Psychic Self-Defense – Dion Fortune

I include below a couple of quotations. People are often unaware that when they are emanating bad shit, hate and anger at another being they are in effect practising a kind of ritual magic, voodoo even. Because of the law of reflection this is not such a great idea.


The Creator is conceived of as bringing the universe into manifestation through a series of Divine Emanations, ten in number. These are called the Ten Holy Sephiroth, and are represented in a diagram as arranged in a particular pattern.  This is the famous Tree of Life, the key to all symbolism.

The Sephiroth were not emanated independently, each from the Divine Source; but overflowed, the one from the other.  As soon as one Sephira has emanated another, these two are said to be in equilibrium, compensating each other. But there is a period during the emanation of a Sephira when the force is not yet in equilibrium, but is pushing out unsupported, like an incomplete arch. It is the uncompensated force emanated during this epoch of unbalance, and never subsequently absorbed after the establishment of the new sphere, which constitutes Positive Evil. There are, therefore, ten kinds of Positive Evil, just as there are ten Divine Emanations.

To these spheres go, according to their kind, all the evil imaginings of the heart of man that are not neutralised by repentance or compensated by the overplus of good in other members of the same group-soul. There is a deep occult doctrine here which we cannot enter upon now; it must suffice to state it dogmatically in explanation of the Qabalistic conception of the Qlippoth. When we consider all that must have been poured into these ten sinks of iniquity since the days of Atlantean Magic, through the decadence of Babylon and Rome, down to the Great War, we can guess what rises up from them when their seals are broken.

Not only do influences emanate from them which tempt and corrupt souls, each according to its susceptibility, but time has served for the formulation of evil intelligences. These probably originated through the workings of Black Magic, which took the essential evil essence and organised it for purposes of its own. The beings thus formulated assumed an independent existence, developed, and multiplied their kind. They appear as dreams and hallucinations, and may produce a considerable degree of objective phenomena, such as noise, deposit of slime or blood, balls of light, and, above all, stenches of an amazing pungency.

The Ten Divine Emanations are personified as Archangels, and the Ten Infernal Emanations are personified as Arch- demons. It is these which are the Names of Power in Magic. Each Sephira, then, has its obverse side in the corresponding Qlippottic demon. The initiated adept always gains control over the demonic force before he attempts to utilise the angelic force which, by the appropriated means, can be contacted in each Sephira. If he does not do so, he contacts them both simultaneously. Moreover, the planets, the elements and the Signs of the Zodiac are all intimately connected with the Sephiroth, being arranged upon the Tree of Life in a pattern known only to initiates.

The initiated adept is exceedingly careful what he does when he is working with these potencies because he knows that he has always got the Qlippoth in the background. The uninitiated occultist goes ahead gaily, juggling with such Names of Power as he has picked up from the innumerable books on the subject now available for the general reader, thinking that if he does not invoke the demons he will not get them. He forgets that every planet is a Jekyll and Hyde. Consequently, ceremonial magic has got a bad name owing to the unpleasant frequency of untoward results, just as surgery got a bad name before the days of Lister. It is the imperfect technique that is the trouble.


If the leader of the group is a woman, a different set of reactions comes into play though the same causes are at work. It is not generally realised that the fixation, or “crush” of one woman for another is really a substitute love affair, as is proved by the fact that the girl who has plenty of admirers, or the woman who is happily married is never given to them. In this case, just as much as in the normal, heterosexual attraction, “hell knows no fury like a woman scorned”; it is not, for obvious reasons, possible to bring charges of improper behaviour. (Though in one accusation this was alleged against me, and I was accused of being a man in disguise and attempting to seduce the complainant, and the charge found believers.) The charge brought in such cases usually takes one of two forms, the mechanism being either, “You don’t love me, therefore you are cruel. I have been badly treated”; and the most far-fetched instances are raked up in support of this charge. Or, “You don’t love me, therefore I hate you. The attraction you have for me is hypnotic.”

It must be borne in mind in assessing these charges that a trained occultist, especially if of high grade, has an exceedingly magnetic personality, and this is apt to prove disturbing to those who are unaccustomed to high-tension psychic forces. For whereas the person who is ripe for development will unfold the higher consciousness rapidly in the atmosphere of a high-grade initiate, the person who is not ready may find these influences profoundly disturbing. An adept who allows unsuitable persons to enter his magnetic field is blameworthy for his lack of discrimination and discretion, but he cannot justly be charged with abuse of occult powers. He emanates force involuntarily and cannot help himself. The greater adepts always live in seclusion, for not only do they need solitude for their work, but their influence upon unprepared souls produces too violent a reaction, and it ends in the Cross or the hemlock cup.

We must not be unmindful of the fact that the person who comes to us with a long tale of occult attack and asks for assistance, especially financial assistance, may simply be “pitching a yarn,” and should use the same discrimination that we would in listening to any other “hard-luck story,” trying to differentiate between the deserving and the undeserving. I knew a man who allowed an alleged adept who was undergoing an alleged occult attack to take refuge in his studio, and returned after a short absence to find that the alleged one had been selling the furniture to buy drink; and there was every reason to believe that the only spirits who were in any way concerned with his troubles had entered the studio in bottles.

The complaints of occult attack may have their source in nothing more or less than the delusions of the insane, and it does not necessarily invalidate this fact that a second person can be found to give supporting evidence. There is a curious form of insanity known to alienists called folie des deux, in which two people intimately associated together share the same delusions. It is usually found in such cases that one is definitely insane, and that the other is of a hysterical type and has become imbued with the delusions of her associate by means of suggestion. I use the feminine pronoun because this form of insanity is rare with males. It usually occurs with two sisters, or with two women living together.

There is another pitfall for which the inexperienced do well to watch out in their dealings with the person who complains of an occult attack. Insanity may be periodic in its manifestation, outbreaks of acute mania alternating with periods of complete sanity.