across Europe in the period, most notably with Joséphin Péladan, who was a member of the Ordre de la Rose-Croix before going on in 1891 to found his own Catholic version, the Ordre de la Rose-Croix Catholique‘ which sought to revive traditionalism and was nostalgic for the ancien régime.70 Using his occult order as a backdrop Péladan went on to organize exhibitions of Symbolist artists and associated French avant-garde painters, writers, and musicians, as the Salon de la Rose + Croix:


For Nordau, Rosicrucianism was one of the features that marked Péladan as degenerate, or deranged‘.71 By the 1890s, Rosicrucianism‘s bond to Protestantism had loosened (indeed, Waite notes that Catholic initiation was accepted as early as 1710).72 It became the origin of the Order of the Golden Dawn. There was also a strong tradition of Rosicrucianism in Scotland, which Geddes may be alluding to here. David Stevenson has demonstrated that modern Freemasonry, and lodges with ritual functions, originated in Scotland in the seventeenth century from town craft guilds. These were implicated in the development of Rosicrucianism from 1598.73 The Rosicrucian quest for ultimate secrets‘ (p. 104) led many interested in Scotland to the Masonic Lodges claimed possession of arcane secrets‘ (p. 104). Stevenson also shows a detailed knowledge of Rosicrucianism throughout Scotland, too (p. 101). Geddes‘s interest reflects the continuance of Rosicrucian ideas in Scotland and a desire to develop a counter-culture interested in arcane secrets‘.74

Geddes‘s reference to Thelema is striking and complex, especially considering we do not know when these cards were written. It is logical to assume that they were written when Geddes was working on The Evergreen, thus 1895-6. However, Thelema only became an idea particularly associated with occult orders in 1901, through Aleister Crowley (a key initiate of the Golden Dawn), who established a magical system entitled Thelema and named Boleskine House, which he bought off Mary Rose Hill Burton (a friend of Geddes‘s that contributed decorative panels to Ramsay Gardens), his Abbey of Thelema.75 This system‘s philosophy was to do what thou wilt, then do nothing else.76 Crowley, like Geddes, was clearly drawing upon Rabelais who wrote of an Abbey of Thélème in Gargantua and Pantagruel, where do what thou wilt‘ was the philosophy. Strikingly, Boardman notes that Geddes established an Abbey de Thélème‘ in the Mediterranean, to be used for excursions from Scots College in Montpellier, to improve university life and further his Agenda Synthetica.’77

Although Geddes is not generally associated with hedonism, we can see hints of the Thelema attitude in his thinking, such as started stated to his daughter Norah: I am still out for adventure, for all risks; and [do] not need Nietzsche to teach me to live dangerously‘.78 In this case, it appears that Geddes‘s conflation of Thelema with Rosicrucianism and Kabbalah antedates Crowley‘s similar intention and could be further proof that Geddes may have had greater ties and influence on the Golden Dawn than previously believed.

Lapis Philosophorum, illustration in The Evergreen, 1896

The apparent cultural nationalism of the club is confirmed by one of the decorations for The Evergreen. Beyond his inclusion of the Arbor Saeculorum, Geddes also contributes Lapis Philosophorum to the final page of the final issue of The Evergreen (Figure 4.16). The concept of the Philosopher‘s Stone, and its associated idea of transmutation, was important in Golden Dawn magic, and it was key for Geddes:79 he believed it was scattered through the world‘,80. He conflated it with the Elixir Vitae.81 The essentially hieroglyphic symbols […] by the initiated for the initiated‘ in Geddes‘s Lapis Philosophorum also suggest links to the occult,82 the sphinxes, obelisk and bursts of sun rays provide obvious connections but the scarab beetle, the Masonic square and compass (albeit upside down) and the alchemical symbol of the Rod of Asclepius all nod to esoterica. The arrows pointing both upwards and downwards suggest, like Arbor Saeculorum, that historical progression cannot be disconnected from its past. In the Papers of Patrick Geddes, there is a key to these symbols. The hieroglyphs are arranged to represent how a more primitive existence can generate community and lead to Eutopia‘. Importantly, Geddes includes a thistle on the obelisk in The Evergreen, representing Scottish nationality, alongside other symbols that he states represent comradeship‘ and communion.’83 This indicates the importance of collectivism and nationhood for Geddes and his interest in portraying Scottish identity and the occult as interdependent. Together, this image expresses the need to recover the ancestral and define the national community, which is bound up with the occult, much like his planned club. 

The Evergreen and its society reveal Geddes‘s desire to associate Scotland closely with the occult and to draw from its symbolism and structures to create a space for a collective voice. As with Yeats‘s Order in Ireland, there strongly appears to be a desire to use occult images and societies to express Scottish identity. This language of the occult is also used in the decorative work for the Celtic Library. The Gold inlay designs for the front and back cover of The Washer of the Ford borrow from many occult forms. Most notably, the image on the front cover, which consists of two thistles (Figure see below), stresses upward ascension. The interlinking nature of the forms in the middle column is not unlike those of the Kabbalistic tree. These forms also resemble interlinking compasses, which are symbols common to Freemasonic orders. The image of concentric circles, triangles, hidden thistles, and a bursting sun on the back cover (Figure see below) is also similar to many features of the Golden Dawn, most notably the sun (literally golden dawn) and the triangle, which reflect the imagery of the Amen-Ra temple and the Golden Dawn more widely. Again, the designs here are concerned with suggesting the affinity of Scotland and the Celtic Revival with secret societies and the occult. 

Front [left] and back [right] cover designs, The Washer of the Ford, 1896

Scottish cultural nationalists were interested in practical supernaturalism, and they appear to have been so for three main interrelated reasons. Associating the national identity with practical supernaturalism helped confirm the nation as other‘, unaccommodating to stadialist notions of improvement. Egyptian esoterica, associated with various forms of fin-de-siècle practical supernaturalism, offered the ability to link Scotland to Egyptian culture and helped articulate or support a further myth of descent. Most particularly, the occult-inspired means of expressing and preserving an ancestral Scottish self, of contacting and recovering periods of healthier nationality. In these respects, supposedly degenerate occult orders and exoteric ideas supported Scottish cultural nationalism and the notion of national descent. 

Also in the Scottish National Exhibition Pageant was performed as part of the National Exhibition at Saughton Park, Edinburgh, in 1908, which presented Scotland‘s history in pageant form. These were organized and designed by John Duncan, Jessie M King, and Phoebe Traquair, respectively.

Whereby Duncan and King performed in the pageant: Duncan as Cormac and King as the Angel of the Holy Graal, as seen pictured here:

The Angel of the Graal and Sir Galahad, National Exhibition Pageant, 1908


1. Mark Williams, Ireland's Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth, 2016, p. 313 ff.

2. W.B. Yeats, Per Amico Silentia Lunae, 1918, p. 39.

3. For Péladan‘s interest in fusing science and religion, see Maria E. Di Pasquale, Joséphin Péladan: Occultism, Catholicism, and Science in the Fin de Siècle‘, RACAR 34.1 (2009), 53-61 (p. 53). 

4. Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988), pp. 238-240. 

5. Max Nordau, Degeneration (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1895), pp. 14, 21-22, 220.

6. Leela Ghandi, Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought, Fin de Siecle Radicalism and the Politics of Friendship (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2006), p. 9. 

7. For a discussion on Scottish and Irish affective communities (or fratriotism‘) over the long eighteenth century, see Murray Pittock, Scottish and Irish Romanticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 235-258.

8. For more on Decadence and empire, see Norman Vance, Decadence and the subversion of empire‘, in Roman Presences: Receptions of Rome in European Culture, 1789-1945, ed. by Catharine Edwards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 110-124.

9. Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays, trans. and ed. by Jonathan Mayne (London: Phaidon, 1995), p. 100.

10. Murray Pittock, Scottish and Irish Romanticism, 2008, Murray Pittock, p. 26.

11. (cited in) Dr. Margery Palmer McCulloch, Scottish Modernism and Its Contexts 1918-1959: Literature, National Identity and Cultural Exchange, 2009,p. 16. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Scott Lyall, Hugh MacDiarmid’s Poetry and Politics of Place: Imagining a Scottish Republic (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2006), p. 31. 

14. For a detailed examination of the various ways writers attempted to appease the anxiety of influence, see Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).

15. (cited in) Willy Maley, Away with the Faeries (or, It‘s Grimm up North): Yeats and Scotland‘, Journal of Irish Scottish Studies, 1.1 (2007), 161-178 (p. 170). 

16. William Sharp, The Irish Muse, I‘, The North American Review, 179 (1904), 685-697 (p. 697).

17. Max Nordau, Degeneration (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1897), p. 227.

18. Katharine Worth, The Irish Drama of Europe: from Yeats to Beckett (London: The Athlone Press, 1978), p. 10. 

19. Letter from William Sharp to Catharine Janvier, 12 August 1893, The William Sharp “Fiona Macleod” Archive, [accessed 18 November 2014]. 

20. William Archer, A Pessimist Playwright‘, Fortnightly Review, 50.297 (1891), 346-354. 

21. Katharine Worth, Oscar Wilde (Houndmills: Macmillan Education, 1983), p. 54.

22. William Sharp, The Princess Maleine and The Intruder‘, The Academy, 1037 (1892), 270-272.

23. William Sharp, A Note on the Belgian Renascence‘, The Chap-Book, 4 (1895), 149-157 (p. 153) [future references to this volume are given in brackets after quotations].

24. Rough notes by Patrick Geddes relating to The Evergreen, c.1895-1896 [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 8/1/3]. 

25. Miscellaneous Books‘, Glasgow Herald, 15 November 1895, p. 4. 

26. William Sharp, La Jeune Belgique‘, The Nineteenth Century, 34 (September 1893), 416-436 (p. 418); the desire to withstand‘ Paris is akin to Geddes‘s attempt to withstand the tremendous centralizing power of the metropolis of London‘, see Elizabeth A. Sharp, William Sharp (Fiona Macleod) (London: William Heinemann, 1910), p. 249.

27. Sharp, La Jeune‘, p. 416.

28. Richard Ellman, Yeats: The Man and the Masks (London: Penguin, 1988), p. 132. 

29. Music and Maeterlinck‘, The Outlook, 5 (May 1900), 434. 

30. Arthur Symons, The Symbolist Movement in Literature, ed. by Matthew Creasy (Manchester: Carcanet, 2014), p. 8. 77 William Sharp, The House of Usna (Portland: Thomas B Mosher, 1903), p. 3.

31. Notes by Patrick Geddes for a lecture to the Celtic Society, 1897 [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 5/2/9].

32. M. Maurice Maeterlinck, Moralist and Artist‘, The Edinburgh Review, 396 (1901), 350-377.

33.  Timothy Neat, Part Seen, Part Imagined: Meaning and Symbolism in the Work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald (Edinburgh: Canongate, 1994), p. 122.

34. Peter Vergo, The Vanished Frieze‘, in A Thoroughly Modern Afternoon: Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and the Salon Waerndorfer in Vienna, ed. by Hanna Egger and others (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2000), pp. 18-40 (p. 28). 

35. Janice Helland, The Studios of Frances and Margaret Macdonald (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996), p. 155.

36. (cited in) Ithell Colquhoun, Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn (New York: G. P. Putnam‘s Sons, 1975), p. 93.

37. Ibid., p. 88. 

38. Ibid.

39. J. W. Brodie-Innes, Some Celtic Memories‘, in The Sorcerer and his Apprentice: Unknown Hermetic Writings of S.L. MacGregor Mathers and J. W. Brodie-Innes, ed. by R. A. Gilbert (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1983), pp. 101-114 (pp. 101-2). 

40. R. A. Gilbert, Introduction‘, in The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Unknown Hermetic Writings of S. L. MacGregor Mathers and J. W. Brodie-Innes, ed. by R. A. Gilbert (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1983), pp. 7-12 (p. 10).

41. Letter from Annie Horniman to William Peck on expulsion, 25 December 1896 [The Library and Museum of Freemasonry: GBR 1991 GD 2/4/1/12].

42. Ibid.

43. Patrick Geddes, The Scots Renascence‘, The Evergreen, 1 (1895), p. 139 (pp. 137-138). 

44. Ibid., p. 138; Notes by Patrick Geddes for a lecture to the Celtic Society, 1897 [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 5/2/9].

45. William Sharp, The Washer of the Ford: And other Legendary Moralities (Edinburgh: Patrick Geddes and Colleagues, 1896), p. 3.

46. Sharp‘s interest in the occult has been researched by many; see William F. Halloran, W. B. Yeats, William Sharp and Fiona Macleod: A Celtic Drama, 1897‘, Yeats Annual, 14 (2001), 159-208 (pp. 159-166); A. Norman Jeffares, W. B. Yeats, Man and Poet (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966), pp. 107-109; Steve Blamires, The Little Book of the Great Enchantment (Arcata: R J Stewart Books, 2008), pp. 125, 154-158, 183-184; Thomas Hodd, The Celtic Twilight in Canada: William Sharp‘s Early Occult Influence on Charles G. D. Roberts and Bliss Carman‘, Canadian Poetry, 54 (2004), 37-55 (p. 39).

47. Letter from William Sharp to Dr. John Goodchild, mid-May 1898, The William Sharp “Fiona Macleod” Archive Ernest Rhys, Everyman Remembers‘ (New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1931), pp. 79-80.

48. William Sharp, Introduction‘, in Lyra Celtica: An Anthology of Representative Celtic Poetry, ed. by Elizabeth A. Sharp (Edinburgh: Patrick Geddes and Colleagues, 1896), pp. xix-li (p. xliii).

49. Card notes on Witchcraft, 1905 [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 11/1/22]. 

50. John Kelman, The Interpreter’s House: The Ideals embodied in the Outlook Tower (Edinburgh and London: Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, 1905), p. 5.

51. Ibid., p. 6. 

52. Ibid., p. 15. 

53. Patrick Geddes, ‘What is the Mystic Life’, p. 2 [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 11/1/93].

54. Iain Boyd Whyte, The Spirit of the City‘, in The City after Patrick Geddes, ed. by Volker M. Welter and James Lawson (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2000), pp. 15-32 (p. 16).

55. (cited in) Ibid., p. 17.

56. (cited in) Philip Boardman, The Worlds of Patrick Geddes: Biologist, Town Planner, Re-educator, Peace[1]warrior (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978), p. 194.

57. [T-GED 11/1/22].

58. Murdo Macdonald, Scottish Art (London: Thames & Hudson, 2000), p. 154; Boardman, p. 452.

59. Boardman, p. 452. 

60. Geddes, What is the Mystic Life‘, p. 3 [T-GED 11/1/93].

61. Colquhoun, Sword of Wisdom, p. 89.

62. Boardman, pp. 450-451.

63. Notes by Patrick Geddes on the theory of magic as religious awakening, c.1897 [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 11/1/13].

64. Boardman, p. 194.

65. This illustration appears in Israel Regardie, The Golden Dawn (St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1986), p. 62.

66. S. L. MacGregor Mathers, Concerning the Symbolism of Self-Sacrifice‘, in Astral Projection, Ritual Magic and Alchemy, ed. by Francis King (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1971), pp. 131-140 (p. 131).

67. S. L. MacGregor Mathers, The Kabbalah Unveiled, 2017, p. 42.

68. (cited in) Norman Jeffares, W. B. Yeats, Man and Poet (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966), p. 107.

69. Di Pasquale, Maria E., Joséphin Péladan: Occultism, Catholicism, and Science in the Fin de Siècle‘, RACAR 34.1 (2009), p. 56.

70. Radolphe Rapetti, Symbolism, trans. by Deke Dusinberre (New York: Éditions Flammarion, 2005), pp. 88-89.

71. Nordau, p. 225.

72. Arthur Edward Waite, The Rosicrucian Brotherhood‘, The Gentleman’s Magazine, 263 (1884), 598-607 (604); for Freemasonry‘s links to Jacobitism, see Pittock, Material Culture, pp. 108-112.

73. David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century, 1590-1710 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 96 [future references to this edition are given in brackets after quotations].

74. Timothy Neat argues that the Glasgow School was also influenced by Rosicrucianism; see Neat, Part Seen, Part Imagined: Meaning and Symbolism in the Work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald (Edinburgh: Canongate, 1994, pp. 120-132. Part Seen, Part Imagined: Meaning and Symbolism in the Work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald (Edinburgh: Canongate, 1994.)

75. Tobias Churton, Aleister Crowley: The Biography (London: Watkins Publishing, 2011), p. 253; Geddes also visited Boleskine in 1895 to write on Celtic crosses.

76. Aleister Crowely, The Message of the Master Therion‘, The International, 12 (1918), 26.

77. Boardman, p. 451

78. (cited in) Walter Stephen, Patrick Geddes, the Life‘, in Think Local, Act Global: The Life and Legacy of Patrick Geddes, ed. by Walter Stephen (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2011), pp. 17-38 (p. 37).

79. Wynn Westcott, Alchemy‘, in Astral Projection, Ritual Magic and Alchemy, ed. by Francis King (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1971), pp. 179-191.

80. Notes by Patrick Geddes on the association of ideas, alchemy, psychology, society and education [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 3/4/13].

81. Notes by Patrick Geddes on the Philosopher‘s stone and the Elixir Vitae [Archives and Special Collections,University of Strathclyde: T-GED 11/1/67].

82. Patrick Geddes, Dramatisations of History (Edinburgh: Patrick Geddes and Colleagues, 1923), pp. 76-77.

83. Notes by Patrick Geddes on University Halls, etc. [Archives and Special Collections, University of Strathclyde: T-GED 12/1/28].


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