Helen Mary Rand was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London in March 1891. Also initiated that month, possibly during the same ritual, were Alexander and Anne Carden, and Oswald Murray. Helen chose the Latin motto ‘Vigilate’. She worked quickly at the texts required to be eligible for the GD’s 2nd, inner order, and was initiated into that on 12 July 1892. She remained in the GD, a very committed member, for a decade more. She did a lot of unpaid administrative and teaching work for the Order and played a part in most of the crises that beset it. With a group of people led by Marcus Worsley Blackden and A E Waite, she left the GD in the spring of 1903. Later that year she was a founder-member of the Independent and Rectified Rite (IRR). She remained in the IRR until it was closed down in 1914, and probably then joined the Salvator Mundi temple (founded 1915), the first lodge of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross (founded 1919).


Helen’s husband John Rand also joined the GD’s Isis-Urania temple, being initiated in February 1892, and choosing the Latin motto ‘Vie victis’. He was never an active member, was not initiated into the 2nd Order, and had resigned by 1903.



This file, therefore, is mostly about Helen. It’s also mostly about Helen’s time in the GD and its descendant orders. There’s a separate file for the rest of her life.



Because I know very little about occultism I’m keeping this section shorter than it could be. I do mention the upheavals that were a feature of the GD in the 1890s however, because most of those were not really about doctrinal differences, but about personalities. Helen took an active part in the upheavals, usually trying to achieve what was best for the Order as a whole.



Relatively few people who were initiated into the GD got as far as its 2nd Order: a lot of study was required; and exams had to be passed before you were judged to be ready. If you wanted to do practical magic, however, you had to reach the 2nd Order because only its initiates were allowed to do any. 2nd Order initiates, therefore, tended to be the keenest GD members and also the best informed on western esotericism. GD founder William Wynn Westcott was generous with his collection of occult books and manuscripts to those who were willing to do the necessary work, and Helen made use of his willingness to loan them out to be copied. She also had lessons from the GD’s more experienced members in some subjects at least – though in one case, this led to an unpleasant incident with Edward William Berridge. Early in 1892 she asked him to visit her at home for a lesson in astrology, whereupon, “after giving me instruction... [he] attempted to kiss me and I was obliged actually to turn him out of the house”. Helen doesn’t seem to have told anyone about it at the time; perhaps because she didn’t want to cause trouble but more likely because she thought the GD hierarchy – all male at that time and including Berridge himself – wouldn’t take any notice.


Although she only contributed to one or two of the GD’s study-texts, Helen became skilled enough at divination to be regarded as one of its experts in it, and from 1900 had overall charge of the teaching of those skills. She continued to learn, however, by using the informal book-buying service run for occultists for many years by GD member Frederick Leigh Gardner (Experto crede). And I’ve found a reference to her keeping occult notebooks; the reference refers to 1904 but I would think she had been doing so from her initiation.


Between 1894 and late 1896 FLYING ROLL 33

One of the most important things the GD did, from the point of view of occultists since that time, was issue a series of study-notes for initiates, known as the Flying Rolls. Depending on their subject they were written by different GD members. Helen’s only contribution was to Flying Roll 33, Visions of Squares on the Enochian Tablets. It was one of a sub-group on the advanced technique of astral projection, and consequently near the end of the series. Six 2nd Order members wrote down their experiences meditating on the Squares. There were seven visions; Helen did two of them; and Annie Horniman, Edward Berridge, Henry Pullen-Burry and Pamela Bullock did one each.



Using the writing name Respiro, Berridge was for many years a promoter in the UK of the teachings of the poet and mystic Thomas Lake Harris. Berridge campaigned in the GD for more acceptance of Harris’ teachings, which included a deity encompassing both genders, and group marriage. In 1895 Berridge started to distribute amongst GD members his pamphlet on Harris’ teachings, The Brotherhood of the New Life V. Many of them understood the pamphlet to be promoting sex magic and they strongly objected to that. Annie Horniman, in particular, clashed with Berridge over it; and Berridge retaliated by accusing Annie of occult attack.


Helen was in the group of members who approached GD founder Samuel Liddell Mathers (‘S Rioghail Mo Dhream and Deo Duce Comite Ferro) to have Berridge removed from his post as sub-Imperator of the Isis-Urania temple (Mathers was its Imperator), a post which required regular contact with the GD’s newest initiates. Mathers was notoriously thin-skinned about any move that might be taken as questioning his authority; and he had appointed Berridge. An early draft of a letter from Helen to Mathers, now in the GD collection at the Freemasons’ Library, shows her trying to argue on the group’s behalf that Berridge was not fit to hold office, while also attempting not to make the request seem like a slight on Mathers’ choice of senior official. She argued that the group thought Berridge’s pamphlet was spreading amongst the GD’s new recruits an “indecent aspect of one of the Higher truths” and was “impure and mischievous for the young students”. That was bad enough but there was also the problem of Berridge’s own behaviour to the GD’s women members. Probably for the first time, Helen mentioned the incident with Berridge in 1892; because she was now sure that he had made “repeated offences of that kind”.


Helen’s draft letter is in pencil and clearly was an effort: it’s full of crossings-out, and with further changes made in pen in someone else’s handwriting. I presume a final version was agreed on by the group Helen was representing, and sent to Mathers, and that he did something about it: Berridge was not an office-holder in the GD after March 1896. On the other hand, he did remain a member of it, to cause trouble again in 1900.



In December 1896 Mathers expelled Annie Horniman from the GD; for reasons I won’t go into but which reflected very badly on Mathers.


I’m sure Helen was aware of how indebted financially the Mathers were to Annie. She also shared the members’ general dismay at the loss to the Order of Annie’s occult skills, commitment and energy. Speaking for all 2nd Order members, she wrote to Mathers asking him to reconsider. When she heard from Frederick Leigh Gardner that he was organising a petition to Mathers asking him to reinstate Annie, she was happy to sign it. However, when Mathers rejected the petition out of hand, and ordered its signatories to submit to his authority, she was amongst those who knuckled under to the leader of a society which (after all) was never meant to be democratic. She wasn’t one to give in easily, though, when a friend was being unjustly accused, and she actually travelled to Paris to plead with Mathers in person. All to no avail: Mathers refused to see her; and Mina/Moina Bergson Mathers wouldn’t challenge her husband to do the decent thing. Annie’s expulsion stood; and for the next few years the GD went without her, though Annie still did practical magic with many who were still members including Gardner, Henry Pullen Burry (Anima pura sit), and probably Helen herself.


If Helen wondered if she should resign from the GD in sympathy with Annie, she didn’t take her annoyance with Mathers as far as that; and she had reward of the sort that it’s hard to be pleased about: she was appointed Isis-Urania temple’s sub-praemonstrator – filling the vacancy left by Annie. The Praemonstrator and Sub-Praemonstrator organised the education and examination of initiates wanting to reach 2nd Order level.



In 1897, Westcott resigned from all his offices in the GD though he continued to be an ordinary member. Helen was amongst the members who wrote to Westcott saying how sorry they were to hear of his decision. It’s also probably Helen who wrote to Frederick Leigh Gardner to say that a whip-round was being organised to buy Westcott something to mark his retirement: a ring, or a jewel, had been suggested. She wasn’t organising the whip-round herself – Pamela Bullock (Shemeber) was in charge of that – but she was doing her best to drum up donations to it.


Mathers – now sole leader of the GD – appointed Florence Farr (Sapientia Sapienti Dono Data or SSDD) as its most senior administrator in London, to replace Westcott. Florence’s first big decision involved complaints being made against another male member of the GD about a different form of bad behaviour.




Helen Rand got on well with Frederick Leigh Gardner and early in 1897 she began to make some efforts to establish a friendship outside the GD, between her and her husband, and Gardner and his wife. She invited the Gardners to Sunday lunch; though I don’t think they came – at least, not both of them.


Within months of those invitations, Florence Farr had banished Gardner from the Isis-Urania temple, after many complaints about his militaristic approach to ritual and his rudeness towards the younger members, especially the younger women. In several letters to Gardner during September 1897 Helen said how sorry she was that it had come to this. But she also tried to get him to see the difficult position Florence Farr had been in – only recently appointed to rule over many members scarcely junior to her. Helen thought Florence had overdone it in her dealings with Gardner, being “fairly severe and outspoken” during the first challenge of her new role. But she argued that Florence had to be allowed to exercise the authority she had been given; and that Gardner had been put in charge of the ritual classes on a temporary basis only (other evidence makes it clear Gardner did not see it that way). Helen didn’t say that Florence’s position was made worse by being a woman ruling over men as well as women, some of whom rejected any idea of governance by women; and I can’t tell from the letter whether that aspect of it had occurred to her.



At the end of 1897, the 2nd Order moved its ritual and study rooms to Blythe Road Hammersmith. Helen and Reena Fulham Hughes (Silentio) took the opportunity to make a catalogue of its books and manuscripts. They rearranged the books in their new setting in a bookcase Gardner had given the 2nd Order – only to find that now he was no longer in the Isis-Urania temple, he wanted the bookcase back again. Helen exchanged several letters with Gardner about the bookcase, and got him to agree to leave it in the new rooms until their opening ritual was over.


Helen’s careful handling of Gardner’s difficult temperament meant that they continued to be on friendly terms, at least until the end of 1897. Helen invited Gardner for Sunday lunch – again – and also suggested he come over while Annie Horniman was staying with her for a week. In return, he sent her a cutting from the spiritualist magazine Light. It was an article, by someone not a GD member, on Edward Berridge’s continuing promotion of Thomas Lake Harris and sex magic. Helen commented, drily, “nothing seems to quench him”.


No letters between Helen and Frederick Gardner exist from after 1897 so I don’t know whether the friendship Helen was trying to continue, actually did so. I suppose not.


Reena Fulham Hughes lived in Netherwood Road Shepherd’s Bush, a short walk away from the 2nd Order’s new rooms. While they were carrying out the 2nd Order’s move, Helen went to stay with Reena; so perhaps the two women were friends as well as GD colleagues by now.



As part of easing into her new position of authority in the Isis-Urania temple, Florence Farr made some new appointments. However she showed her confidence in Helen by leaving her in her post as Praemonstrator. I think she stayed in-post until given another promotion in 1900.



Between 1897 and 1900 a number of sub-groups developed within the GD to focus on specific areas of occult interest. Some had only two or three members; others were larger; and information on all of them is hard to find so it’s difficult to know who was in each group or how long they lasted.


Florence Farr led the way with the sub-groups herself, founding one to teach other GD members Egyptian symbolism and invocation rituals (subjects on which she was an expert); and at the outset she called it the Egyptian Group. There’s no list of its members as far as I know.


The Sphere Group was another sub-group led by Florence Farr; though it isn’t clear whether the two sub-groups were in existence at the same time; or whether one turned gradually into the other. The purpose of the Sphere Group was to meditate on the symbols in the Tree of Life, and the GD’s own star maps; projecting them in the meditator’s mind onto a crystal sphere, with the aim of receiving “astral visions”. Robert Felkin later compiled a list of its members. At the time of Felkin’s list they included Helen and I imagine she was a member from the start. Helen’s husband John was never a member of the group and there’s debate in later sources as to whether Reena Fulham Hughes ever joined it.


The Rite of Lilith was developed by A E Waite. Ithell Colquhoun, who read it when researching her book on Mathers (I haven’t read it) said that it could be seen as a goddess-based Rite or as sex magic; or both of course. She found a list of names attached to it in the manuscript. They were all GD members; but they were only all in the Order together between mid-1897 and mid-1898, so I think that’s when Waite was working on the Rite. It’s not clear whether Waite actually approached any or all of them to enact the Rite but if he did, then this would be another sub-group within the GD.




The tale of Mathers’ sudden announcement to Florence Farr that all the GD’s founding documents were forgeries, and what happened in the GD afterwards, has been well told elsewhere. Helen was not involved in Florence’s immediate response – a committee to investigate whether Mathers’ allegations were true. But when, in April 1900, the committee expelled Mathers and his most active supporters from the GD, she was willing to serve on the ruling Council which replaced one-man rule by Mathers as the GD’s highest authority. Most of the new Council were in Florence’s Sphere Group. Helen was appointed the GD’s Cancellaria and also had overall responsibility for divination. She was still Cancellaria in 1902 at least. The Cancellarius was responsible for the temple’s finances including collecting members’ yearly subscriptions and producing its annual accounts; and also had to maintain the list of its members.


The investigation into Mathers’ accusation of fraud didn’t really produce any concrete evidence one way or the other. As a result there was nagging doubt, and the issue dogged the GD and all its daughter orders.



Annie Horniman was invited back into the GD by the new administration, and given the post of Scribe. She soon found out about the sub-groups and denounced them on the grounds that they broke one of occultism’s basic rules - that you should not gain knowledge restricted to levels above that of your current initiation. Annie insisted on putting this view before a meeting of the GD’s Council, with Yeats backing her up. Most (but not all) of Florence’s Sphere Group – including Helen - signed a document before that meeting saying they would resign from the GD if the sub-groups were not allowed to continue. The meeting was a long one – so long that several people with other appointments, including Helen, had to leave before it ended. Both sides of the argument refused to budge. A war of attrition was waged over the next two years, with Annie continuing to harrass other senior members on the issue; and members of the Sphere Group, in particular, continuing to do magic together and to refuse to agree to Annie’s demands.



Helen Rand remained a member of the GD through 1901-03 though many others left the Order in those years, including Florence Farr whose departure in 1902 brought the Sphere Group’s activities to an end; and Annie Horniman. Gradually, two factions within the GD emerged, with very different views of the Order’s way forward. One was led by A E Waite (Sacramentum regis) and Marcus Worsley Blackden (Ma Wahanu Thesi), and the other by Robert William Felkin (Finem respice). At the GD’s Whitsun meeting (the most important of any year) in 1903, the differences between the two factions led to the collapse of the GD its members had known. Waite and Blackden’s group set up a new Order; Felkin’s group saw itself as continuing the old GD but with a new name, Stella Matutina.



Helen went with Waite and Blackden. In July 1903 she was one of the 14 2nd Order GD members who signed the manifesto Waite composed for what became the Independent and Rectified Rite. The IRR was formally constituted on 7 November 1903. It used GD rituals adapted for its rather different focus. I’ve seen it described as more like a freemason’s lodge than the GD had been, though allowing women to be members; and occultist Francis King described it as having “an exclusively Christian mysticism”. It was ruled by three chiefs at the outset: Blackden, Rev William Alexander Ayton, and Waite. Rev Ayton dropped out quite soon and Blackden did so after he got married in 1909; so from 1909 until he closed it down in 1914, Waite was the sole ruler of the IRR.


Helen was a committed and senior member of the IRR for the whole of its existence. In its first few months she helped select suitable GD rituals for the IRR to adopt. She was appointed its Recorder, keeping its archives. A volume in the Freemasons’ Library’s GD Collection, may have been partly compiled and written out by her: dated 1904, it contains instructions for the IRR’s Adeptus Minor grade. From mid-1909 probably to 1914, its 2nd Order met in her flat. And she ended up in charge of some at least of its assets - items of furniture that had belonged to the GD in the 1890s, including pieces decorated by Mina/Moina Bergson Mathers. There are references to Helen still having these items amongst her possessions in the late 1920s. Eventually she gave them to a Church of England cleric she knew, whose parish was in north London.



In her book on Samuel Liddell Mathers, Ithel Colquhoun publishes many reminiscences from people she met around 1930 who had been involved with the GD and its daughter orders. One of the stories was given Colquhoun by the daughter of a couple who were in the IRR around 1910. The story was of Helen and A E Waite living together temporarily in Helen’s flat at 36a Penywern Road Earl’s Court, during 1910, Helen performing the role of housekeeper-cum-secretary. Helen and Waite went to have Sunday lunch with the couple regularly at this time, and they were able to watch Helen waiting on Waite hand and foot; and to hear Waite calling her ‘Vigilate’, not ‘Helen’. It would always be difficult to find back-up evidence for a piece of gossip like this and I haven’t found any. In his memoirs, written in the 1930s, Waite never mentions Helen at all; nor does R A Gilbert pay much attention to Helen in his short book on Waite, except as a member of IRR and as the resident at 36a Penywern Road. From both books, however, I do get the impression that Waite ‘collected’ women as acolytes in his occult activities (which his first wife (Ada) had no interest in), while despising them as occultists. Colquhoun suggests that Waite and his wife had separated during Waite’s stay with Helen in 1910; but later got back together. I’m not sure about Colquhoun’s view: Ada was often ill and it seems more likely to me that Waite battened on Helen when his wife had gone out of town for her health.


Certainly, Helen was doing work outside her IRR job as Recorder in 1910; and she may have been doing it as Waite’s secretary. In 1910 she was putting a book through the publication process, liaising with the publishers and the contributors after last-minute changes to the text had increased the printing costs. The book isn’t named in her letters, but it might be Some Characteristics of the Interior Church, a translation by D H S Nicholson of a work originally by Lopukhin; with an introduction by Waite. A new recruit to the IRR who was a known expert on oriental languages, had suggested different transliterations of some of the book’s Hebrew terms.


If Helen was acting as Waite’s secretary, she won’t have been paid for it, even if she might have needed the extra income; the Waites were always short of money. I’m not sure when the arrangement started; it might not have started so much as gradually drifted into existence. It probably came to a halt after 1916, when Mary Broadbent Schofield joined the Salvator Mundi temple (for that temple see below). R A Gilbert describes Schofield as idolising Waite, becoming his secretary and – in 1933 – his second wife.



The debate about whether the GD was founded on fakes had re-emerged by 1910, when Waite asked Helen about the early years of the GD, in case she could remember anything relevant. Helen’s replies to Waite’s questions were not enough to enable a decision one way or the other and Waite shut down the IRR partly because of the continuing arguments about them.



The original members of the Salvator Mundi temple had all been members of the IRR. It isn’t possible to prove that Helen was one of them, however, as the Fellowship’s list of members is not available to the public. A E Waite founded the temple in 1915 and the Fellowship in 1919, as its Imperator and sole authority. It was a consciously Christian order though with Rosicrucian grades of initiation and Kabbalah-inspired symbolism. It met at various addresses in London until August 1939 when Waite moved the venue to his house in Broadstairs. It survived his death in May 1942, and still exists.



The question of the forged GD founding documents was still on the occult agenda in the 1920s. In 1921, Stella Matutina member Christina Stoddart was researching the GD’s early years. Very few of the GD’s earliest members were still alive by this time, but she interviewed several of those that were; and got friends to interview others. Helen was asked for her recollections by a Mr Landrieux – that’s probably René Landrieux; he and his wife Désirée joined Stella Matutina in 1909. Helen’s replies to his questions confirmed Christina Stoddart in her belief that the documents were fakes.




I think Helen Rand and Annie Horniman knew each other before they were GD members; and that Annie – initiated in 1890 – might have been the person who recommended Helen to the GD hierarchy as a potential initiate. The evidence for this is slight and elliptical, unfortunately! It’s based on references made by Helen to friends they had in common, inside and out of the GD. In a letter to Annie in January 1897 Helen mentions a Miss Bennett as a friend of both of them; she was not a GD member. Another friend of both of them was also mentioned in the letter. This friend had been a GD member but was no longer; she wasn’t named and I couldn’t read her GD motto but she might have been Harriett Emily Lammin (initiated 1892 as Constans et Candida), who had given Annie’s address for GD correspondence.


There’s also a reference, possibly by Helen and probably from after Mina/Moina died - to Mina Bergson as an artist, which I think she might not have been able to make if she hadn’t seen Mina’s art work in the 1880s. Mina and Annie had met in 1882 or 1883 when they were both students at the Slade School of Art; and in the 1880s their relationship was very intense, in the manner of friendships between Victorian women. At this stage, before the GD, Mina was intending to be a professional painter. Until 1890 she shared a studio with fellow Slade student, Beatrice Offor; this studio, in Grafton Street, was where the first few members of the GD were initiated. If Helen was a friend of Annie, and thus of Mina, at this stage she will have seen Mina’s work-in-progress. The later reference possibly by Helen regretted that Mina had neglected her painting and lost much of her talent by spending all her time on the design and decoration of GD props and furniture.


Mina Bergson married Samuel Liddell Mathers and became Moina Mathers, in 1890. A couple of years later they moved to Paris. I think Helen may have stepped into the gap in Annie’s life left by Mina’s marriage – to a possessive and controlling man – and her move to another country.


Helen couldn’t save Annie from being expelled from the GD in December 1896, but the friendship continued. Annie continued to do magic with people who were still GD members and Helen tried to facilitate this.


The friendship was cemented by both women’s love of Wagner opera. In August 1897 they went to Bayreuth together and they may have done so in other years. Siegfried and Parsifal were sung that year, and possibly there was a full Ring Cycle. By the mid-1890s they could also have gone to see Wagner at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden – Lohengrin was the choice in 1897 - and I expect they did, though I don’t have evidence for that.


The friendship began to be tested in 1900 with Annie’s opposition to the GD’s sub-groups; and Helen’s support for them. But it was broken by Helen’s decision to join what became the IRR in 1903. Annie couldn’t stomach what she saw as Helen’s desertion of the GD for a rival occult group; and the two women didn’t have any contact for three years.


Wagner at Bayreuth brought Helen and Annie together again. They both went separately to the festival in August 1906 (Siegfried and Parsifal were being performed) and encountered each other by accident. Helen then made the big move (I’m not sure it was in Annie’s temperament to do so) by calling on Annie at her lodgings. I expect Annie guessed about Helen’s continued commitment to the IRR, but she wrote to Yeats of her determination not to drag up the past, so that she and Helen could be friends again.


After leaving the GD Annie had thrown her energies and some of her money into what became the Abbey Theatre. The seasons at the Abbey Theatre were a success in theatrical and in Irish terms but relations between Annie and Yeats, its founder and artistic director, became strained for a number of reasons, one of which was the political content of the plays the theatre was putting on. By July 1909 Annie was thinking of not continuing to fund the theatre if the politics didn’t stop; and she and Yeats met at her flat in Montagu Mansions Portman Square, to thrash the matter out. Helen was there when the meeting took place. I think Annie had asked for her to come, to be a witness to what was said, and perhaps to act as referee. The discussions that day ended with Yeats agreeing to reject works that were political according to Annie’s definition; but when Annie was out of the room he said to Helen that he thought the theatre was in danger of going out of business if it wasn’t allowed to put on plays with a political stance. Perhaps Yeats hoped Helen would try to bring Annie round to his way of thinking, but she didn’t. Nor did Yeats keep his word, given with great reluctance. By early 1911 relations between Annie and Yeats were so bad that she was demanding back £1000 she said the theatre owed her. At Annie’s behest, Helen wrote to Yeats reminding him of exactly what had been agreed in 1909; but he took no notice and Annie decided to ask her solicitor to intervene. Helen wrote an account of the July 1909 meeting for Annie’s solicitor to use as part of her evidence. The sorry tale ended with a complete break between Annie and all those involved in the Abbey Theatre. Learning from her mistakes, Annie managed much better funding drama seasons with a repertory company at the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester and as far as I know, Helen was not needed to take Annie’s part in any arguments about finances or artistic direction with that company. The Company appeared in London in 1909 and from 1911 to 1914 so Helen had plenty of chance to see them. The June 1909 London season opened with Shaw’s Widowers’ Houses, whose main female role had been written for Florence Farr.


The first World War brought a halt – however temporary – to a lot of things, including both the IRR and the seasons at the Gaiety Theatre. After the death of Samuel in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, Mina/Moina Mathers returned to London. Ithell Colquhoun, on the authority of people who knew Mina/Moina in London in the 1920s, says that Annie and Helen were friendly with Mina/Moina at that time, but that neither of them joined the Alpha and Omega Lodge that Mina/Moina founded in 1919.


Annie had always loved travel and despite rheumatism in her hands and feet, she still did a great deal of it in the 1920s, mostly in Europe but also going as far as Madeira and Morocco. Helen went with her on some of these trips though I don’t know which ones as I haven’t seen the original documents.


By the 1930s Helen and Annie had been friends for at least 40 years. Annie Horniman died in August 1937 and accounts of Annie’s life say she left most of her papers to Helen; though Helen isn’t mentioned in the catalogues of those of Annie’s papers that are now at Manchester University, and she also wasn’t Annie’s executor, so I’m not sure what the source of the information is.





Although Florence Farr had left the GD in 1902, in 1904 she and Helen were still in touch. Florence had joined the Theosophical Society and become enthusiastic about Indian philosophy. In November 1904 she wrote in Helen’s occult notebook this translation of words by Mahatma Sri Agamya Guru Paramahamsa: “the whole world exists as a blissful wave in the Brahmic consciousness”.



Actually there’s no direct evidence GD or otherwise that Helen Rand (born 1864) and Rose Mary Howard Swain (born 1865) were friends. However, I suggest they must have known each other because Helen’s father and Rose Mary’s uncle were in business together in south London. It wasn’t just a business connection, however: Rose Mary’s father had died while she was a child, and the uncle-business partner took in Rose Mary’s sister Florence to bring up with his own daughter. In 1881 the uncle and Rose Mary’s sister were living at 131 Dulwich High Street; more remote relations of the Ray family also lived in and around Dulwich village. The Rand family lived a walk away, firstly on Lordship Lane and later on Grove Hill Road. Rose Mary and her widowed mother lived in Shepherd’s Bush.


Rose Mary was initiated into the GD about a year after Helen had been, in December 1891. She married solicitor Alfred Robinson in 1893 – perhaps Helen and her husband went to the wedding. Rose Mary let her GD involvement lapse after she and her husband moved to Bushey in Hertfordshire and had a family of four daughters and a son.



In the course of a letter mostly about other things, Helen wondered if Frederick Leigh Gardner could use his contacts in the City to find some typing work for Frederick Clarence Ritchie. It was December 1897 and Ritchie had been a member of the GD since March. He and his sister, Helen explained, had given up their jobs in the USA and moved to England specifically to become GD initiates (I wonder how they found out that it existed!) but now they had no money. I’m not sure Ritchie himself was a friend of Helen; I think she may have been doing a favour for someone who was a friend – Florence Farr’s sister Henrietta Paget. Henrietta (Dum Spiro Spero) had been initiated in December 1892, and her husband – the artist and illustrator Henry Marriott Paget (In deo sumus) – in September 1894. Florence and Henrietta were close, so if you were a friend of Florence you knew Henrietta too. I’m not sure how Ritchie had come across the Pagets but the address he gave for for GD correspondence was their house at 76 Parkhill Road Hampstead. There’s no indication Gardner was able to help out, but Ritchie was still in the GD in December 1898 so he must have found some source of income.




Magical Study:

Freemasons’ Library GD collection GBR GD2/2/8a Receipts for items borrowed from William Wynn Westcott’s collection during period 1891-1892.


Flying Roll XXXIII – 33

R A Gilbert GD Companion p117.

Ritual Magic of the GD edited by Francis King. Rochester Vermont: Destiny Books 1987, 1997: p95; p98. King prints one of Helen’s two visions, the other already having been published in The Order of the GD volume 4 pp318-22. By Israel Regardie. Chicago: Aries Press 1937-40.


Administrative posts in the GD’s Isis-Urania temple: R A Gilbert GD Companion p32.



FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/1/2 draft letter in pencil dated 2 January 1896.

Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73. This is mostly letters to Frederick Leigh Gardner, but there is also a copy of the 2nd edition of Berridge’s pamphlet

The Brotherhood of the New Life V: The Man, the Seer, the Adept, the Avatar; or TLH the Inspired Messenger of the Uncle. 2ndrevised and enlarged. Price 1 shilling printed by E W Allen of 4 Ave Maria Lane EC; 1897. There’s a note on it: “see p11 for the skit on Fortiter et Recte Annie Horniman”. In the corner of p11 is a rhyme about someone called Tabby. Everyone in the GD knew that ‘Tabby’ was Annie Horniman’s nickname – she even used it herself. The copy was the one owned by GD member Herbert Crossley Morris (Cavendo tutus), sub-praemonstrator to Helen’s Praemonstrator in 1897.



Gerald Yorke Colln NS103 Gerald Yorke’s typescript numbered 8 in the file: part of a letter 23 November 1896 Annie Horniman to Frederick Leigh Gardner. Helen is mentioned organising the Portal ceremonies of a group of new initiates.

FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/1/12: draft letter 25 December 1896 Annie Horniman to William Peck.

Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73. Letter from Helen as Vigilate to Samuel Liddell Mathers 23 December [1896].

FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/1/14 letter “Jan 29” [1897] Helen as Vigilate to Annie Horniman as Fortiter [et Recte].

RAG’s Companion p32.



Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection catalogue number NS73. Letter Westcott to Gardner 18 March 1897 marked “Private” and naming several people who had written to say how sorry they were at his resignation from office.



Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: series of letters from Helen to Gardner: 28 February [1897]; 16 March [1897]; 1 April 1897; date only 12 October but possibly 1897;19 December [?1897].



Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: series of letters from Helen to Gardner: 16 September 1897; 19 September 1897; and one from Westcott to Gardner 16 September 1897.



Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: letter from Helen to Frederick Leigh Gardner 4 August [1897].



Cauda Pavonis was the newsletter/journal of the Hermetic Text Society. At www.alchemywebsite.com/cauda.html there I found a list of the articles published in it, beginning in 1982; it’s no longer being published, more’s the pity.any longer. It was a publication of the Department of English, Washington State University at Pullman.

Volumes 11-16 1992 pp7-12 article by Sharon E Cogdill on Florence Farr’s Sphere Group including a list of members.

A E Waite: Magician of Many Parts R A Gilbert. Wellingborough: Thorsons Publishing Group Ltd under its ‘Crucible’ imprint. 1987. Sources include Waite’s diaries. References are p113 for the Sphere Group’s method and purpose; and p201 for the book’s sources.



Ithell Colquhoun’s Sword of Wisdom. London: Neville Spearman 1975: p286, pp288-89. Colquhoun found the Rite of Lilith in an unpublished Ms in the Gerald Yorke Collection, now in the Warburg Institute. It was compiled by A E Waite in 1903, perhaps as part of choosing rituals for the IRR. He called it The House of Hidden Light. Colquhoun didn’t have access to the GD membership lists when she was writing the book. The list of names in the Ms is: Pamela Carden; a Soror Hilaria – Colquhoun couldn’t identify her and neither can I; Elaine Simpson; Berridge; Percy Bullock; R W Felkin; Frederick Leigh Gardner; Henry Pullen-Burry.

Colquhoun’s date of 1910; and even 1903; are not possible for the working of the Rite of Lilith if these were the people Waite wanted to enact it: Elaine Simpson (initiated 1897) got married and went to live in Hong Kong in 1900; Henry Pullen-Burry left for the Klondike in 1898 and never returned.


1900-1902 ?1903: AS CANCELLARIUS

Edward Berridge was one of the members of Isis-Urania temple who were expelled in 1900. I’m sure Helen wasn’t the only GD member to be glad he was gone. Mathers gave Berridge permission to found another GD lodge in London – the Alpha and Omega Lodge, which was still meeting in 1913. Sources for this information: RAG p77 and Howe p218 for the expulsion; Howe p232 footnote 2 for the new lodge.; RAG p40 for it still existing in 1913, mentioning a notebook from around that date, seen by Francis King.

FML’s GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/3/36 April 1900.

FML’s GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/7/8 letter dated 9 May 1902 by Robert William Felkin. Addressee isn’t certain but it’s probably John William Brodie-Innes (Sub spe).



FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/6/1 Statement of GD Council February 1901.

For Annie and Yeats’ side of the argument see Yeats’s Golden Dawn by George Mills Harper. London: Macmillan Press 1974.



FML’s GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/7/8 letter dated 9 May 1902; Robert William Felkin. Addressee isn’t certain but it’s probably John William Brodie-Innes. The letter mentions that Annie Horniman was continuing to harrass GD members about the existence of sub-groups in the Order.

Yeats’s Golden Dawn by George Mills Harper. London: Macmillan Press 1974 p140.

Date of Annie’s resignation: Ellic Howe The Magicians of the GD: A Documentary History of a Magical Order. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd 1972 p251.



A E Waite’s memoir Shadows of Life and Thought: A Retrospective Review in the Form of Memoirs. London: Selwyn and Blount 1938. Helen isn’t mentioned in it at all.

Ritual Magic of the GD edited by Francis King. Rochester Vermont: Destiny Books 1987, 1997: p36.

RAG’s Companion p169 – two lists of the IRR’s founder members.

FML’s GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 5/1/2 dated 1904 and only attributed to Helen; its authorship isn’t certain.

A E Waite: Magician of Many Parts R A Gilbert. Wellingborough: Thorsons Publishing Group Ltd under its ‘Crucible’ imprint. 1987. Sources include his diaries for October 1902-October 1903: p120 – Gilbert refers to 36a Penywern Road as “the home of Mrs Helen Rand (Vigilate)”; meetings continued there until the IRR was closed; p179 – Constitution of the IRR read at its consecration meeting 7 November 1903. Chapter 13 is Waite’s account for the collapse of GD in 1903, giving Blackden much less credit than he deserves. Helen’s not mentioned specifically so she didn’t take a big role at the Whitsun 1903 meeting; though she must have sided with Waite in the series of votes that took place. IRR’s later history: p118; p122.

FML’ GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 4/5/1/4a-b and GD 4/5/1/2 both dated 1910.



FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 4/5/1/3 letter 23 June 1910 and GBR 1991 GD 4/5/1/1a-b.

The book that’s being changed at the publishers is not named.

A E Waite: Magician of Many Parts R A Gilbert. Wellingborough: Thorsons Pubg Group Ltd und its ‘Crucible’ imprint. 1987. On p122 refers to publication of D H S Nicholson’s translation called Some Characteristics of the Interior Church by Lopukhin. The last-minute changes were suggested by Battiscombe Gunn who joined the IRR in March 1910. References to Waite and women: p156 for his first wife Ada, whom Gilbert all-but-says was consistently neglected by Waite in favour of his occult involvement; she died of cancer in September 1924; p157 for Dr Elizabeth Severn and her pupil Helen Worthington, Fellowship of the Rosy Cross members who treated Waite’s many ailments; p157 for Mary Broadbent Schofield, much disliked and resented by Sybil Waite, Ada and A E Waite’s only child. On p156 a reference to A E Waite never having any money.

Some Characteristics of the Interior Church… originally in French by Ivan Vladimirovich Lopukhin; translated by Daniel H S Nicholson with an introduction by A E Waite. Published in 1912 not 1910; and by the Theosophical Publishing Society, not the firm Helen was negotiating with; so perhaps this was not the title she was trying to get through the press.

Sword of Wisdom by Ithell Colquhoun. London: Neville Spearman 1975: p203, p232. Just stating here that Colquhoun never met Helen.



A E Waite: Magician of Many Parts R A Gilbert. Wellingborough: Thorsons Publishing Group Ltd under its ‘Crucible’ imprint. 1987.

FML GD Collection GD 6/3/1/1: by-laws of the Salvator Mundi temple of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. Undated but probably issued around 1919 because meetings are at 14 Earl’s Court Square.



Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn, by Ithell Colquhoun. London: Neville Spearman 1975: p58, p59.

Collected Letters of W B Yeats Volume IV 1905-1907 Addenda section. Editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Published Oxford University Press 2005: p112 letter Yeats to Florence Farr [11 June 1905] and p113 note 4.

Yeats’s GD by George Mills Harper. London: Macmillan Press 1974: pp140-142. Harper spells the surname of the man who interviewed Helen as Sandrieux (with an ‘S’) but was pretty sure he’d got it wrong. RAG’s GD Companion p172 has a René Landrieux of 43 Waldemar Mansions Fulham joining Stella Matutina in 1910. The reference to Helen still being in charge of the GD/IRR’s furniture is in Harper p200 note 14, it appears in a letter by Carnegie Dickson; though (p155) for some reason Carnegie Dickson thinks – erroneously – that Helen had died by 1930.


Sources for Helen’s GD friendships:

FML GD Collection GBR 1991 GD 2/4/1/14 letter “Jan 29” [1897] Helen as Vigilate to Annie Horniman as Fortiter [et Recte].

Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: - note on a small card; “Elmfield Esher” written by hand; date of “Oct 12" but without the year. Helen moved into Elmfield in 1897; by the end of that year not only Annie but also Frederick Gardner were no longer in the GD’s Isis-Urania temple so this seems a likely year for bringing them together.


Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: letter from Helen to Frederick Leigh Gardner 4 August [1897] about her trip with Annie to Bayreuth.

Times 1896 had reviews of the Ring Cycle done that year. There were no reviews of the 1897 performances but in the issue of Wednesday 25 August 1897 p7 it reported the return of [?Arthur] Balfour from Bayreuth where he had seen Siegfried and Parsifal.

At www.wagneropera.net a list of performances of Parsifal. The performances in 1897 were conducted by Mottl and Seidl.

Great Wagner Conductors: A Listener’s Companion by Jonathan Brown p129: Seidl did 2 performances only: 19 July and 19 August. His tempi were rather faster than Mottl’s. On p126 there’s a reference to his conducting Lohengrin at the Royal Opera House earlier in the year.

Richard Wagner and His World editor Thomas S Grey. 2009. In section Notes to Cosima Wagner’s Bayreuth: p472 note 48: Anton van Rooy sang Wotan at Bayreuth in 1897 and was a sensation. P472 note50 says there was a full Ring Cycle at Bayreuth in 1897.

Times Fri 6 July 1906 p1 small ads has one from a woman with tickets at Bayreuth for T and O, and Parsifal.

Times Tue 5 June 1906 p5 had a reference to the Flying Dutchman being due at the Royal Opera House, to be conducted by the great and very experienced Hans Richter.

Collected Letters of W B Yeats Vol III 1901-04 p32 note 4 and p33 for lists of those who didn’t agree with Annie Horniman and Yeats about sub-groups within the GD.

Collected Letters of W B Yeats Vol IV 1905-1907 editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Oxford University Press 2005: p500 Yeats to Annie [c 25 Sep 1906] and p500 note 5, Annie’s reply.



Behind the Scenes: Yeats, Horniman and the Struggle f the Abbey Theatre Adrian Woods Frazier 1990: p226-27, p227 note 52 p236.

Collected Letters of W B Yeats Vol IV 1905-1907 editors John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard. Oxford University Press 2005: p500 where an editors’ note says that Helen R was named as Annie H’s literary executor in Annie H’s Will. Probate Registry records show that the executor of the Will was the Public Trustee; so if Helen was appointed literary executor it was within the Will itself, which I haven’t seen.


Women of the GD: Rebels and Priestesses by Mary K Greer. Rochester Vermont: Park Street Press 1995. Greer picked Maud Gonne, Mina/Moina Bergson Mathers, Annie Horniman and Florence Farr. On p455 she says that Helen died before Annie. That isn’t right.



Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn, by Ithell Colquhoun. Pubd London: Neville Spearman 1975: pp58-59. On p59 is the reference to Helen’s regret at Mina’s wasted artistic talent. However, Colquhoun seems sure only that the source for the information was a Mrs Rand. While saying that she thinks the woman’s Christian name was Winifred, she also seems to think there must be some mistake and to equate the Winifred with Helen Rand. I don’t understand it and to make matters worse, Helen had a sister-in-law who was a Mrs Winifred Rand, with no connection to the occult world that I can find.



For Rose Mary Howard Swain, later Robinson; and Reena Fulham Hughes see my biographies.

For Frederick Clarence Ritchie: Warburg Institute Gerald Yorke Collection: letter from Helen to Frederick Leigh Gardner 19 December [1897].





27 August 2018

Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: