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Enochian Temples: Analysis of the First Enochian Key

by Benjamin Rowe
Copyright 1988, 1992 by Benjamin Rowe

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Analysis of the First Enochian Key

(The following section fits into the "Symbols and Visualizations" section of Enochian Temples at point 3. It was deleted from the published version to save space.)

The first Enochian Key or Call is a recapitulation of the steps by which the creator of the system brought it into being. The Key follows the same macrocosmic-to-microcosmic progression used in the example consecration ritual, but then supplements this with a response from the microcosm directed at the macrocosm. Note that the description of the downward current contains seven significant phrases, suggesting the planets and sun, the macrocosm, while the description of the response contains five significant phrases, suggesting the four elements and elemental spirit, the microcosm.

The Downward Current

1. Definition of context.

"I reign over you, saith the God of Justice, in power exalted above the firmaments of wrath." The "firmaments of wrath" are the regions of activity within which creation takes place. The god declares his full control over the act of creation, and that as the creator he is outside the realm in which the act of creation occurs.

2. Definition of the limits and qualities of the creation.

"In Whose hands the Sun is as a sword, and the Moon as a through-thrusting fire." An elegant equation, defining the parameters of the creation. The god declares dominion over planetary forces (Sun-Moon) and elemental forces (fire- air). He also declares control over the two types of dualities: those in which one pole is projective and the other responsive (Sun-Moon) and over those in which two forces of similar polarity are balanced (fire-air). Within the area of creation, the positive pole is attributed to the element of swords, Air, and the anti-positive pole is attributed to the element of Fire. This is reflected in the precedence followed by the elements throughout the Tablets and Calls: Air first, then Water, Earth, and Fire.

3. Gathering of the energies to be used.

"Which measureth your garments in the midst of my vestures..." The word translated here as "garments" is used uniformly to mean "creation" or "being" elsewhere in the Keys. Another word is used for "garments" in the next sentence of this same Key. Another word is also used for "midst" further on in this Key. So the translation here is questionable. A magickal image given to define this phrase shows the scene through the god's eyes as he pulls endless threads of living light out of a lamen on his chest.

4. Organization of the energies.

"...and trussed you together as the palms of my hands." The magickal image continues by showing the god gathering the fibers of light into a bundle or cable. The god concentrates the energies within the area of work in preparation for shaping.

5. Preparation of the material basis to which the energies are attached.

"Whose seats I garnished with the fire of gathering, which beautified your garments with admiration." Having generated the positive or spiritual pole of the creation, the god now looks to the anti-positive or material pole. The "seats" are the squares of the tablets in their two-dimensional form. The god embodies a part of his will in the Tablets, defining the order and place to which the spiritual energies will be attracted and attached. When the energies are attached to the Tablets, the pattern of will embodied in the Tablets extends back along their path to the positive pole, conditioning all the perceptible expressions (the "garments") of the energies.

6. Definition of the modes of activity of the creation.

"To whom I made a law to govern the holy ones," The word translated as "holy ones" appears to derive from the same root as the enochian words for "fire", suggesting that the holy ones are those who possess the spiritual will. The god specifies the manner in which his creation will respond to the mages and adepts.

7. Definition of the purpose of the the activity.

"and delivered you a rod with the ark of knowledge." The spirits of the Tablets are given authority over the dispensation of the god's knowledge, including the power to initiate.

Returning Current

8. The energies respond to the creative will.

"Moreover, you lifted up your voices and sware obedience and faith..." The connection between the two poles having been made, and the conditions of their interaction being set, the angels of the creation voice their response to the god, swearing to continue to follow the god's will.

9. And affirm the success of the act of creation.

" him that liveth and triumpheth," The spirits of the Tablets affirm the existence of their creator by saying that he lives, and affirm the success of the act of creation by saying that he triumphs.

10. They affirm that the creator himself exists outside the realm of creation...

"whose beginning is not, nor end can not be," The spirits affirm that the god exists entirely outside the creation's sphere of activity. This phrase echoes the line beginning "In whose hands the Sun is..." from a viewpoint inside the god's creation.

11. ...that his will is the source of their existence,

"Which shineth as a flame in the midst of your palace..." Flame echoes the "fire of gathering", and the palace is the Great Tablet. The spirits affirm that they continue to reflect the god's creative will.

12. and that he continues to regulate all of their activities.

"and reigneth among you as the balance of righteousness and truth." The god is the "god of justice", corresponding to Libra, the balances. Righteousness and Truth are Saturn and Jupiter, who in turn are contraction and expansion, stability and change, authority and responsibility, and numerous other complementary pairs. The god reconciles all opposites. The terms also echo the rod (active) and the ark of knowledge (receptive) of an earlier phrase. It is also to be noted that in Achad's Tree, Jupiter and Saturn are attributed to the paths leading respectively to Chokmah and Binah from Kether. Their balance is the path of Shin, connecting Kether with Tiphereth. Shin, Fire, is the "flame in the midst of your palace", and the beam of light in the center of the Temple.

The echoing of the god's statements by the spirits of the tablets also suggests that the conditions the god laid on the creation as a whole are reflected in miniature within the creation. It shall be shown that this is the case with the Tablets as we proceed.1

Concluding phrases

"Move, therefor, show yourselves!

"Open the mysteries of your creation!

"For I am the servant of your god,

"A true worshiper of the Highest!"

In the remainder of the Key, the magician using it calls upon the spirits to respond to him fully and openly. The word translated here as "servant" might be better rendered as "minister" or "representative". The magician asserts that he has a right to demand a response from the spirits because his acts are in accord with the will of their creator.


1 See The Lower Temple, one of the supplementary papers listed at the end of the published version of Enochian Temples.

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