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Enochian Magick and the End of the World

To: alt.magick
From: Josh Norton <76635.766@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Enochian Magick and the End of the World
Date: 24 Dec 1995 16:43:02 GMT
> I just read a new book by Donald Tyson (I think that was his name) called
> Tetragrammaton. In it he poses the idea that the Enochian system of
> magick, with its watchtowers, angels, and demons, is supposed to bring
> around the end of the world. He says that it's the key to the apocalypse,
> and that the calls, when performed right, will open the four watchtowers
> and unleash the dark forces that were imprisioned by the angels.
(Josh Norton, replying through a borrowed account.)
That's a rather extreme and thoughtless statement for Tyson, 
considering his careful scholarship in other areas. Sounds like he's 
been caught up in the millenialist fever, with a dose of Lovecraft on 
the side.
In Dee's records, there is indication that the system was intended to 
usher in a new age, or to be the first of several magicks appropriate 
to the new age. Some of this was spoken in apocalyptic language, but 
the way in which this new age was to happen has little to do with 
the standard millenialist/millenarian views of the Apocalypse. I can't 
find the quotes offhand, but in my memory it sounded like the angels 
were trying to describe a radical change in the Zeitgeist rather than 
the end of the world. And since such a change _has_ happened since 
those days, one can't say they were wrong.
In my own work, the "angels" have frequently spoken of radical 
changes. But again these have little resemblance to apocalyptic myths 
-- or to any of the Christian mythos. No end of the world, no coming 
of Christ, no dead being lifted up, etc. Instead, they speak of 
restoring a previously-existing state, in which the Earth (the planet 
itself, not human beings) was part of an interstellar community of 
"gods". From the human perspective, it is an opening of vast new 
possibilities, not a closing or ending. Use of the Calls and Names 
supposedly opens channels by which the Earth's links to that community 
will be restored. 
Personally, I'm reserving judgment on the matter pending more concrete 
A couple of nit-picking points:
First, there aren't any genuinely demonic entities or powers in the 
Enochian magick. Even the so-called "cacodemons" aren't really 
malevolent; they're more like traditional elementals than anything 
else. The rest appear to be of a generally divine character, though of 
several different levels and offices. They are all very helpful and 
friendly if approached on a basis of equality and respect; they seem 
to be real people, not just personifications of abstract forces.
Second, the Tablets or "watchtowers" aren't prisons or habitations of 
any sort. They are more like a bunch of signatures on a contract, 
which obligate the signers to perform certain actions under specified 
conditions, but do not otherwise limit them. There are many references 
to such a contract or covenant in the Enochian lore. E.g., the First 
Call, where the angel's oath to the God is mentioned, and the Call of the 
Aethyrs, where the God's oath to the angels and man is mentioned.
> I'm just curious what other people think about this. If you read the
> calls in english, they DO sound very sinister. Tyson offers some very
> interesting ideas.
Sinister? I find them beautiful and inspiring. Are you sure you're 
reading the real translation, and not someone's invention?
[send replies to:]

From: Josh Norton <76635.766@CompuServe.COM>
Newsgroups: alt.magick
Subject: Enochian Magick and the End of the World
Date: 25 Dec 1995 19:53:01 GMT
Organization: CompuServe, Inc. (1-800-689-0736)
Lines: 123
Message-ID: <4bmveu$dh5$> (Ryan Addams) wrote:
RA> I have read the calls in several translations, and they sound to 
RA> me as if they were describing something sinister. 
    "O thou mighty light and burning flame of Comfort,
    "Which opens the Glory of God to the Center of the Earth;
    "In whom the secrets of truth have their abiding,
    "Which are called in thy Kingdom JOY, 
    "And cannot be measured;
    "Be thou a window of comfort unto me."
This is sinister? I would suggest that you are projecting your own 
fears onto the Calls.
RA> In Tetragrammaton, 
RA> Tyson says that the angels who were delivering the system to Dee were 
RA> quite short and cutting with Kelley (which is apparently due to his 
RA> nature as a thief and a liar). Dee, he says, was an idealist and a 
RA> very religious man, and if he had ever suspected what the system was 
RA> intended for (the Key to the Apocalypse), that he would have destroyed 
RA> the notes immediately. For some reason, he says, the angels were 
RA> giving humans the key to their own destruction. He supposes that they 
RA> wanted humans to do it themselves.
Most of the so-called "experts" on Enochian magick haven't had enough 
experience with the system for their opinions to have any value. They 
are dilletantes who read someone else's work, misunderstand the 
context of events, and then select or manufacture factoids to suit 
their prejudices. Gerald Schueler is the worst example of this. If, in 
fact, you are representing Tyson correctly, I would also place him in 
this category. You don't see serious scholars of Dee's magick -- 
Robert Turner, for instance -- putting out this sensationalist 
In any case, the real proof of the Enochian magick is in the results 
it has produced for those who have used it seriously, methodically, 
and with due respect for its power. Those results have been of an 
almost uniformly positive nature, benefiting the magician in ways he 
could not have attained as quickly or thoroughly through other 
Your description of Tyson's writings shows a very distorted view of the 
situation between Dee, Kelly, and the "angels". In fact, most modern 
views of the matter seem a bit twisted. Dee's many faults tend to be 
ignored, while Kelly's tend to be overemphasized. 
Reading Causobon's _A True Relation..._ and Dee's _Liber Mysteriorum 
Quinti_, it is apparent to me that Dee was the primary force for 
continuing the work at every point along its way. Dee was religious, 
true, but he was also driven by an intense hunger for what he called 
"radical truths", for penetrating beyond the known to the roots of 
Most of the time, he was utterly certain of his own righteousness, and 
was equally certain that the results of the operation were a 
consequence of that righteousness. So certain was he that he 
demonstrated his magick for a representative of the Pope, confident 
that he could get papal sanction for it. This in a day when witches 
and sorcerers were still burned at the stake from time to time on the 
continent. One gets the impression that he would have continued with 
the operation regardless of the results.
Kelly, OTOH, was paranoid about the whole thing. (Justifiably, IMO; one 
should never take magickal beings at their face value.) Unlike Dee, he 
was never convinced that the beings were actually angels, or that 
their intentions were good. Kelly took the angels' every deviation 
from Christian orthodoxy as evidence that they were false spirits, and 
sought to stop the work. 
Kelly was reluctant to continue at many points in the operation, and 
had to be browbeaten into continuing by Dee. There are several 
instances where he tried to prove the angels were frauds because they 
stole ideas from magickal books in Dee' library. Dee never listened to 
him. Most "authorities" ignore the instances where this happened, and 
focus instead on the one instance where Dee worried that Kelly might have 
faked something. 
This reluctance and paranoia was the primary sticking point between 
Kelly and the angels. The other problem between them was that Kelly 
occasionally took a few days off and did a necromantic magickal 
operation, trying to raise the spirits of the dead. Apparently the 
angels felt doing this took him out of the "state of grace" necessary 
to their own work, and got a bit pissed off at him. Given Kelly's fear 
of the angelic operation, one might speculate that he did this 
necromantic work precisely in the hope that the angels would find him 
unfit to continue. 
Kelly's supposed thievery has never been reliably documented, to my 
knowledge. All we have is second- and third-hand reports that one or 
both of his ears had been cropped. This was a common punishment only 
for petty thievery; those engaging in significant theft were hanged. 
If he actually was caught stealing something, it was almost certainly 
something that would be considered minor shoplifting by modern 
standards; English law was draconian. And the English nobility weren't 
noted for treating commoners kindly; he might equally well have got 
his ears cropped for simply displeasing some noble, without having 
done anything criminal.
To me, Kelly looks like an average Joe with an unusual talent, who had 
the misfortune to work for a monomaniacal genius.
RA> Crowley's experiments in 1909 in raising the demon... Some people say
RA> that he may have never correctly banished the demon, or banished it
RA> entirely, for after that period of time his life began to go downhill
RA> until his death. Tyson says he may have opened the gates a crack then,
RA> using the Enochian calls in the Enochian language.
Who are these "some people", and why do they have any right to an 
opinion on the matter? Are they Magisters, capable of 
understanding what Crowley's 1909 work was about?
Crowley's life could hardly be said to have gone downhill after 1909. 
He lived another 40 years, and spent most of them accomplishing 
productive work of one sort or another. 
[Please cc replies to]

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