Tag Archives: dion fortune

Let’s Do Cyber!

"Like the handles. Gives me something to HOLD on to."

“Like the handles. Gives me something to HOLD on to.”

So there I was, lying awake at night, tortured by that most exquisite of agonies – “what the hell is Cybermagick?” And more to the point, what is the real difference between cybermagick and any other type of magick? So I tried to find examples of Cyber on the internet, in the hope this would give me some much-needed relief. I was disappointed to discover three things. Firstly, it has nothing to do with Crowley-style Magic-with-a-K but done by internet-messaging service – although I’m sure this could be a fecund opportunity for an enterprising mage with low-enough scruples. Secondly, it has nothing to do with cheap attempts to insert sexual innuendo into a blog post about the occult in a cynical traffic to drive traffic to ones website! Instead, it is all about the Information Model of Magic.

The Information Model, which has been developed by Chaos magicians in the past thirty years or so, is best described by Frater UD thus:

  1. Energy as such is “dumb”: it needs information on what to do; this can be so called laws of nature or direct commands.
  2. Information does not have mass or energy. Thus, it is faster than light and not bound by the restrictions of the Einsteinian spacetime continuum. It can therefore be transmitted or tapped at all times and at all places. In analogy (but of course only as such!) it may be likened to quantum phenomena rather than relativistic mass-energy. It can, however, attach itself to a medium e.g. an organism or any other memory storage device.

So for example, action-at-a-distance such as remote healing – in the Spirit model one would evoke a spirit, ask it to go heal someone, believing that the spirit to be an objectively-real being, who will then travel across time and space to the target to heal them using its own powers. In the Information Model, the spell intention is converted into an algorithm or program which is transmitted to the target in a manner similar to the way scientists hope to exploit Quantum entanglement and the EBR paradox to use Quantum computers to transmit information: the target’s mind then receives and uses the information thus transmitted rather like a computer downloading and executing code.

It was at this point that I realised that the so-called Information Model is actually a lot older than 1987, as Frater UD alleges. It was in fact known to the Theosophists, and to occultists who were directly inspired thereby, such as Dion Fortune. The Information Model is really an attempt to describe how the Akashic Records work, without using the words “Akashic Records” !

Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda

Whereas Chaos magick would have it that the Information Model has been around since the nineteen-eighties, the idea of a permanency of ideas in the Akasha dates to the eighteen-eighties. Parahamsa Yogananda effectively expresses the same concept thus:

All thoughts vibrate eternally in the cosmos. By deep concentration, a master is able to detect the thoughts of any mind, living or dead.

Chapter 15, Autobiography of a Yogi.

This being the case, it follows that the Akashic records do not simply consist of past-life memories, but are continually being written to at every moment by living beings. It should be noted that in the same place Yogananda also claimed of his own guru, “[b]y his powerful will, Master was also a human broadcasting station…” thus explaining why he had been able to silently influence, at-a-distance, a random stranger to carry out an action he had willed.

The Magical Battle of Britain, by Dion Fortune, edited by Gareth Knight.

Dion Fortune used the same or similar principles to develop a telepathic theory of magic, i.e. that by combined effort a group of ritualists could impress a Thought upon the Akasha, which would serve to cause it to influence those sensitive to it. E.g. see The Magical Battle of Britain.

My understanding of “Paradigm-shifting” in Chaos Magick is that the whole point in shifting to a new paradigm is to be able to make use of technology not available in the old one. The best non-occult example being Holograms: no-one was actually looking for Holograms until Fourier, the mathematician, theorised that they ought to be able to exist – their invention followed soon thereafter. Fourier was thus able to cause the creation of a new technology by making a successful paradigm-shift in ideas: and note that he did so not by playing “let’s pretend,” or faking it until making it, but by coming up with a fully-worked out mathematical proof! But I digress. My point is that the so-called “Information Model” is not really a paradigm-shift per se, it is really just a pre-existing paradigm described in different terminology. It is, perhaps, however, a revival of interest in an old school of thought that was not fully appreciated by the wider occult community the first time around.

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David Bowie: Closet Occultist!

Q: “So were you involved in actual devil worship?”
A: “Not devil worship, no, it was pure straightforward, old-fashioned magic.”
Q: “The Aleister Crowley variety?”
A: “No, I always thought Crowley was a charlatan. But there was a guy called [Arthur] Edward Waite who was terribly important to me at the time. And another called Dion Fortune who wrote a book called ‘Psychic Self-Defense‘. You had to run around the room getting bits of string and old crayons and draw funny things on the wall, and I took it all most seriously, ha ha ha ! I drew gateways into different dimensions, and I’m quite sure that, for myself, I really walked into other worlds. I drew things on walls and just walked through them, and saw what was on the other side!”

David Bowie, interviewed in NME, 1997

So the news this week has been dominated by the passing of David Bowie, and when I consider how much attention was paid to the untimely death of Freddie Mercury – the last pop star of comparable status to leave us – it is almost certain that this event will remain in public consciousness for years to come. Anywho: amongst the magical community, it has been widely noted that Bowie was interested in the occult, as witness his interview with NME quoted at the top of this page, and the back cover over the Station to Station LP, below left:

Photo used for the back cover of Station To Station (1976)

Photo used for the back cover of Station To Station (1976)

Video for Lazarus (2015)

Video for Lazarus (2015)

NB: given the amount of Charlie he was packing away at the time, his precise allegiance might well be pinned to the Holy Order of the Sun! Interestingly, Bowie resurrected the costume covered with, ahem, “white lines,” for his almost-certainly-not final music video “Lazarus” (above right). Might not this video be suggesting that David Bowie did not just keep this costume but this persona hanging up in the closet all this time?

But I digress.

There is an image in the Lazarus video on which a number of bloggers have already commented: where Bowie sits frantically writing at a desk, on which rests a skull. Now the obvious interpretation is that it was a reference to Bowie’s own impending mortality, but when I saw it, it stirred the Sumner Family Brain Cell to life, and got me thinking, where have I seen that before?


See: 3minutes 38seconds.

The answer is: it comes from the first degree (Apprentice) ritual of the Ancient & Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim – a particularly esoteric form of Freemasonry. Assuming the candidate for initiation passes the ballot, just before the ceremony of his initiation,

…[t]he Expert (i.e. Junior Deacon) then takes possession of the Candidate in the Parvis, carefully binds his eyes and leads him to the Chamber of Reflection. He has him sit before a table, sparingly furnished with a real human Skull; a lit wax Candle, half-consumed; a sheet of white paper, pen and ink. The seat is a stool without a back. He lights a little Myrrh, the traditional funereal perfume, in a corner of the room, in a Censer containing lit coals.

Expert: – Sir, alone, left to yourself, before an image of termination of terrestrial Life, I invite you to write your Philosophical Testament.

The “Philosophical Testament” consists of the candidate’s reflections on his duties to God, the World, and himself: but more especially, like its name suggests, how the candidate would answer these questions if his words were the final legacy which he leaves on Earth. However, the code-word “philosophical” indicates that one is meant to interpret it alchemically. In other words, Death is not the end for the candidate – i.e. for David Bowie – but is the first step on the path to spiritual transmutation.

So, there you have it – Bowie indulging in esoteric symbolism right up until the last!

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Syria: Christ, Angels, and the Occult | Alex Sumner

In my previous blog on the Syrian Refugee crisis, I proposed resorting to Sorcery to find out what the best solution ought to be. This naturally leads to the question: can Magic be used to put such a solution into effect?

Source: Syria: Christ, Angels, and the Occult | Alex Sumner

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Dion Fortune: Spiritual Teacher and Visionary Fiction Writer – by Theresa Crater | Visionary Fiction Alliance

Dion Fortune

Dion Fortune: Spiritual Teacher and Visionary Fiction Writer – by Theresa Crater | Visionary Fiction Alliance.

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What is your strangest Glastonbury story?

 

St Michael's Tower, Glastonbury Tor

St Michael’s Tower, Glastonbury Tor

You have the opportunity to help me out with a writing project, and it’s all to do with Glastonbury in Somerset, England. I am currently working on a hypothesis: that Glastonbury is a lot weirder (and consequently more wonderful) than most people appreciate – and by that I mean spiritual people as well.

Sure, everyone knows about Bligh-Bond, the Glastonbury Zodiac, Dion Fortune and all the rest: but what I’m mostly interested in is the really out-there stuff that seldom gets talked about. For example, the incidents which surprise even those that thought they had seen everything – or which just struck you as highly unusual at the time.

“Happy ending” stories and anecdotes most especially welcome! Please reply in the comment section below, or use the form on the Contact Alex page to message me privately.

Thanks!

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All in your head…?

Dion Fortune

Dion Fortune

Every once in a while, I come across someone who claims that Dion Fortune once said that Magick consisted of causing Willed Changes in consciousness. I personally have two problems with this, to wit:

Firstly, every time I challenge the person saying so to quote where Dion Fortune actually said this, I don’t get an answer. I have read just about all of Dion’s books, and I have never seen the quote myself, so I am wondering if this is not just an urban myth along the lines of the Jesus=Horus story, or the Third Vatican Council meme. As far as I’m aware, Donald Michael Kraig first made the claim in Modern Magick, and the story has taken off from there.

Secondly, and more importantly, even if it is true, what a lot of people do not get is that it certainly does not mean that Magick only takes place in the imagination and nowhere else – and Dion Fortune would certainly have never claimed such a thing herself. How do I know this? Because it is on record that Dion Fortune was a firm believer in telepathy. Hence, Dion would be of the opinion that if you make the right change in consciousness, this would lead, via a process similar to telepathy, to objective results in the world at large. This was essentially her rationale for such magickal workings as those described in (e.g.) The Magical Battle of Britain.

Hence, beware someone claiming that magick is “all in your head,” or words to that effect. It’s neither “all in your head,” nor is it “all in your head.” I personally have seen enough freaky coincidences to have my own evidence of its objectivity.

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25 Most Influential People in the Birth of Modern Paganism (European Wing)

Reblogged from Patheos.com – nice to see Macgregor Mathers, Dion Fortune, Eliphas Levi mentioned!

25 Most Influential People in the Birth of Modern Paganism (European Wing).

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Books for Beginners

Recently I asked the question:

What book(s) would you recommend to a complete beginner on magick? Shameless plugs only if genuine.

I now present some of the answers I received.

Wicca

Enchanted: Titania’s Book of White Magic comes recommended from Facebook fan Diane J Reed, who says:

 I absolutely love this book … (it’s out of print, so you have to get a used copy). The book is just gorgeous and only deals with “white” magic used for good purposes, but the photography is so beautiful it will make you drool.

I personally am not cognisant with this work, but Titania Hardie, the author, describes it as being within the Wiccan tradition. Whilst on the subject of Wicca, another FB fan, Philip Dean Fox, recommends Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide by Teresa Moorey, and two books by Susan Bowes: Life Magic – The power of positive witchcraft. and Notions and Potions: A safe, practical guide to creating magic and miracles. Meanwhile, another FB friend, Adrien, recommends Christopher Penczak’s The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development (Penczak Temple).

Hermetic Magick

Oliver St John recommends Hermetic Qabalah: A Foundation in the Art of Magick by, er, Oliver St John. He assures me:

 I still use my own copies for reference, tables, correspondences and other information stored all in one place and easy to find. When I started out I had to have 6 books open at once to find all this stuff.

Oliver also makes the point that:

… plugs to one side, it is a really good question. Where on earth do we start? The milestones like “Complete Golden Dawn” and Crowley’s “Magick” are useless to a complete beginner. I would recommend getting a grounding in at least the basics of astrology and setting up a horoscope. It amazes me how many occultists don’t know the first thing about astrology.

Indeed! Several months ago I gave myself the task of doing a short ten-minute talk to members of a highly secretive branch of the Illuminati (nb: they are not secretive at all! They just don’t want it publicly known that they have a scruff like me as one of their members!) outlining a number of basic reference works for people who might, for all I know, be complete beginners to the mysteries. I remember that many years ago I read a remark by Israel Regardie about the first Knowledge Lecture of the Golden Dawn, recommending to just get any old book on astrology to look up basic terms thereon – so that is exactly what I did, and what I recommended in turn to the members of this order. As it happens, when I went into Waterstones that fateful day, the first book on the subject which I picked up was Teach Yourself Astrology.

Apart from that, there are a few other old favourites that I would personally recommend, e.g.

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“The Magical Battle of Britain” by Dion Fortune, a review (vlog)

In which I review The Magical Battle of Britain by Dion Fortune, and give it five stars (nb: this was originally recorded for Amazon). What I like most about this book is that it reveals details of the practical methods of occultism which Dion used, which ultimately were inspired by an encounter with telepathy at the start of her magical career.

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What Is Visionary Fiction?

Dion Fortune

Dion Fortune: an early proponent of Visionary Fiction

Stone the crows! I read this,  What Is Visionary Fiction? and apparently I’ve just discovered that I’ve been writing in the Visionary Fiction genre all along! Actually, from the description of Visionary Fiction, I believe it is a new name for something which has antecedents going back at least a hundred years or more. Visionary Fiction is here defined as:

Characteristic Features of Visionary Fiction:

  • Growth of consciousness is the central theme of the story and drives the protagonist, and/or other important characters.
  • Oftentimes uses reincarnation, dreams, visions, paranormal, psychic abilities, and other metaphysical plot devices.
  • Is universal in its worldview and scope.

This pretty much describes all of the occult literature of Dion Fortune (e.g. The Winged BullThe Sea Priestess, Moon Magic, etc) and arguably works like Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. It also describes my own humble efforts with The Magus and its sequels (particularly in the character development of Nichola, the central character). Now it appears that there are an increasing number of emerging authors who specifically identify themselves under the “Visionary Fiction” banner. Let us hope that it is not too long before one of them (us) achieves major cross-over success!

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