March 6, 2021
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The Transmission of the Keys

The last word of the First Key, or Call, was transmitted to Dee through Kelley by the angel Nalvage on the morning of April 13, 1584. The transmission of the fory-eight Angelical Keys is divided between three places in Casaubon’s True and Faithful Relation. The first section, composed mainly of the Angelical words, appears between page 79 and 138. Most of the English was given later, during a single session between page 190 and 194. Finally, the key of the Aethyr was transmitted (also n a single session) between page 201 and 208. Nalvage took several sessions to transmit the Angelical of the first four Keys, the duration of the process is explained by the fact that the Keys were given backward and out of their proper sequence to prevent Dee to inadvertently using them as invocations when repeating them. The Angel also ended each transmission with the “English sense” of each Key. “Nalvage: Unto this Doctrine belongeth the perfect knowledge and remembrance of the mysticall Creatures. How therefore shall I inform you, which them not? Dee: Mean you as Babyon, Boboyel, etc. Nalvage: The Characters, or Letters of the Tables. Dee: You mean the mystical Letters, wherein the holy book is promised to be written: and if the book be so written and laid open before us, and then you will from Letter to Letter point, and we to record your instructions: Then I trust we shall sufficiently understand, and learn your instructions. Nalvage: Also in receiving of the calls, this is to be noted: that they are to be uttered of me, backward: and of you, in practice, forward. Dee: I understand it, for the efficacy of them; else, all things called would appear: and so hinder our proceeding in learning.[1]

This was a torturous process that must have sorely tried the patence and endurance of both Dee and Kelley. In this painful and confusing manner Nalvage revealed the last three Enochian words of the First Key of the forty-eight that are expressed. Apparently (though it is far from certain) the angel pointed to letters with a rod on a round crystal table on which he was standing. Kelley saw this in the showstone and reported the position of the pointer to Dee, who then looked up the corresponding letters on his own written tables. As Kelley worked, the crystal table of Nalvage became clearer: “His Table now appareth very evidently to me, as I could paint it all.”[2] The first unexpressed Call would seem to correspond with the small cross at the end of the magic square of the names of the seven angels who burn as flames before the throne of heavenly Christ.[3] Donald Tyson has formulated the hypothesis that if this is so, then it’s not impossible that the other forty-eight Calls could correspond with the individual letters in this square, moving through the square from back to front.[4]

The rest of the Keys, 5 through 18, were transmitted rapidly in a forward fashion, without English, in a single haphazard session. This means that the majority of the Keys were delivered in forward fashion, calling into question Dee’s assumption that they must be transmitted backward ir else “all thing called would appear” (we should point out that Nalvage never confirmed Dee’s comments in this regard.) Two of them (Keys 14 and 15) are entirely missing. The missing material was filled was filled in later in the journals – but only in English form. Dee was left to compile the Angelical words from the Keys that had already been Anglicized. Thankfully, the results of that work are contained in Dee’s 48 Claves Angelicae.

The Keys and the 49 Tables of Liber Loagaeth

The Keys correspond in number to the forty-nine large letter-number squares of Dee’s Liber Loagateh, save that the first table in the book has no Key. Nalvage explain to Dee: “I finde the soul of man hath no portion in this first Table. It is the Image of the son of God, in the bosome of his father, before all the worlds. It comprehendeth his incarnation, passion, and return to judgment: which he himself, in flesh, knoweth not; all the rest are of understanding. The exact Center excepted.”[5] Immediately after stressing this, Nalvage launches into the transmission of Key One. It seem that his comments about the Tables bear directly upon the Keys because Nalvage never draw letters for the Keys from the First Table. Nalvage transmitted the letters in the cryptic manner previously mentionned and Dee recorded the letters in a column running down the left-hand side of the page, with the mysterious strings of numbers following each letters to the right (including the various Table in Loagaeth.) For each letters, one of the Table of Loagaeth is indicated as the source. Then, we see the notations made by Dee about where in the Table to find the Letter. Unfortunately, no one has yet discovered what these directions and numbers mean. At first glance, it might appear that the large numbers would be the result of numbering each and every cell on one of the 49 x 49 Tables (sides A and B). However, that only result in a total of 4802 cells for each Table (2,401 on each side), yet the numbers given by Nalvage are often much larger thant that. Some kind of mathematical algorithm might be in use here, suggesting a form of cryptography.

After Key One had been transmitted in its entirety, Kelley attempted to question Nalvage’s direct superior, the Archangel Gabriel about the numbers: “Kelley: Why join you numbers with these letters, and added none with those of the former Table? Gabriel: Brother, what is the cause that al the World is made by numbers? The Numbers we speak of, are of reason and form, and not of merchant […] Every Letter signifieth the member of the substance whereof it speaketh. Every word signifieth the quiditty of the sunstance. The Letters are separated, and in confusion: and therefore, are by numbers gathered together: which also gathered signify a number: fo as every greater containeth his lesser, so are the secret and unknown forms of things knit up in their parents. Where being known in number, they are easily distinguished, so that here we teach places to e numbered: letters to be elected from the numbered, and proper words from the letters, signifying substiantially the thing that is spoken of in the center of the Creator…”[6]

Gabriel’s words are often taken as proof that the characters of the Angelical Alphabet should have gematric (or numerical) values. When Gabriel says that every letter of a word is a member of the overall body (or “substance”) of the word, he could be giving a basic lesson in Qabalistic gematria. However, as we shall now see, Gabriel is actually explaining the numbers that Nalvages associated with the Tables of Loagaeth and the letters of the Keys. First, he points out that the letters of the words are scattered (that is, throughout the forty-nine Tables). He then indicated that Nalvage’s numbers are used to gather those letters together. Toward en end of his speech, he even describes the method Nalvage used in “decrypting” the Angelical words from the Tables: places (presumably the cells on the forty-nine Tables) are numbered, and letters are drawn from those numbered places. The, the resulting letters are gathered into proper Angelical words, which signify in substance those things that are otherwise conceived only in the heart of the Creator. It is unfortunate, however, that Gabriel reveals nothing about the method of numberiong the “places” or gathering the letters. It is interesting to note that Gabriel insists these numbers are not “of marchants” but are “of reason and form.” We can interpret this to mean that astronomers, and navigators, as opposed to the simple totals and tallies used by merchants. In other words, the numbers we see involve higher mathematical functions such as those used by cryptographers.

In the end, it would appear that nalvage’s process was too time-consuming, because, after an entire day, only part of Key One had been transmitted. Therefore, Nalvage eventually stated that he would reveal the numbers later, and began to transmit the letters rapidly without numbers or directions. Unfortunately, if Nalvage ever returned with the missing information, the record has not survived.

The Keys and the Table of Nalvage (Corpus Omnium)

Aaron Leitch has suggested that what we call “The Round Tablet of Nalvage”, or the Corpus Omnium has a close relationship with the Tables of Loagaeth and their angelical Keys.[7] Part of this relationship was established when Nalvage delivered his final lesson on the subject of the Round Table. This particular session has long puzzled modern scholars, because Nalvage transmitted the material without preamble or explanation. In fact, it is only because of several cryptic statement made by Kelley that we know this lesson applies to the Corpus Omnium at all. Kelley then received long strings of letters tat seemed impossible to derived from a simple magical square. The strings were like this: DPCETEIRSMSSS, ESSAIIMMNSES, IEEEETNOEDMETMMM, etc. Leitch thinks hat it is probable that the Table had once again reverted to the “infinitely lettered” version upon which Kelley had first seen Nalvage standing. The Angels never give an explanation for these letter strings. (The next morning, Nalvage does arrive as promised – but he lauches directly into the transmission of Key One.) The only clues we are given are short marginal notations made by Dee much later in the journals. In the first instance, Dee is discussing the First Table of Loagaeth: “Dee: For the First Table, [there] is no Call. Although there ne letters gathered, but made into no words, as you may see, before the first Call of all.”[8] Dee is directing us to the place in his journals just previous to the reception of the First Call (or Key), and that happens to be the session where Nalvage delivered the previously quoted weird letters strings. Thus, we know that these letters represent the “Key” of the First Table of Loagaeth. (We might refer to this as “Key Zero.”) However, as Dee points out, the letters are never gathered into words because we have not intended to open the First Table. The second notation is found a short while later, as Dee is discussing the progress of the reception of the forty-eight Keys with the Angel Illemese: “Dee: There are but 18 besides the first [Call] to God. Illemese: There are nineteen besides the first.”[9] Dee had only received eighteen Keys at this point in the journals, and Illemese is telling him that one more is coming.45 What is important here, though, is that mention is made of nineteen Calls besides “the first [Call] to God.” This excluded first Call is one and the same with the letter strings transmitted by Nalvage as “Key Zero” for the First Table of Loagaeth. Therefore, we have learned that this hidden Key is, appropriately, a Call to God. We have yet to discover where the Angels explained “Key Zero” to Dee and Kelley. (It is possible that the records have been destroyed.) However, it is quite possible that they represent yet another example of steganography in Dee’s Angelic journals. Because these letter strings represent the “Key” of the First Table of Loagaeth, it is entirely possible they are an encryption algorithm of some sort. Nelvage completes his lesson on the Corpus Omnium Table with the following words: “Thus I have made plain this body generally. The particulars are long, hard, and tedious. Thy name be blessed, O God, which canst open a means, whereby Thy powers immediate may be opened unto man.   Power, glory, and honor be unto Thee, for thou are the true body of all things and are life eternal.”[10] In the prayer above, Nalvage refers to God as the “true body of all thing” – therby confirming that the Corpus Omnium is a representation of God. In fact, it seems to be a talisman representing the Divine Source of Dee’s entire “Enochian “ system. It relates directly to the First Table of Loagaeth, which is associated with the logos (or God-Christ), and the “Key” derived from it is described as a “Call to God.” We can assume that the “means” whereby God’s powers may be “opened unto man” is the Corpus Omnium Table itself. Nalvage does involve the Table – indirectly – in the transmission of the forty-eight Keys. We say “indirectly” because, after delivering the letters of “Key Zero,” he does sometimes stop the transmission of the Keys to strike the Table with his golden rod. This causes it to spin extremely fast – so that it appears to be a solid globe rather than a flat, round Table. (Elsewhere, Kelley states that the letters on the spinning Table could still be read as if they were standing still. We assume this is similar to the effect one sees when a propeller is spinning so fast that, in the proper light, it appears to stand still.) While it is not clear what all of this striking and spinning is about, the Corpus Omnium does seem to represent a source of power or autority throughout the transmission of the forty-eight Keys.[11]

The Nature of the Angelical Keys

There is never a usable Key (or Call) given for the First Table of the Holy Book. As Nalvage said previously, “The soul of man hath no portion in this First Table. “Later in the journals, Dee confirms this with the following marginal notation: “… for the First Table can have no Call, it is the Godhead.”[12] However, as we have seen, the strange letter strings transmitted by Nalvage from the Corpus Omnium are intended to represent “the firt [Call] to God.” Dee notes that bthe strings are “letters gathered, but made into no words.” In the surviving records, thye Angel never offered an explanation for what the letters mean or how they might be used. Therefore, the Loagaeth magickal system has no method of opening the First Table. Because the first Table of Loagaeth has no Key, the first of the forty-eight Angelical Keys applies to the Second Table. The Angel Illemese confirms this in the journals: “But you must understand that in speaking of the First Table, I speak of the Second. So that the second, with you, is the first.”[13] This is an important note for modern researchers because Illemese (and other Angels in Dee’s journals) often refer to the Second Table of Loagaeth as the first – because it is the first accessible Table.

After Nalvage revealed Key One and its translation (or “English sense”), he proceeded to discuss the nature of the Key and the Table it opens: “It is the sense in you tongue of the holy and mystical Call before delivered: which followeth in practice for the moving of the second Table, the Kings and Ministers of Government. The utterance of which is of force, and moveth them to visible apparition. Moved and appeared, they are forced (by the Covenant of God delivered by his Spirit) to render obedience and faithful society.. Wherein, they will open the mysteries of their creation, as far as shall be necessary, and give you understanding ofr many thousand secrets, wherein you are yet but children. […] This is therefore the key of the first seven, according to the proportion of the first Creation. No more for this time.”[14] We discussed in an earlier chapter the Second Table of Loagaeth. According to Nalvage, the first Key summon the “Kings and Ministers of Government” who are “the firt seven.” Thus, it is likely that this Key refers to the Seven Archangels of the Seven Days of Creation, as well as to other Angelic rulers of the Universe. Much of Nalvage above speech is aimed at explaining how Key One works. It is “of force, and moveth [the Kings and Ministers of Government] to visible apparition.” Moreover, the recitation of the Key forces them to “render obedience and faithful society,” etc. However, Nalvage continues his thoughts by relating them to all the Keys as applied to the Loagaeth Tables.48

After Nalvage transmitted the Third Angelical Key, the Archangel Gabriel appeared and said: “Hark, O ye sons of men: [this]49 is the first of nature, and the beginning of your being in body. Whereby the things of the world have life and live. Let him that hath wisdom understand. Grow together, for this50 hath its fruit in due time.”[15] It is unclear if Gabriel’s speech is intented to describe Key Three, or the Fourth Table of Loagaeth. He did say these words directly after the revelation of the Key but, we may suppose that he was speaking equally about the Key and its Table. It would seem that Table Four (opened by Key Three) incorporates the creation of Adam – the beginning of mankind’s “being in body.”[16] Both Gnostic and Qabalistic cosmology associate the creation of the physical realm with the formation of Adam’s body. As such, it is likely the physical realm itself that Gabriel promises will “come to fruition in due time.”

The Key to the final thirty Tables of Loagaeth were introduced by Nalvage with the following speech: “There are 30 Calls yet to come. Those are the Calls of Ninety-One Princes and Spiritual Governors, unto whom the Earth is delivered as a portion. These bring in and again dispose Kings and all Governments upon the Earth, and vary the Nature of things with the variation of every moment. Unto whom, the providence of the eternal Judgment, is already opened. Those are generally governed by the twelve Angels of the 12 Tribes: which are also governed by the 7 which stand before the Presence of God. Let him that can see look up, and let him that can hear, attend, for this is wisdom. They are all spirits of the Air: not rejected, but dignified. And they dwell and have their habitation in the air diversly, and in sundry places. For, their mansions are not alike, neither are their powers equal. Understand therefore, that from the fire to the earth, there are 30 places or abidings; one above and beneath another: wherein these aforesaid Creatures have their abode, for a time.”[17] These represents the thirty Aethyrs (or Heavens) that extend from the foot of God’s Throne to the surface of the Earth. The magician familiar with the history of religion will come to recognize that his is likely adopted from ancient Gnosticism, which recognized, in some sects, a 30 Heavens cosmology.

The Enochian Keys and the Great Table

According to Enochian scholar Donald Tyson,[18] based on the overall structure of the Great Table, it seems that the Enochian Keys from the Third to the Tenth unfold themselves upon the Great Table of the Watchtowers in four overlapping clockwise circles (see the diagram above illustrating the Four Cycles of the Keys on the Great Table). Each circle begins in a subquarter of the Eastern Watchtower. Each passes through the middle of the lesser cross of the corresponding subquarters on the other three Watchtowers. The circles are numbered according to the numbering of the quadrants and subquadrants, that is to say, the first circle begins in the eastern, or first, subquarter of the Watchtower of the East; the second begins in the southern, or second, subquarter; the third begins in the northern, or third, subquarter; and the fourth circle begins in the western, or fourth, subquarter. The first two Keys probably relate to the pillar and beam of the central Black Cross on the Great Table. Tyson thinks that the unexpressed “primordial Key” that corresponds with the first forty-nine Tables of Loagaeth may relate to the center of the Black Cross. It should be designated by a zero, similar to the use of zero for the first card of the Tarot (the Fool).[19] This relationship of the Keys to the Great Table is never clearly stated by the angels, but may be deduced from internal evidence in the Keys. On the Watchtowers, the three rays of each Great Cross are explicitly givent to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of the Christian trinity. Tyson think that the pillar, beam, and center of the Black Cross are also linked with the trinity. The Father is probably assigned to the pillar of the Black Cross, and the First Key. The Son is probably assigned the beam of the Black Cross, and the Second Key. The Holy Spirit, who is the unseen Mother of many of the Enochian angels, is probably assigned the intersection of the Black Cross, which is dimensionless point, and the unexpressed primordial Key that has nothing directly to do with the human race or the Earth.

In the biblical metaphor of the New Jerusalem, which is so intimately linked with Enochian magic, the Father and Son are combined in the figure of the heavenly Christ, who has the white while he communed with God and received the ten Commandments. In Revelation, the heavenly Christ is decribed both as a king who sits in authority and passes judgments, and as a mounted conquering prince who wields a two-edged sword of retribution. The Holy Ghost is represented by the throne on which heavenly Christ sits at the exact center of New Jerusalem. From the throne flow the four rivers of Paradise, corresponding to the four arms of the Black Cross.

It is usual in Enochian magic to progress backwards from the end to the beginning. This was the course followed by Aleister Crowley when worked the invocations of the thirty Aethers. He began with the thirtieth and ended with the first. It is possible that in the final apocalypse working one of the eighteen distinct Key is to be vibrated each day, beginning with the eighteenth and working backward to the first. In this way, the magician would progress four times counterclockwise around the Great Table, beginning in the north and ending in the east (the process by which the table of clay was revealed to Dee and Kelley in the initial transmission of the Watchtowers), then would follow the two arms of the Black Cross to the center of the four Watchtowers, where lies the fountain of the Holy Spirit. It is through this foundtain of Spirit that the thirty Aethers are to be accessed. The intersection of the Great Cross is the doorway into the Great table of the Watchtowers.

The Author of the Enochian Keys

The Enochian Keys are clearly ritual invocations (or evocations, depending on whether the spirits to whom they are applied are called in, or called out). Yet in discussing the Book of Spirits, the angel Ave tells Dee that he must write the invocations for the Book himself. Since invocation is a function of the free will and fervent heat of the human soul, and angels have no part in it. When Dee presses Ave for more details, the angels says “I know not: for I dwell not in the soul of man.”

If the angels cannot write invocations, and if the Keys are invocations, then who wrote the Keys? And why? It seem redundant that Dee should have to write a complete set of invocations to contact and bind the angels of the Watchtowers when he has been given a complete set of invocations by the angels themselves.

The function of the Keys must be different from the function of Dee’s own set of invocations, which was intended to initially call the nagels of the Great Table during an eighteen-day working. It may be that Dee’s invocations were also to be used in regularly summoning the angels. Ave talks about a book that is only to be used on one day, but this cannot refer to the Book of Spirits that contained Dee’S invocations, which was to be used for at least eighteen days. The book of one day probably is the Book of Silvered Leaves, which was, according to Tyson (p. 225) to be emploed to record the seals and signatures of the invoked angels. No limit is placed on the use of Dee’s own invocations.

It is usual for modern Enochian magicians to vibrate the Keys to summon the angels of the Watchtowers for everyday ritual work. This was the Golden Dawn practice. The founders of the Golden Dawn did not understand the need for the magician to compose an original set of invocations to establish initial contact with the angels. In the Golden Dawn, only the Keys were used to invoke or evoke the angels.


Perhaps the Keys have a higher are more specific purpose that everyday invocation. If they were not composed by the angels, but rather someone above the angels, they must have been written by the Father of Heaven, or by heavenly Christ the Son, or by the Mother of thee angels who refers to herself only by the title I AM. They may be the text of the unrecorded apocalypse working which Tyson have postulated as the dark and secret art of the Enochian communications.


Enochian magicians who employ the Keys casually for personal reason may be inwittingly debasing them and abusing their power. Of course, if this is os, only the smallest fraction of the power of the Keys would be released during this awkward and inappropriate application. It would be like using a hundred ton hydraulic press to hammer a nail.

The Text of the Keys

The Enochian versions of the Keys were revealed before the English translations, although in some cases the English was revealed along with the Enochian. In Casaubon the initial recording of the Keys is, to say the least, confused. Toward the end of the process, fragments of one key are mixed with fragments of another. Fortunatelt the English translations later provided by Nalvage are much clearer.

Dee recorded the text of the Key and its translation in a much more readable form in his manuscript 48 Claves Angelicae, (5) and it is this manuscript version and its printed transcripts that Tyson have followed in the corrected text of the Keys that he have presented in his book Enochain Magic for Beginers. He adhered to Dee’S own practice of writing the Enochian in rows from left to right, with the English translation directly above each word.

Some of the Enochian words are written in capitals by Dee. These are the power words, the actually triggers that bring about the visual apparition of the angels. It will be noticed that the two forms of the Enochian word for “move” are used, ZACAR and ZACARe. ZACAR appears much more frequently. According to Tyson the lower case “e” appended to the end of the word is intended merely as an aid to pronounciation.[20] The hyphenated Enochian words are compound words that are written as single words in Dee’s manuscript. Tyson, in his version of the Keys, have inserted the hyphens to make it easier to understand their composition. For the sake of clarity, Tyson have removed the hyphens that Dee put into single words (appatrently as an aid to pronunciation). The Encochian words in square brackets have been inserted by him to fill an obvious gap in the Enochian text. Purists may prefer to ignore them.

It has been observed (6) that the Enochian language is extraordinairily compact, that one word in Enochian often signified an entire phrase in English. This fact has been used to support sceptics’ claims that Enochian is not a real language. If we look at a French word in a French-English dictionaty and compare its size with the size of an English definition that accompagnies it, this is hardly evidence that French is not a language. Also, it should be nited that Dee was often writing the definitions or descriptions of difficult Enochian words, not merely their translations. Probably no adequate translation exists in English for many of these words.

The Biblical Poetic Style of the 48 Calls

The Angelical Calls are more than just keys to mystical gateways. In fact, they consist of a kind of biblical poetry – psalms, really – that appear to outline a connected message about the life of the Universe. However, exactly what that message says has been debated by Enochian scholars for decades (if not centuries). Like proper biblical literature, the wording is obscure enough that different readers see entirely different messages. Over the years, may have offered their own explanations of the « meaning » behind or within the forty-eight Calls.

The poetry of the Calls appears to draw from a range of biblical literature. The first, third, and final Calls each contain very Genesis-like aspects – describing the establishment of the physical world as we know it. Calls to, and twelve through eighteen, are reminiscent of psalms or verses fron the Song of Solomon – being invocations of the Divine through praise.

The Calls are generally classifiable as apocalyptic writtings – which (like Loagaeth) commonly focus upon the cycle of time and the life and death of the Universe. Apocalyptic texts include such canonical books as Ezekiel, Isiah, Daniel, and the Revelation of St. John.60 Calls four throught fourteen, especially, remind one of the verses from the Revelation, Isaiah, and so on. The word apocalypse is an archaic word for “revelation” – especially in the spiritual/mystical sense. It i through such an apocalypse that the prophets Ezekiel, St. John, and (of course) Enoch were able to glimpse the Divine Throne.61 It therfore makes sense that the Calls – and even Loagaeth itself – should be associated with apocalyptic literature. Not only were they received by Kelley and Dee via direct Angelic revelation (making them prophets in their own right), but the practice of the system (called Gebofal) is intented to result in the revelation of mysteries. Not to mention the fact that the Angels associated the whole system with the Tribulation.

Finally, we must give some attention to the classical Gnostic influence upon these poems. As we have seen in previous chapters, there is an undeniable Gnostic imprint upon Dee’s entire system of magick.62 For example, the « thirty Aethyrs » are apparently based upon the thirty Heavens of the Gnostics.63 Just as we see in Loagaeth, the Gnostic aspirant was expected to ceremonially open « gateways » leading into the thirty Heavens, receive purification and baptism within each realm, and finally obtain ultimate reunion with God. (See the Gnostic text entitled Pistis Sophia for just one example.)64

Meanwhile, the Calls seem to contain a direct Gnosticv borrowing in their name for God : Iadbaltoh, translating as “God of Justice (or Righteousness).” This name is suspiciously close to the ancient Gnostic name of the Creator – Ialdabaoth. The etymology of this name is obscure ; however, Gnostic scripture records Ialdabaoth’s title of honor as “ The God of Righteousness. ” There is also a Gnostic literary style to the poetry. For instance, the Calls written from Iadbaltoh’s viewpoint bring to mind such ancient writtings as the Thunder-Perfect Intellect – wherein the Gnostic goddess Sophia speaks to her followers. (Remember that Sophia – or Wisdom – appears in Dee’s journals as the Mother of Angels : Galvah.) The treatment of the Christos (« He That Livet hand Triumpheth ») in the poetry is also very Gnostic in its imagery. However, we must remoind the reader that the classical Gnostic texts we know today were unknown to Dee and Kelley. During their lives, the classical (or Sethian) Gnostic sects had long since been exterminated, and the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts in Egypt was hundred of years away.65

In the meantime, Gnosticism had lived on in the very foundations of Western esotericism, at the heart of such movements and philosophies as Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and alchemy. Its imagery survived in medieval and Renaissance engravings and the Tarot trumps. Its literature was a heavy influence upon canonicval biblical texts (such as the Book of John and Revelation). Many of its mysteries were shared with and adopted by Jewish Merkavah mystics and Qabalists. An dits Doctrine were preserved and taught by isolated mystics and secret societies.

There had also been a Gnostic sect within the Catholic Church for a time – founded by a Christian teacher named Valentinus – until i twas also exterminated. It would appear that Valentinian philosophy was the primary source of Gnosticism for much of the West, including for men such as Dee. WIth all of this taken into account, it is no surprise that the forty-eight Calls should bear the mark of Gnostic symbolism, without being technically classified as Gnostic literature themselves.

The Enochian Keys and Tyson’s Apocalypse Working

Tyson belive that the forty-eight expressed Keys (and the first, unexpressed Key) are intented by the angels to be used in a great working, probably of fifty days duration, designed to initiate the period of destructive transformation that is generally known as the apocalypse. This may be linked with the eeighteen-day invocation of the angels of the Great Table, as Tyson have suggested in his book Tetragrammaton, or it may be a completely separate working. On this subject, it is impossible to be certain. The whole matter of the Apocalypse Working, as Tyson have called it, is murky and is likely to remain so, because it was never explicitely discussed between Dee and the angels. Indeed, many Enochian magicians would probably say that no such Apocalypse Working exists. Tyson put forward the concept base on his own study of the Enochian transcripts, and he believe there is a considerable implicit evidence to suggest that the angels intended Enochian magic, and specifically the Enochian Keys, to serves as a trigger for the apocalypse. But this is primarily a personal convinction. There is no unequivocal references to an Apocalypse working given anywhere by Dee or the angels.

The Roles of the Keys

There are eighteen distincts enochian Keys, and these keys obviously relates to the subquarters of the Great Table. However, it is unclear whether these Keys are to be voiced during the eighteen-day working that establishes contact with the Enochian angels. At first consideration, this would seem probable. However, the distinct Keys naturally fall into a division of five parts: 2+4+4+4+4. It’s not clear how this division can be related to the division of the invocations into 4+14 that was defined by Ave, or Tyson’s conjectured division of 4+6+4+4.

It is possible to relate the eighteen distinct Keys to the eighteen classes of spirits invoked in the initial working by inverting the order of the Keys, placing the Seniors at the end of the working, and dividing the six groups of Seniors tnto four and two. If this is done, the Key 18, 17,16 and 15 may be linked with the four invocations of the names of God; the Keys 14,13,12 and 11 may be linked with the four groups of Dispositors; the Keys 10,9,8 and 7 may be linked with the four groups of Seniors from the upper part of the lines of the Son, the upper parts of the lines of the Father, the lower parts of the lines of the Son, and the lower parts of the lines of the father, repectively; and, finally, the Keys 2 and 1 may be linked with the groups of Seniors from the left side of trhe line of Spirit and form the right side of the lines off Spirit, respectively.

Tyson offer this association of the Keys with the group the names of God and angels on the Great Table as a matter of interest to more advanced Enochian magician, but he is not satisfied with it.[21] It is his personal view that the Key are individually associated with the beam and pillar of the Black Cross (Keys 1 and 2) and with the sixteen subquarters of nthe Great Table (Key 3 to 18). If this is true, then the keys are not to be voiced in the initial eighteen-day working that establishes contact with the angels, but are (perhaps) to be used kater to command specific sets of angels on individual subquarters of the Great Table.

For example, Key 4 would be used to invoke specifically the Dispositors and good angels on the eastern subquarter of the Watchtower of South. Key 13 would be used to invoke the Dispositors and good angels on the northern subquarter of the Watchtower of the West. And so for the rest.

The Seniors (if, indeed, it is never necessary to invoke the Seniors) would probably be invoked by Keys 1 and 2. The First Key, related by me to the pillar of the Black Cross, would also relate to double pillars of the Great Crosses on the individual Watchtowers, and to the four Senior whose names are written on each double pillar (the lines of the Son and the Father). The Second Key, related by Tyson to the beam of the Black Cross, would also relate to the beams of the Great Crosses on the individual Watchtowers, and to the two Seniors whose names are written on each beam (the lines of the Holy Spirit).

To understand this assignment, see the illustration that shows the numbers of the Keys assigned to the sixteen subquarters of the Great Table in four circles of four. It may well be incorrect, but since the angel left no explicit correspondence between the Keys and the angels on the Great Table, we are forced to invent our own systems. Such improvisation was done by the Golden Dawn.   The correspondence between the Keys and the angels on the Watchtowers represents one of the most original aspects of the Golden Dawn Enochian Magic.

When and How to Use the Keys

The Keys received by Dee and Kelley are to be used for either invocations or for traveling in the Spirit Vision. These are rather cumbersome sentences to be recited out loud, prior to any magical operation involving the angels and the Aethyrs. Actually there is a total of 49 Calls. The first is usually numbered 0 and is without words. This Key makes the mind empty of all thoughts, much like the Samadhi of Yoga. It is used to invoke or travel to the highest formless levels beyond the first Aethyr and as such would only be used by the most advanced Adepts.

A single Call is used for all thirty Aethyrs. The only change necessary is to insert the name of the appropriate Aethy being addressed. In the Call, this name is usually left blank until filled by a magician as needed.

This leaves eighteen Calls usually numbered one to eighteen. The specific rules governing their use are given in the following Table.

Use first for all angels associated with the Tablet of Union

Use second for all Archangels of EHNB of the Tablet of Union as well as for all other angels.

Use third for all Ruling Lesser Angels of (E)XARP.

Use first for all lesser Angels of the Watchtower of Air.

Use first (only) for all angels of Water of Water beginning with IDOIGO.

Use third for all Ruling Lesser Angels of (H)KOMA.

Use first for all lesser Angels of the Watchtower of Air.

Use first (only) for all angels of Water of Water beginning with NELAPR.

Use third for all Ruling Lesser Angels of (N)ANTA.

Use first for all lesser Angels of the Watchtower of Earth.

Use first (only) for all angels of Earth or Earth beginning with ABALPT.

Use third for all Ruling Lesser Angels of (B)ITOM.

Use first for all lesser Angels of the Watchtower of Fire.

Use first (only) for all angels of Earth or Earth beginning with RZIONR

Use second for all Ruling Lesser Angels of Water of Air beginning with LLAKZA

Use second for all Ruling Lesser Angels of Earth of Air beginning with AIAOAI

Use second for all Ruling Lesser Angels of Fire of Air beginning with AOVRRZ

Use second for all Ruling Lesser Angels of Air of Water beginning with OBGOTA

Use second for all angels of Earth of Water beginning with MALADI.

Use second for all angels of Fire of Water beginning with IAAASD.

Use second for all angels of Air of Earth beginning with ANGPOI.

Use second for all angels of Water of Earth beginning with ANAEEM.

Use second for all angels of Fire of Earth beginning with OPMNIR.

Use second for all angels of Air of Fire beginning with NOALMR.

Use second for all angels of Water of Fire beginning with VADALI.

Use second for all angels of Earth of Fire beginning with VOLXDDO.

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