Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Astrological and Planetary Magic
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It’s finally time for part seven of our exploration of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. In previous episodes, we have examined both the structure of Occult Philosophy and the worldview it attempts to explain. We are finally ready to take a closer look at one of the topics that this massive work is best known for: planetary and astrological magic!

This episode will cover a lot of material from across book 2 of Occult Philosophy. If you are looking for sections to read before listening to this episode, I would suggest starting with book 2, chapter 29, and reading through chapter 50. You’ll also want to read chapters 58 and 59, as I reference them specifically. However, after this episode, I believe you will want to spend some serious time studying all of book 2, especially going back over the parts about planets and spirits from earlier on.

As we will discover, both planetary and astrological magic cover a wide range of practices that occultists of all varieties are likely familiar with. You will find sigils, prayers, petitions, spirits, and hymns. In fact, this type of magic also leans heavily on occult correspondences, which can include metals, stones, crystals, herbs, foods, and animals.

And always remember, if you want to catch up with the rest of the Agrippa series, you can visit the home page for the series.

Credits

  • Thanks to Tuomo Sipola for his translation of the First Emblem from Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens. Tuomo and others in the #languages-and-linguistics channel in the Hermetic House of Life Discord server all helped to figure out the mystery of this poem.
  • Thanks also to Josh Proto and J Swofford for their help in explaining and untangling the numerous mysteries of astrological magic and electional astrology.
  • Thanks also to Eric Purdue, who helped quite a bit with this episode behind the scenes.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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Arnemancy
Arnemancy
Friends of the Spirit with Michael Sanborn
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Greetings, listeners! For the past few months, we have been enjoying a deep exploration of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and now it’s time for us to make a brief detour. This bonus episode is an interview with my friend Michael Sanborn, who is releasing a translation of a new book, Letters to Friends of the Spirit by Sylvie Boyer-Camax and Rémi Boyer. This is a book about mysticism, Martinism, and modern Rosicrucianism, and I am certain you will find the interview quite interesting.

Michael Sanborn is a book designer and translator specializing in contemporary European esoterica. He participates in several esoteric traditions, including Neoplatonism, and Templarism. He is also a gnostic bishop and a member of Azoth Temple in Portland, Oregon.

Rémi Boyer has explored at length the world of the avant-garde, initiatory traditions, and philosophies of enlightenment. He works within the setting of the House of Surrealists in Cordes-sur-Ciel, for a new alliance between traditions, philosophies of awakening, and the artistic avant-garde. He is the author of some twenty specialized works, particularly on Western initiatory movements.

Letters to Friends of the Spirit, like the previous three translations of works by Rémi Boyer, is published through Rose Circle Publications, the imprint founded by noted esoteric author and translator Piers A. Vaughan.

We will be returning to Occult Philosophy next episode, so for now, please enjoy this bonus interview.

The art for this episode is a detail from O milagre das rosas by Lima de Freitas, acrylic on wood, 1987.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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The Power of One

This essay is a meditation stemming from visits to three shops in San Francisco, all of which provide items and services that can be utilized in spiritual systems, especially in alternative and non-mainstream beliefs. The three stores include a botánica (Tres Niñas Blancas in the Mission), an importer (The African Outlet in the Bayview), and an occult shop (The Sword and Rose in Cole Valley). These are merely local examples; you can find your own version of this story in your own town. The reasons why people frequent shops like these, and the functions these shops serve in their community, highlight changes on the spiritual landscape, which are worth exploring, namely:
(more…)

Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Planetary Spirits and Intelligences
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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!

Credits

  • 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.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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Math and Magic

Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Math and Magic
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Let me congratulate you on having both the courage and curiosity to listen to this episode! This is part five 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 earlier episodes in the series, you can find them on the series page.

Why are courage and curiosity so important for this episode? Because we’re going to be talking about math. Math and magic. I have been looking forward to this episode for a long time, but I know that for a lot of people, the idea of reading about and learning about math is pretty miserable. When occultists discover how much Agrippa loved math, and how central math is to Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy, they sometimes seem pretty disappointed.

Much of book two of Occult Philosophy deals with numbers and mathematics. If you would like to really get an amazing head start on this episode, read books 2, chapters 1 through 23. However, if that is too much, I think you can be pretty well prepared for this episode by just reading book 2, chapters 1, 2, 21, 22, and 23.

Some of the math topics we will be talking about in this episode are the philosophical concept of number, the relationship between math and occult correspondences, magic squares, and sacred geometry. There is a lot of great material, and I hope you give it a listen even though math might seem like it’s a bummer!

Credits

  • Eric Purdue has studied metaphysics and the occult and has practiced magic and astrology for more than thirty years, with a particular focus on practical folk and astrological magic.
  • Andrew B. Watt is known to long-time listeners of the Arnemancy show. He’s an astrologer and textile artist living in western Massachusetts, and an enthusiast of geometry and number theory.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Divine Light and the Senses
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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.

Credits

  • 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.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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What Is Magic?

Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
What Is Magic?
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This episode is part three 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 explore Agrippa’s definition of magic, both through his words and by examining it through a modern lens. Beginning with this episode, I will make a point to let you know precise chapters we will be discussing. This should give you the opportunity to read specific chapters in Occult Philosophy so you can be more informed of the topics we discuss in this episode.

Agrippa’s definition of magic can be found in book 1, chapter 2. In the 2021 Inner Traditions edition of Occult Philosophy, translated by Eric Purdue, this chapter begins on page 18. I would like to point out that we will almost never spend an entire episode discussing just one chapter, but since magic is at the core of our exploration of this book, we need to spend some time understanding exactly what we are talking about!

This series of episodes about Occult Philosophy will most likely last until Summer. My Patreon supporters will be receiving each episode a week before the rest of the world, along with bonus materials such as full interviews, a glimpse at works in progress, and the opportunity to suggest further topics for this Agrippa deep dive.

If you enjoy these episodes and want to help support their development, you can help out by sharing this podcast with a friend! Let your weird wizard buddies and witch pals know that we have embarked on this journey. And if you want to contribute monetarily, you can go to the Support page on this website and find a number of options.

Credits

  • Eric Purdue has studied metaphysics and the occult and has practiced magic and astrology for more than thirty years, with a particular focus on practical folk and astrological magic.
  • Andrew B. Watt is known to long-time listeners of the Arnemancy show. He’s an astrologer and textile artist living in western Massachusetts, and an enthusiast of geometry and number theory.
  • Doctor Faustus was played by Tres Henry.
  • “Tavern rainy night sleeping” by ilTerrible on Ambient-Mixer.com used under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license.
  • “Footsteps, Stones, A.wav” by InspectorJ of Freesound.org

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
The Sources of Occult Philosophy
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Welcome to the second part of our deep-dive into Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s hugely influential giant book, Three Books of Occult Philosophy. In this episode, we will be searching for the answer to a pressing question: how did Agrippa manage to write such an enormous book before he even turned 25?

Thanks to Eric Purdue’s long work on his translation of this book, we have a pretty good answer: plagiarism! Agrippa used material from over 200 sources to compile and assemble Occult Philosophy. In many cases, he simply lifted complete passages from some of these sources. However, in spite of the rampant plagiarism in the text, Agrippa was able to assemble quotes and passages from these sources—some of them quite mundane—to put forth an argument for his own definition of an occult philosophy that proved to be both remarkable and influential.

We will look at three of Agrippa’s sources:

  1. Johannes Trithemius
  2. Pliny the Elder
  3. Johann Reuchlin

This series of episodes about Occult Philosophy will most likely last until Summer. My Patreon supporters will be receiving each episode a week before the rest of the world, along with bonus materials such as full interviews, a glimpse at works in progress, and the opportunity to suggest further topics for this Agrippa deep dive.

If you enjoy these episodes and want to help support their development, you can help out by sharing this podcast with a friend! Let your weird wizard buddies and witch pals know that we have embarked on this journey. And if you want to contribute monetarily, you can go to the Support page on this website and find a number of options.

Credits

Pliny the Elder was played by Andrew B. Watt. The lyre music was performed by me, Reverend Erik! Pretty good stuff, huh? I used an Aklot 7-stringed lyre that I attempted to tune to something representing a Pythagorean scheme.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Introduction to Agrippa's Occult Philosophy
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Welcome to the first episode in a series that will be exploring the content, message, and ongoing influence of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s magnum opus, De occulta philosophia libri tres, better known in the modern world as Three Books of Occult Philosophy. In this series of episodes, I will talk to experts, translators, historians, and magicians to unravel the secret of this book of secrets, as we figure out not only where this important book came from, but why it has had such a lasting impact on the world.

If we want to understand Occult Philosophy, we first need to take a look at the world in which Agrippa lived. This episode will begin by looking at the Holy Roman Empire, where Agrippa was born and spent most of his life, and then examine a few key historical topics that are relevant to Agrippa and Occult Philosophy, including:

  • The Renaissance
  • The Reformation
  • Science and Philosophy

Finally, this episode will give a general overview of Three Books of Occult Philosophy and outline a general plan for this series of podcast episodes.

This series of episodes about Occult Philosophy will most likely last until Summer. My Patreon supporters will be receiving each episode a week before the rest of the world, along with bonus materials such as full interviews, a glimpse at works in progress, and the opportunity to suggest further topics for this Agrippa deep dive.

If you enjoy these episodes and want to help support their development, you can help out by sharing this podcast with a friend! Let your weird wizard buddies and witch pals know that we have embarked on this journey. And if you want to contribute monetarily, you can go to the Support page on this website and find a number of options.

Credits

This episode includes quotes from Douglas Batchelor, host of the What Magic Is This? Podcast, and Eric Purdue, whose translation of De occulta philosophia libri tres was published by Inner Traditions in 2021.

This episode included music by JuliusH from Pixabay, along with Celebration by Alexander Nakarada. All music was licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/arnemancy
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