Dangers and hidden forces beset the path of the true aspirant after magical attainment. In this fascinating work Dion Fortune - one-time member of the Order of the Golden Dawn - deals with the many pitfalls of occultism, not only from the standpoint of the serious student, but also from that of the ordinary person learning of occult matters for the first time. Here she describes both the dangers and the safeguards in one of the few books dealing authoritatively with these little-known subjects.
One of the greatest dangers for those who interest themselves in occult science is the lure of the Left-hand Path. Dion Fortune explains that whereas the Initiate of the Right-hand Path is God-centered, the Initiate of the Left-hand Path is self-centered. the Black Occultist wishes to open the psychic faculties by speedier and less troublesome methods than the slow ripening of mind-training and meditation. Any occultist who advocates the use of drugs for raising consciousness is definitely on the Left-hand Path and should be avoided.
In her concluding chapter, "The Ideals of Occultism", Dion Fortune declares that occultism is more than a science or philosophy, it is a religion, the secrets of which cannot be uncovered by study only, but by dedication. the neophyte should live an abstemious and simple life, but not an eccentric one, and he is advised not to divert in his habits so far from the customs of his race as to break his connection with the group mind. the fully initiated adept should have the three-fold contacts of mystic devotion, occult wisdom, and the primitive nature-forces. The spiritual, the intellectual, and the elemental must be perfectly balanced in his nature, and so disciplined by the will that they are absolutely flexible to the control of judgement.
In Dion Fortune's significant phrase, the adept is a soldier-scholar dedicated to god.'