Brodie-Innes, J. W.

Brodie-Innes, J. W. (1848–1923) Scottish occultist, lawyer, and author, noted for his involvement in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawnand the Theosophical Society.

John Williams Brodie-Innes was born in Morayshire, Scotland. He went to Cambridge to study law and then went to Edinburgh to practice as a lawyer after graduation. He participated in Masonic and occult activities in Edinburgh, and in 1884 he founded the Scottish Lodge of the Theosophical Society, of which he became president.

In 1890, Brodie-Innes joined the Golden Dawn, whose magical motto was Sub Spe, “With hope.” By 1893, he was Adeptus Minor and had founded the Amen-Ra Temple of the order in Edinburgh. When the Golden Dawn broke apart around the turn of the 20th century, BrodieInnes sided with SamuelLiddelMacgregorMathers. He worked to save the Amen-Ra Temple by joining it to Golden Dawn splinter orders—first the Stella Maututina and then the Alpha et Omega.

In 1911, Brodie-Innes became president of the Sette of Odde Volumes, a bibliophile group in London.

Brodie-Innes’s occult interests extended to witchcraft , Gypsy lore, Celtic lore, and mystical Christianity. He wrote several novels on witchcraft and magic. His book on Christian mysticism, The True Church of Christ, was published in 1893. He also wrote numerous articles on occultism.

According to some sources, he taught Dion Fortune how to use occult power. In turn, Fortune used him as the model for her soul doctor in her fictional work The Secrets of Dr. Tavener (1926). Other sources say that the model was Dr. Theodore Moriarty, an occultist and fellow Mason with whom Fortune studied.


  • Gilbert, R.A., ed. The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Unknown Hermetic Writings of S. L. MacGregor Mathers and J. W. Brodie-Innes. Wellingborough, England: Aquarian Press, 1983.
  • Richardson, Alan. Priestess: The Life and Magic of Dion Fortune. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press, 1987.

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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