Finally, here is part four of our deep dive into Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy! If you feel lost and would like to catch up with the first two episodes, you can find them on the page for this series.
In this episode, we will be taking a look at some pretty big topics: divine light and the senses. These form a pretty important core for the vision of magic outlined in this book, and I did as best I could trying to cover these topics and make sense of them. However, they are tricky, so I encourage feedback and questions if you feel like the topic hasn’t been covered in enough depth.
To understand how Agrippa believed that the senses work, we have to begin by examining his ideas on light. For this, we take a trip through the Ptolemaic worldview, explore the imagination, and look at some really bizarre and outdated scientific concepts. But all is not lost! Come with me on a strange trip—no need to bring your own flashlight!
If you want to get a jump start on these topics, I would advise reading book one, chapters 49, 60, and 61.
- The Six Enneads by Plotinus
- Eros and Magic in the Renaissance by Ioan P. Culianu
- The Practical Art of Divine Magic: Contemporary & Ancient Techniques of Theurgy by Patrick Dunn
- My classes and lectures on the Art of Memory
- Art of Memory articles and episodes on this website
- My review of the modern translations of Occult Philosophy
- J.F.’s translation, online for free!
- Victor Frankenstein was played by Charlie Claire Burgess, the infamous Word Witch!
- The background piano music is Sonata Number 48 in D minor by Domenico Scarlatti, performed by Andrew Fort. Go check out HOCUS!
- The artwork for this episode is a detail from the Aurora Borealis from the Trouvelot astronomical drawings (1881-1882) by E. L. Trouvelot.