Monday, August 3, 2009

John Dee & Edward Kelley & the Spirit World: Final Thoughts

The following warnings came from different sessions in November 1583: "You have run astray, you have entered into the houses of idols. I have brought you from fire, but you are entered into flames. And why? Because you defile yourselves with the wickedness of deceivers: Whose images you saw affirmatively, though not verily." (These warnings were transmitted by a voice). "The spirits of darkness are ready for every plae, and can deceive, saying, This is of God. Unto these you have listened...But I am come from God...That you may become wise...And I will be a wall betwixt you, and your imaginations: and betwixt those that have tempted you, and your weakness." (A" bad preacher-like creature," according to Kelley's judgment.) The Sirens are awake and their song is to destruction. I am sent from God, as a messenger to call thee home; for thou dishonoreth God mightily. Behold thou shalt be made contemptible, and become a laughingstock. They honor shall be defeated, and thy posterity spotted with ignominy. Moreover, such as are thy friends shall shake their heads, saying, "What wise man hath thus been overcome? What is he that is become foolish?"

Rather than lurid, fantastical apocalyptic rantings, these warnings fall too close to the truth. For the general public-both Dee's contemporaries and modern day -his "conversations" with angels and spirits did ruin his reputation. Scholars these days (among many other people) dismiss Dee as a deluded crank or would-be magician -or both. This fascinating man who led a very interesting life during historically interesting times is relagated to a footnote or a few paragraphs by most commentators. I believe that in all of Dr. John Dee's meticulous writings there are valid cases of contact with something or some otherworldly beings. Whether any of them were who they or Kelley said them to be-who knows? The fact that Dee chose to work with the obviously unbalanced Kelley for so long says a lot. In his desire to attain results, Dee probably pushed Kelley even more towards the brink of insanity. Dee's longing desire for these results also led to the "illusions" he was warned about in some sessions. The warnings themselves are very interesting in their own right to me.

In a very great sense, these warnings provide some of the strongest evidence for contact with a higher realm. This could have been from the Oversoul (if there is such a thing), creatures that are on higher planes of existence, beings that share our world but in another dimension -or even the epiphany of angels. In this last case these angelic messengers were sent by Divine Mercy to warn Dee of his hubris and folly. I agree with Cherry Gilchrist that Dee was a great man but not a wise one.

And what of the sinking of the Spanish Armada? Many occultists claim that John Dee raised up spells that caused the storms that sank it. I think he may have had some unique talents-but I don't think he had this kind of power! Dee was out of favor with Queen Elizabeth I by 1588 and apparently wasn't aware of the defeat of the Armada until months afterwards. There is a strange entry in one of his 'spiritual diaries' which has only the most tenuous reference to a threat to England from a foreign fleet in the early 1580s. The rumors that have Dee sinking the Armada with magic seem to date from the 17th century, and they can't be used for anything useful, except that they added to Dee's reputation as a magician! A medallion mentioned by some that say has Dee's magical spells on it to defeat the Spanish Armada (or things of that nature) was actually struck in commemoration of the English victory. Instead of even mentioning Dee, this medallion actually credits God with sinking the Armada.

I may return later to do some more about "the original 007" as I find him a fascinating character. This will be all about Dee for awhile as I am working on other things. Thanks again so much for everyone's thoughtful and intelligent comments! Peace and be well to anyone stopping by! The image is a table of some of the "Enochian" or "angelic" letters that these beings supposedly showed to Kelley.


Justin Russell said...

Dee was quite a character indeed, worthy of investigation and report. But there does seem to be revival of interest in modern areas of academia in this man. Deborah E. Harkness' book John Dee's Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature is one I want to get hold of, and a very expensive tome I'll have to try and get from the library may well be worth a look:

John Dee: Interdisciplinary Studies in English Renaissance Thought (International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives internationales d'histoire des idées)

The books of Frances A. Yates cover a lot of ground with Dee too.
Here's a little piece I snaffled from some subscription research site by the aforementioned Harkness that I've put in a Zip file and uploaded to Internet Archive:

John Dee - Angelic Conversations Doc..

The clever buggers at that pay only site have used some software that prevents it being copied or uploaded again to a website, so if you download the zip hopefully there will be some text in there and not just a blank page. I realise that you have finished the series and the information may not be new to you, but who knows? Maybe there is something in that text of use for another time.

Anyways, this series has been a decent, concise synopsis of Dee. I'll be coming back to read it over again when I need a recap of ye olde 007.

Michael Skaggs said...

Great series Devin! Lots of pertinent info about Dee to hopefully help readers logically and intuitively decide what the information can do for them.

I do think though, Enochian Magic shouldn't be toyed with, but that's just me.

Great work! Be well!

Devin said...

Justin I so appreciate your interest in this series and these wonderful links you have given-sorry it has been taking awhile to get comments here -was laid up with back pain yesterday and better today but a little rough still-thanks so very much for stopping by and I hope you are having a beautiful week!!ps if I do continue later in the year with Dee-I will owe it to you-so thanks for that also! I so miss being able to buy books -but I try to look at the bright side and think thank god for libraries,discount places library sales etcetera:)

Michael I also appreciate your interest and agree completely about Enochian (and other kinds) of magic -I actually would like to continue with Dee later -if I could ever get some badly needed energy I could work on more things at one time-but as it is I think this first bit was all right and I am glad people seemed to enjoy it-best to you as always my friend!!

Alex Robinson said...

Hi Devin
So sorry it's taken me so long to get here, have been tired out & blog-tied!
While readind of Dee & de Spanish Armada I was reminded of the story that it was witches who kept the germans out of Britain in WW!! - I used to believe that could be true until I started reading people like David Icke & realising that things happened as they were 'planned' to happen - perhaps there was somehow, some foreknowledge of the weather patterns that created that event - England, it seems to me, was always meant to stay in certain hands. At least that's my wild theory for today - even tho it is rather late :)
Best to you ALWAYS my friend

Devin said...

Hey alex-never worry about getting over here-hopefully the blog will be up a long time -i dont know much about Icke -but I will go as far to agree with him that things that seem "unplanned" or "accidental" through the ages -have actually been set up years before hand -ww2-ww1- the increasing control and at the same time dumbing down of society-unfortunately until enough people wake up we will be on "their" schedule and not ours -hopefully we will wake up before ww3-altho I know some commentators are saying the Cold War was ww3-whatever number you want to assign to a war in which 90 percent of us here now are no longer here!! all the best to you my friend and thanks so much for stopping by!!

Michael Skaggs said...

Just watched an episode of Millennium Season 3 episode 16 titled "Saturn Dreaming of Mercury", where in the episode the FBI computer goes haywire and a reference to "007" is made along with flashes of James Bond's face, I immediately thought of this awesome post and Dee, since he was supposed to be the original 007. The odd thing was that when James Bond [Roger Moores] face appeared, it said "Simon Templar" under the photo.

Just thought I'd toss another weird sync in.


Devin said...

Michael thanks so much for all of your great comments and synchs!! I had an interesting kind of synch happen with a question about Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley on "Daily Trivia" -thought of alexs latest article -wouldnt have been as interesting but i have been getting d triv in email for years now and dont think i have ever seen that ? -it was who wrote "The Modern Prometheus?" best to you as always!!

X. Dell said...

Actually, I was going to suggest earlier, re Kelley, that perhaps Dee felt similarly to controversial psychiatrist Dr. R.D. Laing. In some ways, Dee's treatment of this strange partner also echoes some of the sentiments of Terrence McKenna. Both would say that the altered state of what we call "dementia" or "psychosis" is in itself an awareness of a wider range o the empirial world, and thus potentially valid. I'm not saying that McKenna and Laing are correct, mind you. But I would say that reasonable people could think this way. And if Dee were contacting something outside the baryon world we inhabit, perhaps he would find value in a partner--even a fraudulent one--that he felt could see a wider range of reality.

Devin said...

an excellent comment Xdell!! as always -I will look into the link you have given here about RD Laing-i am not familiar with that name at all -but very familiar with McKenna -and agree with your thesis/hypothesis (dont know which one is correct here:) i am waiting on a book i ordered with a barnes and noble giftcard my dad gave me and think it will have some information along these lines also (if it ever gets here) shouldnmt complain it was only ordered on seventh (shipped) in the past any books got here a lot faster even with "slow" shipping -best to you as always and thanks so much for stopping by!!