A. D. Mercer is a psychologist, a practicing ritual magickian, and an author of the fine book "Liber Coronzom", an excellent Grimoire on Enochian Magick released through Aeon Sophia Press. Check out our in-depth interview with him where we cover his Jungian influence on his work, the complex task of cross referencing the Enochian material required to write his book, his personal inspirations, his favorite magickal authors, and so much more. You have a background in Jungian Psychology, this of being of primary interest regarding your outlook and presentation of your book Liber Coronozom. What came first in your studies, the magick or the psychology? And how did you eventually go about bridging the gap between the two? My Interest in Jungian Psychology and Magick basically ran, and runs, side-by-side. I honestly couldn’t say which came first for me (Chicken and egg analogy comes to mind here) I encountered both in my teens and each seemed to ‘inform’ the other, particularly looking at Jung’s concepts of the Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, both of which predate Jung as ideas, but really came together, as coherent theories of the mind, through Jung’s work. I should stress that while both concepts interconnect, they are district. In other words, the Collective Unconscious and the concept of the archetypes do not depend upon each other i.e. the ides of Archetypes is related to the structure of consciousness. While the collective unconscious is notion that consciouess, at its deepest level, is transpersonal. These concepts are important as the give magick a framework within which it may very well be operating. Now, this does not mean at all that we’re talking about the ‘psychological’ model for the explanation for how magick works. The the notion that it’s ‘all in the mind’ which some occultist reject out of hand and I understand why they do. But I agree with Lon Milo Ducette when he said “it’s all in your mind, you just have no idea how big your mind is!” – indeed, whether Lon meant it or not, this certainly alludes the kind of ideas Jung adhered to (that the mind is way beyond that lump of putty in your head), which I very much agree with. So, needless to say, for me the entities you encounter in Enochian Magic are hitherto unknown Archetypes. Jung himself said that, although he’s identified quite a few, there is most certainly 100 of not 1000’s of them.
When composing your book, you had to cross reference a large amount of Enochian material. What was this process like, and was it difficult coming to an end conclusion when dealing with potential inconsistencies or omissions in between texts? One of the main motivations for getting the book published was to offer a version of Enochian magick that was as true to Dee’s original experiments as possible, and removed all material that had been added later, chiefly the additions made of the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley, both of whom had basically re-written Dee’s experiments into something that fitted into their own systems. There is of course nothing wrong with adapting and reworking systems and I have the utmost respect for the work of the Original Golden Dawn, but what they offer, however there are differences compared to what the ‘angels’ communicated to Dee. (including the spelling of ‘Coronzon’ which the Golden Dawn took from Casaubon’s ‘True and Faithful Relation’ and not Dee’s actual diaries which spell it Coronzom) To do this I had to get back to Dee’s actual diaries, which are held in the British Library, these are the hand written by Dee himself (writing down what Kelley was seeing.) Of all the material, the two areas which interested me the most were the Sigilim dea Ameth and what has become known as the ‘Enochain Calls’. These seemed to be the most practical areas, ‘stuff’ that you could actually use! As I already knew the published version of Dee’s diaries, the aforementioned ‘True and Faithful Relation’ I knew what it was I was looking for in the handwritten material, that said, it was quite an ‘adventure’ trying to find the entries I was looking for. But, to address your question more directly, it also meant that I didn’t intend to look at all the other texts that had been published by later writers as most were influenced by the changes made by the Golden Dawn, and I wanted the original material. That doesn’t mean I don’t own copies of pretty much everything ever written on Enochain magick, because I do, and there’s some excellent work out there, it’s just that it was not relevant for what I was working on.
What attracted you to Enochian magick out of all of the various schools and disciples of magickal study the most? Are there any other fields of magickal study that you have / are exploring? I like focusing on details and I like to get to original material where possible. I love working with the classic Grimoires, but the original author’s identity is lost the mists of time (unless you really do believe that ‘King Solomon’ was a prolific writer of a whole host of esoteric texts while he ruled ancient Israel!) But with Enochian Magic you had access to the original source material, ‘first hand’ notes on the scrying experiments that lead to Enochain magick. I also feel a kind of affinity with Dr. Dee himself, can’t really explaining it and I’m not going to claim any kind of psychic connection or reincarnation but I do feel a connection that I can’t fully explain.
Another area that has interested me is the Runes and in particular the Armanen Runes of Guido von List. Not least because they are probably the least understood and most abused set of runes in existence. They have been linked erroneously to the Nazi’s and dismissed as a modern invention. However, even if they do not date any further back the Von List’s discovery of them in 1909, they are the only set (or Futhark) that was specifically devised for esoteric purposes, which I think makes them significant and important for study (and were the topic of my second book from Aeon Sophia Press – ‘Runen: The Wisdom of the Runes.’)