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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology


A system of Magick that teaches communication with angels and spirits, and travel through various planes, or aethyrs, of consciousness.   Enochian Magick apparently originated with John Dee and Edward Kelly in the 16th Century.   Dee, who was royal astrologer to Elizabeth I, joined in an odd partnership with Kelly in attempts to communicate with the spirits through Scrying.   Dee is said to have recorded their proceedings and rituals, thus creating the Enochian system of Magick.

Enochian Magick have derived loosely from the apocryphal notion that the prophet Enoch was taken up as an eyewitness to the seven heavens, then recorded his experiences in a series of secret books which constitute 7 Enoch and 2 Enoch.   From the latter comes the following: "And behold, my children, after I had examined the things that had been ordained on earth, I wrote them down."   It was also believed that, in company with Elijah, Enoch would appear on earth at Judgement Day, to destroy the Anti-Christ.

The following prediction is set out in The Apocalypse of Elijah: "Then will Elijah and Enoch descend. They will lay aside their worldly flesh and take on spiritual flesh. They will pursue the Son of Lawlessness and will kill him without his being able to speak."

Enoch was thus considered to be a magician and prophet and, during the fourteenth Century, there was no shortage of would-be Enochs who claimed the ability to fulfil the prophecies of the Book of Revelation and control the weather, inflict the plague and lay low their enemies.   Apocryphal books of ritual magic were attributed to Enoch.

The communication with spirits, or angels, was done in the Enochian language, a complex language of apparently unknown origin (see ENOCHIAN ALPHABET).   It is a 'real' language with a solid grammar and syntax; it has a melodic sound similar to Sanskrit, Greek or Arabic.   Some maintain that Kelly, who had a reputation for fraud, invented Enochian and that it was a secret code that he and Dee used in espionage activities for Queen Elizabeth I.

If Kelly did this, he was a master of Magick, cryptography, astrology and mathematics, the elements of which are all embodied in the language.   Each letter of the Enochian alphabet has a numerical value, or Gematria, and corresponds to elemental (see ELEMENTS), planetary and Tarot properties.

Dee and Kelly conjured the angels with the Nineteen Calls, or Keys, of Enochian, or Incantations.   The first two keys conjured the element Spirit, and the next 16 keys conjured the four Elements, each sub-divided into four.   The Nineteenth Key invoked any of 30 "aethyrs" or "aires" which have never been precisely defined but probably represent levels of consciousness.

When the angels appeared in Kelly's crystal, he communicated with them in Enochian, using a com-plicated procedure.   He set up charts which were squares either filled with letters or left blank.   The angels would spell out messages by pointing with a rod to various squares, which Kelly dictated to Dee.

Kelly claimed the messages were always dictated backwards, because to communicate them directly would unleash dangerous and powerful forces beyond control.   When the messages were finished, he and Dee rewrote them in reverse order.

Following the deaths of Dee and Kelly, Enochian sank into virtual oblivion, until it was revived in the 19th Century by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.   It also was studied at length by Aleister Crowley, who said the Keys were genuine.   "If...anyone with the smallest capacity for Magick finds that they work," he stated in his autobiography, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.   His most extensive commentary on the magic of the keys was published in The Vision and the Voice in 1911.

Crowley subscribed to the definition of the aethyrs as "Dominion extending in ever widening circles without and beyond the Watch Towers of the Universe,' these Watch Towers composing a cube of infinite magnitude."

He maintained that only properly initiated adepts could invoke all of the aethyrs in the Nineteenth Key, and he claimed to be able to do so himself. The results produced visions of spirits and astral beings, and Crowley recorded his communications with them.

Enochian Magick continues to be practiced.   There are two primary types of magical operations:
    (1) invoking spirits and
    (2) traveling to the aethyrs in the astral body, the mental body and mystical states of consciousness akin to samadhi (Hindu term for the highest state of yogic meditation, which leads to self-realization).
Some of the aethyrs have sexual energies.   Most involve an initiatory experience, such as "death" of the old personality and rebirth of the new.


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One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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