Enochian magic

Enochian magic is a system of Magic involving communication with Angels and spirits and travel through various planes, or aethyrs, of consciousness. Enochian magic 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 magic. The communication was done in the Enochian language, reputedly a real and complex language of unknown origin with a melodic sound similar to Sanskrit, Greek, or Arabic. Kelly, who had a reputation for fraud, may have invented Enochian; he told Dee that it was the language of angels and was spoken in the Garden of Eden.

Lore holds that he and Dee may have used it as a secret code for espionage activities for Queen Elizabeth I. Dee and Kelly conjured the angels with the Nineteen Calls or Keys of Enochian, or invocations. The first two keys conjured the element Spirit, and the next 16 keys conjured the four elements, each subdivided into four. The 19th key invoked any of 30 “aethyrs” or “aires” which have never been precisely defined; the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn said they represent new dimensions of consciousness.

When the angels appeared in Kelly’s crystal, he communicated with them in Enochian, using a complicated procedure. He set up charts of squares either filled with letters or left blank. The angels spelled out messages by pointing with a rod to various squares.

Kelly claimed to see the angels with clairvoyance, and he dictated the messages to Dee. Kelly said the messages were always dictated backwards because communicating directly with angels would unleash dangerous and powerful forces beyond control. When the messages were finished, he and Dee rewrote them reverse order.

The complete Enochian material produced by Dee and Kelly included:
• Nineteen invocations (Calls or Keys)
• Translations of the Calls
• An Enochian alphabet comprised of 21 letters
• More than 100 large squares, each divided into smaller squares (2,401 in number), containing letters
• Instructions for using the squares in concert with the Calls
• Occult teachings

Following the deaths of Dee and Kelly, Enochian magic sank into obscurity. It was revived in the late 19th century by the Golden Dawn, which credited it with great importance. Some occultists said it was the lost tongue of Atlantis.

In the Golden Dawn view, the lower 18 Keys invoked angels of various magic squares. The 19th Key invoked one or other of 30 aethyrs into unexplored dimensions of consciousness. In Enochian, the 19th Key is: Madriaax Ds Praf [name of the aethyr] Chis Macaobz Saanir Caosgo Od Fisis Babzizras Iaida! Nonca Gohulim: Micma Adoian Mad, Iaod Bliorb, Soba Ooaona Chis Luciftias Piripsol. Ds Abraassa Noncf Netaaib Caosgi. . . Dee and Kelly translated this as: The Heavens which dwell in [name of the aethyr] Are Mighty in the Parts of the Earth And execute the Judgment of the Highest! Unto you it is said: Behold the Face of Your God, The Beginnings of Comfort, Whose Eyes are the Brightness of the Heavens, Which Provided You for the Government of Earth . . .

The Enochian Keys were studied at length by Aleister Crowley, who explored all of them and pronounced them genuine. In his autobiography, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, he states that “. . . anyone with the smallest capacity for Magick finds that they work.”

Even beginners in magic get results with Enochian calls, he said. Crowley’s most extensive commentary on the magic of the Keys was published in his book The Vision and the Voice in 1911. Crowley subscribed to the definition of the aethyrs—or aires—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 said only properly initiated adept s could invoke all of the 30 aethyrs in the 19th Key. The results produced visions of spirits and astral beings, and Crowley recorded his communications with them. In 1900 he accessed the two outer aethyrs, 29 and 30, while on a trip to Mexico.

His next experience of them came in 1909 in North Africa when he and his assistant Victor Neuberg invoked the Demon Choronzon. Despite the importance given the Keys by the Golden Dawn, which taught them to all adepts, there is no evidence that anyone but Crowley ever actually worked with them; they were appreciated in theory but not in practice. Enochian magic has been revived and is practiced in more recent times by other occultists.

The adept reaches various aethyrs through travel in the ast ral body, the mental body, and mystical states of consciousness akin to samadhi, a high state of consciousness in yoga that transcends thought. Some of the aethyrs have sexual energies. Many involve an initiatory experience, such as death of the old personality/ego and rebirth of the new. Although some doubt that Enochian is a genuine language, it has been Demonstrated that English can be translated into it.

Crowley took the invocations of the grimoire the Lesser Key of Solomon and translated them into Enochian. Claims of antiquity have been made for Enochian magic, even stretching back to the fabled continent of Atlantis, but there is no basis for it existing prior to the partnership of Dee and Kelly.


  • King, Francis. Megatherion: The Magickal World of Aleister Crowley. New York: Creation Books, 2004.
  • King, Francis (ed.). Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1997.
  • Laycock, Donald. The Complete Enochian Dictionary: A Dictionary of the Angelic Language as Revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 2001.
  • Peterson, Joseph. John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery: Original Sourcebook of Enochian Magic. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 2003.

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.