Firth, Violet Mary (1890–1946)
Leading British occultist, author, and founder of the Fraternity
of the Inner Light. Firth was born December 6, 1890, at
Bryn-y-Bia, Llandudno, Wales. She manifested some mediumistic
abilities in her teens. She later became interested in psychoanalysis
and studied the work of Freud, but came to prefer
C. G. Jung’s perspective. She worked for a time at the MedicoPsychological
Clinic in London. She also became interested in
the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky but was put off by
the Eastern style of occultism dominant in the Theosophical
About 1919 she joined the Alpha and Omega Lodge of the
Stella Matutina, an outer order of the Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn, a ritual magic group under the guidance of J.
W. Brodie-Innes. He instructed her in various magic practices.
Firth’s pseudonym, ‘‘Dion Fortune,’’ was derived from her period
as a member of the Stella Matutina. She took the motto
Deo Non Fortuna (By God, not luck), and this was condensed to
‘‘Dion Fortune’’ when she began to write. Under her own name
she wrote one early book, Machinery of the Mind (1922).
In 1924 she founded the Community (later Fraternity) of
the Inner Light to attract recruits for the Golden Dawn but
eventually split off from the main body as warden of the new
order. She taught her own variation of magic, based on claimed
contacts from the ‘‘inner planes’’ of wisdom.
Firth wrote several books on magic and the occult and several
occult novels, notably The Secrets of Dr. Traverner (1926), The
Demon Lover (1927), Through the Gates of Death (1932), The
Winged Bull (1935), The Goat-Foot God (1936), The Sea Priestess
(1938), and Moon Magic (ca. 1939). Her books of occult instruction
include Sane Occultism (1929), Psychic Self-Defence (1930),
The Training and Work of an Initiate (1930), and The Mystical Qabalah
Chapman, Janine. Quest for Dion Fortune. York Beach,
Maine Samuel Weiser, 1993.
Fielding, Charles, and Clark Collins. The Story of Dion Fortune.
York Beach, Maine Samuel Weiser, 1985.
Fortune, Dion. Applied Magic. New York Samuel Weiser,
———. The Esoteric Orders and Their Work. London Rider,
1929. Reprint, St. Paul, Minn. Llewellyn Publications, 1971.
———. The Mystical Qabalah. London Ernest Benn, 1935.
———. Psychic Self-Defence. London Rider, 1930.
———. Sane Occultism. London Rider, 1929.
———. The Secrets of Dr. Traverner. London Noel Douglas,
———. The Training and Work of an Initiate. London Rider,
———. The Winged Bull. London Williams & Norgate,
Richardson, Alan. Priestess The Life and Magic of Dion Fortune.
Wellingborough, England Aquarian Press, 1987.

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