Review by Bonnie Cehovet
"The Enochian Tarot" acts as a companion book to the Enochian Tarot deck, bringing new light to the melding of Tarot and Enochian Magic. The Enochian Magical system is complex at best - the Schuelers bring a sense of grounding and centering to these ethereal Watchtowers and Aethyrs., making them easier to understand and to use.
Study of the "Enochian Tarot" is broken down into three courses: a two week beginners course, which will allow the student to do a simple spread, and interpret it, within a two week period; a four week advanced course, for those who have completed the two week beginners course, or those who are already familiar with Enochian Magic or the Tarot, and requires some psychic ability; and the Master Course, with the completion of the first two courses as a prerequisite, and involves performance of ritual. The Master's course is aimed at the magician that wishes to be a professional student of the Tarot. It is emphasized here that the ability to utilize the Enochian Tarot deck is largely dependent on the individuals ability to completely understand and perform Enochian Magic.
The ability to visualize well is emphasized, so that the student can become part of the card, converse with the characters and become part of the action. Meditation, and the ability to "still the mind" is another powerful tool that is connected with Enochian Magic.
The Schuelers present a short history of the Tarot, followed by a discussion of the purpose of the Tarot. One of the important points here would be the placement of the cards on the Tree of Life. in the Enochian system, each of the 86 cards represents a locality on the Tree of Life, with the Major Arcana representing the thirty esoteric regions of inner space called Aethyrs or Aires, and the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana representing a deity, or group of deities, that inhabit the regions of the four Great Watchtowers.
The cosmic planes of the Enochian Magical world as compared to the occult world are as follows: Our Earth (Physical Plane), Watchtower of Earth (Etheric Plane), Watchtower of Water (Astral Plane), Watchtower of Air (Mental Plane), Watchtower of Fire (Causal Plane), Tablet of Union (Spiritual Plane). This is important, because the primary purpose of Enochian Magic is to go out-of-body and visit the beings who reside in these regions.
The Schuelers do a commendable job of presenting the history of Enochian Magic, which evolved from work done by Edward Kelly and John Dee, with Kelly receiving the material through the method of scrying. Dee developed a series of squares with runes in them, with the runes being the letters of the Enochian alphabet. There is one Watchtower for each of the four directions, and each of the four elements. This is an excellent section, with a series of graphics showing the breakdown of the squares, as well as a graphic of the world as understood through Enochian Magic.
In the Enochian world, Divinity expresses itself downward from the spiritual world into time, space, and form in a graduated series of planes and sub-planes until the physical world is reached.
The "Enochian Tarot" deck is broken down into the 30 cards of the Major Arcana, called Aethyrs; and the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana (Watchtowers), consisting of the 28 Court cards (Kings & Seniors), and 28 Suit cards (Deities). There are seven court cards, and seven suit or deity cards for each of the four Watchtowers.
The deities in the Watchtowers and Aethyrs range from Kings to Demons, with their names derived, in general, from the letters in the Watchtower squares. The Enochian Hierarchy is as follows: Kings, Seniors, Sephirothic Cross Angels (Higher and Lower), Kerubic Angels, Archangels, Ruling Angels, Lessor Angels, Demons. There is an interesting breakdown of sexual attribution with the Kings and the Watchtowers with two of the Kings and two of the Watchtowers reflecting a masculine association, and two of the Kings and two of the Watchtowers reflecting feminine associations. Each card in the "Enochian Tarot" has a sexual association.
The Schuelers present a highly usable table connected with Gematria that lists each letter of the Enochian alphabet, its astrological/elemental association, its corresponding Tarot card, and its Gematria number. There are tables that list the basic definitions for each of the primary numbers (1-9), and the Gematria and Aiq Bkr numbers for each of the cards in the Enochian Tarot.
There is a magical formula associated with each of the cards in the "Enochian Tarot". The formulas are contained in the letters of the names, and represent the natural action of the card - i.e. how the card works in daily life. It is noted that these formulas have little to do with divination, but to come into play with meditation or self-improvement. I loved the way the Schueler's addressed this section - they presented text for each of the cards, with the exception of the Tarot Court cards, which were left as an exercise for the student.
The cards are presented with a full page black and white scan, the card number, title, name, Gematria, sexual current (male/female), a description and discussion of the card, with upright and reversed meanings.
There is also a summary of the meanings; a section on card layouts that includes a thirteen card spread that is comprised of three triangles within each other, the traditional ten card Celtic Cross spread, a ten card Tree of Life spread, a nine card Seax-Wica spread, a seven card Enochian linear spread, a seven card hexagram spread, a five card Enochian Pentagram spread, a three card Enochian spread, a three card Pyramid spread, and a ten card Whole Life Mandala spread. There are descriptions of each of the Enochian tarot courses at the end of the book, including specific rituals for accessing the Watchtowers and the Aethyrs. There are notations on the steps needed to be taken to set up a professional practice, as well as an appendix with miscellaneous blank forms.
The Enochian Magic system is a complex magical system. For the student who wishes to come to a better understanding of this system, or who wishes to adapt it into their lives, this is an excellent reference book. It is not a beginners Tarot book, or a book at all for those that wish to read using traditional Tarot methods. I was impressed with the quality of the writing, the depth of research (the Schuelers are Enochian Magicians), the consistent use of tables, the short length of the chapters, and the fact that at the end of each chapter there is a listing of suggested material for further reading. For those that wish to work within a magical system, this is an excellent book.
© May 2006
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.