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John Dee's Five Books of Mystery: Original Sourcebook of Enochian Magic Paperback – February 15, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
However, like all of Dee's work, the Five Books remained very obscure and hard to understand. That is, until Joseph Peterson's publication of "John Dee's Five Books of Mystery." Here are the five books we all know and love- with ALL of the Latin translated, complete footnotes and commentary, and even an exploration of Dee's source material (ancient mystical texts from which Dee drew his own ideas about magick).
I cannot recommend Joseph Peterson- as an author and scholar- highly enough. His work is always top-notch and completely trustworthy (and this statement does NOT come lightly!). Just the same for his "John Dee's Five Books of Mystery." I hope we see more of Dee's work re-published by Peterson in the future.
Here Peterson compiles Dr. John Dee's "Mysteriorum Libri Quinque" from the original notes and documents written(and hidden - you could be burned at the stake for stuff like this back then!) by Dee himself, preserved in the British Museum. It adds much detail to Dee's politics, science, and his occult activities with seer Edward Kelly, especially during the years 1581-1583, widely considered the peak of Dee's career. That being said, I will caution casual readers that the archaic English used throughout the books can be abit taxing to read, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Peterson also translates many Latin passages, and includes copious notes and references.
If you are at all interested in Enochian, or 'Angel Magick', you will be very happy with this purchase. I would recommend this edition over Casaubons' "A True & Faithful Relation..." for readablility and accuracy. A "must-have" addition to the serious occultists' library.
The editor did a great job of making the texts readable and clear in the layout. The footnotes (including explanatory, reference, and translation of the Latin parts) are extremely useful to the understanding of the text and related texts that Dee had access to.
The introductory information written by the editor is short and straightforward, and also fairly objective.
The book contains the 5 Books of Mystery that were found after Dee's death. These books provide a clear insight into the goings on around the Skrying done by Dee and Kelly; they are a journal or set of lab notes on what went on at each session detailing what was seen in the crystal as well as how the "angels" taught them to render the Sigilum Dei, the tables, and a few other things.
Whether you believe Dee actually talked with angels or not, this is a great insight into an Elizabethan Mage's project. A must have for anyone interested in such subject matter for whatever reasons.
This also provides a great deal of context to other Enochian works as well as a useful read to anyone interested in speculating on the psychodynamics of these sorts of things.
At the same time, this is not by itself a practical book. Here you don't find descriptions of exactly what was said or done, just records of results. It is mostly interesting to my mind as to how it lets us look inside the thoughts of Dee.
A word about the transliterations, etc. Peterson does not normalize the spellings in this work and the tradeoff is that of readability for atmosphere and accuracy. While I agree with this tradeoff, the book cannot be read quite quickly and it can be difficult to get used to immediately. The book is written in extremely early modern English, and seems to be to my mind just barely on this side of the great vowel shift that separates Middle from Modern English (actually the great vowel shift was ongoing at the time but I think we can safely put Dee on the Modern English side of it). It makes for interesting reading though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Do your research fellow beings.
The Truth is heavy, therefore few care to carry it.
"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to... Read more
This was a quick read. I do not hold anything it says to be lies or deception. It is well written but the problem I have is with the ideas that is displayed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by SJCLane
The book contents are great. Joseph Peterson writes some of the best books on the occult. That said the printers really dropped the ball on this one. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Organelle
This book is a great book full pf creativity and useful information, lots and lots of info on enochian and angel magic, powerfulPublished 23 months ago by Janette Rueda
Written in the Olde English it was intended to be in. A wonderful read and it makes you think harder than you'd normally do with plain modern English.Published on February 9, 2011 by Dave Hafley
An incredible compilation (of sorts) which documents in entirety John Dee and Ed Kelley's 54 actions with the Enochian Angels. Read morePublished on February 12, 2010 by Pete Madstone
This is a good book, but unless you can understand "Old English", I would not recmmend that you start with this one. Its basicly written that wayPublished on May 2, 2009 by Amazon Customer