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Hargrave Jennings's Biography (Books)

Hargrave Jennings (1817-1890) was a British Freemason, Cleric, Rosicrucian, author on occultism and esotericism, and amateur student of comparative religion. played an important role in the development of Western interest in sex magic during the Victorian era.

In several voluminous works, Jennings developed the theory that the origin of all religion is to be sought in phallic worship of the Sun and fire, which he properly called "phallism."

In addition to the works to which he affixed his own name, Jennings is thought by some researchers to have written a number of anonymous volumes in the privately printed "Nature Worship and Mystical Series" series, and possibly also to have written under the pseudonym "Sha Rocco."

As Jennings made clear in several of his books, he used the word "phallic" in its non-gendered sense, meaning "having to do with the sexual organs"; thus he included worship of the female genitalia under the heading of "phallic." In later editions he reluctantly acceded to popular (although incorrect) usage and called his subject "phallicism."

Jennings seems to have become a member of some branch of the Rosicrucian Order around 1860 e.v. (possibly at the hand of Kenneth R. H. McKenzie), and appears to have initiated Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875) into the same Order. Randolph was a noted medium, healer, occultist and author of his day, and counted among his other personal friends Abraham Lincoln, Kenneth R. H. McKenzie, Eliphas Levi, Napoleon III, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and General Ethan Allen Hitchcock. Randolph later founded one of the more well-known branches of the Rosicrucian Order in America. Randolph's Order claimed descent from the Rosicrucian Order (by charter of the "Supreme Grand Lodge of France"), and taught spiritual healing, western occultism and principals of race regeneration through the spirtualization of sex. Randolph referred to Jennings as "the chief Rosicrucian of all England," and quoted extensively from Jennings's works.

Jennings also served as one of the mentors of Peter Davidson (1842-1916), frontal chief of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor (H.B. of L.) The Hermetic Brotherhood was a mystical society which surfaced publicly in England in 1884 under the auspices of Max Theon (AKA Louis-Maximilian Bimstein, 1850-1927). The origins of the H.B. of L. are unclear, but there is some evidence linking it with the Brotherhood of Luxor, which was involved in the founding of the Theosophical Society; with the 18th century German Rosicrucian splinter group known as the Fratres Lucis; and with the latter's 19th century English spiritualist namesake. Born in Poland, Theon travelled widely in his youth. In Cairo, he became a student of a Coptic magician named Paulos Metamon. According to Davidson, he came to England in 1870, where he and Davidson established an "Outer Circle" of the H.B. of L. They were joined in 1883 by Thomas H. Burgoyne (AKA Thomas Dalton, 1855-1895), who later wrote a book summarizing the basic teachings of the H.B. of L., titled The Light of Egypt. The function of this "Outer Circle" of the H.B. of L. was to offer a correspondence course on practical occultism; which set it apart from the Theosophical Society. Its curriculum included a number of selections from the writings of Hargrave Jennings and P.B. Randolph.

Books by Hargrave Jennings


* "Indian Religions, or Results of the Mysterious Buddhism" (1858)
* "Curious Things of the Outside World: Last Fire" (1861)
* "The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries" (1870)
* "Live Lights and Dead Lights" (1873)
* "One of the Thirty, a Strange History" (1873)
* "The Obelisk: Notices of the Origin, Purpose and History of Obelisks" (1877)
* "Childishness and Brutality of the Time" (1883)
* "Phallicism, Celestial and Terrestrial, Heathen and Christian" (1884)
* "Charon: Sermons from the Styx: a Posthumous Work by Frederick the Great" (1886).