Through the agency of my magical workings dating back to the early 1990's, I had been told by the same spirits that Dee and Kelly talked to centuries before that the teachings of Enochian magick were the work of the fallen spirits, known as the Watchers, or Sons of the Gods, but also as the Nephilim. I admit that I have been intrigued by what I read in the Old Testament book of Genesis, chapter 6, verses 1 through 4 since I was a young man. These mythic occurrences supposedly happened contemporaneously with the patriarch Enoch, as attested to in the book “Enoch 1,” and so any occult lore attached to that patriarch, such as the Enochian system of magick, would also have to be associated obliquely with the Nephilim. At least that is my opinion on the subject. That I also found this to be true when I sought and successfully reworked the original Enochian sessions (in my own magical methodology) was also a revelation to me, but unfortunately, one that I alone seem to bear.
Let’s move forward from whether or not Enochian magick and the patriarch Enoch have anything to do with each other (even though John Dee seemed to think so) or with the Nephilim and instead examine the implications that might arise if they are indeed connected. We can put aside the general skepticism because Dee and Kelly never mentioned them in all of their diary writings and visions. The purists would say that if nothing is to be found in the extant writings of Dee or in any of his diaries, then there is little or any real substance to make a conjecture. You can indulge me with some “what if” type fantasy and we can get past this purist loggerhead to arrive at a place of pure speculation just to see what it might look like.
The source of all of this wonder is to be found in the Genesis verses, 1 through 4, throwing away verse 3 as not really belonging to the overall narrative. Since I have a working knowledge of Biblical Hebrew, I can assist us in really examining these strange and archaic verses from the original script. What I have found is quite interesting and it is a subject for a lot of theorizing. Even so, what I end up wondering about is speculating whether spirits can mate with women and produce offspring. I know that it sounds quite strange or even absurd to think about something like that in this post modern age; but there are many references in many pagan religions to sons of the gods and I often wonder if they were really the offspring of deities or just mythic tales.
My question is this: “How, then, are such progeny conceived from something that would otherwise appear to be disembodied consciousness?” Perhaps I could put it bit more succinctly, “How can something that doesn’t have a material body impregnate a physical woman?” If we read the old texts or study the pagan myths such occurrences weren’t too abnormal. There were many sons and daughters of the gods in times when mortals and immortals supposedly lived in proximity together. Only in modern times have such occurrences become just children’s stories, except perhaps for the Christian Son of God, who was born of a virgin by the miraculous powers of the supposedly One True God.
In Christian theology that occurrence of a Son of God was the only valid one, but the old myths are populated with the offspring of the gods. Certainly, one cannot admit the possibility of one without also admitting the possibility of the others. Since I am not a Christian then somehow I need to explain how this might have occurred and perhaps even answer the question of whether it could happen again. Are there sons and daughters of the gods in our post modern world? Maybe it just depends on how we define what a son or daughter of a god would be.
Then there is the question of how such a tale of fallen angels taking human wives would be possible or is it just a strange myth. Do we take such tales as these in a literal fashion, maybe substituting the angel, god or spirit with an alien extraterrestrial? While this might be a plausible idea to some, it is not one that I personally entertain. So we shall leave the stories of ET astronauts coming to earth to fiddle with human genes and slum around with hominid women to other pundits and their causes.
What I want to do is to interpret the myths and stories about the sons of the gods in a more occultic and less materialistic manner, which is how I generally interpret all myths and stories from our early past. I believe that such material is to be treated as allegory instead of the literal truth. I will leave the more literal interpretation of the Bible to those fundamentalists who seem to be so daunted by subtlety and confused by allegory in their rampant pursuit of the simple truth. In my opinion there is no simple truth to be found in all of the sacred writings penned by human beings - it is all complex, multilayered and suffused with allegory.
Now that I have established the foundation for how we will examine these odd Biblical verses, we can proceed to the real meat of this article, which is the textual analysis. I will try to be succinct and not get into too much detail, which would probably only interest the linguists amongst my readers.
Here are the relevant passages from the Jerusalem Bible, Genesis chapter 6, verses 1 through 4:
“When men had begun to be plentiful on the earth, and daughters had been born to them, the sons of God, looking at the daughters of men, saw they were pleasing, so they married as many as they choose. Yahweh said, ‘My spirit must not forever be disgraced in man, for he is but flesh; his life shall last no more than a hundred and twenty years.’ The Nephilim were on the earth at that time (and even afterward) when the sons of God resorted to the daughters of man, and had children by them. These are the heros of days gone by, the famous men.”
Chapter 6, verse 1 and 2 talk about how mankind had become numerous on the face of the earth and that they had also given birth to daughters. The verb ChLL (to be common, to profane) which is used in this sentence would seem to indicate that humanity had become common or had profaned the earth in great multitudes (like cockroaches). It is quite odd that this verse mentions that daughters were born to mankind only when they had became numerous, but then again Biblical scholars have said that this entire section is both odd, linguistically peculiar and likely added out of context from another source.
Then the second verse reveals that the sons of God (literally, sons of the Elohim) saw that these daughters were beautiful, and they took to themselves the elected ones from the many that they chose. That is how the actual text reads, and there is no mention of wives or marriage, just a selection of those who were so appointed. This was not a random selecting either, since those who were chosen (Hebrew nasim - root SVM - “appointed”) were given a special honor, being therefore superior in some manner to the others. The story or sentiments about those elected daughters of man were never told nor were they even named. Still, they were very special, since through them a dynasty was born.
As I said previously, we can throw out verse 3 since it discusses that Yahweh didn’t want his spirit (breath) to be forever trapped in men. To enforce this decision, he has decided to limit the number of years that any man could live to just 120. Prior to this edict, men were living to be quite old (in excess of 400 years, with Methuselah topping in at 900 years). What this is actually saying is that the mythic age of humanity was nearly lapsed, therefore, Yahweh would limit the life span of men so that it would be more in line with the potential life span we know now. The mythic life span, seldom actually achieved, was probably an even 1,000 years. Because all of these verses should be examined as allegory instead of the literal truth, it would seem that this verse reveals an incremental milestone that marks off the golden age of early humanity in the Garden of Eden and afterwards, and the post flood humanity that exclusively descended from the lineage of Noah. After that event, human beings lived much shorter lives and Yahweh seemed pleased with the overall effect. He also appeared to be pleased that the chaotic life forms that had existed before the flood were now effaced from the earth.
After passing over the discarded third verse, we pick up with the fourth verse that begins with the statement that the Nephilim existed in the earth in those ancient times, and even afterwards (after the flood?). Then it says that when the Sons of the Gods came into the daughters of men and begat children, these scion were the great ones (haggivorim - GBR - great), who from these ancient times, were “men of the name” (anshe ha-shem). I guess it could be said that “resorted to” is a more tactful way of saying having intercourse with, and the Biblical verse in Hebrew is more graphic than that bit of politeness. The children were said to be men of the name, which generally means to be famous, to have a name that is remembered in history, to be someone of great importance. I prefer a more esoteric interpretation for the phrase men of the name - they were sorcerers, men who knew the words of power. The term “great ones” applied to them could also be interpreted as “giants, ” which is one definition of the odd word “Nephilim.” This brings us to an interesting subject of discussion.
The word Nephilim has the colloquial meaning of “giants” even though the Hebrew and Aramaic root is NPhL, which means to fall. Thus, giants must somehow be equated to “fallen ones,” and perhaps the ancient mythology of the Jews believed that all larger than typical individuals (giants) were actually either fallen angels or the children of fallen angels. The verse also indicates that the Nephilim were in the land both before and after the event of the birth of the children of the Sons of the Gods, and perhaps it also indicates that giants continued to appear after the flood, since there is a whole folklore associated with them including that Goliath the Philistine (of David and Goliath fame) was one of them.
So, it would seem that both the fallen angels (who would have to assume a material form) as well as their offspring were larger than the average person living in the ancient world of myth and legend, and they would have been spiritually fallen as well as being great men (and sorcerers). Of course, being considered a “great” man could represent far more than just physical stature, such as prowess as a warrior or even intelligence. The Sons of the Gods who fell to earth and took to themselves human mates also taught humanity the sciences of metals, writing, adornment, cosmetics, architecture, astronomy, agriculture, irrigation and animal husbandry and many other important lore - all of them consisting of the basic set of tools needed to build a civilization.
This is the story as told by the book of Enoch, and additionally, humanity learned the arts of magick and sorcery from these angelic beings. They were, of course, cursed and condemned by Yahweh for their Promethian gifts to humanity, but that is likely just the party line, and an absurd one as well. Since they were Sons of the Elohim (and not Yahweh), then they would not have been under the authority of anyone but the primary pantheon of Semitic Gods (El and Asherah). This sounds a lot more like how humanity got its various civilizing skills through the beauty, artifice and sensual wiles of a number of elected women who thereby enchanted and seduced a lusty group of demi-gods and thus benefitted all of humanity.
How this myth is interpreted by modern Jewish scholars is also quite interesting. According to my handy Wikipedia (if we can trust that source), it would seem that theologians quite early on rejected the notion that there were any such fallen angels, and that the Biblical verses are to be interpreted as a quixotic reference to foreign princes marrying commoners for reasons of lust instead of duty. It would seem that such individuals had a more perfect physical lineage, and these goatish young men were sullying and diluting that lineage by cavorting with low-life women. This, of course, was likely something that Jewish scholars could appreciate in the late middle ages. However, I find this argument kind of weak and unsatisfying, but you can read the reference article by examining this Wikipedia link.
“Traditionalists and philosophers of Judaism in the Middle Ages typically practiced rational theology. They rejected any belief in rebel or fallen angels since evil was considered abstract. Rabbinic sources, most notably the Targum, state that the ‘sons of God’ who married the daughters of men were merely human beings of exalted social station. They have also been considered as pagan royalty or members of nobility who, out of lust, married women from the general population. Other variations of this interpretation define these ‘sons of God’ as tyrannical Ancient Near Eastern kings who were honored as divine rulers, engaging in polygamous behavior. No matter the variation in views, the primary concept by Jewish rationalists is that the ‘sons of God’ were of human origin.”
If I have (more or less) rejected all of these various explanations as being intriguing but not quite satisfying, then the onus is upon me to come up with an alternative explanation. How can fallen angels mate with human women to produce children who are preternatural and godlike in their abilities. This explanation would also apply to the children of the various pagan gods and goddesses as well as the Christian Son of God, although I suspect that Christians would be automatically against any answer that varied from orthodox theology. What is my glib answer to this perplexing question? I guess the answer has to be tackled in regards to whom one would consider to be a son or daughter of a god or goddess.
In my opinion it is obviously a deliberate magical operation involving specially consecrated individuals who have assumed a godhead and then proceed to perform the great rite with a suitable partner, often consecrated in the same manner. Special sexual rites have been a part of ancient religions for a long time, and the typical offspring from such sacred rites would be considered the children of the god or goddess of the rite from which they were conceived. This is not something that would be that difficult to conceptualize, and certainly such rites were a part of the most ancient pagan roots of the Hebrew religion. The giants are just men and women who were considered to have sacral parents, and so they were deemed special, and perhaps even the leaders of a dynasty (or a cult following), so they were famous individuals associated with the gods as their parents. Through magic the mythic stories were blended into the fabric of a cultic theme, obscuring it but also celebrating it.
Even as recent of an historical figure such as Gaius Julius Caesar, the greatest First Man of Rome, included in his family lineage the Goddess Venus. His family of the Julians were the children of the Gods, and considering his achievements, who are we to argue with him. Other great men in antiquity have claimed similar divine family origins (Alexander the Great, etc.), and the further the stories go back in time, the more family trees were affected with an infusion of divinity.
With this motif firmly in mind, it is quite possible for anyone who has the knowledge and ability to make a magical child whether in a physical body or as a simulacrum. It is all part of the art of ritual magick, albeit a highly advanced methodology. Additionally, it is possible to infuse oneself with the numinous spiritual glamor and intelligence of a godhead, and this is achieved over a long period of cultic service, godhead assumptions and internal identifications.
The barrier between human and godhead has never been insurmountable except in the minds of those so afflicted to believe it so. Pagans, even modern pagans, should know that we can experience the Gods first hand through special surrogates. It is therefore possible for anyone of us to be able to live and be like the gods, even for a brief moment. How much easier is it to be adopted by a god and made part of its greater family and fortune. The doorway to divinity is always open, all we need to do is to assay it and find our way through its inner labyrinth of mysteries, and that is one of the tasks of the Great Work.
What I learned so many years ago from the various spirits associated with the Enochian system of magick, including those of the Nephilim, is that there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained through intercourse with the entities of the spirit world. Talking and walking with the spirits is an age old practice, and one that the shaman of old mastered in the ages even before antiquity. If John Dee acquired the knowledge of the Enochian system of magic through the artifice of his wisdom and the keen psychic abilities of his seer, Edward Kelly, then we, too, have that option and ability to acquire and add to the lore that is already known. If we seek out knowledge that is as yet unknown to us, then perhaps as we acquire it, we shall be like the giants of mythic times, realizing the legacy of the Nephilim in the post modern age.