The Structure of the Watchtower Hierarchies
On Wednesday June 20, 1584, Edward Kelly had a vision that would significantly effect the angelic magical system that he and John Dee were receiving. In the days that followed it would be analyzed and explained, and ultimately it would produce the Terrestrial system of Watchtower magic that was to profoundly influence not only their own work but eventually the whole course of the Western Hermetic Tradition. The student of Enochian magic would do well to make themselves familiar with the pages (168-189) in A True & Faithful Relation1 (henceforth T&FR). The Angel Ave summarized the material as follows:
Four sumptuous and belligerant Castles, out which sounded trumpets thrice2. The Sign of Majesty, the Cloth of passage, was cast forth.
In the East, the cloth red; after new smitten blood.
In the South, the cloth white, Lilly coloured.
In the West a cloth, the skins of many Dragons, green: garlick-bladed.
In the North, the cloth, Hair-coloured, Bilbery juyce. The trumpets sound once3. The gates open. The four Castles are moved. There issueth 4 Trumpeters, whose Trumpets a Pyramis, six cones wreathed4. There followeth out of every Castle 3, holding up their Banners displayed, with ensigne, the names of God. There follow Seniors six, alike from the 4 Gates: After them cometh from every part a King: whose Princes are five, gardant, and holding up his train. Next issueth the Crosse of 4 Angles, of the Majesty of Creation in God attended upon every one with 4: a white Cloud, 4 Crosses, bearing the witnesses of the Covenant of God, with the *Prince gone out before: which were confirmed, every one, with ten Angels, visible in countenance: After every Crosse, attendeth 16 Angels, dispositors of the will of those, that govern the Castles. They proceed. And, in, and about the middle of the Gate: The rest pause. The 24 Seniors meet: They seem to consult. ...
40. Angels of the 4 Crosses, attending on the principal +.
Thus we have a general hierarchy within the Great Table that can be outlined thus:
- The Castles
- The Trumpets
- The Clothes of Passage
- Crosses of 4 Angles
- 1 Kings
- 6 Elders
- 5 Princes
- The Lesser Crosses
- 4 Attendants
- 10 Countenances
- 16 Dispositors
A. The Watchtowers as a whole
1. The 4 Castles
The 4 Castles are the 4 Tables themselves, the 12 by 13 rectangles that form each Watchtower.
These are gathered together by the Black Cross of Union into the Great Table5.
The 4 Trumpeters are the Seals set at the corners of the Great Table and ruling over each Watchtower thus.
The seals and authorities of these Houses are confirmed in the beginning of the World. Unto everyone of them be 4 characters, (tokens of the presence of the son of God: by whom all things were made in Creation.)
T&FR p 170
The figures are respectively a capital T with 4 flames ascending from its capitol; an Equal angled and equal armed cross with an upright perpendicular and a parallel horizontal; a circle with approximately 12 lines radiating from the circumference; a right equal cross with a letter “b” in the upper left hand corner, a numeral “6” in the upper right hand corner, a numeral 4 in the lower left hand corner and another letter “b” in the lower right hand corner.
They represent Creation in that the 4/T correlates to the first letter in the circumference of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth6, symbolized Tetragrammaton as a title of Jehovah:
That part [pointing to that T] of the Table of the earth of those that govern the earth: that are governed by the seven Angels that are governed by the seven that stand before God, that are governed by the living God, which is found in the Seal of the living God, (Tan with four)
In practice it is said that this seal represents God in his rulership over the seven planetary Angels beneath the Archangels that connect the heavens to the Earth7. There seems to be a correlation being made between the 4 letters and the initial of Tetragrammaton with the 4 elements and the initial of Terrestrial. The 4 represents the angles and the arms of the Cross as T represents the cross, and the 7 Angels mentioned are those that cluster around the crucifix within the center of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
It is in that Table, which consisteth of 4. and 8. Vide lib 3. Anno 1582. Aprilis 28.
Next comes the simple black equal armed Cross.
The earth is the last, which is with the Angels, but not as the Angels, and therefore it standeth in the Table of the seven Angels, * which stand before the presence of God in the last place without a Letter or number, but figured by a Crosse.
It in expressed in the Angle of that Table, wherein the names of the Angels are gathered, and do appear, as of Michael and Gabriel.
* Vide 1582. 20 Martii. lib. 2.10
In Liber Secundus cited in Dee’s note here, this is associated with Uriel as the terrestrial ruler below the 7 Archangels. Also this can be seen as the Cross (surrounded by AGLA) that is the reverse and base of the Sigillum. As can be seen above the traditional Archangels of the spheres can be read horizontally off of this table as noted by Dee.
The final figure was originally that of a small swirl of smoke that was later elaborated into the circular figure with the 12 rays. This may be related to the vision of Saturday 23 May 158711, as this follows directly after the reformation of the Tables by Raphael and contains this symbolism. It probably correlates to the 12 Angelic Kings that rule over the 91/92 Governors of the Aires.
These can be seen to have fairly straight cabalistic correlations to the elements they are set over. The Tetragrammaton is JHVH and that is the name that is called to rule air in the east in the traditional formulation of pentagram ritual. The Tablets of Creation from whence the water seal derives are concerned with the dividing the waters that are above from the waters that are below. Uriel is traditionally attributed to earth as is AGLA in the pentagram ritual, also the descent from the sphere of Saturn down through that of the Moon can be seen in the Archangelic Table. The final seal is correlated to smoke and where there is smoke there must be fire.
In Practice these four Trumpets can be seen as the heraldry of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Clothes of Passage
And from the 4 horses of the 4 Horsemen can coloration of the Clothes of Passage be assigned to the 4 Elements. As the Aurum Solis notes a T&FR (p 170) clearly implies this with the inculcation:
Ensignes, upon whose Image whereof is death: whereupon the Redemption of mankind is established, and with the which he shall come too judge the Earth. These are the Characters, and natural marks of holiness. Unto these belong four Angels severally.
That they are correlated to the cusps of the seasons as the Kings which follow are correlated to the 15 degree points of the Fixed signs, thus in combination indicating the 8 spoked wheel of the Druids and other pagan cultures, as in the Book of the Law:
II,36: There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
Thus the Trumpeters are the Seasonal ingresses or Lesser Sabbats, the “feasts of the times” and the Kings are the Midseasonal eves or Great Sabbats, the “rituals of the elements” because they correlate respectively to the 4 Horsemen and Cherubs of Ezekiel or the Beasts of Revelation.
Examining the relevant passages in Revelation VI we find.
1: And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2: And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
White Horseman = Fire
The Bowman is traditionally Sagittarius, and if we examine the relevant celestial space: RA 20H30 to 18H by Declination 40s30 to 20s30 it can be seen that the bowman has a crown, Corona Australis. In astrology the Winter Solisticial colour is at the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn. Note also that Sagittarius is the location of the center of our Galaxy, the southernmost Zodiacal constellation and the location of the conjunction of the Galactic Equator with the Ecliptic. Note also the triplicity of fire implicit in the above passage: Aries = Lamb, First Beast = Leo, and Bowman = Sagittarius.
3: And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4: And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Red Horseman = Air
Red would then equal air, and mutable air is Gemini. And the cusp of Gemini and Cancer is the Summer Solstice. The Sword is attributed both to air and Mars equaling Red Air. Zain = Sword = Gemini in the Tarot. Castor the lucida of Gemini is both a swordsman and called the horseman of the Zodiac. Note too that as Sagittarius is the view in to the center of the Galaxy, Gemini looks outward to the closest edge, thus are both crossed by the Milky Way.
5: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6: And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Black Horseman = Earth
Here can be seen the cusp of Virgo and Libra that marks the Autumnal Equinox. Black = Earth, and mutable Earth is Virgo. The pair of balances is obviously Libra. Also the measure of wheat can be seen as Spica, a spike of wheat, the lucida of Virgo. Virgo is also Astreae who is in reality Justice. Note on a grand celestial scale Virgo is the location of the center of the great Galactic supercluster to which our local group and home galaxy the Milky Way belong.
7: And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Pale (Green) Horseman = Water
The Greek for pale in this passage (chloros12) is actually more appropriately defined as green. Water equals the Hanged Man and Death is Scorpio, fixed water. The cusp of Pisces, mutable water and Aries is the Vernal Equinox, and by precession the equinox has drifted into Pisces towards Aquarius, who though airy is the Water Bearer. Note that the Lamb = Aries began this set of attributions and it ends with Pisces at the beginning of the year at Vernal Equinox so the first is both first and last and visa versa.
This becomes more obvious as the relationship between the Kings and the 24 Seniors is seen to reflect that of the 4 Beasts and the 24 Seniors in Revelation.
So if the Seals above the Tables are to be associated with the 4 Horseman, as purported by the Aurum Solis, then they are, I believe clearly associated with the cusps that begin the seasons as shown above. This can be further verified by placing a Reformed Great Table in the center of a circular astrological diagram and aligning the 4 corners to the cusps as given. I have attached a diagram which puts this in some perspective, but unfortunately isn’t of the quality I would like. The center represents the Reformed Great Table; the inner circle the Tropical Zodiac; the outer circle the constellational/sidereal intersection with the ecliptic; the irregular shapes beyond the circles indicate the projection of the actual constellations with the sigils of some of the fixed stars for reference and the Sigils of the elements are placed beyond to show the relationship.
1 Meric Casaubon, A True & Faithful Relation of What passed for many Yeers Between Dr. John Dee (A Mathematician of Great Fame in Q. Elizabeth and King James their Reignes) and Some Spirits: . . . . , (New York: Magickal Childe, 1992).
2 4 X 3 = 12, announcing the 12 Ensigns to come, here indicative not of zodical signs but of the 12 House.
3 4 X 1 = 4 the 4 Castles, 4 horsemen, 4 Beasts = 4 Kings, 4 Clothes of Passage, 4 Crosses etc. 4 + 12 = 16 which will be the greatest number explicated in the hierarchy.
4 4 X 6 = 24, the 24 Seniors, the 24 hours of the day, cf. Theorem John Dee. The Hieroglyphic Monad. <http://hermetic.com/browe-archive/pdf/Dee%20Monad.pdf>
5 From this is drawn the so called Spirit Table, which will be discussed in due course.
6 Liber Secundus from Sloane MS. 3188: Mysteriorum Libri Quinque contained in Clay Holden edt. Liber Secundus (http://hermetic.com/jdpp/), Christopher Whitby edt. John Dee’s Actions With Spirits: 22 December 1581 to 23 May 1583 (New York: Garland, 1996). and Joseph H. Peterson edt. & trans., Five Books of Mystical Exercises, (Wales: Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, 1985). In part available as Mysteriorum Libri Quinque (http://www.esotericarchives.com/dee/sl3188.htm).
7 Levanael, Korabiel, Nogahel etc.
8 For a view of the Tablet being described cf. Liber Tertius vide post, also a T&FR and James p. 178. where the Tablets of Creation are arrayed upon the Holy Table.
9 Liber Tertius, from Sloane MS. 3188: Mysteriorum Libri Quinque, op cit. note 6
10 20 March 1582 Liber Secundus op cit. note 6
11 T&FR p. 14 (2nd series) et passim.
12 Χλωρός, cognate with the English chlorophyll, the green coloring in plants.