In the late 16th century, Dr. John Dee along with his seer, Edward Kelley, recorded an angelic language that has since become known as Enochian. Dee wrote extensively about the language, offering translations of some texts. The most well-known facet of Enochian are the 48 “calls”, commonly known as the Enochian Keys. Dee believed that these 48 keys corresponded to the 49 magic squares in Liber Loagaeth, and that these could be used to “open the 49 Gates of Wisdom/Understanding”.
The Enochian Keys are comprised of 48 verses, called Claves Angelicae (Angelic Keys) by John Dee. The Enochian Keys correspond to various functions within the Enochian Magic system, and are generally used for invocation of spirits. Dee explained that that the keys are intended to open only 48 of the “Gates of Understanding”, claiming that the remaining (49th) gate was not to be opened:
“I am therefore to instruct and inform you, according to your Doctrine delivered, which is contained in 49 Tables. In 49 voices, or callings: which are the Natural Keys to open those, not 49 but 48 (for one is not to be opened) Gates of Understanding, whereby you shall have knowledge to move every Gate…”
The Enochian Keys consist of 19 verses. The first 18 verses vary in their content, with the 19th Key being known as The Call or Key of the Thirty Aethyrs. This verse has 30 variations, for the thiry names of the Aethyrs. The text is essentially the same, with only the only change being the name of the Aethyr being called. Dr. Dee wrote that:
“But you shall understand that these 19 Calls are the Calls, or entrances into the knowledge of the mystical Tables. Every Table containing one whole leaf, whereunto you need no other circumstances.”
It is not clear from the writings of John Dee which Enochian Key is associated with which particular Elemental Tablet. However, it is clear that the The Call or Key of the Thirty Aethyrs is strongly associated with the 30 Aethyrs given is Dee’s Liber Scientiae. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn associated the Enochian Keys with the Tablets and Lesser Angles.
Some Enochian magicians suggest that the First and Second Enochian Keys define scope, or context, for the remaining calls. For example, the First Enochian Key appears to be related to the manifestation of Spirit, while the Second Enochian Key appears to outline a framework by which the powers of the Enochian system can be described and contained. Additionally, it appears that the verses of the Enochian Keys tell a creation story. The First Key begins with God, while the Eighteenth Key details the establishment of God’s power within “the center of the Earth.”
There is no doubt that the Enochian Keys and Enochian magic have been influential on the Western Magical Tradition. Popularised by the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley, the Enochian system of magic has continued to develop. There are now two published Enochian Dictionaries, numerous books on Enochian magic (representing various schools of thought with regards to implementing the Enochian system), and an Enochian chess set and several books detailing the usage of this useful magical tool.
You can discover more about the Enochian Keys and Enochian Magic at Enochian.info.