Enochian is an occult language.

Some people argue that it was revealed to John Dee and Edward Kelly by Angels, while others claim that they just invented the language.

The language is slightly inflecting and has a word order close enough to English that it can usually be translated without changing the order.

Enochian has its own alphabet and is also transliterated into the Latin alphabet. Several words have apparently unpronounceable consonant clusters; they are pronounced by inserting vowels, e.g. "nazpsad" is pronounced "nazepesad". Other words consist entirely of vowels.

Most of the vocabulary consists of names of angels. Besides that, there are less than 1000 attested words.

List of angels in Enochian
















John Dee (July 13, 1527 - December, 1608) was a noted English mathematician, astronomer, geographer and consultant to Elizabeth I. He was also interested in alchemy, astrology, divination and Rosicrucianism.

In the 16th century, Dee reported seeing a perpetual motion machines during his travels (with a pension from Elizabeth I), but wasn't allowed a closer look. He wrote "Monas Hieroglyphica" in 1564 (about Kabbala alchemy) and the preface to the first English translation of Euclid's works.


Early years

Born in London. He graduated from St. John's College, Cambridge aged eighteen. He lectured briefly at Cambridge before he left England to study in continental Europe and lecture in Paris and Louvain. He returned to England in the 1540s. In 1553, during the reign of Mary I, he faced a Star Chamber prosecution, accused of black magic, but he was only briefly jailed. When he was released, he became a scientific advisor to Elizabeth I, even deciding on the auspicious date for her coronation in 1558.

Travelling widely abroad with a pension from Elizabeth I, and possibly acting as a spy, Dee strove to increase his knowledge and add to his library. His main published work was Monas Hieroglyphica (1564) a dense Kabbala influenced work on alchemy. But in 1570 he wrote the preface to the first English translation of Euclid's works. He became a close associate of many Elizabethan explorers and entrepreneurs such as Sir Humphrey Gilbert.

He met Edward Kelly (or Kelley), a convicted forger, in 1582 and Kelly became his companion. Kelly acted as intermediary for Dee in his attempts to receive visions from 'angels' using a globe of crystal - a magical system and language called Enochian was apparently derived from this scrying. (Dee's crystal globe ended up in the British Museum unnoticed for many years in the mineral collection.) Most of the still existing papers of John Dee are contained within the British Museum, and are available for replication or viewing.

Later years

In 1583, while Dee was away in Europe, his home and library at Mortlake were destroyed, perhaps by a mob fearful of this 'magician', though Dee grew to believe that many of his books had been purloined by former friends and associates.

He has the distinction of being the first person to put the word British before the word Empire. He was warden of Manchester College from 1595 until 1604.

Death and afterwards

When Elizabeth I died in 1603, so did Dee's influence: he was forced to retire to his home at Mortlake where he died in poverty. The posthumously published account of Dee's encounters with spirits was reprinted in 1974.

Personal life

He was married three times and had eight children. His eldest son was Arthur Dee, who was also an alchemist and hermetic author.

Edward Kelly (also spelled Edward Kelley) was a spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations. Kelley Besides the ability to summon spirits or angels on a crystal ball, which John Dee so valued, Kelley also claimed to own the secret of transmuting base metals into gold.

When Kelley dropped into Dee's life, in 1582, he carried with him a cryptic book and samples of some red and white powders. These items had allegedly been robbed from the tomb of a medieval bishop. With the powders (whose secret was presumably hidden in the book) he could prepare a red "tincture" which was supposed to turn metals into gold. He reportedly demonstrated its power a few times over the years, including in Bohemia (present Czech Republic) where he and Dee resided for many years.

Kelley's association with Dee came to an abrupt end in 1589, when Kelley claimed to have received orders from the "angels" messages suggesting that they should share everything — including Dee's wife. However she would not submit to this arrangement, and Dee (who, after much soul searching, had felt it necessary to comply) concluded that he had been dceived by evils spirits, ceased his angelical investigations, and eventually resolved to go back to England.

By the time of Dee's departure, Kelley had already managed to convince Emperor Rudolf II of Bohemia to finance his experiments, with the aim of uncovering the secret of the powder's manufacture (whose supply had been nearly exhausted over the years). But eventually Rudolf tired of waiting for results and had Kelley locked up in the tower of his castle. While trying to escape through the window, with an insufficiently long rope, the hapless alchemist broke a leg, was taken back to his prison, and died from the injury shortly thereafter.

Kelley's "angels" sometimes communicated in a special "angelic" or Enochian language, which he presumably invented, possibly with the help of a cryptographic device called a Cardan grille. (It is not clear whether Dee was a victim or an accompliece of this farce.) Because of this precedent, and of a dubious connection between the Voynich Manuscript and John Dee through Roger Bacon, Kelley has been suspected of having fabricated that book too, in order to swindle Rudolf.

Kelley's flamboyant biography, and his relative notoriety among English-speaking historians (chiefly because of his association with Dee) may have made him the source for the folklorical image of the alchemist-charlatan.

? 2004

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