Light in Extension
“(T)he Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—an organisation which has exerted a greater influence on the development of Occultism since its revival in the last quarter of the 19th century than most people can realise. … and a great many other occult organisations owe what little magical knowledge is theirs to leakages issuing from that Order and from its renegade members.
The membership of the Golden Dawn was recruited from every circle, and it was represented by dignified professions as well as by all the arts and sciences, to make but little mention of the trades and business occupations. It included physicians, psychologists, clergymen, artists and philosophers; and normal men and women, humble and unknown, from every walk of life have drawn inspiration from its font of wisdom, and undoubtedly many would be happy to recognise and admit the enormous debt they owe to it. …
Whatever else may be said of the Order and its scheme of instruction, at least this is true. It taught the true term of Mysticism and the art of Ceremonial Magic as few other systems have… Certainly some of the parts of the Golden Dawn rituals may be discovered in different ancient and mediaeval books on Magic. This has never been denied by any of its more informed members who have an eye to research.
But what the Order and its scribes have performed is a much subtler thing. They have synthesised into a coherent whole this vast body of disconnected and widely scattered material, and have given it form and meaning. All these separate items of knowledge garnered from innumerable sources have been wielded into a practicable and effectual system…
But the coordination, the synthetic nature of the entire scheme, the effectual soul of the Rituals, as it were, these have their foundation in sources which have never previously found their way into any written work. Without a doubt they are the fruit of innumerable adepts and true initiators, the result of whose verified and tested experience has been handed down to us from countless generations.”
— Israel Regardie, My Rosicrucian Adventure (1936)