The first edition of this little book has been long out of print, and for several years, I have been asked to enlarge it, but until the present time sufficient leisure has t been found to collect the additional matter which seemed desirable. This essay on Numbers w appears as Volume IX of my Series entitled Collectanea Hermetica, of which it seem to form a suitable part, and I am hopeful that it maybe as well received by students of mystic philosophy as the previous volumes which treated of Alchemy, in the Hermetic Arcanum, Hermetic Art, Euphrates and Aesch Metzareph; the Dream of Scipio and the Golden verses of the Pythagoreans, the Pymander of Hermes and Egyptian Magic.
William Wynn Westcott was a British esotericist, coroner, ceremonial magician, and Freemason. He was born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England.A doctor of medicine by profession, he became active in Freemasonry in 1871, becoming Master of his home Lodge in 1874 and later also of the prestigious Quatuor Coronati research lodge, as well as achieving other Masonic distinctions.He studied the Kabbalah and by 1880 became active in the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia before co-founding the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and William Robert Woodman in 1887, using the motto V.H. Frater Sapere Aude. By then he was also active in the Theosophical Society. He devised and organized the Golden Dawn's rituals with Mathers and William Robert Woodman, who preceded him as Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A. and like Westcott was one of the foremost exponents of Hermeticism of the time. In 1896, he abandoned public involvement with the Golden Dawn due to pressure regarding his job as a Crown Coroner, with which it was seen as an unseemly association. He continued to head the S.R.I.A. and later was involved with the Golden Dawn breakaway Stella Matutina.He retired as a coroner after 1910, emigrated to South Africa in 1918, and died in Durban in 1925.