The Mighty Ones
Once the magick circle has been cast, consecrated and purified the guardians of the watchtowers are invoked. They are referred to in early published works as ‘the Mighty Ones’ or the ‘Lords of the Watchtowers’. They are invoked at each of the four cardinal points of the circle, starting in the East and progressing to the South, then the West and ending in the North. Although there are variants in different texts, the invocations are usually something like:
“I summon, stir and call ye up, ye Lords of the watchtower of the East to guard this circle and to witness our rites.”
The use of the term ‘watchtower’ in the Wiccan tradition needs consideration. The term was used by the Golden Dawn, who in turn drew from the work of the Elizabethan magus and astrologer Dr John Dee. Dee recorded the term watchtower in his diaries from June 1584, reproduced by Meric Causabon in his work A True & Faithful Relation in 1659.
The term was used to describe a vision seen by Dee’s skryer Edward Kelley, of four towers at the corners of the universe, from which came various figures of spiritual creatures. The watchtowers were described by Dee as symbolising the Four Angels of the Earth. A drawing of Kelley’s vision was also included in the book, with towers set on the cardinal points of a circle. Dee had a gold disk made with this image on.
(Edward Kelley’s vision of the Watchtowers, 20th June 1584, reproduced as a gold talisman, currently i.e. 2008 in the British Museum, London)
The Golden Dawn applied the term watchtower to the four Enochian tablets, squares of 12x13 letters which are used to derive the names of the Enochian hierarchy of spirits, and attributed to the directions. These Enochian tablets were also the result of skrying work carried out by Edward Kelley on behalf of Dee.
As an aside, it is interesting to note that some translations of Virgil’s Aeneid include the word watchtower in connection with a goddess and woods. Whilst it may have no direct bearing on the use of the term in the Wiccan tradition, we decided to include it as it provides an intriguing link between the word and a goddess at a much earlier date:
“But the grim goddess, seizing from her watchtower the moment of mischief, seeks the arduous roof, and sounds the pastoral signal from the highest summit of her abode, and strains her Tartarean voice on the twisted horn, which made the entire forest tremble, and echo through the deep wood.”
 Collection reference P&E MLA 1942,5-6,1
Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr. Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.