Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 18, Vol. 2. Vernal Equinox 2010

Here, There Be Angels
A very brief introduction by J. S. Kupperman

It has been suggested by scholars that angels as we know them today, those winged beings with distinctive names such as Rafael, Mikhael, Gavriel and Auriel, originated at the time of the Jewish Babylonian exile, some 2500 years ago. Since that time angels have done almost everything, from the death of first born children, to protecting pregnant women against the demon Lilith and her offspring, and to telling the occasional young virgin she’s pregnant. Not only this but every form imaginable has been attributed to them: traveling humans, multi-winged creatures, circles within circles with many eyes, and even little, chubby winged babies.

All of the Abrahamic religions have angel lore discussing the good, the bad and the ugly. Since at least the 3rd century CE angelic magic, coming out of the Middle East and into Europe, has been one of the most significant parts of “Western” magical practice. Looking to the writings of Rabbai Moshe ben Maimon, the Rambam, and the famous Yitzchak Luria, the A’ri, occultists have been fascinated by angelic hierarchies, functions and duties, with elements of angel magic going back to the third and second centuries BCE.

Given all that, we are happy to give you this current issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, which deals with none of this. Instead this issue focuses on the Olympic planetary spirit as a kind of angel, or possibly god, magic and angellical works of Doctor John Dee and Edward Kelley, otherwise known as Enochiana. Our features articles focus on the history of the so-called Enochian Tablets and the development of Enochian typography from Dee to the present. This modern angelology differs in many regards from the now classical, and perhaps neo-classical, Abrahamic models but is becoming more and more popular, perhaps due to its only quasi-Abrahamic origin.

As always, I hope you enjoy this issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery tradition. Our next issue will be Bad History!

- Jeffrey S. Kupperman, JWMT Publisher