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DION FORTUNE [1890-1946]
The magical name of a woman called Violet Mary Firth, considered by some to be one of the most important occultist of the twentieth century.

Born in Llandudno, Wales, on 6 December 1890. Her mother was a Christian Scientist and her father a solicitor, and the family motto, which Fortune later used as her magical motto and the inspiration for her magical name, was 'Deon non Fortuna', meaning, 'By God, not by chance'.

Fortune was an independent child and showed early signs of the psychic abilities that were to shape the rest of her life. Her interest in magic and occult, however, was not sparked until the age of 20, when she went to work in an educational institution and was under the supervision of a woman who had studied occultism in India. According to Fortune this woman was a bully with a foul temper, who used hypnotism and the projection of negative thoughts, called psychic attack, to get her own way and destroy Fortune's self confidence. Fortune managed to survive these attacks but experienced a three year long nervous breakdown.

The experience stimulated Fortunes interest in the human mind, and whilst she was recovering, she began to study psychology and Freudian analysis, even though she never totally believed his theories. By the age of 23 she became a lay psychoanalyst and was convinced that many of her patients were not mentally ill but victims of psychic attack. At the same time she also began to experience visions and memories of past lives, and in one extremely powerful vision she was accepted as a follower of Jesus Christ.

At the end of the Great War, after serving in the women's land army, Fortune met Theodore Moriarty, an Irishman, occultist and freemason, who gave her training in the occult. Her learning experiences with Moriarty are featured in her occult autobiography, Psychic Self Defense [1930].

In 1919, Fortune was initiated into the greatest magical order of its day, the Order of the Golden Dawn. Fortune progressed rapidly through the ranks of the order, but she did not get along with Moina Mathers, the wife of one of the Golden Dawn founders. Fortune believed that Monia was subjecting her to psychic attack so she established her own independent order, called the Fraternity of the Inner Light. [The Fraternity now called The Society of Inner Light, is still based in London offering teachings in Western occultism, and over the years it has profoundly influenced the development of esoteric tradition in the West.] In addition, Fortune also founded the Belfry, a temple in west London dedicated to the Mysteries of Isis.

In the winter of 1923/4 Fortune travelled to Glastonbury where she allegedly made spirit contact with three great masters, the Greek philosopher Socrates, Lord Eskine, Lord chancellor of England and a World War I officer, David Carstairs. According to Fortune these masters dictated her magical writings to her and Socrates was responsible for her essential work 'The Cosmic Doctrine.'

Throughout the rest of her life Fortune was to return periodically to Glastonbury to resume her writing and make contact with another master, Merlin, the great magician of English myth. She founded the Chalice Orchard Club there, a pilgrim centre. Her experiences are recorded in 'Glastonbury: Avalon of the Heart' and the house she lived and worked in while at Glastonbury is thought to be haunted.

Dion Fortune was well known in her day and attracted a large following of devoted followers. Fortune was a prolific author. Her most famous works are 'Psychic Self Defence', considered by many to be the definitive text on the subject, and 'The Mystical Qubalah', in which she outlines how the kabbalah can be used by Western students. She also wrote a number of novels and her last two - 'The Sea Priestess' and 'Moon Magic' - are considered by many to be fine examples of magical fiction.

Fortune never recovered physically or spiritually from her divorce from Penry Evans in 1939 and she died of leukemia on 8 January 1946. For several years after her death she was said to still run the Fraternity through mediums, but eventually was no longer needed and a magical banishing ceremony was performed.

SIGMUND FREUD [1856-1939]
Physician and writer who is often referred to as the father of psychoanalysis and universally acknowledged to be one of the most influential thinkers of all time. He coined many of the phrases we still use today to describe human behaviour and his ideas about the mind and the personality have become the foundation for nearly all schools of psychology.

Born in 1856 in Moravia, Freud spent most of his life in Vienna but died in London in 1939. His career began in Vienna at the General Hospital where he first became interested in psychology and began to treat patients using hypnosis. By researching into his patient's thoughts and behaviour he developed psychoanalysis.

Central to Freud's work is the idea that most of our behaviours can be explained as motivations we are unaware of. We are driven by basic desires - sex, power, anger, pleasure [which actually means avoiding pain] - by the id or primitive part of our mind. The part of our mind we call the ego is the part that attempts to control these primitive forces, but when it comes to making decisions about what is good or bad, right or wrong our superego takes over. All three parts of our mind - the id, the ego and the superego - are constantly at war and which part of our personality dominates depends on our childhood experiences.

According to Freud there are fives stages of psychosexual development; oral [birth to age one], where the mouth is the source of pleasure; anal [one to three years], when the act of eliminating it our main focus; switches to the genitals; latency [five to puberty], a period of rest; and genital [puberty onwards]. Getting developmentally stuck in any of these stages when growing up can explain any neurosis you have as an adult.

Freud was convinced that through psychoanalysis, i.e. analysing a persons behaviour, investigating their dreams and current problems, you could discover what the cause of any neurosis was and help them heal wounds from the past. In 1900 Freud's seminal work 'The Interpretation of Dreams' was published, followed by 'The Psychopathology of Everyday Life' in 1904 and 'The Theory of Sex' in 1905.

During his life Freud's theories dominated psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment and he influenced several generations of great psychologists, in particular Carl Jung. However, his emphasis on sexual repression and infantile sexual trauma as the cause of all neuroses created conflict and some of his key supporters, including Alfred Adler and Jung, eventually broke with him. Today his theories have fallen into disfavour for the same reason.

Even though he had a skeptical view of occult phenomena throughout his career; Freud was deeply interested in the paranormal. He visited a psychic on at last one occasion, and although he was amazed at the psychic's ability to pick up personal information he attributed it to telepathy.

In his casework with clients he often confronted occult phenomena such as telepathy, premonitions and the evil eye and this may have prompted his membership of both the American and British Society for Psychical Research. He was a frequent guest at lectures sponsored by the Society for Psychical research in London and he was know to visit allegedly haunted locations in search of greater understand of the supernatural.

Freud wrote a number of papers and books on psychoanalysis and the occult, including 'Dreams and Telepathy' [1922], 'The Occult Significance of Dreams' [1925] and 'Premonitions and Chance' [1904]. In his writings he equated the occult with superstition, which he believed originated from repressed urges, and suggested alternative explanations for many paranormal phenomena. Telepathy, however, was one phenomenon he found impossible to explain, even though he did believe it to be a psychological and not a psychic occurrence. Later he confessed that it was a mystery to him.

Freud and Jung met in Vienna for the first time in 1907. Jung was greatly impressed by Freud's theories but found he could not agree with Freud's belief that psychical research should be abandoned because it made psychoanalysis appear ridiculous to scientists. The two men drifted apart when Jung began to investigate what mysticism, religion, the paranormal and philosophy could reveal about human behaviour and psychology.

In 1921 Freud won an invitation to join the Advisory Council of the American Psychical Institute. In a letter to the director of the Advisory Council dated 24 July 1924, Freud said he did no dismiss completely the study of occult phenomena as 'unscientific, discreditable or dangerous' - and if he was at the beginning of his career rather than at the end he might have chosen it as a field of research - but as far as he was concerned psychoanalysis had nothing to do with the occult. He went on to say that he had certain prejudices against the occult and rejected completely the idea of life after death.



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