History of the Golden Dawn in Ireland

Poet W.B. Yeats was one of the original members of the Golden Dawn, joining in 1890, two years after the formation of the Order. His love interest, Maud Gonne, joined in 1891 and his uncle, George Pollexfen, joined in 1893. Yeats was also responsible for getting actress Florence Farr to join in 1890. Funding from fellow Golden Dawn member Annie Horniman helped with the establishment of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Yeats was a pivotal member of the Order, particularly at the time of the rebellion of many Adepts against leader S.L. MacGregor Mathers. When the Order split, with most of the magically-minded people going to what would eventually be known as the Stella Matutina, Yeats was an influential figure who even began the head of the Stella Matutina for a period. An infamous incident known as the Battle of Blythe Road resulted in a showdown between Yeats and well-known occultist Aleister Crowley, who was an original member of the Order.

Yeats attributed much of his ability as a poet and writer to his magical work, an area that is often glossed over by scholars and English teachers. He wrote:

“If I had not made magic my constant study I could not have written a single word of my Blake book, nor would The Countess Kathleen ever have come to exist. The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.”

A large collection of documents from the original Order, and the subsequent Stella Matutina, have survived to this day and are stored in the National Library of Ireland. Many of these belong to Pollexfen, who wrote in a very precise manner, allowing modern students and scholars of the system to work with original documents that are legible.

Some of Yeats’ regalia and tools are also stored in Dublin, including his magical weapons, Outer and Inner Order sashes, Tarot deck, and many talismans.

© National Library of Ireland

The Golden Dawn in Ireland Today

While Yeats never got to establish a Temple in Ireland, our Order is continuing his and the Golden Dawn’s legacy with a fully-fledged Temple in Dublin, where training and ritual work are conducted on a regular basis.

The Dublin Temple was officially established in 2009 in the heart of Ireland’s capital city. Meetings are held monthly and the Temple is accessible by public transport, including Dublin Bus and the Luas.

The Dublin Temple is currently open for applications.