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The 91 Parts of the Earth
by Benjamin Rowe
The price of initiation is to be ceaselessly surprised; to live in a world where the only certainty is that what you believe to be Truth, believe to be real, even what you believe to be yourself will be changed in ways that you cannot anticipate. No matter how great our knowledge and experience, it is always surrounded by the infinite darkness of the unknown; and out of that darkness things can come at any moment to transform our world.
One must advance towards the darkness without fear. Not because there is nothing to fear; rather because fear forces the unknown into its own ugly shape, a shape that we all know too well. Nothing truly new can come into our consciousness while fear dominates. Deny fear its power, deny it any right to control you, and the magickal universe becomes a place of endlessly unfolding wonders. Embrace the unknown and it will reward you by opening up its unspeakable, astonishing variety.
More than most people, I hunger after that variety; hunger for it as intensely as an adolescent boy hungers for sex. That which is routine, that which is known, that which is familiar hold no attraction for me; I find them oppressive. The settled territories of the magickal world, I leave to others; only in pushing into the unknown am I fulfilled.
The Enochian magick provides a perfect tool for one such as I. Its depth appears to be infinite; understand one level of its reality, and a new one with different properties opens immediately. A lifetime of work cannot exhaust its potential.
But penetrating its depths can be difficult, for an unusual reason. That is that the Enochian entities are too cooperative. They strive always to conform their actions to the will of the magician. This means that if the magician enters into their realm with specific expectations, they will seek to fulfill those expectations, even if it means overlaying a true picture of the realm with a false one.
Aleister Crowley's visions of the Thirty Aethyrs provide a case in point. Before he ever invoked one, he had decided that the Aethyrs represented a particular structure, with each triad of Aethyrs being associated with one of the Sephiroth in sequence. Further, at the time he did the visions, he added an additional expectation by interpreting the letters of the Aethyr's name according to the Golden Dawn's attributes. The results he obtained in these visions precisely reflected the forms and levels that he expected to see.
Ten years ago I discovered the magnitude of this problem by accident. On a whim, I decided to do visions of the “Kerubic” angels of the Earth Tablet. I had no particular goal in mind, so I told the angels that they had complete freedom in their presentations; they could show me whatever they wanted to of their nature and that of their realms. Up to that time, I had been using the standard Golden Dawn attributes for the Tablets; the results I now obtained were entirely at odds with everything I had gotten before.
This so intrigued me that I decided to continue the practice with other parts of the Enochian hierarchy, taking particular care to avoid placing any limits on the actions of the angels, being completely open to whatever they wanted to say. The results were nothing less than astounding; I received more new and useful information in the next six months than I had in the previous seven years of work.
These visions of the 91 “Parts of the Earth” were begun in a similar spirit. I started them on a whim; traffic was slow in the NuitNet “Enochian” echo, and I wanted something to post to show people it was still an active echo. I had no particular expectations with respect to the results; simply that they be something that might interest others. As I write this (with 29 of the 91 Parts explored) I have no idea where the series will end. Every time I start to suspect some logic behind it, it veers off in an unexpected direction. I am deliberately refusing to look for any overall pattern until after the series is completed in a few years.
The “Parts of the Earth” derive from John Dee's Liber Scientiae. The book is a tabulation of these Parts, along with their groupings under the Aethyrs and certain other information. The purpose of the books, as told to Dee, was to provide him with a means of magickally influencing the governments of various countries. (This stated purpose may have been a consequence of Dee's own expectations; he was greatly intent on having such a tool.)
Each Part is a region of the Earth as defined by God; each corresponds to a particular geographic/political locale in the world as it was known in 16th-Century England. (As the reader will see, in these visions some of the Parts are attributed to regions then unknown.) Additionally, the Parts have a “vertical” or hierarchic component to their natures, because they are connected in groups of three with the Aethyrs, which are said to surround the Earth in onion-like layers.
It should be emphasized that these Parts are not “governors of the Aethyrs”, as has been mistakenly said by some writers. The name of the Part does not invoke a specific being, but only a certain locale of the Enochian universe, with its particular qualities. Nor does the Part in any way “rule” the Aethyr of which it is a portion. One might view the relationship between Parts and Aethyrs as being similar to the relationship between the decanates of the zodiac and the signs of which they are a section. The Voice of the Part is not the Part itself, but one of the unnamed ministers who dwells therein.
Every part is governed by one of twelve “Zodiacal Kings”, who is associated with one of the Tribes of Israel. The angels did not give Dee an explicit listing of their zodiacal attributes; he was told to derive it from the related tribe. Apparently he never did so. In these visions, the following system of attributes was used, which differs from both Agrippa system with which Dee was familiar, and the G.D. system.
|Zodiac sign||Zodiacal King||Tribe of Israel|
The logic of this system is based on the disposition of the Tribes depicted in Numbers 2, combined with Dee's diagram of that disposition. There are several possible systems that could be derived from these sources; the one actually used was chosen by divination after the major possibilities were assessed. In any case, it is apparent from the visions obtained so far that the angels feel free to ignore these attributes whenever necessary. Some of the visions are consistent with their attribute; others show it only as a minor factor, and others yet are entirely at odds with it.
The method of invocation was changed during the course of the visions. In the early Parts, I deliberately kept things as simple as possible. I would vibrate the Call of the Aethyr two or three times, then vibrate the name of the Zodiacal King, the Part, and the Aethyr while drawing the Part's sigil in the air before me. I would then enter the astral world and see whatever there was to see.
Later I decided that it would be better to have a definite “anchor” for the vision on the astral plane, in order to focus the energies. For each vision I prepared a magickal circle on the astral, in a form resembling a talisman for the Part. In the border of the circle, on the south side, the name of the Zodiacal King was written. On the north side, the name of the Aethyr. In the middle, the name of the Part, its sigil, and the number of its resident ministers was written. All these were oriented so that they would be upright to a person facing south. I would vibrate the Call of the Aethyr, then go into the astral circle to vibrate the various names. Typically, the response to the invocation would begin with the center of the circle becoming transparent, to reveal an aerial view of some region of the Earth.
Following my usual practice, the visions were recorded while they were occurring. The blank slate-blue wall behind my computer monitor served as my “scrying crystal”; I would watch events unfold in the astral space until they stopped changing for a moment, then write down what I saw. Where the Voice of the Part was speaking, I simply typed as it spoke. The record that follows is exactly what was recorded at the time; it has not been edited or changed in any way, except to correct minor typing errors. The “seer's comments” that follow every record were written immediately after the end of the vision.
Readers will note that the visions consistently use a non-standard version of the Tree of Life, the “restored” Tree devised by Frater Achad. This Tree is used simply because it is the one on which I founded my cabalistic work; its placement of the paths makes more sense to my astrologically-oriented mind than does the more generally-accepted version. It should not be construed as evidence that Achad's is the “true” Tree, or that the standard version is false. Any magician exploring these Parts will no doubt find the presentations made in terms of his own symbol-system; it is one aspect of the angels' cooperative nature.
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