Dion Fortune, Crowley & World War II

by Aug 5, 20160 comments

Dion Fortune took a keen interest in the progress of Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. She visited him in Hastings with Frieda Harris to examine the artwork. Crowley dedicated a copy of the Book of Thoth to her. Dion Fortune was a true fighter, working magically to defeat Hitler.

I have done the 10 of Swords & promptly Russia takes up arms.

Letter from Lady Frieda Harris to Aleister Crowley

Tarot equates with fortune-telling, but it is the springboard for creating and managing change in the world.

In the chaos, destruction, and misery of war, extraordinary magical feats performed by individuals and groups as old structures are torn down and replaced by the new.

In London, Dion Fortune was fighting Nazi Occultists on the astral planes.  She was also introducing raw recruits to advanced occult visualization techniques.

Founder of the “Community of the Inner Light”, had an extraordinary attraction to Glastonbury. Glastonbury is the key to the Arthurian legends that hold the destiny of England.

She recruited members of the public to practice Golden Dawn techniques to defend England. Every Sunday lunchtime they meditated on a particular theme relating to national and racial archetypes contained in the weekly letters. As well as the instructions that developed in complexity over the weeks, Dion included inspirational insights, such as the excerpt below.

The initiate works by what he is rather than by what he does, and the higher the grade, the more passive he appears to be on the physical plane. Should he take action thereon, he abrogates his power to operate on the Inner Planes, for one cannot be positive on both planes simultaneously.

Nobody has studied the links between the works of Aleister Crowley, Lady Frieda Harris, and Fortune. He was there when Dion Fortune visited Crowley in Hastings. Was Fortune’s role to maintain and strengthen the racial memory of England?

Dion Fortune and Crowley discussed Tarot. There is some evidence he showed Frieda Harris’ artwork for the Book of Thoth too. Here is her advice to the Student:

To use the Tarot properly, however, requires a very great deal of preparation, and the preparation does not consist merely in a knowledge of the significance of the cards, but in getting in touch with the forces behind the cards.

Practical Occultism in Daily Life, Dion Fortune, Aquarian, 1976

Tarot and “The Mystical Qabalah”

In The Mystical Qabalah, she denies having met Aleister Crowley, but several authors have produced evidence that this was not so. To be fair, this book was published in 1935, and she seems to have met him later in Hastings during World War II. She wrote as head of the Society of Inner Light, but she makes clear that two of her main authorities were MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley.

Dion Fortune is not known for her writings on Tarot, but she had initiated knowledge on it and how it integrates so many systems.

Neither is the Qabalah, as I have learnt it, a purely Hebraic system, for it has been supplemented during mediaeval times by much alchemical lore and by the intimate association with it of that most marvellous system of symbolism, the Tarot.

Divination Systems

As an Initiate, Dion well understood the linkages between various divination systems:

As already noted, the various divinatory systems have their relations with the Tree and find their subtlest clues therein. The associations of astrology are readily traced through the symbolism of the planets and elements and their triplicities, houses, and rulership; geomancy links with the Tree via astrology; and the Tarot, the most satisfactory of all the systems of divination, rises from and finds its explanation in the Tree and nowhere else.

Towards the end of the book, Fortune gives excellent advice on divination.

70. In the Sphere of Malkuth are worked all divinations. Now the object of any method of divination is to find a set of things on the physical plane which correspond accurately and comprehensively to the invisible forces in the same way that the movements of the hands of a clock correspond to the passage of time.

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