Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order
Magical organization
A magical organization is an organization created for the practice of magic or to further the knowledge of magic among its members. "Magic" in this case refers to occult, metaphysical and paranormal activities, not to the performance of stage magic...

 active in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which practiced theurgy
Theurgy describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action or evoking the presence of one or more gods, especially with the goal of uniting with the divine, achieving henosis, and perfecting oneself.- Definitions :*Proclus...

 and spiritual development. It has been one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.

Concepts of magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 and ritual at the center of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca
Wicca , is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica."...

 and Thelema
Thelema is a religious philosophy that was established, defined and developed by the early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley. He believed himself to be the prophet of a new age, the Æon of Horus, based upon a religious experience that he had in Egypt in 1904...

, were inspired by the Golden Dawn.

The three founders, William Robert Woodman
William Robert Woodman
Dr. William Robert Woodman , one of three co-founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.-Early years:Woodman was born in England in 1828. He studied medicine and was licensed in...

, William Wynn Westcott
William Wynn Westcott
William Wynn Westcott was a coroner, ceremonial magician, and Freemason born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England...

, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers , born Samuel Liddell Mathers, was one of the most influential figures in modern Occultism...

 were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia is a Masonic esoteric Christian order formed by Robert Wentworth Little in 1865, although some sources acknowledge the date to be 1866-67. Members are confirmed from the ranks of subscribing Master Masons of a Grand Lodge in amity with United Grand Lodge of...