Part 5. Scrying with the Enochian Magick
(This is part five of a five part series of articles entitled “A Short Course in Scrying” written in response to requests by participants of the “enochian-l” and “Praxis” internet discussion groups; it first appeared as a series of posts on those groups in early 1997. The current version has been slightly rewritten to enhance the clarity of the presentation, and to include a small amount of additional material.)
There are several considerations for Enochian magick work that do not apply to scrying using other systems. The first of these is the unquestionable power of the Calls and the divine and angelic names. As Crowley once said, other systems require effort; Enochian magick requires caution. While the power built up in any one session is almost never of an unmanageable level, some effects of the magick tend to accumulate across sessions; it is easy for an overeager beginner to get in deeper than he expects. Added to this, the powers invoked through the Calls seem to enter into the magician’s field of awareness along some spiritual dimension that is outside those that we consider "normal". It seems to operate through some sort of meta-space with qualities different from those that compose the magickal worlds to which we are accustomed.
The consequence of these factors is that any work with the magick places a certain amount of stress on the magician’s mind and body, and over-use can lead to various stress-related forms of illness. Anyone working regularly with the magick should keep an eye out for signs of this stress in himself. The typical symptoms are similar to those that come from abusing methedrine or "speed": nervous exhaustion, severely lowered immune response, inability to concentrate, hypersensitivity, hyperreactivity, reduced judgment, flights of ideas, and paranoia.
One time in my own career, the stress of overusing this magick combined with an equally stressful mundane occupation to give me the worst of both the physical and mental consequences. On the physical side, I contracted mononucleosis, effectively stopping all my magickal work for six months or so. On the mental side, the changed viewpoint and loss of judgment caused me to make seditious remarks to a class of Federal employees I was training, resulting in the loss of my livelihood. So caution is well justified. But with a few easy, obvious precautions, these problems can be avoided.
The importance of pacing yourself cannot be overemphasized. When you begin getting significant results from your Enochian work, it is very tempting to keep going; the anticipation of even more amazing results drives you on. But the extradimensional or meta-dimensional character of these forces allows them to influence all levels of your being simultaneously, including many levels of which you are not consciously aware. The cumulative effects of this influence can cascade into a dangerous level of stress before you become aware of it. Regular intervals of rest and relaxation, and of immersion in the everyday world, are the only sure way to avoid the problems.
Another difficulty, which bears more directly on scrying, is that the Calls allow you to invoke a force without having any knowledge of its nature. In normal methods of invocation, one begins with a symbol or set of symbols, and seeks by their use to bring about the manifestation of the corresponding powers. The symbols you use define the power to be invoked. In contrast, the Calls produce a manifestation of power regardless of whether you comprehend their symbolic
Adding to the confusion is the fact that, from a perspective accustomed to the traditional magickal powers (i.e., the elements, planets, and zodiac) the nature of the invoked powers seems to change depending on the depth of one’s penetration into their realms. Or from another angle, the Calls and Names open up different realms, depending on the level of initiation at which you are operating. On the most superficial level, they appear more or less "elemental" in nature, with an overlay related to the functions of the angels’ specific offices. But at "deeper" or "higher" levels, this elemental aspect fades, to be replaced by a succession of increasingly complex and inclusive expressions that may bear little or no relation to the most superficial appearance.
Unless the magician supplies an explicit set of symbols to which the invoked powers can be anchored, the powers will tend to remain in an indeterminate state; a sort of "fuzzy cloud" of energy which contains all the power’s potential expressions, but which manifests none of them explicitly. A visual symbol used as an anchor causes this indeterminacy to "collapse" into that aspect of the power which is most nearly similar to the symbol’s innate associations. The congruency between the symbol and the invoked power does not have to be very great. It is sufficient that some small aspect of the symbol’s associations be similar to the power’s; the major associations of the symbol can be entirely inappropriate, and this collapse will still occur.
So the symbol the scryer uses will determine, in part, the initial manifestation of an invoked Enochian power; the scryer’s expectations or preconceptions of the power’s nature will also be partially determining. This accounts for the documented fact that different magicians have produced widely varying -- sometimes even contradictory -- results using the system. However, it is my observation that with repeated invocations and scryings, the true nature of the invoked power will break through these initial, superficial expressions. The longer you work with a particular Enochian power, the more closely your results will accord with that nature, and the deeper you will penetrate into the realms to which the power connects.
Since penetration past the sometimes-deceiving surface manifestations takes time, orderly, methodical work habits are necessary to get the most value of your Enochian work. The fact that invocations have a cumulative effect can be used to advantage if you plan out your course ahead of time, and stick to it. The following suggestions will all enhance the effectiveness of your Enochian scryings:
A Magickal Space for Enochian Scrying
Since the Enochian powers are so sensitive to the visual symbols in a magickal space, the general-purpose magickal space developed in the preceding sections of this paper is likely to be inappropriate for Enochian work. The profusion of objects with which you have populated the landscape would all tend to anchor the forces in unexpected or undesired forms. A space with a more neutral visual appearance needs to be used.
A woman I once met made a habit of surveying people about the appearance of their magickal spaces. Amusingly, nearly all the Enochian magicians she knew (most of whom did not know the others) had chosen to build essentially identical spaces for their work. This space might thus be considered an archetypal Enochian workplace. It consists of a broad, gray plain, surrounded at the horizon by low hills; both plain and hills are illuminated in a flat, sourceless light of relatively low intensity. Overhead, there is a night-sky filled with stars. The plain is large enough that the magician always has an unused area available in which to perform a new series of invocations.
The remaining few magicians in her survey had chosen to go even further in the direction of minimalism than this Michael Moorcock landscape. Their workspaces consisted solely of a clear space within a gray mist, with a featureless gray floor underneath, created ab initio for every invocation.
My feeling is that the plain has a slight advantage as a workspace. It allows for the establishment of long-term or permanent structures, useful for advanced works in which the invocations must be done in section, or for building a temple appropriate to a range of Enochian works.
Scrying Techniques for Enochian Magick
Both the "magick mirror" technique and its extension as a "gate" work as well with Enochian powers as they will with other, more conventional magickal powers. I would recommend that you create a new mirror in your Enochian workplace for every series of invocations that you do, and destroy it after completing the series. Since the Enochian powers tend to accumulate over time, this prevents residual forces from previous works from interfering with a new work.
However, as mentioned above, it is often necessary to provide a firm visual anchor for Enochian powers; you may find that the mirror technique is insufficiently exact, and only gives you confused or contradictory results. If that is the case, one of the following methods will be more effective.
The Golden Dawn devised a technique for using visualizations of truncated pyramids as the starting point for explorations of individual squares from the Tablets. This practical method has been proven by use to be very effective, precisely because it provides a well-defined symbolic "anchor" for the Enochian powers. I recommend this technique for beginners, both for this reason and because it tends to focus the powers into their most "earthly", most readily comprehensible form.
The basic technique is to build a truncated pyramid in your magickal space. The flat top has an area one-ninth the area of its base. The relative sizes of the top and bottom means the sides are tilted inwards at an angle of forty-five degrees. The letter of the square is visualized on the flat top. The sides of the pyramid are colored and labeled with symbols and images according to a complex system of attributes. (The G.D. system of attributes is described in detail in Book Four of Regardie’s The Golden Dawn; my own alternate system (which I believe to be a substantial improvement over the G.D. system) is described in the papers titled "Godzilla Meets E.T.". The pyramid method works very well with either system.)
The pyramid is visualized as being large enough to stand on the top. Having vibrated the appropriate Calls for the name in which the square lies, the magician then stands on top of the pyramid in his astral body, and vibrates the hierarchy of names. As he vibrates each name, the magician imagines the power of that name gathering around the pyramid.
When the last name is vibrated, the magician imagines that each side of the pyramid is gathering in the attracted energy, each taking the type appropriate to its attributes and symbols. This energy is seen moving upwards, being focused as it goes by the narrowing of the sides. The flows of energy from the sides reach the top simultaneously, run into each other, and form a beam of light shining up and outwards into the astral worlds, forming a path to a region of magickal space governed by the square. The magician then follows this beam in his astral body until a landscape or other scene forms around him. This scene should symbolize various aspects of the square invoked. From that point, the techniques describe earlier can be used to explore the region.
I prefer a variation of this method, in which the magician stands inside the pyramid. When the energies traveling up the sides reach the top, they come together on the letter and then shine downwards into the pyramid, illuminating the interior. The angel governing the square is invoked to visible appearance within the pyramid and is tested there. After testing, the angel conducts the magician to various scenes that illustrate the square’s nature.
Since a session using this technique only explores the power of one letter of an angel’s name, you only get a partial view of the angel’s nature. To fully understand an angel, all the letters of its name should be explored in sequence. When you wish to invoke all of an angel’s powers at once rather than a single letter, it is more convenient to make your anchoring image something like a magickal circle, or a talisman sufficiently large that you can stand on it. A example design for such a circle would have the divine names superior to the given angel written around the rim of the circle. The name of the angel being invoked would be written within the circle, oriented so that it appears upright when you are facing in the direction in which you want the angel to appear. If the angel is associated with a particular magickal formula (e.g., Kerubic angels and the INRI formula) symbols appropriate to that formula might also be drawn within the circle.
Note that the intent of this figure is much closer in function to a talisman than to the traditional idea of a magickal circle. It is not intended to block off its interior from the exterior areas; you should feel free to move in and out of it at will. Nor is it intended to "contain" the invoked force. Rather, the idea is that the charged figure will serve to attract the attention of the appropriate being -- like putting a big illuminated sign saying "Land Here!" next to a runway. It also serves to condition the surrounding magickal space so that it reflects the nature of the invoked powers.
Vibrate the appropriate Calls several times; then enter the magickal space and create the circle. Vibrate the divine and angelic names, and as you feel the invoked power arrive, direct it into the lines and letters in the circle so that they glow and reradiate the power to the surrounding environment. Keep vibrating the names until the intensity of invoked power seems to level off, then vibrate only the name of the being you wish to contact, asking it to appear before you. Vibrate the angel’s name until it does appear; then apply the tests, and ask the angel what you will.
Calling the angel to the circle is my personal preference; I would rather have the guide take me to the place I want to go than go there first and find a guide afterwards. The reverse may be more comfortable for you. If that is the case, you can vary the above method by concentrating the invoked force in the circle instead of allowing it to radiate. Then imagine that the force is creating a "gate" to the power’s magickal space; imagine the center of the circle opening up as the magick mirror did in the earlier exercises, so that you can step directly through it into that space. Or you can imagine that the powers form a beam of light shooting up from the circle, which you can ride to the powers’ space.