Enochian Pronunciation Guide -- Introduction

AN ESSAY ON ENOCHIAN PRONUNCIATION

by

Christeos Pir

Fr. VITRIOL 335 0 O.T.O.


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

This paper is divided into two sections: a comparison of some systems of pronunciation of the Enochian or Angelic language as used in the nineteen Calls of the tablets, and an attempt to write the Calls in such a manner that they may be pronounced according to Dr. Dee's notes.

Part One:

The first section compares three versions of the Calls: that of the Aurum Solis as published in the Llewellyn edition of Denning and Phillips' Mysteria Magica; Geoffrey James' "corrected" calls as published in the Heptangle edition of The Enochian Evocation of Dr. John Dee; and Dr. Dee's original notes as published in the Magickal Childe edition of Meric Causabon's A True and Faithful Relation.... I have compared these systems word-by-word, with the Aurum Solis and James versions on the first two lines, and Dee's on the third.

Example:

Aurum Solis: OL^ SONuF VORoSiG, GOHO I-AD BALaT,
Geoffrey James: OL SONF VORSG, GOHO IAD BALT,
Dee: Ol sonf vorsg, goho yad balt,

Where Dee has separated a word into its syllables (eg, Im ua mar), I have hyphenated it so as to more easily discern between word divisions and syllable divisions (Im-ua-mar). Where he has shown stress by using an accent, I have used boldface (q-a-an). In a number of places his marginalia give more than one version of a word, usually in order to clarify its pronunciation; other times he has occasionally written an example for the same purpose -- these I have placed in footnotes. There are also one or two places where he has offered variant spellings: these, too, I have placed in the footnotes. I have attempted to standardize the punctuation, arbitrarily picking one of several possible systems and applying it to all of them in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Procrustes.

One problem that had to be dealt with in re-typing the Aurum Solis version is their system of transliteration, which uses several symbols outside of the English alphabet. I have made two changes to their system, solely in order to use symbols that my computer could produce, as follows (the revised key, which is adapted from "Mysteria Magica", and applies only to the AS version, is given in the Appendix):

^ represents the neutral vowel, as the first vowel sound in "parade," or the second vowel sound in "column."

# represents the guttural, pronounced as the "ch" in German (Woche, suchen).

It is to be noted that James' version contains a number of differences from Dee's originals. These, as I understand it, are the result of his research into, and attempts to rectify, variations among the Calls themselves, and between the Enochian of the Calls and their English translations. I have not done any research in this area, and leave it up to the reader to decide which version to follow. Some of those corrections which are meant to fix transcription errors on Dee's part directly contradict some of Dee's own pronunciation notes. How Dee could have been able to record the sounds of his typos, I have not been able to determine.

I have chosen not to include the Golden Dawn's "Hebraicized" pronunciation, since it is based on a very different system. This is not meant as any reflection on the remarkable achievements of Westcott, Mathers and their descendants, which just go to prove the amazing versatility of the Enochian system.

Part Two:

The second section is my attempt to rewrite the Calls into some sort of standardized, readable phonetic system. One thing became evident in this process: the pronunciation guide given by Donald Laycock in his Complete Enochian Dictionary is the closest thing to Dee's notes I've seen so far. For this reason, some may prefer to follow Laycock's guide in those cases where no indication in Dee's notes was forthcoming (eg: VLCININ = Vul-see-nin or Vul-kih-nin?), a not infrequent problem, unfortunately. I am not completely in agreement with Laycock in all instances, as may be seen by comparing my pronunciation key (see Part Two) with that in Laycock's Enochian Dictionary, which I have printed in the Appendix. One such problem, and a bone of contention among scholars and dabblers alike, is over the use of the morpheme "zod." I regret to say that I have been unable to resolve this question. Out of the 127 instances of words with the letter "z" in the nineteen Calls, only 7 use "zod" -- and even then it is inconsistent: one of those words is "zod-a-car" which appears only once in that form, and 13 times as "zacar" (or "zacare"). It is not even clear whether it is intended as a spoken syllable, or merely a clarification:

The letter z has not always been called "zed" or "zee"; it has had many names, among them being "izzard", and, at the end of the sixteenth century, "ezod". "Zod" is nothing but a variant of this last name.

(Laycock, The Complete Enochian Dictionary, p. 45)

The angels themselves are no help here:

Dee: I pray you, is Mozod a word of three letters, or of five?

Nalvage: In wrote three, it is larger extended. [Dee- Z extended is Zod.]

Dee: Will you pardon me if I ask you another question of this extension?

Nal.: Say on: Moz in itself signifieth Joy; but Mozod extended, signifieth the Joy of God

(Causabon, A True and Faithful Relation..., p. 75)

Also:

"zod-lida ... It is a word and a letter."

(Causabon, op. cit., p. 120)

In the end, about all that can be said with any certainty about "zod" is that no one knows exactly how Dee intended it to be used. In fact, Geoffrey James doesn't even believe Enochian was received as a spoken language at all:

Unfortunately, Kelly never, as the spirits' "mouthpiece", pronounced the Angelical words. Kelly dictated letter by letter from a table that he saw in the crystal, as shown from Kelly's description that Dee recorded. Furthermore, if Angelical letter arrangement has random characteristics, as Laycock claims, then the English-like pronunciation cannot be an inherent quality of the language itself. Far more likely is that Dee assigned pronunciations to the Angelical because he wished to speak the keys in a ceremony, and, being English, adapted them as well as he could to his native tongue. Indeed, outside of few minor suggestions, the spirits seem unconcerned with pronunciation.

(James, The Enochian Evocation of Dr. John Dee, Preface, p. xxiv)

A closer reading of Dee's original records, however, indicates that not only did Kelly hear the sounds spoken by the Angels while the letters were being shown, but that Dee re-checked the Calls with them several times, as a number of corrections and revisions were later recorded. Furthermore, if the pronunciation had been invented by Dee, surely he would have come up with something more consistent!

Dee's records show that the Calls were originally received in a different order than that in which they were later arranged by Dee, at the Angels' orders. For those interested in the original arrangement, I recommend Causabon, pps. 79 - 138, 190 -200.

One last note:

It has been pointed out by several people that one of the most striking things about the whole Enochian system is that How Much You Put Into It seems to matter a great deal more than How You Do It. Perhaps there's something to James' reasoning, after all.

I make no claims that this guide will make you any better (though hopefully no worse) of a magician. My intent was solely to attempt to compare the various systems of pronunciation with Dr. Dee's original notes on the subject. It is to him, and to my many mentors both within and without the Order, that this paper is dedicated with respect and love.

Love is the law, love under will.

Christeos Pir

Fr. VITRIOL 335, 0 O.T.O.

 

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