So I’ve been thinking a little more about the Enochian astrological order (both the Enochian heptarchical order as well as the order of ensigns of creation), and it occurred to me to think of Saturn as being the “standout” of the planets (Saturn ruling the Kabbalistic sphere of Binah, or Understanding, into which the system of Aethyrs slowly initiates the magician). Working from the Holy Table of Practice, one is closest to the ensign of Saturn facing south (and closest to the Sun when facing north); this mirrors the astrological rulership of Saturn ruling Aquarius, a sign opposing Leo, which the Sun rules. So I have given some thought to Saturn being at its most powerful compared to the other planets (in order to bring Binah to its peak strength), and have come up with another plausible rationale to the Enochian order of the planets (Venus, Moon, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Sun):
Venus (detriment) –> Scorpio Moon (detriment) –> Capricorn Saturn (domicile) –> Aquarius Mercury (detriment & fall) –>Pisces Jupiter (detriment) –> Gemini Mars (fall) –> Cancer Sun (fall/domicile)–> Libra/Leo
I wasn’t sure the strength to put the Sun in this configuration. Should it be at peak strength, wherein the individual comes to know the true core of what they are, and oppose Saturn, also at peak strength, drawing distinctions between who/what one thinks one is and who/what one actually is? Or should the Sun be at a lower power, willing to come into agreement with the discipline of Saturn?
In some ways, I think both views are correct and are supported by the Kabbalistic implications. If the former view is correct, then it’s emphasizing the link from a balanced personality, which we saw in my first exploration of the rationale for the planetary order (in which case it is a sephirothic order, not planetary per se). In this rationale, a symbolic Leonine Sun’s strength is stripped away of ego, and brings Tiphareth into enough fullness to be able to face the cosmic feminine of Binah.
If the latter view is correct, and the Sun is suggestive of Libra in its fall in this schema, then it joins Mars and Mercury as being in this condition. Both Mars & the Sun rule sephiroth–Geburah & Tiphareth–which have direct paths to Binah on the Tree of Life (heh & za(y)in, respectively). Saturn in its domicile strengthens Binah, the sephiroth nearest Binah are in their fall but not completely weakened, whereas the sephiroth farthest away on the Tree of Life from Binah are at their weakest (in detriment). The third planet to be in fall, Mercury, rules Hod, which is at least on the same pillar as Binah & Geburah, though it lacks a direct path (which is interesting, because it’s also in detriment). This configuration also emphasizes water, air, and earth placements–perhaps to allow the initiate up into the supernal, least dense sephiroth of Atziluth (often associated with fire compared to the lower three worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, & Assiah).
I know, it sounds like another strange Enochian word: gebofal. Sorry. SORRY. (Not sorry.)
Having done Enochian with relative consistency over the last year and a half, I have touched many parts of the system, but I haven’t yet done the 49-day ritual of working with Liber Loagaeth, named gebofal, as a way of attuning myself to that book. I haven’t found a good copy of the book; the best copy of Loagaeth that I can find, from which I have done a tentative translation of part of one leaf that remarkably parallels the Tzimtzum, doesn’t have all of the characters in Enochian, and many parts are corrupted! So begins my hunt for the original scans from Sloane, which unfortunately are no longer available to order online.
What I can gather from Leitch is that there may be a zodiacal-by-elemental force (four elements within each of the twelve signs) associated with doing this. The stepwise moving through the gates of heaven also parallels the counting of the Omer, which is a symbolic contemplation designed to aid the opening of the 50 Gates of Binah. This would seem to parallel the Aethyrs themselves, but I sense there is a larger cosmological work at play, and probably initiation into Chokmah (which is ruled by the entirety of the zodiac) via the original Enochian system (rather than my hack). The combination of zodiacal and elemental efforts–along with the celestial (and by implication, the Aethyrs) imagery–strongly suggests to me a primary scaffold to ascend the three higher worlds. As such, it makes sense that Leitch describes it (based on his review of some others’ experiences) as the primary Enochian initiatory ceremony.
Wish me luck in my search for a good copy of Liber Loagaeth for me to reproduce! Perhaps after completing this ceremony, I will be more capable of translating Loagaeth into English….
Update 1: I think I found a version. It may be too low-quality to be sure but I will do my best with it.
Update 2: The resolution on the image was far too low to work with. Back to the search!
Update 3: Aaron Leitch was kind enough to reply and is working on it. Thanks, Aaron!
It’s pretty easy to look at Enochian as a religion, and honestly, I am wondering whether it’s time to call it that. Jason Louv certainly concludes that this was the angels’ goal: a one-world religion. It fuses communicating and working with angels (angels themselves working on behalf of God), magick (an ability to manipulate reality, in this case via Divine power), and devotion to the Divine. Via the Aethyrs, ultimately (i.e., in LIL), these all fuse with union with the Divine, forever changing the consciousness of the practitioner.
It is the latter of these–a procedure that provides union (i.e., yoga) with the Divine (and therefore the universe)–that gives Enochian its power. This power is frightening and heretical to most Western Christian denominations (I cannot speak to Eastern Orthodox Churches). After all, Jesus has made humanity right with God, provided we recognize him as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by/through” Him (John 14:6). Note that Jesus uses the present tense–not “no one will ever come to the Father,” but “no one comes to the Father.” Am I stretching too much here, inferring too much about what Jesus says about the relationship with God and when? Read on: interestingly, Jesus goes on to say that He is in the Father and vice versa, that he will provide another advocate (i.e., one like Jesus, whom Jesus calls “the Spirit of Truth,” thought in theological terms by most to mean the Holy Spirit), who will be in the disciples. This suggests, frankly, that the Father continues to be in the disciples, giving them union with God. He then continues to say “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” An awful lot of sharing of this Divinity, wouldn’t you say? It’s almost as if union with the Divine is the whole point here.
The frightening heresy to denominations in these verses is that God is in the heart of a believer, yet we are still human. We should not aspire to be Divine, the thinking goes, but some unclear version of similarity with the Divine. To that I say–that’s not how it works, at least in Enochian. In Enochian, you learn the heavenly and, ultimately, Divine nature we already are, after using each Aethyr to slowly peel back ego-based delusion. It is this delusion of the ego that feeds the dependency upon the hierarchy of authority.
How does Enochian fit into the grand scheme of other religions? It’s a different form of esoteric Christianity from Gnosticism in that there isn’t some grand conspiracy of cosmic beings who are keeping us deluded, but rather, our own thinking and ego- and mind-identification. It certainly has a deity, but this deity is systemic to the universe (as shown through its identification with mathematics; this suggest pantheism or panentheism), and we are a part of the universe. It may be trite to say that everything is divine, but the point of Enochian is to learn exactly what that means. It is a “suchness.” It is Tathata. Understanding (Binah) this means learning to let go of other kinds of thinking and being, and instead become what one truly is: divine, in all the glory of divinity. Enochian cosmology has excellent, but probably not always perfect, complementarity with Buddhism and other Eastern traditions. Regardless, I am of the view that Enochian, and specifically the Enochian language in general prayers and in modifications made to the 19th Enochian Call to the Aethyrs, can be used especially well to produce the esoteric attainments or states of these and likely other religions.
If Enochian is a religion, it’s highly personal. It comes from personal revelation and interaction with the angelic and the Divine. For Westerners especially, it’s about knowing your place in the cosmic order (and probably getting therapy). One becomes better aligned with the world and every realm one interacts with, yet this reflects the changes to perspective and therefore one’s reactions, all due to Divine revelation. In this sense, it’s not dogmatic, but it’s also not a mere spiritual practice. It probably belongs as a course in Universalist religions of all stripes. Obviously, this would mean that it is fundamentally compatible with most other religions.
There are shortcuts to things in life, though shortcuts are not always the best or cleanest way to get things done. Yet when you’re starting from a low point and want to get to a higher point, rather than practicing the same old techniques in drudgery until the slow accretion of effort pays off years later with achievement, or its opposite of a shortcut to the trophy that is devoid of mastery, it’s probably better to use both practice and the occasional shortcut to make your empowerment work faster.
The ascension of the KabbalisticTree of Life is the purpose of many magickal orders. While I have no grand techniques for preparation for initiation, and initiation itself (the LBRP or the Abramelin Operation still work as they should!), I have an “all-of-the-above” approach to magick, and believe that cross-pollination has interaction effects. Hence, the shortcut: sigils.
Sure, you may already know about sigils, but why not create a sigil to enable old-fashioned initiation? Sometimes we don’t think to put “new wine into old wineskins,” but we do it all the time, we just don’t think of it that way. Meditation is used in concert with being a good person, magick is used in concert with meditation, and sigil magick can be used in concert with Tree-of-Life magick.
The technique itself is rather simple: create a sigil with the intent along the lines of “I initiate into [name of sephirah, e.g., Yesod].” Charge it, don’t obsess about it, then continue going about your normal efforts to initiate into that same sephirah. What you should find (as I did) is that new techniques to initiate into a sephirah appear, or that your current efforts accelerate. I myself used sigils to assist with initiation into Binah, Chokmah, & Kether.
Get creative and clear with your intent, and don’t be afraid to iterate: “I deepen my initiation into [name of sephirah]” and “I complete my initiation into [name of sephirah]” are wise additional sigils to fire off after you surmise that you have succeeded in your initiation into a given sephirah. You must still do the hard work, but the hard work should pay off more quickly.
[The TL,DR: the placement of Enochian astrological ensigns of creation seem to fit the astrological system of exaltation, with adjustments for sect across the equinox line of 0 degrees Aries/Libra). Enochian does not seem to fit the Planetary Joys, which fits the nature of the mystical nature of the sephira into which Enochian guides the initiate: Binah (and its associated Vision of Sorrow). Following the Enochian astrological placements on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life makes intuitive sense if you hold that the ensign of Mercury is referring to Raphael as archangel of Tiphareth and the ensign of the Sun as is referring to Michael as archangel of Hod.]
In the Heptarchical system, each planet is ruled by an angelic king and its prince, but while the king is always called on the day (e.g., the king for the sun is called on Sunday–though, as Stenwick points out, the king seems to have authority over the sephiroth which the planet rules: Sunday for Tiphareth, Monday for Yesod, etc.) and hour, the Prince is called on the day of the planet but the hour of the planet which follows the heptarchical order above (i.e., the prince for Sunday is called on the hour of the moon). The order above,
This seems like a minor detail, but it is one that has bothered me. After all, Dee would request the angels’s views of existing magic and they were known to reply, paraphrasing Jason Louv, “That’s nice,” in the way a parent comments on a child’s drawing, and then provide a corrected version of it (consider the similarity of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth to the geometry shown on the cover of this translation of The Sworn Book of Honorius, for example!). So what is behind the change to the typical planetary hourly rotation?
I wondered whether the exaltations might have anything to do with this. Here is a chart of the exalted planets in their signs:
Things do seem out of order, don’t they? But then I pondered how these planets might look if I included sect rulership:
Finally, it occurred to me that with the start of the zodiac being at Aries, and with Venus being closest to this, I should mentally orient my zodiac about Venus and then add sect into the matter. A mental flipping of the Enochian about this equinox axis looks like this:
Note that the flipped Saturn precedes Mercury in Virgo because it has 21 degrees to shift vs Virgo’s 15 degrees which separate it from the equinox.
Dykes also mentions the interesting zig-zag pattern if you follow the planets according to decreasing brightness:
and here’s the same order with Enochian–interestingly, the same zig-zag pattern does not appear. However, following the luminosity pattern (below) does not follow any of the individual parts of the Enochian counterclockwise path (second figure below), plus, malefics and benefics are both separated by 2+ planets, and the most luminous planets all occupy the highest three positions of the heptagon:
I also wondered whether the Enochian order of the planets also relates to the planetary joys:
Note that the planetary joys are a house-based system, not a sign-based assignment of planets. Regardless, if we put Venus at the top of this pattern, this is the result:
Following the same order but using heptagonal spacing, we get:
If we flip this, once again about a vertical line, we get:
This is now resembling the Enochian heptarchical assignments. A few things to note about the four “mis-placed” planets (according to the original Enochian system):
The bottom-right three planets are all the heaviest and day-chart rulers (a familiar issue, as seen above!).
Two of the planets, the Sun and Mercury, have archangels (Michael and Raphael, respectively) whose associations switch when considering the sephiroth they rule (Raphael is the archangel of Tiphareth, which is ruled by the Sun, while Michael is the archangel of Hod, which is ruled by Mercury). Thus, we’ve seen some flexibility in associations across these two sephiroth.
Saturn and Mars, both malefics, also rule sephiroth on the Pillar of Severity (“on your left”) on the Tree of Life in Kabbalah–as does Mercury.
The seven classical planets are slightly imbalanced towards the Pillar of Severity as it is; the Luminaries and Benefics together rule four sephiroth, two each on the Middle and Mildness Pillars (though the entire tree itself is balanced).
The Planetary Joys scheme as a means of understanding the Enochian astrological order seems to fall apart (though I’d appreciate any commentary to the contrary–I already tried changing according to sect as above ), but why? Trying to think about why this might be, my mind kept going back to the pillar of Severity–the topmost sephiroth of which is Binah, which is associated with the mystical Vision of Sorrow (as well as the Vision of Wonder). What does Sorrow have to do with Joy? The answer is nothing!
However, what would an initiation of Binah, (“Understanding,”) have to do with exaltation? Why, everything! The exaltation of the human(e) into the Divine, which of course has everything to do with Sorrow (for those who cannot Understand their own Divinity), but Wonder for those who can.
Let me return to the Tree of Life for a quick look at the path as suggested by the ensigns; I’ve removed the sephiroth names for simplicity and shown what happens if we follow the heptarchical path (the path of the sephiroth in order of their ruling planets):
It’s kind of a mess! There’s a jump from Yetzirah to Atziluth & back down again! Then I thought about changing the associations of Mercury to mean Raphael as ruler of Tiphareth, and the sun to mean Michael as ruler of Hod:
This path seems faaar cleaner, and it makes more sense. A balanced person (Tiphareth) takes inventory of all the aspects of the surrounding sephiroth on the Tree of Life (much like the counting of the Omer), and then, having done all of this and found themselves with a solid foundation (Yesod), is initiated (via the Aethyrs) into Binah in Atziluth. After this, the initiate returns to this place of balance, but now with Divine awareness.
“If you’re not already solid in Tiphareth, you’re gonna have a baaad tiiiime.”
Just some thoughts!
UPDATE: I think I’ve come to realize the nature of why the nocturnal sect rulers stay where they are while the diurnal rulers flip. This related to Aleister Crowley’s N.O.X. formula, which focuses around the supernal sephiroth. The idea is that this supernal light is so vast and limitless, it is blinding and as such is “dark” like the night. Since the Aethyrs appear to be initiation into Binah, the system leaving in place the night rulers—but moving the day rulers “out of the way” of initiation into the supernals—makes sense.
Perhaps it’s Uranus transiting over my natal sun right now that’s inspiring me to write a bit about the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. For beginners, I’ll just mention that the Tree of Life is an interesting model of consciousness. Based on the mythical tree in the book of Genesis (from which one could eat and live forever), the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (often abbreviated as ToL) metaphorically explains how divine energy can move from the heavenly to the earthly.
Most sephiroth on the ToL are considered to be ruled by celestial aspects or by the elements; the ten sephiroth, or spheres (i.e., of consciousness/spiritual states) on the ToL and their respective rulers are:
Kether, “The Crown”
Chokmah, “Wisdom,” ruled by the Zodiac
Binah, “Understanding,” ruled by Saturn (Da’ath, “Knowledge,” is considered to be a false sephirah; in some traditions it’s also thought to be all sephiroth at once, though I find this unhelpful and somewhat incorrect)
Chesed, “Mercy,” ruled by Jupiter
Geburah, “Strength,” ruled by Mars
Tiphareth, “Beauty,” ruled by the Sun
Netzach, “Victory,” ruled by Venus
Hod, “Splendo(u)r,” ruled by Mercury
Yesod, “Foundation,” ruled by the Moon
Malkuth, “Kingdom,” ruled by the four elements
The rulership of these sephiroth differ from the astrological essential dignity of domicile, which holds that planets have greatest effectiveness in zodiacal sign (e.g., Aries, Taurus, etc.): the Sun is strongest in the royal sign of Leo, the Moon in the nurturing sign of Cancer, etc. There are further essential dignities including
Sephirothic rulership, however, is less about what brings the planet strength, but rather what brings the sephiroth completeness. The Splendor of all the possibilities of form to be made in the physical world is brought to completion by Mercury, which can flow from idea to idea, configuration to configuration. The Triumph of any given form, moreover, is brought to completeness when it is in fact a pleasurable one (for what is the point in Victory without the thrill?).
One consideration is whether to re-assign the planets Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to the final two sephiroth. From personal experience of the higher sephiroth, my judgment is not to do so. Uranus, the planet some folks consider to rule Chokmah, is commonly considered among astrologers as a “wild card” planet and a rebellious planet. My experience of Chokmah (“Wisdom”) is that it provides an individual insight into an optimal approach to reality. Wisdom is an optimal means to govern one’s life because it is an incorporation of an undeniable aspect of nature, which can be succinctly declared in a Law. Rebellious Uranus doesn’t seem to fit this idea, though one could argue that the newly declared Law is a necessary reflection of a previously unseen aspect of reality.
Nonetheless, more fundamental to my judgment is the contrast between Binah (“Understanding”), ruled by Saturn, the greater malefic and Lord of Time, and Chokmah. Binah occupies the top of the pillar of Severity on the ToL, while Chokmah occupies the top of the pillar of Mercy (ascending the Middle Pillar of Mildness is often considered a standard goal of the Kabbalah). Saturn reflects the need for discipline and patience, and brings Binah (often described as all possibilities and thus bringing the initiate the Vision of Sorrow) to completeness by imposing its cold order and a logical connectivity of these possible states into a coherent flow (eliminating–bringing death!–to nearly all of them!). If feminine Binah is ruled by the Lord of Time, then masculine and protruding Chokmah, it follows, should be ruled by Space itself. Space and time being essential aspects of the universe, the Zodiac seems like the superior choice of ruler.
What rules Kether, the Crown? As you might guess, I don’t believe it is ruled by either Neptune or Pluto. My argument is that it lacks formal rulership, except that it is existence itself, which does have limits. Therefore, I would argue that perception rules Kether–reality perceives itself, no matter what, and therefore perhaps the best way to put it is that the Divine rules it, for the Divine is the Complete Perceiver, and initiates into Kether may partake of the perception of the Divine.
Some scholars suggest that the Biblical Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the same tree. Eating of the Crown this Tree, I can tell you that the answer is yes: as I put it when first scrying the Enochian Aethyr of LIL: “This is the End of Death.”
Jason Louv contends that Enochian is a means to initiate into the Kabbalistic sephirah (sphere of consciousness) of Binah. The final seven Aethyrs, he argues, reveal the final to sephiroth of Chokmah and Kether, but these lock up if one has not initiated into these sephiroth. In my experience, this is absolutely true.
It is possible to request the Enochian angels show you how to initiate into these sephiroth and thus enable full visions when you scry the last seven Aethyrs. Assuming you have successfully scried through ZID, you should have begun the initiation into Binah and thus be ready for the following sephiroth. The process is long, but it is started very simply. What you do is make the normal call to the Aethyrs (“MADRIAX DSPRAF ___,” where the blank is filled in with the name of the Aethyr) and then substitute the Enochian word for the name of the sephirah (rather than the name of the Aethyr).
So, to initiate into Chokmah, you would use the word for “the secret wisdom,” ANANAEL. After making the call, follow the instructions of the angels and you will begin the initiation process. The same can be done for Kether (the highest sephiroth) as well as Ain Soph Aur and Ain Soph. I have tested this technique on three of the following four (once again, do not make this call until you have successfully scried through ZID–that itself should be challenge enough):
Chokmah (Wisdom): ANANAEL (Secret Wisdom).
Kether (Crown): MOMAO (Crown)
Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light): MAOFFAS OLPIRT (Measureless Light)