Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:21 am Post subject: Occultist John Dee 1527-1608: founder of the British Empire
|TonyGosling wrote: |
|Hitler and the Nazis - an Occult Order using Ancient Esoteric Knowledge and Practices....
1527 – 1608
Hitler and the Esoteric - What began with intentions of ORDER ended as CHAOS.
Hitler founded far more than a political regime - the Third Reich was an Occult-based Order using Magical and Esoteric practices. Everything which defined the Nazi Party was Magical. From the Swastika to the Order of the SS, all elements were driven by Esoteric teachings. Inspired by the occult writings of Helena Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi, Nosradamus and John Dee to name but a few, along with the magical elements contained within the music of Richard Wagner and Wolfgang Mozart, the Third Reich sought to usher in a New World Order through overwhelming physical strength and might. This was their divine mission. In the eyes of the Third Reich, it was time for the world to change.
Even at the age of fifteen years old, Hitler was convinced he was the One to lead humanity into a new world....
He had just finished listening to Wagner's Rienzie play with his childhood friend, Gustl Kubizek. Kubizek watched with horror as a being began speaking out of Hitler's mouth in a most unusual voice. This voice began speaking visions of how Hitler was going to change European history, that one day, he would receive a Mandate from his people to lead them "from servitude to the heights of freedom, a special mission which would one day be entrusted to him." Though the realization of this vision would not be fulfilled for many years, this vision came remarkably true. Against all odds, Hitler climbed to the pinnacle of power in Germany, backed by Magical Powers.
Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in 1933. Most occult leaders believed Hitler was The Great One. The Nazi sacred symbols and concepts of the swastika or "gamma cross", the eagle, the red/black/white color scheme, and ancient Nordic runes (one of which became the insignia of the SS), were all adopted from esoteric traditions going back centuries, shared by Brahmins, Scottish Masons, Rosicrucians, the Knights Templars and other esoteric societies. The Nazi motto, "One Reich, One Folk, One Fuehrer", reflected the standard threefold power circles of the occult. The Reich was the psychic adepts of the Nazi Party, which would build the bridge between the Folk (the masses which unite into a cosmic Entity greater than its parts) and the Fuehrer (the initiates in the elite leadership which unite with Hitler, the divine incarnation). The outer fringe, the Folk, are taught what they can handle: blind obedience, group service, a new history and identity. The Party elite such as the SS are taught something different: psychic knowledge, tapping into the "Vril Force", self-denial, brotherhood mission, medieval lore, fearlessness of death. The innermost circle was privy to the hard-core Gnostic teaching on the Grail, immortality and godhood. Many neo-Nazi groups continue to pursue these topics with devotion. But under it all was the invisible presence of "Unknown Superiors" who taught Hitler himself and who were assumed by his associates to endow him with his uncanny hypnotic power.
For those unaware, the Earth and all its associated spirits hold immense power, which when harnessed, can be used for whatever means you choose. Magic is neither good or evil.. It is your intention behind the magic which makes it 'white magic' or 'black magic'. To hold this power gives you power and dominance over those who do not. And Magic works solely within the laws of nature and what we have seen happening around the world is the knowledge of Nature's Laws being eradicated from practically every culture on the planet. One thing is probable - the dismissal and ultimately destruction of every native culture is deliberate action, thought out and implemented by people who are fully aware of the powers of the Ether. As Hitler himself said, "How fortunate for leaders, that the masses do not think."
The Spear of Destiny
Hitler coveted possession of the Spear of Destiny, supposedly THE spear with which the Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus Christ. Anyone trained in the esoteric arts know that certain relics, monuments and physical places inherently possess power and that power can be harnessed and used for whatever means you choose.
The Spear of Destiny is also known as the Spear of Longinus. Supposedly, the leader who "possessed it and understood the powers it served, held the destiny of the world in his hands for good or evil." This spear has been held in the House of Hapsburg, in Vienna, Austria, for centuries, and is on public display in a museum. One of Hitler's first official acts, once he annexed Austria, was to drive to Vienna in a motorcade, go to the museum, and take physical possession of the Spear of Destiny. At that point, Hitler believed he possessed the power to overcome all odds and conquer the world. At that point, World War II became inevitable. A new age and a New World Order steered by the Third Reich was waiting to happen.
The Holy Grail
Hitler devoted his life to pursuit of the legendary Holy Grail. The Holy Grail is supposedly the cup or dish used by Jesus at the Last Supper, preserved by Joseph of Arimathea, who brought it to Spain or Britain, and quested for by numerous knights. In occult terms, The Holy Grail came to represent a path to transcendent consciousness. The word, 'Grail', was derived from the word, 'graduate', which means gradually, step by step, degree by degree. This concept of gradualism underlies the entire effort to achieve the New World Order, and it is definitely the underpinning of the Hegelian theory of controlled change through controlled conflict.
Hitler firmly believed in the coming of a new race, the 'Supermen'. He expected them to be a literal "mutation" of Homo Sapiens, achieved by arriving at "higher levels of consciousness". The composer and occultist, Richard Wagner was obsessed with the 'Master Race' and Hitler was hugely inspired by him. Hitler once said, "In order to understand the Nazi Party, you must understand Wagner". Hitler also believed that the new humanity would be free of "the dirty and degrading chimera called conscience and morality," as well as "the burden of free will" and "personal responsibility" which should rightly be borne only by the few with the fortitude to make the awful decisions necessary for the good of humanity. All the world's problems would be put right by the new order of subservient masses ruled by the Supermen.
Hitler communicated with his masters and became totally driven by them. Concerning Hitler's relationship with these Unknowns, there is not much known besides his reference to a guiding voice of "Providence". However, we do have a vivid account related by an unnamed associate of Hitler to Rauschning (both were not sure what to make of it), in which Hitler wakes up in the middle of the night in total panic at some unseen visitation: "Hitler was standing there in his bedroom, stumbling about, looking around him with a distraught look. He was muttering: 'It's him! It's him! He's here!' His lips had turned blue. He was dripping with sweat. Suddenly he uttered some numbers which made no sense, then some words, then bits of sentences. It was frightening. He used terms which were strung together in the strangest way and which were absolutely weird. Then, he again became silent, although his lips continued to move. He was given a massage and something to drink. Then all of a sudden, he screamed: 'There! Over there! In the corner! Who is it?' He was jumping up and down, and he was howling."
Hitler's personal aide, Hermann Rauschning wrote In 1939, an eye witness account of the madness of the Third Reich: "What will the social order of the future be like? Comrade, I will tell you. There will be a class of overlords, after them the rank and file of the party members in hierarchical order, and then the great mass of anonymous followers, servants and workers in perpetuity, and beneath them again all the conquered foreign races, the modern slaves. And over and above all these will reign a new and exalted nobility of whom I cannot speak. But of all these plans the militant members will know nothing. The new man is living amongst us now! He is here. Isn't that enough for you? I will tell you a secret. I have seen the new man. He is intrepid and cruel. I was afraid of him" - Adolf Hitler quoted from "Hitler Speaks" by Hermann Rauschning.
Hitler could not have expressed the aims of the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" or the "Hieron du Val d'Or" more eloquently. Today the agenda of the power elite continues using its network of Occult and political structures - from the unaccountable "Bilderberg Group" to the elite of the "Dragon Court", from the undemocratic "Trilateral Commission" to the transnational "Knights of Malta". Through their influence and control the Synarchists continue to stay on top of the power pyramid, regardless of how much global suffering and misery is caused, and maintain the anti-democratic structures of a hidden (the word "occult" means "hidden worship") feudalist system. The new head of the European Council of Princes HRH Prince Michael Stewart recently replaced HSH Prince Otto von Habsburg of Austria as chief representative of thirty three Royal Houses of Europe. These are the thirty three Holy Grail bloodline aristocratic families, who bizarrely claim descent from Jesus Christ, and their historical goal remains the same.
The Wewelsburg is situated between the German cities of Hamm and Paderborn. Shortly after Hitler had come into power in January 1933, the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, became interested in the Wewelsburg. What Himmler wanted was a religious centre for the SS and the Nazi ideals.... something like St.Peter’s in Rome or the Temple of Jerusalem. He referred to Wewelsburg as "the centre of the world". This ancient castle was to become the spiritual home for the New World Order.
The Ahnenerbe, an arm of the SS commissioned in the mid-1930s to research the ancestral heritage of the Aryan race, roamed far and wide to find proof that only one race was meant to rule the world and that the Nazi vision of purification and world domination was supported by mythic forces. They were to provide scientific documentation that would unite their ancient past with their destiny. Heinrich Himmler saw the men in his army as the reincarnation of Teutonic knights and kings, in particular the knights of King Arthur's round table. He designed Wewelsburg Castle to be their Camelot. On one floor of Wewelsburg Castle was a dark mosaic star that marked this center and over which magical rituals were performed by twelve Nazi officers known as 'The Twelve Knights'
The Thule Society
Hitler was trained to be a supreme adept in the arts and ritual of Black Magic by Dietrich Eckart. the leader of a powerful, secret society called the Thule Society. Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorf, an avid fan of Helena Blavatsky, founded the "Thule Society", a spiritualist group which borrowed heavily from Blavatsky's "The Secret Doctrine". Thule in occultic, Greek and Viking lore was the capital of an ancient ice-island called Hyperborea (known in Hindu legend as the "White Isle"), inhabited by superhumans with psychic powers who eventually founded the Aryan race. After an unexplained disaster, survivors of Hyperborea took refuge first in the "West" [meaning west of India, perhaps Babylon?], then in the Gobi desert, and later in Tibet; their spirit mentors retreated to a hidden spiritual center called "Asgard", located in a subterranean city. These beings, headed by one known in Hindu/Buddhist tradition as "the Lama of lamas" or "King of the world", can only be contacted on the spiritual plane. The symbol of this "Master" is the swastika, "symbol of the central power of the gem of Heaven".
The goal of Thule members was to break the barrier of the "small self" - consisting of physical reality and (upon promotion to their inner circle) moral constraints - so as to merge with the "divine self" in the unseen spirit realm. That in turn allowed the initiate to reach the "universal energy fields" which would "awaken the sleeping powers within" and access superhuman psychic abilities which had once belonged to the proud Aryan race. Thule discipline required blind, unquestioning obedience to the enlightened master in whatever he may ask, which would create conditions for personal transformation. Sebottendorf called this the "Fuehrerprinzip" ("the Fuehrer principle"), and he concocted a formal response by which to salute such a god-man: "Sieg, Heil!" ("Glory, Hail!"). Thule initiates fervently awaited someone worthy of that title to whom they could submit. When Hitler joined the Society, Thule member Dietrich Eckart prophesied that the day had come; he began introducing him in Munich occult circles as "the long-awaited savior". To Alfred Rosenberg he said: "I believe in Hitler; above him there hovers a star." Eckart was following his own mission revealed to him in a seance: that when "Lord Maitreya" would soon make his appearance as a German messiah to "lead the Aryan race to final victory over the Jews", he, Eckart, was charged with the responsibility of "nurturing" him.
Hitler's Solution....The Thule Society considered the Jew ("Juda") their cosmic enemy. As early as 1920, Sebottendorf advocated a "Final Goal" of "cleaning out the Jews once and for all", using "the most ruthless measures, including Sammellager [concentration camps] and sweeping out the Jewish vermin with an iron broom." Interestingly, this Thule Society was part of the international "Brotherhood of Death" secret societies. The dominant American "Brotherhood of Death" society is the "Skull and Bones" group at Yale University, an identical society to Hitler's Thule Group. The most famous adept from this "Skull and Bones" group is President George W Bush and his father, George. The Thule Group's leader was Dietrich Eckart. He told his adherents in the late 1910's that "he had personally received a kind of satanic annunciation that he was destined to prepare the vessel of the Anti-Christ, the man inspired by Lucifer to conquer the world and lead the Aryan race to glory." Eckart perceived his role to be that of a forerunner, a John the Baptist to the Great One. Eckart trained Hitler well. As Eckart lay dying, he boasted, "Follow Hitler! He will dance, but it is I who have called the tune! I have initiated him into the 'Secret Doctrine', opened his centres in vision and given him the means to communicate with the Powers ..."
As part of his training, Hitler was alledgedly taken through a monstrous ceremony, specifically designed to totally pervert, twist, and char his sexual mindset, to where he could never be satisfied by normal sexual intercourse again. Rather, he could be satisfied only through Sado-Masochism, where he was whipped and tortured by a woman. This was the role Eva Braun fulfilled. This ceremony so tortured Hitler's mind that it released a steady torrent of rage and hatred against the rest of the human race. You need look no further to discover the real reason Hitler was so inhumanely sadistic, and so capable of the greatest, darkest crimes against humanity ever seen on planet earth. This ceremony had the effect of "Being Smooth Between The Legs", a psychological wounding that had the effect of mental castration.
Mass Mind Control
Hitler possessed a manner of speaking to large masses of people that absolutely captured their imaginations and stimulated within them a tremendously powerful emotion. "... when Hitler was elated, his normal halting awkward style was transformed into a magical flow of words, delivered with spellbinding effect. On these occasions it was as though Hitler himself was listening to the extraneous intelligence which had temporarily taken over his soul ... The strange transformation ... would later be described by others who saw this Luciferic possession take place yet more concretely as Hitler rose step by step to the very pinnacle of power. 'Listen to Hitler and one suddenly has a vision of one who will lead mankind to glory', Gregor Strasser, a defected Nazi, recounted twenty years later. 'A light appears in a dark window. A gentleman with a comic mustache turns into an Archangel. Then the Archangel flies away and there is Hitler sitting down bathed in sweat with glassy eyes.'
In the book, Satan and the Swastika, Francis King says: " Hitler's public appearances, particularly those associated with the Nazi Party's Nuremburg rallies, were excellent examples of this sort of magical ceremony. The fanfares, military marches, and Wagnerian music, all emphasised the idea of German military glory. The mass swastika banners in black, white and red, filled the consciousness of the particaipants in the rally with national socialist ideology. The ballet-like precision of the movement of the uniformed party members, all acting in unison, evoked from the unconscious, the principles of war and violence which the ancients symbolised as Mars. And the prime ritual of the rallies - Hitler clasping to other banners, the 'blood banner' carried in the Munich Putsch of 1923 - was a quasi-magical ceremony designed to link up with minds of living Nazis with the archetypal images symbolised bt the dead national socialist heroes of the past. The religio-magical aspects of the rallies were emphasised by the fact that their high points were reached after dusk and took place in a 'Cathedral of Light' - an open space surrounded by pillars of light coming from electric searchlights pointed upwards to the sky. If a modern ritual magician of the utmost expertise had designed a ritual intended to 'invoke Mars' he could not have come up with anything more effective than the ceremonies used at Nuremburg.
Dachau....Hitler's personal devotion to occult principles was proven ultimately by his self-inflicted death. His choice of April 30 for his suicide may well have been meant as a sacrifice; it was the eve of Beltane (known in Germany as Walpurgisnacht), identified on popular Wiccan websites as a Druid feast in honor of the deity Bel. In witchcraft, this "power-point" day is regarded as a "great sabbat" equal in potency to Halloween. According to Wiccans, Bel is derived from the Canaanite Baal; but Helena Blavatsky goes farther in "The Secret Doctrine"(vol.2), reconstructing an astrological trinity of Bel/Baal (sun-god, father), Christos (Mercury, son) and Lucifer (Venus, holy spirit). As for Hitler's suicide itself, this was not a cowardly act from an occultist viewpoint, but rather an honorable practice known among the Druids, as well as among the Cathari "Perfects", those medieval guardians of the Grail, who called it the rite of "Endura". A curious requirement of the "Endura" was that it was always to be done by pairs of intimate friends, a detail known by the Nazis which makes sense of Hitler's joint suicide with his new wife Eva Braun. Incidentally, Hitler's associates Karl Haushofer and Goebbels also killed themselves in ceremonial fashion along with their wives.s.
Magic and reality....
Inextricably entwined into the art of magic is the langauage of 'Symbolism'.
Every day, you will see hundreds of symbols on buildings, on television, in newspapers and magazines which are created to literally hypnotise us into buying their products, or believing what they are displaying. This is 'Symbolism'. A metaphysical power. Today, commercial advertising is the greatest use of the 'language' of symbolism at work.
Advertising delves into the subconscious as well as the conscious and plays upon the knowledge of how we react to different images, colours and sounds. Each image, colour, sound, smell or feel carry with them, different frequencies and vibrations which manifest suggestions of particular things to us.
This is how we say that "red is a warm colour" or how a musical minor chord sounds 'sad' and a major chord sounds 'happier' - they are merely carrying energy vibrations, to which we perceive and then respond to. Through the media we are repeatedly told 'facts' which we eventually believe. This is because human beings will believe something if they are told again and again. If they don't believe the facts, then the pressure of others around them who have accepted the 'facts', will force them to eventually accept the given information, otherwise they will be seen as 'different' or 'anarchic', then they become isolated.
Magical images are being used as corporate logos.
The Health Services and The CadaceusExxon, The Cross of Lorraine and The Knights TemplarSt. John Ambulance and The Black SunColumbia, Liberty and The Eternal FlameMI5 and The Eye of HorusTexaco, The Tau Cross and The Pentagram
Is someone aware of what the meanings are, of the symbols they have chosen as their corporate, or representative emblem? Or were the symbols chosen with ignorance of their meaning?
The Nazi symbol of the Swastika, or Svastika is an ancient symbol. It is a symbol of the sun. Hitler wrote in 'Mein Kampf'; "the new flag had to be equally a symbol of our own struggle, since on the other hand it was expected also to be highly effective as a poster...."
He also wrote, "A symbol it really is! In red we see the social ideal of the movement, in white the nationalist idea, in the swastika is the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man."
Hitler and the Nazi Party used symbolism like no other political regime before - they used it directly and with no pretentions. They believed Nazism was the ideaology to construct an entire New World Order. This cause is the legendary, magical 'Great Work'.
The ideal of Order out of Chaos was reversed, whether intentionally or not. The intentions of ORDER ended as CHAOS as the jackboots of fascism stamped on the faces of ordinary people.
Is it possible that the chaotic result was intentional? For out of CHAOS can come ORDER. Was the Nazi Party playing the ancient role of 'Apophis The Destroyer' from the magical formula of IAO from the Egyptian mystery school teachings ?
Isis (the mighty mother, or the 'old ways'), followed by Apophis (the Destroyer), resulting in Osiris (a new 'order' which is only made possible by the process of death)....
What began perhaps with intentions of ORDER ended as CHAOS. Like so many regimes before and if history is anything to perceive a pattern of behaviour by, it will be like so many more to come.
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Last edited by TonyGosling on Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:37 am; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:55 am Post subject:
|Despite the focus on navigation in this book, Dee’s fascination with astrology and symbolism permeates the work. Through various sources, Dee believed part of North America held by the Spanish had already been previously colonised by the English, first by Arthur, King of the Britons in 530 AD and secondly by the Welsh Prince Madoc Owain Gwynedd in 1170 AD. By colonising North America, Dee believed England would be restoring the Empire of Arthur. The symbolism is most prevalent in a hieroglyph that appears on the title page of General Memorials....
Already a keen astrologer, John Dee’s studies abroad at Louvain University had led him into contact with famed cosmographers such as Gemma Frisius and cartographer Gerardus Mercator, which deepened his mathematical knowledge. Mercator and Dee established such a rapport that Dee brought back two of Mercator’s globes and various astronomical instruments and gave them to Cambridge University to be used by their scholars and fellows. Sadly these instruments no longer exist.
Mathematics, navigation and empire
Reassessing John Dee’s legacy
08 Jul 2019
John Dee (1527-1609) was a philosopher and scholar whose work during the Tudor period has been overshadowed by his alleged sorcerous and occultist activities. He is best known for having conversations with angels through his scryer Edward Kelley, his interests in astrology, alchemy, calendar reform and suggesting the date for Queen Elizabeth I's coronation. What John Dee may not be as well-known for is his influence on English navigation and being the first person to coin the term 'British Empire'
Through the use of rare and new books from our collection, which you can see on request at the Caird Library and Archive of Royal Museums Greenwich, this post gives you a flavour of the lesser known ideas that John Dee sought to implement in the latter part of the Tudor period.
By Alex Grover, Assistant Curator
Caird Library and Archive Open Day
Portrait of John Dee (1527-1609)
Portrait of John Dee (1527-1609) (RMG ID: PAD0097)
Navigation and mathematics during the Tudor period
Navigational knowledge in England in the mid-16th century was limited compared to other European nations. Most trading from England extended as far as Iceland and the coastal regions of the Low Countries, but very rarely to further places such as the Azores, Mediterranean and the Baltic region. It largely relied on the art of pilotage, which focused on, as historian David Waters argues ‘knowing perfectly by sight all the capes, ports and rivers met with, how they rise up and how they appear from the sea’.
Navigation of the oceans however required an understanding of mathematics. Historian Benjamin Wooley argues that some circles in Tudor society were suspicious of a subject which analysed the relationship between numbers and the stars, seeing it as a gateway to demonic magic. As a result, many mathematical texts were burned in the Tudor Period. This suspicion of mathematics was connected to a perception that, because we had everything we needed either at home or within a short journey to coastal areas of Europe, there was no interest in expanding navigation in its broader sense through the use of mathematics.
This attitude starts to change from the mid-16th century onwards. Already a keen astrologer, John Dee’s studies abroad at Louvain University had led him into contact with famed cosmographers such as Gemma Frisius and cartographer Gerardus Mercator, which deepened his mathematical knowledge. Mercator and Dee established such a rapport that Dee brought back two of Mercator’s globes and various astronomical instruments and gave them to Cambridge University to be used by their scholars and fellows. Sadly these instruments no longer exist.
This stimulated more scholars to learn further about navigation and encouraged others to petition the government for more funding and education. Influential courtiers and explorers such as Humphrey Gilbert petitioned for the founding of an ‘Academy in London for education of her Majesty’s wards and others the youth of nobility and gentlemen’. Gilbert believed that this academy, amongst other things, could be used for training future servants of the Crown in arithmetic, geometry, cosmography, cartography and the art of navigation.
Dee, in his capacity as navigational tutor for the traders of the Muscovy Company and in lectures to his students at his house in Mortlake, had already been teaching what Gilbert was asking for since the mid-1560s. He was able to advocate mathematics (and by association navigation) to a larger audience by writing the preface to the first English translation by Henry Billingsley of the Greek mathematician Euclid’s work ‘Elements of Geometry (1570)’.
Title page for The mathematical Preface to the elements of geometrie of Euclid of Megara 1570
Title page for The mathematical Preface to the elements of geometrie of Euclid of Megara 1570 (RMG ID: PBD0532)
In his Mathematical Preface Dee classifies the mathematical arts and provides definitions for each. He defines navigation as ‘how by the shortest good way, by the aptest direction, and in the shortest time, a sufficient ship… be conducted’. This, along with definitions for geography, hydrography and astronomy, was intended to show that mathematics had many uses in the world such as surveying and making mechanisms - Dee is said to have made a giant mechanical beetle for a play while he was a student at Cambridge, which reputedly amazed the audience.
Dee also used the text to argue that mathematics did not necessarily deserve its wicked reputation.
“How many a common artificer, is there, in these realms of England and Ireland, that dealeth with Number, Rule, & Cumpasse: Who with their owne Skill and experience, already had, will be hable (by these good helps an information) to finde out and deuise, new works, strange Engines, and Instrumentes: for sundry purposes in the Common Wealth? or for private pleasure? And for the better maintaining of their owne estate?”.
Although this preface would fade into obscurity somewhat, it was widely read by many in the 17th century, including natural philosopher John Wilkins who, inspired by Dee’s work, wrote ‘Mathematical Magick’, one of Isaac Newton’s favourite books.
Around the time that the Mathematical Preface was published, the discoveries of commodities such as gold and spices were helping to increase the wealth and influence of continental powers such as Spain and Portugal. Riddled with debt and faced with increasing competition in trade, partially due to the loss of the English trading port of Calais during Queen Mary’s reign, England was becoming more aware of the shortfalls of an island that needed to extend its outlook away from the Continent and towards the virtually untapped new world of North America.
Dee’s ambitious ideas
Dee had another opportunity to link navigation with Britain’s imperial ambitions through his book ‘The General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation (1577)’. It is a text that has faded into obscurity, and its influence is hard to measure since most Tudor histories do not comment on it. It is significant however, because it is one of the first references in print to the idea of a British Empire. Dee wrote four volumes under this name but, unfortunately, only the first survives in a complete form in various libraries and archives, including our own Caird Library.
In this book, Dee presents his arguments for building and financing a large navy. England was one of the few countries with a standing fleet of military ships. This fleet comprised only 34 ships (less than 20% of the size of Spain’s fleet) however, nearly a third of which were not worth maintaining by the time Elizabeth I came to the throne. Dee calls the expansion of this fleet the ‘Master Key’ of the British Empire and lists a wide variety of benefits such as:
Facilitating the acquirement of commodities for the betterment and increased wealth of England
Protecting the merchant fleet from pirates and potential foreign aggressors, which Dee lists as France Denmark, Scotland and Spain
Giving young men in the country a purpose, where they could learn a new set of skills and also reduce the amount of men currently idle within the country.
Despite the focus on navigation in this book, Dee’s fascination with astrology and symbolism permeates the work. Through various sources, Dee believed part of North America held by the Spanish had already been previously colonised by the English, first by Arthur, King of the Britons in 530 AD and secondly by the Welsh Prince Madoc Owain Gwynedd in 1170 AD. By colonising North America, Dee believed England would be restoring the Empire of Arthur. The symbolism is most prevalent in a hieroglyph that appears on the title page of General Memorials.
Title page of The General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation (1577)
Title page of The General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation (1577) (RMG ID: PBD3580)
It shows Queen Elizabeth at the helm of a ship looking over lands that have been absorbed into the new British Empire. Dee goes even further in this hieroglyph by having the Moon, Sun, stars and a glowing sphere bearing the tetragrammaton, a set of four Hebrew letters representing the name of God. All of these symbols on the page are designed to suggest that Elizabeth’s ambitions had divine blessing.
Elizabeth herself did not endorse Dee’s proposals publicly, fearing Spanish and Portuguese reprisals. Some of the Elizabethan court were also uncomfortable with Dee’s interest in astrology and the occult. The Queen did however privately enable others to explore the Americas, possibly influenced by Dee’s text. Elizabeth’s private encouragement led to numerous expeditions during the latter part of her reign (including Martin Frobisher’s expeditions of the late 1570s which Dee supported financially and as a navigational adviser) and also a colonisation attempt at Roanoke Island in America at the turn of the 17th century.
Early 17th Century map of the North Pole drawn by Geradus Mercator
Early 17th century map of the North Pole drawn by Geradus Mercator (RMG ID: G282:1/6)
Dee’s reputation and legacy
John Dee’s renown as a mathematician and proponent of navigation would be overshadowed by his reputation as a sorcerer and his involvement with occultist activities. Although many of his ideas were not accepted, others did make a contribution in laying the foundations for Britain’s imperial ambitions. The Mathematical Preface helped encourage a new generation of mathematicians in the late 16th century and General Memorials can be seen as an early propaganda piece for the navy and for England’s role in a changing world.
To coincide with this blog post, I shall be presenting these items as part of our annual Caird Library Open Day. See these, and many more on display on Saturday 20 July 2019, where we showcase the hidden treasures of the world’s greatest maritime library.
Parry, Glyn, The Arch Conjurer of England: John Dee (2011) Yale University Press, London
Waters, David, The Art of Navigation in England in Elizabethan and Early Stuart Times (1978) Trustees of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Wooley, Benjamin, The Queens Conjurer: The Life and Magic of John Dee (2002) Flamingo Press, London
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"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung