‘The Magical Battle of Britain’

“The Battle of Britain” usually refers to the German bombing campaign during the summer of 1940, planned to lead into a seaborne invasion across the English Channel.

Gerald Gardner claimed that the “Southern Coven”  performed a ritual in the New Forest at Lammas 1940 against the threatened invasion. Based on my reading of the evidence, or lack thereof, I don’t think that this ritual took place as he described it.

Nevertheless, telling about the ritual fifteen years after it supposedly happened was part of his claim that Wicca was an indigenous British religion  that could repel the “foreign invader,” Christianity. (And if alive today, Gardner would probably add Islam as well to the list of invaders.)

Whereas we have only Gardner’s after-the-fact claim that the Lammas 1940 ritual occurred, another esoteric group was indeed fighting Nazi Germany on the astral plane—Dion Fortune’s Fraternity of the Inner Light.

“The Magical Battle of Britain,” by Dave Evans and David Sutton, is available at The Fortean Times.

The authors describe how Fortune’s group conceived of their magical battle, designed to strengthen British will power and stop the invasion, even if its effects are hard to quantify compared to those of the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, and the Army.

Some of her followers believe that the workings ruined her health, leading to her death a few years later.

And they quote a well-known scholar of esotericsm who comes to this conclusion:

Possibly such tales of magical warfare are simply one of the ways, as esoteric scholar Professor Wouter Hanegraaff describes, in “which magic­ians seek to legitimate magic to the wider society as well as to themselves” in the modern era.

3 thoughts on “‘The Magical Battle of Britain’

  1. Many Indian spiritual leaders claimed esoteric influence over WWII events, including Sri Aurobindo and Meher Baba. Father DIvine and the International Peace Mission Movement made similar claims. In all three of those, there were gestures and external behavior suggestive of theurgic intent. The stories about Nazi occultism (true or not or to whatever degree or type) seem to call forth this counter-narrative, also true or not.

  2. Pitch313

    I gotta say, first, that it looks to me like magic as we practitioners of today work it is just not proof against war as we warfighters of today conduct it.

    But, second, we practitioners do work magic for the advantage of our side against that of the other side, and vice versa. What’s more, the magical workings may tip the paranormal balance toward one side or the other.

  3. ah thanks for the heads up Chas, i didn’t realise FT would be putting this online. Needless to say the howling spelling error is a post-writing editorial artefact that crept in : )
    cheers, Dave

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