Renaissance Art and Culture
Soothsaying: Signs, Omens, Divination With Maggie Hyde Via Zoom – May 18 2021 – 6.30pm – 8.00pm UK Time – £10
In modernity, the ancient concept of soothsaying – literally ‘truth-speaking’ – is now defined as ‘forecasting’, ‘prediction’ or ’prophecy’. Its original meaning in being able to reveal truth inherent in a dream, omen, sign or divination is lost. We will discuss the way in which diviners can bring to light a truth that can guide, heal and transform.
This talk took place on 23rd March 2021. In this session William takes us into the Wild. We follow the fault-lines between landscape and wilderness, tame and wild, civilised and savage, wildness and wasteland.
Sharon’s talk took place on 23rd February 2021. This package contains the full recording of both Sharon’s talk and the Q&A afterwards. In this talk, Sharon explores the idea that each soul has a unique way of being, a unique purpose, which is essential not only to its own growth, but to the world’s own becoming.
The Secret Life of Statues with Dr Angela Voss – Sunday 16th May 2021 – 11am-12:30pm (UK time) via Zoom – £10
In this session we will explore the experience of living statues, and what it means when we find our imaginations so engaged with images that we see them as living, breathing beings.
Natural Magic with Dr Angela Voss Sunday 18th April 2021, 11am - 12:30pm (UK time) via Zoom What is magic? In this webinar we will look at the classical, medieval and Renaissance understanding of the sympathy between all things which gave rise to practices of natural...
Botticelli’s Primavera – Mysteries of the Divine Feminine with Angela Voss & Mary Attwood via Zoom – 21 March 2021 – 10am-12 noon – £15
In this session celebrating the Spring Equinox, Angela and Mary will introduce you to one of the most famous and iconic of Renaissance paintings by Botticelli, one of only four of his paintings inspired by pagan themes.
Mother Mary & the Mystery of Divine Conception with Marguerite Rigoglioso, PhD via Zoom – April 6 2021 – 6.30-8.00pm UK time – £10
On this day of the release of Dr. Marguerite Rigoglioso’s new book, The Mystery Tradition of Miraculous Conception: Mary and the Lineage of Virgin Births, we are delighted to have this scholar and esoteric practitioner reveal a refreshing new view of the Virgin Mary for our coming times.
The Lynx & the Butterfly: Exploring the Esoteric Imagination with Leonard George – Fri 30th April (7-9pm EDT), Sat 1st May & Sun 2nd May (10am-1pm EDT) 2021
Defining the imagination is like grabbing the wind. Imagining is ambiguous, ambivalent, creative and subversive. Controlling others’ imaginations has long been a means of oppression; but fresh imaginings can bring liberation and healing.
In this session we enter the Wild. We follow the fault-lines between landscape and wilderness, tame and wild, civilised and savage, wildness and wasteland.
In this course, Simão explores some of the core issues around dreaming and the relationship between the dreamer and her dreams. Each session focuses on a specific set of approaches to dreams, both religious and psychoanalytic, private and communal, creative and playful.
Dante’s Illumination: An Introduction to the Divine Comedy with Dr Mark Vernon via Zoom – 27 April 2021 – 6.30-8.00pm – £10
This year, 2021, is the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante, the author of the great Divine Comedy. It is a towering work in western spirituality, which can make it intimidating. That said, he lived in a time of turbulence, in which people felt they were losing their way, and he was clear he wrote for future generations, as well as his own. So what might he illuminate for us now?
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius will take place on the Winter Solstice of 21 December 2020 but you don’t have to wait until then to see it.
This is just a test post advertising our test course
The Jupiter-Saturn Zeitgeist Conjunction by Maggie HydeAmongst the many planetary line-ups in 2020, one of the most important is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction which falls just before Christmas on the actual day of the Winter Solstice, the longest night in the...
My creative project explores “the fecundating, magical action of the symbol on the mind” (Pietro Negri, 2001, p 91). In a sense this phrase perfectly encapsulates the aims and effects of the transformative material we have encountered on the MA, as the creative project is noted as ‘the heart of the MA’.
The Music of the Spheres: Marsilio Ficino and Renaissance Harmonia by Angela Voss In The Harmony Debates, exploring practical philosophies for a sustainable future, Sophia Centre Press, 247-267 Most people are familiar with the exquisite painting by Sandro Botticelli...
The concept of ‘calling’ derives from threads in Classical Greek philosophy which suggest that each soul is incarnated bearing a unique gift that it chose to bring to this world, this place, at this time.
We currently have no events scheduled. However, check out our 'iive' (via Zoom) courses.
This lecture series originally ran in Autumn 2020. Over five weeks, the core team of the MCS Centre explored their own ‘magic window’ into the world of the mysterious, the ineffable, the impossible, the extraordinary and the numinous.
Feb 10th – March 17th 2021. Join Mary Attwood and Louise Livingstone as they explore how expanded ways of seeing and knowing carry the potential to alter our way of perceiving and consequently engaging with the world.
A five-week deepening the material we presented in our Opening the Magic Windows course.
DOWNLOAD. This course investigates a rich and dynamic period of cultural history, exploring how the newly discovered esoteric philosophy of Hermeticism and Neoplatonism influenced 15th century practices of musical and astral magic.
In this course, Sonia will guide you through making a creative portfolio using the major arcana of the Tarot.
In this course Simão is going to explore some of the core issues around dreaming and the relationship between the dreamer and her dreams. Each session will focus on a specific set of approaches to dreams, both religious and psychoanalytic, private and communal, creative and playful.
Exploring the Thin Places FREE online event by Zoom Sunday 22nd November, 3pm - 4:30pm Following on from our highly popular Opening the Magic Windows Course, in this online session, Angela Voss, Louise Livingstone, Mary Attwood, William Rowlandson and Geoffrey...
Modern astrologers calculate their horoscopes with computers but many are also enchanted by looking at the actual sky at night. Recently, despite cloudy days, the sky has been very clear at night in south-east England, where I live, and night after night it has been stunning to see Mars so bright.
My subject is the fundamental human experience of wonder. With a mixture of personal examples and respectful theory, we will consider what it is and isn’t: its characteristics, conditions, limits, and dynamics. We shall also try to find out what we can learn from enchantment, with particular reference to the concerns of the Centre such as myth, magic and the sacred. It also has significant implications for how to best go about contesting the ruling ideologies of our time.
The Book of the Sun represents the culmination of Ficino’s life and work. Published in 1494, five years before his death, it is a supreme example of the very synthesis of astrology, religion and philosophy for which Ficino strived all his life and illustrates his ability to convey the deepest mystical experience within a lucid, authoritative prose.
Astrology's Hidden Light: Reflections on Marsilio Ficino's De Sole In Sphinx: Journal for Archetypal Psychology and the Arts, vol. 6, 1994, 114-122. In this paper Geoffrey discusses Marsilio Ficino’s approach to astrology in terms of the symbolic imagination,...
The virtual return of the get-together each month to celebrate the starsign of the month. Everyone welcome, whatever their sign, astrologers and non-astrologers, but only those who have the Sun, Moon or Ascendant in the sign of the month will lead the discussion.
Reductionism and literalism are often acknowledged as problems bequeathed to us by the 18th century Enlightenment. They foster tyrannical attitudes that disqualify ways of knowing widely enjoyed by our ancestors.
Owen Barfield called it “camera consciousness”: the ability to look at but not into things. It has become so powerful that even those pursuing imaginative and intuitive modes of perception can run aground on the rocks of spiritual materialism, which can be defined as the tendency to collapse life’s multiple dimensions onto a flatland of mechanical existence.
The Longing of the Soul: an Introduction to Neoplatonism with Dr Angela Voss in collaboration with the Fintry Trust – 4 week course starting 17th September – 11am-12.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £60 full course/£15 per session
In this introductory course we will cover the basic themes of neoplatonic cosmology, philosophy and ritual, focussing on key texts of Plotinus, Hermes Trismegistus, Iamblichus and Marsilio Ficino (1433-99). Some reading will be sent in advance, and there will be plenty of time for discussion.
A five-week course with Mary Attwood, Geoffrey Cornelius, Louise Livingstone, Angela Voss and William Rowlandson.
Sunday October 4,11,18,25 and November 1 from 3:00-4:14pm UK time
In this course, the core team of the MCS Centre will each explore their own ‘magic window’ into the world of the mysterious, the ineffable, the impossible, the extraordinary and the numinous.
In Part One of this series of lectures on The Art of Seeing, Mary provides a more theoretical overview to the experiential and practical monthly ZOOM sessions on The Art of Seeing.
Twenty years ago, I was fortunate enough to mastermind a project of recreating the Orphic Hymns, ancient invocations to the seven planetary deities, to evoke the spirit of Marsilio Ficino’s astral magic in 15th century Florence.
This two week course will be an introduction to astrological principles for those with little or no previous knowledge. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend and for payment details, as numbers will be limited. Cost will be £25 for both sessions.
Opening the Magic Windows – Materials for Lecture 4 ‘Opening the Imaginal Window’ with William Rowlandson
Opening the Magic Windows Lecture 4 Opening the Imaginal Window with William Rowlandson Sunday 25th October 2020 at 3pm MATERIALS FOR THE LECTURE Please find these below. Borges - Chess Borges - The Circular Ruins Julio Cortázar - Axolotl Julio Cortázar...
Exploring the Weird is Weird. Investigating wormholes in the fabric of the space-time continuum opens wormholes in the fabric of the space-time continuum. That is my summary of Ness HighWeird.
Review by William Rowlandson – Damned facts: Fortean essays on religion, folklore and the paranormal ed. Jack Hunter
Some writers are influential enough to have their own adjective – Shakespearean, cervantino, Dickensian, Kafkaesque, Orwellian. (Douglas Adams should have one, but Adamsian sounds odd). Charles Fort is honoured not only with the adjective Fortean but also with the noun Forteana. What is, what are, Forteana?
The pesky pixies and naughty numens just won’t go away. They have been with us for millennia and they will remain with us, one assumes, for millennia. Ghostly stick beings and therianthropes adorn our ancestors’ cave walls. St Paul admonished the Corinthians to reject demons and pagan idolatry, and Christianity has since then had troubled relationship with sprites and spirits, fairies, elves and goblins. Why elves – why now?
It is an imaginal adventure to explore the imaginal. It is a little-known word that dances between discourses, and as such carries different baggage than some of its associated meanings, such as spiritual, mystical, oneiric, anomalous, paraphenomenal, psychedelic, weird…
From Primitive Mentality to haecceity: the Unique Case in astrology and divination by Geoffrey Cornelius
The question before us is the nature of divinatory intelligence,1 which is the mode of thought whereby meaningful interpretations are sustained in divination. This paper supports the view of some anthropologists that divination involves a distinctive mode of consciousness, mental pattern or cognitive faculty.
Most practices of the people we name as shamans, witch-doctors and medicine-men present our modern rational understanding with an impasse. The logic of much that is done defeats us, it is absurd and often disgusting. Treatments are offered that can have no empirical value, yet the simple primitives seem to believe in them.
My subject today is the subtle question of whether astrology is divination. I assume most of you saw Thomas Moore give the keynote address yesterday. Moore surprised many in the audience when he expressed praise for the divinatory aspect of astrology.
The retrograde square of Mars over the Capricorn group in late September and October is certainly a time to be mindful of further events and of a second wave or lockdown.
Our country from which we came is There… How shall we travel to it, where is our way of escape? We cannot get there on foot; for our feet only carry us everywhere in this world, from one country to another. You must
not get ready a carriage, either, or a boat. Let all these things go, and do not look. Shut your eyes and change to and wake another way of seeing, which everyone has but few use.
The above quotation from Plotinus, which inspired the title of this volume, points to what is perhaps its central thread..
This book is a collection of essays from a conference held at the University of Kent in 2006, and marks the inauguration of the MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination which ran there until 2011. Its twelve essays by distinguished authors mark the beginnings of a new approach to the study of astrology in an academic context.
Only £10 for PDF version. Immediate download.
From the artistic genius to the tarot reader, a sense of communication with another order of reality is commonly affirmed; this ‘other’ may be termed god, angel, spirit, muse, daimon or alien, or it may be seen as an aspect of the human imagination or the ‘unconscious’ in a psychological sense. This volume of essays celebrates the daimonic presence
1:14:20 minutes of downloadable music
Images of Melancholy is an evocation of the revival of Hermetic philosophy in Elizabethan England, through the music of John Dowland and his contemporaries.
Comet NEOWISE A new comet was discovered on 27 March 2020. The name NEOWISE stands for its discovery satellite: Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The discovery is credited to observers located in London. Visit the Company of Astrologers website to...
Without doubt, the late André Barbault was on the ball with his prediction of a pandemic outbreak in 2020-21. Discussing in 2011 what he termed the „Cyclical Index‟ and solar imbalance, he wrote…
My creative project is called Zodiac, music composed and performed with additional poetry on the twelve star signs, presented on the 27th of September 2014 in St. Gregory’s church in Canterbury.
In this review I will set out my starting thoughts, hopes and values. Then there are two journeys that follow. One is through the ideas gleaned from my sources, in particular the Corpus Hermeticum, Ficino’s Three Books on Life and the thought of Ibn ‘Arabi. The idea of the soul making a journey from the divine realm to earth and back…
Alchemy is not merely a laboratory process to discover the elixir of life or the Philosophers’ Stone but was understood to also be a metaphysical process, concerned with the development of the soul. For my CP I decided I wanted to do a series of paintings working with the rich symbolism of the alchemical process that would lead to an appreciation of the stages of alchemy as stages of the souls journey to wholeness – of becoming a fully realised human being. In the course of doing this project I wanted to let chance happenings or synchronicities guide me to a certain extent. I found this approach to be liberating in that I could allow the paintings to come through me rather than from me. The paintings are meant to be meditated upon.
20 minute downloadable lecture. What is wholeness? In this talk, Louise attempts to illuminate the difficulty that this question poses and aims to reframe the idea of wholeness
20 minute downloadable lecture. This lecture presents the idea that the heart is far more important and complex than our dominant way of generating knowledge about the world makes possible
20 minute downloadable lecture. This lecture is based on a paper written for a sustainability conference. In it, Louise discusses the idea that the heart’s wisdom and benevolent qualities cannot gain traction at the level at which decisions are made in our society
Introduction to Goethean enquiry: a different way of seeing for contemporary times, with Louise Livingstone – £10
45 minute downloadable lecture with accompanying handout. This popular lecture was a regular feature within the MA Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred at Canterbury Christ Church University. In it, Louise introduces Goethe’s expanded way of seeing.
Research Lecture – The heart speaks: reimagining the heart for contemporary times, with Louise Livingstone £10
60 minute downloadable lecture. In this lecture, Louise introduces her PhD research that makes a case for heart knowing as a vitally important human capability which has, over the course of many hundreds of years, been divorced from, and rendered subservient to, knowledge about the world as generated through the brain.
72 minute downloadable lecture. In this lecture, I focus on the possibility of a hidden meaning within the fresco The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted between 1495 and 1498. I want to ask whether he intended to hide a cosmic dimension behind or within this portrayal of a pivotal episode in Christian history, and if so, why.
Testimonial and Art by Lisa Hawkins MA Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred student 2014-2017 I have always been interested in the spiritual, the intangible element of life. I remember as a child asking questions of materiality, did it really exist – or was it just in my...
I’ve been interested in the relationship between these two concepts for some time – chakra therapy as a form of bio-energetic healing and the imaginal as a realm in which we can locate symbolic images that also have the potential to transform and heal us.
This thesis regards the ancient Pythagorean-Platonic idea of heavenly harmony as a philosophical paradox: stars are silent, music is not. The idea of ‘star music’ contains several potential opposites, including imagination and sense perception, the temporal and the eternal, transcendence and theophany, and others. The idea of ‘star music’ as a paradox can become a gateway to a different understanding of the universe, and a vehicle for a shift to a new – and yet very ancient – form of consciousness.
Septimana is a suite of seven musical sketches contemplating the seven planetary weekdays, expressing the characteristics of numbers and divine eponyms using seven keys, rhythms, scales, melodies, sound collages and some improvisations.
via Surrey Adult Learning, starting Monday 21st Sept- 19th Oct, 10am- 1pm – ZOOM class.
This five week course is an extension of the one off classes I have taught on the same topic before. With our museums and galleries full of wonderful works of art, the average visitor still spends only an average of fifteen seconds in front of a work of art. How do we look at art for longer, how do we find a way in and what do we look for?
Friday 18th & 25th September, Friday 2nd & 9th October.
Time: all sessions 11:00 am to 12:15 pm
Downloadable Podcast. In this session on Renaissance Music and Magic Angela Voss discusses her love of playing and studying the music of 15th-17th centuries, and talks about how the newly-discovered esoteric philosophy of hermeticism and Neoplatonism influenced 15th century practices of musical and astral magic.
The Law of Nature and the Law of Drama with Dr Joseph Milne – 19 September 2021 – 3pm-4.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15
In Shakespeare’s England there continued a consciousness of a correspondence between the order of Nature and the human order, inherited from the Middle Ages. Human events and a universal unfolding of time were connected. This understanding is reflected in the heated debates over Church and state at that time, and in the jurisprudence debates over written and unwritten law.
For millennia, images and form in art and architecture have carried meaning, inspired people to accomplish enormous feats and been the medium through which hidden realities could be realised.
Today it may seem an odd concept to move beyond just looking at art to perceiving it as a means with which we can wake up, transform consciousness and be informed with a sense of purpose.
Works of art often only scratch the surface of our thoughts as we fit past them in galleries and museums.
via Surrey Adult Learning, Friday 20th November, 10am – 1pm – ZOOM class.
To echo the words, ‘reclaiming beauty’ from Sir Roger Scruton, this course will focus on European Sculpture from Myron to Michelangelo, Rodin to Giacometti with an emphasis on the changing face and meaning of beauty.
Two week course via Surrey Adult Learning, Wednesday 4th November and Wednesday 11th November, 7- 9pm – ZOOM classes.
Often heralded as the archetypal Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci was truly one of the great polymaths of his time and arguably unrivalled since. Scientist, mathematician, inventor, painter, sculptor and writer, Leonardo had an insatiable yearning to discover what might lie behind the world of natural phenomena.
Five Week Course via Buckinghamshire, Tuesday 3rd November – 1st December, 7.00- 8.30 pm, ONLINE classes. This five week course will be a visual feast of great works of art but when it comes to looking at art, there is so much more than meets the eye. These sessions will introduce you to a few known ‘masterpieces’ and reveal some little known facts about them.
Surrey Adult Learning, Friday 9th October, 10am- 1pm – ZOOM class
This session will focus in detail on some of Caravaggio’s most famous works of art as well as those lesser known. These works are full of drama, movement and emotion, often concealing deeper meaning, and ask the viewer to be an engaged participant in the images he presents before us.
What is in a Shakespeare Sonnet with Philip Marvin – 26 September 2021 – 3pm-4.30pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15
A Shakespeare sonnet is only 14 lines long yet it can carry many hidden, mysterious depths within it. In this session we will go through a particular sonnet (or two) in detail and see what we can discover in terms of its subtle structure, inner meaning and emotional impact.
The Invisible Reality of the Muses with Joe Safdie – 12th October 2021 – 6.30pm-8pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £10
Where do you get your inspiration? Today we might “breathe in” any number of influences, but the people of ancient Greece had only one source: the Muses. The Muses were the Greek goddesses of poetic inspiration, and were deities of song, dance, and memory. That last item might come as a surprise, because we usually think of something new when we hear the word “creation.” But the mother of the Muses was the Greek goddess Mnemosyne, or Memory, and their music – sometimes divine, sometimes silent – enabled a few lucky people to have visions of the past: as mysterious as insight into the future, and only partially dependent on one’s own powers. This 90-minute session with discussion introduces the Greek poet Hesiod and his Theogony, the best and most detailed explanation of who the Muses were and where they might best be encountered today.
I will begin on a personal note. Monteverdi’s music has been a catalyst in my life, awakening me to a ‘spiritual eros’, as the Platonists would describe the intimation of, and yearning for, an experience of union with an ineffable, and undefinable, ‘other’.I have also been an astrologer for nearly forty years, and a central focus of my academic life has been the challenge of addressing the revelatory function of the symbolic in a world which no longer values poetic metaphor as a primary mode of knowledge. Instead, such knowing is assumed to be ‘merely subjective’, incompatible with the sharp scalpel of the rational mind.
The importance of the work of Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433-1499) in the awakening, transmission and dissemination of esoteric knowledge in the West cannot be overestimated. By ‘esoteric’, we mean a tradition of religious philosophy which embodies an initiatic mode of teaching – a promise of access to hidden meanings deep within the fabric of the world which will eventually lead the searcher to a condition of gnosis or unity with the source of all being.
In this chapter I will be focussing in on a specific phrase used by Ficino in his treatise De vita coelitus comparanda (“On harmonising your life with the heavens”, henceforth Dvcc), the third part of his medico/magical work, the Liber de vita of 1489. Here he addresses the improvisation or composition of suitable music for attracting propitious stellar influences.
Through his revival of Platonic thought, the Florentine philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) stands at the forefront of the great spiritual and cultural rebirth we call the Renaissance. Priest, theologian, astrologer, physician, musician and magician, his life was dedicated to the reconciliation of faith and reason in the quest for self-knowledge, and knowledge of God.
In September 1462, aged almost twenty-nine, Marsilio Ficino wrote to Cosimo de’ Medici in gratitude for his generous patronage:
A few days ago I was celebrating [the hymn to the Cosmos] in an Orphic ritual, when my father brought me some letters, in which the wise Cosimo de’ Medici, most health-giving doctor of my life, said he would reflect on my studies, kindly provide for me, generously favour me, and hospitably and piously welcome me into his sacred dwelling. So it happened that not only your magnificence, but also the ancient prophecy of Orpheus evoked in me the most immense wonder. For he seemed to be directing to you the hymn that he consecrated to the Cosmos,..
In this paper I shall explore the connections between the physiological condition of melancholy and the possession of divinatory knowledge, via the development of the idea of philosophical ‘genius’ which arose in the work of the fifteenth-century Florentine platonist Marsilio Ficino.
You Are Because Yew Is with Louise Livingstone – Sunday 17th October 2021 – 3pm-5pm (UK time) – via Zoom – £15
Reciprocal relationship/co-creative partnership embraces both parties in the wholeness of their being and creates the possibilities for a world where all beings can live within the fullest expressions of their own nature. This idea applies not just to human-to-human relationships, but also human-to-more-than-human relationships.
The theme of this chapter arose through a strange coincidence and a dream, which I shall briefly relate. Some time ago a friend introduced me to the work of Michael Newton, and I spent a session with my MA students discussing the question of regression therapy and spiritual encounter in relation to Hermetic texts and the mundus imaginalis of Henry Corbin. Shortly after this, I received an email, quite out of the blue, from Michael Newton himself. He was looking for a university department where he could develop his client work into a doctoral thesis, and this initiated a flow of personal communication on the subject of life between lives (LBL) therapy.
It is encouraging to see the current academic interest in therapeutic properties and usages of psychedelics and psycho-active plants. Sociological methods of quantitative data analysis and scientific investigation into the physiology of altered states of consciousness (ASC) are challenging negative and prohibitive attitudes and contributing to a general re-evaluation of legal constraints regarding their use.
Scrying has been variously defined as “the faculty of seeing visions in a smooth surface or clear deep, or both”;“an occult method for obtaining oracular visions in water, glass or crystal;” and “the deliberate act of perceiving events that lie beyond the range of the physical senses by using the agents of the unconscious mind”
Prophecy (from the Greek prophemi meaning “to say beforehand, foretell”) can be defined as the ability to foretell future events or conditions through an innate supernatural or paranormal ability to speak from a viewpoint of divine authority. Prophecy is therefore similar to mediumship or channeling in its purported ability to receive emanations from a divine being or higher intelligence, and convey these revelations to others.
‘It is as if we can study everything about religion, except what makes it fiercely religious’ observes Rice University religious studies professor Jeffrey Kripal. Well, what does make religion fiercely religious? Should this highly-charged, sensual, devotional, or emotive impulse indeed find a place in academic studies?
To write about music of any era as an operative magical power in the world poses an epistemological challenge, since it requires the use of discursive and descriptive language to convey intentions and experiences which, in their immediacy, are far removed from any attempts to theorise, categorise or observe from a distance.
I propose to approach the astrological viewpoint of Marsilio Ficino in the light og this “human music”. Certainly, by a close examination of his own astrological make-up and an understanding of how the planetary energies worked in his own personal experience, Ficino was able to arrive at an understanding of astrology which can only be termed “psychological”.
The Florentine philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) is chiefly remembered for being the first translator of the complete works of Plato into Latin, and thus standing at the forefront of the Humanist revival of classical learning known as the Renaissance. He founded the Platonic Academy in Florence, and dedicated his life to the reconciliation of Platonism with Christianity.
Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433–99) is chiefly remembered for his role as the head of the Platonic Academy, a cultural centre where the foremost artists and humanists of the day gathered to promote a new Renaissance attitude towards philosophy, religion and the arts.
in his Disputatio contra iudicium astrologorum of 1477, Ficino appears to proclaim his firm opposition to astrological practices. It is as if, adopting an Aristotelian model of rational argument and writing in clear, exegetical prose, he wishes to sweep away all the deadwood of fatalism with a common-sense critique of rigid and arbitrary astrological systems.
Most people are familiar with the exquisite painting by Botticelli known as the Primavera. But perhaps it is not so widely known that the programme of its enigmatic symbolism was inspired by the neoplatonic notion of the harmony of creation, reflected in the correspondences of the mythological characters to both the eight planetary spheres and the eight tones of the musical octave.
How do we interpret the word ‘erotic’ in our contemporary society? It usually conveys a sexual allure, a physical attraction, a suggestion of passion and exoticisim. But do we connect it with spirituality, or a sense of divinity? Not usually. In our secular world the sacred is not accessible through sex. We have separated human sexuality from religious experience, yet surely everyone can testify to the tremendous emotional power of the “longing for the beloved” and probably most have sensed what feels like an
immeasurable distance between the ideal of love, the perfect beauty, and the person sitting next to them at breakfast.
In his work on Sufi mystics, Henry Corbin uses the term mundus imaginalis to designate the psychic space in which the “super-sensible”reality of dreams, theophanies and spiritual beings are manifested, in a visionary sense, to the individual. T
Divination as Divine Revelation: Some thoughts on Ibn’ Arabi’s understanding of imagination by Angela Voss
In the Platonic and Sufi traditions, self-knowledge is the key to spiritual knowledge, thus self knowledge leads to a mode of being in the world in which practical action stems from a profound understanding of its own underlying principles.
The Renaissance has been described as a time when the sleeping beauty of Platonic philosophy was awakened in the West after her thousand-year slumber; this rebirth of pagan wisdom, particularly in its magical aspects, posed a great intellectual challenge to the prevailing Christian orthodoxy.
Monteverdi pioneered a new form of dramatic singing which led to the development of opera and away from the ‘old style’ of polyphonic composition. How does his Mercury-Venus conjunction in Gemini (among other chart features) help us understand the inner landscape of his creative genius?
John Frawley is a practitioner of what he terms ‘traditional’ astrology. Although never precisely defined in his book, we understand this tradition to be that established more or less definitively by the Roman astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in his Tetrabiblos,