Enochian magic is a system of ceremonial magic based on the invocation and commanding of various spirits. It is based on the 16th-century writings of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley, who claimed that their information, including the revealed Enochian language, was delivered to them directly by various angels. Dee's journals contained the Enochian script, and the tables of correspondences that accompany it. Dee and Kelley believed their visions gave them access to secrets contained within the apocryphal Book of Enoch.
- 1 History
- 2 Rediscovery by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
- 3 The system
- 4 Today
- 5 Caveats
- 6 See also
- 7 Further reading
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Origins and manuscript sources
The Enochian system of magic as practiced today is primarily the product of researches and workings by five men: John Dee, Edward Kelley, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley. In addition, the researches of Dr Thomas Rudd, Elias Ashmole, Dr William Wynn Westcott and Israel Regardie were integral to its development.
The raw material for the Enochian magical system was "dictated" through a series of Angelic communications which lasted from 1582-1589. Dee and Kelley claimed they received these instructions from angels. While Kelly conducted the psychic operations known as scrying, Dee kept meticulous written records of everything that occurred. Kelly would look deeply into a crystal "shewstone" and describe aloud whatever he saw.
This account of the Angelic communications is taken at face value by most Enochian occultists. However, some of them have pointed out remarkable similarities to earlier grimoiric texts such as the Heptameron known to Dee. Such magical texts as The Book of Soyga (of which Dee owned a copy), the Pauline Art (Ars Paulina)(see Lesser Key of Solomon) and others including the magical works of Agrippa and Reuchlin probably also had an influence on the Angelical magical workings of Dee and Kelley. The system claims to relate to secrets contained within the apocryphal Book of Enoch.
Liber Logaeth - The Sixth and Sacred Book of the Mysteries
The Liber Logaeth (Book of the Speech of God)(aka The Book of Enoch aka Liber Mysteriorum, Sextus et Sanctus -The Sixth (and Sacred/Holy) Book of the Mysteries)(1583); is preserved in the British Museum as Sloane ms 3189. The correct spelling is Loagaeth but it has been so frequently printed as Logaeth that this spelling is in common use. Written up by Edward Kelley, it is composed of 65 folios containing 101 exceedingly complex magic squares, 96 of which are 49×49 cells (preceded by one "table" composed of 49 rows of text – the first row of which is actually the 49th row of the first table, not in this MS.), plus 5 magic squares of 36 x 72 cells. It is from Liber Logaeth that Dee and Kelley derived the 48 Calls or Keys (see below), and in which are concealed the keys to the Mystical Heptarchy, a related magical work by Dee. Liber Logaeth has never yet been published in book form but is available online at: . Dee himself left little information on his Sixth Holy Book apart from saying that it contained 'The Mysterie of our Creation, The Age of many years, and the conclusion of the World' and that the first page in the book signified Chaos. Note that the title The Book of Enoch attributed to the text of Liber Logaeth is not to be confused with the aprocryphal Biblical The Book of Enoch. (There are three versions of the latter; a facsimile reprint of the Ethiopian version is Laurence, (1995)) Nor should it be confused with Crowley's rescension Liber Chanokh (The Book of Enoch) although all these texts are related. See the limited edition on subject by author Stephen Skinner.
The Five Books of Mystery
Another crucial manuscript, (Sloan ms. 3188, also available in a fair copy by Elias Ashmole, MS Sloane 3677. Available online at: ). It is an account of the 'actions' or workings undertaken in the Liber Logaeth, titled the Mysteriorum Libri Quinque (Five Books of Mystery (or Mystical Exercises). The Mysteriorum Libri Quinque is the diary for 22 December 1581 – 23 May 1583 inclusive: the first five Books of the Mysteries (and Appendix), ending where Causubon's A True and Faithful Relation begins. It describes the furniture of the temple; the Seal of God (Sigillum Dei); the Tables of Light; the Great Circle and corresponding Collected Table of 49 Good Angels; the Mystic Heptarchy and the Tables of Creation; the Angelic Alphabet (Dee's copies) and the beginning of Loagaeth (i.e., the first few folios of MS. Sloane 3189). There are two transcripts of this manuscript available today: Joseph Peterson and C. L. Whitby. Versions of the first three of the five Books of Mystical Exercises can be found online at : 
Other Enochian manuscripts
Yet another central manuscript is Sloane 3191 (available online at:  ) which comprises: 48 Angelic Keys; The Book of Earthly Science, Aid and Victory; On the Mystic Heptarchy; and Invocations of the Good Angels.
Two further Manuscripts from Dee and Kelley's workings are important to Enochian magic:
- 1) MS. Cotton Appendix XLVI Part I (available online at:  is the diary for 28 May 1583 – 15 August 1584 inclusive: The Sixth (and Sacred) Parallel Book of the Mysteries (not to be confused with "The Sixth and Sacred Book of the Mysteries", which is part of Liber Logaeth - see above) and "The Seventh Book of the Mysteries" (Kraków), beginning where A True and Faithful Relation begins. It includes the arrival of Prince Adalbert Laski, the journey to Kraków and the dictation of the 48 Calls or Keys (including descriptions of the 91 Parts of the Earth), as well as the Vision of the Four Watchtowers and also the Great Table.
- 2) MS. Cotton Appendix XLVI Part II (available online at: ) is the diary for 15 August 1584 – 23 May 1587 (and 20 March – 7 September 1607) inclusive: The Book of Praha, The Royal Stephanic Mysteries, The Puccian Action, The Book of Resurrection, The Third Action of Trebon and the remaining Spirit Actions at Mortlake in 1607, ending where A True and Faithful Relation ends. (It may be seen that Casaubon's A True and Faithful Relation is equivalent to the MS Cotton Appendix in toto, i.e. Dee and Kelley's diaries from 28 May 1585-23 Sept 1607).
Meric Casaubon's 1659 edition of part of these diaries (Cotton Appendix MS. XLVI), entitled A True & Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits contains notorious transcription errors which in some cases were transmitted through many subsequent republications of the Dee/Kelly material; Casaubon's edition was intended to discredit Dee and Kelly by accusing them of dealing with the Christian Devil. An expanded facsimile edition of Casaubon was published by Magickal Childe in 1992
Dee and Kelley's surviving manuscripts later came into the possession of Elias Ashmole, who preserved them, and made fair copies of some, along with annotations.
Rediscovery by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
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Dee and Kelly never referred to their magic as 'Enochian' but rather called it 'Angelic'. However in modern occultism it is commonly known as Enochian. It is not quite clear how much of Enochian magic was put to use by Dee and Kelley. Indeed, whether Dee and Kelly ever practiced Enochian is still up for debate. The angels told them not to work Enochian, and there are no diary records of works being done except for one healing talisman that they were instructed by the angels to make. Dee and Kelley's journals are essentially notebooks which record the elements of the system, rather than records of workings they performed using the system.
Some writers assert that Thomas Rudd was the centre of a group of angel magicians who may have used Dee and Kelly's material. The Angelical material of Dee and Kelley also had a considerable influence on the magic of Rosicrucianism. However, little else became of Dee's work until late in the nineteenth century, when it was incorporated and adopted by a mysterious and highly secret brother-hood of adepts in England, who called themselves the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The rediscovery of Enochian magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the 1880s led to Mathers hammering the material into a comprehensive and workable system of ceremonial Magick.[neutrality is disputed] They invoked the Enochian deities whose names were written on the tablets. They also traveled in what they called their Body of Light (a poetic term for the aura) into these subtle regions and recorded their psychic experiences in a scientific manner.[neutrality is disputed] The two major branches of the system were then grafted on to the Adeptus Minor curriculum of the Golden Dawn.
Enochian as an operative system is difficult to reconstruct based upon original manuscripts like the collection of Sir Hans Sloane in the British Museum, but contemporary occult organizations have attempted to make it usable. The Golden Dawn was the first, but their knowledge was based upon only one of Dee's diaries and their planetary, elemental, or zodiacal attributions have no foundation in the original sources.
The Golden Dawn also invented the game of Enochian chess, so that aspects of the Enochian Tablets can be used for divination. The four chessboards do not have any symbols on them, just sets of squares colored in certain ways. Each board is associated with one of the four elements of magick. Pat Zalewski's book (1994) on the subject is definitive.
Aleister Crowley and Enochian
|The neutrality of this section is disputed. (January 2012)|
Crowley's most famous work with Enochian focused upon the Calls of the Aethyrs. His visions from these Calls, which he experienced while working with Victor Neuberg in Algeria, formed a document called The Vision and the Voice, also known as Liber 418 (or to give it its full title, Liber CCCCXVIII: Liber XXX Ærum Vel Saeculi, Being of the Angels of the Thirty Aethyrs the Vision and the Voice - see Holy Books of Thelema). The book was written with highly symbolic imagery and is integral to Crowley's explication of his Law of Thelema. Recordings of Crowley reading the First and Second Calls of the Aethyrs (in both English and Enochian) exist; they were recorded as part of a series of wax cylinder recordings made by Crowley in 1922, and can be found on various compilations of these recordings onto CD which are widely available today.
The two pillars of modern Enochian Magick, as outlined in Liber Chanokh are the Elemental Watchtowers (including the Tablet of Union) and the "World" of the 30 Aethyrs. The Aethyrs are the "heavens" or Aires of the system. Starting with the 30th Aethyr and working to the first, the magician explores only as far as his level of initiation will permit.[neutrality is disputed]
The Calls or 'Keys' and the "World" of the 30 Aethyrs
The essence of the Enochian system depends on the utilisation of Eighteen Calls or Keys in the Enochian language (a series of rhetorical exhortations which function as evocations), and a Nineteenth key known as the Call or Key of the 30 Aethyrs. The calls are used to enter the various Aethyrs, in visionary states. The Aethyrs are conceived of as forming a map of the entire universe in the form of concentric rings which expand outward from the innermost to the outermost Aethyr.
The Enochian 'map' of the universe is depicted by Dee as a square (made up of the 4 Elemental Tablets/Watchtowers incorporating the Tablet of Union (Spirit)), surrounded by 30 concentric circles (the 30 Aethyrs or Airs). The 30 Aethyrs are numbered from 30 (TEX, the lowest and consequently the closest to the Watchtowers) to 1 (LIL, the highest, representing the Supreme Attainment). In a similar way to the methods used by magicians to scry upon the Qabalistic Tree of Life, which involves travelling astrally to each pathway and Sephira, magicians working the Enochian system record their impressions and visions within each of the successive Enochian Aethyrs. The systems are comparable but not equivalent; while Enochian has 30 Aethyrs, there are a total of 32 Sephira and paths upon the Tree of Life. Just as a magician may talk about exploring the Tree of Life from Malkuth to Kether, the Enochian magician would talk about exploring the Enochian Aethyrs from TEX to LIL.
Each of the 30 Aethyrs is populated by "Governors" (3 for each Aethyr, except TEX which has four, thus a total of 91 Governors). Each of the governors has a sigil which can be traced onto the Great Tablet of Earth.
In practical Enochian workings, the Nineteenth Call/Key of the 30 Aethyrs is the only call necessary for working with the Aethyrs. It is only necessary to vary appropriately the name of the Aethyr itself near the beginning of the call. Once the Call is recited, the names of the Governors are vibrated one at a time and a record of the visions is kept. The use of Calls 1-18 is rather complex and their usage should be made clear via one of the Enochian textbooks cited below.
The Great Table of Earth: The Elemental Watchtowers and their subdivisions
The angels of the four quarters are symbolized by the Elemental "Watchtowers" — four large magickal word-square Tables (collectively called the "Great Table of the Earth"). Most of the well-known Enochian angels are drawn from the Watchtowers of the Great Table.
Each of the four Watchtowers (representing the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water), is collectively "governed" by a hierarchy of spiritual entities which runs (as explained in Crowley's Liber Chanokh) as the Three Holy Names, the Great Elemental King, the Six Seniors (aka Elders) (these make a total of 24 Elders as seen in the Revelation of St. John), the Two Divine Names of the Calvary Cross, the Kerubim, and the Sixteen Lesser Anegls. Each Watchtower is further divided into four sub-quadrants (sometimes referred to as 'sub-angles') where we find the names of various Archangels and Angels who govern the quarters of the world. In this way, the entire universe, visible and invisible, is depicted as teeming with living intelligences. Each of the Elemental tablets is also divided into four sections by a figure known as the Great Central Cross. The Great Central cross consists of the two central vertical columns of the Elemental Tablet (the Linea Patris and Linea Filii) and the central horizontal line (known as the Linea Spiritus Sancti).
In addition to the four Elemental Watchtowers, a twenty-square cell known as the Tablet of Union (aka The Black Cross, representing Spirit) completes the representation of the five traditional elemental attributes used in magic - Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit. The Tablet of Union is derived from within the Great Central Cross of the Great Table.
The squares of the Elemental Watchtowers and those of the Tablet of Union are not simply squares, but in fact truncated pyramids, or pyramids with flat tops - thus, pyramids which have four sides and top, for a total of five 'sides'. Again, these represent the traditional five magical elements (Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit) though in varying combinations. There are 20 Pyramids in the Tablet of Union and 156 in each of the four Elemental Tablets. Each pyramid houses an 'angel' with a one-letter name. The angel's attributes (that is, its powers and its nature) are 'read off' according to its position within the Tablet and proportions of the different Elements (whether Earth, Air, Fire, Water or Spirit) represented on its sides. When two Pyramids are combined they form an 'angel' with a two-letter name whose attributes are somewhat more complex. This gives rise to ever-more complex 'angels' depending on the number of pyramids under examination. The attribution of various Elements to the various pyramids is best depicted on a labelled and coloured version of the various Tablets; an Enochian texbook (e.g. or is most useful for this purpose.
Enochian temple furniture
Temple "furniture" required for the performance of Enochian magick includes:
- (1) The Holy Table, a table with a top engraved with a Hexagram, a surrounding border of Enochian letters, and in the middle a Twelvefold table (cell) engraved with individual Enochian letters. According to Duquette and Hyatt, the Holy Table "does not directly concern Elemental or Aethyrical workings. Angels found on the Holy Table are not called forth in these operations"
- (2) The Seven Planetary Talismans. The names on these talismans (which are engraved on tin and placed on the surface of the Holy Table) are those of the Goetia. According to Duquette and Hyatt, "this indicates (or at least implies) Dee's familiarity with the Lemegeton and his attempt, at least early in his workings, to incorporate it in the Enochian system". As with the Holy Table, Spirits found on these talismans are not called forth in these operations.
- (3) The Sigillum dei Aemeth, Holy Sevenfold Table, or 'Seal of God's Truth.' The symbol derives from Liber Juratus (aka The Sworn Book of Honorius or Grimoire of Honorius, of which Dee owned a copy). Five versions of this complex diagram are made from bee's wax, and engraved with the various lineal figures, letters and numbers. The four smaller ones are placed under the feet of the Holy Table. The fifth and larger one (about nine inches in diameter), is covered with a red cloth, placed on the Holy Table, and is used to support the "Shew-Stone" or "Speculum" (crystal or other device used for scrying). Scrying is an essential element of the magical system. Dee and Kelly's technique was to gaze into a concave obsidian mirror. Crowley habitually held a large topaz mounted upon a wooden cross to his forehead. Other methods include gazing into crystals, ink, fire or even a blank TV screen. "Aemeth" or "Emeth" is Hebrew for "truth"; the same word was written on the forehead of a Golem in Jewish folklore by magicians who legendarily animated these beings. For detailed information on the history and use of the Sigillum dei Aemeth, consult Campbell (2009) For a picture of Dee's Sigillum dei Aemeth, see John Dee.
- (4) A magician's ring engraved with the god-name Pele.
- (5) The rod "el" painted in three sections, the ends being black and the middle red.
Compared to other theories of magic, Enochian magic is often considered strikingly complex and difficult to grasp in its entirety. One of the difficulties is that many of the source documents are missing, and those that exist are sometimes fragmentary, due to the history of dispersal of Dee's library and manuscripts. Parts of the surviving manuscripts written by Dee have been lost. This has allowed numerous interpretations to arise, some of which have solidified into schools of thought with individual bodies of interpretative literature.
Another reason for the system's difficulty is the many and various ways in which the system can be interpreted, and the complex possibilities of the mathematical permutations of various of the letters, tables and diagrams fundamental to the system.
A third difficulty is the use of the Enochian language for the invocations. Magicians see the correct pronunciation of the Enochian letters, words and calls to be integral to magical success in utilising the Enochian system, and the letters must be memorised and their pronunciations learned. Fortunately there have been several compilations of Enochian words made to form Enochian dictionaries which can act as a handy reference. A scholarly study is Laycock (1978). Also useful is Vinci (1976) Authentic pronunciations according to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn usage are given by Israel Regardie in a set of Golden Dawn instructional CDs available via the internet. Regardie's Enochian dictionary is also reprinted in Crowley, Duquette and Hyatt, Enochian World of Aleister Crowley.
Enochian magic forms the backbone of both the Crowley and Golden Dawn systems of magic. Latest theories include that John Dee knew of the Slavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch, as well as the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. Many individual magicians or very small groups prefer Enochian magic to other forms as the ceremonial scale required is smaller than needed for Masonic style ritual work. On the other hand, elaborate equipment is required to perform Enochian magic properly, including correct copies of the various Tablets and diagrams, and other apparatus (see "Enochian Temple Furniture" above).
Since Dee is well-known to have been a spy for Elizabeth I's court, there are many modern interpretations of his Angelic manuscripts as cryptographic documents - most likely polyalphabetic ciphers - designed to disguise political messages (see for instance, Langford). This aspect of the manuscripts is not of major concern to Enochian magicians, but there is no doubt that Dee's knowledge of mathematics and sophisticated cipher systems contributed extensively to his magical system.
Anton LaVey's book The Satanic Bible includes a section of "Enochian Keys" within a document called The Book of Leviathan which purported to have been part of the lost manuscripts of Dr. Dee's. LaVey adapted Dee's Calls to include Satanic references which were not in the originals.
Since horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, in his short work "The History of the Necronomicon" (written 1927, published after Lovecraft's death, in 1938), made John Dee the translator of one of the versions of his mythical book of forbidden lore The Necronomicon (an example of Lovecraft's use of the technique of "pseudo-authenticity"), much has been written connecting Dee and Enochian magic with The Necronomicon. The fanciful connection between Dee and The Necronomicon was suggested by Lovecraft's friend Frank Belknap Long. Modern writings taking the connection seriously are considered fabrications.
- John Dee
- Edward Kelley
- Elias Ashmole
- Aleister Crowley
- Ceremonial magic
- Renaissance magic
- Donald Tyson, Enochian Magic for Beginners: The Original System of Angel Magic St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1997
- Lon Milo DuQuette, Enochian Vision Magick: An Introduction and Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr John Dee and Edward Kelly Weiser Books, 2008.
- John de Salvo The Lost Art of Enochian Magic: Angels, Invocations, and the Secrets Revealed to Dr. John Dee Destiny Books, 2010 (includes CD of de Salvo reading the Enochian calls with correct pronunciation)
- John de Salvo, Decoding the Enochian Secrets: God's Most Holy Book to Mankind as Received by Dr. John Dee from Angelic Messengers
- "John Dee and Edward Kelley's Great Table (or, What's This Grid For, Anyway?)" by Teresa Burns and J. Alan Moore 
- Geoffrey James, The Enochian Magick of Dr John Dee St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1994
- Frater W.I.T. Enochian Initiation: A Thelemite's Magical Journey into the Ultimate Transcendence Denver, CO: Outskirts press Inc, 2006.
- Deborah Harkness, John Dee's Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature London: Cambridge University Press, 2006
- Egil Asprem, Arguing with Angels: Enochian Magic and Modern Occulture 2012
- Aleister Crowley, Lon Milo Duquette and Christopher S. Hyatt, Enochian World of Aleister Crowley/Enochian Sex Magick Scottsdale AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1991, p. 19
- Colin D. Campbell, "The Magic Seal of John Dee: The Sigillum Dei Aemeth." Teitan Press, 2009.
- The Book of Enoch the Prophet Translated from an Ethiopic Manuscript in the Bodleian Library by the late Richard Laurence, LLD. Introduction by Layman Abbott. San Diego, CA: Wizards Bookshelf, 1995
- Joseph Peterson John Dee's Five Books of Mystery 1st ed 500 copies handbound edition in Adam McLean, Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks series, 1995; trade paperback New York: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2003)
- C.L. Whitby, John Dee's Actions with Spirits: 22 December 1581 to 23 May 1583. University of Birmingham Ph.D. thesis, 1981; published in a small edition in 2 vols, New York, Garland, 1991
- Meric Casaubon, A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits. With a new introduction by Lon Milo DuQuette, plus new and previously unpublished material generously provided for this edition from the researches of the John Dee Society, the material being introduced by Clay Holden, Archivist of the John Dee Society. New York: Magickal Childe Publishing, 1992.
- Pat Zalewski, Enochian Chess of the Golden Dawn: A Four Handed Chess Game St Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1994
- The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn: The Enochian Alphabet Clairvoyantly Examined edited, with introduction and notes by Darcy Kuntz. Edmonds, WA: Holmes Publishing Group, 1996.
- Aleister Crowley, Lon Milo Duquette and Christopher S. Hyatt, Enochian World of Aleister Crowley/Enochian Sex Magick Scottsdale AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1991, p. 29
- Stephen Skinner and David Rankine, Practical Angel Magic of Dr John Dee's Enochian Tables, London: Golden Hoard Press, 2004
- Gerald and Betty Schueler, Enochian Magic: A Practical Manual, St Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1st published 1984.
- Aleister Crowley, Lon Milo Duquette and Christopher S. Hyatt, Enochian World of Aleister Crowley/Enochian Sex Magick Scottsdale AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1991, p. 31
- Aleister Crowley, Lon Milo Duquette and Christopher S. Hyatt, Enochian World of Aleister Crowley/Enochian Sex Magick Scottsdale AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1991, p. 32
- Colin D. Campbell, "The Magic Seal of John Dee: The Sigillum Dei Aemeth." (2009).
- Donald C. Laycock, The Complete Enochian Dictionary: A Dictionary of the Angelic Language as revealed to Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley London: Askin Publishers, 1978; reprint Weiser Books, 2001
- Leon Vinci, Gmicalzoma: An Enochian Dictionary London: Neptune Press, 1976, 1992
- Aleister Crowley, Lon Milo Duquette and Christopher S. Hyatt, Enochian World of Aleister Crowley/Enochian Sex Magick Scottsdale AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1991, pp. 123-140
- David Langford, "Deciphering John Dee's Manuscript" in George Hay (ed) The Necronomicon: The Book of Dead Names. Jersey: Neville Spearman, 1978, pp.81-102
- Anton Szandor LaVey , The Satanic Bible, New York: Avon Books, 1969 (numerous reprints)
- LaVey, Anton The Satanic Bible, p. 126ff.
- Frank Belknap Long, "John Dee's Necronomicon: A Fragment", in The Necronomicon: Selected Stories and Essays Concerning the Blasphemous Tome of the Mad Arab, ed. Robert M. Price. Oakland: Chaosium, Inc., 1996.
|This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (July 2006)|
- A list of Enochian and John Dee related links on the internet: 
- Introduction to Enochian 
- History of Enochian Magick
- Crowley, Aleister, Liber LXXXIV vel Chanokh (PDF)
- Enochian Chess & HRH Prince Charles
- Rowe, Benjamin,  and PDF Enochian Magic Reference (PDF)
- How to articles about Enochian Magick
- Enochian Chess software and .wavs
- Enochian Analysis Software, Windows by Juriaan Massenza
- Digital scans of Dee's Enochian mansucripts