Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Midsummer message 2007

A pleasant midsummer surprise has been to receive copies of my new little book THE OCCULT FICTION OF DION FORTUNE just issued by Thoth Publications.

Dion Fortune is recognised as one of the most influential figures in 20th century occultism and her books on various aspects of the occult tradition are now enjoying a much deserved reappraisal. Her works of fiction are highly acclaimed both as vehicles for presenting complex magical and psychical theory and as remarkably powerful pieces of genre literature. Most are still in print thanks to Red Wheel/Weiser in the United States.

As a life long student of her work I have here tried to provide an overview of all her occult fiction, including her early work, The Secrets of Dr Taverner, a series of short stories based upon the approach of her early teacher Dr Theodore Moriarty to methods of esoteric healing, and The Demon Lover, a blood and thunder thriller of black magic and vampirism that developed in the writing into a story of initiation and redemption through love.

In her later novels Dion Fortune began deliberately to use fiction as a means of practical teaching. While she had presented the theory of occultism in her great work The Mystical Qabalah, it was through her works of fiction that she sought to provide manuals for putting it into practice, at a time when much of this material was considered highly secret and to be revealed to initiates only.

I hope that I have now provided a clear guide on how and where to look for this practical instruction in these later novels, which comprise The Goat-foot God, an evocation of Earth Mysteries and the Rite of Pan; The Winged Bull, with its polar Mysteries of Sun and Earth; The Sea Priestess, celebrating the Mysteries of the Moon; and the posthumously published Moon Magic that takes them to a higher arc with the setting up of a temple dedicated to Isis.

Many aspects of occultism receive practical attention in her pages, including place memories, karmic elements from past incarnations, animal magnetism, ley lines, sacred centres, techniques of ritual, and above all the working out of right relationships between the sexes in polar interchange.

An additional bonus for me has been the evocative cover design provided by Helen Surman, an impression of the Sea Priestess with her fire of Azrael, invoking the horned heavenly Isis who strides across the sky with her feet upon the waters of Bridgewater Bay, close to the actual physical location of Dion Fortune's novel.