The core of "Magitians Discovered", part 3
What *is* "The Magitians Discovered" about, part 3, the framework of the chapter on demons.
"The Magitians Discovered" is based around two core texts that were added to the 1665 edition of Reginald Scot's "Discoverie of Witchcraft". The first was a treatise about ghosts, elemental spirits, and demons, the second was nine chapters of rituals and instructions for ritual preparation. These were written by ceremonial magicians in the 17th century.
While the majority of the treatise is framed along Paracelsan lines, looking at the nature of ghosts and elemental spirits according to the concepts of astral energy, and the imagination, the section about demons is quite different. Both the nature of demons and the framework within which they exist depart from the rest of the material. The framework that they exist in overlaps with the doctrine of aerial spirits that is found in the ritual material.
Putting the nature of the demons themselves aside for the moment, the chapter on them uniquely insists that they should be called up in the language of the particular region where the magician is. This is because every people and region is ruled by a particular "constellation", or astrological body, which also rules the language that the people speak. By using invocations in the vernacular language, you're using ones that are appropriate for the area and the "constellation".
What I believe is that, ultimately, this idea goes back to a Kabbalistic one about the origins of languages, in that it was believed that after the fall of the Tower of Babel the world was divided into seventy two peoples, with seventy two languages. Each people was appointed an angel to act as a genius loci to look over them, who was an aerial spirit linked to the decans.
By using the appropriate language, in this theory, you would act in harmony with the heavenly governorship of your area, and your invocations would be more effective. The treatise makes it clear that the names that demons are given are relative to the place they appear, and are not absolute. In fact, it says that a single demon may have ten or twenty different names based on the different areas that it appears in.
This focus on language intersects with the Treatise authors' interest in John Dee's Enochian work, as documented in "A True & Faithful Relation". Dee was in search of the primal language, the language of Adam that, through possessing the original names for places and things, would be the most effective for magical work. The angels gave him the language of Enoch, which was one or more steps away from it.
The connection is indicated in the curious comment that the Treatise authors insert into the chapter on demons about a kingdom called "Fiacim", saying that it's a place where they have most effective invocations, which are mathematical. "Fiacim" is a place that only exists within John Dee's spirit transactions. While going into the full story of Fiacim would take some time, and will have to wait for another post (or you can read about it in Volume 1 of "Magitians Discovered", where it's examined in detail), certain things can be said about the Treatise author's characterization of the language of Fiacim.
First of all, it appears that they're relating the language of this place to the Enochian work of John Dee through the "Mathematical" way that the tables that were transmitted to John Dee were used. In this, names were extracted in a patterned way from the four elemental tablets and the central tablet of union, and the language itself was supposed to be one step removed from the language of Adam.
In this, Enochian becomes a purer, ante-diluvian language, which existed before the dispersion of peoples into the 72 following the destruction of the Tower of Babel. Because of this, it is more effective than others.
Created: 2016-04-05 01:57:17