While the magical efforts to repel the Armada and the Wiccan efforts to repel the Nazi invasion of Britain are clouded in stories and varying versions, we know exactly how one group of English occultists went about their magical battle with the Nazis. Dion Fortune recorded the efforts of her group in a series of letters which have been collected and edited by Gareth Knight.
As Mr. Knight recounts, Ms. Fortune first became interested in her own powers of telepathy and then, after meeting Thomas Moriarty and various members of The Golden Dawn, she studied under Moina Macgregor Mathers. Eventually, Ms. Fortune founded her own group, which became known as the Society of the Inner Light. Mr. Knight explains that Ms. Fortune produced:
a series of weekly letters to her students form 1939 to 1942 in the early the early years of the Second World War. . . . In the crisis of confrontation with the evils of Hitler’s Germany, when England stood for a time alone against the Axis powers, she helped to maintain the strength and resilience of the group mind of the nation by the evocation of relevant symbolism.
Mr. Knight calls these letters a “casebook of a working occultist at a time of national and indeed world crisis, when the barriers of confidentiality were down in the urgency of the hour.” He recounts that Ms. Fortune used “archetypal ideals that are the province of the working occultist,” and notes that the “formulation and dissemination of these in the early days of the war were very much part of Dion Fortune’s practical task.”
Ms. Fortune was not a Witch, and her ideas about how directly to intervene (on a magical level) in the area of politics were not a Witch’s ideas. After the war, she wrote that:
The archetypes that we worked to bring into manifestation as seed ideas in the group mind of the race have struck root and are beginning to show above the soil. . . . Our task in the matter is therefore finished, for it is no part of our work, in fact it is expressly forbidden to us, to come down into the arena of politics. . . . What was sown will grow and bear seed. It is out of our hands now. The ideals have been worked out as ideas, and the ideas will be hammered into shape as policies, and the policies will be driven through in the face of the inertia and self interest always opposed to the growth of life, on whatever plane.
I’m a Witch and it is not at all forbidden to me to “come down into the area of politics,” but I do believe that we can learn much from Ms. Fortune’s workings. I think her example can be particularly useful as we attempt to deal with the interrelated evils of Patriarchy, capitalism, climate change denial, and growing corporate control of government (facism).
The causes that gave rise to the war lie deeper than the will to power of one man, or even of a nation; they lie in the souls of the mass of mankind — in the attitude towards life and standards of conduct of the innumerable individuals that make up the mass of the democratic as well as the totalitarian countries, for there is no such thing as a mass apart form the units that compose it. Lessons have to be learnt, lessons in the art of living and the process of evolution, and individuals have to change until the mass is leavened.
Calling upon important archetypes and spreading them throughout the population worked for Ms. Fortune and her group and I believe that those strategies can work again, today.