Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie (Francis Israel Regardie; November 17, 1907 – March 10, 1985) was an Anglo-American occultist, writer, and personal secretary to Aleister Crowley. Author of multiple works on magick and the occult including “The Tree of Life,” “The Middle Pillar,” and “A Garden of Pomegranates,” Regardie, published a comprehensive eponymous work on the “The Golden Dawn” – much to the chagrin of members of that order – bringing to light the occult organization’s secrets and ceremonies with the goal of preserving them for all time.

Born in London, England to Ukrainian orthodox Jewish immigrants, Regardie would develop a deep interest in the Qabalah, and the Western and Eastern mysteries. Regardie reached out to Crowley after reading Book 4, and by Crowley’s invitation in 1928, went to England to serve as Crowley’s personal secretary. Though Regardie studied under Crowley and shows immense respect for his work in his own writings, the two had a falling out in 1932, and there is no evidence that their their relationship was ever reconciled.

A Probationer of the A∴A∴ under Crowley, Regardie went on to take Gerald Suster as his own A∴A∴ student. As one of the last living individuals to have studied directly under Crowley, Regardie’s magical ability and knowledge of occultism was respected and sought after by serious magicians and Thelemites all his life. Phyllis Seckler, Soror Meral, sought his correspondence and instruction for her own A∴A∴ work, though Regardie insisted in letters that he was not qualified to instruct her further.

Regardie was a member of Societas Rosicruciana in America, the Golden Dawn successor Stella Matutina, a member of the A∴A∴, and a Ninth Degree member of the O.T.O. A prolific author, he also authored an early biography of Crowley – “The Eye in the Triangle.”

Regardie, who taught psychiatry at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, was a proponent of the chiropractic movement and psychoanalysis – with an interest in Reichian, Jungian, and Freudian psychology. Regardie placed a heavy emphasis on the role of psychology in the life of the magician, going so far as to insist in his work “The Middle Pillar”, that a foundation in psychology was necessary for a proper working of magick. Regardie’s work is included on the A∴A∴ Student reading list of multiple schools, and his work is considered indispensable to the modern magician or practical occultist.

Regardie retired from chiropractic and psychiatric work in 1981, moving to Sedona, Arizona where he spent the remainder of his days. He died of a heart attack on March 10, 1985 aged 77.