Israel Regardie

Francis Israel Regardie (November 17, 1907 – March 10, 1985) was an occultist, writer, and a personal secretary to Aleister Crowley. A prolific author, he published multiple works on magick, including The Tree of Life, The Middle Pillar, and the infamous Crowley biography The Eye in the Triangle. He also released the comprehensive, eponymous work 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 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 showed immense respect for his work in his own writings, the two had a falling out in 1932, and there is no evidence that their relationship was ever reconciled.

A Probationer of the A∴A∴ under Crowley, Regardie went on to take Gerald Suster as his 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, a.k.a. Soror Meral, corresponded with Regardie and sought his advice regarding her own work in A∴A∴, though Regardie insisted that he was not qualified to instruct her further. Through these letters, the two became close friends. 

Regardie was first a member of the Societas Rosicruciana in America, the Golden Dawn successor Stella Matutina. He then became a member of the A∴A∴ and later, a IX° of the O.T.O.

Regardie, who taught psychiatry at 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. He went 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 now included on the A∴A∴ Student reading list of multiple groups, and his work is considered indispensable by many modern magicians and practical occultists.

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.