Today I stumbled across an article about a woman known as Dion Fortune. It occurred while I was on a nearby Mac, reading my Daily Horoscope after submitting my exegesis. At the end of the reading, I noticed an article banner on Dion Fortune, and was compelled to click on it (mind you, I rarely click on ads or articles in my horoscope emails). I was immediately intrigued by the black and white photo of Miss Fortune.
According to Alan Richardson, who wrote the article Dion Fortune: Moon Priestess from which this article is inspired, Fortune was responsible for the rise of the modern “New Age” movement, and was a relatively hidden gem of the early 1900s. She was a magician who spent much time communing with spirits from other realms.
The thing that made her stand out the most was this,
“By any reckoning, power oozed from her. She had the sort of wisdom and knowledge that transformed the magical arts, and worked through to change the world at large. If she was not the most loving of souls, in the accepted sense, then she had a rare beauty that made people follow her into other dimensions.”
Her noble intentions seemed to have been based around love and service but, for every action of hers, there was an equal and opposite reaction.
For every ounce of love that Fortune put out to the world, it was met by an equal amount of the opposite by her notorious contemporary, Aleister Crowley. Fortune was the Yin to Crowley’s Yang. Despite this, she continued to project her Yin energy in a silent but powerful manner. If Crowley was the word, then Fortune was the echo. The echo was where Fortune’s love extended – in the unheard, unseen silence of the shadows.
Many people believe that love is only received by love but, for the unaware, it can instill many negative emotions like deception, murder, obsession, envy, and dishonesty (to name a few). It can also cause a person to cling onto love for fear of it ever leaving them. In the case of Fortune, her power was so immense that drastic measures had to be taken (by her successor) to prevent such calamities; her diaries and journals were destroyed in order to prevent cults from forming after her death.
Misuses of good intentions have occurred in many moments of our history: the use of Jesus Christ’s teachings to justify the killing, pillaging and raping of innocent people during the Crusades; the merciless suicide bombings of extreme Islamic jihadists; or even the White Man’s Burden to “save” indigenous peoples. It is evident that the teachings of love and compassion by our greatest teachers have been misconstrued over time (whether it was Christ’s or Prophet Muhammad‘s), and is an example of how love (or devotion) can be used to manipulate or conquer for the sake of power.
I believe that those who crave love for the sake of power, manipulation, or revenge, are Self-centered in a destructive way. Service, which Fortune includes as part of her own philosophy, is one way to positively steer the ego from overpowering the Self. Although Crowley believed in catering to the “True Will” (anything but the ego’s desires), his philosophical belief (Thelema) missed the element of service (correct me if I’m wrong), which is probably why his followers were typically misguided by the allure of the supernatural. “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
The reason Fortune stands out for me is because her love was everything to everyone; she could be the healing hand for a person in trouble (service), or the disciplining one when someone was endangering those around them (justice). Her love was like the element of fire, warming when needed, but potentially overwhelming if underestimated. At the end of the day, love and service is a universal approach to life that can exist with or without the use of occult practices. However, in Fortune’s case, her purity of spirit allowed her to use love as a powerful force for good. I suppose it is no different from any other source of power in this world; what matters most are our intentions and choices.