Planetary Spirits and Intelligences

Here we are, at part six of our deep dive into Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. We’re over halfway done! I know it’s been a weird ride, but hold on, because we haven’t gotten to the strangest stuff yet.

At this point in our exploration, we have developed a strong idea of Agrippa’s world and some of the basic premises of Occult Philosophy. We have looked at history, the nature of light and the cosmos, and the mathematical underpinnings of Renaissance magic. Now it is time to finally explore one of the strangest and most exciting elements in Occult Philosophy: spirits!

Discussion of spirits occurs throughout this enormous work, but if you want some reading to get into before listening to this episode, first re-read book 2, chapter 22, and then read book 2, chapters 55 through 57.

Daemons, daimones, angels, demons, and intelligences—these are all words that describe spirits. Sometimes they are various categories of spirits, other times they are words for “spirit” in another language. From time to time, even the gods are referred to as spirits. In this episode, we explore why that is, and maybe we even look at some ideas surrounding how you can communicate with them. I warned you that we hadn’t gotten to the strangest stuff yet!



  • Prospero was played by the incomparable Coleman Stevenson, the author of many books of poetry and Tarot lore, and the creator of multiple decks, including The Dark Exact Tarot.
  • Joshua Proto has created over 100 astrological talismans according to traditional sources like the Picatrix, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and the oral teachings of select Buddhist Texts. Josh frequently helps clients find talismanic and ritual solutions to a variety of astrological and magical problems through his website.
  • Epic storm recording by Placidplace from Pixabay.
  • The episode art is based on detail from The Annunciation by El Greco, c. 1590–1603.

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