A review by Maria Ede-Weaving of Penny Billington’s fabulous new book The Keys to the Temple: Unlocking Dion Fortune’s Mystical Qabalah Through Her Occult Novels – co-written with Ian Rees. I interview Penny in this month’s Druidcast – A Druid Podcast Episode 123 where you can hear her talk more about the book.
The Keys to the Temple: Unlocking Dion Fortune’s Mystical Qabalah Though Her Occult Novels by Penny Billington & Ian Rees
For those fascinated by Dion Fortune’s use of her fiction as a method to reveal the deeper experiential workings of the theory given in The Mystical Qabalah, this richly detailed and insightful book will become an invaluable companion.
Penny Billington and Ian Rees painstakingly take the reader on a journey through each of the novels, delving beneath the surface of character readings, imagery and narrative to lift a veil on each novel’s magical depths and meaning.
Billington and Rees’ analysis is sharply detailed and extensive. There is a real sense of engagement with the novels and a thorough understanding of Dion Fortune’s clever use of story as a teaching medium and method to engage with mystical experience and revelation.
For those unfamiliar with the Qabalah, there is a clear and concise chapter that introduces the reader to the system. Later in the work there are practical meditations and pathworkings that use the imagery of the novels to deepen your experience of that system in the manner that Fortune intended.
For those who love Dion Fortune’s fiction and appreciate its purpose, this book makes the perfect bridge between her theoretical text – that can feel rather abstract and abstruse in isolation – and the stories that bring the journey alive, connecting the seeker on an emotional and experiential level. This book is indeed a ‘Key to the Temple’ and I predict it will become a classic text for all those drawn to explore not only Dion Fortune’s novels but the Western Mystery Tradition as a whole.