Monday, November 27, 2006

Enochian Talismans

In John Dee's Heptarchia Mystica fragmentary designs are given for talismans corresponding to each of the days of the week. They consist of a ring of letters and sigils for each King and Prince, and the construction is relatively straightforward. Geoffrey James gives a reasonable design in Enochian Evocation - the sigil for the King goes above that of the Prince inside the circle of letters, and across the middle of the talisman are written the names of the King and Prince. James notes that Dee's diaries suggest talismans should be used for the other entities such as the Kings and Seniors, but since Dee never recorded any such designs he is left with reproducing the sections of the Great Table in which their names appear.

Our ritual group recently evoked Bataivah, the King of the East, and the result of that working gives some insight into the talismans and how they work. Since this is data from a single operation, it is still in the experimental stage. Any additional accounts are always welcome, whether or not they support what I am presenting here. As in orthodox scientific research, more data is always better.

Carroll Runyon is the author of The Book of Solomon's Magick in which he explains his understanding of Goetic evocation. When working with his system, the sigil of the spirit is traced onto a dark mirror. The magician performs the conjuration and then stares into the mirror, in which his or her reflection is distorted by the sigil and becomes the image of the spirit. Enochian talismans are used completely differently - when conjuring the spirit, the magician steps onto the talisman. As the design is completely out of the line of sight of the magician, there is really no way in which any sort of visual or optical effect could be involved. The talismans thus appear to have a purely magical effect rather than any sort of perceptual influence.

In our latest evocation we summoned Bataivah, the King of the East. The ritual template we used is very similar to the one posted on this site, differing only by a few edits and actions. The conjuration used is based on the one cited by Geoffrey James for the Seniors, but it did need to be assembled because apparently Dee never wrote one, or if he did it did not survive among the papers in the British Museum. Bataivah was summoned by the three names of God corresponding to the East - Oro, Ibah, and Aozpi. No talisman was used because James' designs did not seem very convincing and no others appear in Dee's diaries. I acted as Magus, with two other members of our group, one as Scryer and the other as Scribe.

Once the conjuration was complete, the Scryer did see an image in the mirror but heard no responses to our questions. I vibrated the name of Bataivah at the image, and it did not disintegrate or break up as imaginary images tend to do. We asked if there was something additional we needed, the Scryer saw an image of boots or feet. I immediately realized that this referred to the talisman and asked Bataivah to show us the design and what letters should be placed upon it. The Scryer saw an image in the mirror, drew it out on a sheet of paper, and handed it to the Scribe, who filled it the proper letters. I then took it, stepped onto it, and at that moment the Scryer was able to hear responses to our questions.

My working hypothesis from this is that the function of the talisman is to facilitate communication with the summoned entity. We were able to summon the King, but without the talisman he seemed to only be able to communicate by showing the Scryer a series of images. Another magician has commented to me that they found the Heptarchial Kings "unapproachable" in ritual, and I do not recall whether I asked if they used the talisman properly. In my experience not very many modern magicians do. If the Heptarchials are like we found Bataivah to be, it is no wonder that communication without the talisman is difficult.

Another point of note is that I have been able to evoke and invoke the Kings and charge them with tasks without using a talisman. My practical results from this are pretty good so that suggests the talisman specifically allows the spirit to answer questions in a manner comprehensible to the Magus and Scryer. They never seem to have any trouble understanding commands. I'm much more into practical ritual work and the most recent series with the group is the first time that I've done much involving scrying. I will of course try out some practical evocations now to see if the talisman design that we received improves them, but that all remains to be seen.

My reservations about my working hypothesis are that this is only one working and it is possible that some psychological factor in our group produced the effect. Maybe we subconsciously felt like the talisman "should" be there, since we have been working with the Heptarchials and have used talismans for all of those evocations. Maybe we got the wrong spirit, even though vibrating the proper spirit name will usually send away imposters and I did that several times because I expected the King to be able to converse and was trying to get a stronger manifestation. We also still have to analyze the number and words of power that we were given to see if their attributions look reasonable for Bataivah.

So this is really a starting point. If any of you have had experiences evoking and conversing with the Watchtower Kings I would be interested in hearing about them.

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