A.E. Waite

Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942)Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942) was an American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, including divination, esotericism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, ceremonial magic, Kabbalism, the holy grail, and alchemy. He is probably best known now as the co-creator of the Rider-Waite tarot deck.


Shortly after joining the Second Order of the Golden Dawn in 1899, he became a Freemason and received the Rectified Scottish Rite and its grade of Chevalier Bienfaisant. Waite believed that the Rectified Scottish Rite, more than any other Masonic Rite, represented the "Secret Tradition" of mystical spiritual illumination.

In 1915, one year after leaving the Golden Dawn due to internal feuding, he formed the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, not to be confused with the Societas Rosicruciana. By that time there existed some half-dozen offshoots from the original Golden Dawn, and as a whole it never recovered.

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