The Lesser Angle Angels
Originally posted to the Enochian-l discussion list, December 8, 1996
A few days ago, someone asked about the angels of the Lesser Angles, particularly the so-called “Servient” angels below the Crosses. I was busy with something else at the time but thought a few comments, however belated, might still be useful. These are based on my experience, not on the Dee diaries.
It seems to me that while the Lesser Angles are definitely related to the elements and sub-elements, the angels there are not exactly general-purpose “rulers” or “governors” of the sub-elements. Rather the angels (with the god-names of the crosses) represent the application of a specific process to the elemental worlds. The nature of this process may have some bearing on how a magician might use them to accomplish the tasks he desires.
While I generally avoid using Christian terminology, the most descriptive term I have found for this process is “redemption”. I use this term in a very broad sense, to apply not only to human beings, but to any form of matter in any of the kingdoms of nature. It is a process by which matter is taken from a state of inertness or blind, random activity, and “raised up” into a state of order and patterned activity under the divine will.
The god-name of six letters in the Lesser Angle invokes the general power of God projected into the worlds of the elements. The god-name of five letters invokes the driving force behind this process of “redemption”, a force impelling the matter towards a higher state. The four so-called “Servient” angels each govern one of four stages of the process, beginning with the lowest angel in the Lesser Angle and moving upwards. Each of these stages corresponds roughly to one of the letters of IHVH, as follows:
The lowest angel relates to Fire and the Yod of IHVH. His function is to apply energy to the inert matter, in order to bring it into a state of activation. Each bit of matter so activated vibrates with a “note” or “chord” determined by its nature.
The next angel relates to water and the first Heh of IHVH. He sorts and groups the activated matter according to its nature and level of activation. Think of this as like the way in which particles suspended in water are sorted into layers by a centrifuge.
The third angel from the bottom applies structure to the sorted matter. That is, he takes the matter and builds it into a pattern that is in accord with the divine will, producing whatever “emergent” properties are intended. As an analogy, if the sorted matter was composed of atoms of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, then the structuring angel would form it into organic molecules. This angel corresponds to Air and the Vav of IHVH.
The final angel fixes the activated, patterned material into its new form, so that it does not devolve into random elements again. This angel connects with Earth and the last Heh of IHVH.
You can see hints of this “redemptive” process in the powers assigned to these angels in Dee's records. The powers are explicitly related to the perfection or change of some kind of matter: medicine is the process of perfecting the body; metals and precious stones are the perfection of inanimate matter; transformation is change from one form into a better form. The “nature and uses of living creatures” brings “wild” creatures under human intent.
While the process has physical analogues, it generally takes place on the magickal levels; the magickal aspect of any physical object could be the “materia” to which it is applied. A thing that is already organized would be raised to a higher level through application of the process.
Throughout the Calls, the magician is depicted as the “minister of god”; as far as the angels are concerned, the magician speaks with the god's voice, and expresses the divine will. The magician's personal intent is considered identical with the divine will. Thus, he can make use of this process for his own purposes without difficulty.
The main question is how to make use of it. If one is using a form of talismanic magick to accomplish one's intent, a talisman showing the god-names and angelic names (as suggested by Geoffrey James) would be inappropriate. It would invoke the process without applying it to anything. Nor can one simply invoke them as one might invoke Jupiter to obtain wealth, relying on their intrinsic nature to take care of the details. Both the formulation of one's intent, and the application of that intent to an object or objects must be more carefully specified than with other systems.
A talisman for use with these angels would not, then, show their names. Rather it should be as good a representation as possible of the _goal_ it is intended to accomplish. One would then invoke the angels and direct them to apply their functions to the talisman in turn, in such a way as to perfect the talisman as a tool to accomplish the desired goal. This is somewhat more indirect than the traditional procedure, and more in line with A.O. Spare's methods than with those of the Golden Dawn or Aurum Solis, where more generic talismans are used.
Alternately, the “talisman” could be some object with an intrinsic connection to the desired circumstances or result. E.g., if one is trying to attract wealth one might use a large-denomination banknote, and direct the angels to perfect it as a “magnet” for other banknotes.
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