25th April 20:20
BOOK REVIEW - Moon Magic (Novel) (esoteric friend books clear bit)
Moon Magic by Dion Fortune © 2003 Red Wheel/Weiser ISBN 1-57863-289-7
248 258 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
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
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.