Whare Ra was a far flung branch of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which was established by one of its later chiefs, Dr. Robert William Felkin in New Zealand.
Felkin was the head of the Stella Matutina and created two orders in New Zealand, Whare Ra, which is Maori for house of the Sun and the Order of the Table Round.Although the order was known and Whare Ra, its actual name was The Smaragdum Thallesses Temple, H:.O:.49 of the Order of the Stella Matutina. Later as the break-up of the Stella Matutina took place, the Order separated itself from that organisation and called itself the Order of Smaragdum Thallesses. Nothing was changed in the original rituals or teaching.The order built a magnificent house in Havelock North which served as its headquarters and ritual base. The house, designed by one of the more famous members, J.W.Chapman-Taylor, still stands.The group was extremely successful and had a large number of high profile members including politicians, Bishops and dignitories. It was also a hot house of esoteric teaching over a long period of time.After Felkin's death, the Order continued under the control of his wife and daughters.In 1963, the head of another Golden Dawn offshoot Builders of the Adytum, Anne Davies tried to merge Whare Ra with her organisation. Although she attracted a large number of Whare Ra members, many belonged to both groups, and Whare Ra continued.However, by 1970 it was clear that Whare Ra was a spent force and it was decided by the chiefs of the order to shut down the group, sell its temple and invest in a New Age centre in Taupo. On 28 August 1978 a letter was circulated to members from which announced the closure:
" ... Those of you who have been present at the recent Equinox ceremonies will sure have been aware, not only of the lack of numbers, but also the lack of power in the temple. Those who have read their annual reports can scarcely have failed to notice that no new members have been admitted since 1975. Indeed there have been no grade ceremonies at all for the last two years or more. ..."
Much to the regret of many esoteric historians they burnt most of the group's regalia and teachings and records. Fortunately, some things survived, including the temple's pillars, and many copies of the handwritten study notes of the various members have been found and preserved.
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Be sure to check out the Golden Dawn Whare Ra Pentagram Ritual. Click here.