Dee’s Customized Enochian Table of Practice
Dee was already using a table of practice before Edward Kelley entered the picture, but afterwards, as the elements of the heptarchic magick developed, it became clear that the communicating spirits wanted Dee to customize his table in a most specific manner. The angels wanted the Holy Table to be an “instrument of conciliation.” It is on April 29, the day after the delivery of the holy stone, that the Table of Practice was finally finished. It was two cubits high. By two cubits, an English yard (thirty-six inches) was meant. The top was square, also a yard in both dimensions, so that the overall shape of the table was cubic. It stood on four narrow wooden legs. The angels specified that it be made of “sweet wood,” which is another name for laurel. The laurel tree has powerfull associations in magic and scrying dating back to ancient Greece.
The distinguishing feature of this table is the design painted on its top. This is clearly illustrated at the beginning of Casaubon’s True and Faithfull Relation by a brasscut engraving that was taken from the original table in the Cottonian library. Around the edge is a border of Enochian Letters. Each side of this border contains twenty-one letters-the number of letters in the Enochian alphabet. An Enochian B is inscribed in each corner of the border. Robert Turner speculates that the Enochian B is equivalent to the number seven. This is a reasonable speculation, in view of the importance of seven in Enochian magic and the prevalence of the Enochian B.
The Link between the Table of Practice and the Lamen
It’s important to note that the Holy Table and the Lamen are inextricably limked. By wearing the Lamen, the Magician is linked, or conciliated, to the Holy Table. The object that forms this magical link and serves as the common denominator between the Holy Table and Lamen is the same 12 x 7 table that was used to construct the Lamen-the same table that bore the names of the seven planetary kings and the seven planetary princes of the heptarchic hierarchy.
The letters in the border of the Holy Table are read right to left, after the normal manner of Enochian writing, and are oriented to be read from outside the edge of the table, so that a person reading the border would walk in a complete circle clockwise around the table. The letters in the border are generated in a Kabbalistic and fairly complex way from a seven-by-twelve-letter square that is composed of the seven-letter names of the seven Kings and seven Princes of the Heparchia Mystica with the initial letter B removed from all fourteen names.
Recall that when we were discussing the 12 x 7 table in the previous section, something appear out of place. The names o the planetary kings did not share the same line with the prince (e.g., the sun Q king, Bobogel, is set on the same line with the Venus T prince, Bornogo, instead of his sun Q prince, Befafes). This planetary mismatch in the 12 x 7 table’s construction did not appear to bother the angels, and indeed the “flaw” seemed to be a vital characteristic of the Lamen.
On the figure below, the version of the 12 x 7 table that is the key to the Holy Table “corrects” this imbalance by rearranging the names of the planetary kings to match those of the princes of the same planet. Furthermore, the table is reversed, so that the j=kings now occupy the left side of the table and princes the right, and the direction in which the names are read is reversed to read from left to right.
The 12 x 7 table adjusted to create the Holy Table
It is easy for a mortal microcosmic entity, to identify wit the Lamen is constructed. Like it’s hierarchy of planets is mismatched and unbalanced. Like the curious inconsistencies that characterize how the individual letters are transferred from the 12 x 7 table to the Lamen, the individual components of a normal human being are a litany of curious inconsistencies.
The 12 x 7 Square of the Holy Table of Practice
The 12 x 7 table that makes the Holy Table, on the other hand, sets this all straight. It is like the macrocosm showing the microcosm how it’s done. As the magician sit before trhe Holy Table with the Lamen over his heart, he can almost feel the Holy Table’s order and perfection pulling magnetically at his heart through the Lamen, connecting him by an almost tangible electric current to the Holy of Holies, pulling his heart and his attention toward the sacred spot in the temple where heaven touches earth. The Holy Table is indeed an instrument of conciliation and reunion.
Starting at the upper-left corner of the border and moving clockwise, each side of the Holy Table contains the letters in three adjacent columns from the table of the Kings and Princes.
The letters of the 12 x 7 table are transferred to the Holy Table in the following manner. The columns are read right to left to the seventh Prince or King. Thus, the upper edge of the Holy Table begins o-s-o-n-s-s-l whereas the bottom edge begins n-l-l-r-n-a. First, to make things a little easier to see let’s turn yhe 12 x 7 table on its end. The border of the Holy table is first segmented into twenty-one cells per side. Per angelic instructions, the sacred letter B is placed in the four corners, and then the letters of the 12 x 7 table are inserted in the remaining cells as indicated by the four sets of arrows on the diagram. The 3 x 4 square in the center of the Holy Table is extracted from the central heart of the 12 x 7 table as highlighted in the following diagram.
It is not really necessary to understand this table of the King and Princes to practice Enochian magic, but it is interesting to know where the letters in the border of the Table of Practice come from. Also, it illustrates very clearly that Enochian magic of the seven Kings (which is linked to the seven traditional wandering bodies of astrology) is an essential component of the Enochian magic of the Watchtowers and Keys as it was received by Kelley using the Holy Table. In Enochian magic based on the Golden Dawn system, the importance of the Kings is not understood.
The 3 x 4 Square at the Center of the Holy Table of Practice
The smaller table at the center of the Table of Practice consists of twelve Enochian letters. Its pattern is the same as that of the twelve stones on the breastplate of the high priest of ancient Israel: four rows and three columns. These twelve letters relate to the twelve tribes, the twelve gates of New Jerusalem, the twelve overt permutations of Tetragrammaton, the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the twelve Enochian names of God that appear on the middle rows of the Watchtowers. Unfortunately, this relationship is not always clear in Dee’s manuscripts.
The letters on the central table (3×4) of the Holy Table of Practice are extracted from the middle of the 7 x 12 table of the Kings and princes. Robert Turner makes the emphatic assertion that the Holy Table as it appears in Casaubon’s brass cut plate is transposed left to right from the way it should appear. He bases this on the single extant diagram of the Table design which appears in Liber Mysteriorum Quinta Appendix, saying “Casaubon’s rendering is quite plainly in error. The letters that border the top and bottom edges of the table are obviously written backwards, while those that make up the left and right hand borders are transposed. In addition to these errors the 4×3 square that takes up the centre is also given in a reversed order.”
Turner blames this inversion in Casaubon’s plate on an error by the engraver. He suggests that such errors are common, and are due to the process of engraving itself. He cannot understand why so many Enochian scholars have failed to pick up on what is, to him, an obvious error, and blames it on the habit of occultists to blindly accept traditions in magic without examining their source material (which is certainly true).
After carefully considering the question, Tyson have come to the conclusion that the plate in Casaubon is probably a correct representation of Dee’s table of Practice. The artist who executed the plate was working from Dee’s actual Table, and in other respects he seems to have done a fairly accurate job. Why should he make the glaring mistake of inverting everything left to right? It does not seem reasonable, especially when the seven smaller tables, the Ensigns of Creation (which, in my opinion were actually painted onto the surface of Dee’s Table of Practice) are not inverted, but occupy their correct position. If the engraver was going to invert the rest of the Table left to right, it is fair to assume he would also have inverted the Ensigns of Creation.
Tyson suppose that Turner may have failed to consider that the design for the Table of Practice that appears in Liber Mysteriorum Quinta Appendix is executed in Latin letters. Latin is read left to right. Enochian is read right to left. When an Enochian word is transposed into English, it must be mirror-inverted as we do with Hebrew words, which are also written and read right to left.
We may presume that the Enochian letters in the border of the Holy table form words of power (event though these words are not known) or at least that their order is significant to the angels. Dee must have understood the need to invert everything when transposing the Latin letters in his manuscript design into the Enochian letters on the actual physical Table. Thus, it seems likely that Casaubon’s engraver made no mistake, and the representation of the Table in the brass cut is correct.
The Colors to be Used on the Holy Table
The angels tell Dee concerning the Sigilum Aemeth: “We have no respect of cullours.” However, of the Table they say the Enochian letters written around the edges must be painted in yellow oil paint, and that the oil used to mix the pigment should be “perfect oil, used in the church.” Yellow must be significant in connection with Enochian letters. This color for the letters agrees with the color in which they first appeared to Kelley in a vision: “…it is to be Noted, that when E.K. could not aptly imitate the forme of the Characters, or letters, as they were shewed: that they appeared drawn on his paper with a light yellow color, which he drew the blak vppon, and so the yellow cullor disappearing, there remained onely the shape of the letter in blak…”
Other Accessories to be Used with the Holy Table of Practice
As a substitute for oil in a church, which the modern Enochian magicial will find hard to obtain, premixed oil paints should be consecrated before they are applied to the Table, which was apparently painted in several colors: “The Table was painted in brilliant colours, primarily yellow, blue and red…”
Beneath the Table on the floor of the scrying chamber a red silk carpet “two yards square” was laid. The four smaller seals of Aemeth within their protective containers of laurel were set upon the carpet, and the Table legs positioned on top of them, probably in depressions cut into the lids for added stability. These containers were probably disk-shaped, although they may have been spherical or hemispherical.
On top of the Table a simple white linen cloth was spread that hung down almost to the floor. Upon this was placed the wax Sigilum Aemeth and (if they were made of tin rather than painted directly on the tabletop) the seven Ensigns of Creation. Over the Sigillum Aemeth (and the tin Ensigns), a silk cloth with tassels at the corners was spread. This was colored and iridescent red and green, so that it changed from one color to the other when viewed from different angles. On top of this red-green silk cover, the scrying stone in its golden frame was placed directly upon the Sigillum Aemeth in the middle of the Table.
These are the explicit directions of the angels. However, there is some evidence that Dee did not adhere in every respect to these instructions. Casaubon in his preface speaks of a cushion and a candlestick with a taper. His reference is based on June 25, 1584, entry in Dee’s diary: “A voyce said, bring up the shew-stone. Dee: I had set it down on the Table, behinde the Cushion with the Crosses, for I had furnished the Table with the Cloath, candles, etc. as of late I was wont: Hereupon I set up the stone on the Cushion.”
There appear to have been at least two candlesticks involved. The “Cushion with the Crosses” may have been placed upon the Sigillum Aemeth, and may have been a substitute for the red-green cloth with the tassels. The cushion seems to have served as a support for the stone. The candles were probably placed on either side of the stone on the Table of Practice.
The arrows around the edges of the preceding diagram show that the letters are arranged to generate a counterclockwise whirl. In the Ritual of Preparation, the magician chant seven rounds of the perimeter letters in this order using the angelic pronunciation. The magician must also do the same for the twelve letters of the center square. By doing so, he effectively activate the Holy Table and the Objects that sits upon it (including the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, the Ensigns of Creation, and the skyring mirror). The chant affects a powerful shift in consciousness unlike anything one can experienced in magical practice.
As the manifest universe is evolving end product of the dynamic forces that created it, so too the Holy Table manifests on earth as the perfect miniature working model of the heavenly matrix. It is a magical machine with many moving parts, all in perpetual motion.
Picture in your magician mind how, like the stars in the rotating arms of a spiral galaxy, the eighty-four angelic letters that form the border of the Holy Table circumscribe the other objects on the table-top with an eternal counterclockwise movement around the outside of the table’s hexagram (symbol of the macrocosm).
Within the twelve agelic letters in the 3 x 4 square in the center of the Holy Table’s hexagram churn with the dynamics of the up-down/right-left movement suggested by its four rows of three letters networked with its three columns of four letters.
The Lamen is born of the same alphanumeric codes as the Holy Table, but its construction is flawed by a slight imbalance. So too the magician, in his or her present state, is the seemingly flawed microcosmic reflection of Deity. By wearing the Lamen, the imperfect magician is linked to the perfection of the Holy Table, and while in this exalted state may become privy to the secrets of the macrocosmic universe.
The Design of Dr Rudd’s Enochian Altar
The altar of enochian angel-magic is cubic and should be made of laurel, as all wooden frames you use. The lateral length of the altar is 36 english inches. On the surface there should be the seven banner of creation, made of tin, beside the other utilities as the crystal-sphere on its frame and the Sigillum Dei Æmeth. John Dee painted the banners on the surface, another possible way of representing them on the altar. Each side of the altar has 21 enochian symbols painted on it, the edges are decorated with the enochian “b”. The symbols are written from right to left, as it is common in enochian writings. The letters are derived from the seven long names of the kings and princes of the Heptarchia Mystica, the beginning letter “b”, however, is omitted here and appears only at the edges.
Within the “Treatise on Angel Magic” of Dr. Rudd you can find these analogies:
- The eastern side (the left side on the altar) is corresponding with the planetary banners of Mercury and Venus, that are being ruled by the angels Uriel and Gabriel (and when referring to dark spirits, the dark angels Amaymom and Egyn or Azazel and Mahazel). Uriel (or Nariel) rules the south-wind and Gabriel controles the north-wind, too.
- The western side (on the representation it is the right side) is associated with the banners of Jupiter and Saturn, which also are controled by Uriel and Gabriel.
- The northern side is analogous to the banners of the Sun and Mars, which are controlled by the angel Raphael, who also controlles the west-wind. When contacting dark angels the dark angel Paymon or Azael is having controll on this side.
- The southern side is analogous to the banner of the Moon and the influence of the angel Michael, who controlles the east-wind. Working on the darker side, the dark angels Uricus or Samael are having control over their spirits.
It may appear confusing that the angels not only control a region of the altar, but also relate to other regions by controlling the winds. The regions of the altar are not to be confused with the quadrants of the Great Table. Dr. Rudd’s design of the altar’s surface is also in a different orientation and the banners are arranged in a different way then they were arranged by Dee.
The planetary banners have no direct relation to the angels of the Shemhamphorash and the goetic daemons that are controlled by the mentioned angels. A typical way of interpreting the four edges of the altar would be that the 21 letters on each side build the names of the four directions, beginning with a “b”. Here you can see that the Heptarchia Mystica is vital for the altar’s design. The small square in the center of the altar has 4 x 3 squares which are derived from the same table the names of the kings and princes are being created.
|1. King||a||l||i||g||o||n||o||r||n||o||g||o||1. Prince|
|2. King||o||b||o||g||e||l||e||f||a||f||e||s||2. Prince|
|3. King||a||b||a||l||e||l||u||t||m||o||n||o||3. Prince|
|4. King||y||n||e||p||o||r||l||i||s||d||o||n||4. Prince|
|5. King||n||a||s||p||o||l||r||o||r||g||e||s||5. Prince|
|6. King||n||a||p||s||e||n||r||a||l||g||e||s||6. Prince|
|7. King||l||u||m||a||z||a||a||g||e||n||o||l||7. Prince|
The altar’s surface, as it was described by the angels, was printed as title-cover on Meric Casaubons edition. An interesting variation you can find in Dr. Rudd’s works who combined the classical angel-magic with the enochian system of angel-magic.
The enochian symbols should be painted in yellow oil-paint. The altar should rest on a red silk-carpet with a length of 72 inches on each side. The four smaller sigills, framed in laurel-wood, are to be placed under the altar’s legs. The altar itself is covered with simple white linen. On this cloth the Sigillum Dei Æmeth and the seven planetary banners of creation, made of tin, are arranged. The Sigillum, made of wax, and the seven banners are covered with a red/green silk cloth with cordels. The holy stone of the angels rest upon this red/green cloth. John Dee altered the arrangements, according to his own plans. My own solution is different, too. I have installed the hexagram with the sigills on the ground, big enough that I can stand within it. The design of the altar has a parallel in the “Ars Almadel” of the Lemegeton.
In the design of Dr. Rudd you can find a direct relation to the classical angel-magic. Dr. Rudd establishes this relation also in the planetary banners and the geomantic analogies. His expansions give us the clear message that the enochian system of angel-magic can be changed and altered individually, as long as it is convenient and makes sense. I am tempted to talk of three different enochian systems around: The first and original version by John Dee and Edward Kelley, the version elaborated by Dr. Rudd and as the third and last version the one created by the magicians of the Golden Dawn. The astrological symbols I used as fill-in for the planetary banners because of aesthetical reasons. Instead of the symbol of the Moon, for example, you should place the planetary banner of the Moon there. It took me four weeks of intense work to reconstruct the altar-surface of Dr. Rudd.
Dr. Rudd’s analogies are quite interesting to analyze. The southern side Meridies of the altar is associated with the first banner, the north side Septentrio is analogous to the fourth and fifth banner, the eastern side Oriens is analogous to the second and third one and the western side Occidens is associated with the sixth and seventh banner. Contrasting to them Michael reigns the southern region and has a relation to the first banner, as well as the Enochian symbols of this side. In the east Gabriel and Uriel reign who have relations to the second and third banner. The fourth and fifth banners have a relation to the eastern region as well as the western region, which is reigned by Gabriel and Uriel together, too. The northern region has a relation to the sixth and seventh banner and is being controlled by Raphael. The angel’s names written in Hebrew are written just above the Enochian symbols and the Latin names of the cardinal directions.
|Banner of theenochian edge||Banner of the ruling angel||Ruling
|Angel of the Element|
|Septentrio||4. & 5.||6. & 7.||Raphael||Egyn||Cherub (Air)|
|Occidens||6. & 7.||4. & 5.||Uriel||Paymon||Ariel (Earth)|
|Oriens||2. & 3.||2. & 3.||Gabriel||Uricus||Tharsis (Water)|
The letters in quotation marks represent the hebrew letters of the names. I used for Ayin = O, the rest of the transliteration is self-explanatory. Within the innermost ring the name of the angel of fire is written in the south: Seraph = “ShRPh”, in the north the name of the angel of air: Cherub = “ChRVB”. In the east you can read the name of the angel of the water element: Tharsis = “ThRShISh” and in the west the name of the angel of the earth element: Ariel = “ARIAL”.
Within the second inner ring these angelic names of the ruling angels of the 28 houses of the Moon are written, beginning in the south (Meridies) and reading them clockwise. The first one you can find on the top, just beside the cross: Geniel = “GNAL”, Enediel = “ANDAL”, Amixiel = “AMZAL”, Azariel = “AZRAL”, Gabiel = “GBAL”, Dirachiel = “DRChAL”, Scheliel = “SHLAL”, Amnediel = “AMNDAL”, Barbiel = “BRBAL”, Ardesiel = “ARDZAL”, Neciel = “NCIAL”, Abduxuel = “ABDZZAL”, Jazeriel = “IAZRAL”, Ergediel = “ARGDAL”, Ataliel = “ATLAL”, Azeruel = “AZRVAL”, Adriel = “ADRAL” (this name is missing in the manuscript), Egibiel = “AGBAL”, Amutiel = “AMVTAL”, Kiriel = “QIRAL”, Bethnael = “BTHNAL”, Geliel = “GLIAL”, Requiel = “RTQIAL”, Abrinael = “ABRINAL”, Aziel = “AZIAL”, Tagriel = “TGRAL”, Alhoniel = “ALHNAL”, Amnixiel = “AMNZAL”.
Within the third ring you can find the angels that control the zodiacal signs. Again you start in the south, beginning at the cross and read the names clockwise: Malchidael = “MLKDIAL”, Asmodel = “ASMVDAL”, Ambriel = “AMBRIAL”, Muriel = “MVRIAL”, Verchiel = “VRKIAL”, Hamaliel = “HMLIAL”, Zuriel = “ZVRIAL”, Barbiel = “BRBIAL”, Advachiel = “ADVKIAL”, Hanael = “HNAL”, Gabiel = “GABIAL”, Barchiel = “BARKIAL” (this name is missing in the manuscript).
The inner ring of the two outer rings is quite chaotic in the manuscripts. There you can find the ten sephiroth and their names of God in Atziluth, the angelic choirs in Yetzirah, the archangels in Briah and the heavens in Assiah. All four cabbalistical spheres are represented in this circle. I corrected the sequence of names and the spelling of the names. Beginning at the cross in the south, you can read these names clockwise: Eheieh = “AHIH”, Kether = “KThR”, Chaioth ha-Qadosh = “HIVTh HQDSh”, Metatron = “MTTRVN”, Rashith ha-Gilgalim = “RAShITh HGLGLIM”, Yah = “IH”, Chokmah = “ChKMH”, Auphanim = “AVPNIM”, Ratziel = “RTzIAL” (this angel is missing in the manuscript), Mazloth = “MZLVTh”, Yahwe Elohim = “IHVH ALHIM”, Binah = “BINH”, Aralim = “ARALIM”, Tzaphkiel = “TzPQIAL”, Shabbathai = “ShBThAI”, El =”AL”, Chesed = “ChSD”, Tzadqiel = “TzDQIAL”, Chashmalim = “ChShMLIM” (this angelic choir is missing in the manuscript), Tzedeq = “TzDQ”, Elohim Gibor = “ALHIM GBVR”, Geburah = “GBVRH”, Kamael = “KMAL”, Seraphim = “ShRPIM”, Madim = “MADIM”, Yahweh Eloah Va-Daath = “IHVH ALVH VDOTh” (in the manuscript this name is shortened to “ALVH”), Tiphareth = “ThPARTh”, Michael = “MIKAL”, Malachim = “MLKIM”, Shemesh = “ShMSh”, Yahweh Tzabaoth = “IHVH TzBAVTh”, Hod = “HVD”, Beni Elohim = “BNI ALHIM”, Raphael = “RPAL”, Kokab = “KVKB”, Shaddai El Chai = “ShDI AL ChI” (in the manuscript this name of God is shortened to “ShDI”), Yesod = “ISVD”, Cherubim = “KRBIM”, Gabriel = “GBRIAL”, Levanah = “LBNH”, Adonai Melek = “ADNI MLK”, Malkuth = “MLKVTh”, Ishim = “AShIM”, Sandalphon = “SNDLPVN” (in the manuscript the analogous term “The Soul of the Messiah” — though in a horrible spelling), Cholem Yesodoth = “ChLM ISVDVTh”.
The outer ring contents the 72 angels of the Shemhamphorasch. The copist (or Dr. Rudd) did not have enough place to write all names in the circle itself. In the manuscript the right column contents the missing names. Vehuiah = “VHVIH”, Yeliel = “ILIAL”, Sitael = “SIThAL”, Elemiah = “OLMIH”, Mahasiah = “MHShIH”, Lelahel = “LLHAL”, Achaiah = “AKAIH”, Kahetel = “KHThAL”, Aziel = “HZIAL”, Aladiah = “ALDIH”, Lauviah = “LAVIH”, Hahaiah = “HHOIH”, Yezalel = “IZLAL”, Mebahel = “MBHAL”, Hariel = “HRIAL”, Hakamiah = “HQMIH”, Lauviah = “LAVIH”, Kaliel = “KLIAL”, Leuviah = “LVVIH”, Pahaliah = “PHLIH”, Nelekael = “NLKAL”, Yeiael = “IIIIL”, Melahel = “MLHAL”, Hahuiah = “HHVIH”, Nith-haiah = “NThHIH”, Haaiah = “HAAAIH”, Yerathel = “IRThAL”, Seeiah = “ShAHIH”, Reiyel = “RIIIL”, Omael = “AVMAL”, Lecabel = “LKBAL”, Vasariah = “VShRIH”, Yehuiah = “IHVIH”, Lehahiah = “LHHIH”, Chevakiah = “KVQIH”, Menadel = “MNDAL”, Aniel = “ANIAL”, Haamiah = “HOMIH”, Rehael = “RHOAL”, Yeiazel = “IIZAL”, Hahahel = “HHHAL”, Mikael = “MIKAL”, Vevaliah = “VVLIH”, Yelahiah = “ILHIH”, Sealiah = “SALIH”, Ariel = “ORIAL”, Asaliah = “OShLIH”, Michael = “MIHAL”, Vehuel = “VHVAL”, Daniel = “DNIAL”, Hahasiah = “HHShIH”, Emamiah = “OMMIH”, Nanael = “NNAAL”, Nithael = “NIThAL”, Mebaiah = “MBHIH”, Poiel = “PVIAL”, Nemmamiah = “NMMIH”, Yeialel = “IILAL”, Harachel = “HRChAL”, Mitzrael = “MTzRAL”, Umabel = “VMBAL”, Yahehel = “IHHAL”, Anuiel = “ONVAL”, Mechiel = “MChIAL”, Damabiah = “DMBIH”, Manakel = “MNQAL”, Eiael = “AIOAL”, Chabuiah = “ChBVIH”, Rachel = “RAChAL”, Yabamiah = “IBMIH”, Haiel = “HIIAL”, Mumiah = “MVMIH”.
John Dee, 1527-1608, p. 72.
Turner, The Heparchia Mystica, p. 82.
John Dee (1527-1608), p.74
Turner, Heptarchia Mystica, p.87.
Laycock, Donald C. The Complete Enochian Dictionary, 36 quoting from Kelley’s manuscript version of Liber Logaeth which is British Library Sloane MS 3189.
John Dee: The World of an Elizabethan magus, p.116.
Casaubon, True and Faithful Relation p. 172.