The Enochian Magick of Dr. John Dee – A Review

The Enochian Magick of Dr. John Dee, with the gloriously pompous subtitle; The Most Powerful System of Magick in Its Original Unexpurgated Form. Edited and translated by Geoffrey James.

This is an oldie, but a goldie, as they say… or at least that’s what I say…

First released in 1984, then again as an updated version in 1994 by Llewelyn. It came to light at a time when there wasn’t that many books on this subject, at least not as far as I am aware (Fun fact: I was born the same year the introduction was written), and so in many ways it was then perhaps ahead of its time. If that’s the case, then supposedly it might have been a substantial influence on other authors books that came out in its wake. Now, I think it’s safe to say that a lot has happen throughout the years this niche field since its publication, yet I dare to say that this is still a rather interesting book, that also looks surprisingly well design-wise for its age and format (paperback – second printing 1998), with its pretty presentation being of particular note. I personally bought my copy right around the year 2000, and it’s held up quite nicely, and although it has gotten slightly yellowed pages over time, that just kind of adds to the charm and makes the experience so much richer and more immersive.

The yellow pages?

Here Dee’s Enochian magick is gathered together and put forth as a neat little grimoire, pulled from the good doctor’s own manuscripts. Complete with a sort of “pseudo history” to comply with the standard practice of ye olde arte of the grimoire tradition. All this makes for a very curious and compelling paperback artefact. It certainly has its unique glamour, and I’ve seen it described as the Key of Solomon of Enochian.

I think just the preface itself is worth reading for it’s sober take on wether or not this system was a complete fabrication of Edward Kelley. Then in closing we are also kindly blessed with a great set of appendices, which serves as the icing on this tasty delicious angelic cake of a book.

Grim dark grimoire noir.

However, it’s not without its flaws.

It’s been criticized for not being written by a practitioner, but that shouldn’t be such a big deal, since it’s merely mostly a presentation of the original source material. Although, I’m not even sure if it’s valid criticism, since the author doesn’t say he’s NOT practising this form of magick in the preface. Furthermore, some of the Latin translations are said to be less than favorable, but does anyone even know of any good translations of Dee’s Latin passages in his diaries? If so, please let me know.

Rereleased as The Enochian Evocations of Dr. John Dee. Out of print it in physical formats, but still obtainable digitally if you are so inclined.

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