Arthur Edward Waite was an author, publisher, and scholar, among the first to attempt a systematic study of western occultism. Throughout his life he straddled a dual role between that of a largely self-educated historian and critic of esotericism and that of a practicing mystic, interested in occult ceremonial rituals. It was in this vein that he became known for his published works on magic, alchemy, and the enduringly popular set of tarot cards bearing his name. It was through their mutual involvement in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn that he became acquainted with Williams and, possibly, Aleister Crowley. When the Golden Dawn began to break apart in the 1910’s, Waite used his prominent position there to create the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, a brotherhood with a more pronounced Christian mystical belief system. Williams joined him there. The Fellowship continued until Waite’s death.
A.E. Waite: Magician of Many Parts by R.A. Gilbert
In this only book-length consideration of Waite’s life and work, learn about the man and his relationship with and impact upon Charles Williams.
Shadows of Life and Thought: A Retrospective Review in the Form of Memoirs by A.E. Waite
In this autobiography, Waite reveals the history and form of his thought and beliefs, with little given beyond the basic details of his daily life.
R. A. Gilbert, ‘Waite, Arthur Edward (1857–1942)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/view/article/53860, accessed 14 April 2014]
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