A Cure for Disenchantment: Smaragdum Thalasses Temple, Havelock North, New Zealand
- Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 9, Number 2, 2020
- pp. 267-298
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Between 1912 and 1978, the Smaragdum Thalasses Temple of the Order of the Stella Matutina (an offshoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) operated in Havelock North, New Zealand. Located beneath the heritage listed Whare Ra, or “House of the Sun,” this occult secret society studied and performed ceremonial magic for the purpose of spiritual enlightenment. This article explores the uncharacteristic longevity of the group, focusing on its timely arrival as an expression of the spiritual “third way,” its roots in a cultural movement called the Havelock Work, its unique temple space, and the supernatural contacts of its founders, Robert and Harriet Felkin. Analysis of primary source material drawn from private collections and independent publications sheds light on the little-known history of occultism in New Zealand.