Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wanted! Author Known To Be Engaging In Occult Activities ...

I received some reader feedback recently regarding a comment I made in this post regarding children's author P. L. Travers. I had read quite some time ago - possibly in the edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica at my parents house - that P. L. Travers was a member of a well-known occult organisation, which from memory I thought to be The Golden Dawn.

It turns out that there are a number of links on the web implicating P. L. Travers in The Golden Dawn, but nothing that proves she was involved.

So I thought I'd throw the question open to readers, who may be familiar with a good biography of Travers; readers who may be aware of secret occult messages hidden in her children's books; or readers who can fill us in on the history of The Golden Dawn.



Information regarding a notorious children's author's involvement in early-twentieth century occult organisation The Golden Dawn

- Name: Helen Goff
- AKA P. L. Travers
- Author of Mary Poppins books
- Author of a biography of occultist
G.I. Gurdjieff
- Was known to have met poet and
Golden Dawn member W B Yeats.

What proof do we have that P. L. Travers was actively involved in The Golden Dawn organisation?
Who knows how many spiritualist messages could be hiding in the outwardly simple, naive 'Mary Poppins' stories?


At 7:22 PM, Blogger Mobius said...

meh -- the golden dawn was nothing more than the scientology of its day. in fact, l. ron hubbard stole his whole shtick from his former flatmate who was an initiate of israel regardie's golden dawn offshoot.

being all freaked out about mary poppins is no different than being freaked out that mission impossible contains secret messages, or the latest beck album.

they like to put their messages out there in the open. case in point -- john travolta's phenomenon.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Kate S. said...

I don't think that P.L. Travers was ever a member of The Golden Dawn but she certainly hung about with various people associated with it when she moved from Australia to Britain and they deepened her interest in fairy tales and mythology, and got her interested in spiritualism and eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. I think that the latter proved a more enduring influence on her and her work than did spiritualism. Later in her life she fell under the influence of gurus like Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti. She was open to all manner of mystical and religious influences.

She didn't conceal the fact that all of those influences found their way into her work. She viewed Mary Poppins as a mystical character and didn't think of her writing as children's writing at all though she was happy to have children read it. This is one of the reasons that she so hated the saccharine Disney version of Mary Poppins.

There's a very good biography of her titled Out of the Sky She Came: The Extraordinary Life of P.L. Travers, Creator of Mary Poppins by Valerie Lawson and also a collection of essays devoted to her and her work titled Lively Oracle: A Centennial Celebration of P.L. Travers Creator of Mary Poppins edited by Ellen Dooling Draper and Jenny Koralek. There are many fascinating details on these questions to be found in both.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger TimT said...

Wow, thanks guys!


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