William Wynn Westcott - The Sepher Yetzirah (147.0 Kb)
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The Sepher Yetzirah is one of the most famous of the ancientQabalistic texts. It was first put into writing around 200 C.E. WestcottTranslation of the Sepher Yetzirah was a primary source for the rituals andKnowledge Lectures of the Golden Dawn. This is the Third Edition ofWestcott's translation, first published in 1887. A Fourth Revised Edition ofthe Sepher Yetzirah by Darcy Kuntz, complete with Hebrew text, notes andbibliography, is available from Holmes Publishing Group, P.O. 623, Edmonds,WA 98020. The "Sepher Yetzir... More >>>
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The Sepher Yetzirah is one of the most famous of the ancient
Qabalistic texts. It was first put into writing around 200 C.E. Westcott
Translation of the Sepher Yetzirah was a primary source for the rituals and
Knowledge Lectures of the Golden Dawn. This is the Third Edition of
Westcott's translation, first published in 1887. A Fourth Revised Edition of
the Sepher Yetzirah by Darcy Kuntz, complete with Hebrew text, notes and
bibliography, is available from Holmes Publishing Group, P.O. 623, Edmonds,
The "Sepher Yetzirah," or "Book of Formation," is perhaps the oldest
Rabbinical treatise of Kabalistic philosophy which is still extant. The great
interest which has been evinced of late years in the Hebrew Kabalah, and
the modes of thought and doctrine allied to it, has induced me to translate
this tractate from the original Hebrew texts, and to collate with them the
Latin versions of mediaeval authorities and the author also published An
Introduction to the Kabalah which may be found useful to students.
The "Sepher Yetzirah," although this name means "The Book of Formation," is
not in any sense a narrative of Creation, or a substitute Genesis, but is an
ancient and instructive philosophical treatise upon one aspect of the origin
of the universe and mankind an aspect at once archaic and essentially
Hebrew. The grouping of the processes of origin into an arrangement, at
once alphabetic and numeral, is one only to be found in Semitic authors.
William Wynn Westcott (November 17, 1848 - July 30, 1925) was a British esotericist, coroner, ceremonial magician, and Freemason. A doctor of medicine by profession, he became active in Freemasonry in 1871, becoming Master of his home Lodge in 1874 and later also of the prestigious Quatuor Coronati research lodge, as well as achieving other Masonic distinctions.
He studied the Kabbalah and by 1880 became active in the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia before co-founding the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers in 1887. By then he was also active in the Theosophical Society. He devised and organized the Golden Dawn's rituals with Mathers and William Robert Woodman, who preceded him as Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A. and like Westcott was one of the foremost exponents of Hermeticism of the time. In 1896, he abandoned public involvement with the Golden Dawn due to pressure regarding his job as a Crown Coroner, with which it was seen as an unseemly association. He continued to head the S.R.I.A. and later was involved with the Golden Dawn breakaway Stella Matutina.