Varieties of Magical Experience, 9.4-9.6



Path-workings by Dion Fortune


pp. 188-9 Dion Fortune

p. 188

"Violet Firth (1890-1946) ... In 1919 ... was introduced to the Golden Dawn Temple of the Alpha and Omega ... . Based in London, the Alpha and Omega temple was a southern offshoot of the Scottish section of the Golden Dawn headed by J. W. Brodie-Innes. ... In the Alpha and Omega temple, Firth took the magical name Deo Non Fortuna -- "by God and not by luck" -- which also happened to be the Latin motto inscribed upon the Firth family cest, and she now became known in esoteric circles as

a contraction of her magical name. Dion Fortune,

{Though it may also be a pun on her family-crest motto, /Dion/ is, more directly an abbreviated form of the name of Dione (who is according to H:Th 346sq an Okeanid, but according to A:B 1:2 a Titanid (female Titan) -- "TD").} {/Fortune/ would repraesent /Moira/.}

In 1922, Dion Fortune formed her own meditative group. Originally known as

The Christian Mystic Lodge of the Theosophical Society,

Because the Theosophical Society founded by Blavatsky and Olcott is Samskr.ta-based, the name /CHRIstian M.../ would be taken by membres as /HRIM/ (a tantrik ritual interjection).}

it would later become The Fraternity {and Sorority} of the Inner Light. ...

p. 189

In her posthumously published book Applied Magic (1962), Dion Fortune reveals ... an esoteric view of ...

"a high priest after the Order of {Melki^-S.edeq}" ... .

{/MeLKi^-/ might be taken as referring to the MiLK-bath of (R.c Veda 1:104:3) the two wives of Ku-yava ('Bad Barley' -- aequivalent to Athamant-, one whose two wives "persuaded the women of the country to parch the wheat" [GML"A"] which was to be used as "the seed-corn" [GM 70.c]).}

Dion Fortune was especially drawn a to cosmic being called Manu Melchizedek {Melki^-S.edeq} ...

{Manu is likewise glorified by Michael Serrano ("SD&MS", p. 127). Melki^-S.edeq is much-glorifled in the URANtia Book, named for URAN.a "who stretched out ninety-nine arms" (R.c Veda 2:14:4) alike unto the hundred-handed Hekaton-kheires, who are sons of Ouranos.}

who would become her guide on the inner planes."

H:Th = Hesiodos : Theogonia.

A:B = Apollodoros : Bibliotheka.

"TD" = "Titanis Dione".

GML"A" = Greek Mythology Link "Athamas"

"SD&MS" = Arthur Versluis : "Savitri Devi & Miguel Serrano". In :- Henrik Bogdan & Gordan Djurdjevic (edd.) : Occultism in a Global Perspective. Acumen Publ Ltd, Durham (UK), 2013. pp. 121-33.

pp. 189-91 novels & pathworkings of Dion Fortune

p. 189

"Her two novels The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic contain allusions ... :

Those who adore ... Nature ... adore her as Hathor ... of the silver star ... . ...

{Goddess H.T-H.R is likewise (supra pp. 186-7) associated by Aleister Crowley with the "silver star" of Troia/ILIon : cf. (R.c Veda 1:33:12) ILIbis`a (perhaps /ILI/ for the ILergetes and ILerkaones of Hispania Tarraconensis + /IBIS`a/ for /IBIZa/ the Balearic island).}

However, Dion Fortune was interested in a different aspect -- ... the Black Isis {cf. the Black Virgin Mary} ... said to destroy all that

p. 190

"was inessential and obstructive to the soul's development.""

"The Fraternity of the Inner Light ... now developed a practical approach to magical "path-workings" ... . "An ... essay titled "The Old Religion," [FPD 1965] written by ... Dion Fortune's group, confirms that the Inner LIght members believed that astral ventures of this kind could rouse "ancient cult memories" from previous incarnations. ...

p. 191

Utilizing classical Roman mythology, members of the Inner Light drew on the imagery of the Cumaean Gates, which, according to legend, ... were guarded by the Sibyl attending the Temple of Apollo. It was through these gates that Aeneas was said to have passed,

after ... first obtaining the golden bough ... . ... Then he ... was granted access to mysterious secrets of the universe."

{Cf. the "silver branch" (SB, vol. 1, p. 106) wherewith Bran was invited by a woman (goddess) to visit Emain. Through his resultant voyage of visitation, he gained access to the secrets of the divine worlds.}

[quoted from FPD 1965, p. 49 :] "It was Deiphobe {Dei-phobe},

daughter of Glaucus {Glaukos}, priestess of Phoebus {Phoibos},

{This Glaukos (son of Hippo-lokhos) was (DCM, s.v. "Glaucus 2") "the founder of the royal dynasty of Lycia", Apollon (Phoibos) being (A&CS, p. 103) "at Iliad 4.101 ... called Lukegenes, "Lycian-born."".

and of the Goddess Three-wayed {Tri-via} who, for King Aeneas {Aineias}, opened the keyless door and drew the veil that hides life from death and death from life."

""The Old Religion" describes a series of inner journeys --

"The By[e]-Road to the Cave in the Mountain,"

"At the Ford of the Moon,"

"The High Place of the Moon," and

"The Hosting of the Sidhe"".

FPD 1965 = FPD : "The Old Religion". In :- Basil Wilby (ed.) : The New Dimensions Red Book. Cheltenham : Helios.

SB = Florence Marian McNeill : The Silver Bough. 4 voll. Glasgow : W. Maclellan, 1957-1990. Vol. 1 (1957) = Scottish Folk-Lore and Folk-Belief.

A&CS = Gloria Ferrari : Alcman and the Cosmos of Sparta. Univ of Chicago Pr, 2008.

pp. 192 & 265 Servants of the Light

p. 192

"The work of The Fraternity of the Inner Light, including its unique approach to path-working, has been further developed by a contemporary magical order known as the Servants of the Light, a group whose headquarters are currently located in St. Helier on the island of Jersey. The present head of the Servants of the Light, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, has also written practical source-books on path-working ... visionary meditation."

p. 265, n. 9:44

"Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, The Shining Paths : An Experiential Journey through the Tree of Life (Wellingborough, UK : Aquarian Press, 1983); and Highways of the Mind : The Art and History of Pathworking (Wellingborough, UK : Aquarian Press, 1987)."



Trance-Magic of Austin Osman Spare


pp. 193-4 Austin Osman Spare

p. 193

"Spare ... developed a unique cosmology around ... Kia and Zos ... .

Spare used the term "Kia" to describe the primal, cosmic life force and believed that the spiritual and occult energies

{In Liddell & Scott, /kia/ is cited as (Cyr., Zonar.) a synonym for /methe/ (signifying, in several of the Dialogues by Platon, 'inebriation'); Methe being in Pausanias (2.27.3) personified as a deity (G-EL s.v. "methe"). [Spare evidently intended a synonym for /enthousiamos/.]}

inherent in Kia could be channeled into the human organism, which he called "Zos." {cf. Kemetic /ZJ/ (/ZI,/)'man'?}

{In describing his dream, ZOSimos [of Pano-polis, city of the Pan of Rosaleen Norton] wrote (AWS"Z") : "my body transformed, I should learn to become a spirit." One thus transfigured is therewithal (loc. cit.) "a guardian of spirits."}

His technique of arousing these primal energies -- a magical process he termed atavistic resurgence -- involved focusing his attention on ... symbols of the magical ... . According to Spare it was only in a state of mental "vacuity" ... that Kia became "sensitive to the subtle suggestion of the sigil." When the mind was in a "void" ... state -- achieved through ... exhaustion [p. 265, n. 9:55 : "Exhaustion ... brought about in ... "Mantras and Posture, Women ... and concentration on the Sigil ..." See Spare [1913, p.] 51."], or at the peak of sexual ecstasy -- this was the right time to direct a magical sigil ..., producing a tangible outcome. Spare used magical sigils ... to recover ... his former "karmas" -- psychic impressions of his previous incarnations on earth. ... The psyche ... consisted of a number of different layers -- the

p. 194

cumulative {effect of} impressions of successive lives ... . Spare's intention was to gain knowledge of his concealed mental states through "regression" and eventually ... an indescribable ecstatic union with Kia -- whose energy he had now come to consider as basically sexual".

G-EL = Henry George Liddell & Robert Scott : A Greek-English Lexicon.

AWS"Z" = Alchemy Web Site "Zosimos".

Spare 1913 = Austin Osman Spare : The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love) : the Psychology of Ecstasy. London.

pp. 195-6 Spare's sigilistic sorcery

p. 195

"The dark void of the mind, emptied of thought-forms ..., could be penetrated by employing a suitable magical sigil. ... Spare's sorcery -- he himself labeled it as such -- utilized the process of atavistic resurgence in order to summon "elementals," or karmic "automata," ... for magical purposes. ... Spare's method for creating individualized sigils is ... by writing his "will" in sentence form and by combining the basic letters ... into a pattern shape ... . ...

p. 196

(Examples of this process show, for each word : the 1st letter extending to both the left and the right, the second letter above, and the last letter below.)

pp. 197-8 Spare on atavistic influx inwards-and-backwards

p. 197

[quoted from Spare 1921, 13] "Retrogress to the point where knowledge ceases in that Law becomes its own spontaneity and freedom. This is the new atavism I would teach :

Demand of God equality ...!" ...

{By the term "God", one's guardian angel is here evidently intended. One's guardian angel must already regard one's self as a constructive (effective) aequal.}

In Spare's cosmology, ... the true magical direction is "inwards" or, more specifically, "backwards

to the First Cause."

{Is this "First Cause" to be likewise construed as one's guardian angel? Crowley apparently thought that it is.}

With "Spare ... it was crucially important that once a magical sigil was dispatched ... at the moment of "vacuity" (the "void moment"), the instruction had to be forgotten to that the process of manifesting ... could become "organic." As Spare explains :

[quoted from Spare 1913, 51 :] ... . ... the Sigil form (at any time but the magical) ... should be repressed, by a deliberate striving to forget it; by this it is and dominates

at the unconscious period;

{during dreamless sleep?}

its form nourishes and allows it to ... become organic; that accomplished is its reality and realization. Vacuity is obtained by exhausting the mind and body ... the time of exhaustion is the time of fulfilment. ... Hence the mind, by Sigils,

p. 198

depending upon the intensity ..., is illuminated or obsessed ... from that particular Karma".

Spare 1921 = Austin Osman Spare : The Focus of Life. Morland Pr.



Rosaleen Norton's Trance-States


pp. 199-203 interview by L. J. Murphy with Rosaleen Norton in 1949 (transcript published as appendix to Drury 2009)

p. 199

"I had a feeling ... that ...

somewhere ... the individual would contain, in essence, the accumulated knowledge of mankind;

{Untrue! An individual can access the Akas`ik Record only as pertaining to that person's self, or of a few individual other persons (by working the "threads of Wyrd" on their behalf, usually when requaested to do by them, and approved by their supernatural spirit-guides); and this Akas`ik Record is not contained in any one person, but rather is far outside and away all persons, in a transcendental (located on the causal plane) storage-depot (Alaya-vijn~ana).}

just as his physical body manifests the aggregate of racial experience in the form of instinct or automatic reaction to stimulus.

{False! The instincts and automatic responses are activated by the particular spirits praesiding over those instincts and automatic responses; and these particular spirits in no way manifest knowledge of aggregated human- [or other-]species's experience.}

In order to contact this hypothetical source, I decided to apply psychic stimulus to the subconscious : stimulus ... which would

appeal to the buried instincts as old as man,

{The appeal being issued by trance- (and dream-)work is not addressed actually to any "buried instincts as old as man", but rather instead to the divine controllers of these instincts, viz., to deities as old as [if not older than!] time itself.}

and would (I hoped) cause psychic "automatic reflexes"

(Religious cults use ritual, incense, etc. for the same reason).

{Not quite accurate! Religious cults employ "ritual, incense, etc." in order to entertain, and thereby please, deities who are being requested (invoked or evoked) to arrive and to observe the proceedings.}

Consequently, ... I darkened the

p. 200

room, ... crushed the pungent incense ..., and tried to clear my mind of all conscious thought. ...

I seemed, while experiencing a great intensification of intellectual, creative and intuitional faculties, to have become detached in a curiously timeless fashion from the world around me, and yet to be seeing things with greater clarity and awareness than normally. I was working day and night, having very little sleep or rest, yet a supply of inexhaustible power {generating such energy} seemed to flow through me. ... .

Once ... I succeeded in inducing a type of cataleptic trance. Gradually over the space of about an hour my heart

p. 201

beat became slower and slower ...; and then an extraordinary sensation ran over my entire body ... as though my body's mechanism had come to a pause -- and then

{Cited by Theferkel as a mythological description in the context of (i.e., an esoteric exposition of) "Hypnosis for Beginners – Day 2 – Switching off the muscular system" is

a light frothing bubbling sensation spread through my veins as though my body were dissolving into foam. ...

the literary passage : (quoted from "LM") "She ... thought her body was dissolving into foam."}

I do not know what the result would have been had I not been disturbed."

(This process was interrupted by another human. Evidently the deities who had produced that trance-state had waited to do so until she was about to be interrupted, not caring for her to die as a result of being so very delighted with it as to wish to remain it that state which is automatically resultant in death in the case of one's declining to return. Many shamans have died as a result of choosing not to return from some divine paradise being visited by them during their trance.) "The dissolving stopped, there was a sense of shock, and with a slight jerk my breathing started again very slowly.

I ... could not speak at first, as my lips and vocal organs seemed extraneous and difficult to control. I took me another hour to resume normal functioning, ...

{This is more extreme than ordinary sleep-paralysis, wherefrom recovery is soon and swift.}

[to her husband] my skin had felt icy ... (I had not been aware of this)."

{usual for so-called "catatonic" trance}

p. 202

"In the other Realm ... Intelligences are not confined to one form as here; also the consciousness pertaining to each type of form ..., being fluid and plasmic matter can and does alter its form to any image appropriate to circumstances. ...

Generally, the more primitive the mind, the more it anthropomorphizes the attributes of its God ... ." {What?! How could it possibly, when primitive people (unlike modern merchanized civilizations) have to deal constantly with animals!}

{This is not, strictly speaking, at all true! AmerIndians and especially Australian aborigines commonly and frequently see (in their dreams), deities in the guises of animals, plants, and even rocks. However, deities do not seem to assume the forms of "Platonic (Archimedean) solids" (cone, cylindre, sphaire) amongst such peoples.}

"Consider the power {power?? mortals lack any and all powers}, then of the this unconscious mass-concentration {how can any mortal[s] while unconscious "concentrate" on anything whatsoever?!} of human beings, throughout the ages, upon certain idealisations of forms ... . This unconscious {?!} creative thought concentration has built up images in the aether,

{This is an unsubstantiated sheer speculation (though it is also claimed by Theosophical Society)! Humans cannot alter their own bodies; much less can they alter deities bodies! [written Oct 25 2014] It is much more likely that mortal mind is quite incapable of forcing any shapes on deities, but that deities by way of gratious compliance with mortals' expectations, assume forms expected by mortals in order not to frighten nor puzzle ignorant, uncompraehending mortals. }

p. 203

moulding raw plasmic matter to the form of these images, and providing vehicles for other intelligences to manifest through, relative to humanity.

{Neither by mortal humanity nor by mortal animals nor by plants can anything be thus "provided" : deities surely make their own bodies -- and make mortals' bodies also. [written Oct 25 2014]}

I do not mean that these {divine} intelligences are either confined to any or all of these forms, [n]or that they are the product of human thought, conscious or otherwise.

The vehicles, or God-forms, yes, largely so,

{Nay, nay! At the very most, human thought may make a few mild suggestions -- but all human thought must originate from divine sources anyway, mortals being virtually incapable any independent motivation separate from divine compulsions (free will being essentially merely an illusion for mortals).}

but not the intelligences themselves. ...

Human consciousness, then, can move up into these God-forms during trance, or other exceptional conditions; likewise Deva consciousness can descend into the same form.

The inhabiting, or temporary animation of these forms by entities can be likened to an ectoplasmic "incarnation," during which the entity assumes both the form and the mode of intelligence and perception associated with that form."

{Not quite! The forms of deities in their own subtle planes-of-existence (as witnessed in dreaming) are very much capable of suddenly becoming resplendent in ways (sparkling, emitting light-rays, shifting hue, becoming iridescent, etc.) which ordinary ectoplasm is usually incapable of.}

Drury 2009 = Nevill Drury : Homage to Pan : the ... Sex Magic of Rosaleen Norton. London : Creation Oneiros.

"LM" = Hans Christian Andersen : "The Little Mermaid". 1836. {In "LM", this sensation of one's body's "dissolving into foam" is a sign of a mermaid's dying in such a way as to be received by, and to dwell thereafter amongst, "the daughters of the air" -- indicating an entity species (namely, the Sylphs) wherein most of the while the gendres are segregated. This tale must be of Rosicrucian provenience, for (out of the diverse European occult orders in existence), the Rosicrucian is the most devoted [and likewise for guardian-spirits praesiding over other animal species, plants, etc.] to veneration of the Elemental Spirits.}

{N.B. Rosaleen Norton derived her most basic ("hypothetical source") notions/assumptions (as also did Austin Osman Spare) not from her own personal experience, nor from the personal experience of recognized psychics, shamans, nor the like; but instead from the wild speculations of disreputable (sponsored by the deceitful, mendacious capitalist-controlled political state) "psychiatrists", "psychologists", etc.}

pp. 201, 203 human constructs vs. divine manifestations

p. 201

"Norton maintained that the actual gods or "intelligences" themselves could not be constrained by the cultural forms imposed by mythological or religions traditions because

these were only human constructs;

{In class-ruled societies, religion is largely an artificial construction fabricated by the ruling class; and in societies lacking ruling classes, deities of mythology are often objects of humorous social satire.}

that is to say, the gods were {are} "greater" than the "god-forms" through which they manifested".

p. 203

"According to Norton, the fluid nature of the astral realm allowed metaphysical entities and intelligences from higher planes of existence to manifest themselves on lower levels of the astral plane ... . Norton believed that the god-forms themselves provided a mediating link between different levels of reality -- the metaphysical and the human -- and that human beings could approach the gods by rising through the astral {sub}planes toward the manifested {in planes above the astral plane} god-forms during trance. Conversely, the gods could "incarnate" or "descend" {from planes above the astral plane} into the astral realms".


Lynne Hume & Nevill Drury : The Varieties of Magical Experience : Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic. Praeger (an imprint of ABC-CLIO), Santa Barbara (CA), 2013.

N.B. Much of this book is a verbatim (and sometimes abbreviated) reprint of :-

Nevill Drury : Stealing Fire from Heaven : the Rise of Modern Western Magic. Oxford Univ Pr, 2011.