Matthew Fortin

Matthew Fortin

Matthew Fortin

Hypnagogic Consciousness and the Fire of Azrael

Although hypnagogic consciousness appears at first glance to occur haphazardly in the transitive state between waking and dreaming, Dion Fortune suggests that the Occultist may intentionally induce this state through a self-hypnotic ritual for magical practice.

 Hypnagogic consciousness appears in classical literature, such as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and more recently in Cormac McCarthy’s Stella Maris, to inform other world consciousness in characters.  However, when occultist Dion Fortune employs hypnagogic consciousness in her works of fiction, a deeper understanding reveals she leaves a practical guide for the Initiate to supplement her theoretical works of nonfiction; such as The Mystical Qabalah.

In this lecture I investigate Fortune’s novel The Sea Priestess to understand the Fire of Azrael, how it may be used to induce hypnagogic consciousness useful for magical practice; and possible implications for practitioners.


Matthew studies world religions, mysticism and magic as a “Master of Liberal Arts (ALM), Harvard Extension School, Candidate (Religion).”

His research interests lie in Western Esotericism, the Sefer Yetzirah, and Mysticism.

He has presented “In Defense of Ancient Rabbis” at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) in Albuquerque, NM and “The Etymological Roots of the Sefer Yetzirah” at the Theosophical Society in Seattle, WA.