Alfred Ronald Heaver in Glastonbury and London

An edited preview of excerpts from the new expanded edition of :

The Hidden Adept and the Inward Vision, a biography of the life and work of Alfred Ronald Heaver (1900-1980). By R.J. Stewart 2012 (1st ed) & 2022.

The difference between Alfred Ronald Heaver’s published articles in the archly-conservative pro-imperialist British Israelite magazines of the period, and his private sacromagical notes, letters, and occasional teachings, is significant and startling.(see Excerpts 8/10/11/12)


1. In London and Jerusalem World War II

2. Preventing the Triumph of Apollyon

3. British Israel, The Empire, and Royal Sponsorship

4. The British-Israel influence on 20th century New Age Glastonbury

5. Alfred Ronald Heaver, the Last Decades, and the True War

6. Glastonbury and Jerusalem together

7. The Inward and Outward forces

8. The Published work of A.R.Heaver

9. The Confluence of the Arimathean and Arthurian Traditions

10. Organism and Organisation: the Attunement of the Sanctuary of Avalon

11. Published and unpublished, exoteric and esoteric

12. The New Order


Alfred Ronald Heaver (A.R.H.) experienced and gradually came to embody profound cultural changes that were synchronistic with his eighty years of life. Born in 1900 when the British Empire was still a powerful world force, he experienced its increasingly rapid decline and fall; by 1980 when he died, it had effectively ceased to exist. His adult years were deeply occupied in what would appear, at first, to be an extremely conservative, imperialistic, religiously eccentric, yet profoundly mystical Christian milieu. He became Secretary of the ancient site called The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, and editor of The National Message, published by the British Israel World Federation. Yet, by the 1950s, he had left these interlaced organizations behind, even as they collapsed. While British Israel faded, The Garden Tomb was preserved and reborn into its present form, partly due to A.R.H.’s efforts in the 1930s, in Jerusalem,  to prevent it being annexed for development.

As one of the few British sidereal astrologers in the early to mid 20th century, A.R.H. would have recognized the significance and synchronicity of his first and second Saturn returns, occurring in 1929 and 1958. By the 1950s, after his second Saturn return, he had steadily moved away from much of his outwardly conservative stance, revealing what had always been hidden behind it. Such movement was painful physically, emotionally, and financially. He referred to it as his “Ordeal of Job”. 

During this exploration of A.R.H.’s Inward Vision (as he called it), we will find that his inner sacromagical experiences and his role as a spiritual mediator of Change were very different indeed from his seemingly conservative religious English outer persona. His private writings were different to the published articles from which he eventually moved away, revealing the true extent of his esoteric and sacromagical work. This astonishing difference is revealed in some of the excerpts that follow.

In these excerpts we begin with his role during the second World War. This is where the surprises begin, but by no means where they end… 

R.J.Stewart, February 2022

In London and Jerusalem World War II

Alfred Ronald Heaver was resident in London, on duty, both civil and spiritual, during World War II. In his 30s, retired from active service as a result of spinal injuries while serving in the former Navy Air Force during World War I, he was associated with Navy Intelligence and with a coterie of influential Admirals (more of this anon). Stationed in offices in a historic building at Buckingham Gate, A.R.H. was involved in the fire-fighting civil defense service during the Blitz, for the area including Buckingham Palace.

Prior to this civil defense role in 1930s London, A.R.H. had recently returned from a remarkable episode of visionary sacromagical work, conducting a ritual in The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem in 1934. To give this context, there were approximately 30,000 people in eight major internment camps in Germany in 1934, under Hitler’s government (1)

By 1936 A.R.H had been on a quest to secure a new form of technology, developed in Austria, seeking to keep it from the Nazis. His exploits were low-key and secretive, apparently due to their interlacement with British Intelligence work. 

During the 1930s and 1940s Europe and the Middle East were replete with intelligence agents and multilevel networks run by every government or military organization. They extended into Africa, India, and the Far East, often with multiple operations vying with one another, while ostensibly on the “same side”. So perhaps it is not surprising that a former Navy pilot, already part of an influential network associated with the higher echelons of the Royal Navy and members of the Royal Family, might be acting as an independent operative.

When I researched Alfred Ronald Heaver’s Navy connections in 2008, some of his filed record required a written application to access, plus a security-checked personal visit to the archives if approved. In our current flood of digital rights process, this may have changed. Some files, however, seem to have disappeared, either by accident or intent. Nevertheless, I was fortunate to find and be given permission to study and publish files from two national archives, one in Scotland and one in Austria.

A.R.H. combined his role in the 1930s and 40s as an intelligence operative in Israel/Palestine, Austria, Africa and other locations, with some quite different mystical and esoteric-Christian sacromagical tasks. 

While Dion Fortune, perhaps the most famous Glastonbury adept, embodied a steadily evolving magical practice and mediating role, related to but by no means limited to that of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, A.R. Heaver embodied a quite different path. 

The subtle forces, and the verbal teachings, that eventually manifested in his Sanctuary of Avalon from 1950 onward, brought the spiritual concept of Albion forward more in the manner of Blake than of Renaissance magic or elite 19th century occultism. There were deep connections within the  inmost temple of the Arimathean Mysteries. It comes as no surprise, today, that ongoing research into the work of Blake reveals many Qabalistic motifs. Similar or identical motifs permeate the mysticism of A.R.H. The Qabalah involved, however, is not that of the familiar Golden Dawn texts and popular derivatives that have been widely published.

When I first began researching A. R. Heaver’s hitherto unknown sacromagical life in 2008, I was surprised by the content of the files that I had been given permission to study and quote. It was as if a gate had opened onto a very different A.R. Heaver to the staunchly Conservative elderly gentleman who had praised the newly elected Margaret Thatcher to his visitors, including myself, in the 1970s at Castle House in Keinton Mandeville near Glastonbury. 

Additionally I was given access to files from the Austrian State Archives, that included documents, coded telegrams and tables, from A.R.H.’s mysterious work examining the now somewhat notorious Schappeller engine that was supposed to draw energy from the planetary field. Yet, even this, on the hazy borders of modern physics and reading like something from a classic spy novel, included documents regarding a magical talisman and the spiritual role of the Garden Tomb outside Jerusalem in countering the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s. Thus similar documents regarding the “Thaumaturgal” as ARH called the talisman, reside in both the Austrian State Archives and the Scottish National Archives, both written by ARH and dating from the years immediately preceding the start of the Second World War  in 1939.

There are blocks of code, in the Austrian State Archives, duplicate pages of telegrams sent by A.R.H from Europe to Britain; they have not yet been decoded. I published them in my biography of A.R.H. The Hidden Adept and the Inward Vision to make them available for further research into this curious true story. Of course, they may be insignificant communications; but as telegrams were open items, easily viewed or copied, coded messages were used for sensitive material.


Preventing the Triumph of Apollyon

According to his own written account, the Thaumaturgal Talisman was buried by A.R.H. in the Garden Tomb, just outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem in 1934. While there would seem to be no obvious connection between  A.R.H.’s ritual at the Garden Tomb in Israel and the Schappeller device far north in Austria, he declared in his private papers that the ritual  conducted inside the cave that holds the Tomb, was undertaken to prevent the ‘triumph of Apollyon’. 

Apollyon was a Greek term employed in early Christianity to represent a powerful demonic force, the equivalent of the Hebrew Abaddon, angel of the abyss, though it may also have originated as polemic to decry the pagan Greek solar deity, Apollo, due to the Greek root word meaning “destroyer”. Appolyon appears most famously in English literature in The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which is to Come of John Bunyan, published in 1678. Bunyan was a strong influence on non-conformist Christians, and it is most likely that this influence inspired A.R.H. who identified Apollyon as embodied in Hitler and the spiritual forces impelling the Nazi movement.  

A.R.H. wrote his account not long after Hitler had held a meeting in Berlin with Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti (Muslim religious leader) of Jerusalem. Their subject was how to counter the rise of Zionism and prevent Jerusalem coming under Jewish control.

As with other Heaverian projects, the spiritual and the material were intentionally interlaced. The Nazis may have been invested in the Schappeller theories of physics for the purposes of scientific superiority and conquest, but A.R.H. apparently wished to prove that the benefit of the Schappeller device was something of spiritual significance that could not be solely owned by any regime or government. However, his Navy connections were at work in this convoluted scenario, and the Royal Navy was certainly interested in obtaining the engine to run warships. There were continued meetings held after the war with Schappeller’s son, though nothing came of them.

British Israel, The Empire, and Royal Sponsorship

While living in London, A.R.H. was involved, according to his own  written account, with a small group who would meditate in St. Patrick’s chapel (unrestored at that time) in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. Before traveling to Israel in 1934, on the steamship Laconia, he notes that he held an all-night vigil in the chapel.

Documents relating to A.R.H’s sacromagical tasks were not released until some years after his death, and were published for the first time, along with historic content and the coded telegrams held within the Austrian State Archives, in The Hidden Adept and the Inward Vision (1st edition, 2012).

It is here that we turn, or perhaps return in the classic spiraling manner of all things magical, to the role of the British Empire. Not only through A.R.H’s Navy connections leading circuitously up to Winston Churchill, but through the imperialistic concept that Britain, primarily England and the English language, should “rightly” rule the world. This was one of the core tenets of that branch of the British Israel movement that was supported by senior Navy officers and certain members of the British Royal Family, such as Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (1883-1981) who sponsored British Israel for many years.

Interlaced functions, including intelligence work in the Middle East during the 1930s and confrontations with anti-human spiritual forces, were once regarded as essential to world progress through a fusion of British Imperial and esoteric influence. 

From the tottering perspective of the 21st century, we now understand such esoteric work differently, within our increasingly complex unstable international technological arena.

British Israel and the Two Gates: Buckingham and Damascus

ARH’s office during WWII was situated at 6 Buckingham Gate, which had been deeded to the British Israel World Federation by Princess Alice (Countess of Athlone). It was not until the reign of Elizabeth II, commencing in 1953, that the strong connection between British Israel, the Royal Family, and the higher echelons of the Royal Navy, began to steadily diminish.  Today the movement is hardly known, and it has been reduced to minimal numbers, its larger properties sold on, and the once widely circulated publications mostly, but not entirely, out of print. A.R.H. edited one such publication, The National Message for some years, also contributing articles and opinion columns. He claimed that it had a large circulation and was opposed by the established Church of England. More of this story later!

Yet we should not completely ignore the influence of British Israel, as it has strands and connections even in modern British politics, especially in anti-European Union sentiment and policy, and in some radical Christian churches in Britain and the USA. A number of originally influential books are still in print, though often hard to obtain. {Some British Israel material and links can be found at}. It is worth noting that as late as 1982, the British Israel World Federation was issuing notices from an office at 6 Buckingham Gate, an extremely valuable property directly opposite Buckingham Palace. The property was returned to private use in 2013, and remodeled with a value of millions of pounds.

Many theories are coagulated together in several variants of British Israelite doctrine. A short summary might be that they all seem to depend from the idea that the Scythians, in ancient Russia and Europe, were in fact the Lost Tribes of Israel. Extrapolations therefrom become increasingly tenuous until they declare that the British people are, in fact, derived from Jewish ancestors. These complex theories and their strange proofs have been thoroughly debunked by research from the 19th century onward, and the British Israel movement itself split into several streams and radical churches, especially in the USA. 

In the 1920s the British Israel World Foundation (at 6 Buckingham Gate) reprinted BRITISH HISTORY TRACED FROM EGYPT & PALESTINE AND OTHER ESSAYS By Rev. L. G. A. ROBERTS, Com. R.N. Secretary of the Imperial British-Israel Association.

We can see that L.G.A. Roberts was a Commander in the Royal Navy, reinforcing this curious connection that continued throughout A.R.H’s life. Note also that Commander Roberts was secretary of “the Imperial British-Israel Association”. The link to the British Empire played a significant role in the curious blend of imperialism, mysticism, alternative history, and fervent radical Christianity.

The full text with maps, as a PDF, can be found at 

Be ready to be baffled!

Yet, despite the seeming absurdity, the alternative history proposed by British Israel had, at one time, many adherents, and powerful connections to the British Royal Navy, and the British Royal Family.

Connections between Jerusalem and London

In the 1920s and 1930s the offices at 6 Buckingham Gate held the headquarters of both the Garden Tomb Association founded by General Gordon in the 19th century, and the aforementioned British Israel World Federation, which at that time had thousands of members in addition to noble and royal patronage. It was a focus for unusual spiritual streams that were strongly at work from at least as early as the 1800s to the end of the war in 1945. 

While it may be easy for we who live in the 21st century to ridicule this antiquated Imperialist movement, we should acknowledge that it was, for some years, close to the heart of power politics in the Middle East and elsewhere. Imperialist and Zionist beliefs and endeavors, including those of Winston Churchill, often orbited around and within the various branches of British Israel. Churchill was not known as a British Israelite, but he was a strong advocate of the Empire and a broad supporter of the Zionist movement.

The connections between this and the work of occult orders such as Dion Fortune’s group and other esoteric networks in the same time period have not been thoroughly examined;  yet the deep foundations are clearly visible in shared traces of Hermetic and neo-Egyptian esoteric lore, simplistic Kabbalah, and the outer edges, or perhaps inmost heart, of mystical Christianity. A well researched book on the wide-reaching influence of British Israel has yet to be written; thus far it has been passed over as it is an enormous and vexatious task, perhaps due to the eccentricity, some might say absurdity, of the basic tenets of the movement.

The British-Israel influence on 20th century New Age Glastonbury

Alfred Ronald Heaver became a Glastonbury adept, from the 1950s onward, in gradual stages, often propelled by hardship and opposition. While he was for some years a staunch adherent of British Israel and some of the movements associated esoteric traditions, he upheld his own unique relationship to certain sacromagical influences, such as sidereal astrology, pyramidology (in a revised version), and an especially esoteric branch of Kabbalah that, in my opinion, he may have studied in Jerusalem in the 1930s, during his prolonged visits negotiating. 

A.R.H.s Kabbalah is closely akin to that of William Blake, in that the New Age was to be one of searing angelic revelation and transformation, nothing like the comfortable reassuring fashionable New Age market place that blockades spirituality today. 

A helpful survey of British Israel may be found at: 

Although A.R.H. withdrew gradually from British Israel, he did not abandon it altogether. Rather he refined his relationship to it, reducing it to essentials. Curiously British Israel continued to influence Glastonbury, long after the organization’s early associations with Chalice Well had been expunged from Chalice Well records. 

As Glastonbury has long been acknowledged as a power center, many spiritual, magical, and esoteric movements sought to have a place there. British Israel had a large house/center in Glastonbury for some years, though it seems that A.R.H. was not connected to it. Many people associated with the movement were involved in various ways during the early years of Chalice Well, as the visitors books once showed. Influential figures include Isobel Hill Elder, author of books such as Celt Druid and Culdee (still in print today), and Dr. J.A.Goodchild, who started the entire myth of the Blue Bowl at Chalice Well. (This story is well known and substantially reported).

Not to forget Dutch Israel!

One of the early sponsors of New Age business in Glastonbury, in the 1970s was Helena Koppejan, who started The Glastonbury Experience premises. Mrs Koppejan was an astrologer, and was an adherent of the Dutch Israelite movement, which had similar “origin” beliefs to the British Israelites. Whilst having tea with the late Geoffrey Ashe one afternoon I mentioned that I had met her, and that she was a British Israelite. Geoffrey smiled and said: “Oh dear me no. She was much worse than that. She was a Dutch Israelite”

Alfred Ronald Heaver, the Last Decades, and the True War

A. R. Heaver, for years a staunch advocate of British Israel, was also involved in the early development of the Chalice Well, and for some time worked in association with Wesley Tudor-Pole. Years later, after the war, A.R.H. sat on a committee for the development, as a spiritual healing center, of the Tor School, a large building adjacent to the Chalice Well site. In 1966 Peter Caddy, one of the founders of Findhorn, was also on the committee. This project fell through, and the building was demolished and amalgamated with the current property, after being rented out into the early 1970s. Most of this factual historical context of development has been erased from modern published versions of the Chalice Well story, though the evidence is easily available for anyone to find through basic research.

To Avalon, after the Trial of Job 

It was around 1950 that A.R. Heaver and his partner Polly Wood moved to Somerset, to Castle House in Keinton Mandeville near Glastonbury, where they founded the Sanctuary of Avalon. This was where I met them in the early 1970s, by which time they were struggling to reclaim a Navy pension, and as a result of financial difficulties were receiving some support from the Findhorn Foundation.

A.R.H. had already parted with the British Israel movement and had been obliged by a complicated financial scandal to resign from his long term service as Secretary of the Garden Tomb Association. His  resignation, which was for some years the subject of speculation and occasional misrepresentation, was due to the complications of an enforced bankruptcy. 

The bankruptcy itself is fully recorded and properly registered, as all bankruptcies must be, so there is no doubt about its content or outcome; it seems to have begun somewhat mysteriously while A.R.H. was out of the country on an unknown mission, possibly in Africa according to some of his letters. It may be that further evidence will eventually surface regarding this shrouded absence. 

The bankruptcy was due to the collapse of a health-supplement business, called Emion, registered at that same 6 Buckingham Gate property described above, but founded in partnership with Wesley Tudor-Pole, who had bought Chalice Well from Alice Buckton just a few years before, in 1944. As is often the case when business partnerships collapse, it had disastrous effects upon A.R.H.’s finances, and sealed a pattern of profound mistrust toward Tudor- Pole, which is strongly evidenced in ARH’s letters from the subsequent three decades up to the late 1970s. 

This conflicted relationship was further impacted by the failure, some years after the bankruptcy, of the Tor School purchase in the 1960s, whereby Tudor Pole and the Chalice Well Trust suddenly secured the property and eventually had it demolished; the area is now the parking lot at the front of Chalice Well. The full story is found in The Hidden Adept. 

{A.R.H’s resignation letter from the Garden Tomb Association, and some further letters regarding his hostile relationship with Tudor Pole are published in the revised and enlarged edition of The Hidden Adept. }

A.R.H. called this period, from the 1950s onward, to his “Ordeal of Job”, referring to the esoteric tradition of certain Ordeals that may be required in an accelerated spiritual evolution of one lifetime. His devotion to the Garden Tomb, and his connections with it, however, did not diminish with his resignation. In the early 1990s, more than a decade after the death of A.R.H., I received an email from an elderly Garden Tomb officer saying “We remember A. R. Heaver with respect and affection”. 

Glastonbury and Jerusalem together

Having visited the Garden Tomb (just outside the ancient Damascus Gate of Jerusalem) a number of times, I would say that to understand A.R.H’s spiritual foundation requires time spent in both Jerusalem and Glastonbury, and not in Glastonbury alone. He talked, as one might expect, about the connection between the two places in terms of the Arimathean tradition, but also described in cryptic terms hidden astral links, and telluric energetic lines passing through the center of the Earth. Both the astral -stellar and the Earth-core connections were described by A.R.H in terms of sidereal astrology. 

From the 1970s to 1980, the last decade of A.R.H’s life, he wrote very little, preferring to meet people at Castle House, where he and Polly Wood had established their Sanctuary of Avalon. While physically disabled, eventually becoming immobilized by spinal injuries incurred during the 1914-18 World War, A.R.H was spiritually at his most active during this decade, influencing and inspiring many visitors.

The Inward and Outward forces

For A.R. Heaver, ever the spiritual warrior in the tradition of Archangel Michael, by the 1950s the true war by was no longer against the Nazis; it had become the battle to prevent Nuclear Armageddon. From a sacromagical context, with the hindsight of the 21st century, we can see connections between the conflict with Nazi philosophy and the staggering risks of dominant nuclear technology. We are still fighting on this front today, especially in the context of collapsed and corrupt world politics and economics. 

One of the overt declared functions of the current Sanctuary of Avalon was, and still is, to be a spiritual bastion against the threat of nuclear war. 

A.R.H. had explored alternative energy sources from the 1930s-50s, including those of Karl Schappeller in Austria and the alchemistic inventions and practices of Luis Rota in France. While he may have been, at first, supportive of nuclear energy as a source of electricity, he gradually formed the opinion that all forms of nuclear generation for any purpose are inimical. Such conclusions were intimately wrapped into the complex dynamics of nuclear weaponry and the arms industry, and the horror of the nuclear bombs used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This conclusion was also voiced by William and Roberta Gray. Roberta (Bobbie) Gray told me, in 1971, “you cannot imagine how different the world felt before the first nuclear tests and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”. Bill Gray continued: “all the inner planes were disrupted, for a long time many Inner Contacts were impossible to find. Many of us have spent years rebuilding the spiritual lines of contact…” There was more of this theme over several visits to their home in Cheltenham, and it seems to have been taken very seriously by a number of experienced people working within the Western Esoteric Tradition. It was also taken up by a younger generation; such as those who took part in the famed CND Aldermaston marches, including myself. 

A formally declared intention of the Sanctuary of Avalon when founded by A.R.H. and Polly Wood was “to counter the threat of nuclear Armageddon”…this intention is still working today in the current Sanctuary, and to it now is added the intention to assist in rebalancing environmental problems.

This esoteric perspective on the disruptive forces of nuclear energy chimes in with the rapid changes in western culture after the war. Nothing was to be the same, the old order was rapidly fading, the spiritual pillars of power had to be rebuilt. Not that this was caused by nuclear tests or weapons, but that the development of nuclear weapons and reactors was a major part of a huge change in human consciousness; a change that we are deeply embedded within today.

As a young man in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I saw and felt this disruption in the elders and mentors who practiced the Western Tradition. They were shocked by events such as the nuclear bombing of Japan, the Holocaust, the arms races, the Cold War and enduring threat of nuclear Armageddon, so shocked that many of them retreated from activities established before and during World War II, to recoup and rebuild. 

Just as the bombed-out ruins of European cities had to be transformed for the future, so did the sacromagical spiritual and ritual practices of the partly hidden traditions. This was a process quite distinct from the popularizing and legitimizing of magic and witchcraft that burgeoned from the 1950s onward. The outward presentations grew apace, both popular and academic. The inner growth was slow but effective.

What was it all for?

Another powerful impulse for A.R.H. was to move away, both metaphorically and literally, from spiritual or religious organizations. The British Israel World Federation had been a substantial and highly connected organization with well defined political and spiritual aims, rooted in concepts such as the British Empire and the presumed, albeit dubious, duty of the English speaking races to “civilize” the world. This theme of the English language and cultural civilizing influence ran through much of A.R.H.’s early published writing, following the British Israel and pro-Imperialist contexts. From the esoteric perspective today, the English language, still the language of global hegemony and corporate interests, no longer has such an inspiring or patriotic ring. The noble intentions of an Empire establishing a benevolent rule for all under its wings have long since been shattered.

The Published Work of A.R.Heaver

While A.R.H. had published a number of articles on the themes of Empire, Commonwealth, and the duty of the white Anglo-Saxon (putatively Hebrew) yet English speaking race to lead the world toward good governance (often adding “in Christ”) there is a surprising difference between such public items, from the 1920s to the 1940s and the more esoteric private papers, letters, and verbal teachings. Some of his papers are marked “not to be published until after my death” and it was not until 2008, after some years of research, and obtaining the necessary formal permissions, that I decided to publish my biography of A.R.Heaver and the story of the Sanctuary of Avalon.

Articles written by A.R.H for the original National Message (A British Israel World Federation magazine) and, for a short period of three years when he was editor in The Modern Mystic, are (obviously) reporting socio-political and economic issues long past; they would be regarded as outdated, even bigoted, by the modern reader. 

What we know about A.R.H’s esoteric work, interlaced with his military intelligence work in the 1930s, and supported by firm documented evidence mostly in his own words, reveals a very vivid and powerful magical life, at odds with the often pompous tone of the published magazine articles. What seems bigoted to us was merely the outer edge of an accepted norm within an earlier Imperialistic cultural phase, so some caution is required when we engage in retrospective criticism. 

Perhaps the most telling perspective is the most simple: A.R.H. quit, resigned, and regrouped in his latter decades. This shift of consciousness was not his alone, as many of the British adepts of the Western Tradition did likewise.

Another aspect for consideration is that magical acts, such as A.R.H’s redemptive ritual at the Garden Tomb and the history of the mysterious talisman or Thaumaturgal object were originally kept secret…none of the adepts of the period made their real work public. Yet, if we dare to enter into the Mysteries of Avalon, Arimathea, and Arthur, we may yet find certain strange treasures that they buried, hidden for us, their heirs and generations of the future.

As described above, ARH’s esoteric work is found, though only in part, in unpublished documents preserved in various archives, from as early as the 1920s, through to his death in 1980, at the age of eighty years, on his eightieth birthday.

In these sparse documents, in his own words about his hidden adept work, A.R.H. describes an esoteric Order (hitherto unknown), Masonic practices that seem very different to standard, sacromagical talismans, angels (of the kind experienced by Ezekiel or Blake, and certainly not New Age), invocations of Archangels Michael and Metatron on behalf of those in desperate need, experiences of directly fighting demonic hosts, advice on clear esoteric thinking, healing rituals, working energetically with telluric planetary forces and the Chaldean Planetary Hours, encountering the spirits of the dead, and sacromagical teachings based on the mystical Jewish and Sufi Kabbalah prevalent in Jerusalem during the 1930s, in that  time of major transition. Not to forget esoteric insights into Sidereal Astrology, and an adjusted model of Pyramidology that provided surprisingly accurate predictions of world events, including the infamous events of September 11th 2001.

So different are A.R.H’s esoteric activities, as he himself describes them, from the polemic doctrinal articles written for public readership, primarily that of British Israelites, that they could almost be by a different person. 

Yet the vividly visionary and sacromagical man was the real Alfred Ronald Heaver, as revealed in his own words, memoirs, letters, conversations and teachings. Added to this material we also have accounts from various visitors to Castle House during the 1970s, giving further insights into A.R.H’s practices of Sidereal Astrology, Pyramidology, and the subtle influences of meditation in the Sanctuary of Avalon.

At the Confluence of the Arimathean and Arthurian Traditions

After moving to Somerset around 1950, A.R.H. gradually ceased to write outer statements for minority publications…and soon enough the magazines themselves faded into oblivion. In comparison we should remember that his inner esoteric and concealed sacromagical work was continuous from the 1920s onward, as his own letters and articles show. It would be tempting, but incorrect, to think that the deeper esoteric work came only after moving West. 

What occurred was, instead, a cessation of minority outer-focussed writing and specific organizational activities, and an acceleration and continuation of the enormous inner, sacromagical, impetus that had upheld A.R.H’s life from his youngest early visions to his death. This release was, in his own words, one of the results of his “Ordeal of Job”. It was to come into fruition in the later Glastonbury phase of life, from 1950 onward.

Due to spinal injuries incurred at the age of eighteen, when his biplane crashed in France during the First World War, A.R.H experienced paralysis in his early twenties. After being written off by the medical establishment, he gradually cured himself through working with the Aesch Mezareph, the Purifying Fire (see The Sphere of Art, vol II, 2012). By the 1970s his mobility began to decline, and for the last few years of his life, he was bedridden. Yet this outer immobility belied his powerful inner spiritual activity, for this was the most intense period of his life.

Thus, after leaving London, and during an interim phase staying with his elderly mother, A.R.H. ceased working on magazines and periodicals, resigned from organizations such as British Israel and the Garden Tomb; his work became more esoteric during the crucial transition decade between the 1940s and the 1950s. The deeply esoteric and sacromagical themes had always been present…now they were coming out into the open. 

From the early 1960s onward we see A.R.H. advising and encouraging organizations such as The Findhorn Foundation (founded by Eileen and Peter Caddy), the Ockenden Venture (founded by Joyce Pearce) and the Wrekin Trust (founded by Sir George Trevelyan). However, he also continued to keep in contact with the upper echelons of the Royal Navy, especially the generations of Admirals Cayley, and a somewhat underground Navy presence in Northern Ireland that was connected to the powerful establishment figure of Earl Louis Mountbatten. A.R.H. left a remarkable account of spiritual visions, experienced shortly after Mountbatten was murdered in Ireland by an IRA bomb squad.

Organism and Organization: The Attunement of the Sanctuary of Avalon

With the move to Somerset and the Glastonbury aspirations, A.R.H. now talked openly, and occasionally wrote in letters and related documents, about the spiritual value of the organism rather than the organization. This refutation of organization as distinct from organism is also found explored at length in the last book by W.G.Gray, An Outlook on our Western Inner Way, published in 1980, the year that A.R. Heaver died. 

In his biography, W.G.Gray confirmed that he had a long-term correspondence with A.R.H. by typed letters mailed back and forward. No trace of this correspondence has been found. (An account of W.G.G’s visit to the Sanctuary of Avalon in the 1970 is quoted in full in The Hidden Adept and the Inward Vision)

The Sanctuary of Avalon was defined and operated as an organism of consciousness and spiritual devotion, not as a regular body with rules, laws, and committees. This was confirmed by initiatory techniques associated with the attuning of the Sanctuary, as given to me by A.R.H. at the very end of his life. We maintain these initiatory techniques today, in the specific sacromagical attunement of the Sanctuary of Avalon according to an activation of the Holy Name. 

While  use of the Holy Name is well known in Hermetic Qabalistic practices, in Hebrew and Sufi Kabbalah and related mystical techniques, each lineage has its own precise method handed down through the generations. None of these lineage methods are found in general publication, as they can only be experienced in transmission, and cannot be effectively transferred by text. A descriptive text would show nothing extraordinary, and might be compared to a written description of a musical performance, when in truth we need to hear, or play, the music itself.

Published and unpublished, exoteric and esoteric

One substantial paper by A.R.H. is, as previously mentioned, clearly marked “Not to be published until after my death”. None of this astonishing sacromagical content appears in A.R.H’s pre-1950s public magazine writings for The Modern Mystic or the National Message; there is instead, a mixture of contemporary fringe politics and British Israel polemic. The two magazines are different in nature, however, as A.R.H. edited the National Message for a long period, and only edited the more philosophical (and somewhat Anthroposophic) Modern Mystic for a short three years during its decline before it closed. With regard to esoteric subjects, A.R.H was wont to quote an aphorism which originates in Masonic teaching: when dealing with others “talk as they talk, but think as you think”. He certainly applied this caution to his published magazine articles.

It is my opinion, based on my biographical research, that the strongly asserted dedication toward decentralization and associated statements in letters and obscure pamphlets wiped clean A.R.H’s earlier declamations such as those written for the Modern Mystic magazine or the National Message. What had seemed certainties of Empire and benevolent world dominance before the 1920s and 30s first faded then evaporated.

The New Order

A new order of spiritual conception was emerging, out of the destruction of war. Not merely the physical destruction, but the spiritual. The atom bomb was the Blasted Tower or Maison de Dieu emerging from the inner planes, to achieve physical manifestation; the world would never be the same thereafter.  One of A.R.H.’s powerful spiritual themes, coming from Inner Contacts, is the effect of the Blasted Tower in modern culture; a rigid structure can only fail and fall. Some previously unpublished excerpts from this teaching are included in the 2nd edition of The Hidden Adept and the Inward Vision.

The Sanctuary of Avalon