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This book is not intended merely to make the flesh creep, but is designed as a serious contribution to a little-understood aspect of abnormal psychology, perverted, in some instances, to the purposes of crime. It is a book intended for serious students and for those who find themselves confronted by the problems it describes, and who are trying to understand them and find a way out. My chief aim in speaking so frankly is to open the eyes of men and women to the nature of the forces that are at work below the surface of everyday life. It may happen to any one of us to break through the thin crust of normality and find ourselves face to face with these forces. Reading of the cases cited in this book, we may well say that there, but for the grace of God, goes any one of us. If I can give in these pages the knowledge which protects, I shall have fulfilled my purpose.
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Dion Fortune born Violet Mary Firth (6 December 1890 – 8 January 1946), was a prominent British occultist, author, psychologist, teacher, artist, and mystic. Schooled in Western Esotericism, she was influential in the modern revival of the magical arts. She was also a prolific writer of the supernatural and the occult in both novels and non-fiction works. As a psychologist, she approached magic and hermetic concepts from the perspectives of Jung and Freud. Known to those in her inner circle as DF, her pseudonym was inspired by her family motto "Deo, non-fortuna" (Latin for "by God, not fate"). Fortune died in 1946 from leukemia in Middlesex, London, at the age of 55.
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