Madeline Montalban: Magus of the Morning Star

Madeline Montalban occupies an important place in the story of twentieth century occultism. Publicly she was known as the author of articles about tarot, astrology, and other esoteric subjects that appeared in mainstream magazines from 1933 to 1982; within the esoteric community, however, she was respected as a talented and forceful magician who founded and ran the Order of the Morning Star, a correspondence course and Order that was focused upon angelic magic and especially Lucifer, the Lightbringer.

During her life Montalban occupied a highly visible place within the occult world and wrote many thousands of words more than her contemporaries, but her work was published primarily in mainstream magazines, which are an ephemeral medium, and familiarity with Montalban and her work declined after her death. This illustrated talk looks not only at her published work, but also her angelic course material and personal anecdotes from her students, and places Montalban firmly within the circle of other influential magical women in the occult world of the 20th century.


Julia Phillips is a post graduate researcher in the Department of History at University of Bristol and author of the chapter about Madeline Montalban in Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses edited by Amy Hale (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). Her interest in occultism began in the 1970s, when she regularly attended lectures at the Society for Psychical Research in London and encountered the work of Madeline Montalban in Prediction magazine. Over the past fifty years Phillips has studied and written on many different subjects related to the occult and magic and likes nothing more than sharing her passion with others.

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Dr. Amy Hale is an Atlanta-based anthropologist and folklorist writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall in various combinations. Her biography of Ithell Colquhoun, Genius of the Fern Loved Gully, is available from Strange Attractor Press, and she is also the editor of the forthcoming collection Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses from Palgrave Macmillan. Other writings can be found at her Medium site and her website

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