An Interview with Christeos Pir with a Focus on Enochian Magick

In the coming months, R. Christopher Feldman (Christeos Pir) will be presenting one of many traveling lecturer offerings, his Enochian Magick Workshop, in at least three different Valleys.

Please visit these event pages for more information:

Nessa Cohorn: 

Whether you have or have not attended one of Christeos’ various workshops throughout the years, I feel confident stating that his Enochian workshops will definitely interest you. Having heard that he would be holding this series, and being desirous to begin to interview those who lecture in our Valley, I knew immediately that Chris would give me a great start.

This interview didn’t disappoint. I hope you will be as inspired and appreciative as I am that he has made it his business to share his knowledge with the world. We begin this interview with some of Chris’ personal history, and a bit of O.T.O. history in the process.


“For a variety of reasons, some of it generational, I grew up on fairy tales [and] the idea that there was more than just the material, surface level of things. What kept me interested was the possibility that it wasn’t just children’s stories.”

Understanding that this vast group of bibliophiles would be interested, I asked for particular books and fairy tales that stuck with him.

“I shouldn’t say ‘the usual,’ times have changed I suppose, but I read a lot of fantasy: Narnia, the Curdie stories. There was an author who influenced people like CS Lewis and Tolkien, Andrew Lang, who was famous for books collecting folk tales and fairy stories from around the world.”

Growing up overseas, his family didn’t own a television, and books, including translations of Japanese fairy stories and a treasured collection inherited from his father, including Mallory’s Morte d’Arthur and a 1930s edition of Frazier’s The Golden Bough, were his constant companion. As a boy, he actually began his own magical library card-catalogue with such topics as ‘The World Navel’ and ‘the God that Dies and is Reborn.’ “All the sort of stuff that’s more than meets the eye. I was always interested in mythology, religions of different places.”

As a young teen, he was exposed to Ceremonial Magick through reading Sybil Leek’s Diary of a Witch, Papus, and Levi and only later came across one of Crowley’s works.

In 1974 he lived in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, near the University of Illinois.

Laughing,he recalls: “It was a dark and stormy night—well actually it wasn’t, it was kind-of a grey and rainy afternoon. I ducked into the Student Union Bookstore because I knew they had a section on the Occult, and overstuffed armchairs where you could sit and read, and nobody would bother you. It’s almost like a fairy story in itself: there was a strange little black book, not very large but with a thick spine. On the cover was this weird looking bald guy surrounded by a bunch of symbols, which I didn’t really recognize, except one being a naked woman which I’m sure caught my eye at the time.”

The book was The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, going then for about $1.95. “Was he really as egomaniacal as he sounds in there? Was the whole thing a put-on, or both? Well I have my own opinion about that. He talked about magick as real, as something that everybody does but just does badly, for the most part…”

This book spoke of The Book of the Law, and Enochian, which inspired Chris to learn that, as is too often sadly the case, the University library catalogue boasted over 100 Thelemic texts, but almost all of them had been pilfered. The local metaphysical bookstore, the Bodhi Tree, owned by a couple of followers of Yogi Bhajan, had never heard of Crowley or Thelema, and it wasn’t until a year went by and Christeos was finally able to purchase a copy of Liber AL, contained in The Confessions of AL, a Weiser publication in hardback containing both Crowley’s Old and New Commentaries, and somecomments by Motta, along with some appendices. Chris wrote to Motta, c/o Weiser, asking about the O.T.O. & A∴A∴, and at that time,

“I began working my way through The Book of the Law, one verse a day. I’d read it, think about it, play around with the Gematria, meditate on it, use it as a mantra if I could remember enough of it, try to keep it in mind as I was falling asleep and see if I got any revealing dreams about it. This was a really good exercise. I highly recommend it to anybody working with a new magickal or spiritual text.” (He also says he does this every time he gets a new Tarot deck, by the way.)

He still has that copy, replete with notes over notes, joking that he wrote, “my own 4th Chapter, replete with commentaries, and basically just footnoting it.”

Christeos didn’t hear back from Motta or the A∴A∴ at that time, not realizing that that organization had just entered the beginning of a 5-year period of silence. But he admits that he was contacted by “something on the astral.”

“…I’m not going to go into details but the message was basically, ‘start doing the work.’ Not necessarily the work in One Star in Sight, but start doing The Work. The Great Work. And so around that time I did a self-initiation into Thelema.”

As a result of this self-initiation, he received many other messages, some of which turned out to be important, but he only understood them much later. Keeping a more disciplined journal became a valuable resource.

Finding only magicians who weren’t able to help him, he persisted in frequenting bookstores, but with little result. After finding an early ‘70s edition of The Heart of the Master, published by 93 Press out of Montreal, Quebec, and writing to them asking again after the O.T.O. & the A∴A∴, the publisher responded stating that they didn’t think those organizations existed any longer.

It wasn’t until around 1984 or 1985 that the landscape of the world began to change. His father upgraded his PC and gifted to Chris an old IBM PC AT (IBM’s second model which came with a whopping 20 Mb hard drive!). It had a modem, so Christeos went to the local Radio Shack to ask what one would do with such a device. They gave him a list of dial-up numbers for bulletin board systems (BBS). He connected it to his home phone line and found a local (not long-distance) BBS which was a source for BBS discussion on Occult topics.

“It was as if I had been a hermit in a cave for a couple of decades, and one day I came out of the cave to discover that an entire city had grown up on my doorstep and I hadn’t even known it… There were people from all over talking about all of this stuff. From Astrology to Zoroastrianism, including Thelema, Golden Dawn, O.T.O. & A∴A∴ . . . . Talk about a kid in a candy store!”

And that’s when things really began to take off for him. In the D.C. area, “There was a Echo—that’s what we called BBS discussion groups those days—and Brother Paul asked if anyone in the D.C. area was interested in putting together a local O.T.O. Body. I went to the first meet-n-greet at his house, in Maryland, in November of 1990. That was the beginning of what would become William Blake Camp,then Oasis, and then Lodge. After a while, I was the Camp Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Initiation Coordinator, and later on I was the Body Master after Blake made Oasis.

“After a couple years I handed things off to Sister Kerry who got them up to Lodge Status, where they are now. That original group of proto-initiates, there were 7 of us, and so we sort of became nicknamed the Blake Seven, as in the TV Show. Only a few of us are still around, but we’ve been around for a while.” [laughs]

I asked about his early experiences regarding the Enochian system. He responded that  at first most of what he found was on the BBSes. Transcripts of the Calls of the Aethyrs and other material, including discussions, could be found online. He would print out what he found on the BBS and make pamphlets, “people like Bill Heidrick, for instance, had done key-entry of many of Crowley’s texts.”

“I was fascinated with Crowley’s descriptions of his experiences in Confessions. But it wasn’t until the 80’s that I found a copy of The Vision and the Voice.”

He relates a story about a working he undertook in the month leading up to his O.T.O. IIIº Initiation. “I did a series of elemental workings week-by-week. I want to say I went Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. The first week, the wind was incredible everywhere I went, and I was working construction outside. And the second week it rained the whole friggin’ week. And the third week it was hot and dry and all that wetturned to mud. And the fourth it was hot as hell. It was interesting how it lined up with the elements. Perhaps it was pure coincidence. I’m not trying to say I caused the weather, but it was an interesting serendipity.”

We shared a laugh at this thought process. It seems a current for magicians I’ve spoken with over the years. I related a personal anecdote, “I wouldn’t blow that thought off, as the owner of a magick shop that I would frequent in my late teens made wonderful-smelling incense. Every time I would burn his rain incense, I swear it would start raining.”

I had been itching to ask Christeos was if there was any other particular Enochian working he would be willing to share, one that really stuck with him? He shared this one:

“I had been gifted with some elemental weapons. One of them was a really nice Tibetan Phurba, the dagger. I wanted to charge it up and I decided on a Enochian Working to do that. The first time I did it, you know how sometimes when you’re scrying you don’t really feel like you’re getting deep enough, like you’re just sort of skimming the surface? It was kinda like that hypnagogic state where you’re not really under? I had written this whole script, what I wanted to say and do, and it really didn’t feel like it had taken. So I said, OK, I’ll just do it again. It was around 3 in the morning. This time it had a better, much stronger feel… I really felt like the charging had worked… I put that in the ‘win’ column. But afterwards, I had what I considered to be, and I know there’s a lot of controversy about what this means, but I believe I had at least the first real connection with my HGA. The first real contact with ‘K & C’ in the aftermath of the working itself. That was a breakthrough that I hadn’t counted on, hadn’t expected, but it was very important to me, obviously.”

Type “Christeos Pir” into Google and you’ll find that the top hit is his essay on Enochian Pronunciation, and you will see other overwhelming evidence to back this up. He’s also thanked in Lon Milo Duquette’sEnochian Vision Magick. With this in mind, I asked whether he would consider this to be the system he’s worked the most? “As far as Ceremonial Magick, it’s one of the things I’ve done the most with, but certainly not the only.

“Early on, I wrote that essay about pronunciation that kinda went viral.

“That was very nice of Lon, although I had to give him a hard time: ‘Now that you’ve written this book, there’s no point in me writing mine, damnit!’” [laughs]

“It used to be people would come to me, asking ‘I want to learn about Enochian, what should I read?’ I would say, ‘Read Enochian Sex Magick, but ignore the title and it only gives you some of the picture; you could read the Golden Dawn thing, but their system is a little bit different; be careful with Don Tyson because he puts his opinions in there but doesn’t mark them as opinions; read the Geoffrey James, but there’s errors. . . .’ Now I just say, ‘Read Enochian Vision Magick.’ [Lon] made that a lot easier for me.”

I disagreed that there was no point in Christeos writing a book, knowing what I do of the system andhaving the prior experience of attending one of his Enochian lectures. I offered that such anecdotal evidence could be valuable.

“I’ve written some of that. But there are reasons, perhaps, why some people are reluctant to talk about their experience too much. And that’s because new people read that and think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I remember Jerry Schueler was on the BBS and he took a lot of flack for his Enochianbooks. I certainly took a lot of issue with what he wrote. But Jerry was a gentleman. He took a lot of heat fairly gracefully. And one of the things he always maintained was that when he described things, like the Aethyrs, he was talking about his experience, he was not just parroting Crowley. Because that was one of the accusations that was leveled at him; they said, ‘You just took Crowley and paraphrased it.’ And he always claimed that his experiences were his, they just were a lot similar.

“I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t in his vision. I can say that when I did the Aethyrs, some of the stuff that I expected to see was very different. And some of the stuff that I thought would be different was almost, you know, word-for-word what was in Vision and the Voice. That sort of caught me off-guard.”

Christeos spoke of a series of workshops he led to scry Enochian Elemental Kings, where a number of attendees had similar visions, while a few had completely different experiences (or none at all). I shared my own experience of having attended a series of workshops with Lon to scry the Aethyrs, and doing some with friends, reading Crowley’s vision afterward. In both instances, it was more often than not the case that we saw forces analogous in everyone’s personal visions.

Asking whether this would not make for good reading, Christeos said that he has in fact written of his experiences with the Aethyrs, and of having had a few artists wanting to draw illustrations based on his experiences. But for one reason or another, and not in any way critical of them, not one was able to complete that work.

This raised the question of why there seem to be very many warnings which claim that Enochian is a dangerous system.

“I have seen that and I think it’s funny. In my experience, such as it is, Enochian is one of the most benevolent systems that you can work with.

“Angels, or Enochian Entities, truly want to help people. At the very least they are just going about their job. The closest you can come to something dangerous, and I’ll caveat that in a minute, is theCacodaimons, and they’re basically just, in my experience and in those of others I respect and consider to be sane, willful elementals. You’ve got to kinda keep them under control, so they’re sort of likeGoetics in that sense. The caveat here is that anything is dangerous; if you are mentally unbalanced or emotionally unstable anything can be dangerous, and probably will be, because you’re opening up black boxes that you’ve kept closed up in your subconscious.

“I understood, after a while, why Regardie said that anyone who wanted to practice magick should undergo psychoanalysis. At first I kinda tongue-in-cheek thought that was because that was how he made his money. But the reality is that you are dealing with forces—either inside yourself or that are impacting your self—that can be powerful. And just like someone [who is not mentally-and-emotionally stable] should not take acid, I would not recommend that they work with heavy forces of magick. You know, work with something lighter until you can get your stuff straightened, because this is going to act as an amplifier of a lot of things within you.

“But the Enochian system, Enochian Entities, I find, are overwhelmingly benevolent… I have never seen the sort of ‘gotcha’ that you can get with Goetics. With Goetia you always have the Devil’s Bargain: ‘Okay I need $10,000 and you CAN’T KILL ANYBODY.’ I’ve never seen that with Enochian.”

And so I asked what sort of work one would enlist an Enochaian entity to do?

“Everybody being a product of their place and time; you look at Dee’s work with this and it’s not quite the level of ‘How to bewitch your neighbor’s cow to steal the King’s gold,’ but it’s sorta getting close to there. The medieval ideas of what magick is for. You get Changes of form but not substance, Moving of metals and minerals, and that sort of practical, perhaps, side of things.

“I don’t really do a lot of that so I haven’t found the need to bewitch my neighbor’s cow or steal money from the King’s treasury. If I needed money, Enochian probably wouldn’t be the way to do it. So I’ve used it almost exclusively for more personal, spiritual work.

“But, in theory, there are practical aspects you can apply it to like that. They’re listed in Dee. And certainly, if you think about the way the Elemental Tablets work, they give you access to all levels of how the material world is administered on the spiritual level…. For instance, you have a friend who has tuberculosis, and you want to help them, so you go to the angel most appropriate to work with, maybe some conjunction of water/air or earth/air, air representing the lungs and so-on; you work your way down from the Elemental King, to Seniors, to Angels of the Subangles, and the Calvary Angels of the Cross, and to the specific Angel you’d work with.

“I’ve never seen the need or drive to do that [kind of work], so most of it I start with a scrying, and go up to them and say, ‘Hi, this is me, what do you do?’ and they almost always end by saying, ‘This is great, come back and see me some time if you want to learn more and if I can do something for you.’

“In the Aethyrs I found a similar sort of journey to self-knowledge to what Crowley did. I’m not saying I made Magus, or even Master of the Temple, but it was definitely a series of graduated steps of self-learning, about my Self-with-a-capital-S.”

Mentioning having experience with the system and attendance at other previous Enochian workshops, I inquired what the experience would be like in this series?

“This is why I spread it over a couple of days. They’re intended to give a decent grounding for new folks, but also include material that will intrigue people with more experience as well.

“I talk about history, reception of Enochian Systems, plural. I talk about not just the reception of the Enochian to Dee and Kelley, but developments in Enochian since then, and I also talk about the actual tech of the systems. Some of which you can get reading a book, but it’s not quite the same as reinforcing it with lecture, slides [and hands-on practice]. I talk about unanswered issues in Enochian, some of the different ways that people have approached it, and some  ‘Where do you go from there once you’ve got the basics down?’ Offering different ideas so someone would say, ‘Oh that’s interesting, I’m going to try that next.’

“There will be different structures at each venue, but my usual outline includes two different participatory rituals. One is a classic Golden Dawn style and the other is a more modern eclectic scrying.”

Having been to Chris’ other workshops, a wonderful amount of material will likely also be given out for the attendees’ later use. Christeos says that updated phonetic guides to the calls might be another giveaway. If you’ve ever tried to pronounce Enochian, even with his essays, you will know how this could be invaluable.

Hearing this, I asked Christeos if he thought himself to be proficient, and if so at what point did he realize this?

“Oh wow, is this like, ‘you have to rate yourself: ‘Beginner, Proficient, Guru?’”

Smiling, I replied in the absolute affirmative. One of Christeos’ favorite stories about Lon Milo DuQuette was the prelude to his answer:

“A bunch of us from Blake drove to Akron, OH for workshops. There was a meet ‘n greet the night before. One of my brothers leans over to Lon, who he apparently didn’t recognize, and said, ‘So what do you do?’, and Lon said, ‘Oh, I write a little.’ [laughs]

“So, yeah, ‘I dabble.’

“I wrote my senior undergraduate Honors Thesis at the University of Texas on Enochian. The thesis is actually titled, A Problem of Authorship: John Dee, Edward Kelley, and the ‘Angelic Conversations.’ It really has to do with the possible theories of how the Enochian System was authored.

“These theories vary from: Dee & Kelley were absolutely in touch with angels, to Causabon’s theory which is Dee & Kelley were in touch with angels but they’re evil angels, to Kelley was a con man who was just taking Dee for a ride, all of these various theories. The other part of that analysis is, ‘let’s see how feasible each of these [theories] are.’

“Well, in touch with angels, that’s not really going to fly in an academic setting. It’s not scientifically falsifiable, so you can’t really discuss it. All you can say is, ‘Yes, it’s one of the theories.’ I go into more depth discussing how feasible it would have been for Kelley to have been a con man, basically taking Dee for a ride in exchange for a meal ticket. There are some problems with that theory, there are certainly some motivations for why he might, and there are also some internal inconsistencies that make it really difficult to reconcile. And there are other theories as well, that other people put forward, for instance that Kelley wanted out and Dee wouldn’t let him. It’s hard to say from the remove of several hundred years, whether Kelley was sincere.

“Just as there are contextual clues that make it difficult to believe that Kelley was making this stuff up, there are also some clues that certainly suggest that he was. So it’s not just hard to tell, but contradictory. He certainly had the motive, there are some clues that would suggest that it was a con job. How come the Angels’ Latin doesn’t seem any better than Kelley’s Latin. On the other hand, he speaks in Greek. Which, he supposedly doesn’t know. And the message in Greek says, ‘Don’t trust this guy.’ On the third hand, if you like, maybe he figured out how to [say that], so Dee would say, ‘Oh no no, now I really trust you.’”

Writing this thesis was a very strange time for Christeos, In December, right before the last semester of his undergraduate, he was broadsided in a wreck that broke his pelvis in three places. Laying in bed, on a cocktail of prescription drugs, he wrote this paper. Close to this time, his father also died.

The result, he spent a lot of time working through the Enochian material in various states of consciousness. Thinking on this, he says he probably spent an equal amount both academically studying, and actually practicing or doing the work, “Which is perhaps not a bad balance… if you have to pick one I suppose doing it is more important than reading about it. I don’t know if I’m proficient now, I just have the audacity to help others.”

He sees himself as more of a facilitator. ”There is no One True Way™.”

Wondering what bumps he went through, so we might learn from them, he laughed, “Other than being t-boned in front of the Home Depot?

“I’ve never been good at memorizing long pieces, and I still have not memorized the calls. I can go through them fairly quickly because I’m familiar enough with them. But I wouldn’t be able to do it without having the printout in front of me. I don’t know about for myself but for other people I would say learning the tech is the harder part but maybe I shouldn’t even say that. Because, for some people, scrying is the hardest part. I can’t really generalize. Everybody has different aptitudes. For me the scrying was not the hard part.

“One of the things I recommend to people who want to do this or any other kind of scrying work, is, Ben Rowe, aka “Josh Norton,” wrote a really nice essay, it’s still available online, called A Short Course in Scrying. This actually ties back into your previous question about safeguards. One of the things that Ben talks about a lot in there, sort of traditional G.D. in this sense, is testing your visions, particularly testing the entities that you see, testing the symbols that you see. Are they consistent with what you’re supposed to be getting? If you’re doing a scrying of the fiery part of air and you’re consistently getting water symbols, there’s a problem here.

“The other thing that I have found useful, the kind of thing when you really need to recharge your batteries, is, if you can, to do some minor self-trance induction. If you’ve ever been hypnotized or done auto-hypnosis, that kind of deepening of the trance state within yourself, but without handing off control altogether, can be really, really helpful.

“At the upcoming workshop I will probably do a brief, guided induction beforehand, before I sort of turn people loose into the vision itself, to help people get to that state.”

In closing, I asked Christeos what 3 things he would say that any magician can do to be more successful at magick?

“Let me start off by saying, ‘in my opinion,’ because that gets lost sometimes. Remember what I said before about there not being any one true way? Your mileage may vary, some assembly required, batteries not included. . . .

“Be consistent. Be methodical. One of my biggest complaints about people who say they try and it doesn’t work is that they flit around with something and don’t actually pursue it in any methodical way. And I have done this myself.”

“My rant about people who call themselves chaos magicians, that are not really chaos magicians, they’re just butterflies . . .  you know the I-A-O formula, right? The Isis-Apophis-Osiris formula where, in the beginning it’s easy, and then it starts to get hard, and then you keep working at it until you really get a breakthrough. And then it comes to fruition, it comes to this flowering.

“A lot of people, as my friend Paul used to say, would go, ‘I-A-I-A-I-A . . . ’ They would start a system, they might start Qabalah, and they would say this is boring, this is hard. And they would drop it, they would go to something else, they would start doing runes, then they would do Asatru, and then something else. And they don’t actually learn any one of these things. After half-a-dozen  they would say, oh, now I’m a Chaos Magician because I’ve done this a-la-carte, one from Column A and two from Column B, and with six you get an egg roll. And they haven’t learned any of them.

“That’s what I did in the beginning. And I’m still not that good at it, so as usual my advice to others is really my HGA telling me, ‘Listen up, chump.’ But: Be methodical. Pick a system and work with it. Don’t keep jumping around. Learn it all the way through. If you’re going to learn Qabalah, then learn something more than just Gematria. If you’re going to learn Astrology, learn how to do more than just a Natal Chart. I mean, that’s a start, but learn something more than that. If you’re going to learn Enochian, do more than just sort of popping around. Work it through methodically.

“Do it a lot. Practice makes gooder. It should be fun.

“And that might be third one: It should be fun. If it’s work, I mean sometimes it’s just work to persevere. The Apophis phase. But overall, if it’s just, if it’s a grind, and it continues to be a grind, then maybe it’s not the right system, for you.

“When something is difficult, you’re not always sure whether it’s difficult because you’re supposed to keep pushing through or whether it’s difficult because you’re swimming against the stream. It’s not always easy to tell. Sometimes it’s just, OK, I’ve been doing this long enough, I should have had a breakthrough by now. Maybe I should just try something else and then come back to it and see if it’s still just as bad. But, that’s not the same as dropping it and doing something else, and then something else, and then something else. I’m talking about taking a break and then coming back. Not just dropping it and going to something else, like Mr. Toad in Wind in the Willows.

“So those are my three. Be Methodical, Keep Trying, and Enjoy it.”

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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