Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More thoughts on Enochian

Mmmm, hummus and pita, so good...

Ok, so I got a comment on the last post on Facebook. Roughly speaking, it was "so Enochian's all bullshit then?" I don't think it's that simple, honestly. Too many magicians have had too many good and relatively powerful experiences with Enochian to write it off as a bunch of bullshit. Fraters POS and AIT come to mind. I felt a lot of power flowing from the Enochian Work I did myself, limited though it was.

No, it's certainly not bullshit. The author of the piece I linked to belongs to the Enochian Yahoo group, and if you're a member, you can see his thoughts on the subject. They are interesting indeed. He doesn't invalidate the results people get, but he doesn't buy into the system at face value either. I think that's the best approach.

I know a lot of chaos magicians, and most of them have at some point done some magic that involved Cthulhu. It's just fun and mad, things that appeal to ChMs everywhere. I've heard enough stories to believe they really do tap into something when they do their rites, and having studied the development of grimoires, religions, and cults in general, I think the way Lovecraft received his fictional work is a lot like the way other systems are revealed to humankind.

The Simononomicon is a fiction. I've talked to people who were there when it was written, and it's just plain old made up fiction. I've corresponded with the dude that drew the sigils, and he says he made them up. Yet people have results using the system.

Kerry Thornley, a.k.a. Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, was oneof the founders of Discordia. He contributed a great deal to the Principia Discordia, and in the 1990s he said, "If I knew this would all turn out to be real, I would have picked Venus instead of Eris." Or something like that.

The point is, systems, beliefs, and magical practices that are based on fictional or fantastical revelations generally "work" anyway. Just because the Enochian system is based on what looks to modern critical minds like an elaborate, unintentional hoax, that doesn't mean there isn't something there anyway.

As a Hermetic Magician, I believe there's enough material in Agrippa to explain why this happens. It is the intent of the magician that determines the spirit we receive. When a magician begins conjuring, all the spirits in his area with an affinity for his intent can respond. I suspect that Enochian magic attracts a variety of spirits, sometimes nephesh remnants, elemental spirits, or even more powerful Genii Loci who are fine working through whatever form we depict them in. That would explain why some Enochian magicians get really powerful experiences and others get less impressive results.

The Sigilum Dei Amyth is itself an awesome magical tool. It predates the Enochian system, and within the Enochian system, I suspect it is a method of contacting the Seven Planetary Workers that were created to Work with Man when he incarnated in the Divine Pymander of the Corpus Hermeticum.

Oh, I just read the comments on yesterday's post, and I think Argent's is a great take on things. If you're reading this, Argent, I'll gladly post your comment in full as a separate blog post, giving you full credit of course.

I was in a hurry when I posted yesterday, and picking the urban legend myths of Enochian meltdowns was convenient, but not the best possible choice on my part. My own experience with Enochian is very limited. I made the tools from DuQuette's Enochian Vision Magick, and it was fun and all, but I only ever conjured a couple of the spirits before moving on to systems that resonated more fully with my own practices. The techniques I learned from those conjurations work really well.


  1. Dude...how do you dare to eat humus :)

  2. I was out of fresh ground homunculus.

  3. I would ask a question instead: if the Enochian system has been used and studied, and is currently used by several known and respected occultists, why now, because someone got "tired" or "thinks" that the system is a "hoax", then try to invalidate it at all?

    Where would be all work that for example, Aaron Leithc has done? or Athena? or Lon Milo? and some other occultist in GD?, just throw it away because someone feels deceived by the system?

    I would make a comparison to this topic, as when someone changes religion and gets tired of being Catholic and becomes protestant or whatever other religion the person chooses. The change of religion does not imply that his/her previous religion is invalidated even knowing that many people still practice it.

  4. Just thought I'd comment that a lot of people who work Enochian outside of the GD (and even some within it) see the tools as described by Dee (table, lamen, ring, Sigilum, etc) as being absolutely necessary to the success of the work.

    In particular, I've heard the Sigilum referred to as a "filter" for the invoked energies on more than one occasion. Practitioners who use the "full system" seem to be quick to blame any misfortunes on focusing on the language and calls only, in my experience.

    Then again, there's always the notion (a la Rowe) that some of the lesser angles, etc serve an initiatic purpose, and we *all* know that playing with that when you have no idea what you're doing can be playing with fire.

    Just my two bits =)

  5. The system seems to attract myths and legends by it's very nature; so it seems that the entities want the system to be controversial. Maybe to make it more attractive or just to spread wonder and mystery. Or maybe it was b.s. in the beginning, until Dee or Kelley did something right and "switched it on." As for the inconsistencies it could be that the entities left things out on purpose so that people would have to apply their own techniques thus creating a system that can adapt to the main occult methods of any era. Meanwhile Kelley takes the easy way out about what the deliberate inconsistencies and lies.

  6. VL, I gotta fix that "hoax" thing. No one's invalidating anything, they're just pointing out that taking it at face value can be a mistake.

  7. Actually, no, I'm not fixing the "unintentional hoax." Kelley did make some shit up and stage events to keep Dee interested, and Dee did smooth over inconsistencies. They both wanted to believe they were part of something cooler than they were, and they came up with a system that is meaningful and useful anyway.

    If people can't accept that, whatever. It's a big old universe, lots of room for everyone's opinions.

  8. One of the problems with Enochian is that you cannot use Dee's original system at all because many of the papers were burned by the owner of the cedar chest that they were found in.

  9. Hi R.O.,
    Sure, if you think it's good enough then feel free to post it as a blog post. Please do spellcheck it as I wrote it on my netbook and it seems some typo's crept in.


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