Dr John Dee’s SIGILLUM  DEI  ÆMETH – Society of Esoteric Endeavour 2023

From Caduceus Books (UK):

Sigillum Dei is Latin for “Seal of God”. Æmeth is the transliteration of a Hebrew word of which Cornelius Agrippa writes “… is interpreted Truth, and is the Seal of God”  (Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 1533). John Dee was aware of the seal from manuscript copies of the Sworn Book of Honorius but then, in consultation with the angels, he developed and perfected it. This then was inscribed upon a disc of beeswax complimented with the required design on the reverse to form a crucial part of the Enochian system of angelic evocation.

This Sigillum Dei Æmeth publication is large format (29cm x 36cm, 10cm thick) Wooden boards in full leather binding, The front cover blocked with the Sigillum Dei Æmeth design and the back cover blocked with the sigil from the reverse of the wax disc. Thus the publication dealing with the Seal of God is in the form of the Seal of God. As was often the case with elaborately decorated books from John Dee’s time, the covers are protected with metal bosses which lift the covers clear from a flat surface when the book is laid down. The spine is rounded with raised bands that show the contours of the cords underneath and a gilt blocked title. The Society of Esoteric Endeavour device is subtly present as blind blocking (that is indented but with no gilt).

Though it looks and feels just like any other book from Jon Dee’s period, it is not as it seems. One can feel the edges of the pages, but one cannot open the book!

Its secret is revealed by pulling the top right corner down and to the right. The entire book block pivots to reveal a cavity holding a book with full leather binding with blind stamped decoration surrounding the Monas Hieroglphica blocked in pure real gold. The inside surfaces of the front and back covers and spine of the outer box are all fully covered in leather.  The endpapers of the book and the surfaces of the inner box are covered in paste paper which has been sealed with beeswax. Paste paper was a form of decorated paper that was most used in Europe prior to the introduction of marbled paper from the Ottoman Empire. It uses various techniques to generate a pattern that is influenced but not entirely controlled by the creator, the pattern deriving from the process.

The book is Colin S. Campbell, The Magic Seal of John Dee, The Sigillum Dei Aemeth, Teitan Press 2016 here given a full leather hardback binding. It is xix + 155pp with coloured plate frontispiece. This is the authoritative work concerning the antecedents, nature and significance of Dee and Kelly’s Seal of God.

The Monas Hieroglypicas symbol was devised by Dee to combine the glyphs of the seven traditional planets. He wrote a book about its symbolism and used it as his personal monogram as evidenced in this self portrait in a manuscript held by the British Library:-

The endpapers of the book has the same paste paper as recessed section that holds the book.

As small black silk tab at the base of the recess holding the book can be used to pull up the base of the recess to reveal  another layer in which sits a facsimile of the original was disc the same size as the original that is now held by the British Museum. Care has been taken to ensure that the engraving facsimile has crisp and entirely legible. It follows the typeset version published in True and Faithful Relations

Please note copies are made to order. The print run will be determined by the number of orders received. Each copy of the book will bear a pyramid bookplate tipped onto one of the blank pages. This is blocked in pure gold and will give the final print run and is then inscribed by a professional calligrapher with the copy number and for whom this copy was made for. This can be a name, a magical name or motto, “anon”, “a member of the Society of Esoteric Endeavour”, “a friend of the Society of Esoteric Endeavour”, “a student”, “a seeker”, “a  sister”, “a brother”,  ” a student of Christian Rosencreuz”, “a member”, “a member of [name of whatever organisation]”, “an occultist”, “a pagan” etc. etc. Or it can be left blank.  Do please state how you would like your bookplate to be inscribed.

Please note these books are properly handmade and the people making them like to explore variations. There will be some differences from one copy to another in terms of paste paper pattern, boss designs and arrangement of decorative components. This is especially true of the deluxe versions.

Books will be numbered and posted out in the sequence that the orders are received.  Please expect to receive your copy in the New Year.

This publication is made available in four different versions.

1) Standard in a subtly holographic metallic gold foil. As light moves across the gold blocking there is a shimmering effect with hints of other colours which is hard to photograph.   Order Ref. SEAL-01 £320

2) Standard in real gold. Here all the blocking is done with real gold (23.5 carats)  Order Ref. SEAL-02  £355

3) Conventional Deluxe. This blocked throughout with real (23.5 carats) with additional embellishment to the decoration in a style consistent with books of  John Dee’s day. The edges of the enclosed book are “gilt and gauffered”, a traditional form of bookbinder’s decoration. The edges have been covered with a shimmering gold foil with additional decorative pattern in pure gold.  Images appear below. Order Ref. SEAL-03  £590

4) Starburst Deluxe. Here additional decoration has been added. This has been done in a manner to emphasize the significance of the Seal. The edges of the enclosed book are “gilt and gauffered”, a traditional form a of bookbinder’s decoration. The edges have been covered with a shimmering gold foil with additional decorative pattern in pure gold. Images appear below. Order Ref. SEAL-04 £590

DR (caduceusbooks.com)

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