Enochian Magick and Tarot
The magical powers of the Tarot are found in the Enochian magic system. The tables below show that the combination of tarot and enochian gives the magician a huge range of magical powers at his disposal. Tarot connects The Book of Thoth, Liber AL and Liber 418. Verses from Liber AL is liberally quoted in the other books; there are references to the Major Arcana in every Aethyr of Liber 418, while Crowley quotes whole paragraphs from Liber AL in the Book of Thoth. Casual study does not elicit a pattern, but here is one method of making sense of it all. All the information presented is freely available in various books: here is the solution to the jigsaw puzzle.
Dee's system of Angelic Magic does not have an association with the Tree of Life, despite valiant attempts by the Golden Dawn. However, there are connections to the Tarot, which are more fruitful to explore.
Enochian and the Aethyrs
Very little is known about the 30 Aethyrs, except that there is a hierarchy and that each Aethyr should be visited in serial order, starting with 30 TEX, the lowest, and culminating with 1 LIL at the highest spiritual level. Contained within the writings of Dee, there are specific warnings about accessing ZAX, containing the infamous Choronzon. Crowley's preparation and battle with Choronzon is a classic in magickal literature. Using Table 1 changes the hierarchical perception.
The 91 Enochian Governors rule the 30 Aethyrs. Each Aethyr has three Governors, except for TEX which has four. Many Enochian books list the Governors along with the regions of the earth, and the number of Ministers and Angelic Governors. All the names of the Governors are derived from the Squares within the four Enochian Watchtowers. The actual names vary slightly due to transcription errors, and this is an area of controversy among academics. Using the system outlined below, these problems are avoided. In essence, the above is pretty much all that is known about the Aethyrs and Governors. Aleister Crowley is credited with being the first Magician to access and record his experiences of visiting the Aethyrs. So how else could he have analysed the Aethyrs before he visited them? The answer is easy. I have no proof that Crowley used it, but the solution is simple and elegant. Each Watchtower contains exactly 22 Governors. It is not hard to make an association with the 22 Hebrew letters and the Major Arcana, but writers on the subject gloss over this aspect. Table 1 shows the result of tabulating the Governors of each Watchtower, the associated Aethyrs and the Major Arcana. Meditation on this Mandala has a powerful unifying effect on the consciousness. Relationships develop between the Tarot, the Aethyrs and the Governors within one's own awareness spontaneously. Surprisingly, all the information required to develop the system is implicit within this diagram. Each Tarot Atu can also be considered to have four aspects related to the four Governors and their corresponding aethyrs.
The Tarot order below follows the Book of Thoth, but one can experiment and transpose the Emperor and Star. ZAX does not appear on the diagram as the Governors, Lexarph, Tabitom and Comanon are not part of the Watchtowers. They are, however, associated with the Roots of the Powers of the Aces.
|Table 1: Tarot and the Aethyrs|
|Fool||1||1 LIL||16||6 MAZ||43||15 OXO||66||22 LIN|
|Empress||4||2 ARN||19||7 DEO||46||16 LEA||69|
|Lovers||7||3 ZOM||22||8 ZID||49||17 TAN||72|
|Hermit||10||4 PAZ||25||9 ZIP||52||18 ZEN||75|
|Hanged Man||13||5 LIT||33||11 IKH||55||19 POP||78|
|Death||14||34||12 LOE||56||79||27 ZAA|
|Devil||31||11 IKH||36||58||20 KHR||81|
|Tower||32||37||13 ZIM||59||82||28 BAG|
|Moon||88||30 TEX||39||61||21 ASP||84|
|Sun||89||40||14 VTA||62||85||29 RII|
Unifying the Spiritual Powers of Tarot and Enochian
The Enochian System of Magick, the Spiritual and Magickal Pinnacle of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, has three main areas: the 30 Aethyrs, the 91 Governors and the 4 Watchtowers. Most reference books show the Aethyrs and Governors in sequential order, as given by John Dee, skating over the fact that there are exactly 22 Governors in each Watchtower (leaving two squares over that are added together to produce a 92nd Governor, who is considered to be evil). There have also been attempts to use other occult models such as the Tree of Life (Pat Zalewski), or the Gupta-Vidya model (Schueler). They have some use, but there are also problems with them. The Keys to understanding the Powers of the Tarot are scattered amongst various publications:
Book of Thoth
Aleister Crowley's classic book of Tarot. Crowley attempted to unify his whole system of Thelemic Magick for the New Aeon.
Liber 418 documents the visions Aleister Crowley had when skrying the 30 Aethyrs. Crowley was apparently the first to visit each Aethyr in turn, and Liber 418 is still the classic reference to the system. It is noticeable that there are a number of Tarot references in each Aethyr, but there is no apparent order. Crowley also cites various Aethyrs in his Book of Thoth, so it is clear that he at least infers some correspondence between the two. The Book of Thoth can also be considered to be a commentary on the Book of the Law, or Liber AL, which is also extensively quoted in Liber 418. We thus have a triangular framework, but the historical order is:
- Book of the Law
- Liber 418
- Book of Thoth.
The study of Liber 418 and Book of Thoth is most illuminating if Table 1 is used for reference. While it is easy to cherry pick, the correspondences are fascinating. For example, the Vision of the Arrow can be linked to the rulership of Atu Art to the Aethyr LIT.
Liber 231 is a mysterious collection of Sigils that relate to the spiritual powers of the Major Arcana. There are two sets of Genii: "The House of Mercury", and the "Prison of Shells". Crowley's Book of Thoth can be considered to be a commentary on the House of Mercury. The Prison of Shells are explored in Kenneth Grant's Nightside of Eden, and in Linda Falorio's Shadow Tarot. Kenneth Grant's book conveys an impression of evil, but Linda Falorio has succeeded in revealing the powers of the Qlippoth as being healing and empowering. Both Grant and Falorio use and elaborate on the powers of Column 32.
Tarot of Ceremonial Magick
Created by Lon Milo DuQuette, the Tarot of Ceremonial Magick incorporates the 'Zodiacal, Enochian, Ceremonial, Goetic, Tattvic and Elemental components' on each Tarot card. Rather than give a divinatory meaning for each Major Arcana, DuQuette gives four interpretations corresponding to the four elements, and some of these relate to, or are direct quotes from Liber AL.
A system for analysing the power and energy of Tarot cards using the elemental attributions to see which cards are stronger or weaker, active or passive. Thus, Fire and Water are enemies, as are Air and Earth. All other combinations are friendly. Each element has other characteristics which can be used to gain subtlety in interpretation. See Jess Karlin's essay on the subject.
Using the System
The Key is to use the first part of the Tarot reading described in The Golden Dawn and in the Book of Thoth, but with some modifications. (Positional Spreads are not recommended since all the cards are needed). An appropriate ceremony is conducted after the purpose of the reading is ascertained. Select a Significator.
Watchtower Spread positions
The first part of the Reading is to cut the Tarot into four piles, representing the four elements/Watchtowers. The piles are turned over and spread out. The cards are interpreted according the counting rules in The Book of Thoth, and the rules of Elemental Dignities. If a Significator has been selected, it should be studied. The numbers of Major cards in each pile should be noted (use a copy of Table 1.), and it should be easy to spot any triple combinations that could indicate the influence of an Aethyr. The positions of the Major cards are noted and can be interpretated according to DuQuette, or Dennings and Phillips, along with Elemental Dignities. Combinations of cards are very important. For example, if the Lovers, Chariot and Strength appear in the Air pile, it can be an indication that the influence of TAN is strong, the nature of which depends on the interaction of other cards using the counting system. A possible remedy could be an astral visit to TAN, or an invocation of one of the Governors of TAN to petition change, or a visit to one of the countries ruled by the Governors of TAN. If the Devil card was influencing strongly, it could be that some kind of black magick was involved; conversely, the influence of the Hanged Man could suggest that some kind of Talisman is necessary. The combinations and possibilities are endless. The Tarot could be used to suggest not only an Aethyr to visit, but what to expect, or even an indication of any kind of work to be done on that Aethyr. Skrying into an Aethyr can be facillitated by placing the relevant Major Cards before the appropriate Watchtower and performing a ritual.
Tablet of Union
|Tablet of Union|
The appearance of a particular set of Court Cards in one of the Watchtower piles could indicate the influence of one of the Governors of ZAX since the above names are the basis of them: LEXARP - Air, COMANAN - Water, TABITOM - Fire. ZAX is the glue that holds the Watchtowers together.
Tattvic Tides and Planetary Hours
Other methods are to synchronise the evocation of an Aethyr according to the Tattvic Tides or the Planetary Hours, using the astrological associations of each Tarot card. Liber 777 can be used to reference any signposts seen in the vision, or build up new correspondences. Note that Crowley was advised to re-enter VTA during night time, suggesting the influence of Saturn/The Universe. Governors connected with the Fool, Hanged Man, Aeon and Universe will have a very strong elemental bias, and would have a stronger affinity with the Tattvas.
The Goetic spirits are associated with the Minor Arcana, but it should not take a lot of imagination to incorporate a ritual where the astrological attributions of a Governor or Atu is taken into consideration.
The Tarot simultaneously unifies and defines the intricate nature of the multidimensional aspects to the Enochian system that can be used to gain greater insight into a Tarot reading, whatever the subject. The Tarot can be used to safely explore the nature of the vast regions of the Aethyrs.