Enochian Question

I’m trying to expand my knowledge of John Dee’s magic, and I was wondering if my readers can help me.

Does anyone know what printed version of Dee’s Enochian system is least corrupt and closest to the original?  From what I’ve been able to piece together, the original MS. is likely expensive to reproduce and largely illegible, so that’s out.  Casaubon’s text in True and Faithfull Relation is corrupt, some of the work done by later lodges is as well (and, in some cases, is derived from Casaubon), and a number of modern “reconstructions” and re-interpretations have also appeared.

Any pointers my readers could provide would be appreciated.

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 11:22 am  Comments (14)  

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  1. It is clear that Casouboun version is not very well prepared, we can find there some missings in manuscripts. But I know that is available version of first publication, where Casouboun himself wrote some corrections, especially of Enochian. I presume that version where are the corrections is “True and Faithful”.
    In english version of Mysteriorum liber quinque is enochian directly, so there will bee exactly according the manuscripts.
    But I hope that somwhere must exist somthing like Complete Diaries of Dr. John Dee, try to search Amazon.

    Cody, Czech magic order Blasphemion

  2. Are any of the texts at the Twilit Grotto any good?

  3. Cody,

    Any idea where this edition might be? I’m not entirely convinced as to its usefulness, as Casaubon’s polemic stance was decidedly against Dee’s magic.


    They’re good, but they don’t really cover the True and Faithfull… material that I’d like to see.

  4. I’m not well versed in John Dee lore at all, but I did have this recommended to me by an Enochian practitioner once:

    “The Enochian Evocation of John Dee” by Geoffrey James

    But again, I can’t personally vouch for it.

  5. Hi There! Try the Adam McLean enochian series. My Geoffrey James’
    edition has a north south reversal on some of the sub tablets, so i’d suggest double checking anything from that work.

  6. Daniel,
    if you mean book Truen and Faithful, I can send you scan from original version. It is about 20 MB, please mail me to cody@email.cz and I will send you download link.

    Cody, Czech magic order Blasphemion

  7. Cody,

    Thanks for the offer, but I’ve already got Casaubon, both electronically and in print, and I’d like to get something closer to the original.

  8. you want “John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery”, edited by Joseph H. Peterson – in fact, ANYTHING by Peterson is a must-buy.

  9. More original than Casubon as a requirement really only leaves Peterson’s book.

  10. None of the published editions are completely accurate, but they are not so inaccurate as to prohibit understanding of the material: its complexity is a far greater barrier to comprehension than the omissions or transcription errors found in print.
    The literary remains of Dee’s spiritual exercises fall into two broad categories – the diaries recording the actions undertaken with Edward Kelly and other scryers, and the technical or operative material extracted from those diaries. To build up a complete picture both really need to be studied.
    So far as the first category is concerned, the actions from December 1581 to 23 May 1583 have been published by Christopher Whitby (as part of his 1981 doctoral thesis) and by Joseph Peterson, most recently as ‘John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery.’ Each has its merits: Whitby’s version contains a number of transcription errors but does feature a very useful commentary; Joe’s recent edition, though not perfect, is in many respects a more accurate copy. Diplomatic transcripts of the first three diaries, from December 1581 to 4 May 1582, are also available as pdfs from the john-dee.org site. The only complete edition of the diaries from 28 May 1583 to May 1587 presently available is ‘A True and Faithful Relation.’ The shortcomings of Casaubon’s edition are usually overstated. It is for the most part accurate, although it omits (frequently by error, not intention) a number of short passages and marginalia, does not reproduce certain diagrams or erasures, and as Casaubon admits, the book features inevitable transcription and printing errors. Not all of these mistakes are necessarily interesting or important. I would suggest reading the diaries in conjunction with Edward Fenton’s ‘The Diaries of John Dee.’ Although a heavily edited selection of entries, Fenton’s book is wide-ranging and includes material omitted by Casaubon, some illuminating portions of Dee’s ‘private diary,’ as well as a helpful glossary, gazetteer and biographical guide.
    The second category comprises the books ‘De Heptarchia Mystica,’ ’48 Claves Angelicae,’ ‘Liber Scientiae, Auxilii et Victoria Terrestris,’ and the untitled ‘book of supplications and invocations.’ These have been published, with varying degrees of accuracy, by Geoffrey James as ‘The Enochian Evocation of Dr. John Dee’ (now back in print) and by Robert Turner as ‘The Heptarchia Mystica of John Dee’ (Aquarian Press, 1986) and ‘Elizabethan Magic’ (Element Books, 1989). Again, these have their respective merits and notwithstanding their flaws are adequate for most purposes.
    I know of at least three new or revised editions of the Dee/Kelly material, or portions of it, which are in preparation and might offer an improvement on what is currently available.
    And if you could be tempted across the ocean again, there’s a quatercentenary conference on Dee at Cambridge this September: http://bit.ly/iQXHM

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  14. Try Skinner’s Dr. John Dee Spiritual Diaries.
    I know it’s the ‘True and Faithfull Relation…’ but Skinner corrected lots of things.
    You can’t get more accurate on enochian than that.

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