The first step in Magick is "travel beyond the world of the senses."
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears
The magical system presented by Sir John Dee, court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth 1, views the physical world as only the lowest in a graduated series of cosmic planes. There are many invisible worlds surrounding this Earth. The reason they are invisible is because they are composed of matter that is so tenuous that our eyes cannot see it. There are many degrees of matter's density. The most dense is the physical plane. The next, more ethereal and very close to the physical plane, is the etheric plane symbolized by the element Earth. The next more ethereal world is the astral plane which is usually divided into a lower half, symbolized by the element Air, anda higher half symbolized by the element Fire. The highest plane conceivable to human consciousness is the spiritual plane symbolized by the element Spirit (the Enochian system uses Spirit as a fifth element). Aboye this is the divine piane which is inconceivable to the human mirad and no descriptions are possible.
There are seven cosmic planes in all. Little can be raid of the highest two. The lower five cosmic planes are inhabited by man, although most people will acknowledge only the lowest of these, the physical.
Figure 1 shows the cosmic planes that surraund our world. Actually, they are meant to be concentric, interpenetrating spheres, not separate levels like the skins of an onion. The astral plane is not up in the sky somewhere. It interpenetrates the Earth plane. However, its extension is larger than that of the Earth and so it is shown in the diagram as a larger sphere.
The Hermetic axiom, "as aboye so below," is used in Enochian Magick to explain how each cosmic plane can be divided into subplanes. There is an Air of Water subplane, and an Earth of Fire subplane, and so on. In addition, at the outer boundary of each cosmic plane is located a Ring-PassNot. This effectively prohibits passage of a lower cosmic element frito a higher sphere. Earth can not pass finto Water, nor Air finto Fire. These are outlined in Figure 2.
You must take care not to confuse the cosmic element Earth with physical earth. Nor is the cosmic element Water the familiar H20 of physical chemistry. Western occultism uses these terms because of their correspondences. Cosmic Water is somewhat like physical water. For example, it is reflective, and expressive. Both can be easily molded into any desired shape. But the similarities can only be stretched so far.
The Golden Dawn taught the Qabalistic doctrine of four worlds or planes as follows:
1. Atziluth, the divine world of archetypal ideas.
2. Briah, the creative world of the Archangels.
4. Assiah, the physical world, the lowest and most material.
These bear striking sinnilarities to the Enochian Earth, Water, Air, and Fire Tablets. You must always remember that the Earth Tabeet refers to the etheric Plane rather than to our physical world. In the same way, the Hebrew Qabalah equates the lowest Sephira, Malkuth, with our planet Earth. The lowest of the Enochian Aethyrs, however, is just aboye (i.e., less dense than) the Earth and thus does not precisely equate with Malkuth. Correspondences between the Enochian system and the Hebrew Qabalah have impressive similarities, but the Enochian Aethyrs are not identical with the Qabalistic Sephiroth.
Figure 1.Our World According to Enochian Magick.
Figure 2.The Lower Five Cosmic Planes.
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