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Pamela Colman Smith

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra View Post
If she had a long-time companion in Nora Lake, I wonder why in her old age she's always described as "lonely."
The editors of The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats gave one reason why she lost her former friends. the note on PCS says

"In later life she took to drink, and embarrased her friends over a series of unpaid loans" (vol.III, p.251n).

I don't know where the editors got the suggestion or impression about her drinking from (probably from the letters of her friends), but it's a sad story.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roppo View Post
The editors of The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats gave one reason why she lost her former friends. the note on PCS says

"In later life she took to drink, and embarrased her friends over a series of unpaid loans" (vol.III, p.251n).

I don't know where the editors got the suggestion or impression about her drinking from (probably from the letters of her friends), but it's a sad story.
This seems strange since she left London soon after the war to run a retreat for priests. I wonder where the editors got this tidbit, as it hasn't turned up anywhere else that I know of.
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I've never heard that either but I wouldn't rule it out. Running a retreat for priests doesn't, of itself, rule out the possibility of alcohol. Priest themselves are often secret alcoholics or drug addicts. For me the jury's still out pending more evidence.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
The original GD fractured and split into several different groupsóeach of which kept a low profile and no, they weren't a fraternal organization like the Freemasonsówith permanent lodge building and charities that were supported. I believe their only permanent temple building was in New Zealand, with Felkins' off-shoot. Most of the GD groups died out during one or the other of the World Wars, with only a few people holding onto papers and regalia.
I didn't mean like the Freemason's in permanent buildings, I meant like Freemason's as in looking after each other or fraternity. The founders of the Golden Dawn were Freemasons and there is a huge amount of Freemason symbolism in the Rider Waite deck as Waite was of course, a Freemason. It (GD)differed to Freemasonary in that women were not excluded and it was for the purpose of magic/mystisism. Temples rather than Lodges were opened throughout Britain and Continental Europe. Freemason's swear by their fraternal code and since the three founders of the Golden Dawn were Free Masons and the Golden Dawn follows a similar hierarchy, it would not be beyond belief that they would also have had such a fraternal code.

Quote:
As someone mentioned, Pixie left the GD and most of her friends to become a staunch Catholic.
I'm not sure that Colman leaving the Golden Dawn and her Catholic conversion go hand in hand. She may have left the Golden Dawn because it fell to pieces. Her Catholic conversion may have come later.

I'm wondering if her so called "staunch Catholicism" was in part due to a need for an order of faith and possibly due to mental illness. It is said that she suffered from depression and other illnesses. This would in part explain the last 35 years of her life spent in comparative isolation and obscurity. Religious fanaticism is such a part of mental health problems as to be almost cliche.
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[QUOTE=caridwen;2842002]I meant like Freemason's as in looking after each other or fraternity.[quote]
I thought you were asking why didn't they help keep Pixie from being poor and 'alone.' I assumed that would take quite a bit of money to help not only Pixie but other poor and aging former members of splinter groups within the GD. I mention the Freemason's buildings, because generally it takes monetary resources to be able to care for the needy - like the Freemasons sometimes have done - in part because they have quite extensive holdings. The GD was a small order in which most members never went beyond the first initiations. The breakup was acrimonious and many members resigned and walked away from all further involvement. It never occurred to me that they 'should' seek out Pixie to take care of her.

Could you explain what you mean by being 'fraternal' and 'looking after each other'? Are fraternal societies expected to take a former member into their own homes if that person became mentally or physically ill or too elderly to care for themselves? Who decides which person(s) would take on this burden? In a fraternal organization, would someone be expected to leave their own home in London and move to Bude, Cornwall to look after an elderly woman? Remember they had just been through two world wars with tremendous destruction and hardship for all the British people.

We all wish Melinda Parsons would publish Pixie's biography, but it also helps to read a lot about the period and the lives of other people. There are many books on the Golden Dawn, including my own: Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses.
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Quote:
I thought you were asking why didn't they help keep Pixie from being poor and 'alone.'
Not particularly. I was wondering why she was dumped on top of a bunch of other paupers in an unmarked grave because after her debts were cleared, there was no money for a grave or coffin. She didn't even have a memorial service and all her personal belongs, letters, manuscripts, art etc was sold off to pay for her debts.

Quote:
I assumed that would take quite a bit of money to help not only Pixie but other poor and aging former members of splinter groups within the GD. I mention the Freemason's buildings, because generally it takes monetary resources to be able to care for the needy - like the Freemasons sometimes have done - in part because they have quite extensive holdings. The GD was a small order in which most members never went beyond the first initiations. The breakup was acrimonious and many members resigned and walked away from all further involvement. It never occurred to me that they 'should' seek out Pixie to take care of her.
Freemasons swear an oath of fraternity. They help each other out. They don't normally seek each other out and act as carers, however if one was unemployed for example or needed a loan in order to start a business, other Freemasons may as an act of 'brotherhood' loan them money and send business their way in order to get their business up and running.

I am aware that in comparison to the Freemasons which has been running since the 14 Century at least, the Golden Dawn was relatively new. However, its members were often famous artists or rich Victorians many of whom, were Freemasons who have an extensive core network.

Quote:
Could you explain what you mean by being 'fraternal' and 'looking after each other'?
Of course. Fraternal means a 'brotherhood'. Frater is Latin for brother. To treat someone else as your own brother. A fraternity is a group of people who get together for mutual benefit. The benefit of the group depends upon the reason for the foundation of the organisation.

Quote:
Are fraternal societies expected to take a former member into their own homes if that person became mentally or physically ill or too elderly to care for themselves? Who decides which person(s) would take on this burden?
That would depend upon why the fraternal organisation was formed. If a group of people got together in order to mutually care for each other when one or the other got ill, then yes. I suppose the people who start the fraternity decide who does what, if that is their sole cause.

Quote:
In a fraternal organization, would someone be expected to leave their own home in London and move to Bude, Cornwall to look after an elderly woman? Remember they had just been through two world wars with tremendous destruction and hardship for all the British people.
I was not really talking about people moving from the comfort of their own homes, into the home of an 'old woman' and caring for her. As you can see from my actual post, that isn't what I said. The Freemasons swear an oath to help each other, to treat each other as brothers. So for example, if one of the Freemasons was too poor to eat, the others might rally around, find them work or help them start a business or lend them money for food until they got back on their feet.

Since the Golden Dawn were in fact a fraternity in a similar vein to the Freemasons it would not be uncommon if they helped a fellow Golden Dawn member out. That does not necessarily mean moving in with said member and acting as a round the clock carer but in other ways.

Being English I am aware of the costs of war, the recession that followed and the hardship. However, my remarks were mainly concerning her burial in a paupers' grave. Obviously I should have made that clearer. I was also surprised that, having belonged to a fraternal organisation, she was left to eke out a destitute existence and more help either in kind or some other way wasn't forthcoming.

Here are the questions I asked in my original post:

Does anyone know if she fell out with the Golden Dawn a la Crowley or did they just conveniently forget about her?

I wanted to know what happened to her association with the Golden Dawn and more importantly Waite. We know she joined the Order in 1901 and the Waite deck was produced in 1909 so that is at least eight years that we know she was in the order or its various factions. Waite continued in various off shoots of the Golden Dawn and continued to write and research mysticism until his death.

Does anyone have any more information on her life apart from this

I wanted to know if there was any more information on her life apart from the quote I provided and I also wanted to know if anyone knew of a decent biography.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caridwen View Post
Not particularly. I was wondering why she was dumped on top of a bunch of other paupers in an unmarked grave because after her debts were cleared, there was no money for a grave or coffin.
But she wasn't. I wish I could find that ****ing post....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caridwen View Post
its members were often famous artists or rich Victorians many of whom, were Freemasons who have an extensive core network.
The only really weathy member they had was Annie Horniman (whose funds were limited). She helped support the Matherses for many years, but she left the order firmly behind in the early 1900s. Yeats later became famous, but I don't think he was ever really wealthy. He died before PCS. Reports during the GD heyday speak of the members as middle class, and there were regular squabbles over the money asked for dues (most of which was sent to the Matherses in Paris).

Quote:
The Freemasons swear an oath to help each other, to treat each other as brothers. So for example, if one of the Freemasons was too poor to eat, the others might rally around, find them work or help them start a business or lend them money for food until they got back on their feet.
The GD was not this kind of a fraternal organization. They came together to do magic, and most left the GD, which mostly went into abeyance as far as public knowledge of them went (a few groups continued to exist quietly with only a couple of members each) - except for the New Zealand lodge which has its own history.

Melinda Boyd Parsons has written an extensive biography of PCS, but has been unable to get it published.
Top   #18
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Frank Jensen's online article/biography of PCS is good too


http://www.scribd.com/doc/9915943/Th...Tarot-Editions

http://www.manteia-online.dk/frame-8-grey.htm

RWCarter's wonderful indexing of forum topics is a good search on many discussions if you want to take a few hours...look at the topic Pamela Colman Smith.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...3&postcount=21

I hope that the suggestions above help somewhat. I did find other texts writing about artists of the time an eye opener, saddening...especially when I read how Alfred Stieglitz's idealization of a 'naive child woman' in Modernism and the Feminine Voice (Kathleen Pyne) depicted how an art patron might pick a 'new voice/artist' and then just move on...

For about ten years in New York and London--say about 1899 to 1910-ish, we can find snippets/announcements she was in various articles or papers such as The Lamp (Scribner and Sons) when her publications from the Broad Sheet, Green Sheaf, Russian Ballet and Annuncy Stories or her storytelling miniature theatre work was 'a fashion' or coming out. Otherwise things such as her book design, the synthesia or her work around world war I or women's rights to vote...all scattered here and there.

For further suggestions...

And yes, I did enjoy and continue to enjoy reading more about her in other texts such as "Women of the Golden Dawn" (Mary Greer) and "History of the Occult Tarot/Wicked Pack of Cards" (Decker, Dummett and Depaulis).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Colman_Smith

Best wishes,

Cerulean







Quote:
Originally Posted by caridwen View Post

Here are the questions I asked in my original post:

Does anyone know if she fell out with the Golden Dawn a la Crowley or did they just conveniently forget about her?

I wanted to know what happened to her association with the Golden Dawn and more importantly Waite. We know she joined the Order in 1901 and the Waite deck was produced in 1909 so that is at least eight years that we know she was in the order or its various factions. Waite continued in various off shoots of the Golden Dawn and continued to write and research mysticism until his death.

Does anyone have any more information on her life apart from this

I wanted to know if there was any more information on her life apart from the quote I provided and I also wanted to know if anyone knew of a decent biography.
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Crowley had a lot of cash. According to him in his Confessions, at one point he offered to put everything he had unreservedly at Mathers' disposal in exchange for access to the "Secret Chiefs." Mathers graciously accepted. But their cozy relationship didn't last long and they ended up putting curses on each other.
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