The Action Of 11:15am Saturday March 10th MDLXXXII era vulgaris:
Being the First Spiritual Exercise with Edward Talbot (ne Kelly)
In nomine Jesv CHRISTI:
In the name of Jesus CHRIST.
Anno 1582. Marty die 10. hora 11 1/4 Ante Meridiem, Saterday.
i. One Mr. Edward Talbot came* to my house, and he being willing and
desirous to see, or show, something in spiritual practice, would
have had me to have done something therein. And I truly excused
myself therein; as not, in the vulgarly accounted Magick1,
studied, or exercised. But confessed myself long time to have been
desirous to have help in my philosophical studies through the company
and information of the blessed Angels of God2. And
thereupon I brought
I forth to him my stone in the frame (which was given me of a friend)
and I said unto him that I was credibly informed that to it (after a sort)
Aliqui Angeli boni:
And also that I was once willed by a skryer, to call for the good Angel
Anchor, to appear in that stone to my own sight. And therefore I desired
to call him and (if he would) Anachor and Anilos likewise, accounted
good Angels, for I was not prepared thereunto3,
etc. He then settled
himself to the Action, and on his knees at my desk (setting the stone
before him) fell to prayer and entreaty etc. In the mean space, I in my
Oratory did pray and make motion to God and his good Creatures for the
furthering of this Action4. And within one quarter
of an hour (or less) he
had sight of one in the Stone. But he still expected for two more: deeming
this to be one of the three (namely Anchor, Anachor, Anilos). But I then
to him, to the stone, and required to know his name. And he spake plainly,
(to the hearing of E.T.) that his name is Uriel5.
Various good Angels.
: Are you
one of them (said I, John Dee) that are answerable, (upon
due observations performed) to this stone?
URIEL: I am.
: Are there
any more beside you?
Uriel: Michael and Raphael. But Michael est princeps in operibus
...Michael is the foremost
in our working.
: Is my book
of Soyga6 of any excellency?
Uriel: Liber ille, erat Adae in Paradiso revelatus, per Angelos Dei
It is that book, which was revealed to Adam in Paradise, by
the good Angels of God.
: Will you
give me any instructions, how I may read those Tables
Uriel: I can. But solus Michael illius libri est interpretatur.
...only Michael is the interpreter of that book.
: I was
told; that after I could read that book, I should live
but two years and a half.
Uriel: Thou shalt live an hundred and odd years8.
: What may
I, or must I do, to have the sight and presence of
Michael, that blessed Angel?
Uriel: Praesentias nostris postulate et invocate, sinceritate et
humilitate. Et Anchor, Anachor, et Anilos, non sunt in hanc
Sincerely and humbly; demand and invoke our presence.
But Anchor, Anachor, Anilos are not to be invoked into this stone.
: Oh my
great and long desire hath been to be able to read those
tables of Soyga.
Uriel: Haec maxime' respicunt Michaelem. Michael est Angelas;
qui illuminat gressus tuos. Et haec revelantur in virtute et veritate
This pertains especially to Michael; Michael is an Angel,
who shines over us. And this revelation is in virtue and truth not
: Is there
any special time, or hour to be observed, to deal for
the enjoyning of Michael?
Uriel: Omnis hora, est hora nobis.
Every hour that is our hour9.
After there appeared in the stone a strange Seal or
Characterismus* of the fashion ensuing:
: What is
the intent, or use, of this?
iii. Uriel*: Sigilum hoc in sculpendum, ad defensionem corporis
omni, loco, tempore et occasione; et in pectus gestandum'.
This Sigil is to be carved in gold, as a defense for the
body, in all places, times, and circumstances, and is to be worn on
: So we
ceased, with thanks to God, and I mused much upon this
Action, and laid all up in mind, and writing.
Soli Deo Honoi omnis, et gloria.
Only to God be all honor and glory.
i. . Note:
he had two days before made the like demand and
request unto me, but he went away unsatisfied. For his coming was
to entrap me, if I had had any dealing with wicked spirits, as he
confessed often times after, and that he was set on, etc10.
ii. . An
Illuding Spirit straightaway intruded himself and this
character as may appear Libri Quinti appendice where the character
is described exactly.11
iii. This was not true Uriel, as may appear Anno 1583: May 5.12
1. "The 'magick' which made use of the invocation of evil or
doubtful spirits was
of course always regarded as sinful; but natural magic, i.e. that which did
not involve recourse to the agency of personal spirits, was in the Middle
Ages usually recognized as a legitimate department of study and practice,
so long as it was not applied to malificent ends. Of 'natural magic' as
understood by mediaeval writers, astrological conditions, in order to injure
or benefit the health of the person represented; and the application of a
medicament to a weapon in order to heal the wound made by it. These things,
if now practiced would still be called 'magic' though the qualification
would seem quite inappropriate. On the other hand the 'natural magick' of
the Middle Ages included much that from the standpoint of modern science is
'natural' but not 'magical', the processes resorted to being really,
to the now known laws of physical causation, adapted to produce the intended
Taken from the Oxford English Dictionary entry of 'magic' to which
the interested student is referred. A comprehensive study of the texts
cited will give a invaluable understanding of the meaning and usage of this
concept throughout the history of the English language.
2. vide Thelema Lodge O.T.O. (April and May 1988 e.v.)
3. It would seem that Dee is either testing E.T. or more likely stalling for
the use of these angels pertains to the preliminary preparation of the
that is literally getting dressed before the Action proper.
4. Various points of internal evidence here indicate that Dee is following the
instructions given by Peter of Abano in his Magical Elements (op cit.
The Fourth Book, and Barrett, The Magus). This would include
preliminary conjurations in Latin, a number of ritual actions, a recitation
the Lord's Prayer or the Paternoster in conjunction with various traditional
catholic supplications, and probably the particular invitation to the Angels
attributed to Saturday.
5. A fuller discussion of the nature and office of Uriel will be given in the
appropriate place, but it is notable that he is one of the angels listed as
answerable to the Conjurations of Saturday by Abano in the Heptameron.
6. The question of what Dee is referring to with regards to his Book or Tables
Soyga has yet to be absolutely resolved by any scholarship in this area. A
number of theories have been postulated and further research may yet come
to some conclusive answer to this puzzling enigma.
7. "Soyga = agyos", a note from the fair copy of this action in Libri
Appendix equating 'soyga' with a transposition of the spelling of the
word meaning holy.
8. Dee actually lived for 71 years.
9. This point which obviously refers to the use of the Government Of Hours is
notable as only Michael and Raphael are questionable as to the correct
calculation of their appropriate times. The resolution of which depends
on how they are attributed to the sephiroth.
10 . The private circumstances of Dr. Dee's life leading to the events herein
1582. JANUARY 11th Robert Gardener desired my leave to go dwell
with Sir William Herbert, hora 12. Jan. 16th Mistress Herbert came to
Essex. Jan. 17th Randal Hatton came home from Samuel's father at Stratton
Audley. Jan. 22nd Arthur Dee and Mary Herbert, they being but 3 year old
the eldest, did make as it were a show of childish marriage, of calling each
other husband and wife. Jan. 22nd and 23rd The first day Mary Herbert
came to her father's house at Mortlake, and the second day she came to her
father's house at Estshene. Jan. 23rd My Wife went to nurse Garret and
paid her for this month ending the 26th day. Jan. 27th
Barnabas Saul's brother came.
FEBUARY 12th About 9 of the clock Barnabas Saul and his brother
Edward went homeward from Mortlake. Saul's indictment being by law
found insufficient at Westminster Hall: Mr. Serjant Walmesley, Mr. Owen
and Mr. Hyde, his lawyers at the bar for the matter. And Mr. Ive, the clerk
of the crown Office favouring the other. Feb. 20th Mr. Bigs of Stentley by
Huntingdon and John Littlechild came to me. I received a letter from
Barnabas Saul. Feb. 21st Mr. Skullthorp rude toward Barnabas. Feb. 25th
Mr. Skullthorp came home. Paid Nurse Garret for Katherine till Friday
the 23rd day, viz. then something due to nurse for iij. lbs. of candle and
4 lbs. of soap.
MARCH 1st Mr. Clerkson brought Magnus to me at Mortlake, and so
went that day again. Mar. 6th Barnabas Saul came this day again about one
o'clock and went to London the same afternoon. He confessed that he neither
heard or saw any spiritual creature any more. Mar. 8th Mr. Clerkson and
his friend came to my house. Barnabas went home again about 2 or 3 o'clock,
he went I say, on Thursday with Mr. Clerkson. Mar. 8th Coelum ardere et
instar sanguinis in diversis partibus rubere visum est circa horam nonam
noctis, maxime versus sepentriolem et occidentalem partem: sed ultra capita
nostra versus austrum frequenter miles quasi sanguines. Mar. 9th Friday
dinner time Mr. Clerkson and Mr. Talbot* declared a great deal of Barnabas
naughty dealing toward me, as in telling Mr. Clerkson ill things of me, that
I would so flatter his friend; the learned man, that I would borrow him of
him. But his Friend told me that Barnabas had censured both Mr. Clerkson
and myself. The injuries which this Barnabas had done me diverse ways
were very great.
* You that read this, the underwritten assure yourself that it is a shameful
lie, for Talbot neither studied for any such thing nor showed himself
dishonest in anything.
Dee: This is Talbot or that 'learned man,' his own writing in my book,
very unduly as he came by it.
The above edited from the Private Diary Of Dr. John Dee, op.cit.
11. This sigil is clearly false. The correct arrangement relates to the Tabula
Sancta or Holy Table and is dealt with in the next action. The passages
cited here are from Dee's appendix and will be given in full, in their
proper context accompanying the next article in this series.
12. Ibid. but note also this passage from Abano's
Considerations of Saturday:
"Those are the figures that these spirits usually assume, which are
generally terrible at the first coming on of the visions, but as they have
only a limited power, beyond which they cannot pass, so the invocator
need be under no apprehensions of danger, provided he is well fortified
with those things we have directed to be used for his defense, and above
all, to have a firm and constant faith in the mercy, wisdom, and goodness