“The Threshold of the Unseen” – Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self Defense

If you visit Salem Massachusetts and happen upon Christian Day’s  authentically edgy witchcraft shop HEX (and I highly recommend that you do) you will most likely encounter a slight but imposing woman with lustrous black hair, bedecked in robes and jewelry, reading cards in the front corner window. Lori Bruno is a psychic unlike any other in Salem. She is a High Priestess and Elder of the Sicilian Strega, Head Mother and Reverend of the Trinacrian Rose Church, and a force to be reckoned with. She carries with her the gravitas of old world tradition – wisdom fortified by passion, focused by purpose, and tempered with a wondrous laugh and a loving spirit. She is absolutely wonderful. She is also someone whose advice one would be wise to heed. 

 The following excerpt (much abridged) is from the first few pages of Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense – a book which Rev. Lori Bruno recommends to her clients as essential reading…

We live in the midst of invisible forces whose effects alone we perceive. We move among invisible forms whose actions we very often do not perceive at all, though we may be profoundly affected by them.

In this mind-side of nature, invisible to our senses, intangible to our instruments of precision, many things can happen that are not without their echo on the physical plane. There are beings that live in this invisible world as fish live in the sea. There are men and women with trained minds, or special aptitudes, who can enter into this invisible world as a diver descends to the ocean-bed. There are also times when, as happens to a land when the sea-dykes break, the invisible forces flow in upon us and swamp our lives.

Normally this does not occur. We are protected by our very incapacity to perceive these invisible forces. There are four conditions, however, in which the veil may be rent and we may meet the Unseen. We may find ourselves in a place where these forces are concentrated. We may meet people who are handling these forces. We may ourselves go out to meet the Unseen, led by our interest in it, and get out of our depth before we know where we are; or we may fall victim to certain pathological conditions which rend the veil.


The commonest form of psychic attack is that which proceeds from the ignorant or malignant mind of our fellow human beings. We say ignorant as well as malignant, for all attacks are not deliberately motivated; the injury may be as accidental as that inflicted by a skidding car. This must always be borne in mind,and we should not impute malice or wickedness as a matter of course when we feel we are being victimized. Our persecutor may himself be a victim…

People also come into touch with the Unseen through the influence of places. Someone who is not actually psychic, but who is sufficiently sensitive to perceive the invisible forces subconsciously, may go into a place  where they are concentrated at a high tension…

It may be that the barrier between consciousness and subconsciousness is dense in some people, and they are never able clearly to realize what is going on. They merely have the sense of oppression and general malaise, which lifts when they go away to another place. Consequently, the condition may never be detected, and lead to years of ill-health and misery.

More commonly,however, if there is a definite psychic attack of sufficient force to make itself noticeable at all, there will soon begin to appear characteristic dreams. These may include a sense of weight upon the chest, as if someone were kneeling on the sleeper. If the sense of weight is present, it is certain that the attack emanates locally…

A sense of fear and oppression is very characteristic of occult attack, and one of the surest signs that herald it. ..

As the attack progresses, nervous exhaustion becomes increasingly marked…

But in addition to the purely subjective phenomena, there will also be objective ones if the attack has any degree of concentration.The phenomenon of repercussion is well know, the phenomenon wherein that which befalls the subtle body is reflected in the dense body, so that after an astral skirmish during sleep, bruises are found on the physical body, sometimes bruises of a definite pattern. I have seen the print of a goat’s hoof and the ace of clubs marked upon the skin as well-defined bruises, passing from blue to yellow and dying away in the course of a few days as bruises will.


I imagine that most of you have at least lingered on “The Threshold of the Unseen” and will probably at some point venture across. Fortune continues on from these introductory paragraphs to address the many manifestations of psychic attack in elaborate and terrifying detail. If one is to travel through the invisible realms, Psychic Self-Defense is an invaluable guidebook. Bon Voyage, intrepid readers.

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