In Loving Memory of Dr Thomas Head (Lord Merlyn)
On February 21, 1999, Lord Merlyn went into the arms of the Goddess following a fatal heart attack. He has left behind a vast legacy that spans almost all the metaphysical paths. Equally at home in a Wiccan Sabbat or high Anglican Mass, an alchemical laboratory or Masonic Rite, a Golden Dawn Lodge or Reiki Center, Lord Merlyn represented the best of the Renaissance man.
Initiated on the Summer Solstice of 1939 as the Priest of a family tradition in Essex, England, he also counted amongst his teachers Dr Israel Regardie, Manly P. Hall, W.E. Butler, Charles Seymour, and Dion Fortune. He was considered the worlds foremost expert on the subject of Enochian Language and Magick.
A graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned a PhD in Philosophy, and later a Professor Emeritus there as well, Dr Head also held doctorates from Oxford in England and Heidelburg University in Germany as well. Competent in over 29 languages, ranging from Greek, Latin, Egyptian hieroglyphics and heiratic, Sanskrit, Aramaic, Hebrew, Russian, French and German to Tibetan and modern Japanese, Dr Head could decipher almost anything from almost anywhere!
A true adept of the Western Mysteries, he dedicated his life to the Great Work, and fostered many groups which will carry on his legacy. Among these are The Grove of the Unicorn, The Grove of the Winged Scarab, The Grove of Phoenix Rising, and the Sylvan Forest, all of Dogwood Local Council, CoG.
Due to his life work, many changes have been seen and felt within the public arena regarding the acceptance of magick. The world will miss this wonderful man and his light and wisdom, which were given to all who were truly seekers.
Many blessings to my teacher, father and mentor, as he journeys into the light…
I shall miss him
[from RJ Stewart]
I have just been told of the death of the remarkable adept Dr. Thomas Head, who passed into the Mystery yesterday. He was in his late 80’s. I had the privilege of meeting him last year, thanks to Lady Galadriel, in Atlanta. Lady Galadriel had studied with him for many years.
Thomas Head knew and corresponded with many, possibly all, of great occultists and witchcraft mentors of the 20th century, and was a highly accomplished and wise master, who spanned between lodge work and witchcraft over a period of 60 years.
My impression of him was that he embodied the best of the older generation of occultists, without any of the their bombastic faults or tyrannical demands. On a deep level he felt calm, kind, wise, and powerful. His death is a loss to the many people who worked with him, but his wisdom will be present in the Inner Temple until such a time as he chooses to be reborn.
It seems apt and poetically fitting that he should pass in the last year of this century, a century that saw such powerful changes in the public acceptance of magic. Some of these changes were due, in a substantial way, to the life work of Thomas Head.
John Thomas Head, PhD, DSc, former resident of Ringgold, died at his home in Decatur on Sunday, February 21, during the afternoon.
Born in Chattanooga, Dr. Head received his elementary schooling in Ringgold, subsequently attending the McCallie School (in Chattanooga). Following his parents move to Atlanta, he continued his education at Emory University, earning the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and in French Literature. He subsequently earned a Doctor of Science from Heidelberg University in Germany, and another earned Doctorate from Oxford University. He also received several honorary doctorates from American and English Universities.
After a short period as the Editor of the Cairo Messenger, Dr. Head began a career in public relations at the Southern Bell Telephone company, from which he later retired. During retirement, he wrote and did research, working on projects in both the public and private sector. He also performed community service by providing counseling and organizing recreational activities (especially instruction and competition in chess and checkers) throughout Georgia including the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. He was also a member of Friends of the Alphabet.
Early in his career at Southern Bell, Dr. Head met his future wife, Linda MacDonald. The couple were married about 30 years, she died in September 1997. They had no children.
Dr. Head was the son of prominent Ringgold attorney T. Grady Head (originally from Tunnel Hill) who served in the Georgia State legislature, then as State Attorney General and finally as Presiding Justice of the State Supreme Court. His mother was Tommie Edwards Head, who was born and raised in Ringgold.
Dr. Head is survived by his brother Brian, who is currently a university professor in Portugal. Their sister Jane also a former Ringgold resident, died about 12 years ago. Other survivors include numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.