The Alpha et Omega was an occult order, initially named the Hermetic Order of the

Golden Dawn, co-founded inLondon, England by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers in
1888.[1][2] The Alpha et Omega was one of four daughter organisations into which the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn fragmented, the others being the Stella Matutina;
the Isis-Urania Temple led by A.E. Waite and others; and Aleister Crowley's A∴A∴.Following
a rebellion ofAdepts in London and an ensuing public scandal which had brought the name
of the Golden Dawn into disrepute,[3] Mathers renamed the branch of the Golden Dawn
remaining loyal to his leadership to "Alpha et Omega" sometime between 1903 and 1913.
[2][4][5] "The title was usually abbreviated as A.O."[6] and according to some sources its full
name was "Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega".[7][8] All of the temples of the order
appear to have gone out of existence by the Second World War.[9]

In 1900, the hegemony of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was disturbed by a
letter sent from Samuel Mathers, who was living in Paris, to his representative in
London, Florence Farr. In the letter he claimed that his co-founder Wynn Westcott forged
communications between himself and the Secret Chiefs who had given him the authority
for the Order to exist. This revelation culminated in a rebellion of the Adepts of the IsisUrania Temple No. 3 by which Mathers himself was expelled from his position as Chief.
This was quickly followed, in 1901, by the Horos scandal; two con artists used Golden
Dawn materials obtained from Mathers to cover a sex scam (see Swami Laura Horos). The
name and reputation of the Golden Dawn was subsequently defamed in the courts and in
the press. In 1906, therefore, S.L. MacGregor Mathers summarily closed the Order of the
Golden Dawn and founded the Alpha et Omega in Paris.[10] However, the name A.O. also
first appeared in a copy of a 0°=0□ Hall of the Neophytes ritual owned by Henry Kelf and
is dated 1905. It appears to have been used soon after the schism. [11]
Two temples in Great Britain remained loyal to Mathers and joined the Alpha et Omega,
one in London and the other in Edinburgh. Two or three former Golden Dawn temples in
the United States, including Thoth-Hermes inChicago, remained loyal to Mathers during the
schism and became part of the Alpha et Omega as well.[12]

Elsa Barker, a poet and author who traveled frequently between Europe and the USA,
became Mathers’ emissary to the American temples of the A.O. For example, the minutes
book of the Ahathoor temple mentions that, on July 3, 1911, just prior to Elsa Barker’s
return to the USA, Mathers had received applications from 9 members to form a new
temple, Neith Temple No. 10.[citation needed]
By 1913, Mathers was presiding over at least five Temples of the Alpha et Omega; the
original Isis-Urania Temple No. 3 (with 23 Inner Order members by 1913), presided over by
Dr. Edmund William Berridge, the Ahathoor Temple No. 7 in Paris led by Mathers himself,
the Amen-Ra Temple No. 6 in Edinburgh, presided over by John William Brodie-Innes, the
Thme Temple No 8 in Chicago, The Thoth Hermes Temple No 9 in New York, presided over

and the Neith Temple No.[29] Shortly thereafter. known as theBuilders of the Adytum. he was succeeded by his widow (Moina Mathers) and J. her daughter Isme. Dion Fortune was initiated into the Alpha et Omega in 1919 and eventually reached the grade of 2°=9□. including the system of Enochian magic. Case was initiated into the Alpha et Omega's Second Order. Moina Mathers wrote to Case criticizing him for discussing teachings concerning esoteric sexuality in the presence of outer order members which provoked Case’s resignation as Praemonstrator. W.[30] When Case began to question certain fundamental teachings of the order. and Edward John Langford-Garston took over the London temple. Order occurred while she was simultaneously running her own occult school. Three other American temples of the Alpha et Omega were founded after the First World War: Ptah No. 30 in San Francisco in 1921. and was made a Minor Adept on June 6. 10 inPhiladelphia in Michael Whitty. This conflict eventually resulted in Dion Fortune’s expulsion from the Alpha et Omega.[31] initially known as the School of Ageless Wisdom. Paul Foster Case became the Praemonstrator of Thoth Hermes Temple. as a "guise". the Fraternity of Inner Light. and also. the AO "survived until the outbreak of [ WWII ] in 1939"[15] when it was "officially closed" [16] and its temple-furniture destroyed "at the instance of the Secret Chiefs. 1920. 20 in Los Angeles in 1920. Paul Foster Case was initiated into the Thoth-Hermes Temple of the Alpha et Omega under the direction of Michael Whitty. were "consumed in a bonfire" at Sacombe Park. and Themis No. Moina Mathers considered this to be an unauthorized expose of secret teachings of the Alpha et Omega. and then later known by its formal title. Case went on to found his own esoteric school. With the approval of Moina Mathers.[25] In 1922. In December. Case therefore wrote to Moina Mathers asking for permission to demit from ThothHermes temple. the rituals of the A+O remained secret until they were published in 2011.[27][28] In 1918. Dion Fortune published the Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage.[29] On May 16. [29] Upon Michael Whitty’s death. along with its Vault of the Adepti. 1922.[13] After Moina's death in St Mary Abbot's Hospital in 25 July 1928 [14] Isabel Morgan Boyd.[citation needed] When Mathers died in 1918. initially called the Christian Mystic Lodge of the Theosophical Society. 1921.[26] Fortune later joined the Stella Matutina and attained the grade of 5°=6□.[23][24] Challenges and legacy[edit] Two famous members of the Alpha et Omega were Dion Fortune (pen name of Violet Firth) and Paul Foster Case. which became better known as the Society of the Inner Light. according to author Francis King.M. 10 in New York. Case encountered increasing friction with the Chiefs of Thoth-Hermes temple. Her expulsion from the A+O and transfer to the S. Case's new school moved away from some of the Golden . Brodie-Innes. Atoum No. Fortune created an outer court for the A+O for the purpose of attracting prospective initiates. 1920. but was expelled by Mathers instead in January. Hertfordshire." [17]Colquhoun later asserts that the furniture.[14] Decline[edit] According to Langford-Garston's cousin Ithell Colquhoun. became concerned about Dion Fortune's increasing skill with astral travel and reception of "trance messages from Masters of the Western Tradition" (see Secret Chiefs).[18][19] Rituals[edit] While the rituals of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and its Stella Matutina offshoot were published in the early 1900s (1909-1910 [20][21] and 1937 [22] respectively).

[33] a set of four large volumes detailing. The first volume of the set contained the knowledge lectures of the Outer Order. King claims that the publication of this had a shattering effect on the Alpha et Omega as well as on the Stella Matutina.[34] In 1966 a box with some magical tools . teachings. for example.Dawn and A. "the majority of the Golden Dawn manuscripts". [32] Langford-Garstin was particularly annoyed with the publication of Israel Regardie's Golden Dawn in 1934. adopting. Arthur Edward Waite's modified design of theTarot deck and dispensing with the teachings regarding Enochian magic. according to King.O.