The Forgotten Mage:

Colonel Charles Richard Foster Seymour





(Ritual Magick in England circa 1930’s. 1940’s)

  I first had to convince myself that Colonel Charles Richard Foster Seymour (called “Kim” by his intimates and “The Colonel” by those who were put off by his military no-nonsense demeanor) really was a forgotten Mage. Searching the internet, I found one book, “The Forgotten Mage: The Magical Lectures of Colonel C.R.F. Seymour, edited by Delores Ashcroft-Novicki with a forward by Alan Richardson. A company called “Thoth” has also published lectures. Since no pictures of Seymour are known to exist, I can only offer Richardson’s description: a man of average height; slight, dark-complexioned, black hair brushed straight back from the forehead; hairline receding at the temples and graying about the ears.
  Just an average-looking Joe, like most of us! But (to quote Richardson) “…something inside him that was utterly, utterly powerful.”

Work with Dion Fortune (Violet Firth)
Dion’s most respected book was the Mystical Qaballah, an excellent overview of the tree of life and all its correspondences. She also wrote a whole host of occult mysteries: The Winged Bull, The Secrets of Dr. Taverner ,Moon Magic, Sea Priestess, The Goat-Footed God. The mystery stories probably tell us most about where her head was, magically. She wrote “Psychic Self-Defense” when she thought that she was under magical attack by McGregor Matthers’ wife, Moira.

Dion lived at 3 Queensborough Terrace, just along the east side of the part of Hyde Park which runs along the Bayswater Road. She claims to have been trained partly by Aleister Crowley and W.H.C. Moriarty. For some years Dion headed a Theosophical lodge. In addition to her writing and occult activities, Dion was a medical doctor and a psychotherapist with a Jungian bent.. Her magic was earth-based, and rooted in the Western tradition. Her dates: 1890-1946.

  I am only concerned right now with this amazing woman, Dion Fortune, in that she eventually began working with Colonel Seymour. But I do feel obliged, for the sake of the story, to get into Dion a little bit and to say a word about her first husband, Penry Evens. Her husband, after all, was her magical partner before the Colonel came to take over that role.

  Being the Goddess that she was, Dion Fortune bought property in Glastonbury and formed a pilgrim center there devoted the the Mysteries of Isis. She married Thomas Penry Evans in 1927. Like herself, he was Welsh and a medical doctor—and oh yes, also an occultist! They worked well magically even though their magical interests diverged. Not having the same magical focus might not have been a problem—except that the two bickered constantly about their different magical views.

  (I guess this was like a “mixed marriage” – e.g. a Catholic marrying an Episcopalian, with an eventual parting of ways over something like Transubstantiation vs, NOT). This unfortunate marriage lasted about a decade. Penry found another woman.
  Enter the Colonel:  Seymour took Penry’s place in the magical triad. The magical meditations were: Power, Love, Wisdom. Dion was of course “Wisdom.” A man named Thomas Loveday was “Love.” Seymour became “Power.”
This was an “as above so below” working. By projecting power, love and wisdom at the earthly realm, the schema was to help purify the astral plane, the plane of form, the archetypal drafts for what we know on earth. The synergistic exchange of energies would ultimately affect the evolution of all humanitythey hoped.
  As above, so below. As below, so above. Far be it from me to insert formal logic into this sort of thing, but AS ABOVE SO BELOW does not entail AS BELOW SO ABOVE.
Everything below is like everything above. Everything above is like everything below.
All oranges are fruits. Are all fruits oranges? Oh well…..we won’t go there.
This “Charles Thomas Loveday” was a Tram Executive whom Dion Fortune had met at Glastonbury, 16 years older than herself, and not connected to the man named Loveday who died at Crowley’s notorious Abbey at Thelema.

Seymour seeks new magical partner:

  Eventually Seymour drifted away from Dion Fortune. He felt that she was too centered on worship of Isis.. He found a more suitable magical partner in a woman named Christine Campbell Thompson, who was about 40, and seemed to have much more vitality and magical energy than Dion. Seymour was even beginning to suspect that Dion/Violet might no longer be “Fully Contacted”—one of the worst things one could say about someone in the magic field. Fully Contacted: What does this mean? An adept, a magician or a magical school has to be “Fully Contacted.” Perhaps through their workings, perhaps simply because they felt they had been chosen, there must be some contact with super-terrestrial beings. “Servants of the Light,” e.g., describes itself as a “fully contacted” magical school. Blavatsky had her contacts: Koot Hoomi and Maurya. McGregor Matthers and the early Golden Dawn had the Secret Chiefs. Crowley had Aiwass, his “Holy Guardian Angel” and likely many others.No comments on their existential status: the main thing is that the magician, who has built up mental forms in meditation, feels them to be real and subsequently gets communication from them.

   Are these “contacts” a deep part of our own psyches that is inaccessible to us outside of meditation?
   No matter. Seymour stresses that the magician should act AS THOUGH the images are real, and as if the gods really were as they seemed to be. “A magician is what he believes himself to be; a magician is where he believes himself to be,” he wrote.Exercises of Ignatius Loyola
  In building up these images, in becoming contacted, Seymour, Gareth Knight aka Basil Wilsby and many of these ritual magicians in England make much use of these meditation practices which were (originally!) intended to bring the Christian faithful closer to God.I guess Ignatius would turn over in his grave if he ever learned that his Exercises would become a tool of ritual magicians!
Exercises of Ignatius Loyola
In building up these images, in becoming contacted, Seymour, Gareth Knight aka Basil Wilsby and many of these ritual magicians in England make much use of these meditation practices which were (originally!) intended to bring the Christian faithful closer to God.I guess Ignatius would turn over in his grave if he ever learned that his Exercises would become a tool of ritual magicians!
  I can’t go into a detailed description of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. They are printed on the net. Today they are often used in training religious personnel, who will go on a retreat for a month to do the working. The exercises are contemplative meditations. Under the guidance of a spiritual director, the trainee dwells first on God’s gracious forgiveness and then upon the life, Passion and Resurrection of Christ. The soul should be prepared to remove from itself all disordered affectivity in order to seek and find the divine will in the disposition of one’s life. It is like the participant is there and reliving the scenes in Christ’s life, participating in them.
 This works also for magick. You could have a group meditation on the use of ancient pagan symbols, the objective being to link up memories dormant in the subconscious minds of the members of these meditation groups with ancient cult memories that still live in the collective unconscious. 


  Back to our friend Seymour: In l937 the army called him up to Liverpool for an advisor. When he returned to 3 Queensborough Terrace, he found that it had been bombed out. He did not further search out Dion Fortune, although she had taken rooms just up the street. Some kind of youth hostel called the “Astor Quest” stands at 43-45 Queensborough Terrace, as of this writing, as central London, where such fascinating people once lived, has now been turned into one big pricey tourist accommodation. Seymour had worked up his own magical systems from l937-1943. He went deep into the Celtic and Arthurian mysteries especially the Welsh traditions


Where did this knowledge base come from?
  The belief was that before Atlantis sunk beneath the waters, small groups of illuminated adepts sailed away, carrying away with them the essence of ancient knowledge.This knowledge has survived today through l. myth 2.folklure 3.magnetic resonance of prehistoric sites. Creative visualization will produce the necessary images.



  Seymour wanted a system of studies that would encompass 7 years. Perhaps he was allotting himself the 3 score years and l0, for he apparently held the belief that he had 7 years to live. Yet, on Midsummer Day l943—without any warning—he suddenly died. (I can find no reference of the cause of this death. Dion Fortune died in l946 of Leukemia
  Much magic practiced in the Fraternity of the Inner Light, indeed much contemporary magic in England through the years, used this image visualization. I don’t want to deny that ritual magicians do ritual! There is ritual work: for sure—at the special pagan holidays, perhaps at the time of a full or new moon, or healing work or intercessions.


  But not all of the work requires a cast of characters and costumes and colors, candles, oils, scents, and a production somewhat resembling a Wagnerian opera. Much of the work is not so dramatic. You sit there. You meditate. Sometimes an observer would not know what is going on. Sometimes there might be a group meditation where a small group attunes its minds to the same topics, the same symbols, the same god forms, and shares with the group what they are “seeing” in their minds’ eyes.
  Seymour believed that in this technique of creative imagination, the first goal for an initiate would be to try to learn and realize more than he or she already knows. The meditator usually sits in a chair in a comfortable position. He or she might be asked to meditate on a symbol-e.g. the Ankh. If one meditates well, the ideal result is that the symbol will percolate in the unconscious. The Ankh might help the initiate to gain conscious touch with the great sea mother, which was considered the initiation of Isis.

  Would-be initiates might have an assignment, e.g. think over a specific sentence for a half-hour and extract the inner meaning from the ideas.   One sentence, by Omar Khayyam, “There was a door to which I found no key.” But the key is interest, concentrated interest. And you realize that you have the key.This might be the result of the meditation. After each meditation, practitioners take note of their ideas. Seymour believed that bodily temperance is essential for ANY system of meditation. There is some thinking that for best results, one would eat very little and sleep very little .This makes sense; when has not had much sleep, the mind might be more receptive to the unconscious. The defenses, the more rigid part of the mind that censors, might not work as well.