Pen name of Violet Mary Firth (1890–1946) based on her family motto (which she used as a magical name) “Deo Non Fortuna,” Latin for “God, not fate.” She developed psychic abilities early in life, leading to a nervous breakdown. Upon her recover she became fascinated with the occult and the new studies in psychology, eventually becoming a lay psychotherapist. After studying Theosophy she eventually joined a branch of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
In order to increase membership, she formed the Fraternity (later changed to Society) of the Inner Light. It worked, but it brought her fame and the leader of the Golden Dawn supposedly didn’t like that and ousted her. But her Society continued to grow and her books became famous.
There were three major trends in her writing. Traditional Western occultism and the Qabalah filled many of her non-fiction works. Her fiction works were focused more on Pagan traditions. Those associated with her Society are more focused around mystical Christianity with a focus on King Arthur and Merlin. Her famous books include The Mystical Qabalah, Sane Occultism, Moon Magic, The Sea Priestess, and Avalon of the Heart.
She respected and corresponded with Aleister Crowley, was responsible for Israel Regardie getting initiated into the Golden Dawn, and claimed to have been involved in what was known as the “Magical Battle of Britain” where occultists used magick to prevent a German invasion of England during WWII. It is known that Hitler intended to invade England, but for some reason (about which there is much speculation) he called it off.
Recently a blog post called out Llewellyn and other publishers (but mostly Llewellyn because we’re the largest and oldest metaphysical book publisher) for our collective contribution to white supremacy. I cannot speak for all the employees of...