A guest piece from the wonderful Penny Billington…
Our grandparents (with however many ‘greats’ you might need to add) lived through conflicts and warfare; and in World War II magicians of all paths contributed in a very particular way to the war effort. Dion Fortune, the Leader of the Society of the Inner Light, left us a legacy of war letters and meditations. These were sent by post every week to co-ordinate the efforts of an expanded group of students, and her principles remain ethical guidelines for us all.
She believed that the balance of the universe is dynamic: everything is in flux and flow, and unbalanced force in the higher realms will have its effects in the physical world. We don’t have to agree, but bear with it to combine this idea with the thought (credited to Einstein) that we cannot solve a problem from the same mindset that created it. What those two together do is open up any situation, taking our thoughts from the physical situation and its fallout and placing it in a wider context. It gives our anxious minds breathing space and allows us to glimpse new possibilities.
Here are some of her guidelines:
· One should NEVER demonise one side or another, but work for the highest outcome.
· A student should align themselves with the forces of the greatest good.
Then, whatever the practice – candle lighting, meditation, visualisation, thoughtful packing of refugee supplies –
· They should set the intent for the greatest good, and the overarching principle of what is desired. That is, NOT a specific ‘I want XXX to win’ (how can we know what is for the best?) but, for example, ‘Ultimate peace, goodwill and co-operation between nations;’ or ‘The best possible outcome for peace’. This is where we trust in the beneficent powers of the Universe and let go of our meditations, for their energy to join with the pool of good.
· Dion Fortune also focused on PROTECTION. She used the presence of the great archangels for this, as was customary in her magical fraternity. She also tapped into the mythic resonance of the UK with Arthurian characters.
We can use whatever symbols we feel a connection to. Focusing on protection from the higher powers is especially helpful if our empathic connection to trauma victims of the conflict – Ukrainian children, women, the conscripted soldiers of the Russian army – is unbalancing our sense of our own secure centre. Visualising benevolent protective powers could be a very helpful way to keep our balance and add our magical contribution to peace and goodwill.
I’ve chosen this illustration of King Arthur’s court as it includes the sudden intrusion of the White Hind (or Stag) disrupting the life of the court. An otherworldly creature erupting into the ordered form of life always represents the Other World opening up fresh and undreamed-of possibilities, actions and outcomes. Let’s believe in that possibility in this present conflict.
~ Penny Billington
You can find Penny’s website here. Penny’s book The Keys to the Temple: Unlocking Dion Fortune’s Mystical Qabalah Through Her Occult Novels has a 20% discount offer for April only!