Tag Archives: Enochian

How was Enochian magic invented? – Quora

So first of all there was this guy called Doctor John Dee (1527 – 1609) who was obsessed with acquiring knowledge. After he had received the best education that was available in Tudor England, and had built up the largest library in the country at the time – he still wanted more. So he resorted to the Occult to get it.

Round about 1582 he met Edward Kelley (1555 – 1597) who helped him “skry” i.e. Dee would make the conjurations and ask the questions, whilst Kelley reported what he saw in Dee’s crystal ball. Over the next few years they reported that Angels gave them or described to them:

  • A magical seal, containing the names of Angels and planetary spirits (the “Sigillum Dei Aemeth”)
  • A Holy Table, inscribed with letters from a magical language derived from the names of –
  • 49 Good Angels
  • Another table, the Table of Nalvage;
  • More tables of letters (Liber Logaeth), from which were derived –
  • A giant table of Angel names, divided into four Watchtowers; plus a “black cross” (referred to by later interpreters of Dee’s work as the Tablet of Union);
  • A method of dividing the known world into 91 parts, grouped in thirty “aethyrs”;
  • Forty Eight Angelic calls, i.e. eighteen calls plus thirty to invoke the thirty aethyrs (the last thirty are practically identical except the name of the aethyr is changed each time.

These represent the totality of original “Enochian Magic.” The Enochian language is the supposed language of the Forty Eight Angelic calls – and which has correspondances with the earlier 49 Good Angels as well: whilst the Enochian alphabet comprises the letter first used on the Holy Table.

Some good books to read on the subject:

John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery – details how Dee and Kelley derived everything up to the Table of Nalvage;

Dr John Dee’s Spiritual Diaries 1583 – 1608 – a modern reprint of “A True and Faithfull Relation…” which details the latter half of Dee and Kelley’s adventures; and

Enochian Vision Magick – an account by a modern occultist (Lon Milo Duquette) as to how one would go about becoming an Enochian magician.

Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to How was Enochian magic invented? – Quora

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What are the best resources on Enochian magic?

Answer by Alex Sumner:

A good all-round introduction to the subject is Enochian Vision Magick by Lon Milo Duquette, which is essentially how one would go from being a complete beginner to a practising magician in all aspects of Dee’s system. Once you have that out of the way, you are ready for Dee’s original materials. I recommend John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery, edited by Joseph H Peterson, and Meric Casaubon’s “A True and Faithful Relation…” now published as Dr. John Dee’s Spiritual Diaries: 1583-1608, edited by Stephen Skinner.

Some years ago themagickalreview.org  even had high quality scans of Dee’s diaries online, but unfortunately their site seems to be down.

What are the best resources on Enochian magic?

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The Olympics 2014

Olympic rings

No, not those Olympics!

This follows on from a discussion on a Facebook group the other day, in which a poster alleged that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn viewed the Olympic Spirits as “evil.” This rather astounded me, as I had never heard of such a thing. In fact, in Regardie’s Black Brick, the Olympic Spirits are not mentioned at all, save for a diagram of their sigils, which is presented without elaboration.

However, Regardie’s book describes rituals which were notoriously truncated. By going back to older versions of the Outer Order rituals, one finds that the Olympic Spirits were mentioned, albeit briefly, in the grade of Practicus. At a certain point in the path of Resh, the Hegemon shows the candidate a diagram containing their sigils, saying:

Before you is the Tablet of the Olympic or Aerial Planetary Spirits with their Seals, Arathror of Saturn, Bethor of Jupiter, Phalegh of Mars, Och of the Sun, Hagith of Venus, Ophiel of Mercury and Phul of the Moon.

As far as I can make out, this constitutes the sole reference to the Olympic Spirits in the whole of the Golden Dawn. There are however certain conclusions we can legitimately infer, viz.: a Practicus would have been expected to know the identities and seals of the Olympic Spirits for his 3=8 exam; and that practical instruction would be forthcoming on how to work with them in the Inner Order (it never was).

The earliest explanation for the Olympic Spirits comes from the grimoire the Arbatel de magia veterum, which dates from 1575, where they are described thus:

They are called Olympick spirits, which do inhabit in the firmament, and in the stars of the firmament: and the office of these spirits is to declare Destinies, and to administer fatal Charms, so far forth as God pleaseth to permit them: for nothing, neither evil spirit nor evil Destiny, shall be able to hurt him who hath the most High for his refuge. If therefore any of the Olympick spirits shall teach or declare that which his star to which he is appointed portendeth, nevertheless he can bring forth nothing into action, unless he be permitted by the Divine power. It is God alone who giveth them power to effect it. Unto God the maker of all things, are obedient all things celestial, sublunary, and infernal. Therefore rest in this: Let God be thy guide in all things which thou undertakest, and all things shall attain to a happie and desired end; even as the history of the whole world testifieth and daily experience sheweth. There is peace to the godly: there is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord.

The same grimoire gives their names and sigils, as well as describing their specific powers. Moreover, these spirits are described as Governors or rulers of hierarchies of spirits underneath them, of provinces in the spiritual realm – and of ages in human history.

“So,” I hallucinate that I hear you ask, “what has all this got to do with the Golden Dawn?”

The following is my own personal theory. It is speculation, but please humour me at least until you get to the end of the article. It is that teachings regarding the Olympic Spirits were going to be given to Adepti in the higher grades of the second order, but – like a lot of things – these teachings were never written, owing to Mathers’ creative juices running out after his estrangement from Westcott. More specifically –

THE GOLDEN DAWN WAS GOING TO FIT THE OLYMPIC SPIRITS INTO AN ELABORATE HIERARCHY – AT THE HEAD OF THE ENOCHIAN SYSTEM!

In the GD, the first Enochian Magic taught – the four Watchtowers – is actually the last part that Dee and Kelley received. I believe that the original intention of the GD was to teach Enochian Magic to its Adepti in reverse order – the Watchtowers first, and the more advanced – which Dee had receive before the Watchtowers – only later. I have seen evidence in private collections, in the form of notebooks of Adepti dating from around 1916, which clearly show that post-schismatic members of the second order were certainly exploring the more advanced stuff, such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, along with their other Golden Dawn studies.

Thus the putative structure of GD Enochian Magic would have been something like this:

  • The four Watchtowers, + the Tablet of Union;
  • The thirty Aethyrs;
  • The Tablet of Nalvage;
  • The Tabula Bonorum Angelorum;
  • The Holy Table;
  • The Sigillum Dei Aemeth.

John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery, edited by Joseph H Peterson

However, we can actually take this further – because Dee was performing Angel Magic before he started receiving Enochian and proto-Enochian material. In fact, in the first of his Five Books of Mystery, Dee makes reference to the spirit OCH – who is the Olympic Spirit of the Sun – being the ruler of the then current age. Now the story goes that the couple who owned Dee’s manuscripts before Elias Ashmole got a hold of them lost half the material because their maid, not knowing what they were, used them to drain pies. I am willing to speculate that the lost material contained records of Dee’s magical operations before 1581, and that they would have contained details of Dee working from (amongst other grimoires), the Arbatel de magia veterum.

Thus, it makes sense to place the Olympic Spirits at the head of the Enochian system – a sort of Pre-Enochian or Ur-Enochian system, as it were – because as far as Dee would have been concerned, the Olympic Spirits set the whole context for all his subsequent Angel workings – which would make them very important primal forces indeed.

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Vibration: Is it really necessary?

This blog post was inspired by a question on Facebook. My answer is a bit more involved than can be conveniently put in a FB comment, so I will post it here.

Celina, in a question in group “Golden Dawn Universum,” asked:

My practice is coming along but I would like some feedback on the intonation of the words. I’m inhaling good n I can do the vibration fairly good to. But it is mostly when I’m using my more quiet voice. When I’m home alone I like to do it louder. Sometimes my voice cracks a bit n its not a smooth chant. What is a technique for a good deep exaltation to make it more smooth and chanty? Where should u focus ur breath on when chanting ?

Now, everyone who’s into the GD style of magick comes up against a similar situation in their own practice, to wit: “How do I know when I’m doing vibration correctly?” I.e. the correct way of chanting or pronouncing Divine (etc) names.

The basic theory of “vibration” is that when you do it correctly, the vibrations actually affect the astral plane.

However – partly as a result of my own experiences and partly as a result of talking to magicians from outside the GD tradition – I’m beginning to wonder whether “vibration” per se is actually necessary at all.

My first reason to doubt the necessity of vibration came when I first practised Enochian. I recited an Enochian call, and immediately felt its power. All I had done was (a) memorise the call in Enochian; (b) memorise its literal English meaning; and (c) speak it normally in Enochian, whilst simultaneously remembering both its meaning and the magical effect it was supposed to have. There was no vibration involved whatsoever – and yet it still worked.

The second reason to doubt the necessity of vibration was a comment passed by an elderly gentleman who said that it is only necessary for ritual to be spoken and performed with dignity. The reason being that “them upstairs” can sense the intentions of the ritualist and don’t actually need co-ercing in the form of physical, mental or psychic exertions on the human’s part. Hence, instead of bursting a blood-vessel trying to vibrate (e.g.) “Yod Heh Vav Heh,” it is merely necessary to pronounce “Yod Heh Vav Heh” in the firm belief and confidence that YHVH will indeed hear it.

This is a rather radical notion – that angels and gods or God are in fact real, and exist independently of the paltry human’s attempts to mess about with the astral plane – but it does have the advantage of coinciding with the Right Hand Path’s notions of Grace, rather than the Left Hand Path’s more antinomian leanings.

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Review: The Essential Enochian Grimoire: An Introduction to Angel Magick from Dr. John Dee to the Golden Dawn, by Aaron Leitch

This is my review of Aaron Leitch‘s latest book on Amazon, to which I have given five stars.

“Good Introductory Text”

The Essential Enochian Grimoire, by Aaron Leitch


The overall impression I got of this book is that it is aimed at those who are already sold on the idea of Enochian Magic in principal, and would like to learn more about its background.

Generally the quality of Aaron Leitch’s writing is high, however: one should observe a serious caveat when reading this book. This is not a *complete* text – but rather the first or introductory part of an ongoing series on Enochian Magic. So for example there is a description of “Gebofal,” a sophisticated Enochian self-initiation rite which takes place over 49 days, involving the Enochian Keys and the leaves of Liber Loagaeth. Whilst there is a full description of the daily rite, the key component – the leaves of Loageaeth – are missing from this book. Aaron tells us that he will be publishing his own version of Liber Loagaeth separately, in due course.

The majority of the book describes “Dee-purist Enochiana.” So called “Neo-Enochiana” is limited in discussion to the practices of The Golden Dawn. Aaron mentions other manifestations of “Neo-Enochiana” – e.g. Crowley’s Aethyr-work which was published as The Vision & the Voice – but does not go into the same technical, ritualistic detail. The pseudonymous “Thomas Rudd” is dealt with even less, which is a shame as I would have been interested in a discussion of his linking the spirits of the lesser key of Solomon with the seven ensigns of creation (see: A Treatise on Angel Magic: Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks).

The Enochian work of the Aurum Solis and the Chaos Magick movement are not mentioned at all – although this constitutes no great loss.

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World Tarot Day

Today is World Tarot Day, and so I thought I (as a Tarot reader myself) would contribute by reviewing my own favourite Tarot decks.

Golden Dawn – Robert Wang

Golden Dawn Deck – artwork by Robert Wang

The Golden Dawn was my entry into occultism generally, and consequently the Tarot as well. Hence Robert Wang’s Golden Dawn Tarot was the first deck I ever bought: it was the one on which I learnt. The trumps struck me as the most impressive, although I confess I thought the art-work was a bit ordinary. Nevertheless this is still my default deck today, the one which I most use for doing readings. I have to admit though that if I were buying a Golden Dawn deck for the first time today, I would probably get Tabatha Cicero’s versioninstead, mainly because the art-work is livelier.

Crowley-Thoth

Crowley-Thoth deck. Designed by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris.

Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck is one of a number of decks which I keep at home mainly for the sake of comparison. One has to remember that for 19 years from 1969 until 1988, this was the closest thing to a Golden Dawn type deck that was publicly available. In many ways this would be an ideal deck, due to its bold artwork courtesy of Lady Frieda Harris and its wealth of symbolism which is all authentic … from a Thelemic point of view. Essentially Crowley took the GD symbolism, right down to the particular colours appropriate to each card – and augmented it with ideas derived from his own visionary work, e.g The Book of the Law and The Vision and The Voice. Hence, whilst it is mostly GD-ish, and undoubtedly superb for actual Thelemites, a GD purist would need to be wary of this. (Incidentally, a good book to read about this deck is Lon Milo Duquette’s Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot).

Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot

Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot

This is not really a Tarot deck per se, more a Cartomancy deck. It is not based upon the traditional Tarot format at all: instead, each card represents a portion of the Enochian Watchtowers and the Tablet of Union. Meanwhile, the reverse of each card instead of having a uniform backing has elemental symbolism (corresponding to the Enochian associations on the obverse side) which can be used in skrying. The meanings of the individual cards take a bit of getting used to, although there is a logic to the general scheme which is based on GD teachings.

This has given me an idea – about how an Adept might incorporate this into ceremonial magick. When performing a divination with this deck, typically there will be one card which points to the solution of a given problem. Because each card represents a portion of the Enochian Watchtowers, the “solution-card” will therefore represent a particular Enochian angel – a being who can be evoked by constructing a magical ceremony with the appropriate symbolism.

Rider Waite

Rider Waite – designed by A E Waite, illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith

Given that the Rider Waite deck is the world’s most popular version, I suppose that I could hardly call myself a tarot connoisseur unless I actually had a copy. Undoubtedly Pamela Coleman-Smith’s artwork must be a big reason for its popularity – especially the fact that each of the Minor Arcana is individually illustrated.

The Mythic Tarot

The Mythic Tarot

I decided to get hold of this after seeing a fellow Tarot reader use this. What I find most appealing is that the creators of this deck have based the artwork on Greek mythology. Hence: the suit of Cups is the story of Cupid and Psyche; Wands is the story of Jason and the Argonauts; whilst the characters in the Major Arcana are identified as Greek gods and goddesses. This is a visually appealing deck because, like the Rider Waite one, all 78 cards are fully illustrated. Also it is refreshing to see a deck which goes with an original idea for a change which comes off successfully.

Builders of the Adytum

The BOTA deck.

Of all the Tarot decks which are available, the ones that particularly interest me are those created by Occultists – as opposed to the many which appear to be novelty decks, or created by people with only a superficial understanding of the subject. Hence my reason for being drawn to not only the Golden Dawn, but also the Crowley Thoth, Rider Waite, etc decks. I suppose it was thus inevitable that I would seek out the Builders of the Adytum, given that it was designed by not only an occultist but by an actual Tarot scholar, Paul Foster Case. The thing about the BOTA deck is that it comes uncoloured: the point being that as a student learns about the Tarot, they use their own knowledge of the esoteric associations of colour to colour it in themselves. Unfortunately I discovered that the BOTA deck is very hard to come by on Amazon – with one going for over £100.

So I cheated.

The unfortunate fact, I am ashamed to say, is that a full set of scans of the entire BOTA deck is available via bit-torrent and certain P2P clients. So whilst I have never purchased a BOTA deck, I am nevertheless using my Adobe Photoshop skills to illustrate it anyway. 😉

The Black Tarot

The Black Tarot – illustrated by Luis Royo

This is something of a curiosity which came into my possession, and of which I have not made use since acquiring it. The trumps feature a lot of lurid artwork – dragons, monsters, scantily-clad buxom women, etc – which only vaguely references traditional tarot imagery. Meanwhile the accompanying booklet puts a Vama-marga Tantric spin on interpretation of the cards.

I first acquired this when a dear friend of mine was getting rid of her spare tarot decks, so I just happened to pick this up. Ironically, the same friend later received a present – another copy of the Black Tarot. Hmm seems to me this must be more than coincidence – perhaps the universe is trying to tell her something???

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How To Use Enochian Magick To Achieve Success!

Review: “Dr Dee,” London Coliseum, Saturday 7th July 2012

“Dr Dee,” the opera by Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris.

So there I was in London’s West End, weaving my way in and out of people wearing rainbow-coloured attire, en route to the English National Opera at the London Coliseum to see the matinée performance of “Doctor Dee.” Given that John Dee was such a pivotal figure in the Western Mystery Tradition – and remains so today – I found the idea of creating an opera about him curious. The idea that somebody famous like Damon Albarn would do so,and put it on in a major West End venue was even more curious, so I thought I’d better go investigate. Here then are my impressions of the event.

The venue was sold out. I scanned the audience, but I could not see anyone who looked obviously like an Enochian Magickian, except possibly a sinister couple dressed all in black. I was wearing a PELE ring all the time but nobody clocked it! No: instead I would estimate that the vast majority of the audience were there simply because they had been fans of Blur from back in the day – some were old enough now to bring their children with them. I did detect a sizeable number of “habitual opera goers” who appeared to be neither fans of Blur nor interested in the story of John Dee, but had just turned up because it was the pretentious thing to do.

Inside the auditorium, I immediately noticed that the outline of a large Sigillum Dei Aemeth had been marked on the stage. The lights darkened and a winged messenger announced the beginning of the performance: a raven flew down from “the gods” and alighted on stage, before obediently scampering off into the wings. 

Dr Dee, by Damon Albarn

There is an inevitable urge to compare the live performance with the soundtrack album which is currently available. In my opinion the former far surpasses the latter. Live, it is as much a work of dance, mime and even son et lumiere as it is of music. There are two sets of musicians: an orchestra hidden in the pit,  whilst Damon Albarn and a group of musicians with Elizabethan instruments sit in a gantry which, during the performance, is raised above the stage. Rather than a “conventional” (read: old-fashioned) opera, it is staged in a deliberately expressionistic style in order to illustrate the story.

So for example the first appearance of Dee is as an old man on his deathbed, which is wheeled around stage by his daughter. The rest of the story is then told in flashback – although even as Dee is going about his adventures, the figure of the daughter pushing the deathbed is periodically seen in the shadows at the back of the stage, reminding us of his unfortunate destiny.

Dee’s rise as a man of learning is depicted in a dance sequence in which a dancer (disguised as the character) figuratively speed reads books which transform into endless streams of paper. Interestingly, the “endless streams of paper” later becomes the material which makes up the walls of the set in the various scenes – suggesting that Dee’s life was literally defined – or indeed limited – by his books and his obsession with learning.

The story though is a straightforward tragedy. Dee rises to prominence as a scholar and gets a rare chance to prove himself by casting an electional horoscope for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I. The coronation is a success, and the new Elizabethan age buoys Dee’s fortunes – which include meeting and marrying his beautiful wife Jane. But Dee wants more – and into his life comes Edward Kelley (sung as a castrato, which is quite ironic given the Plot-Point in Act Two). With Kelley’s skrying Dee dares to aspire to the ultimate goal – not just human knowledge, but Divine Knowledge.

However, whilst Dee becomes obsessed with stealing this fire from heaven, he is ignorant Kelley staring long and lustily at his wife. Eventually tensions come to ahead. With his reputation under attack, Dee bullies Kelley into more skrying – at which point Kelley claims that the spirits are telling Dee to share Jane with him. Dee, who by now has had his vanity well and truly inflated by the spirit communications, cannot bring himself to admit that the same spirits who flattered him with the promise of Divine Knowledge before could be lying to him now (a classic case of Cognitive Dissonance!) agrees to let Kelley have his way with her. (Interestingly although Jane Dee was wearing a shift throughout, there was the merest hint of the Cup of Babalon visible at this point!) In short order Dee sees his life fall apart – his marriage ruined, his public reputation destroyed from accusations of “conjuring,” and he dies as an old and broken man.

Hence: Albarn places the blame for Dee’s ruin only partly on Kelley, but mainly on Dee himself. Dee’s lust for power – in the form of knowledge – obsessed him so much as to give him a towering ego. Kelley, whilst a rogue, was however merely motivated by natural inclinations of lust towards Jane, and resentment towards Dee.

In assessing a work like this, the question naturally arises: how much does Damon Albarn really know about the occult? In the press he has been evasive. When asked if he really believed in magic, he replied: “Cycling round London at 4am on a sunny morning – you don’t get more magical than that.” It is however obvious that he knows more than he is letting on. On the CD of the opera there is a cheeky sample of Aleister Crowley reciting an Enochian call (the sample is missing from the live performance). Even more tellingly, on the CD the first track is entitled “The Golden Dawn.” This incidentally was not played on Saturday when I went to see it, except very softly as the audience were taking their seats at the beginning.

More obviously though, many of the graphics that make up the Son et Lumiere are adapted from Dee’s magical manuscripts, for example the Tabula Bonorum Angelorum and the seals of the 91 Governors.

So one could say that Damon Albarn has used Enochian Magick to create a successful opera! Which is probably a more impressive feat than any Enochian magician has ever managed. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the current run has sold out, as indeed did the previous run in Manchester, this is unlikely to be one of those ongoing West End productions that will keep on going. The production is too heavily reliant on a unique set of performers, of which the most obvious example is Damon Albarn himself. It is hard to see the run being ever extended by changing the cast periodically, which is how most long-running West End hits sustain themselves. “Dr Dee” of necessity will only run for as long as Albarn commits himself to it. This is also why it could only transfer to e.g. Broadway if Albarn went to live in New York for sometime, which admittedly is theoretically possible. Hence, if I were given to prognosticate, we should expect to see a DVD of the performance being released sometime in the future.

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Enochian Calls 16, 17 & 18 + site update

You now have the opportunity to view videos of all Enochian calls one to eighteen – including the fire calls which I finished last night. Instead of distributing them over multiple blog-posts, they are now gathered together in one play-list along with my other Enochian articles. Please click the Articles link at the top of this page.

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Damon Albarn stages Enochian Opera!

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, ex-Blur) has previously composed an operatic version of Monkey: Journey to the West in 2008. Now he has revealed his new project – “Doctor Dee” which is based on the life of John Dee, the celebrated Elizabethan Mathematician, bibliophile – and Occultist.

Dr John Dee was famous in his lifetime for assembling the largest private collection of manuscripts in Europe in his house at Mortlake in Surrey, for inventing the idea of the “British Empire” and even for teaching Queen Elizabeth I the rudiments of Alchemy. However he became notorious for his Spirit communications – which are the basis of Enochian Magic today.

Doctor John Dee

Said Albarn:

“It’s just amazing how much colour there is in his ideas. Just imagine the English now if we had kept that spirit in our hearts.”

The opera is being staged (in English) at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on July 1st.

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Enochian Magic In Tamworth – update

Plate found in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth

This is a follow-up to my post Enochian Magic In Tamworth. The local paper has finally seen sense and published pictures of the various artefacts found in the local woods, including the plate inscribed with Enochian Letters. Apparently the site, Hopwas Woods, has been a hotbed of occult activity – apparently 27 years ago there was an infamous incident of some occultists dancing naked in a clearing and smoking cannabis!

Tut tut tut! I cannot condone this sort of behaviour! Getting caught by the police and not hiding your stash, I mean. Obviously I’m not about to condemn skyclad rituals, and I can hardly condemn use of da Herb. Anyway – the group that got their collars felt (metaphorically speaking) was called the “Order of the Silver Star,” though whether this was anything to do with Thelema is not indicated.

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