"Come now my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest..." - Kenneth Patchen, "Even So."

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT STORIES AND STORYTELLING; some are true, some are false, and some are a matter of perspective. Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Note: The following assumes, gentle reader, that you have read the four prior "Little Lectures on Magick" series here on the blog.

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

— Revelations 17:3-6

The Coming of the Beast

FOLLOWING DEE AND KELLEY the Enochian materials lay quietly, largely forgotten.  And yet everything Dee had wanted, he got.  Britain not only survived, she thrived.  The Spanish Armada was decimated by what could only be termed an "act of God," clearing the way for England to become an imperial power.  By the end of the 19th century, the tiny island kingdom with its rebel queen was the greatest empire the world had ever seen, under a new queen whose very name summed it all up nicely; "Victoria."  It might have seemed to Dee, had he been resurrected to see it, that God and his Angels had delivered.  Still, the Apocalypse they warned off, the Apocalypse he had been given the Keys to unlock, was nowhere to be seen.

In 1886, a group of Masons with occult leanings came into possession of some improbable cipher manuscripts.  The provenance of these documents is not terribly relevant to our discussion; suffice it to say the papers granted these men to launch an English branch of a Continental secret society.  It came to be called the Ordo Hermeticus Aurorae Aureae, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Golden Dawn was a Rosicrucian society, a curious cocktail of Christian Mysticism, Freemasonry, and Egyptology.  Its founders, William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, did an extraordinary job of combining Kabbalah, Tarot, Alchemy, and the obscure Enochian system, into a new and cohesive whole.  The Enochian element was largely to work of Mathers, who combed over Dee's journals (then property of the British Museum).  To be certain, he took liberties, inventing something called Enochian Chess and turning the Great Table into a bizarre collection of truncated pyramids, but all the same he liberated the Enochian Keys from their dusty vaults and passed them down into the hands of someone who would finally use them for their intended purpose.

We are speaking, of course, of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947).  Crowley joined the Golden Dawn in 1898, shot up at ridiculous speed through its ranks, and within two years (according to some accounts) had destroyed it.  This was a pattern with Crowley.  Chaos came in his wake.

In his time with the Order, Crowley had become Mather's protege, and like his mentor took a keen interest in the Enochian Keys.  Perhaps the Apocalyptic imagery spoke to him; Crowley had been raised in the Plymouth Brethren, a severe sola scriptura Evangelical sect hot for the End of Days.  A rebellious polymath, Crowley put as much distance between him and his upbringing as possible, but he could still quote the King James Bible chapter and verse until the end of his life, and internalized the name his mother used to taunt him with...the Beast.

In 1900, Crowley took the Keys with him to Mexico, where he decided to use them to explore the 30 Aethyrs, the "heavens" that surround the material world (analogous to the Gnostic Aeons).  He was only able to unlock two, and would return finish the remaining 28 nine years later.  Crowley record of these visionary experiences, Liber 418: The Vision and the Voice, is (next to Dee's own diaries) the single most important document in the whole Enochian canon.  It has been compared, favorably, to Blake.  Crowley himself considered it his second greatest work.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

In 1900, scrying the first Aethyr, the young Crowley recorded;

I AM in a vast crystal cube in the form of the Great God Harpocrates. This cube is surrounded by a sphere. About me are four archangels in black robes, their wings and armour lined out in white.

In the North is a book on whose back and front are A.M.B.Z. in Enochian characters.

Within it is written:

...Lift up your heads, O Houses of Eternity: for my Father goeth forth to judge the World. One Light, let it become a thousand, and one sword ten thousand, that no man hide him from my Father's eye in the Day of Judgment of my God. Let the Gods hide themselves: let the Angels be troubled and flee away: for the Eye of My Father is open, and the Book of the Aeons is fallen...

...Tremble ye, O Pillars of the Universe, for Eternity is in travail of a Terrible Child; she shall bring forth an universe of Darkness, whence shall leap forth a spark that shall put his father to flight...

This is 1900, four years before the event Crowley is best known for, but there are clear hints of what-was-to-come right there in the first Enochian vision...Harpocrates, a Book proclaiming an Apocalypse, a "Terrible Child" about to be born and replace his father.  Four years before Thelema officially "went public," the Enochain angels seemed to be leaking the story.

Crowley made it only so far as the 29th Aethyr (having scried the 30th Aeythr, the one closest to Earth, first).  He would later claim he lacked sufficient initiation to go further.  But the two visions are Apocalyptic, referring both to a coming Book and a Child.  In the wake of these visions, for various reasons, Crowley abruptly abandoned magic and mysticism and converted to Buddhism.  He married, and took his bride, Rose, on a globe trotting honeymoon.  Perhaps he thought he was done with the Angels.  The Angels, however, were not done with him.

Here is the official story.  Do what you will with it.

The Book of the Law

While on honeymoon in Cairo, Crowley decided to entertain Rose with some of his old, rejected magic.  He figured conjuring the sylphs would be harmless enough.  But Rose fell into a sort of trance, and started telling her husband that the god Horus was trying to get in touch with him.  As Rose had no knowledge or interest in things esoteric, Crowley was understandably irritated by her ramblings.  He took her to a museum and challenged her to point out who was trying to reach him, sneering to himself as she blindly walked right past all the well known images of Horus.  But straight she went to a small, painted funeral stele, and pointed excitedly.  Sure enough, it displayed Horus (Ra Hoor Khuit), as well as two other deities, the Egyptian star goddess Nut (Nuit) and Behdet (Hadit) the winged solar disc.  She insisted this was the source of the voices calling to her, and Crowley, who had been called by his mother "the Beast" and "Antichrist" for his rebelliousness and rejection of her faith, couldn't help but notice that the museum exhibit number of this little wooden item was number 666.  It was enough to convince him to listen to her.

Following her instructions, Crowley locked himself in his bedroom between the hours of noon and one o'clock on three successive afternoons, April 8th, 9th, and 10th.  There he sat down at his desk, pen and paper ready.  And there, the story goes, a voice dictated to him Liber AL vel Legis, also known as The Book of the Law.  He always insisted it wasn't in his head.  He heard it from over his left shoulder, from the corner of the room.

So what exactly is in this book?  It's a tricky business, really, to talk about it.  Preaching a doctrine of extreme individualism, it is forbidden to interpret Liber AL bel Legis for anyone else.  Everyone must read and decipher it through the lens of their own experience.  So I tread lightly here.

For starters it is divided into three short chapters, each dictated over the space of one hour as Crowley furiously scribbled them out. Each chapter was dictated, through a messenger named "Aiwass," the "minister of Hoor-paar-kraat" (the god Hapocrates, mentioned above in Crowley's scrying of the 30th Aethyr).  The chapters, however, are messages from three different deities.  The first is Nuit, the Divine Feminine and goddess of infinite Space. The second is her counterpart Hadit, the Divine Masculine.  He is said to exist at the center of every individual. The third is Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Crowned and Conquering Child.  This is the "Terrible Child" the Enochian Angels told Crowley would be born.  Ra Hoor is the fiery, active form of Horus (Hoor-paar-kraat or Harpocrates, is his hidden, passive form...more on this later).  Horus is also, it seems, the Lord of the New Aeon.

What is this New Aeon?  Simply put, The Book of the Law is announcing the Apocalypse. 

The book puts forward a theory of Aeons, ages of time not unlike the Ages of Man discussed by Hesiod and Ovid or the "Yugas" of India.  Each Aeon represents a stage of human development.  Human prehistory is largely dominated by the Aeon of Isis, the Mother.  Societies tended to be matrilineal hunter gatherers, and were dominated by the family or clan. The great mystery was Birth; "where does life come from?"  Women, it seemed, periodically brought life forth from their bodies, as did the Earth.  Reproduction was not clearly understood.  

With agriculture, the Aeon of Isis was replaced by that of Osiris, the Father.  It was very clear to the Osirians where life came from...the Seed.  Women, like the soil, were merely incubators.  Patriarchy took over, and worship moved from the Earth to the life-giving Sky Father, the Sun.  The notion of sacrifice became central, as crops and livestock died so that mankind could live.  And with the new focus on growing seasons, the formula of "death and resurrection" took hold.  The Sun, it seemed, was reborn ever day.  The patriarchal, hierarchal, and sacrificial were the dominant themes of this Aeon, and the central forces of society were the church and the state.

The Book of the Law is the trumpet blast heralding the death of the Osirian Age.  Horus, the son of both Isis and Osiris, is taking his place on the throne of his father.  This is the Age of the Child, in which we understand now that both men and women play roles in reproduction, so there shall be equality of the sexes. Indeed, the authority of the Mother (Family) and the Father (Church/State) are overturned; the seat of society is now the Individual.  The only law is do what thou wilt, discover your true nature and act in accordance with it (allowing others to do the same).  All the old formulae of self-sacrifice, abstinence, and restriction are swept aside.  Notions of birth and death are defunct--the molecules in our bodies were forged in stars and will endure until the end of time.  The Sun doesn't die and get reborn, we simply turn away from it awhile, but it is always there, affecting the world.  Likewise the existences we lead endure forever in the marks our actions made upon the world.  Our error is in seeing ourselves as isolated, rather than as part of the continuity of existence. We are each of us the Universe experiencing itself. 

But it is not all good news.  The transformation of one Age to the next is a bloody, chaotic, tumultuous affair.  The Dawn of the New Aeon will see Horus in his most bloodthirsty, martial aspect; he will stamp down the wretched and the weak.  The third chapter of The Book of the Law, his chapter, is the most difficult to read, filled with violent imagery;

...Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee. Worship me with fire & blood; worship me with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name. Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!

Crowley, it seemed, was to be the Prophet of this New Aeon.  He and his wife Rose were meant to fill the offices of the Beast and Scarlet Woman of Revelations, dedicating their lives to spreading word of the new law.

Crowley, however, was having none of it.  There was a great deal in the book he didn't understand, large sections he considered gibberish, and much of what he did understand disturbed him.  So, despite warnings of dire consequences should he reject his role, Crowley did exactly that.  Tucking The Book of the Law away, he promptly spent the next five years forgetting about it.  

43. Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart: I will cast her out from men: as a shrinking and despised harlot shall she crawl through dusk wet streets, and die cold and an-hungered...

Rose and Crowley went about their way, and one by one the warnings of the book came true.  In 1906 the couple lost their daughter (born the year The Book of the Law was received).  Several years later Rose had to be put away in an institution for alcoholic dementia.  Crowley, meanwhile, suffered a string of failures and misfortunes.  In the end it was enough to convince him to give The Book of the Law another look.  

What is crucial, however, is that when he needed aid in deciphering this text, he went back to the Enochian Aethyrs.

The Vision and the Voice

The genuineness of these Keys, altogether apart from any critical observation, is guaranteed by the fact that anyone with the smallest capacity for Magick finds that they work...

The intelligent reader is faced with two possibilities here.  One, The Book of the Law is indeed a declaration from "on high."  The Angels who spoke to Dee in the 1580s handed him the Keys to the Apocalypse, but not for his use...for Crowley's, three centuries later.  When Crowley scried the first two Aethyrs in 1900, with their visions of a Terrible Child and a Book, he was doing what the Angels has always planned...unlocking that Apocalypse, the New Aeon of Horus.  Crowley was, as he later came to believe, the Beast spoken of in Revelations.


Aleister Crowley, fascinated by Revelations and the Beast, read the Enochian materials and internalized them.  Just as Dee was trying to create a new English religion, so too was Crowley.  Consciously or subconsciously Dee's spiritual revolution inspired Crowley to pen The Book of the Law.

Either way it is clear that Enochian and Thelema are connected, either by angelic or human intent.  They are the same spiritual revolution in two phases, separated by three centuries but bound by a common language and culture.  Born at the dawn of the British Era, Enochian was an English attempt to overthrow an older era.  Thelema, born at Britain's climax, was exactly the same.  In Crowley's mind, at least, he was finally bringing the revolution Dee started to the world.

In 1909, in the deserts of North Africa, Crowley returned to Dee's Angels and the Aethyrs.  Working with an assistant named Victor Neuburg, Crowley successfully scried the remaining 28.  

Now, while The Book of the Law is without question the foundational text of the New Aeon, it is actually from the Aethyric visions that Crowley received much of what we consider the core doctrines of Thelema.  The concept of the Holy Guardian Angel, of Crossing the Abyss, the Thelemic deities BABALON and CHAOS, all of these come from his communications with the Enochian Angels.  A review of his titles for the scrying of the Aethyrs illustrates this (see the image below).

Perhaps it is simplest to say that while The Book of the Law lays out the "what," the visions Crowley beheld in the Aethyrs detail the "how" of Thelema, as well as introducing three new key figures to Thelemic cosmology.

Let us examine briefly some of the major teachings Crowley obtained from these visions.


And because I am with thee, and in thee, and of thee, thou shalt lack nothing. But who lack me, lack all. And I swear unto thee by Him that sitteth upon the Holy Throne, and liveth and reigneth for ever and ever, that I will be faithful unto this my promise, as thou art faithful unto this thine obligation...

The Holy Guardian Angel is representative of one’s truest divine nature. The term is equivalent with the Genius of the Golden Dawn, the Augoeides of Iamblichus, the Atman of Hinduism, and the Daemon of the gnostics.  It was in the 8th Aethyr that Crowley was taught the nature of this being, and his was identified as Aiwass, the entity who dictated Liber AL to him.  

The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the first thing all new Thelemites must aspire to, for it is the revelation of the True Will.  Without this attainment, the aspirant acts blindly, in ignorance of his deepest nature.


Though her name is an Enochian word derived from Dee and Kelley's sessions, BABALON only reveals herself as a Thelemic divinity while Crowley was scrying the Aethyrs (particularly the 12th);

This is the Mystery of Babylon, the Mother of Abominations, and this is the mystery of her adulteries, for she hath yielded up herself to everything that liveth, and hath become a partaker in its mystery. And because she hath made her self the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all. Not as yet canst thou comprehend her glory.

Beautiful art thou, O Babylon, and desirable, for thou hast given thyself to everything that liveth, and thy weakness hath subdued their strength. For in that union thou didst understand. Therefore art thou called Understanding, O Babylon, Lady of the Night!

BABALON is a manifestation of Nuit, and more prefectly, of Binah (the Third Sephiroth that births the universe).  She is the Divine Feminine.  The Scarlet Woman spoken of in The Book of the Law is merely an office, a representative of BABALON on Earth.  

It is worth mentioning that BABALON is referenced in the workings of Dee and Kelley themselves;

"...I am the daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour from my youth. For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They cover and desire me with infinite appetite; for none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stars and covered with the morning clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in myself. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beast of the fields understand me. I am deflowered, yet a virgin; I sanctify and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many symbols and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not. For lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment.

Purge your streets, O ye sons of men, and wash your houses clean; make yourselves holy, and put on righteousness. Cast out your old strumpets, and burn their clothes; abstain from the company of other women that are defiled, that are sluttish, and not so handsome and beautiful as I, and then will I come and dwell amongst you: and behold, I will bring forth children unto you, and they shall be the Sons of Comfort. I will open my garments, and stand naked before you, that your love may be more enflamed toward me."

In the language of the Angels, babalon means "wicked" and babalond is "harlot."  Thus not only does this passage from Dee's journals sum up the Thelemic understanding of BABALON nicely, it also references her ("harlot," in bold above).


The male counterpart to BABALON, Chaos is the "Unnamed God" that inhabits Chokmah, the Dyad (the number two).  Together BABALON and CHAOS are the Female and Male principles of existence, and forms of both Nuit and Had.  The Beast is his earthly representative.

And thou shalt give the sign of the Mother, for BABALON is thy fortress against the iniquity of the Abyss, of the iniquity of that which bindeth her unto the Crown, and barreth her from the Crown; for not until thou art made one with CHAOS canst thou begin that last, that most terrible projection, the three-fold Regimen which alone constitutes the Great Work.

Associated with the Dyad, two, CHAOS is inherently also associated with that perfect, Qabalistic zero or "nothingness" as well (2=0, or +n + -n = 0).  From Crowley's comments on the 4th Aethyr;

This is the meaning of that passage; they are attempts to interpret Chaos, but Chaos is Peace... Blackness, blackness intolerable, before the beginning of the light. This is the first verse of Genesis. Holy art thou, Chaos, Chaos, Eternity, all contradictions in terms!... But when the balances are equal, scale matched with scale, then will Chaos return.

There is some suggestion here that the Devil (Dual, Dyad, Double) is Pan, the "All," with the "Night of Pan" being the state of transcendent Nothingness of Void.  This is an interesting spin on the title "the Prince of Darkness."


In the writings of John Dee, "Choronzon" was the angelic word for Satan, the Serpent in the Tree of Knowledge.  Crowley's Enochian visions link him with the Abyss.

Though the Abyss exists also in Qabalah, as the gulf between the 3rd and 4th Sephiroth (between the Heavens and the Earth), it exists also among the Aethyrs (the 10th).  Here it is the lair of Choronzon, synonymous in Dee's journals with Satan.  Crowley says of him;

The name of the Dweller in the Abyss is Choronzon, but he is not really an individual. The Abyss is empty of being; it is filled with all possible forms, each equally inane, each therefore evil in the only true sense of the word—that is, meaningless but malignant, in so far as it craves to become real. These forms swirl senselessly into haphazard heaps like dust devils, and each such chance aggregation asserts itself to be an individual and shrieks, "I am I!" though aware all the time that its elements have no true bond; so that the slightest disturbance dissipates the delusion just as a horseman, meeting a dust devil, brings it in showers of sand to the earth...

It is scrying the Aethyrs that Crowley crosses the Abyss, one of the major landmarks in Thelemic mysticism.  If the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the discovery of the True Self, crossing the Abyss is the identification of the Self with the Absolute.  It is one of the highest attainments a Thelemite may reach.


In the 1st and final Aethyr, LIL, Crowley comes face to face with Horus himself, the Lord of the Aeon;

I am light, and I am night, and I am that which is beyond them. I am speech, and I am silence, and I am that which is beyond them. I am life, and I am death, and I am that which is beyond them. I am war, and I am peace, and I am that which is beyond them. I am weakness, and I am strength, and I am that which is beyond them. Yet by none of these can man reach up to me. Yet by each of them must man reach up to me...

This is an elaboration and confirmation of truths revealed in The Book of the Law, the general formula of the Aeon which is 2 = 0; the Great Work consists of uniting all things with their opposites to transcend them:

27.  ...O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!

28. None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.

29. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

This idea is encountered over and over again; n + -n = 0.  Nuit and Hadit, Ra Hoor Khuit (the outer Horus) and Hoor-paar-kraat (the hidden Horus), CHAOS and BABALON, Heaven and Earth.  In the New Aeon, "God," and by this we mean "highest reality," cannot be understood as One, but as Two that merge to become Zero.  It is implicit even in the notion of this as the Aeon of the Child, the product of the Union of Isis and Osiris that overthrows them both.

All in all, the visions Crowley received scrying the Aethyrs are inextricably linked with Thelema.  They elaborate and expand on The Book of the Law.  From a Thelemic perspective, the Enochian system given to John Dee is the Magick of the New Aeon; and this is why Dee was never given permission to practice it.  

It wasn't meant for him.  It was meant for us.


Aleister Crowley

30. Without the cube—the material world—is the sphere- system of the spiritual world enfolding it. the Cry seems to be a sort of Exordium, and external showing forth of the coming of the new Æon, the Æon of Horus the crowned child.

29. The disturbance of Equilibrium caused by the Coming of the Æon.

28. Now is a further and clearer shadowing-forth of the Great Mystery of the Æon whichis to be led up to by the Æthyrs. Note however that the King of the New Æon never appears until the very first Æthyr.

27. Hecate appears—her son, the son of a Virgin, a magus, is to bring the Æon to pass. And she, the herald, her function fulfilled, withdraws within her mystic veil.

26. The death of the past Æon, that of Jehovah and Jesus; ends with adumbration of the new, the vision of the Stele of Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose discovery brought about in a human consciousness the knowledge of the Equinox of the Gods, 21. 3. 04.

25. Appearance of the Lion God of Horus, the child of Leo that incarnates him. The first Angel is Isis its mother.

24. Now appears his mate, the heavenly Venus, the Scarlet Woman, who by men is thought of as Babalon as he is thought of as Chaos.

23. Here appear the Cherubim, the other officers of the new Temple, the earth and water assistants of the fire and air Beast and Scarlet Woman.

22. Here is the First Key to the formula of Horus, a sevenfold arrangement. A shadow of Horus declares his nature.

21. This seems to be the Vision of God face to face that is the necessary ordeal for him who would pass the Abyss, as it were. A commission to be the prophet of the Æon arising is given to the Seer. The God is the Hierophant in the Ceremony of Magister Templi.
20. A guide is given to the Seer, his Holy Guardian Angel. And this is attained by a mastery of the Universe conceived as a wheel The Hiereus in the Ceremony of Magister Templi.

19. Now cometh forth the Angel who giveth instruction, in the lowest form. The Hegemone in the Ceremony of Magister Templi which the Seer is about to undergo.

18. The Vault of preparation for the Ceremony of M.T.
The Veil is the Crucifixion, symbol of the dead Æon. The first ordeal is undergone.

17. The symbol of the Balance is now given unto the Aspirant.

16. The sacrifice is made. The High Priestess (image of Babalon) cometh forth upon her Beast and maketh this.

15. The mystic dance by Salome. The new Temple, the signs of the grades are received and the A.E. rejected.

14. The Shrine of Darkness. Final initiation into grade of M. T.

13. The emergence of Nemo into the world; his work therein. This is the first mystery revealed to a M.T.

12. The Second Mystery: the cup-bearer of Babalon the beautiful. The Holy Grail manifested to the M.T., with the first knowledge of the Black Brothers.

11. Now cometh the Frontier of the Holy City; the M.T. is taken into the Abyss.

10. The Abyss.

9. The M.T. hath passed the Abyss, and is let to the Palace of the Virgin redeemed from Malkuth unto Binah.

8. The fuller manifestation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

7. The Virgin become the Bride, the great Reward of the Ceremony. also an adumbration of the Further Progress.

6. A shadowing-forth of the grade of Magus.

5. The reception of the M.T. among the Brethren of the A∴ A∴; the manifestation of the Arrow.

4. Further concerning the Magus. The marriage of Chaos with the purified Virgin.

3. The Magician. Exhibition of the Guards to the Higher Knowledge.

2. The understanding of the Curse, that is become a Blessing. The final reward of the M.T., his marriage even with Babalon Herself. The paean thereof.

1. The final manifestation. All leads up to the Crowned Child, Horus, the Lord of the New Æon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


He symbolized the Fourth-Dimensional Universe in two dimensions as a square surrounded by 30 concentric circles (the 30 Æthyrs or Aires) whose radii increase in a geometrical proportion...The sides of the square are the four great watch-towers which are attributed to the elements. There is also a “black cross” (or “central tablet” according to the arrangement shewn)...

--Aleister Crowley, Liber Chanokh

LIKE THE TREE OF LIFE the Enochian Watchtowers are a conceptual model of existence.  This model consists of two main parts; one signifies the Earth and is a table made up of lettered squares, 25 columns by 27 rows.  The other signifies the Heavens, consisting of 30 concentric circles surrounding and enclosing this grid (see the diagram below). As we shall see, the Circles and the Squares are perfect reflections of one another.  Though at first glance this may not look anything like the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the two models in fact work very much the same way.

The Keys

The first things Dee and Kelley were given by the Angels were the Enochian Keys, dictated in both the Angelic language and English.  These consisted of 18 Keys meant to be used with the Watchtowers of Earth, and 30 Keys meant to be used with the Aethyrs of Heaven (though technically they were given only 48 Keys total, they were told there was a 49th being held back from them).

The Aethyrs

Next they were given were the 30 three-letter names of the Aethyrs.  These Aethyrs enclose each other like the layers of an onion, with the first Aethyr, LIL, being the outermost, and the thirtieth, TEX, being innermost and closest to the Material World.  Each Aethyr is ruled by 3 Governors, except TEX, which being closest to the Material World has 4.  The names of these Governors are all 7 letters long.  Along with each Governor's name, Dee and Kelley were given a Sigil for that name (see the accompanying picture for a sample).  The grand total of Governors was 91.

Dee was told little about these Aethyrs.  But as we shall see, much can be gleaned about them from the Watchtowers.

The Watchtowers

The lettered square at the heart of the circles is called "the Great Table." It represents the Material World, the Earth.  

The Great Table is composed of four smaller tables, and these correspond to the Four Elements (Air, Fire, Earth, and Water) as well as the Four Directions (East, South, North, and West).  Each of these is said to be a Watchtower, occupied by a Great King, his Seniors, and various angelic and demonic beings.  These Four Watchtowers stand guard over the material universe, and are responsible for maintaining and governing it.  The Watchtowers are connected by a central "Black Cross" of Spirit, the 5th Element or "quintessence."

Each Watchtower consists of 12 columns and 13 rows of letters, for a total of 156 letters per Watchtower.  Some of these letters are capital, some are lowercase, and two letters per Watchtower are backwards.  There are reasons for all of this.  Every Watchtower is further subdivided into four quadrants by another cross created by the 6th and 7th columns and the 7th row.  These quadrants are each made of 5 columns and 6 rows.  Again, there is nothing arbitrary in any of this.

Finally, each quadrant contains yet another cross, made by the 3rd column  and the 2nd row of that quadrant.  See the picture above for clarification.

The Black Cross holds only 4 names, but the left side and bottom of the cross mirror the names (see above).

The Angels instructed Dee and Kelley to letter the Great Table in English, rather than the "Angelic Script" of the Celestial tongue.  This is crucial, because the Angelic Script doesn't have capitals or lower case letters.  Kelley and Dee drew up the grid and lettered all several hundred squares from left to right, top to bottom, instructed to write capitals seemingly at random.  There seemed no rhyme or reason to the eight backwards letters either (shown above with an asterisk).  The Angels refused to explain, and it wasn't until years later--long after the sessions ended and Kelley was gone--that Dee finally cracked the code.  The mysterious capitals mark the initial letter of a Governor's name.  The names of the 91 Governors make up the letters on the Great Table, each one arranged in the shape of its Sigil, like interlocking puzzle pieces...  

The Watchtowers of Earth thus mirror the Heavens.  The same 91 Governors who define the Aethyrs define them.

The Governors in the Watchtowers

Each Watchtower, as it turns out, is made up of exactly 22 Governors.  As we shall see, this is vital.  The eight reversed letters, however, are a special case.  One of them, the "L," wraps "around" to the black cross to make a Governor name.  That leaves seven, PARAOAN, unaccounted for. When Dee questioned the Angels about PARAOAN, they were warned each letter of the name is a living fire and the final N is a vial of destruction.

Qabalistic  Correspondences 

When we examine the Enochian Model, it begins to resemble both the Tarot and the Tree of Life in fundamental ways.  Partly, this is because the same numbers are in play; 1-10, especially 3 and 7, along with 12 and 22 are all key.  The extremely significant Kabbalistic number 13 is also present (we touched on 13 in a broad sense--the 12 edges of the Cube plus the center--but it is very important in Hebrew gematria.  13 is the enumeration of Unity "AChD" and Love "AHVH." Together these make 26, "YHVH," suggesting the nature of God is Unity and Love).  

But the numbers are only part of the story.  Like the Tree of Life, the Enochian universe assumes both a spiritual and a physical dimension, the Heavens and the Earth.  Both Enochian and Qabalistic cosmologies postulate a spiritual hierarchy that governs the cosmos.  And both incorporate the idea of the Four Elements, the Seven Planets, the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, and the notion of Heaven as a Sphere and the Earth as a Cube.  All of this makes it easy to draw parallels between the Tree of Life, Tarot, and Enochian.

Consider the 30 Aethyrs.  In most schools of Qabalah, there is not one Tree of Life, there are actually four (one Tree for each of the Qabalistic worlds, see below).   This fits nicely with the Four Suits of the Tarot.  The Six of Wands, for example, is Six in the highest world of Atziluth.  The Six of Cups is Six in Briah, the Six of Swords is Six in Yetzirah, and the Six of Discs is Six in Assiah, the Material World.  The 30 Aethyrs, likewise, correspond to the Trees in Atziluth, Briah, and Yetzirah.  The first Aethyr, LIL, corresponds to  Kether in Atziluth, while the Thirtieth, TEX, corresponds to Malkuth in Yetzirah.  The Fourth Tree is actually hidden in the Watchtowers, which correspond to Assiah, the Material World (as we shall see, there are ten "choirs" of Angels in each Watchtower).  

These four Trees of Life also have 22 paths each, so theoretically there are four sets of Tarot Trumps, one each for the Fiery world of Atziluth, the Watery world of Briah, the Airy world of Yetzirah, and the Earthy world of Assiah.  In the Enochian system, there are 22 Governors in each of the Watchtowers, a direct parallel of this. 

Looking at the Watchtowers, each corresponds to a classical Element, and thus to  a Tarot Suit.  The Watchtower of the East and Air corresponds to Swords, the Watchtower of the West and Water to Cups, the Watchtower of the South and Fire to Wands, and the Watchtower of the North and Earth to Discs.  Each of these, as we have seen, is subdivided into Quadrants, and these correspond to the Court Cards.  The Quadrants of the Southern Watchtower, for example, relate to the Knight, Queen, Prince, and Princess of Wands.  And again, each Watchtower is home to 10 Choirs of Angels, each corresponding to one of the small cards.  The 22 Trumps are present in each as the 22 Governors.

In addition to the Watchtower associations above, each tower is itself the Ace, with each of the quadrants relating to a court card.  This fact, coupled with each tower being lettered by the names of 22 Governor (each relating to a Tarot Trump) means that the Great Table itself contains the whole of the Tarot in it.

The following tables have been prepared to demonstrate some of these correspondences.