W. E. Butler

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Walter Ernest Butler (1898-1978), was a working occultist and esoteric author in Britain.

Early life[edit]

His first training in the mysteries was with Robert King, a bishop in the Liberal Catholic Church, who trained him as a medium. Butler later became a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church.

While in India, he studied with Indian mystics and also came into contact with Theosophist mystic Annie Besant, who politely rejected his requests to study with her. He returned to England and joined Dion Fortune's Society of the Inner Light in 1925, where he continued to train and participate until sometime toward the end of World War II.


In 1962 he met Gareth Knight and, with Knight, began to develop a correspondence course in Qabalah for Helios Books. During this time he also rejoined the Society of the Inner Light, where he met Michael Nowicki and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. By 1973, the Helios Course in the Practical Qabalah had gained popularity and was spun off to form the Servants of the Light, for which Ernest was the first Director of Studies. He remained director of studies until shortly before his death, when he passed that responsibility to Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.


  • The Magician: His Training and Work
  • Lords of Light: The Path of Initiation in the Western Mysteries
  • How to Read the Aura
  • Magic: Its Ritual, Power and Purpose
  • Apprenticed to Magic
  • Magic and the Qabalah
  • How to Develop Clairvoyance