Last month, Frater A.I.T. of the HOGD/A&O posted a blog entry on Enochian Chess. In the entry, he asked the question about why we do not see more people playing (and perhaps developing) the game. At the time, I did not have the time to write down my own opinions about the issue...I forget who I was annoying that week, but I do remember that I kept getting sidetracked.
It is an old question.
Why do we not see more Golden Dawn students playing the game?
Regardie asked it.
A bunch of people asked it after the HOGD/A&O declared all the published material to be Outer Order. A lot of students thought that they would be playing Enochian Chess after making Zelator...funny, no one actually sees them around.
I know Enochian Chess Steve tried to get more people to play the game. He was quite impressed with the system; he thought it could replace the entire Golden Dawn/A&O system. It is just too bad that all the conversations he started ended up with him trying to sell you books and a membership in his course.
I do not know anyone who ever graduated from his course. I have heard both good and bad things about the Enochian Chess program that he sold.
I have tried to get people interested in the game...needless to say I have failed to spark any interest in the game.
Now I have kicked it around. I think that a large part of the problem lays with how Enochian Chess is taught, or rather not taught. The way we have Enochian Chess today and we first get exposed to it is much like being taught to swim by being thrown in the deep end of the pool.
(For the record, you can actually be taught to swim this way. I am proof. I am also proof that it makes a person not want to swim or go near any large bodies of water ever again.)
First, we get exposed to a system that was never developed. I know that the Mathers crowd is going to burn me for saying that, but I feel that is the truth. We do not see anyone develop the system until Chris Zalewski comes along. Of course, that book is out of print; my copy was brought used at a public library sale (the fact that it was being sold says that no one was ever checking the book out).
We are also expected to be a full-fledged Adept when we are exposed to it. As far as I can determine, the exact level the papers for the game was issued originally was at PAM (Practicus Adeptus Minor); later it was dropped down to ZAM (Zelator Adeptus Minor) when the higher Adept Minor subgrades were removed from the system by Mathers.
The game is occasionally mentioned by Pat Zalewski as a tool to study the polarity interaction of the Outer Order officers. This technique has been used by at least one of his students, but to what extent I am not sure of.
For divination purposes, Enochian Chess (I have been told) is the best system to use for figuring out how governments, businesses, sport teams are going to behave in the future.
Nevertheless, despite the importance of the game for these functions, I know maybe a half dozen people who have studied the game. And they are scattered all over---we would have to play by email (something that one of my cats would just love---he likes to wander off with the chess pieces).
Of course, it does not help that one has to spend hours analysising the game afterwards. Nor does it help that most people no longer play ordinary exoteric chess.
Now I have kicked around developing a couple of items for the game. One is the ugly subelemental chess piece set I made. Another thing I have attempted to do is to create a single (double sided) page set of rules for the game. Heck with throwing people in the deep end of the pool, we need a shallow end of the pool to begin people off in.
(Yeah, yeah, I know the HOGD/A&O has moved it all to Outer Order...you are aware that I am not a member of the HOGD/A&O, and I am still against the curriclum change?)
We need to introduce people to the Enochian Chess system the same way we teach them the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. First, we teach them the moves, slowingly adding more to the system as the previous lessons become automatic.
Of course, my idea will not be adapted...I am not a Third Order contact, not a super-Adept, or any of the other things that one would need to convince people to accept this course of action. But I can dream of the day when I can actually sit dwn and argue about Enochian Chess with someone as we play, can't I?