Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 20, Vol. 2. Vernal Equinox 2011

John Dee and Edward Kelley’s Great Table Part III:
How Edward Kelley’s Visions Shaped Color, Directional,
and Elemental Correspondences of the Watchtowers

by Teresa Burns and J. Alan Moore

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio

The map is not the territory
--Alfred Korzybski

Welcome to the third and final article in our series on John Dee and Edward Kelley’s Great Table of Earth.  We’ve looked at the contextual history of the reception of the Table[1] what Dee thought it contained,[2] and then noted his practice of using magickal blinds and offered a solution for the problem of discrepancies between the letters of the Table and the governors behind them.  We noted how that solution connects the edge of the Great Table to the Black Cross/Tablet of Union that binds the four sub-angles,[3] today often called Watchtowers.

Now we’re ready to look at one final puzzle:  how the original Golden Dawn and Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis came up with particular color, elemental, and directional attributions for each Watchtower of the Great Table.  Most agree that fixed attributions do not exist in Dee and Kelley’s work as they seem to in the Golden Dawn.  Can these attributions be teased out of the original material, or are they a completely modern development?  If so, are they a modern development that makes any sense when one understands what Dee thought the Great Table contained?

That will take us to the heart of the mystery of Enochiana that most fascinates the authors: how Mathers seemingly derives material from the work of Dee and Kelley that show insights based on mathematical concepts he did not have, and astronomical information Dee and Kelley did not have.  As promised last issue, we’ll also show how this creates a set of attributions that points to the “theater in the sky” happening now, rather than in Dee and Kelley’s time.  We’ll suggest that Dee’s magical texts preserved as Sloane 3191 does not show one correct set of attributions, but at least two and perhaps more.

Color Attributes, and “a River Flowing Eastward Out of Eden”

In his spirit diaries, John Dee draws out his Great Table in black and white.   Below, you can see the Great Table of Earth we ended with last issue, after solving the blind of the governors.

We’ve left the letters circled which connect to the “Black Cross” in the center.  As illustrated last issue, that Cross—or perhaps, a misunderstanding of how Causabon transcribed Dee-- is the source of the “Tablet of Union” used by later magicians to bind the four sub-angles of the tablet, each of which are later assigned an element or direction.   As noted earlier, the Seals of each sub-angle stays with that sub-angle, but in Sloane 3191 several arrangements of the sub-angles are possible.  The one above, where the edges connect to Black Cross, is the so-called Tabula Recensa or Raphael Recension.

While we have record of some of the actual physical magickal implements Dee used—the scrying stone, several Seals of Amaeth, and a physical description of the Holy Table—no later record exists of what Dee’s “final” Great Table, if indeed he had one, looked like.  So, while we can (as one example), rely on Elias Ashmole’s description of the Holy Table to know what colors Dee used (in that case, blue, red, and gold on wood), we can’t do that with the Great Table.   We could take the final Table drawn out in his spirit diaries, and note its odd linkage to Dee and Kelley’s “share all in common” pact with each other and each other’s spouses, but given the probable amount of material that would come after that in Dee’s spirit diaries (given the number of pages destroyed, according to later accounts), its hard to say whether that last Table should be taken as anything but a work in progress (at best) or a poor cipher (at worse.)  Yet its order is the one most commonly used (and the one we used last issue to solve the blind of the governors, because it is the one that worked.)

Our cover art this issue, J. Alan Moore’s rendition of Dee’s Holy Table, uses the colors Ashmole describes.  In contrast, we have no record of Dee actually making a physical Great Table of Earth, let alone information on how he colored it or if he chose one final order.

Dee’s spirit diaries no sooner present a semi-rectified Great Table, complete with its questionable cipher in ungrammatical Latin, than his spirit diaries break off entirely, and do not resume until he and Kelley have parted and he is back in England.  Dee’s personal diary shows some sort of active preparation for a “heptagonal working” that occurs as the Spanish Armada sailed towards England in 1588, but we have no idea what that working was.  The “spirit diary” records are missing.  The best Elias Ashmole could determine, that’s because those who found the record of spirit communications in the secret drawer of a trunk the next century set them out and their hired lady used this critical section for lining pie pans. [4]

That leaves us with the carefully calligraphed tables written later and preserved as Sloane ms. 3191, Dee’s only explicitly magical work, and one that appears full of blinds and intended to be used as a guide to instruct others, written sometime after the final entries we have in Dee’s spirit diaries.  We looked at the different arrangements in part of this manuscript in some detail in our examination of angelic governors last issue, and we’ll return to it again when we look at elemental and directional attributions.  However, for the purposes of this section, please note that none of the diagrams related to the Great Table of Earth in Sloane 3191 show color attributions.

The Great Table color attributions in Dee and Kelley’s writing come from Edward Kelley’s visions as recorded by Dee.  These visions seem to assign colors to particular directions.   The first group to try to resuscitate the material to any large degree, the original Order of the Golden Dawn, attributes colors differently. 

Kelley’s first vision, often called the “Vision of the Watchowers,” is often credited with being the “organizing device” for the Great Table.    Many writers, Donald Tyson and Lon Milo Duquette being the best known, have noted how the symbolism of this vision echoes the description of the Holy City or New Jerusalem in the Biblical Book of Revelation.  Here’s Duquette’s modern retelling of how Ed Kelley received this vision:

Very early on the morning of Wednesday, June 20, 1584, Edward Kelley was aroused from a sound sleep by someone (something) patting him on the head.  He opened his eyes and beheld an angel, “clothed with feathers, strangely wreathed about him all over, etc.” standing at the head of his bed.  The angel would later identify itself as Ave, one of the Sons of Sons of Light from the Sigillum Dei Aemeth…. Ave proceeded to project a vision that would dramatize the elements and structure of the entire system of Enochian magick as widely practiced today.[5]

Most agree that the modern practice of breaking the Great Table into its four sub-angles or “Watchtowers” and assigning each Watchtower a direction comes from this vision.  Soon after, Dee (through Kelley, of course) asks the angel Ave about the Vision, and Ave restates it, with the same colors and directions, and says, “I Ave, STOOD BY THE SEER” [Kelley].[6]  Meric Casaubon’s 1659 rendering of Dee’s drawing of the Vision looks like this:

Ave’s restatement is available here in its entirety courtesy of the Magickal Review.    

If we look at just the sections concerning colors, we find that after Kelley is shown four “sumptuous and belligerent castles,” he sees this [emphases ours]:

The sign of majesty, the cloth of passage, was cast forth.
In the east, the cloth red, after the new smitten blood.
In the south, the cloth white, lily colour.
In the west a cloth, the skins of many dragons, green, garlic-bladed.
In the north, the cloth hair coloured, bilberry juice.
The trumpets sound once.
The gates open.
The four castles are moved.

That gives us these attributions:  east/red; south/white; west/green; north/brownish-black.  (In case anyone wonders what color “bilberry juice” is, Dee has written in the margins of the original Ms. Cotton XLVI pt I these colors:  red, white, green, black.[7])  Not long after, Dee and Kelley move on to Prague, and Kelley has another vision.  Curiously, no modern print writers on Enochian have had much to say about it but Donald Tyson, but you can read a transcription here or here

The color attributions seem to have changed; that, or they have shifting attributions.  Dee records Kelley seeing this:

KELLEY: Here is, Dee, one with a Vail afore his face, as it were, a Hair Cloth of Ash-colour: I know him not yet: I see a Garden full of fruit, of divers sorts. In the midst of it is a place higher then the rest. On that place standeth a round House, it hath four corners (within) and four Windows: and every Window is round, and hath four round partitions, round also. It hath four Doores, and at the East Doore is one step, at the South two steps, and at the North three, and at the West Doore, four steps. The first Doore is white, like Chrystal, transparent: the South Doore is red of an high colour, transparent. The North Doore is bright black, not to be through seen, as the rest. The West is green, like an Emerauld Stone: So is the South Doore like a Ruby. The Doores be all plain. The House within (as it may be judged by the transparent Doores) seemeth to be white, and empty.

He that hath his face covered, openeth the East Doore; and all the House seemeth to be on fire, like a furnace. The fire within doth weve, and move about the House, and by the roofe. Now he openeth the West Doore, and there appeareth, as if all the House were a fountain full of water. And there run divers streames, in the same one water, whereof, one doth go and come, as if it ebbed and flowed; which streame doth go about all the rest, by the sides of the House, that is, as if it were the Ocean sea compassing the World. The next streame, within that, moveth from the four sides ward, and make (in manner) four Triangles, or rather Cones, of water, whose vertices rest cut off (as it were) by the middle streame of water which occupieth the middle or Center of the House, and is in circular form invironed.

An other manner of streame there is, which commeth from the four corners of an innermost square: and so run diametraliter or contradictorie wise, toward that circular middle streame.

KELLEY: The fire also had diversity in it.
DEE: I would you had noted the diversity of the fires also.
LEVANAEL: Those that learn truly, learn by parts.
KELLEY: The colour of the water in the Center, is most pure white.
The waters of that Saint Andrews Crosse, are like a water somewhat Saffronish coloured. The waters of the Triangles, are somewhat like a watrish blew, which appeareth most, in the top of the arches of their flowing:
For all spring otherwise.
The uttermost water, is of Quick-silver shew, as if it were somewhat mortified.
DEE: In the figure following, you may gather a better and more easie understanding of this Description of the water streames. 

[A blank space follows, with no figure.  The vision continues on for several pages, with several more blank spaces for figures, in Causabon’s True and Faithful Relation.[8]

In this vision, we start with an order and attributions in the East with the First door, which is white/transparent, and continue: south/transparent red; north/opaque black; west/”Emerald” (semi-transparent) green.  We have cones of water with vertices cut off, reminding one perhaps of the Golden Dawn adaptation of truncated pyramids on the tablets (especially since these cones are elsewhere called “Pyramis”), or of how Dee uses conic sections to derive “LVX” in Theorems XV-XVII of the Monad

“St. Andrew’s Cross” is a white cross on a blue field; the white becomes yellow-gold (c.f. “saffron-colored”) then blue.  “Quick-silver,” or mercury, is silver.

What is one to do with this information?  What logic might Dee, and later the two most famous Golden Dawn founders, W.W. Westcott and MacGregor Mathers, have seen in this vision?91] We might note that the colors referenced in the visions above are almost identical to the colors used in the “Jewel of the Adept,” or Rose Cross, in the Golden Dawn cipher manuscript (it specifically names black, brown, reddish, greenish, white, blue, red, and yellow, with black at the bottom and yellow at the top).[10]

Before looking more at specific color attributes and how modern color theory might change them, let’s look again at Kelley’s second vision, the one most people ignore.  Kelley first says, “I see a Garden full of fruit,” reminding any Biblically literate reader of the Garden of Eden. 

Then, Kelley describes a fountain coming out of the center and running off in four directions.  If you’re a Golden Dawn initiate reading this, does that suggest to you particular lines from the Practicus ritual?  Or these lines, from “The Garden of Eden Before the Fall,” in the Fourth Knowledge Lecture (available on-line here):

The River NAHER flows forth from the Supernal Eden and in DAATH it is divided into Four Heads:—
PISON: Fire—flowing to GEBURAH where there is Gold.
GIHON: Water—the Waters of Mercy, flowing into CHESED.
HIDDIKEL: Air—flowing into TIPHARETH.
PHRATH (Euphrates): Earth—flowing into MALKUTH.
It is written "In DAATH the Depths are broken up and the Clouds drop down dew."
The word Naher has the meaning 'perennial stream' —'never failing waters' as opposed to other words meaning Torrent or Brook.
The River going out of Eden is the River of the Apocalypse, the Waters of Life, clear as crystal proceeding from the Throne, on either side of the Tree of Life, bearing all manner of Fruit.
Thus the Rivers form a Cross and on it The GREAT ADAM, the SON who is to rule the Nations, was extended from TIPHARETH and his arms stretch out to GEBURAH AND GEDULAH, and in MALKUTH is EVE, supporting with her hands the TWO PILLARS.

So… the Golden Dawn describes the stream [of Divine Light or Life] flowing forth from the three Supernals, called the River Naher, descends to Daath, where it is broken up into four rivers:  Hiddiquel, yellow, which passes to Tiphareth; Pison, red, which passes to Geburah; Gihon, blue, which passes to Chesed; and Phrath, no exact color given, but possibly either black or more likely the four colors associated by the Golden Dawn with Malkuth, since it passes into Malkuth and the Earth (associated there with the Euphrates River by Kabbalists.)  It would seem that whoever crafted this bit of esoterica had, in addition to their knowledge of Kabbalistic texts, read Kelley’s Vision of the Roundhouse, and was not just referencing the cipher manuscript.

It would also seem that if we wanted to “place” Kelley’s Vision of the Round House, we would be describing something rather high “up” on the Tree, perhaps something in Da’ath that one can “see” via Tiphareth.   If we’re speaking in those terms—of something “above” on the Great Tree (or something viewed deeply “within” rather than “without” in the physical world, noting the Hermetic maxim “as above, so below, as within so without.”)--directions only carry metaphoric meaning anyway.  We’re conceptualizing a two dimensional “map,” the Great Tree, that is in other cases conceived as three- or more dimensions, and making it linear rather than (as is done elsewhere) projecting it onto the sphere of the earth or into the celestial sphere.

Recall that most who have considered the matter at all agree that Kelley’s first vision—the so-called Vision of the Watchtowers—maps out not only the different components of the Great Table, but corresponds to the Holy City or New Jerusalem of Revelations.  Unless one wants to consider that a physical place, we’re dealing in signs and symbols.

In the mythology of Dee’s time, New Jerusalem restores Eden, or that which either is a metaphor for in the mind of Christian Kaballists.  The Biblical New Jerusalem has four rivers, and Christian Kabbalists often place it in Tiphareth.  In contrast, in Jewish Kaballah, the four rivers come from Eden before the Fall, and are often though of as four streams of divine life in Da’ath (which properly speaking is not a sephiroth, but the confluence of the force of Chockham projected into form-creating Binah thus creating everything below).  The “Abyss” between Da’ath and the lower part of the Tree is caused by the “Fall,” which is often conveyed through the metaphor of the sephiroth below Da’ath becoming cracked vessels.  The cosmic healing that restores Eden heals the cracked Vessels.  New Jerusalem becomes Eden restored in an accessible place, in Tiphareth.

If the four sub-angles of the Great Table of Earth are assigned directions because of Kelley’s visions, and those visions, read through the lens of Christian Kaballah, suggest New Jerusalem, then the four rivers suggest the four sub-angles or Watchtowers themselves.  On one level, that suggests there may be no need to talk about physical directions, since we’re at a place on the Tree of Life where the concept of physical directions (as we know them) does not even exist.  One the other hand, as a practicioner, Dee existed in the physical world and seemed obsessed with influencing the political landscape of that world.  More on that in the next section.

The color correspondences in both visions are typical of those in much Kabbalistic writing (which tends to use white, black, red, green, and blue) combined with typical alchemical colors (the preceding plus silver and gold).  Dee would have recognized them immediately.   More than 300 years later, Mathers, whose Kaballah Unveiled was a translation and exploration of the Zohar or Book of Spendor, would have recognized the attributions as well.  Both men were Christian Kaballists, so seeing Kaballistic and alchemical attributions in a Vision that (in the case of the Vision of the Watchtower) seems to describe the Holy City New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelations would have hardly bothered them.  Indeed, Dee’s Hieroglyphic Monad attempts to construct New Jerusalem (usually depicted as four squares separated by river) by squaring the circle, if one takes what he says as metaphor-laden geometry.  If one takes the several theorems related to this as a novel solution of the ancient geometry problem of how to square the circle, it suggests how one might evoke the “non-adjacent” Divine space of New Jerusalem into the physical world.[11]

Dee’s Monad shows him very comfortable with having shifting attributions for different geometric, Kaballistic, alchemical, and mythological components.  Similarly, the Golden Dawn knowledge lectures preserved by Israel Regardie included alchemical and sephirotic attributions in multiple schemes, so we’re not encountering here a world view that would be anything but familiar to either Dee or the first modern group trying to resurrect Dee’s work. 

Meanwhile, if we were to look at Jewish Kaballism rather than its use by Christian occultists, we’d find similar cloth and clothing metaphor in much of the Malbush (literally, "garment") literature of Merkavism which originates in early 15th century Spain, though it would be cumbersome to trace here how Dee or Kelley might have had access to that literature, and Mathers likely did not. 

Students of the Zohar may recall the extended metaphor of the soul or “essence” clothed in different garments, and how the colors of those garments change.  The usual attributions are white or transparent light/Chokmah/World of Azitluth; red/Binah/ World of Briah; green/Tiphareth/ World of Yetzirah; and black/Malkuth/ World of Assiah.[12]   As one becomes aware of what is higher on the Tree, the “black” of Assiah, becomes more of a muddy brown (red light shining through a higher “pane” mixed into grays and greens), sort of how one might describe hair colored like “bilberry juice.”  One might also think of Malkuth as “bright black” (black reflecting the higher light) or even “ash” (mixed black and white, as one becomes more aware of the “light” higher on the Tree.  A goldish or citrinish yellow color like “saffron,” would simply be how the mind might apprehend “yellow” as colored by the “reddish” pane of the Briatic world.

A little background on “Zohar 101” may be needed here; if one wants to explore this further. Here’s one on-line preface  which might serve as an introduction.   Throughout the Zohar, the point of reference is always the physical world; the attributions shift and change depending on one’s level of awareness of what’s “higher” on the Tree, and one can never apprehend the “transparent” light of the three Supernals.  One understands the concepts in the Zohar to increase one’s understanding, from the perspective of one clothed in Matter (the lowest of the Four Worlds, the World of Assiah, attributed to Malkuth on the Great Tree), the lights higher up on the Great Tree.  Thus one cannot comprehend in any way the “highest world” or the top of the Tree; one is always looking “up” through the filters or “panes” of the different vessels or kelim.   The vessels are often described in other literature as cracked; restoring the cracked vessels was one way a chosen few people (according to some Kaballists) could heal the cosmos.[13]

The attributions of colors therein shift depending on which of the Four Worlds is being described, and the Zohar itself is filled with a set of transformational correspondences which make the Golden Dawn knowledge lectures look like child’s play (or at least, a preparatory study, which is exactly what they were.)  For instance, one might read through the study guide/preface to the Zohar linked to above and notice how “red,” while referred to Binah on the Great Tree, also “colors” everything in the World of Briah, which is the highest that even an initiated mind can comprehend. 

One finds in the Zohar, and much literature of the Kaballah, the same method of trying to apprehend “above” from “below’ as one finds in the first ten theorems of Dee’s Monad.  The origin of the world of matter is a point of light, Dee’s LVX, but not a light that can be comprehended in the physical world.  

With these things in mind, several things about the colors “seen” by Kelley stand out.

In Kelley’s first vision, the lines “In the east, the cloth red, after the new smitten blood,” might be interpreted as the lowest point of Briah—Malkuth of Briah, which penetrates downwards into next world, Yetzirah, and according to some models of Jacob’s Ladder also becomes the Kether of the “lowest” world, Assiah.  That would thus be the “highest” point an enlightened being can comprehend.  Using “east” as a metaphor for the direction of the Divine is fairly common then and in Mathers’ time; for instance, in Golden Dawn initiations, the Middle Pillar in the Hall of the Neophytes runs from ‘east” to “west,” though what that metaphorically conveys is “higher on the Tree” to “lower on the Tree.”  As noted above, it’s similarly a common metaphor for that point deep within one’s self that connects with the Divine: if we make “the center,” “the source of light”, “up” and “East” synonyms for the same concept, we are just using a common metaphor for the source of light as eminent in all things.

The colors in Kelley’s second vision, meanwhile, are closer to the particular golden Dawn attributions, especially if you read on past the section quoted above.  Kelley will open each door, corresponding perhaps to a direction or more likely to a concept in Kaballah.  The last door is a “black bright door; and the house there seemeth full of black dust, like Gun-powder color, or somewhat of Leadish color.”  Once the door is open, a page-long description commences of men working with shovels and pick-axes complaining of not having the right tools; a smith [alchemist?] appears, and finally the Archangel Uriel shows up and launches into a spate of prophecies.  If we took these “men” as gnomes, we’ve have several direct modern Golden Dawn attributions to Malkuth—earth colors, gnomes, Uriel aka Auriel. 

Recall also that a common Zohar attribution is black/Malkuth/Assiah.  Once one has “worked through” all of the Golden Dawn elemental grades, one learns that one has been working through Malkuth—Yesod-Hod-Netzach in the sphere of Malkuth, not on the Great Tree.  When one enters “the Portal” and has had all of the elemental Tablets and the Tablet of Union unveiled, and hears the Opening of the Veil, one is only beginning to see anything “higher” that the bottom sephira of the Great Tree, Malkuth.  That being the case, we would expect that the Golden Dawn directional and elemental attributions may be associated with Malkuth or the lower regions of the world of Assiah.

We could suggest several additional Kaballistic reasons for particular colors in Kelley’s Vision of the Round House, but they would only be speculative, so we’ll defer to the reader’s own exploration.   One might easily explore the alchemical symbolism as well, and note that the idea of “dew” is especially common in literature involving the philosopher’s stone.[14]   

Dee’s Holy Table (see above) uses gold, red, and blue.  If we took the same attribution for higher on the tree/east/red and substituted typical alchemical symbolism, then “up” or “East” or “perfected Matter” would become gold rather than red.  One apprehends the “red” of higher planes; one transmutes the black prima materia  into gold.  As before, we’ll defer the exploration of those alchemical correspondences to the reader.

Interlude, and a Thought Experiment

Rather than analyzing this from a perspective of “believing” or “not believing” in Kaballistic or alchemical color attributions, and/or what an apocalyptic vision of New Jerusalem “really” means, let’s step back for a moment and see just how strange this story of the Great Table has become… and note that we’re not yet to the strangest part of the story.

First, Dee is told, and seems to believe, that the Great Table of Earth contains “all earthly knowledge,” including everything from how things work, how to heal, and how to transmute metals.  It’s a claim of information access right up there with Bell’s Theorem.  That’s audacious enough.  He then restructures the Table based on two visions (and a later vision/cipher) of Kelley’s.  Kelley’s visions seem heavily informed by the Zohar and the Holy City in Revelations.  If one reads Kelly as a visionary rather than as the greatest con man of the Renaissance (or, perhaps, as both), then the theological ramifications are nothing if not heretical to all three Abrahamic faiths: it puts Kelley in the role of a prophet like Ezekiel.  (Remember that when he refuses to do the studying of Enochian letters some months before, he feels his “hed on fire” and suddenly seems able to understand them.)

Now, as a scryer, even as a con-man scryer, Kelley should be highly clairvoyant.  Many writers on Enochian (starting with Donald Laycock in his Complete Enochian Dictionary) have shown how highly unlikely it is that Kelley could have been able to fabricate the scryed material that makes up most of John Dee’s spirit diaries.   Let’s assume, for this thought experiment, that he did not make up the grids or other scryed material.  Could Edward Kelley have made up these visions?  (And in one case, made up Ave saying the vision was correct?)

Of course he could have.  These are not like the scryed material: not grids read in backwards order then rotated ninety degrees and involving components that have little or no basis in any symbolic system Kelley or Dee could have known.   They’re way more straightforward.  But because Kelley could have fabricated a vision, does that necessarily mean he did so?  Of course not. 

Or, could Kelley’s mind, while in the thrall of a celestial vision and/or under the influence of some sort of “alchemical” elixir, have superimposed the attributions from the Zohar  and Revelations and from physical alchemy onto an allegorical demonstration which was both challenging and difficult to comprehend?  Possibly.  We simply don’t know. 

What we know is that 1) Dee chose to record these visions, and seemed to find them useful for structuring information, and 2), later esotericists who would have also had Kabbalistic and alchemical color attributions as a frame of reference saw fit to rework them.  The type of reworking suggests that those later esotericists were structuring something “above” meant to be seen “below,” on Earth, or trying to evoke something from “within,” the eminent source present in all things, into the physical world “without,” or the world of matter.

From this perspective, later color attributions made by whoever wrote the Golden Dawn cipher manuscript and by those in the original order make structural sense.  Whether one wants to believe with Dee that he was talking to angels , or (as others argue) that he was pretending to talk to angels as a cover for an elaborate cryptographic system, or (as still others have argued) that Dee and Kelley were talking to extraterrestrials, or that Dee was finding structure in psychotic episodes of Kelley’s, or (as still others have argued) that the symbolism of the Zohar and Revelations provides a religious mythology that can be used to help trigger personal growth, or that it helps structure an Enochian language than maps to DNA codons, or provides a multi-dimensional mathematical model of how information anywhere can be accessed everywhere… all that depends upon the map one wants to assign the territory;  hence our second epigram. 

We find it interesting that Robert Anton Wilson, in his Cosmic Trigger, an exploration of altered states of consciousness that explores everything from Dr. Timothy Leary’s nine-circuit models to spontaneous evolution to the “horrible” sex magick secrets of Aleister Crowley, used that concept as well, in his famous disclaimer that “belief is the death of intelligence.”[15] 

Back to Colors One Last Time

Kelley’s visions give the later writers of the cipher manuscript, whomever they were, colors that suggest Kaballistic and alchemical attributions that must be fluid rather than fixed, and whose clarity depends upon the level of awareness or illumination of the person apprehending the structure.  From this perspective, the later Golden Dawn color attributions just show someone, most likely Moina Mathers, adapting these Kaballistic and alchemical attributions to the changes in color theory that had occurred in the intervening 300 years. 

In particular, she (we’ll assume, as many do, that it was Moina Mathers) was likely influenced by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s revision of Sir Isaac Newton in his masterpiece Zür Farbenlehre or Theory of Colors, as Goethe’s work was widely taught in art schools and studied by philosophers (and recall Moina Mathers was both an artist and the sister of then-famous philosopher Henri Bergson.)

Until Newton’s time, most believed prisms colored, rather than refracted, white light.  Newton showed how white light could be refracted into the colors of the rainbow with one prism, then reconstituted into white light with another.  This lead to our modern color wheel, and the notion of complementary colors (red/green, or orange/blue) being opposite each other on the color wheel.   The Golden Dawn King scale, attributed to the “highest” of the Four Worlds, simply uses this standard Newtonian color wheel.[16]

However, Newton’s theory did not work well for what we’d now call reflected colors.  Perhaps because of his life-long interest in alchemy, which he actually wrote more upon than physics, Newton himself was aware that, try as one might, you can’t get a prism to make metallic silvers or golds out of white light. 

Newton was dealing with emitted, rather than reflected, light.  Artists, as they mix pigments, are working with qualities of reflected light.  Newton also did not consider how the mind or optical centers of the observer would effect the perception of light, so his optics offer no explanation for phenomena like after-images or conditions like color-blindness. Zür Farbenlehre did.

Goethe, often considered the Shakespeare of the German language, considered Zür Farbenlehre his best work, even better than Faustus.(Curiously, he was also fascinated by the work of Dee, and studied the copy of the Codex Marcianus that Dee left with the Landgrave of Hessen.) Pre-Raphaelite artists, the ones Moina Mathers would have most likely studied in art school, were fascinated with Goethe’s theories.

The further down on the Golden Dawn color scales you progress—on every scale “lower” than the King scale--the more you’re dealing with combinations of reflected color rather than emitted light.

Goethe thought he had proven Newton wrong, because he showed how the act of perception and the physical sensation of color affect what people see.  Most physicists, in turn, thought Goethe was wrong, until Werner Heisenberg (of “Uncertainty Principle” fame) came along.  Now, we tend to view color both as a physical phenomena of emitted and reflected light, and a subjective phenomena of how the brain processes color and what we focus upon.  Goethe, for instance, noted that the “flashing” sensation caused by placing together complementary colors like red and green has nothing to do with the physical properties of light, but everything to do with how our optical system perceives that light.

The modern idea of using “flashing colors” on talismans and tablets suggested by W.W. Westcott,[17] and sometimes of making certain sub-sub-angels of the Enochian tablets (Air of Air, for instance) “flash,” simply adapts modern color theory to magickal tablets and talismans to make them “stand out” by designing implements that psychologically affect the practicioner of magick as she or he focuses on the objects so colored.

The Enochian Tablets do not use the Golden Dawn color scale per se, but they do use the ideas of color theory as applied by this group.  So do most other modern adaptions.  Ours, for instance, by design, use all four primary colors as well as those they “flash” against, and black and white.[18] 

How do we get four primary colors instead of three?  By acknowledging the different ways that emitted and reflected light (sometimes called additive versus pigmented color schemes) mix.  One may be familiar with “additive” colors if you’ve experimented with the RGB settings on computer graphics programs, which allow one to mix emitted light.  If you’ve ever mixed pigments, you would instead use yellow-red-blue as primary colors, because you’re working with reflected light.  Mix red-green-blue together in a computer graphics program, and you get white; the absence of red-green-blue is black.  But mix yellow-red-blue together while painting and you get brownish black, and the absence of any pigment is white.

Keep this in mind if you explore Edward Kelley’s visions in more detail; for the brownish black color resulting from the mixing of all reflective primary colors closely matches the hue of bilberry juice, referred to by Kelley in the vision discussed above.

Thus, rather than the panes of the kelim refracting out light as it reaches Malkuth, but the alchemical fire firing black prima material through a peacock phase and resulting in the “gold” (usually) or pure white (occasionally) of the philosopher’s stone, we have modern color theory.  While that may very much heighten our eyes’ physical perception of the Tablets or magickal implements generally, it tells us nothing about directional or elemental attributes.  For that, we must go back to the original manuscripts of John Dee.

Directional and Elemental Attributions

We’ve come this far, half way, and what have we established?  The modern Golden Dawn “coloring” of the four Watchtowers probably shows Moina Mathers’ adaptation of modern color theory to Kabalistic and alchemical attributions MacGregor Mathers and W.W. Westcott and perhaps the original cipher manuscript authors recognized in Kelley’s two visions, visions which structure modern usage of the Great Table as divided into the four sub-angles.  Those associations are easiest to see in Kelley’s second vision, especially in the four rivers running out of Eden and in the “bright Black doore” part of the vision which, using Zohar symbolism, is easily attributable to Malkuth.  Based on even a cursory examination of Kabalistic symbolism, it seems that both visions describe a “place” on the Great Tree at least as “high” as Tiphareth, viewed of course from Malkuth, which makes up the longest (and in ways least interesting but easiest to understand) part of Kelley’s second vision. 

Since one can’t “see” higher than the lowest part of the Briatic World, the symbolism suggests we’re really talking about “Tiphareth” in the world of Assiah or Yetzirah, not Tiphareth on the Great Tree.

That might suggest that Kelley’s visions, which structure the organization of the Great Table for both Dee and seemingly the later Adepts of the Golden Dawn, are accessible through something like what we might now call a pathworking; and indeed Golden Dawn grade initiations are all pathworkings “up” the Tree, though one finds out later that one is working up the Tree of Assiah.  If you have done a pathworking, you know that it involves a type of “scrying” (though you may not have called it that) of “higher” parts of your personal “tree.”  You go “up,” or deeply inside of yourself, while your physical body rests in meditation.  Similar practices were used by the Golden Dawn and Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis.[19]  One generally records what one “sees,” and of course the symbolism and attributions change depending on “where” you are. 

We know from the questions Dee asked that he was not interested in the Renaissance equivalent of personal psychological development, though today many consider that the major benefit of doing pathworkings.  Dee was obsessed with advising and influencing world political leaders to bring about a Golden Age.  (For that matter, we might note the interest in the original Golden Dawn adepts in world politics, and the fantasy of their most famous ex-member and Mathers’ nemesis Aleister Crowley, of influencing world politics via sex magic in his novel Moonchild.) 

We hypothesize that Dee himself had at least two working models of the Tablets, one macrocosmic and the other a sort of three-dimensional talisman that allowed a magician or magickal group to interface with the first. 

By the time one gets to the Golden Dawn/Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis truncated pyramid attributions of the Tablets, “directions” and “elements” have much more of an energetic than physical meaning.   Consider how the traditional Golden Dawn usage, which in effect “explodes” the Great Table into thee dimensions and turns the Black Cross into a Tablet of Union, can be viewed as a talismanic usage which someone bootstrapped onto beautifully theatrical grade initiations that have questionable, or at least fluid, directional and elemental attributions beyond the assignment of the “ORO IBAH AOSPI sub-angle, aka the Watchtower of the East.   The former, and the one ironically most “mapable” from Kelley Vision of the Watchtowers and one of Dee’s drawings in Sloane 3191, is a physically explicable usage one that orients onto the macrocosm, in this case, onto the celestial sphere.

That’s easy to say but a lot harder to conceptualize how to use in practice.  To follow the next section, you’ll need to hold in mind much of what we’ve talked about in the first part of this article and the preceding two.

Recall the five curious drawings we looked at last issue, all drawings connected to the Great Table which occur in Sloane ms. 3191 folios 52b-58a, just before the Invocations to the Angels of the Tabula Bonorum, and immediately after  a diagram of the Angels of the Tabula Bonorum.[20] You may want to view these again on-line here before reading further.

To review, Dee first draws out a grid.  Then, he draws a second set of tables with Roman equivalents of Enochian letters in the grid. That's the Table usually called the "Tabula Recensa” or "Raphael Recension.  If one looks closely at this first Great Table, it seems at first to not correspond to the surrounding drawings in Sloane ms. 3191, and the Table has been re-ordered from the first reception in 1584.

We’ll refer to each Watchtower or sub-angle by using Roman letters for the three godnames that run across its meridian, the linea sancta. We won’t worry about other individual letters, beyond saying we’ve rectified them as per our discussion last issue.

This second set of contains quadrants in this order, with the Seal associated with the sub-angle, and godnames spelled thus:

oro ibAh aozpi

mph arsl gaiol

MOr dial hCtGa

oiP tea pDoce

The third set shows the quadrants are now in another arrangement, Seals shifted to stay with their sub-angles, but numbered outside of the tables in this order:

  1. oro ibAh aozpi
  1. MOr dial hCtGa
  1. oiP tea pDoce
  1. mph arsl gaiol

The spatial relationship corresponds to the original order in which they were received; the numbering 1-2-3-4 corresponds to the "Tabula Recensa" discussed last issue, assuming you start at the upper left and go around clock-wise.  The only quadrant in the same place is the first, the one we've labeled "oro ibAh aozpi," now usually associated with the East, and labeled elsewhere by Dee as attributed to “East.”  (“East” is the only explicit attribution of Dee’s that overtly matches later Golden Dawn usage.)

Dee then presents a fourth Table with lettered quadrants. Critically, as we looked at in more detail last time, on the original manuscript, in the upper right hand corner, you can still see Dee's marginal note that says "so they must be placed," and gives letters that suggest the first letters of the quadrants as ordered in the "Tabula Recensa;" that is, r/T above, b/d below.  That is, Dee intentionally calligraphed the sub-quadrants out of order and put in a marginal note to reorder them.  We suggested that the reason might be Dee creating a teaching tool for some other person or group.  In a moment, we’ll hypothesize that this “teaching tool” was making a three-dimensional talisman that placed each sub-angle in one of the four directions.

First, though, let’s look at the final drawing, and consider how it shows Dee projecting the Great Table of Earth upon the celestial sphere. 

Arrangement one: the Macrocosm

Here is that fifth and final drawing:

Given the placement of this diagram after the four preceding grids, and given the god-names from the linea sancta running around the outside as a banner, it seems fairly safe to assume that the four squares in the middle refer to the Great Table of Earth. 

We have a square in a circle in a circle. Dee’s Monad often uses the device of presenting 2D representations of 3D objects; apply that principle here and we have a cube in a sphere in a sphere.  If the cross dividing the quadrants is a Black Cross, then it runs through the center of the earth.  The names that have been the middle of the four quadrants are presented as banners running around the outside between two circles,and we can translate them thus:

ORO IBAH AOZPI – ORIENS (Latin for "the East")
MOR DIAL HCTGA – MERIDIE (Often Latin for midday or noon; here most logically "the South,” as it can also mean “towards the meridian,” which then was the Equator and not the modern longitudinal Prime Meridian.)
OIP TEAA PDOCE- OCCIDENS (Latin for "the West")
MPH ARSL GAIOL – SEPTENTRIO (Latin for the seven stars near the North Pole; here most logically "the North,”  the north as a quarter of the heavens.)

The Latin names are significant because they suggest a spinning sphere (more on that in a moment.”   Compare this to a drawing of Kelley’s Vision of the Watchtowers in the preceding section, and you’ll see that the directional labels there use the same Latin terminology; for that matter, Dee uses it in other places in Sloane 3191, such as in the Invocations to Good Angels which immediately follow this drawing.

Now, let’s apply some additional astrological concepts, as well as some astronomical information Mathers and company would have had, and Dee would not.  This is what happens if you consider the directional attributions to be directions in the night sky, and “elemental” attributions referring to the elements governing kerubic signs of the zodiac:

To better visualize what we’re talking about in multiple dimensions (as a projection of something seen from a spinning sphere rather than as 2D circles), try this: Imagine you are standing at the center of the Earth, looking up, not towards the north pole of the earth, but at a point which is directly “up” with respect to the flat plane bisecting the galaxy around us horizontally – also called the galactic equator.  This “up” is called galactic north.  We are not looking towards the earth’s north pole because the axis of the earth tilts at an angle to galactic north/south.

Remember that the circle of the zodiac we normally see in almost all drawings is how the signs would look around that circle if we are looking down from a vantage point above (north of) the galactic equator, in which plane the zodiac is found (this is also called the “plane of the ecliptic”).  If you are looking up at the circle of the zodiac from below, the order of the signs/constellations will appear to be the mirror of their order as seen from above.  Therefore, since we are looking “up”, the mirrored ordering of the signs is what we will see.  This is what is depicted above in the circle of the zodiac (in green).

Now, looking up at the zodiac from your vantage point, hold the drawing of Dee’s Round House up so that the signs of the zodiac circle it, and rotate it until the angle labeled “Oriens” points towards the center of the sign of Aquarius.  This is what the above drawing of Dee’s, with our added references, represents.

You may notice that the sub-angles of the square labeled “Terra” in the round house are oriented towards the fixed signs of the zodiac:  Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio.  The brightest star in each of these signs is a major star named by the Arabic astronomers, which some call the fixed (or kerubic) stars:  Sadalmelik (Aquarius), Aldebaran (Taurus), Regulus (Leo), and Antares (Scorpio).  These fixed stars are shown in the space between the circle of the zodiac and the round house.

This arrangement, where the angles of the tablets of the Great Table in the drawing of the Round House align with the fixed signs of the zodiac falling in these specific cardinal directions, can only be arranged appropriately thus during our era when the Equinoxes and Solstices, due to precession, are approaching alignment with these fixed signs in just such a way.  The elemental association of the tablets as specified by the Golden Dawn therefore align perfectly with the elemental associations of the fixed signs at the dawn of the Aquarian age:  Vernal Equinox – Aquarius, Summer Solstice – Taurus, Autumnal Equinox – Leo, and Winter Solstice – Scorpio.  The elemental associations are all astrological, and the directions in this case concern the direction of the celestial positions relative to the Earth.

In this scenario the elemental attributions of the tablets (or sub-angles of the Great Table) as set forth by the Order of the Golden Dawn match the elemental attributions of the fixed signs with which they align, at the same time making sense symbolically with the solar events indicated.  Significantly, it is also in this arrangement that the center of each tablet, defined by the spiral names or “Great Kings”, can be aligned fairly closely with the fixed stars mentioned above (if one projects the Watchtowers out from the center of the Earth and makes the linea sancta of each touch the galactic equator.  This yields the following connections:  Sadalmelik – Bataivah; Aldebaran – Iczhhcal; Regulus – Edlprnaa; and Antares – Raagiosl.[21]

It has become quite in vogue these past few years to note that at the winter solstice of 2012, the rising sun conjuncts the Galactic center in Sagittarius (the constellation, not the sign!).  Keep in mind, though, from the point of view of precessional astronomy, things move very, very slow.  Objects in the night sky take 72 years to precess, or “move back,” just one degree.  This alignment of sunrise-on-winter-solstice to galactic center was “off” in Dee’s time by more than 4 degrees; it was starting to get close in Mathers’ time, and has been widely conjunct since the early 1990s and will continue to be widely conjunct through at least 2020. 

Most readers know that Mathers was deeply interested in different occult correspondences to the night sky.   Consider these lines from his flying roll “The Tree of Life as projected in a Solid Sphere”:  Mathers says that the sphere he is describing “represents the Heavens polarized on the plane of the Ecliptic, not on the plane of the Equator of our Earth, so that its North Pole is the veritable North Pole of our heavens and not merely that part of them to which the North Pole of our Earth now points.”[22]  In other words, this document’s Kabalistic, zodiacal, planetary, alchemical, and Tarot attributions are all for the same theater in the sky we’re discussing above. 

We can suspect that Mathers saw these things coming into alignment; we can even speculate that this may have been part of his fascination with the Enochian system.  It would seem that some of his more opaque teachings, such as “The Tree of Life as projected in a Solid Sphere,” were flying rolls attempting to set up a structure for Enochian Work.  Other Golden Dawn members, like Florence Farr and her Sphere Group, were similarly interested, but something seemed to propel Mathers further along than the others (perhaps a visit from a Secret Chief… maybe something he found in a second hand bookshop… who knows?).

But there’s only one problem… John Dee could not have known this.  Mathers could have, and did.  But knowledge of a galactic center and edge were unknown in Dee’s time, at least as explicitly stated ideas. 

We either have an amazing coincidence or must entertain the possibility that whatever “higher intelligence” Dee communicated with, be it angels, extraterrestrials, clairvoyant Kelley’s ability to access the multiverse, or something else, communicated information that neither Dee nor Kelley could have possible known, or that an implicit idea of the center of the galaxy existed in alchemical and astronomical ideas of Dee’s age (such as oerhaps the alchemical notion of the Ourborous serpent eating its tail). 

We’re leaving untouched, for this essay, the significance one wants to attach to the center of the galaxy and the nature of any influx of energy coming from the cluster of stars and black hole at its center, or why our spinning solar system orients a particular way on solstices or equinoxes. 
By the time one looks at Mathers’ writing that deals explicitly with Enochian material—his Concourse of the Forces­­--Mathers will start using drawing of cones sharing vertices that look at though they came straight out of the concepts Dee explores in the Hieroglyphic Monad and Propeudumata.  For example, when he presents two cones sharing a vertex as his model for the “direct or creeping formula” of how Earth or Malkuth of Yetzirah transmits to Kether of Assiah the “convolutions of the Constellation Draco,”[23] he’s even using images of conic section reminiscent of Dee.

As one may read about in more detail in Regardie’s notes on “The Enochian System”, every square of each Watchtower and the Tablet of Union becomes a truncated pyramid, matching the symbolism one was supposed to learn for that in the 4=7 grade of Philosophus, with the top containing the Enochian letter and each side having a color and attribution derived from earlier Golden Dawn material.  The catalog of attributions is exhaustive,[24] and could have come right out of a Renaissance mind-set like Dee’s. 

Of course, by the time we get to this work, we’re also looking at particular Golden Dawn adaptations of the Tablets based on the Tabula Recensa, but with slightly different letterings (and in some cases multiple-lettered squares).  So let’s step back one more time, and look at Dee’s other attributions.

Arrangement Two: Directions for a Three-Dimensional Talisman

On June 27, 1584, Edward Kelley scries “Lexarph, Comanan, and Tabitom” walking into his field of spirit vision.  Dee is at that time working hard to reconcile discrepancies between the letters of the Great Table and the Angelic governors.  We discussed this scenario in some detail last issue.  For two more sessions, Dee tries to puzzle out names of the governors and how, among other things, one finds the governor “PARAOAN” on the edge of the table, and the “L” of “Lexarph,” which continues to the Black Cross in the center.  Dee is also still trying to determine what sub-angle goes where. Finally this exchange occurs [boldface ours, italics from Casaubon]: 

Ave:  The 24 Seniors are all of one Office. But when thou wilt work in the East, thou must take such as bear rule there.  So must thou do of the rest.

Dee: Do you mean the estate, in respect of any place we shall be in, or in respect of any earthly place, accounted always the East part of the World, wheresoever we be?

Ave: The East and West, in respect of your PolesWhat will you else of me?

Dee:  Whether these four Tables be joined in their right places, or no.

Ave: … They be.

Dee: Of the letters in the Transversary of the wicked their Black Crosse, I know of no use, as of motivat; nan, etc.

Ave:  …Thou shalt know, when thy writest thy book.

This exchange has fascinated many people.  Could the book Dee is told to write (and to use only once) be Sloane 3191?  Dee is told he will figure it out; by that manuscript has he?

Recall that on our spinning sphere of a planet, “East” and “West” are really only directions of spin, and “North” and “South” totally relative terms.  In Dee’s day, many maps still showed what we now call the “middle east” as the “top” of the map and “Europe” as the bottom.  If one orients to East, one simply orients towards the direction of spin, the direction of the influx of energy.  All of the metaphors from the preceding section on color still apply:  the energy could be coming in from “above,” or flooding a sacred space from “within.”  In our macrocosmic model from the beginning of this section, it could mean towards a hypothetical influx of energy from outside the solar system (no less a thinker that Wilhem Reich, in positing a flow of “orgonne” energy from the center of the galaxy, said it was what many “mistook” for God.) 

However, standing on this physical Earth, as any practical magician must do, “East” means towards the direction the sun rises.  Thus one captures the energy of the spin of the Earth.

We submit that “north” and “south” are only relative directions to begin with, and simply must be on a different axis than east and west.  Take a look at the directions that follow, in the beginning of the Invocations to the Good Angels.  A direction is assigned to the Kings and Seniors of Each Tablet.  We’ll just list the direction and King:

“East” (Oriens): BATAIVH
“South” (Meridies): ICZHHCL
“West” (Occidens): RAAGIOL
“North” (Septentrio): EDLPRNA

Unlike our previous macrocosmic drawing, here East and West opposed.  If you look at the third group of quadrants preceding (discussed above, and last issue), they also show “East” and “West” opposed.   In the immediately preceding case, “North” and “South” are reversed from Tabula Recensa (or modern Golden Dawn) order; the third group of quadrants discussed previously was tha Tabula Recensa order. 

Since north and south are only relative positions, which is on which end of the axis doesn’t matter in terms of real direction.  The axis of symmetry is the axis of spin, running from influx of energy, East, to West.  The other polar axis can be either north-south or south-north, much as an image you see in a lens, or your own image when you look in a mirror, is accurate in one direction (in this case up-down) and “flipped” in the other. “North” and “south” are opposite poles, but only relative directions. 

Recall from last issue how Paraoan, the hidden 92nd Governor, can be viewed as lying “under” the other 91 because the outside of this Great Table connects to the Black Cross on the inside.  In three dimensions, we might consider the “Black Cross” as running through the center of the Earth (the theoretical vantage point for our first macrocosmic model), but that does not account for Dee’s notion of accessing was Wilson calls “non-adjacent spaces” as Dee’s unusual solution of how to double the cube.  The "L"/"El"/ Dee's "God space" or "Christ-glue" from Theorem XX of the Monad starts on the outer edge of the Great Table and continues onto the Black Cross.

If you follow those concepts—not if you believe or don’t believe them, but if you consider this as Dee’s map—then you have a “black cross” of energy flow binding the four sub-angles of the Great Table of Earth by running through the center of the earth and circulating back to the surface, roughly what we might conceive if we thought of the Earth as a torus rather than an imperfect sphere.  The four sub-angles, each of which is assigned a direction, each of whose linea sancta maps to the Earth, and bound by the Black Cross.  Now, how might we make a taliman of that?

Exactly as many do today without calling it that: by assigning each Watchtower to the direction in Tabula Recensa Order and making the (three) Black Cross Governors into four names on a Tablet of Union.  Unless one can come up with a better idea for how to represent the idea of the “outside” being connected to and bound by the “inside,” this works pretty well… whether its creation was an accident of mis-transcription or some group’s actual magickal practice continuing on from Dee.

The “talisman” lines up facing East, the direction of the influx of energy.  That can also, with a little ingenuity or brief study of Golden Dawn elemental initiations, also correspond to the sunrise of a day, the start (vernal equinox) of a year, or the beginning of a Great Year, as marked by how it aligns on sunrise of the winter solstice in our time period.  In fact one finds all three alluded to in elemental grade initiations as one moves “up” the Tree.

Now, refer back to the color attribution section and recall that Kelley’s visions as apprehended by Christian Kabbalists like Dee or Mathers or Westcott correspond not only to a four-sided city in a circle (which by now should ring some bells), but to a place higher “up” on the Great Tree than the physical world.  If one takes the “green dragon” from Kelley’s first Vision of the Watchtowers as mapped to Tiphareth, and follows the common celestial symbolism of the dragon or serpent as marking off time (the Ourbouros serpent again, or Mathers’ serpents, or even the so-called 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiucus, the serpent-bearer, which sits between Sagittarius and Scorpio at galactic center), then we might have more than a glimmer of how these visions structure Enochian magic: on one hand, we have a three dimensional talisman that orients to “East” and allows an influx of divine energy from “non-adjacent spaces,” allowing one to restore “New Jerusalem” in Tiphareth.  In terms of scrying “up” the Tree or “into” astral realms, Dee’s “map” says you can “see” and use these Watchtowers best from Tiphareth.[25]  Golden Dawn elemental initiations through Portal take one “up” to that level; directions are all in sense metaphoric and so they often shift.  For instance, one might consider Malkuth “down” from the upper part of the Tree, in the East… but of course it is not; the “Earth” tablet is now in the North. 

On another, we have an actual physical map of how the Watchtowers, arranged differently, map to sunrise on the winter solstices for about a thirty year time period occurring now.

If one wants to “map” things onto the Tree of Life, one may go through a number of 90 degree transformations.  Indeed, this happens not only in Dee’s writing but in Golden Dawn initiations.  The easiest element to place, Earth/Malkuth, is not opposite the “up” of the Tree, which would be East… but is now in the North. 

There is much more that we had hoped to cover in these three articles, but we hope this has given you enough food for thought.  Thank you for following along with us for these past three issues!


1. See Burns, “A Golden Storm: Attempting to Recreate the Context of John Dee and Edward Kelley’s Angelic Material,” Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 19 volume 2, Autumnal Equinox 2010. 

2. See Burns and Moore, “John Dee and Edward Kelley’s Great Table,” Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 18 volume 2, Vernal Equinox 2010. 

3. See Burns and Moore, “John Dee and Edward Kelley’s Great Table, Part II,” Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 19 volume 2, Autumnal Equinox 2010. 

4. For further discussion, see Burns, op. cit.; also Benjamin Woolley, The Queen's Conjurer: the science and magic of Dr. John Dee, adviser to Queen Elizabeth I (New York : Henry Holt, 2001) pp. 291-294.

5. Lon Milo Duquette, Enochian Vision Magick (San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2008), p. 124.

6. Donald Tyson, Enochian Magic for Beginners (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn, 1997) p. 160; also see Meris Causaubon, A True & Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, pp. 355-361. Available:

7. Original manuscript available courtesy of The Magickal Review:

8. Casaubon, op. cit., pp. 355-361.

9. Actually we can’t be 100% sure that either man saw the manuscript, but given their interest in such matters and its availability in London, it seems extremely likely.  Mathers, as most know, spent large amounts of time reading old manuscripts in the British Library.

10. Darcy Kuntz, ed., The Complete Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscript  (Edmonds, WA: Holmes Publishing, 1996) p. 166.

11. S. Robert Wilson, “The Delian Problem and Transcendence in Theorem XX of John Dee’s Hieroglyphic Monad,” Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 19 volume 2, Autumnal Equinox 2010. 

12. See discussion of the “limitations” and attributions in the Zohar in this preface to an on-line addition:

3. For instance, Safed mystic Rabbi Isaac Solomon benLuria used this metaphor over and over.  See Lawrence Fine, Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos: Isaa Luria and his Kabbalistic Fellowship (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003).

14. Lyndy Abraham

15. “Robert Antone Wilson, Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati (Tempe, AZ: New Falcon Publications), p. ii.  Available:

16. Thanks to the artist Darlene for pointing this out.

17. Frater Sapere Aude (W.W. Westcott’s) flying roll is available at:  Also, see Israel Regardie, The Golden Dawn, 5th ed. (St, Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1987), p. 635; p. 638.

18. See tablets at the end of last issue’s article, available:

19. One of the most famous introductions is “Of Skrying and Travelling in the Spirit-Vision.”  See Regardie, op. cit., pp. 467-477.

20. While some, mainly those who have not contemplated it much, would not find any particular connection between the Angels of the Tabula Bonorum and the Great Table or the Angelic Governors, we’d suggest that this ordering is for the book the “angels” have instructed Dee to write and use once.  Since we enjoy speculating, we speculate that this was a teaching guide and, like the Monad, meant to be accompanied by an oral teaching, now lost, that linked both usages of the Great Table to the Angels of the Tabula Bonorum, and that this work involving a group of people was the “Heptagonal working” Dee writes about throughout 1588.  However, since nothing but Sloane 3191 exists to support this hypothesis, if we ever explore that again it will be through the devise of good fiction!

21. Thanks for Vincent Bridges for pointing this out in his lectures on Enochian material.  For additional discussion and information on how the Watchtowers can be mapped to the night sky, see Vincent Bridges, The Ophanic Revelation (Mt. Gilead, NC: Aethyrea Books, 2011), pp. 146-150.

22. Regardie op. cit. p. 594.

23. Ibid.m p. 618.

24. Ibid. pp. 624-667.

25. As this discussion is already rather long, we’ll leave it for the reader to determine which Tiphareth Dee thinks you “see” these in.  The Golden Dawn’s ritual structure  maps them to Tiphareth in the World of Assiah.