The 30 Enochian aethyres
This is one of the most well known, and also popular, parts of Enochian magic. One of the main reasons for people having heard of them is famous magicians from the past, having traveled into them. There is not a single reference in the original diary notes of Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelly, which even hint at such uses for the aethyres. However, quite obviously this is doable, and actually an extremely productive practice. I figure that the idea of traveling them has stemmed from the commonality of magickians traveling out of body, or through vision into various maps and diagrams of how the universe is laid out.
The most famous version of how the universe is laid out in which magicians have used for traveling or skrying into has of course been the tree of life. Even this tree of life diagram was original comprised of concentric circles. Other systems also use this method to denote how the universe is laid out. Another example is Al-Buni and the Arabic astrological worldview of things. Some of John Dee’s contemporaries also used such diagrams to explain how things work out, even though they each used a varying number of these circles, each denoting the planets, elements and so forth in differing ways.
In general though, the seven planets, and sometimes the four elements are listed in these diagrams. Specifically it is a map of how the energies of the planets, stars, elements and other energies are expressed between this physical world, and the most Divine, least solid, and most ethereal forces. The layout is generally depicting the most dense, here on earth and going up, sequentially, one by one, through to less and less dense. The idea of the traveling through these, from all I have been able to ascertain from various older writings is to transform ones spirit and self in such a way, that you are ready and can ascent to the higher, and less dense levels. Each layer of these universal layouts helps us to rid ourselves more and more of the dross, which we no longer need, so that we are ready to ascend more towards the Deity forces.
Just as with alchemy, one purifies the lead, stage by stage, until eventually gold is reached. To perform this, impurities are removed bit by bit, over time. Of course, we must also keep in mind that gold is has many similarities atomically to lead! As we travel through these various layouts of the universe we are thus becoming less and less dense in an energetic sense, so that we are able to understand and tune into each of the levels. This is an extremely good exercise to remove aspects of oneself which are hindering, as well as to purify the energy body. As we travel through each layer, we also connect and unite with the energies which are similar. This is an excellent way to get to know the various metaphysical realms of our magical universe.
From all of my experiences, as well as all I have read in Dee’s works, and from the knowledge I have of Enochian and magic as well; the 30 Enochian aethyres most definitely do not line up with the tree of life at all, whatsoever. Well aside from the point that one is going from the most dense, to the least solid, step by step. Dee and Kelly’s influences were much older than those of the Golden Dawn and the 19th century magicians. From all I have seen in the writings, the influences lay more in the older alchemical thought and manuscripts from the 12th and 13th centuries and earlier. One example of this is the colour layout of the Enochian great table; Red, Green, White and Black.
Some people work with the 30 Enochian aethyres via skrying. I personally find this to be not nearly as effective, as one doesn’t merge or integrate with them nearly as fully this way. It is more like looking into them, instead of actually being within them. More akin to seeing a country on a travel show or documentary, as compared with actually being there in person and experiencing it fully first hand. Not that this method doesn’t produce any results at all, just that it isn’t nearly as strong.
I find that out of body astral or etheric (as talked about extensively by Robert Bruce for example), works much better for aethyres work. Also of course working with the governors of each of the 91 parts of the earth, is extremely important in this work. They are the ones who rule over each of these aethyres and the realms in which we travel into, so of course one would want to contact them as well, and ask for their assistance. They do help us with the transformation needed in each level, as well as the magics to be performed within each of the 91 parts of the earth. Of course, they are also great for teaching us the various magics in which we can do within these 30 aethyres as a whole, as well as the particular sections in which each govern over.