Sunday, October 18, 2009

Developing Enochian Chess

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 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?


Unknown said...

Ave Fra. Morgan,

I think you're idea about a gentle introduction into Enochian Chess is excellent. There simply is no easy, step by step method available at the moment.
I think using the web and trying to build a community around a site-not just a message board-is the key to developing and enlivening the practice of Enochian Chess. What we need is clean graphics, easily digestible instructions, flash movies and podcasts of/about actual play and Hi-Resolution images that people can just print and get started. The largest barrier I see at the moment is making the chess set itself. It is more labor-intensive than it needs to be in this day and age.I've already posted up a brightly colored and clean version of the Earth Board for folks to print and use, and should finish the remainder soon. The more we can do to smooth the entrance, the more likely we'll have other human beings to practice this art with.

I'm working on building a moderately interactive site dedicated to Enochian Chess-I just have to finish all of the artwork, which is taking me ages. Have to make little flash movies to show the raying of each piece, etc.

I'm hoping to get a number of practing Adepti to write a paper about En.Chess to post in a tutorials section....would you be ammenable to something like that? I'd like to get a broad swathe of voices, and perhaps different methods for persons to choose from.


Unknown said...

ave frater,

I wouldn't mind being a test rat for this course, since i am not even a 0=0 yet... so you can e-mail me the tutorials when i get to 0=0 grade , you have bout 5 months to do so, if you want.

Pax et LVX

Mike said...

I down loaded AIT's Enochian chess board and had it printed out at Kinko's. The copy came out nice and I will mount it my self on a nice board.The hard part I suppose is getting the Enochian chess pieces made to look like the ones in Zalewsky's book.I did see a number of copies available on Amazon for cheap.Their were a couple of copies of Steves book as well.Has any body reviewed Steves work and compared it to Cris Zalwski? I was hesitant to by his books because of the reputation he gained on the forums.
I think Enochian chess could be a great learning tool and I don't think it matters that it was originally intended to be inner order grade material...

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

I did reviews of several of Steve's Chess one of the reviews I did mention that I found Chris' work to be better. Personally, I would spend money on Chris' book and not Steve's...I have actually keyed some of her (Chris') stuff into documents for use by the local lodge.

Sincerus Renatus... said...


Even if advanced material as this may have been moved into the Outer Order, why do you automatically believe that advanced teachings like Enochian Chess are used att such low levels of working as the Zelator? The span between Neophyte and Portal is quite substantial isn't it?

And why do you believe that because people in the HOGD/A+O doesn't speak about their practices they therefore don't implement them?

I do however agree with you that the published material about Enocian Chess isn't that forthcoming when it comes to learning the stuff. But times has change since the former turn of the Century. People being initiated was well versed in playing chess, as well as they were in Greek och Christian mythology. So a modern curriculum must obviously remedy this fact. I look forward to reading your paper.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

The reason I now associate it with Zelator is that where the loud newbies from your branch were placing it after your reformation. They were bragging that they were going to playing the game by the end of that stage.

Sincerus Renatus... said...

Care Frater Morgan,

Well would you believe me then if I told you that it is not part of the Zelator curriculum?

These "newbies" were obviously pulling your leg. Enochian Chess is definitely not suited for such low ranking levels of initiation.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Mike said...

I found a link to Regardies paper on Enochian chess.It can be printed out...

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Oh S.R., I believe you when you say that Enochian Chess is not located at that point in the curriclum, but I also believe that they (the students that were saying this) really believed that they were going to be playing Enochian Chess that fast.