Lon Milo DuQuette is a highly respected metaphysical writer and the major leading authorities on Thelema, Ceremonial Magick, Enochian Magick, and other occult subjects. His publications are both educational and entertaining. It is a pleasure to interview him for the readers of Ghostvillage.com. Lon, it is good to visit with you, and an honor. Let me start by asking you, what inspired you to write Enochian Vision Magick, and what was your wish to share with readers about this fine book?
Lon Milo DuQuette: The book was inspired by a series of two classes on Enochian magick that Constance and I held in our home in 2005 and 2006, the most significant of which spanned a period of just over seven months of visionary workings. These classes differed dramatically from those I conducted on this subject in years past, which touched on the practice of Enochian magick as developed and practiced by the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. Instead, in the new classes, we turned our attention to material from the original 16th century Dee and Kelley diaries and notebooks.
I think it is helpful to point out that ‘modern’ Golden Dawn/Crowley Enochian magick bears little resemblance to anything Dee and Kelley practiced or were instructed to practice. In fact, the original material from which modern Enochian magick is based is drawn from only the last 90 days of Dee and Kelley’s nearly three years of angelic communications. Prior to that the communicating intelligences (or “angels,” if you will) delivered two distinct other magical systems elements of which were almost entirely ignored by the 19th and 20th century magicians.
It’s clear to me (at least) that these two early periods represented an important process whereby the consciousnesses of Dee and Kelley were expanded and attuned so they would be able to appreciate and properly ‘handle’ the Enochian magick that would be delivered in the last 90 days of their workings. In Enochian Vision Magick I (hopefully) prepare and attune the reader in much the same way Dee and Kelly were prepared and attuned; and demonstrate how things like the “Ring,” the Lamen, the Holy Table, the Sigillum Dei Ameth and Table of Nalvage (important magical devices all but ignored by the Golden Dawn and Crowley) can become powerful tools in the hands of modern Enochian magicians.
Was Enochian Vision Magick difficult to research?
Everything is difficult for me to research! I am the laziest person on earth and possess painfully poor study habits. But this is a very important subject for me so for this project I tried to overcome my natural slothful inclinations and give it my best shot. I must point out that I was extremely lucky to have the greatest living Enochian scholars and magicians on earth help me with this book. I owe an immeasurable debt to Clay Holden of the John Dee Publication Project who penned the magnificent foreword and many of the illustrations, not to mention contributing countless hours coordinating the 105 illustrations. I also could not have completed the book without the wisdom and guidance Christeos Pir (Chris Feldman); David Jones; Robin Cousins; Geoffrey James; and Stephen Skinner. Without these brilliant and wonderful individuals Enochian Vision Magick would never have seen the light of day.
That said, the most important “research” came from actually practicing Enochian vision magick and studying my own notes and the notes of other magicians who kindly offered their personal comments concerning a broad assortment of Enochian magick visionary experiences.
What benefits do you find in the practice of ceremonial magick?
I wish I could answer this question by telling you that practicing ceremonial magick has brought me health and wealth and happiness and spiritual enlightenment … but I can’t. I can tell you that I’ve been a practicing ceremonial magician for over 35 years and currently I am in good health; able to make ends meet; and as happy as anyone I know. Am I spiritually enlightened? No one can say…especially me.
Has practicing ceremonial magick brought me these things? Would I be the same person with the same gifts and lifestyle if I were a Baptist plumber or a Muslim engineer? Again …No one can say. I truly don’t think I can comment much on the assets or liabilities of the magical life. Magick is an art form — a spiritual art form — and true magicians are artists. It’s difficult for an artist to justify or explain why he or she paints or dances or masters an instrument. As I say in my book;
“If my magical efforts seem to propel me closer to self-realization, if my work brings me a measure health or happiness or wisdom or a sense of fulfillment… good. But none of these things, nor indeed any thing can be the goal of my art. Instead of asking why magick, I suggest all who would fancy themselves magicians seek answers to the following questions; questions I struggle to answer every day of my life:
“Am I really an artist? Am I drawn to this strange and irrational art form because of my mad passion to enrich my art and fulfill my creative life-purpose? Or am I doing all this to avoid fulfilling my destiny? Am I running away from myself? When I don my magical robes and enter the temple do I do so as a radiant artist-magician armed and ready to storm the gates of heaven and hell to do battle for the triumph of my soul – poised to take the next step in my spiritual evolution? Or am I merely a foolish man in an exotic costume, a mystic poseur in serious need of a life?”
How would you sum up the teachings of Aleister Crowley, and what would you say were his greatest gifts to occult studies?
That is a very difficult question … at least for me it is difficult, because there are many facets to Crowley’s life and works. One might attempt to “sum up” any one of those facets (something I would not like to attempt), but I don’t think that would be wise. Crowley’s greatest gift (to me, at least) is that his work inspires me… frees me to view my “human-ness” as an indispensible factor in my journey toward divineness.
Do you find your roles as United States Deputy Grand Master of the Ordo Templi Orientis and as a Mason work well together?
I was 50 years old when I joined the Masons. By then, I’d been actively involved in the O.T.O. and esoteric studies for over 25 years. For me, Masonry has been a marvelous and rewarding experience. That said, Masonry is a big tent, and there are still many men in that big tent who don’t (or refuse) to understand esoteric matters (both inside Masonry and outside it). Masonry is not always a pleasant experience for those who run afoul of other Masons who may not as yet have come to a full understanding of the nature of their own Craft. I have been very lucky.
Do you enjoy appearing on television programs such as the Discovery Channel? Do you feel it gives you an opportunity to share metaphysical knowledge?
Yes. I’m a ham and am very comfortable doing things like this (especially while I’m still young and beautiful).
My Life with the Spirits is one of your most popular works. Was this book as enjoyable to write as it is to read?
Yes, it was very enjoyable working on it. It did require a certain amount of soul searching and painful candor with myself (things I spend a lot of time trying to avoid), but for the most part was a very helpful exercise. There is a My Life with the Spirits #2 in the works.
Who were you your cultural heroes and heroines of the 1960s decade? Did they influence your direction in the area of occult studies? Did you come into contact with the Christopher Isherwood writings on Vedanta, or Timothy Leary’s writings, or Paul Bowles’ writings.. .the 1960s were full of excitement and writers of various genres, and could you share some of your thoughts about this? Did the music of The Beatles have an affect on you, any particular movies? Share with us, please!
As you probably know, I was (am) a musician. It is a sweet curse that has provided a rich and mystical soundtrack to my life from its earliest moments. It also has blessed me with a pantheon of spiritual and cultural heroes and heroines upon whose altars I still offer daily sacrifices of thanksgiving; Pete Seeger; Bob Dylan; Joan Baez; Phil Ochs; the Fugs; Donovan; Cat Stevens; but at the very top of the list is the Beatles. For a few golden years the Beatles were the voice of God communicating directly to my soul. For me, the 60s were magick, and I was in the right place at the right time to experience the full treatment as I hopped from Beatles to LSD to Leary to Ravi Shankar to Yogananda to Ramakrishna to Christopher Isherwood to Vedanta to the Tao Te King to the I Ching to the Qabalah to the Tarot to magick to Aleister Crowley… for good measure throw in a deep appreciation of Orson Wells, Ernie Kovaks. Lee Strasberg, and Stanley Kubrick.
You have a keen sense of humor. Does that come as the result of numerous encounters with things that go bump in the night, or is it just your personal take on life?
Everything is funny… especially the things that go bump in the night. If I can’t laugh it it’s not real. A magician who can’t truly laugh at himself or herself is on the fast track to madness.
As an ordained Bishop in your church, what is your relationship with God?
It’s so personal that I can no longer separate God from myself. Ask me what my relationship is with myself and we’re more nearly approaching the question. I guess a very important part of that relationship is the fact that I’ve learned to forgive myself.
In some of your writings, there is a sense that ceremonial magick can give meaning to life. Does this suggest you are also an existential thinker in the world of modern occultism?
I think you are very safe in making that suggestion.
What is your Evocation of Orobas?
Orobas was the first spirit I ever evoked into a triangle. It was a painful learning experience, but one in which I learned a lot about myself and the nature of “spirits.”
you now, after the passage of many years, consider yourself a student or a master of the Holy Qabalah? Why?
I don’t think I’d trust anyone who claimed to be a Qabalah Master. (I hope that doesn’t offend any Qabalah Masters.) I’m a student, and will remain so for the duration.
Do you see the Enochian system, overall, as perfect?
Certainly not. But it’s pretty damned slick.
Do you see the Enochian system as a lifetime study?
Yes, if that is what one wants to do for a lifetime. Much as I love this stuff I don’t make magick my life. I have a life, thank you. My spiritual practices are just tools I use to make my life magick.
What are your thoughts on the Holy Guardian Angel? Is it possible for a person to have more than one Holy Guardian Angel in his or her life?
While I don’t discount the possibility that there are spiritual forces that play the role of guardians and guides, I don’t view the HGA as an “angel” in the classic Qabalistic sense of the term. It is only for convenience sake (to exploit the transcendent power of our natural ability to suspend disbelief) that we treat the HGA in the imagination as an angel, entity, or spiritual being.
The HGA is a level of consciousness, pure and simple. The techniques we use to reach this level of consciousness utilize our natural ability to fall in love and loose ourself completely in ecstatic bliss. This is most easily and naturally achieved by metaphorically conceptualizing this desired level of consciousness as if it were itself a lover for whom we long with all our heart. This cosmic yearning, if you will, is a triggering device that drives us until the union is literally consummated. This can work quite well because, as most of us will readily confess, sexual ecstasy is seated in the imagination, and that it is very easy to lose oneself in an idealized imagined union (or a supercharged and sweetened memory).
Do you have encounters with ghosts? What are some of your paranormal experiences?
The ghost of my aunt Gladys once tried to suffocate me. I write about it a little in My Life with the Spirits.
Can you see and talk with ghosts?
No. At least nothing that I recognize as such. I certainly believe that ghosts and other such phenomena are viable threads in the great tapestry of consciousness.
How do you personally communicate directly with spirits in your magical workings?
In vision and divinatory operations. I use a number of oracles and I view each of them as the voice of a particular spirit or order of spirits.
Do you feel that direct communication with spirits is possible without ceremonial magick or ceremonial ritual?
Absolutely. I believe for most people it is.
What insights could you share with beginners starting on ceremonial magick? What would you suggest to them for readings and studies?
Keep your sense of humor at all time. Do not be afraid… of anything! Resolve to enjoy your magical life… enjoy the successes… enjoy the failures… enjoy the adventure for adventure’s sake… enjoy the fun stuff… enjoy the scary stuff… enjoy the Light and enjoy the Darkness. If you can’t find truth and enlightenment in the Darkness you’ll never find it in the Light either.
Give yourself a year to read whatever you are most attracted to, then give yourself a year to read what repels you the most. When you can’t tell the difference you’re on your way to becoming a magician.
What do you see as the future for such magical orders as the Ordo Templi Orientis, Rosicrucians, and the Golden Dawn?
I think they’ll be around for a long time.
In a pinch, who would you call upon first for help — Adonia, or Shiva?
Both…in the guise of my elephant-headed Lord Ganesha!
Lon, it has been very good visiting with you. I appreciate your time, and thank you greatly for sharing your insights. It there anything you wish to add in closing, something to share with the readers?
Just to quote my alter-ego, Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford: “It’s all in your head; you just have no idea how big your head is.”
Click here to buy this book now.