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Edward W. Berridge

c.1843-1923

by Ithel Colquhoun

From external link Ithel ColquhounThe Sword of Wisdom MacGregor Mathers & the Golden Dawn G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1975, pp.148-9

He qualified as a medical doctor in London and as a Homoeopathist in the U.S.A., and wrote a text-book on Homoeopathic remedies.  He practised medicine of both traditions in London for many years, and was thought by some Golden Dawn members to be experimenting in Alchemy as well.

He is interesting for the 'trantrik' leanings consequent upon his admiration for the transatlantic Utopian, Thomas Lake Harris (c.1823-83) who, from being a minister of the Universal Church in America, became successively a follower of Andrew Jackson Davis, Swedenborgian and a 'Spiritualist'. In the 1850's he returned to England as a Swedenborgian missionary and founded the Brotherhood of the New Life, which was Adventist in inspiration and sought the 'reorganisation of the industrial world'. After his return to the United States and the failure of several of his communities, he devoted himself to esoteric studies. His psycho-sexual theory and practice, which included Karezza - prolonged intercourse without ejaculation - particularly interested Dr. Berridge for both occult and social reasons.

Berridge annoyed Annie Horniman by his advocacy of such ideas in the Golden Dawn context and she tried to insist that Mathers should check him, but her threats ended in her own expulsion. The quirky Doctor was not Isis- Urania's best liked member but he was among its most loyal: he never wavered in support of its rightful Chief; after the Schism he founded, under Mathers's direction the Isis Temple in West London which worked the original rituals up to the Second Order, so he must have built a Vault. His Temple continued until 1913 at least, when it seems possible that it was merged with the A:.O:. started by Brodie-Innes - though this is speculation.

To Berridge's Temple rallied all the London members who supported Mathers, including Crowley. He was later to libel Berridge in his Confessions, and with the horrible caricature of 'Dr Balloch" in Moonchild.


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Regular Orders Deriving from Isis Urania no.3 Regular and Dissident Orders Deriving from Isis Urania no.3


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page uploaded 11 March 2000