Enochian Magick: Language of the Angels and Key to Ceremonial Wisdom

Enochian Magick: Language of the Angels and Key to Ceremonial Wisdom

The origins and development of the Enochian language, a cornerstone of Renaissance occultism, trace back to the scholarly endeavors of Dr. John Dee and seer Edward Kelley in the late 16th century. Dee's profound passion for discovering lost knowledge and spiritual truths drove him towards esoteric studies. Among the supposed lost treasures was the fabled Book of Enoch, which Dee believed contained a magical system used by an ancient biblical patriarch. Determined to access this wisdom, Dee, from 1581 to 1585, embarked on a series of magical operations with Kelley as his sole assistant.

The methodology of Dee and Kelley's operations was emblematic of the period's occult practices. Dee would fervently pray to God and the archangels, seeking divine guidance, while Kelley used a scrying stone to visually perceive and communicate with angelic entities. These sessions were meticulously documented, with Dee recording everything Kelley described seeing and hearing. The result was a detailed and intricate record of their spiritual and magical explorations.

A critical outcome of these operations was the reception of the Enochian language. This language, reportedly delivered by angels, was an integral component of Dee and Kelley's magical system. They documented the angelic calls, tablets, and the Liber Scientiae, all in Enochian. These records, however, were not initially published but remained within Dee's personal library. Posthumously, parts of these works surfaced through more circuitous means, eventually finding their way into public knowledge and scholarly study.

The later concealment of his magical records by Dee, in a large cedar chest, further mystifies the story. These hidden documents were only discovered around 1662, and even then, half were reportedly destroyed inadvertently. Nevertheless, the remaining intact records provided a nearly complete view of Dee and Kelley's extensive work. Their detailed records necessitated careful study to distinguish the core spiritual insights from the more mundane or tangential communications experienced during their sessions. Dee's insistence on integrating personal and seemingly irrelevant queries into their work added another layer of complexity to their records.

Chronologically, Dee and Kelley's collaborative work can be divided into three productive periods, separated by months of lesser significance. The material from each period, while loosely related, stands independently in terms of content and significance. In the strictest sense, only the material from the third period is classified as Enochian, though the term is often applied more broadly to encompass all their work.

The Enochian system, including the Holy Table used in their operations, was primarily designed for Heptarchic magick, focusing on planetary influences. However, the adaptable nature of the Enochian language and its associated elements allowed for its integration into various magical practices. This adaptability and the foundational role of the Enochian language in Renaissance occultism have led many subsequent magicians and scholars to explore and utilize it in their own practices, shaping and influencing the trajectory of Western esoteric traditions.

The Enochian language, a magickal construct derived from the works of John Dee, exhibits a unique blend of phonetic, syntactical, and symbolic elements that make it a topic of fascination in the study of Renaissance occultism and magick.

Structurally, Enochian is an isosephic language, meaning its alphabet serves both as phonemes and numbers. The phonetic sounds of Enochian appear to be modeled on Greek, while its alphabetical order draws from Hebrew. The language amalgamates elements from Hebrew, Greek, English, Latin, and other esoteric tongues like Egyptian Coptic and Sanskrit. Notably, Enochian does not follow a conventional grammatical structure but suggests one without adhering to logical syntax. The Golden Dawn System of 48 calls from Dee’s writings reflects this numerical aspect of the language, with letters doubling as numbers, though often in a 'blinded' or obscured manner.

The letters within the 48 Enochian Calls are used as numbers sixty-three times, leading to the formulation of thirteen keys for decoding Enochian. These keys help clarify the allocation of numbers to letters and reveal the structure of the Enochian alphabet, including the identification of its last letter and a missing or invisible letter. This missing letter, corresponding to the 19th unlettered Enochian Call and used to explore the 30 Aethyrs, is a critical element in the structure of the Enochian system.

The Enochian language employs descriptive names for numbers, occurring thirty-one times within the 48 Calls. These descriptions, such as 'second', 'third', 'fourth', and so on, serve to illustrate the numerical properties of the language. Examples include VIU as 'second', L as 'first', NORZ as 'six', LI as 'first', and LO as 'first'. Other examples include D as 'third', P as 'eight', OLANI as 'two', CLA as 'four five and six', and OBZA as 'half'. These names provide a deeper understanding of the numerical and symbolic dimensions of Enochian.

The Enochian alphabet's end is marked by the word ULS, meaning 'the ends', and is associated with the Enochian U (Vau), which parallels the Greek Upsilon. The term VIU, meaning 'second', is used to symbolize that Vau is the last letter of the Enochian alphabet. The notion of a missing letter, valued at 9 and corresponding to the Greek Theta, is a distinctive feature of Enochian. This missing letter allows for a total of 22 letters in the alphabet, aligning with the 22 Major Keys of the Tarot. It represents a concept of the divine or the God-head within Enochian, correlating with reverence for the Tetragrammaton in Jewish tradition.

The language's connection to the Tarot is further evidenced by the representation of certain numbers, such as D for 'third', which aligns with the third Tarot Key, The Empress. These associations provide insight into the esoteric and symbolic depth of the Enochian language, extending beyond its immediate phonetic and syntactic features.

The Enochian language, as integrated into ceremonial magick, stands as a profound and complex system. Its utilization in specific rituals and invocations can be traced back to the original practices of John Dee, later adapted and expanded by magickal orders such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

In ceremonial magick, the Enochian language is used in a variety of ways, including the creation and empowerment of magickal sigils, talismans, and other tools. The unique use of letters as numbers in the Enochian Calls, modeled directly upon the Sanskrit alphabet, forms a fundamental part of these practices. This method of numerical notation, wherein each letter of a word becomes the digit of a number, allows for a deep esoteric encoding of magickal intent within the Enochian script. This system of substituting numbers for letters of the alphabet was detailed by the Hindu mathematician Aryabhata and is employed in the 48 Enochian Calls​​.

The Enochian alphabet's structure, with its missing letter for the 9th position corresponding to the Greek letter Theta, serves a dual purpose. It allows for the existence of 22 letters in the Enochian alphabet, facilitating a correspondence to the 22 Major Keys of the Tarot. Additionally, it embodies a deep reverence and fear of God, honoring an invisible letter that represents the God-head, as instructed by the angels to Dee. This empty 9th position, symbolizing the initial for God in Greek (ThEOS), becomes a central mystical concept within Enochian magick, aligning with the Jewish reverence for the Tetragrammaton​​.

The Enochian language's Hellenistic-Semitic model, as evidenced in Dee's diaries and the structure of the language itself, suggests a deliberate effort by Dee to create an Angelic language based on Hebrew and Greek traditions. The Enochian system of 30 Aethyrs or Aires is patterned on the 30 Aeons of Coptic-Gnostic cosmology, reflecting a blend of cultural and esoteric influences in its construction. The name "Enochian" itself, derived from the Hebrew word "Enoch," signifies an initiation into ancient wisdom, a theme central to Dee's magickal work​​.

The Golden Dawn system further developed the use of the Enochian language in ceremonial magick. Their method for deciphering Enochian as numbers, detailed in "The Book of Concourse of Forces," was utilized by Aleister Crowley in his exploration of the 30 Aethyrs. This system includes Hebrew and astrological equivalents for the Enochian calls, and the allocation of select Enochian letters to geomantic figures, thereby integrating the language into a broader framework of Western esoteric tradition​​.

In contemporary magickal practices, the Enochian language continues to evolve, with modern interpretations and uses that build upon its historical foundations. Its influence on the field of ceremonial magick remains significant, serving both as a tool for practical magickal workings and as a symbol of the rich, interconnected history of Western esoteric thought.


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