Dion Fortune , founder of The Society of the Inner Light, is recognized as one of the most luminous figures of 20th-century esoteric thought. A prolific writer, pioneer psychologist, powerful psychic, and spiritualist, she dedicated her life to the revival of the Western Mystery Tradition. She was also a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn, whose members included at various times such people as A. Waite, Aleister Crowley, and W.
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In esoteric work for the healing of nations, there are at least two main streams — the path of the Lineages and the path of the Hearth-fire. She also wrote novels and books on the theory of The Mystic Qabalah , and did astral-plane police work. We may visualise — as if from an aeroplane at night — a pattern of sacred fires placed here and there on earth, where the Companions of the Light are gathered and keep watch.
We may approach and join them. We need to gain a high altitude vision, to realise that because the issues show as yet no signs of resolution, that does not mean they never will. We need to dive within. Healing is the whole. He taught me and I learnt all manner of things from him about Atlantis and the ancient ways of Britain. It was such a sea path as this down which the oldest gods might travel, coming from the moon and that which is behind the moon — most ancient time and space when earth and moon were both etheric, not yet solidified into dense matter and not yet parted from one another.
I had begun to notice that with the rising tide Molly always seemed to wake up, unlike Morgan who came to her power when the tide was at uttermost ebb. But then she was a sea-priestess, and Molly was a priestess of corn and hearth and garth, which is another aspect of the Great Goddess whom they both served after their different ways. But even as we watched, the sea felt the call of the moon, and the water became flickering silver as the turn of the tide broke the rhythm of the waves, and we watched the water that had come far up the land turn again to the great deep.
And it seemed to me that at her call came the gods of the past and their priests and worshippers, for she was waking the old worship once again. Then Something seemed to formulate in the darkness and come over the sea towards us through the mist, moving by the pathway of silver light upon the water; and it was vast, so that Its head met the stars, and It was all veiled and swathed and shrouded.
Only we saw the silver Feet upon the sea, and they were like moonlight over water. She paused at the edge of the line of the breaking foam, Her feet and Her head among the stars, star-crowned. There was no Face to see for She is forever veiled, but there came to us the great exalted awe which some say is the gods and none other.
And my hands began to burn and tingle with a pulsating force, and from behind my eyes it seemed to come out like a beam. I looked towards Molly, and saw that she stood on tiptoe, reaching up towards her Goddess as if floating between earth and air like a frozen figure of dance, immobile, tense and effortless. And so She passed away as silently as She had come, but the place where She passed was holy, being filled with power.
Something had touched our souls to awe, and we chose to call it the passing of the Goddess. My adventure invites fellow travellers.
I am a poet, an artist and a seer. Watch this space. May not be used for commercial purposes. Looking for Doris — cover for the novel by Barbara Brown.
Who is Isis? There is Black Isis who is primordial, and White Isis who rules the hearth and the way of birth. I work and live with White Isis, and am aware with her Shadow.
The Isis archetype is tidal — the tiny lunar ripple moves across continents. Nothing can change the world without beginning Here. It held the wealth of nations; and alchemy went underground. It and her other novels are published by the Society of Inner Light — curators of the School which Dion Fortune founded, between the world wars.
Those who read the novels without having studied the Qabalah will get hints and a stimulus to their subconscious. Wilfred, an estate agent, becomes acquainted with — and fascinated by — an enigmatic woman who calls herself Vivien le Fay Morgan. I let my mind range beyond time to the beginning. I saw the vast sea of infinite space, indigo-dark in the Night of the Gods; and it seemed to me that in that darkness and silence must be the seed of all things.
And as in the seed is infolded the future flower with its seed, and again, the flower in the seed, so must all creation be infolded to infinite space, and I along with it.
I woke up at dawn, and saw a glorious pathway of pale gold leading along the wave-tops. There was something unearthly about the complete emptiness that one looked out on to through that window in the pale light of dawn. I could see no land from my bed, but only the glittering waves with the shadows still in their hollows, for the light was low.
And in that hour, freshly wakened from sleep, I saw things differently from the way I had ever seen them before. They hailed the sea as the oldest of created things, older even than the hills, and the mother of all living. But they bade the sea remember that the moon is the giver of magnetic life, and that it was from the moonlight on the sea that living forms arose.
For the sea is formless, but the magnetic moon is the giver of form to the life of the waters. Morgan le Fay as remote as the moon, was a lot more to my liking than she would have been mending my socks; for then I kept my dream of moon-magic and sea-palaces, and had for my love a princess of the powers of the air, and all this would have turned to dust like Dead Sea fruit had she degenerated into flesh and blood.
Morgan le Fay had taught me that things cook quite differently over different kinds of fire, and that a gas-oven can never take the place of bright wood-embers that diffuse a soft lambent heat instead of the dry harshness of gas. Then, she said, there were different kinds of woods, and for some dishes nothing but coals of juniper would serve, and told me the old rune:.
Take two twigs of the juniper tree. Cross them, cross them, cross them. Look in the coals of the fire of Azrael —. There is a virtue in her hands that passes into the food. I would fire a cantankerous cook if I had to live on dog biscuits for the rest of my days, for everything she touches she poisons for a sensitive person.
Next day I awoke at dawn and went out on to the point. I saw the fog roll back as the sun came up. A light fitful wind came in from the open sea and pushed it back in great wreaths, and the sun shone down out of a cloudless sky of palest autumn blue and caught the little waves that followed in the wake of the wind. All the sea was a-sparkle with pale gold, and the fog, snowy white, lay along the coast in a bank that hid the land.
It was as if all the world had sunk in the sea and only the high sea-down remained. I promised myself that Morgan le Fay should soon have her fire of sweet woods. I knew where I could lay my hands on cedar logs, for one had blown down near us in a summer storm; sandalwood was to buy at a price, and juniper grew on the hills behind the town.
Yes, we would light a Fire of Azrael before we were very much older, and I would look into its coals and see the past. All that day I worked on the second panel. I painted the rift in the mist and the pale sun coming through, and the sickly silver sea that heaved so slowly. And down the sea-lane thus opening came the shade of the Flying Dutchman; a ship of antique shape, her sails hanging aslant; her ropes trailing in the water; and on her high forecastle a great barnacled bell that had been sunk long centuries in deepest ooze.
Slow swirls of water followed her forefoot, and through them showed the faces of drowned mariners who clutched at her stem as they went by. And some of them had no faces, for like the poor mooncalf, they had gone down into deep water and been made one with the sea snakes. Morgan le Fay did not altogether like these things. She said — had she got to live with this picture, for it was terrible? Perhaps some day I who love you will be like these things without faces. She told me how, through her acquaintance with the Priest of the Moon who had come to her in the crystal, she had learnt a strange lore, lost since the world grew wise, or thought it did.
This was the inner, intuitive wisdom of the ancients and of primitive people to this day. She said how the soul was of ancient lineage, coming to earth again and again, learning the lessons of earth and finally winning to freedom; and there were some souls that having no more need of the lessons of earth, came not to learn but to teach, and she believed she was one of these. They were not, she said, of ordinary birth, but magically incarnated, biding their time till conditions were right, and then slipping in.
It was the mingling of Breton and Welsh that had made the conditions wherein the strange soul that was hers, could come …. And it does not matter whether you love me or not if you can bring through that power. And I knew that water had two moods — the flowing and the still, and not until it is still can life arise in it. And learning as I had, that the beginning of things is reflected through all their nature, I reckoned there must be in us this flowing of our energies and their gathering into a deep pool, and that these things might be under the moon-rhythms.
But I knew also that there must be an alternating rhythm in these things, and that maybe it is this rhythm we have forgotten. I am never really virile unless I am in a tantrum. Morgan on the other hand, was an extraordinarily vital woman. Then I saw why there must be priestesses as well as priests; for there is a dynamism in a woman that fecundates the emotional nature of a man as surely as he fecundates her physical body; this was a thing forgotten by modern civilisation which stereotypes and conventionalises all things and forgets the Moon, our Lady of flux and reflux.
She was trying to discover the manner in which this lost force worked. But behind our conventions there is primordial Nature, and I saw why vamps have such a success, and the kind unselfish woman gets left on the shelf; for men do not love the women who give and give, but the ones who make demands on them and so call out their strength … Love is one of those things in which to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
There was a curious, subtle difference about the fort that I cannot define, and the smell of cedar and sandal had soaked into it till the whole place was redolent.
The fort felt like a harp that had been tuned ready for use; and every now and again, like an Aeolian harp, faint sighing sounds came from it spontaneously. There was something curious about the sea too, that is not easy to describe; it seemed as if it had come much nearer to us and could at will flow in and fill all the rooms.
And yet it was not a drowning and alien element, for a kinship had been established between us and the sea, and we would be able to breathe in its waters as if we were amphibian. I cannot put into words the curious sense I received of being made free of the sea; as if no wave would ever sweep me off the point, but I could walk down into the depths as I would walk out into a fog — conscious of a denser medium but not of an alien element.
I knew that my dedication had been accepted … whether the land was to be saved from the sea, or whether the sea was to regenerate the land. And then I found myself on that high tabular peak of Atlantis where the sacred college had stood, though whether it was sunk in the great Atlantic Deep or high in air, I do not know.
My guide had gone, and before me were two figures veiled in misty light. I could see neither face nor form, but only the shadowy sweep of the robes and great folded wings behind them. What they said to me, or I said to them, I shall never know, for nothing remained in memory save that I knelt on the knee before them upon the rock of the plateau and iridescent, opalescent light played all around me; and there was in my soul a reverence so profound and awe so great, that ever afterwards life has been to me a sacrament.
We walked along the ancient way as if we were making pilgrimage. As long as nothing is said, the thing you are thinking remains in another dimension and is magical, but as soon as you speak it, you lose it. It is the old story of the jewels bought in the goblin market, which you must only look at by moonlight or you find them to be a handful of dead leaves. It amazed me to remember that then I had been so shy with her that I hardly knew how to address her, and now I was so intimate that I could bicker with her like I did with my sister when she rubbed my fur the wrong way.
There is no greater test of intimacy than to be able to have a row with a person without quarrelling with them. The tide was going out, and the rocks of the point were slowly coming up out of the water as the languid wash of the ground-swell heaved the weed.
Book Review: The Sea Priestess, by Dion Fortune
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In esoteric work for the healing of nations, there are at least two main streams — the path of the Lineages and the path of the Hearth-fire. She also wrote novels and books on the theory of The Mystic Qabalah , and did astral-plane police work. We may visualise — as if from an aeroplane at night — a pattern of sacred fires placed here and there on earth, where the Companions of the Light are gathered and keep watch. We may approach and join them. We need to gain a high altitude vision, to realise that because the issues show as yet no signs of resolution, that does not mean they never will. We need to dive within.