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The Sea Priestess

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The Sea Priestess is the highly acclaimed novel in which Dion Fortune introduces her most powerful fictional character, Vivien Le Fay Morgan- a practicing initiate of the Hermetic Path. Vivien has the ability to transform herself into magical images, and here she becomes Morgan Le Fay, sea priestess of Atlantis and foster daughter to Merlin! Desperately in love with Vivien, Wilfred Maxwell works by her side at an isolated seaside retreat, investigating these occult mysteries. They soon find themselves inextricably drawn to an ancient cult through which they learn the esoteric significance of the magnetic ebb and flow of the moontides.

In Dion Fortune’s excellent novel, The Sea Priestess, a magical and magnetic sort of relationship is explored. Fortune says “People think that sex is physical and that love is emotional, and they don’t realize that there is something else between a man and a woman which is magnetic in just the same way as a compass turns to the pole; but it is something that passes through them and uses them, and yet it belongs to nature.” She goes on to describe the effects of this magnetic relationship described in the book as “It is the thing that has kept me young, Wilfred, when I ought to be an old, old woman, and it is the thing that is making you, who used to be mother’s boy, as quarrelsome as a cock on a midden.” The pair end up conducting a ritual that has a powerful impact on Wilfred’s future life and relationships while Le Fay Morgan disappears to show up in another novel “Moon Magic” to similar effect.

Dion Fortune says through her character Le Fay Morgan in describing to Wilfred that what had been lost in the world was “the knowledge of the subtle, magnetic relationship between a man and a woman, and the fact that is a larger part of the whole“, and how they could become the “channels of force the positive and negative forces out of which creation is built.” She is speaking both to external relationships between male and female but I believe that she is also speaking to the inner polar relationship too.

Some people may find Ms. Fortune's writing style a little dated but this is a book that was written in a different era and it does at times seem to be old fashioned in places. But, stick with it, its a truly magical read full of knowledge and insights.

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