Practical Angel Magic of John Dee's Enochian Tbls - New book by S. Skinner & D. Rankine

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Postby jcoughlin » Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:02 am

Just forwarding this along since it sounds like a great book!

Important new book available from Caduceus Books (email to order)

Stephen Skinner & David Rankine, The Practical Angel Magic of John Dee's Enochian Tables, Tabula Bonorum Angelorum Invocationes, Golden Hoard Press 2004, Hardcover 292pp. This work describes how Dee wrote in Latin a manuscript of his personal invocations of Angels in. They show his sources and how it pased through the hands of Elias Ashmole to a group of prominent 17th Century magicians, some of who were powerful and influential figures in their day. They developed Dee's work into a coherent magical system. It presents the complete text, with variants, of the previously unpublished 17th Century manuscript titled the "Nine Great Keys". This describes an Angelic hierarchy and relates it to the Enochian system. It give practical instructions for the summoning of these beings. The manuscript also presents the theology and philosophy underlying the work. This book also describes the summoning of the Four Demon Princes and their place in this sytem of magic which is astonishingly comprehensive, including Angels, Demons and Elementals etc. Whilst this work does appear to have been available to F.L.Gardiner and also Wynn Westcott and the Rev. Ayton it was onbly very partially incorporated into the Golden Dawn and even then may have been surpressed by the Golden Dawn chiefs. It did not find its way Regardie's Golden Dawn. Thus Crowley was unaware of the complete system.

This work is historically important, throwing fascinatimg new light upon a vital magical tradition with Western Occultism

Stephen Skinner is the author of Living Earth Manual of Feng-Shui, the scholarly Terrestial Astrology and other titles relating to geomancy. He is also co-author of Techniques of High Magic with Francis King and Search for Abraxas with Neville Drury. As proprietor of Askin Press he made available John Dee's True and Faithful Relations, the Fourth Book attributed to Agrippa, the Archodoxes of Magic by Parcelsus, Laycock's Complete Enochian Dictionary, Crowley's Tao Teh King, Spare's Focus of Life & Earth Inferno.

David Rankine has been an active particpant of Golden Dawn, Thelemic and Qabalistic circles for som 25 years. He has authored works on magick, healing and folklore

This is a limited edition so the number of available copies is finite

Cost 35 UK Pounds (US $64.66, Euros 50.25) plus postage at cost:-

UK 3.10 UK Pounds
Europe airmail 4.44 UK Pounds (Euros 6.38)
Americas & rest of the world airmail 8.09 UK Pounds (US $14.95)
Surface anywhere 4.00 UK Pounds (US $7.39)

Edited By jcoughlin on 1099576982
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Postby Alan Thorogood » Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:01 pm

I obtained a copy yesterday and... well, interest turned to bemusement turned to exasperation. Some of the supporting material is not very well researched and independent editorial input might have prevented several egregious errors creeping in. I won't go into detail here in view of the subject of this forum, but I have to say that the hypothesis regarding the provenance of the MS is not supportable by any stretch of the imagination. And (I'm sorry, this is a dig at the standard of editing) Dante died in 1321 and is highly unlikely to have acknowledged the influence of a book published more than 250 years later (p.38). And 'Book H' was not suppressed (pp. 11 & 50), Regardie omitted it from his published edition of the G.D. material because he thought it was 'turgid and archaic' and 'definitely unsound from a spiritual viewpoint'. These sort of things (and there are others) could checked with comparative ease, so why weren't they?

Notwithstanding the manifold flaws in the supporting material, on a positive note the core of the book is a useful transcript of (British Library) MS Sloane 307 carefully collated with other versions of the MS, namely MS Sloane 3821 and (Bodleian Library) MSS Rawlinson D. 1067 & 1363. Textual variations are described in extensive footnotes (although many of the differences are comparatively minor). Additional material includes Alan Bennett's version of the Golden Dawn's 'Book H', Ashmole's list of functions of the various parts of the table, and a tabulated list of the various kings, seniors and angels extracted from the Sloane 307 version of the table. Despite the price of the book it's still cheaper than obtaining microfilms of any one of the manuscripts in question. Unfortunately I already have all four... ####.
Having said all that, don't take my word for anything: after all, I am a pedant, particularly where Dee-related material is concerned. Read it and form your own conclusions. And apologies to David if he feels any of my remarks are unfair, but I had expected far more in view of Stephen's sterling work in the 1970s.
Alan Thorogood
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Postby OipTeaaPdoce » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:43 am

Thanks for the post, it is nice to have an opinion about the book from someone other than the author/publisher <g> Is there anything from the original Dee/Kelly diaries that is not already in print somewhere?
Does the angelic heirarchy that the info above mentions actually relate to the Enochian system?
The intro also mentions evocation techniques and the summoning of 4 demons, is this actually relevant to Enochain material aside from "another good way to do it" ?
Are the methods in the book mostly GD based?
I have to ask, not like I can go flip through it at my local bookstore :)
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Postby Alan Thorogood » Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:46 am

Thanks for your comments. I was tempted to write a riposte to James Butler's recent panegyric in the Yahoo Enochian group, but decided against it for various reasons, at least partly because any review I write is likely to be over-critical.

There's nothing in the book that is not available elsewhere so far as the Dee/Kelly material is concerned. The content of Sloane MS 307 is based entirely on information found in Casaubon's 'True and Faithful Relation' (T&FR); some, though not all, of my reasons for believing this are set out below. The author, whoever he was, had evidently made a close reading of the text and extracted the only complete and coherent magical system described in T&FR, namely the use of the Table of Earth (or 'Great Table' as it's sometimes referred to) set out in pp. 168-189. The lettering of the four individual tables can be found there, plus instructions for extracting the godnames and names of the king, the seniors and the various angels from the tables. In addition to that the functions of the different parts of each table are described, and the means of invoking the angels (the preparation of the book and the 4/14 day cycle of invocations, dressing in white linen and having knowledge and use of the angels on the 19th day).

The instructions recorded in T&FR are really quite detailed, and there is sufficient information to enable anyone to reconstruct that particular system. And that's precisely what the anonymous author of Sloane MS 307 did. He added some prefatory material extracted from other portions of T&FR (such as the reference to 'Choronzon') and then proceeds to replicate the instructions for extracting the various names from the tables. The rest of the MS comprises the author's own invocations. Commencing with 'the Practice of the East Table' these start with the 'Regal Invocation', calling Bataiva through the names of god oro, ibah, aozpi, then continues with invocations of the six seniors, then the angels of each of the sub-angles.They're probably a bit lengthy to be considered a 'short and brief speech' as directed by Ave.

Sorry if you're familiar with the MS and already know all that.

The theory presented in the present book is that the MS was an elaboration of Dee's own 'book of supplications and invocations' (now Sloane MS 3191 art. 4), versions of which have been published by Robert Turner ('Elizabethan Magic' pp.59-79) and Geoffrey James ('Enochian Evocation' (Heptangle Edition) pp. 117-177). In fact Sloane MS 307 contains material derived from at least three of Dee's spiritual diaries (all of which were published in T&FR by Casaubon) and the table at the beginning of the MS is quite clearly not copied from either version in Dee's 'book of supplications and invocations' (Sloane MS 3191 folios 53v-54r and 56v-57r). In addition to that, the Sloane MS 307 version of the table repeats errors made in Casaubon's book. Letters forming the name PARAOAN are reversed in Dee's tables. Apparently unable to replicate the reversed 'P' 'R' and 'N', Casaubon's typesetter replaced those letters with a capital 'Q', a ligatured 'AE' and the letters 'yl' respectively. Those replacements also appear in Sloane MS 307. So the authors' claim that the table in Sloane MS 307 'represents the most correct version of the table from Dee's point of view' (p.35) seems a rather bold statement, in the circumstances.

After that digression, the other hierarchies referred to in the publisher's blurb, the 'nine great keys' and the material on evocation will appear in a second book, 'The Keys to the Gateway of Magic: Summoning the Solomonic Archangels and Demon Princes' to be published by Golden Hoard in 2005. I hope it's better presented and researched than their current offering. The 'nine keys' can be found in several 17th century MSS and as I recall are invocations of the (pseudo-)Dionysian angelic orders. I suspect the book will contain more material from Sloane MS 3821, and probably some of the Rudd material from the Harley collection. How this fits in with the 'full enochian system' remains to be seen.

So far as GD methodology is concerned, 'Book H' is effectively a summarised version of Sloane MS 307: extract names from the table depending on the function they serve, record these and your own invocations in a book, call the angels over 4/14 days, etc. It hasn't received much attention because it wasn't published by Regardie. 'Book S', which Regardie did publish, contains all the elaboration: referring to the tables as elemental (they're purely directional in 307/Book H) and expanding them into pyramids, the association of the angelic Calls with the component parts of the tables, etc. In terms of approach, Sloane MS 307 (and thus Book H) can probably best be described as the 'purist' method as it simply follows the instructions laid down by the angels who communicated with Dee & Kelly (although the invocations in the MS were personal to that particular magician). The GD adopted an altogether different approach to the tables themselves, making them (in Book S) the foundation for a complete 'Enochian system' not envisaged by Dee, but at the same time, surprisingly, appeared to have no difficulty in accommodating the methodology described in Book H. It's probably an unfortunate repurcussion of Regardie's decision not to publish Book H that so many contemporary magicians have adopted a policy of 'Calls with everything' where any aspect of the Dee corpus is concerned.

Hope this helps
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