Book: Enochian Magick Reference by Benjamin RoweThe systems of magick now known as Enochian magick derive from the work of the Elizabethan scholar Dr. John Dee and seer Edward Kelly. Dee had a passion for discovering lost knowledge and spiritual truths; in particular he wanted to recover the wisdom he believed to be in the lost books of earlier times. Among these was the then-fabled Book of Enoch, which he apparently conceived as being a book describing the magick system used by that patriarch. Having come to the conclusion that worldly efforts would not lead to the wisdom he desired, he decided to apply himself to contacting divine sources. During the years from 1581 to 1585, Dee performed a long series of magickal operations to that intent. Kelly joined him in March of 1582, and was his sole assistant during the remainder of the work.
The method employed for these works was fairly standard for the time. Dee would act as the orator, directing fervent prayers to God and the archangels for 15 minutes to an hour. Then a scrying stone would be placed on a prepared table, and the angels were called to manifest a visible appearance therein. Kelly would watch the stone and report everything he saw and heard; Dee would sit at another table nearby and record everything that occurred. Dee made multiple copies of these records. A portion of them, concerning the Angelic Calls, Tablets and Liber Scientiae, were acquired with Dee’s library by Robert Cotton. This part was published in Casaubon’s A True and Faithful Relation. The earlier portions concerning the Heptarchy and Liber Loagaeth came to light by a more roundabout means. In later years, Dee apparently decided to conceal his magickal records in a hidden compartment of a large cedar chest he possessed. After his death the chest was purchased from his estate and passed through several owners. The hidden documents were not discovered until around 1662, and found their way into the hands of Elias Ashmole in 1672. Mr. Ashmole’s collection passed eventually to the British Library. According to Ashmole, about half of the hidden records were mistakenly destroyed by the discoverer’s maid before efforts were made to preserve the rest. Despite this, the records for the 1581-1585 operations appear almost entirely intact.
The record of these operations is very detailed; so much so that it takes careful study to separate the spiritual "wheat" from the chaff. Much of the communication was important within the context of the operations, but has no direct bearing on the systems of magick being presented. Of the rest, there are long periods of communications that, in retrospect, seem to have no purpose but to hold the magicians’ attention on continuing the operations. During these periods the angels would present colorful visions, portentous prophesies, and angelic gossip, but very little in the way of solid information. Additionally, the reader must deal with side-excursions into apocalyptic religion, politics, Dee and Kelly’s personal problems, and various irrelevant queries that Dee insisted on inserting into the work.
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