Knight, Gareth (b. 1930)(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Gareth Knight was born in Colchester, England, in 1930. He was interested in psychic matters from a young age. By the time he was twenty-three, he enrolled in the Society of Inner Light study course. Dion Fortune (1891–1946), the author, medium, and magician, founded the society as the Fraternity of the Inner Light in 1924. By 1959, Knight had worked through the magical grades and achieved initiation into the Greater Mysteries of the society. He also became the society’s librarian. In 1963, Knight became a contributor to the occult magazine New Dimensions, produced by Llewellyn Publications under the editorship of Basil Wilby. Knight started a series of articles on tarot cards in the April/May, 1963 issue. By that time, he was becoming unhappy with the direction of the Society of Inner Light—Fortune died in 1946, and without her influence the fraternity took a new direction and was renamed the Society of the Inner Light. In 1965, he published A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism, drawing largely from unpublished material in the library’s archives.
He relocated to Gloucestershire and founded Helios Books, a small publishing venture that took over publication of New Dimensions in 1973. Knight also started a correspondence course on the Qabbalah with William E. Butler. In 1973, this was reworked and offered as “The Servants of Light.” That same year he founded a new school, drawing on the regular attendees at the lectures he gave at Hawkwood College. When New Dimensions ran its course, he replaced it with Quadriga in 1976. Original distribution was to the members of Knight’s correspondence course. In 1999, Knight reorganized his various groups into two main ones, The Avalon Group and The Companions of the Inner Abbey.
In 1976, Knight received an honorary Humanities Doctorate from the Sangreal Foundation, Dallas, Texas, “in recognition of distinguished attainments,” and the award of Outstanding Humanitarian for 1976. At the same time, he was appointed Consultant in Archetypal Symbolism to the C.G.Jung Institute, Dallas. Knight began to expand his field of influence with lectures in France, Greece, and the United States. In 1987, he offered a new correspondence course in tarot. This was later published in book form as The Magical World of Tarot.
In 1997, the Society of the Inner Light invited Knight to edit, for publication, Dion Fortune’s letters from the war years. Also in 1997, more of her unpublished work was released, with Knight writing companion chapters for each of Fortune’s chapters. This was published as An Introduction to Ritual Magic. In 1998, Knight was invited to rejoin the society to assist in the inner restructuring of it. Since that time he has produced a series of books based on Dion Fortune’s material.