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Gareth Knight

leading contemporary authority on the magical applications of the Kabbalah, Gareth Knight was born in Colchester, England, in 1930. He had an interest in psychic matters from early childhood, and in 1953 he enrolled on the study course of the Society of the Inner Light, the London-based esoteric school founded by Dion Fortune. Working his way quickly through the grades, he was initiated into the Greater Mysteries in 1959 and became the Society's librarian. During this time he undertook the research which led to the publication of A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism in 1965, drawn mainly from unpublished material in the Society's archives.

In 1962 he began editing an occult magazine, New Dimensions, which published his own articles and archive material by Dion Fortune. He was becoming increasingly unhappy with the direction the Society of the Inner Light was taking at that time, and resigned in 1965. He moved to Gloucestershire and co-founded a small publishing venture, Helios Books, and together with W.E. Butler founded a correspondence course in Qabalah which in 1973 was relaunched as the Servants of the Light. Within a very short time he met Anthony Duncan, a young Christian priest, whose ideas on Christian spirituality were to cross-fertilise with Knight's ideas on Qabalah and magic. This resulted in two significant books - The Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic by Anthony Duncan and Experience of the Inner Worlds by Gareth Knight.

His two-volume work A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism is a standard work in the occult field and is used as a text book in the SOL First Degree Correspondence Course.

In 1973 Gareth Knight founded a new esoteric school, based on the original principles of the Society of the Inner Light. Its members were gleaned from the regular attenders of Knight's lectures at Hawkwood College in Gloucestershire, and it quickly became a firmly established and fully contacted Order. The lectures and private Group meetings continued to gather pace throughout the 1970s, with prospective new members being trained by correspondence course. New Dimensions magazine was relaunched in 1973 and ran for a further three years, after which it was replaced by a new magazine, Quadriga, which was circulated to students on the course. In 1976 Knight was awarded an honorary Humanities Doctorate by the Sangreal Foundation, Dallas, Texas, "in recognition of distinguished attainments", and the award of Outstanding Humanitarian for 1976. At the same time he was appointed Consultant in Archetypal Symbolism to the C.G.Jung Institute, Dallas.

As the Gareth Knight Group began to work at progressively higher levels, the decision was taken to close the teaching aspect and concentrate on becoming a working unit. Annual 'public' meetings continued to be held at Hawkwood College, and Knight began lecturing further afield in France, Greece and the USA. He set up a Tarot correspondence course in 1987, which was later published as The Magical World of the Tarot. An invitation came from the Society of the Inner Light in 1991 to edit Dion Fortune's war letters for publication, and this sparked off some ground-breaking new work in the mediation of inner plane communication.

More of Dion Fortune's unpublished material (An Introduction to Ritual Magic) was released from the Society's archive in 1997, and this time Knight was asked to write a companion chapter for each of Dion Fortune's own chapters -- constituting a unique collaboration between two of the leading esoteric authorities of the 20th century. The following year he was invited to re-join the Society of the Inner Light, to assist with internal restructuring. In 1999 the Gareth Knight Group split into two separate groups: the Avalon Group and the Companions of the Inner Abbey.



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