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Master of Darkness - John Dee

To: alt.magick
From: "Alex Sumner" 
Subject: Re: Master of Darkness - John Dee
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 20:46:59 -0000

"Satyr"  wrote in message
> In article <>, "Aurelianese"
>  wrote:
> >>Subject: Re: Master of Darkness - John Dee From: "Alex Sumner"
> >>
> >
> >
> >>> Who was John Dee? Thanks.
> >>>
> >>> Aurelian~
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>AS
> >
> > Thanks,  very interesting.  I could only get into the page above.
> I read the article at the URL above, and am not entirely certain the
> author is looking at the facts as they are known.  He states:
>   "An Angel apparently told Kelly that he and Dee should share their wives
>   in common. They apparently went through with it, though Dee tried in
>   vain to erase the incident from his diary. It would seem that the
>   tensions in the Dee household, as well perhaps as the guilt which Dee
>   now felt, led him to break off his relationship with Kelly permanently.
>   "And yet, one should proceed cautiously here. Dee's diary tells that
>   this particular Angel first contacted Kelly without Dee's knowledge.
>   Kelly claimed that the Angel contacted him, without Dee present, and
>   that subsequently, with Dee in attendance, the Angel repeated its
>   message. Compare this with the hypothesis proposed by French above: the
>   vital ingredients of Dee's magnetic personality and his fervent prayers
>   did not play a part in the particular message. One can quite easily
>   speculate that in this instance Kelly lied."
> The diary entries to which he refers are not nearly so clear cut as the
> author would have us assume.  Madimi, the angel whose name he fails to
> mention,

I did not fail to mention it: I deliberately not mentioned it! Actually, I
omit the names of all but three of the entities supposedly contacted by Dee
and Kelly. I make it clear in the article that it is not my intention to the
minutiae of what was after all only a short period in Dee's life.

> is said to have spoken to Kelly, but no particulars as to
> circumstance, time, or place are given.  The day after the alleged
> communication, the angel delivered an injunction to 'shut out Satan
> (through unity amongst you),' and it was only after this Dee learned of
> Kelly's prior knowledge that swapping wives was implied.
> In the rush to support the 'Kelly lied' hypothesis,

Which I don't actually do. I leave an open conclusion to the matter.

>Mr. Sumner suppresses,

Tsk tsk naughty me! However, you yourself suppress the fact that I cite "A
True and Faithful Relation" in the Bibliography! That hardly makes me an
employee of the Ministry of Truth now, does it?

> or otherwise overlooks, the fact the commandment to hold their wives in
> common is repeated or upheld by various entities, both in private and in
> Dee's presence, in Latin and in English, over the next several days,
> including one made by none other than Raphael when he delivered the
> corrections to the Great Table. This last is rather important.  If Kelly
> lied about swapping wives then we have no particular reason to believe his
> reformed table was not itself a lie, and as a result, all those who follow
> the G..D.. Enochian tradition have accepted this little joke as genuine.

Untrue. Whilst the version published by Regardie is a synthesis of the
earlier and later versions, the original version of Mathers consists of the
original version only. The Mathers version is the one Crowley published in
the Equinox, BTW. Only those who think that Regardie is the only authority
on the GD would be confused.

> It is also incorrect that Dee withdrew from his association with Kelly, as
> Mr. Sumner states.

My actual words on the matter were:
"It would seem that the tensions in the Dee household, as well perhaps as
the guilt which Dee now felt, led him to break off his relationship with
Kelly permanently."
If Dee did not feel guilty, why did he try to erase the wife-swapping
incident from his diary? There is in fact no express mention in the diaries
as to why the Angel Magick sessions stopped. I however, put forward the
speculation that the reason Kelly left to spend more time with his Alchemy
because he was made unwelcome by the members of Dee's household.

> Dee became ultimately convinced that the new
> commandment was indeed that of the Almighty, and complied without
> substantial reservations.

Dee actually complied not without first having a blazing argument with
Madimi and Kelly.

> Kelly, on the other hand,  maintained that it
> was the work of the Devil and he would have no part of it.

Kelly's actions did not bear out his words. He said on 22 April 1587 "I will
from this day forward meddle no more herein". And yet he willingly
participated for at least another month - the last entry in the Libri
Mysteriorum is May 23rd. During that time he channelled further messages
encouraging Dee to remain true to this new doctrine. My own opinion is that
Kelly's protestations ring as true as a smoker who says he has given up
loads of times.

>  It was in fact

In fact nothing! You are indulging in speculation. You are of course
entitled to do so, but then again, _my_ interpretation of the extant
materials is at least as likely as yours.

> Kelly that abandoned their work together, judging by his numerous
> statements that such was his intent recorded in Dee's diaries.  He had
> been in the process of withdrawing to devote himself more completely to
> his alchemical pursuits for some time before the wife-swapping incident,
> and appears to have made good on his promise sometime shortly thereafter.


Reply-To: "Alex Sumner" 
From: "Alex Sumner" 
Newsgroups: alt.magick
References:  <>
Subject: Re: Master of Darkness - John Dee
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"Aurelianese"  wrote in message
> >Subject: Re: Master of Darkness - John Dee
> >From:  (Robert Scott Martin)
> >Date: 3/10/02 12:22 PM Pacific Standard Time
> >Message-id: 
> >
> >In article <>,
> >Aurelianese  wrote:
> >
> >>Am interested in picking up a copy of Monas Hieroglyphica. Is this
> >
> >
> >
> >If you prefer hardcopy, it's in print from JD Holmes in Seattle.
> Thanks,  so this is in print.
> Somehow I got another impression.  I'm wondering if anyone has read this
and if
> it comes with any specific recommendations or warnings?  Any reviews to
> Aurelian~

You will only begin to make sense of it if you already well grounded in
Astrology, Alchemy and the Qabalah. You should also appreciate the fact that
when Dee is speaking about Mathematics and Geometry, he does not have the
same frame of mind as a modern person to whom these are just subjects that
one is forced to learn at school. Dee was not merely into Mathematics, but
"Mathesis" - the belief that numbers have mystical and even magical
properties (for example: Gematria is a form of Mathesis). Dee believed that
the language of the mind of God was in fact Number, and that understanding
the equations which govern the universe is akin to communing with Deity.

Even if you understand all this, you will realise that Dee is deliberately
concealing far more than he is revealing. A very superficial reading would
be that Dee says the "Philosophic Mercury" - a key ingredient in the
Alchemical process, is obtained through a certain interaction between the
Sun, the Moon, the four elements, but Fire especially.

However, Dee also makes clear that certain alchemical terms are not to be
interpreted literally. Rather, they should be interpreted either
metaphorically, or (this is my opinion as to what he is saying) according to
a Code that is understood by Initiates.

There are in addition, many other things in the Hieroglyphic Monad which are
of at least passing interest to those involved in the western mystery
tradition. For example, it appears that certain passages echo later
Rosicrucian thought. When Dee says that LVX ("Light") is formed from the
angles of the cross, he is prefiguring Golden Dawn teaching (which itself is
derived from that of an older Rosicrucian society, the SRIA) by three
centuries. It also makes me think of a passage in Kenneth Mackenzie's "Royal
Masonic Cyclopaedia", "for Rosicrucians Light is the Philosopher's Stone".


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