Dion, Dion, Dion

I recently moved offices at work and reinstalled my little desk altar complete with electric ‘candle’ (to keep the OSH folk happy). The only western teacher on the altar, apart from my teacher, is Dion Fortune. There are many reasons for this, and really I often think our work here is more serving along Dion’s line than the Golden Dawn’s. This is despite my love for the Golden Dawn, my training within this tradition, initiations and currents from the GD. My teacher, though from the GD tradition also held a number of other currents, mainly esoteric Christian ones. These in some part tie in well with the work of Dion Fortune. He was also trained by what he terms an ‘Earth-Adept’ in the land based mysteries of England and this influence has undoubtedly trickled down to me also.

I also find Dion is a bit of a litmus test. Her novels, most particularly Sea Priestess and Moon Magic carry (and were produced by) a certain current of spiritual blessing. Those with whom I share my deeper spiritual work recognise this and are moved by the novels in ways beyond the ordinary. And let’s face it, though well written they are not great literature. But there is something about them. And something about Dion. Others do not seem to find much about her work or novels at all inspiring, which is fine also.

Over the last fifteen years or so Dion has found some deeper outward recognition with several great biographies, some admission by Wiccans on how much they owe her and now an annual conference on her work and life.

I have blogged about Dion before but am still constantly amazed at the power and wisdom of her work. Much of this is not readily apparent in her writings, wonderful and engaging as they are. Her great strength as a writer and as a teacher was to be able to use words in such a way as to bring about the possibility of connection with the currents and spiritual blessings behind the words. In nearly all of her mature works she is operating on at least two levels at once. This is because she was one of the greatest mediums or channels within all of western magic. She lived with the reality of the Inner Worlds and directions of the Masters on a daily level. More than this, she was able to open this reality, the Gate to the Unseen via her channelling and Magus work for all within the sphere of her Order. From this foundation she produced her written works and wove within them the same Gate to the Unseen. This is an immense gift to the world.

The other day while, literally waiting for the pizza to be delivered, I idly picked a book from the shelf and opened it. It was Dion’s Applied Magic and I read:

The Aquarian attitude towards madness will be very different from the Piscean which has been accompanied by so much shame and embarrassment. It has been considered a terrible thing to have a member of the family in an asylum, but in theAquarian Age far more people will  be treated openly in mental hospitals and many will go there of their own free-will.

Leaving aside the bogey of a ‘New Age’, I find this an astonishing prediction of the changes in mental health over the last hundred years in the west. I had never thought too deeply about Dion as a prophet, though knowing that much of what she worked magic for has indeed come about in our western society.

On a personal note, I am sure that if, as easily could have happened, my family had not migrated to Australia when I was 12, I would have sooner rather than later found myself in London knocking on the doors of Dion’s original Order, the Society of the Inner Light. How that would have changed me I am not exactly sure, but it would have been wonderful 🙂 But now, here in a former colony of the Empire she loved I can only offer thanks, respect and acknowledge my immense debt to her and her Masters.

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6 comments

  1. Frater LeL · October 3, 2009

    Glad you feel that way!

    I’m going to have to read some of those novels, i get to it someday.. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Pax et LVX

  2. David · October 3, 2009

    To true,

    I recently finished reading The Sea Priestess for the first time, whilst as you say, in itself as just a novel it was rather lame. I found my self utterly enthralled, I cant really explain it. I didn’t perceive anything spiritual, or exciting going on behind the curtains. All I know is that I was from time to time unexpectedly brought to tears, for what reason I have no idea, as It wasn’t a particularly emotional book, nor was it due to some emotional context of the book, it just happened.

    Most of my life has been about finding a centre, and balance, and eventually I have began to realize that there was something missing. Since reading that book, whilst my intellectual outlook, and approach to reality hasn’t differed in any way, except I am now truly interested in what the goddess is, I have suddenly found myself feeling incredibly grounded and whole.

    She is a brilliant author, and I doubt I will ever be able to truly understand what inner workings she has put into her book, but as you say Peregrin, if even a tiny portion of the effect it had on me were to be had by others, then her books have been and will continue to be an amazing blessing.

    David

  3. K · October 3, 2009

    That was beautiful. Thank you for that post. 🙂

  4. Emily · October 3, 2009

    Hi Peregrin,

    As I am sure i have mentioned to you in the past I really find Dion’s writing difficult to read, with no good reason I can barely get past the first chapter of any of her books. The only exceptions to that rule is “The Sea Priestess” and “Moon Magic” both of which I have read at least three times over. neither book is well written but there is something more in there, humph you post makes me want to go and read “The Sea Priestess” yet again.

    thanks for you post

    Pax et Lux
    Emily

  5. Launcelot du Lake · October 3, 2009

    I think the books I’ve read by Fortune are well written and I will not say that they are lame, at the same time keeps my eyes glued to them, or draws my attention to them. It does not do them justice. It’s like when I hear people say Derek Jeter is a hall of fame player, but he’s not about the numbers which makes absolutely no sense. It’s diminishing.

    I find that her novels have all been easy to sift through and are very intriguing.

  6. Pingback: Dion Fortune and the Western Way « Magic of the Ordinary

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