DR JOHN DEE MYSTICAL ARTEFACTS AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM
John Dee was an astrologer, mathematician, alchemist and magician and even advised Elizabeth I through astrology on the most suitable date for her coronation.
In 1582, John Dee met Edward Kelly who acted as his medium and researcher into the occult.
Dee worked with Kelly in communion with the angelic realm and contact with divine spirits.
Some of the items they used are on display at the British Museum in the enlightenment gallery, located on the ground floor – east side long room.
Made of polished obsidian and shaped into a hand mirror, which was used for divination and conjuring up visions.
Kelly would use the mirror to summon spirits and he would see visions of angels that communicated with him, that Dee and Kelly would transcribe.
Scrying Mirror Case
The scrying case was made to fit the obsidian mirror and has a paper label with the handwriting of the English antiquary Sir Horace Walpole, who acquired the mirror in 1771.
The text begins ‘The Black Stone into which Dr Dee used to call his spirits …’. He has added later ‘Kelly was Dr Dee’s Associate.’
Dee used 4 small wax discs that supported the legs of Dee’s ‘table of practice’ (2 of which survive and are in the British Museum.)
A larger wax disc known as the ‘Seal of God’ (Sigillum Dei) corresponds exactly with a drawing in Dee’s manuscripts. It was used to support one of Dee’s crystal balls whilst scrying, the polished translucent or reflective objects which he used as tools for his occult research.
All the wax discs are engraved with magical names, symbols and signs utilised in the magical workings known as enochian magic.
The gold disc is engraved with Kellys vision of Four Castles, experienced during one of Dee’s ‘experiments’ at Krakow in 1584.