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Sloane3188-john dee - Public domain illuminated manuscript

Sloane3188-john dee - Public domain illuminated manuscript

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Diagram of Sigillum Dei Aemeth by John Dee

John Dee, 1527 - 1608, was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and occultist who is often associated with magic and the occult. He served as an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I and is best known for his work as a mathematician and astronomer, but he also had a deep interest in occult and esoteric knowledge. Dee believed that the universe was governed by mathematical principles and that understanding these principles would lead to a deeper understanding of the natural world and its relationship to the divine. He saw magic as a way to unlock these hidden truths and communicate with spiritual beings. Dee's magical practices involved various rituals, scrying, and communication with angels. He developed a system of angelic communication known as Enochian magic, which he claimed was revealed to him through his scrying sessions with his assistant, Edward Kelley. According to Dee, the Enochian language was the language of angels, and he believed that by communicating with these angelic entities, he could gain insights into divine knowledge and uncover hidden mysteries. Dee's magical work and involvement in the occult were controversial during his time. While he had influential patrons and supporters, he also faced criticism and accusations of sorcery. His reputation as a magician and occultist has persisted throughout history, and he is often considered one of the most famous figures in Western esotericism. It's important to note that magic, as understood by Dee and other occultists of his time, was not the same as stage magic or illusion. It was a belief system and a practice that sought to tap into supernatural forces and gain access to hidden knowledge and power. "The character of Dee, our English Faust, as he is not inaptly called, has both been misrepresented and misunderstood. An enthusiast he undoubtedly was, but not the driveling dotard that some of his biographers imagined. A man of profound learning, distinguished for attainments far beyond the general range of his contemporaries, he, like Faustus, and the wisest of humankind, had found out how little he knew; had perceived that the great ocean of truth yet lay unexplored before him. Pursuing his enquiries to the bound and limit, as he thought, of human knowledge, and finding it together vanity, he had recourse to forbidden practices, to experiments through which the occult and hidden qualities of nature and spirit should be unveiled and subdued to his own will. " - Jonh Roby, Traditions of Lancashire, 1829

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1582
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Wikimedia Commons
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public domain

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16th century diagrams
16th century diagrams