Dion Fortune

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dion Fortune
Born Violet Mary Firth
6 December 1890
Llandudno, Wales
Died 8 January 1946 (aged 55)
Middlesex, London
Occupation Occultist, author

Dion Fortune born Violet Mary Firth (6 December 1890 – 8 January 1946), was a prominent British occultist, author, psychologist, teacher, artist, and mystic.[1] Schooled in Western Esotericism, she was influential in the modern revival of the magical arts. She was also a prolific writer of the supernatural and the occult in both novels and non-fiction works. As a psychologist, she approached magic and hermetic concepts from the perspectives of Jung and Freud.

Known to those in her inner circle as DF, her pseudonym was inspired by her family motto "Deo, non-fortuna" (Latin for "by God, not fate"), originally the ancient motto of the Barons and Earls Digby.[2] Fortune died in 1946 from leukemia in Middlesex, London, at the age of 55.

Early life[edit]

She was born in Bryn-y-Bia in Llandudno, Wales, and grew up in a household where Christian Science was rigorously practiced.[3] She reported visions of Atlantis at age four[4] and developing psychic abilities at age 20. [5]

She joined the Theosophical Society[3] and attended courses in psychology and psychoanalysis at the University of London,[6] and became a lay psychotherapist at the Medico-Psychological Clinic in Brunswick Square.[7]

Her first magical mentor was the Irish occultist and Freemason Theodore Moriarty (1873–1923).[8] In 1919 she was initiated into the London Temple of the Alpha et Omega[9] before transferring to the Stella Matutina order.[10]

Lectures[edit]

Fortune fell out with Moina Mathers, head of the Alpha et Omega, and claimed she was coming under magical attack.[3][11] In 1922, with Moina's consent, Dion Fortune left the Alpha et Omega and with her husband, Penry Evans[3] formed the Fraternity of the Inner Light as an offshoot of the Alpha et Omega.[12][13] This brought new members to the Alpha et Omega.[14] Fortune's group was later renamed "The Society of the Inner Light". This society was to be the focus of her work for the rest of her life. In 1925 Dion Fortune became the president of the Christian Mystic Lodge of the Theosophical Society but left it same year.

Books and other writings[edit]

From 1919[3] she began writing a number of novels and short stories that explored various aspects of magic and mysticism, including The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, The Goat-Foot God, and The Secrets of Dr. Taverner. This latter is a collection of short stories based on her experiences with Theodore Moriarty. Two of her novels, The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic, became influential within the Goddess Movement and Wicca, especially upon Doreen Valiente.[15]

Of her works on magical subjects, the best remembered of her books are; The Cosmic Doctrine,[16] a summation of her basic teachings on mysticism, Psychic Self-Defense,[17] a manual on how to protect oneself from psychic attacks and the seminal book of knowledge known as the The Mystical Qabalah,[18] an introduction to Hermetic Qabalah which was first published in England in 1935, and is regarded as one of the best books on magic ever written.[3]

According to authors Charles and Collins Carr, her writings have the virtue of lucidity[19] and avoid the deliberate obscurity that characterized many of her forerunners and contemporaries in explaining the ancient "Wisdom Teachings".[20]

According to author Diana Paxson, in a letter to Random House regarding her sister-in-law Marion Zimmer Bradley she credits Dion Fortune's Avalon of the Heart and novels as the inspiration for The Mists of Avalon. In the Letter[1] she says "In particular, Mists of Avalon was a story of a woman's spiritual quest. The spirituality of Avalon derives from the British Mystery tradition, especially as it was interpreted by the occult writer Dion Fortune, whose character, Miss LeFay Morgan, is both a progenitor and descendant of Morgaine. In addition, Marion drew upon Dion Fortune's non-fiction book, Avalon of the Heart. For a time, Dion Fortune lived in Glastonbury, in a cottage at the base of the Tor, in the Chalice Orchard, Glastonbury, home of the legendary Glastonbury Tor is still a sacred center of pilgrimage for many".

Dion Fortune's early 20th century occult and supernatural non-fiction writings also influenced other fantasy fiction authors of novels, comic books, graphic novels and video games.[citation needed]

The work that is considered her masterpiece by occultists and occult sympathizers is The Mystical Qabalah, first published in England in 1935.[15][21][22]

Fortune's occult experiences during WWII are written about in the Magical Battle of Britain, which was an effort by British occultists to instruct their followers in meditation through newsletters during World War II. [23] [24][25]

Tomb of Dion Fortune

Dion Fortune maintained a residence and teaching center in Glastonbury at the base of the Glastonbury Tor. While there she claimed to make trance contact with the Esoteric Order known as the Secret Chiefs. Between 1941–42 the information she purportedly channeled became known as The Arthurian Formula which formed a cornerstone of the inner work of the Society of the Inner Light. A book on the subject edited by Gareth Knight was released in 2006.

Her Society of the Inner Light continues to function, and has also given rise to other orders, including The London Group, until recently headed by Alan Adams (aka Charles Fielding),[26][27][28] and Servants of the Light, headed by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.[3]

Her work has had a direct influence on bringing back awareness of the Sacred Feminine and the return of the Goddess in popular culture.[citation needed]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Machinery of the Mind, 1922 [Violet M. Firth]
  • The Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage, 1924
  • The Psychology of the Servant Problem, 1925
  • The Secrets of Dr. Taverner, 1926
  • The Demon Lover, 1927
  • Esoteric Orders and Their Work, 1928
  • The Mystical Qabalah, 1935
  • The Winged Bull, 1935
  • The Goat-Foot God, 1936
  • The Sea Priestess, 1938
  • The Cosmic Doctrine, 1949
  • Moon Magic, (unfinished in her lifetime, and published posthumously in 1956)
  • Applied Magic, 1962
  • Psychic Self-Defense, 1971
  • Glastonbury: Avalon of the Heart, 1986
  • The Circuit of Force (with Gareth Knight)
  • The Training and Work of an Initiate (with Gareth Knight)
  • An Introduction to Ritual Magic (with Gareth Knight), 1997
  • What Is Occultism?, 2001
  • Mystical Meditations on the Christian Collects, 2006
  • Practical Occultism (with Gareth Knight)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richardson, Alan; "The Magical Life of Dion Fortune", Aquarian Press, 1987, ISBN 1-85538-051-X, p 26.
  2. ^ Knight, Gareth; Dion Fortune and the Inner Light, Thoth, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0, p 2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Drury, Nevill (1992). Dictionary of Mysticism and the Esoteric Traditions. Bridport, Dorset: Prism Unity. ISBN 1-85327-075-X. 
  4. ^ Knight, Gareth; Dion Fortune and the Inner Light, Thoth Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0, pp 14–15.
  5. ^ Chapman, Janine; Quest for Dion Fortune, Samuel Weiser, 1993, ISBN 0-87728-775-9, p 3-5.
  6. ^ Chapman, Janine; "Quest for Dion Fortune", Samuel Weiser, 1993, ISBN 0-87728-775-9, p 5.
  7. ^ Knight, Gareth; Dion Fortune and the Inner Light, Thoth Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0, p29 and Richardson, Alan The Magical Life of Dion Fortune, p 54. N.B. Janine Chapman however in her book, Quest for Dion Fortune (p 6), says that Fortune worked at the Tavistock clinic, citing Christine Hartley as her source.
  8. ^ Richardson, Alan; The Magical Life of Dion Fortune, Aquarian Press, 1991, ch.4. ISBN 1-85538-051-X and Knight, Gareth; "Dion Fortune and the Inner Light", Thoth Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0, ch.5.
  9. ^ Richardson, Alan, The Magical Life of Dion Fortune, Aquarian Press, 1991, p111. ISBN 1-85538-051-X and Knight, Gareth; Dion Fortune and the Inner Light, Thoth Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0, ch.7.
  10. ^ Richardson, Alan; The Magical Life of Dion Fortune, Aquarian Press, 1991, p114. ISBN 1-85538-051-X
  11. ^ King, 1989, page 144
  12. ^ Richardson, Alan, "The Magical Life of Dion Fortune", Aquarian Press, 1991, ISBN 1-85538-051-X, p117,
  13. ^ Knight, Gareth; "Dion Fortune and the Inner Light", Thoth Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0, pp 138–139.
  14. ^ King, 1989, page 143
  15. ^ a b "Internet Book of Shadows: Dion Fortune & Gardnerian Wicca (C.S. Clifton in W.o.W.)". Sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  16. ^ Richardson, Alan, The Magical Life of Dion Fortune, Aquarian Press, 1991, p63, ISBN 1-85538-051-X and Fielding, Charles and Collins, Carr; The Story of Dion Fortune, Thoth Books, 1998, ISBN 1-870450-33-7, p151.
  17. ^ Charles and Collins, Carr, The Story of Dion Fortune, Thoth Books, 1998, ISBN 1-870450-33-7, p150,
  18. ^ Fielding, Charles and Collins, Carr; "The Story of Dion Fortune", Thoth Books, 1998, ISBN 1-870450-33-7, p151 and Richardson, Alan, "The Magical Life of Dion Fortune", Aquarian Press, 1991, p137, ISBN 1-85538-051-X
  19. ^ Charles and Collins, Carr; "The Story of Dion Fortune", Thoth Books, 1998, ISBN 1-870450-33-7,p150.
  20. ^ Fortune, Dion; The Mystical Qabalah, Aquarian Press, 1987, ISBN 0-85030-335-4, p 1. and Fielding, Charles and Collins, Carr; "The Story of Dion Fortune", Thoth Books, 1998, ISBN 1-870450-33-7, p152.
  21. ^ Richardson, Alan, "The Magical Life of Dion Fortune", Aquarian Press, 1991, ISBN 1-85538-051-X, p137
  22. ^ Regardie, Israel, (ed), 777 and other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley, introduction.
  23. ^ Carr; "The Story of Dion Fortune", Thoth Books, 1998, ISBN 1-870450-33-7, p106-109 and Knight, Gareth
  24. ^ Fortune, Dion; The Magical Battle of Britain, Sun Chalice Books, 1993, ISBN 1-928754-21-X
  25. ^ Evans, Dave; David Sutton (September 2010). "The Magical Battle of Britain. Fighting Hitler's Nazis with occult ritual". Fortean Times. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  26. ^ Lamond, F. (2005) Fifty Years of Wicca. pp. 48–50.
  27. ^ "R.A.M.S. Digital Library – Hans Ninztel". Ramsdigital.com. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  28. ^ Knight, Gareth; "Dion Fortune and the Inner Light", Thoth Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-870450-45-0.

External links[edit]