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John Dee's Five Books of Mystery: Original Sourcebook of Enochian Magic Paperback – 17 Feb 2003
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About the Author
Joseph Peterson has translated many esoteric and religious sourceworks. He has amassed a large collection of copies of rare and occult tracts for comparative research from the British Library and other institutions.
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Top customer reviews
The publisher - Red Wheel Weiser - have really outdone themselves this time round. The quality of the product is an atrocity! If you are familiar with the cheap, print-on-demand books by Lulu, then you will know what is awaiting you here: Lulu quality (i.e very cheap paperback). It is simply awful quality - and they're asking 40 quid for this rubbish - unbelievable!!!
Unfortunately, the contents, as well as the scholarship of the editor are so fantastic that you will have to get this book. What a pity that the first ever publication of this superb collection of libri should be published by a company having no interest in quality whatsoever! Weiser publish occult works and as such ought to know that the worship of Mammon is unbefitting.
Get this book! But buy it second hand. Do not give your money to this greedy publisher!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
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.
The Truth is heavy, therefore few care to carry it.
"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of the siren, till she transforms us into beasts. "—Patrick Henry
“Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it.
-Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.”- Buddha
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