An open letter to the Enochian Magician who has been unwittingly discovered in Tamworth, West Midlands, England.
Dude! You may or may not have been reading the local papers recently but the brass plate which you buried in those woods has been discovered, and is in the possession of the West Midlands Ghost Club, who tried appealing for help in deciphering its contents. They would probably have got help a lot sooner if the paper had published a photo of the plate, but hey! This little detail seems to have been overlooked by the editorial staff.
I presume you meant the brass plate to be a talisman of some description. Whilst I admire your adventurous spirit, I cannot help but think you were over-egging the pudding by inscribing the words of the seventh Enochian key onto a brass disc and then burying it in the middle of the woods. The thing about Enochian magic is that you do not need to go to quite that much effort. Through my own magical work, I have found that there are only three things you need to do in order to get an Enochian Call to work:
- Beforehand – you need to have memorised what the English translation is meant to be;
- You need to keep in mind what the supposed effect of the Enochian call – i.e. what particular energies it is meant to be invoking; and
- You need to say (nb: not “vibrate”) the call in the original Enochian.
I personally find it best to memorise the actual Enochian itself. In addition to any magical virtue this might have, I feel it inconvenient to work from a script, so I reduce my reliance on one as much as possible. Generally this means it takes me at least a couple of days to prepare for each ritual, as I do not profess to have memorised all 19 keys by heart.
Once the hurdle of preparation is overcome, though, what is most noticeable is that an amazing feeling of power can be sensed almost immediately as the Enochian key is pronounced. So long as one has mastered the above three steps, one does not even have to be a particularly experienced magician. These are not just my own findings – other Enochian practitioners to whom I have spoken confirm its power as well.
Regarding pronunciation: I used to use the GD style, but I developed the conviction that the only real reason that the Golden Dawn developed this method was because they only had access to a limited number of Enochian texts, e.g. they worked from Sloane 307, which is not an original Dee text! Meric Causaubon’s A True and Faithful Relation, flawed though it may be, at least points out that Dee made marginal notes as he received the calls as to how each odd collection of consonants should be pronounced. What is immediately obvious is that the overall scheme is quite simply that each word is pronounced as it would have been in Elizabethan English, with odd consonants being pronounced separately. Moreover, Z is not pronounced Zode every time, but only when either smooth pronunciation demands it, or to add the connotation of “of God” to a word. The idea of interpolating vowels from equivalent Hebrew letters is entirely absent in Dee’s work.
I have much sympathy, though, with Geoffrey James‘ remark that Angels do not have vocal cords. Hence the manner of pronouncing a given Enochian key is rather academic at best. Hence knowing what the Enochian call is, and what it is meant to do, is possibly more important than how to pronounce it using the vocal cords of an “alien being” – i.e. a human.
The seventh Enochian key, which you used, in the Golden Dawn system invokes the Air Lesser Angle of the Water Tablet. From recollection, in the GD system again Air of Water refers to Pisces and the letter Qoph – which is magically associated with creating glamours, bewitchments and enchantments. Not sure that is what you intended but there you go. It is debatable whether this is what Dee intended for, having looked carefully at A True and Faithful Relation the only indication as to what the Enochian keys were to be used for was a single one-off magical working - and then never to be used again! Of course, there will be many Enochian magicians (including, it has to be said, me) who will counter that A True and Faithful Relation is not the be-all and end-all, as it would spoil a lot of people’s fun if it turned out that everyone had been doing it wrong for the past five hundred years or so.
As to why the Enochian language is so magical at all, the tradition supposes that it is the “Adamitic language” which was “spoken” in the Garden of Eden. But how can that be possible, especially if we follow James’ theory? One intriguing suggestion was put forward by the author Charles Williams. Whilst not referring to Enochian language per se, he posited the idea (in his book, The Place of the Lion) that the “Garden of Eden” is actually the Platonic World of Forms – and that the Adamitic language speaks directly to this World, thus invoking archetypal energies. Whether or not this is the case, the fact remains that Enochian is the closest thing we have to objective proof that magic actually works.