The Order of Ancient Mysteries was an occult organization founded by Roderick Burgess in the early 20th century. Burgess named himself grand magus of the Order and it served as a foil against contemporaries such as Aleister Crowley and his Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Order was based out of Burgess' home Fawny Rig in Wych Cross, Sussex, England. In June of 1916, Burgess acquired a powerful mystic tome known as the Magdalene Grimoire. With it, he sought to gain power by using it to summon and capture the very personification of Death. The Order conducted an elaborate ritual, invoking the names of various old lords such as Namtar, Allatu, Morax, Naberius, Klesh, Vepar, Maymon, Ashema-Deva, Maborym and Horvendile. The Order failed to summon Death, but instead succeeded in capturing Death's younger sibling, Dream. Burgess knew immediately that his order had not captured Death, but he did recognize their prize as one of an immortal host of cosmic beings known as the Endless. The Order bound Dream inside of a mystic circle and contained his corporeal form beneath a large glass dome in the cellar at Fawny Rig. They tried to force him to do their bidding, but failed in every attempt. Dream sat silently in his glass cell, patiently waiting for the day that he might be free.
In 1930, a schism within the Order caused a major split in the ranks. Burgess' second-in-command, Ruthven Sykes, betrayed his oath and left Wych Cross, stealing a large sum of money, as well as several mystical artifacts that had been found on Dream’s person. Burgess' mistress, Ethel Cripps ran away with Sykes and lived with him for several more years.
In 1947, Roderick Burgess passed away from old age, and his son Alexander took control of the Order. Alex was well schooled in the occult, but was not nearly the practitioner that his father was. Alex met a man named Paul McGuire and the two became close friends, perhaps even lovers. Paul served as Alex's second in the Order of Ancient Mysteries.
By the 1960s, the Order of Ancient Mysteries was but a shadow of its former self. Alex and Paul turned away from Black Magic and focused on more esoteric schools of thought, such as asceticism, yoga, meditation and karma. The Order became little more than an offshoot of the Sixties hippie counterculture and a means of earning revenue for both Alex and Paul.
By 1970, inclusion in the Order became less attractive and Alex's followers began to abandon him. It wasn't long before the occult circle dissolved completely. But for the imprisoned Dream King still sitting quietly in the cellar, Alex and Paul were alone at Fawny Rig.
- The Order of Ancient Mysteries is loosely based on Aleister Crowley and his Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
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Links and References
- 4 Appearances of Order of Ancient Mysteries
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- Organization Gallery: Order of Ancient Mysteries