Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dumbing Down the Modern Magician

In reading Enochian Vision Magick by Duquette, I was struck by the incredible complexity of the system. I have no idea how many hours Dee and Kelly spent skrying, writing and performing the mental gymnastics necessary to bring it forth. Since then many very dry technical books have been written on the topic. The few I read or more to the point, tried to read, did not inspire me to turn the pages much less do the magick. Then Lon Milo appears on the scene. Lon must have spent uncountable hours studying and working the system before putting out this incredibly easy to understand work.

As I contemplated this, I wondered about the Dumbing Down of America. If you think we are as educated as our recent ancestors, you're more uneducated tha I am. As proof, I offer Ken Burn's documentary on the Civil War. Just listening to the letters and diary entries from common soldiers tells me that they had a much deeper understanding of the language and word smithing than the above average American today.

Dumbed down is likely the refrain you'll hear from scholars. There are magickal scholars of two types. Those that study magick, and those that study and do magick. If you read Lon's book, you will not being able to compete with either category of Enochian scholar. If you read Lon's book, you will not be able to compete with even those that do Enochian magick. Lon's book is a starting point for those that want to do Enochian. Let the scholarship follow the Work, if that is your Will.

You can learn Enochian through the Sloan documents and the rest of the writings housed in the British Museum as well as your local search engine. I've tried to perform the mind bending gyrations necessary to understand those sources in the past. Frankly, I am not that smart and, like Lon, lazy.

So, in reading Lon's book, I began to think this is cheating. Enochian is vast, complex and hard to understand and it should be! This is easy. Then again, so is the magick I do now that I used to think was so hard.

The book is simple, easy to read and very informative. I don't feel like I need a scholar's mind, nor the time available only to the idle rich to digest the material. Lon has taken all the thinking out of magick! No. He's taken all the work out magick! No. He's done it all for me! No. He has simply made it accessible to the non-scholar. That isn't dumbing down at all. That is distilling. It is creating a foundation for those that want to do. One doesn't need to know the year Dee and Kelley met nor understand the English of the period to do the magick.

Doing Magick is about doing magick. It is the doing that matters.

I've long been fascinated by the Sigillum Dei Aemeth (above). After reading less than twenty-two pages, I understand. I get it and I am even more fascinated by the prospect of making my own. In the style of a master teacher and a Master of the Word, he takes the reader to the threshold of the divine and lets aspirant make a choice to step through.

My actual praise for this work is much greater than I am relating here. However, I am only 78 pages into it and I haven't done anything yet with the material. At first blush I am mightily impressed. Bravo.

(Sigillum image from


yuzuru said...

when you do the work, please keep us posted about the results.

I always had a deep distrust of enochian. Only recently I developed a curiosity, as jason Miller said that the angels do answer to enochian

about the dumbing down, that is world wide, you should see my college students !

Frater BH said...

I think angels answer to a lot. It depends upon what the magician is willing and able to hear from them. They are more than happy to appear in ways the magician can accept or needs.

Of course I will keep you posted. The vast majority of things I do are posted here. I have a project my HGA will not let me mention at all and a few private things that stay off but the rest is here.

Which country are you writing from?

Ananael Qaa said...

So, in reading Lon's book, I began to think this is cheating. Enochian is vast, complex and hard to understand and it should be!

Working smart is never cheating. You have to do the work to get the results, but if you can get it done efficiently more power to you.

Also, the original Enochian system is not as complex as a lot of modern magicians make it out to be, at least if you go by Dee's diaries. Much of the intricate detail of the system was added by Mathers and Wescott, and how much of that elaboration was based on interacting with the Enochian entities as opposed to shoehorning the system into Hermetic Qabalah is hard to say. Some people insist that they get a lot out of the Golden Dawn additions, but I personally find that it tends to get in the way and that you don't need it to get some pretty impressive results.

Dee never finished a full Enochian grimoire dealing with the Great Table but the notes are all there if you can find and assemble them. As am example of what it might look like, take a look at the Heptarchia Mystica which is at least mostly finished. Aside from the exotic furniture and so forth, the Heptarchial magical system is actually simpler to use than many of the other grimoires that were popular in the sixteenth century.