Practical Magic


During World War II, Dion Fortune wrote weekly letters to those working with her to save Britain. In several of those letters, she offered what I consider to be very practical advice — advice that’s highly relevant to today’s Pagans.

On April 21, 1940, she wrote that, in spite of war news, her home/magical lodge was “a center of peace.” She explained that:

This is as it should be; firstly because if it were otherwise, we could not be a centre of radiation [of the messages they were attempting to send telepathically], and secondly because it proves that we are doing our work efficiently — physician, heal thyself! If we were unable to maintain an atmosphere of serenity in our own head-quarters, how could we hope to be a nucleus of stability for the group-soul of the nation? Moreover, we ourselves could not do the work that is required of us if we had not got an atmosphere of serenity to do it in.

On September 15, 1940, she explained that:

Under stress, the directing intelligence is apt to be abrogated, and the subconsciousness to come up and take charge. Then it is that the practice of meditation shows its value, for we find that what comes is a disciplined subconsciousness, filled with the meditation images that we have so laboriously impressed upon it during the long months of systematic work that lie behind us. . . . But in addition to our physical plane precautions, let us have our meditation scheme planned and ready, and set it going with invocation and visualization as soon as danger threatens. We can plan to meet the Masters in the Cavern, or retire into the Chapel of the Graal, and a power will come down upon us that will radiate to all around us, staying the atmosphere and bringing calm and relaxation of tension. . . . Until we begin to use these methods under conditions of stress, we have no idea what can be done with them.

On November 24, 1940, she stated that, “[T]hose who present themselves for the higher initiations must have worked out their personal troubles and find equilibrium and freedom before they dare to come to the altar.”

I don’t take Ms. Fortune to be advocating something that we see, in my humble opinion, too often among modern Pagans, which is the attitude that all that they need do is “work on their own issues.” In fact, she said just the opposite:

Having done our meditations, we should return refreshed and inspired to do with all our might whatever tasks lie to hand. From our Inner Plane contacts we draw strength and inspiration; in our work on the physical plane we give and receive inspiration. The inspiration will soon dry up unless it flows through us, ever renewing itself in flowing. For those who have the deeper knowledge, participation in the national war effort is a sacramental act whereby the power that has been drawn down is put in circuit. Break the circuit, and the power ceases to flow.” (Letter of June 16, 1940).

Rather, I believe that Ms. Fortune’s message is that it is important for us to hurry up and put our own affairs in order so that we are in a position of strength from which to help others, save the nation, preserve the planet. It is in this sense that working on our own “issues” can indeed be magical work — or at least the necessary precondition for doing magical work. Are you as healthy and strong as you can be? Do you have a safe and orderly place to live? Are your personal relationships healthy? Do you live within your means and are you finances under control? Do you have a consistent daily practice that feeds your soul?

There is no more time for delay. Mamma Gaia herself is on fire and the Thousand Years of Water Wars have well and truly begun, displacing thousands of people and creating global political turmoil. The time has now come, as Byron Ballard says, to “Light the signal fires. Save the scrolls. Build the temple.” Those tasks will require strong Witches and other magic workers.

What will you do today?

Picture found here.


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