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SeC 09-19-2012 02:57 AM

John Dee & the Enochian Apocalypse
 
John Dee & the Enochian Apocalypse

September 8, 2012
By ANDREW GOUGH

Doctor John Dee (1527-1609) remains one of London’s most intriguing historical figures. Dee was a renaissance man; an occultist, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and navigator. In addition to his prodigious skills, Dee was a confidant of Queen Elizabeth I, who guided the nation through one of its most challenging eras, partly based upon Dee’s unique blend of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy. In fact, the Queen had so much faith in Dee’s calculations she had him choose her coronation date.

By all accounts Dee was a distinctive looking gentleman, respected and admired by many, as John Aubrey describes: “Dee had a very cleare rosie complexion… a long beard as white as milke. A very handsome man… he was tall and slender. He wore a gowne like an artist’s gowne, with hanging sleeves, and a slitt. A mighty good man he was.”

Dee lived in Mortlake, a West London village mentioned in the 1086 ’Domesday Book’. Here, his modest residence along the River Thames provided easy access for Elizabeth and other dignitaries, especially other occultists, for Dee had amassed what was arguably the grandest esoteric library of his day. Sadly, fashionable apartments now stand where Dee once lived, and a block of council flats across the street boasts his name.

What is less known is that Dee was obsessed with the apocalypse, and believed he had opened a supernatural gateway leading to a powerful and disgruntled spirit world. But this came later. During the early part of his career Dee had little interest in the supernatural. He was a devoutly religious man and deeply ambitious. From the 1550s until the 1570s he honed his skills as a writer as well as a navigator with unique technical expertise. Few recall that he coined the phrase ‘British Empire’ and helped shape the emerging ideology of the nation.

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