Talking to the Gods

Occultism in the Work of W. B. Yeats, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and Dion Fortune

By Susan Johnston Graf

Subjects: Religion, Literary History, Literature, Literary Criticism
Series: SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Paperback : 9781438455563, 178 pages, January 2016
Hardcover : 9781438455556, 178 pages, May 2015

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Table of contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. An Overview of the Golden Dawn System of Magic
2. W. B. Yeats
3. Arthur Machen
4. Algernon Blackwood
5. Dion Fortune
Conclusions
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

Explores occultism in the writings of four authors who were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Description

Talking to the Gods explores the linkages between the imaginative literature and the occult beliefs and practices of four writers who were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. William Butler Yeats, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and Dion Fortune were all members of the occult organization for various periods from 1890 to 1930. Yeats, of course, is both a canonical and well-loved poet. Machen is revered as a master of the weird tale. Blackwood's work dealing with the supernatural was popular during the first half of the twentieth century and has been influential in the development of the fantasy genre. Fortune's books are acknowledged as harbingers of trends in second-wave feminist spirituality. Susan Johnston Graf examines practices, beliefs, and ideas engendered within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and demonstrates how these are manifest in each author's work, including Yeats's major theoretical work, A Vision.

Susan Johnston Graf is Associate Professor of English at Penn State Mont Alto and the author of W. B. Yeats—Twentieth-Century Magus.