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.