Posted by: Nyxks | August 15, 2007

Moon Magic

Moon Magic
by Dion Fortune © 2003
Red Wheel/Weiser
ISBN 1-57863-289-7
258 pages
paperback
$14.95

First things first. This is NOT a new book. It is a new printing of a book which carries an original copyright of 1956. It was published posthumously by The Society of Inner Light. It is written in a style which may be unfamiliar to a majority of readers today. It is a story told by exposition. It is, therefore, short on “action” but long on detail.

Dion Fortune wrote in a time when things were very different (she died in 1946); a time between wars; a time when esoteric matters were held closely and not discussed in public. The proliferation of texts on magical matters could not have been imagined. Secret societies were just that – secret. Their activities were not even hinted at beyond the walls of the Lodge.

Her nonfiction works presented the theoretical basis, while the practical details were contained in her fictional works. This book is a “sequel” to Sea Priestess. Although the two books can stand alone, they benefit from being read as a pair. They are the final novels of a series which includes The Secrets of Dr. Taverner, The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, and The Goat Foot God, to which should added the nonfiction titles Psychic Self-Defense and The Mystical Qabalah.

If, like me, you read this book for the first time many years ago, it may be time to pick it up once again and rediscover forgotten truths. It amazed me how much I got from this latest reading of this novel.

If you have never read it before, you might be surprised at the amount of information contained in this book. Some of that information has made its way into some of the “traditional” teachings given to Wiccan students today (all too often without acknowledgement of the source of said information).

This book was left unfinished at the death of Ms. Fortune and was completed by her close friend, Anne Fox, who made the attempt to channel the information after Ms. Fortune’s death. As such, we may never know how well the final part confirms to the author’s original intent.

There are some editing glitches in this book, but they are minor lapses in spacing and do not affect the quality of the work itself. Weiser has been, consistently, a producer of dependable, high quality books. There are also frequent errors in the use of quotation marks, but these are easily overlooked and may, in fact, escape notice of the casual reader.

There are a number of good reasons to read this book. First of all, it was written before the modern occult revival, so it draws from older sources. Secondly, the author was a competent magician in her own right. Thirdly, as a psychologist, she had a real feel for what makes humankind tick. Finally, it contains very clear accounts of rituals which many practitioners today would be well advised to perform – it might help out the world situation.

For those unfamiliar with Ms. Fortune’s background (Are there any of those left?) her descriptions of magickal workings may seem to be unbelievable, and her use of unfamiliar terms (e.g., Adeptus Minor) may be a bit confusing. But for those who know her as an initiate of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Sawn, a practicing psychologist and founder of The Society of the Inner Light, none of these descriptions or terms will seem out of place.

Perhaps one of the most amusing things about this book, to me personally, was the classification (on the back cover) as New Age/Occult Fiction.. Occult Fiction certainly fits, it has to as that is what this is. But New Age? As in psychedelic, hippy, white light and love? Not hardly. Having been written between 1936 and 1946, it can hardly fit into the New Age generation of writings.

I was sitting at my kitchen table on a bright, warm morning when I read Vivian’s invocation of the Goddesses (on page 146). Even after years of ritual, and magickal working, I still felt a chill pass through me as I read the words. If anyone can read that invocation and remain unmoved, they have yet to experience the true magickal connection.

For the student of magick who is willing to accept the fact that truth may be revealed more accurately through means of a “fictional” story than through a textbook, this book (like all of Ms. Fortune’s work) is an endless source of education. That this is true should not come as a surprise. An effectively written story carries one along and allows ideas to make their way past conscious filters and into the subconscious whence magick originates

It is well worth the cost, as are any other books by this author. I recommend that you add this book to your library, or at least to your list of books to borrow and read. I must warn you, however, that if you loan it out, you may need to get another copy. They tend to disappear.

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