Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Occultist: Dion Fortune (1890 –1946)

Dion Fortune (born Violet Mary Firth, 1890 –1946) was a British occultist, Christian Qabalist, ceremonial magician, novelist and author whose books still influence modern Witchcraft and neo-Paganism. 

She was a co-founder of the Fraternity of the Inner Light, an occult organisation that promoted philosophies which she claimed had been taught to her by spiritual entities known as the Ascended Masters.

Fortune was born into a family of Christian Scientists. At the age of four she started to see visions of the lost city of Atlantis.  In her teens she begun exhibiting mediumistic abilities. 

During her early twenties she worked as a law analyst at the Medico-Psychological Clinic in London. Her interest in exploring the human psyche led to her being psychologically attacked. This occurred in 1911, when she was 20. She worked in a school helping the principal who took a great dislike toward her. When going to tell the woman that she was leaving her job, the principal subjected Fortune to vindictiveness, telling her she lacked self-confidence and was incompetent. Later Fortune said the woman also had conveyed this psychic attack through yoga techniques and hypnotism which left her a "mental and physical wreck" for three years.

This type of psychological violation resulted in her initial study of Freudian and Jungian psychology. At first she preferred Jung over Freud, but as she continued her study Fortune concluded that neither psychiatrist adequately addressed the subtleties and complexities of the mind. Thus, for her, the answers lay in occultism.

Once having embarked upon the occult path she cast her net wide and became a member of the Theosophical Society and of the Alpha et Omega Temple of the former Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but becoming discontented with the performance of existing organisations she set about founding her own esoteric order, the Community (later Fraternity) of the Inner Light. At first the order was part of the Golden Dawn, but later separated from it. 

Following this Fortune worked as a psychiatrist which brought her in contact with victims of psychic attack.

As a result of her experience with psychic attack Fortune concluded that hostile psychic energy can emanate both deliberately and unwittingly from certain people and that one can mentally fend off such energy. Her work Psychic Self-Defense (1930) is still regarded as the best guide to detection and defense against psychic attack.

The work, The Mystical Qabbalah (1936), perhaps her most famous book, contains her discussion of the Western esoteric tradition and how the Qabbalah is used by modern students of the Mysteries. The true nature of the gods, she said, is that of magical images shaped out of the astral plane by mankind's thought, and influenced by the mind. 

For some Witches and Neo-pagan her fictional works are considered more important than her nonfiction, because they are filled with Pagan themes and rituals.

Fortune married a Dr. Evans. She died in 1946.

Although she wrote many books that are still in wide publication today, there is something a little more interesting that she was involved with during her life. During World War II many occultists and magickal practitioners in England worked magick against the German war machine. This has been dubbed the “Magical Battle of Britain”. The details of this work are set out in a series of letters that Fortune wrote at the time about the working.

Many occultists and practitioners believe that this magickal working is what led to her death shortly after the war ended in January of 1946. Part of the legend around this work is the fact that Hitler planned to invade Britain on at least two occasions and each time ended up not invading. A book called, The Magical Battle of Britain, was published by Sun Chalice Books in 2003. This was done mainly by the work Gareth Knight put into making the book a reality. Gareth Knight is the current leader of Dion Fortune’s esoteric group, The Society of The Inner Light.

The Fraternity of the Inner Light continues to be based in London, but now is known as the Society of the Inner Light. It offers techniques in the Western esoteric tradition.

“The body is the vehicle of the mind.” 
― Dion Fortune 

“...unless men work at occultism as they work for the prizes of their professions they will not achieve.” 
― Dion Fortune, Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate

“...spirituality alone will not take a man far in the Mysteries; he must have intellectual powers as well.” 
― Dion Fortune, What Is Occultism?

“Now vampirism is contagious; the person who is vampirised, being depleted of vitality, is a psychic vacuum, himself absorbing form anyone he comes across in order to refill his depleted resources of vitality.” 
― Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense

“The initiate, however, uses a symbol-system differently; he uses it as an algebra by means of which he will read the secrets of unknown potencies; in other words, he uses the symbol as a means of guiding thought out into the Unseen and Incomprehensible.” 
― Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

“What mathematics are to matter and force, occult science is to life and consciousness,” 
― Dion Fortune, What Is Occultism?

“...a trained occultist, especially if of high grade, has an exceedingly magnetic personality, and this is apt to prove disturbing to those who are unaccustomed to high- tension psychic forces. For whereas the person who is ripe for development will unfold the higher consciousness rapidly in the atmosphere of a high-grade initiate, the person who is not ready may find these influences profoundly disturbing.” 
― Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense

“There is something very intimate and personal about one's books. They reveal so much of one's private soul.” 
― Dion Fortune, The Sea Priestess

“Some say these people were Phoenicians, but that is incorrect; they were older than the Phoenicians being Atlanteans,” 
― Dion Fortune, Moon Magic

“Well, you remember what Iamblichos said about the way they built up the god-forms in their imagination so as to get the invisible powers to manifest through them?” 
― Dion Fortune, Goat Foot God

“What you contemplate, you touch. What you enter into in imagination, you make yourself one with.” 
― Dion Fortune, Principles of Esoteric Healing

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