... Six years later the Working of the Word of Set
was finally completed - on April 13, 1981 (anniversary of John Dee’s initial Working).
In the Satanic Bible
the Enochian Keys, even in their altered form, are still garbled and unintelligible. Hence Anton felt the need to venture an interpretation of each one preceding its text. These interpretations have no basis in previous documents, and indeed previous commentators - including Dee himself - had been unable to integrate the Keys into a coherent translation.
After completing the Working of the Word of Set
, I found that the new translation needed no external interpretation - at least not for those to whom it was evidently addressed. Obviously it is idiomatic and not a word-for-word translation - as are all translations from original hieroglyphs.
In 1980, furthermore, I learned that the Casaubon account of the Dee Keys was not as error-free as I had previously supposed. My benefactor was an Initiate of the Temple of Set who kindly provided me with a complete microfilm of the original Dee diary Keys from the British Museum. Hence the “Enochian” text reproduced with the Word of Set
is an exact copy of the original as John Dee penned it, including capitalization.
As I have noted above, this original does not lend itself to grammatically-based translation or to word-for-word correlation with Dee’s own English “translation”. [The most recent efforts to do so - in Donald Laycock’s Enochian Dictionary
- resulted in an arbitrary subdividing of the Enochian text and the addition of a modern-English-based punctuation in order to “force” a correlation. The quality of the result is self-evident.]
An “Enochian purist” might question the translation provided by the Word of Set
in that it is not the English version recorded by John Dee in his diaries. My answer is simply that I approached the Keys not as a historian seeking to reprint what Dee did, but as a magician seeking to operate the same “magical machinery” that Dee did - and to operate it with greater care and precision than he did.
Hence it is not a case of my “corrupting Dee”, but rather of my uncorrupting something which predated Dee’s own existence, and which was, after all, not of his [or Kelley’s] authorship. Were one to take the position that the Keys are a Dee/Kelley creation, then they would be fraudulent as a GBM Working - and merely an uncommonly-successful LBM stunt which has mystified and obsessed occultists these many centuries.
As it appears here, then, the Word of Set
is an eighteenfold sequence of statements addressed to the original (“third ordering”) Initiates of the Temple of Set in ancient times. The 19th Part is not so much a statement as an operative invocation to be used for access to what Dee referred to as the “thirty aires or æthyrs”. Use of this invocation is best described in Crowley’s Liber LXXXIV vel Chanokh
; see also The Vision and The Voice
What exactly is an “æthyr”? Cabalistically these are “rings” or “spheres” [of consciousness] progressively closer to the universal godhead. Per Crowley, each æthyr also awakens certain kinds of dispositions and perceptions in a magician who focuses his attention towards it - and may also provide him with access to related magical tools and/or weapons. The æthyrs will stand further exploration, in light of the Initiatory advances of the Æon of Set, and should provide a rich opportunity for Setians to test their GBM sensitivity and skills.