Arthur Machen and the Occult

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Order of the Twilight Star website was recently brought up on Thomas Ligotti Online, and is easily one of the best I've found discussing Arthur Machen's real life occult connections. Despite the website's dated look, it contains a small treasury of scholarly observations and speculations on the weird writer's involvement with certain underground rituals and beliefs of his day. Machen's time in the Golden Dawn is a well documented fact that still raises the eyebrows of many readers of his weird fiction today.

Beyond merely being interesting, however, the high probability that Machen inserted symbols and other bits of the 19th century mystical order deserves attention. Luckily, the Order of the Twilight Star site does an excellent job of summarizing Machen's known activities with the Golden Dawn, and highlights some well warranted curiosities in his fiction derived from the group. The question of how thorough the Golden Dawn's influence is in Machen's work remains unsolved, and not terribly well studied. Perhaps drudging up older websites like the Order of the Twilight Star can help direct new energy from Machen enthusiasts into studying this bizarre link between fact and fiction.

-Grim Blogger

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