Enochian Study Papers at Mountain Temple

John Dee (1527-1608)
and the Enochian Magical System
by Petros Xristos Magistet

 

Dee was a brilliant English mathematician, astrologer, alchemist and Magician of high order. He made significant contributions to the fledgling body of scientific and occult knowledge of his time. Dee was born in London in 1527 and received his M.A. at Trinity College (Cambridge) at the age of 21. He is generally referred to as "Doctor" today, though technically speaking the Ph.D. degree did not exist in his era; a holder of a Master's degree was commonly referred to as "Doctor" then. Certainly his immense learning and labors qualify him for the title by any era's standards. Dee was a professor on the Continent for several years, teaching in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere. He also studied with Mercator, the famous map-maker. On his return to England he served as a navigational consultant (under King Edward VI) for the nation's fleets of ships, then just beginning the great adventure of discovery in the New World.

In the meantime, Dee amassed the largest private libraries in England, specializing in works of science and the occult. His magical interests put him under some suspicion during the brief reign of Queen Mary (1555), when he was arrested for treason and narrowly escaped the axe. When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1564, the atmosphere for magi improved somewhat, and he served as her court astrologer. In his late 50s and early 60s, Dee travelled in Poland and Bohemia with his primary associate at that time, the alchemist and spiritist medium Sir Edward Kelly, trying to manufacture gold and invoke spirits for various rulers there. Kelly also served as Dee's primary medium during the famous channelling sessions that created what is now known as the "Enochian" or "Angelic" system of magic. Kelly died at the relatively young age of 42, under suspicious circumstances while imprisoned in what is now the Czech Republic. Aleister Crowley considered Kelly one of his prior incarnations, and his name is invoked in Crowley's version of the Gnostic Mass.

In old age, Dee returned to England, where he fared less well during the reign of James I, and died at his stately manor in the countryside near London in 1608 at the advanced age of 81.

Dee generated a huge amount of magical writing, both with and without Kelly, but what is commonly known as the "Enochian" system generally refers only to a specific portion of that work dedicated to concourse with Angelic forces and summoning of spirits. The original Order of the Golden Dawn made much use of this magic, and indeed it is the centerpiece of the old G.D. system. The Order added several important innovations to Dee's systems, most critically the creation of astrological and qabalistic attributions to his Great Table, and the manufacture of the Table in truncated-pyramid (trapezohedronic) form. It is a potent tool for skrying in the spirit vision -- perhaps too potent for some; it is not ordinarily recommended for any but Adepts.

Aleister Crowley wrote an entire book describing his experiences travelling through the Thirty Aethyrs, The Vision and the Voice, and this work is recommended reading for any who may be contemplating such a journey. The writer of this brief discussion, at the time an Exempt Adept at Mountain Temple, once made an effort to "work" the Aetyrs utilizing the full system. The results were less than satisfactory and the Adept will endeavor to attempt the experiment again sometime in the future.

 

Ring design given to Dee by the Angels,
said to be based on the ring used by Solomon to summon spirits.
Note the “V” and “L” marks, resembling the Masonic symbols for
the square and compass.

 

Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica, uniting the symbols of all 7 classical planets and 4 elements into one figure.

 

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Enochian2: Supplemental Data

Enochian3: The Eighteen Calls or Keys