Arnemancy
Marsilio Ficino with Dan Attrell
/

I am joined by Dan Attrell, the massive mind behind the Modern Hermeticist YouTube channel, which includes the vast and ever-growing Encyclopedia Hermetica. He is currently working on his PhD in Renaissance history at the University of Waterloo. He has gone out of his way to share tons of his knowledge and learning with his impressive audience, and is also known for translating some amazing materials from Latin.

In this episode, we discuss Marsilio Ficino, and in particular Dan’s translation of Ficino’s De Christiana Religione, On the Christian Religion. We discuss many topics and themes in Ficino’s life, including the highest goal of mankind, the immortality of the soul, the nature of reason, the supercelestial world, and the question of whether or not there even was a Platonic academy in Florence. We also attempt to make some sense of the tangled historical events unfolding around Ficino’s life.

The Intermission and Beyond

We ran into a really bad recording problem in this episode. About 25 minutes in or so, Dan’s Canadian internet connection gave out on us! We had to pick up the conversation the next day. I filled in the gap with a reading from De Christiana Religione that Dan was kind enough to provide.

The background music during Dan’s reading is “But We Shall All Be Changed” by Matt Anthony. Thank you, Matt!

In part two, Dan and I begin by talking about Aristotle and Plato and their reception in Medeival and Renaissance Europe, but then we get a few tangents, and then we spend time with our favorite mad monk, Savonarola!

Notes and Things to Look Up

Links

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

Marginalia with James Russell

Arnemancy
Marginalia with James Russell
/

Dr. James Russell joins me for the third episode in my series on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Dr. Russell is a book historian in Phoenix, Arizona. He completed his doctorate at the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University in the UK. James is interested in how material texts shape spiritual experiences. Focusing on early modern esoteric and contemplative literature, he studies the traces readers have left behind in books and manuscripts in order to reconstruct the reading experiences of the past.

Marginalia in the Buffalo copy of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Marginalia in the Buffalo copy of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, what Dr. Russell describes as a “DVD menu”.

In his dissertation, Dr. Russell wrote, “Instead of merely being viewed as an art object, the HP was a text in which readers engaged extensively with both word and image.”1 We discuss the HP as a used text as evidenced by its marginalia, like a “humanist activity book” filled with pen-and-paper intellectual games, whether or not the author intended it to be.

James also leads us through an exploration of several of the commentators of early editions of the HP, including two alchemists, a botanist, and Pope Alexander VII. This conversation opens up so many new avenues that make this remarkable book worth exploring and enjoying.

When James first approached me, he mentioned The Book that Nobody Read by Owen Gingerich. Gingerich attempts to trace the influence of Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus using marginalia. I was also a fan of Gingerich’s book, so I knew right away we would have plenty to talk about. Please enjoy this episode and don’t be afraid to write in your books!

Links

Citations and Resources

Here is a list of sources that Dr. Russell used in preparing his notes for the interview.

Primary Sources

  • Le Tableau des riches Inventions…dans le songe de Poliphile (Paris: Guillemot, 1600).
    This is the openly alchemical 1600 edition of the HP
  • D’Espagnet, Jean, Enchiridion Physicae Restitutae (Paris: Widow N. de Sercy, 1642, 3rd edn).
  • Nazari, Giovan Battista, Della tramutatione metallica sogni tre (Brescia: Pietro Maria Marchetti, 1599). English translation: Three Dreams on the Transmutation of Metals, trans. Doug Skinner (Glasgow: Magnum Opus Hermeticum Sourceworks, 2002).
    A very HP-like alchemical allegory
  • Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, ed. and trans. H.E.Butler (London: Heinemann, 1963).  

On Marginalia:

  • Barney, Stephen A., Annotation and Its Texts (Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 1991). 
  • Jackson, Heather J., Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 2005)
  • Jardine, Lisa and Anthony Grafton, ‘“Studied for Action”: How Gabriel Harvey Read His Livy’, Past & Present 129 (1990), pp. 30-78.  
  • Sherman, William H., Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).  

Other Secondary Sources

  • Doody, Aude, Pliny’s Encyclopedia: The Reception of the Naturalis historia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).   
  • Eco, Umberto, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, trans. Geoffrey Brock (London: Vintage Books, 2005).  
  • Fierz-David, Linda, The Dream of Poliphilo: The Soul in Love (Dallas, TX: Spring Publications, 1987).
    A Jungian reading of Poliphilus and Polia as Animus/Anima
  • Freud, Sigmund, The Interpretation of Dreams (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)  
  • Heckscher, William S., ‘Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk’, Art Bulletin 29 (1947), pp. 155-82
  • Jung, Carl, Psychology and Alchemy (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953) 
  • Kenny, N., The Palace of Secrets: Béroalde de Verville and Renaissance Conceptions of Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991).
    On the author of the 1600 alchemical edition of the HP
  • Painter, George D. The Hypnerotomachia Poliphilo of 1499: An introduction on the Dream, the Dreamer, the Artist, and the Printer (London: Eugrammia Press, 1963).
    An introduction to the HP which highlights the pagan nature of the text
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, ‘Marginalia’ in James A. Harrison, ed., The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe Vol. XVI, (New York: AMS, 1965) pp. 1-178.
  • Priki, Efthymia, ‘Elucidating and Enigmatizing: the Reception of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in the Early Modern Period and in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries’, eSharp 14 (2009), pp. 62-90 http://www.gla.ac.uk/esharp Accessed 21/08/2011.
  • Rhizopoulou, On the botanical content of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili https://doi.org/10.1080/23818107.2016.1166070

On Aldus Manutius and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

  • Barolini, Helen, Aldus and his Dream Book (New York: Italica Press, 1992).
  • Casella, Maria Teresa, and Giovanni Pozzi, Francesco Colonna. Biografia e opere. Vol. I Biografia (M.T. Casella), Vol. II Opere (G. Pozzi) (Padua: Antenore, 1959).
  • Cruz, Esteban Alejandro, Re-Discovering Antiquity through the Dreams of Poliphilus (Oxford: Trafford, 2006). 
  • Fogliati, Silvia and David Dutto, Il Giardino di Polifilo: ricostruzione virtuale dalla Hypnerotomachia Poliphili di Francesco Colonna stampata a Venezia nel 1499 da Aldo Manuzio (Milan: Franco Maria Ricci, 2002).
    This is the 3D reconstruction of the HP

  1. Russell, James Charles (2014) `Many Other Things Worthy of Knowledge and Memory’: The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and its Annotators, 1499-1700, Durham theses, Durham University. Available at Durham E-Theses Online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/10757/ 

I am now enrolling studients for a new class, The Other Trithemian Art: Secret Codes and Ciphers of the Magicians. This is a four week course that will teach you how to use codes and ciphers to enrich your magical practice. For a full description, read the class page.

Since this class will involve extra one-on-one teaching to help with the math and difficult concepts, enrollment is very limited! You will want to sign up early to reserve your spot. Also, until January 31st, you can use code EARLYWEB to get 30% off!

Arnemancy
2021 Forecast with T. Susan Chang and Andrew B. Watt (Part 2)
/

This is the second part of the 2021 Forecast episodes! Once again, I am joined by my two very amazing friends, cartomancer T. Susan Chang and astrologer Andrew B. Watt! In this episode, we cover July through December of 2021. You can find part one here.

2020 was a rotting radioactive carcass, belching toxic fumes out of a larger burning radioactive carcass, and when Andrew and I did our forecast last year, we were far too optimistic, even when the cards and charts showed us some scary stuff. This time, hopefully we are all more realistic.

Note that there are two special treats for you accompanying this episode:

  • All of us are offering a 20% discount on readings through January 5th with the code BIGFLUSH-20 and you can find links to all of our divination offerings below.
  • There is a PDF document with charts and cards that goes along with this episode and part 2. You can get access to it by becoming a Patreon supporter of the Arnemancy Podcast, the Fortune’s Wheelhouse Podcast, or Andrew B. Watt.

T. Susan Chang

T. Susan Chang bought her first tarot deck at a Barnes & Noble in New York, where she moonlighted as a reader while working in academic publishing. After leaving the city, she took her practice underground for many years, re-surfacing in 2015 and taking up the systematic study of esoteric correspondences in tarot.

  • Along with deck creator Mel Meleen, Susie hosts the Fortune’s Wheelhouse esoteric tarot podcast, which explores imagery and symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith and Thoth decks.
  • She is the creator of the Arcana Case® for tarot decks, which can be found on her Etsy page, along with her line of esoteric perfumes.
  • She reads tarot in person at the Inspirit Crystal shop in Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Her online Tarot course, “The Living Tarot,” course can be found on her website.

Her interest in tarot is wide-ranging and passionate, and has included:

  • Setting up 78 Spotify playlists for those interested in card-appropriate music
  • memorizing astrological correspondences for the minor arcana while swimming laps
  • writing tarot haiku and spells
  • maintaining a sprawling Card-of-the-Day-tracking database (complete with elemental, astrological, and kabbalistical frequency and percentage pie charts).

She attempts to learn Hebrew approximately once every 15 months and has been known to spontaneously arrange her pancakes into a Tree of Life formation.

When not engaged in tarot-adjacent activity, she teaches writing at Smith College, and writes occasionally about food and cookbooks. She lives in western New England with her husband, two children, and a variable number of chickens.

Andrew B. Watt

Andrew Watt is an astrologer, poet and artist living in western Massachusetts. He works in textiles, wood and words to produce objects for practical magic and mysterious practicality, and seeks the honest wisdom found in the life of an artisan.

Other Links

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

Arnemancy
2021 Forecast with Andrew B. Watt and T. Susan Chang (Part 1)
/

The new year is upon us! Once again, I have invited friends to help me try to forecast the future. Here is the exciting part: I am joined by my two very amazing friends, T. Susan Chang and Andrew B. Watt! Together, we create a forecast for 2021 using astrology from Andrew and Tarot cards from Susie.

2020 was a rolling pile of crap, set aflame in a giant dumpster painted like a TARDIS, and when Andrew and I did our forecast last year, we were far too optimistic, even when the cards and charts showed us some scary stuff. This time, hopefully we are all more realistic.

Part 1 of the Forecast covers the first half of 2021, from January to June.

Note that there are two special take-aways from this episode:

  • All of us are offering a 20% discount on readings through January 5th with the code BIGFLUSH-20 and you can find links to all of our divination offerings below.
  • There is a PDF document with charts and cards that goes along with this episode and part 2. You can get access to it by becoming a Patreon supporter of the Arnemancy Podcast, the Fortune’s Wheelhouse Podcast, or Andrew B. Watt.

Andrew B. Watt

Andrew Watt is an astrologer, poet and artist living in western Massachusetts. He works in textiles, wood and words to produce objects for practical magic and mysterious practicality, and seeks the honest wisdom found in the life of an artisan.

T. Susan Chang

T. Susan Chang bought her first tarot deck at a Barnes & Noble in New York, where she moonlighted as a reader while working in academic publishing. After leaving the city, she took her practice underground for many years, re-surfacing in 2015 and taking up the systematic study of esoteric correspondences in tarot.

  • Along with deck creator Mel Meleen, Susie hosts the Fortune’s Wheelhouse esoteric tarot podcast, which explores imagery and symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith and Thoth decks.
  • She is the creator of the Arcana Case® for tarot decks, which can be found on her Etsy page, along with her line of esoteric perfumes.
  • She reads tarot in person at the Inspirit Crystal shop in Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Her online Tarot course, “The Living Tarot,” can be found on her website.

Her interest in tarot is wide-ranging and passionate, and has included:

  • Setting up 78 Spotify playlists for those interested in card-appropriate music
  • memorizing astrological correspondences for the minor arcana while swimming laps
  • writing tarot haiku and spells
  • maintaining a sprawling Card-of-the-Day-tracking database (complete with elemental, astrological, and kabbalistical frequency and percentage pie charts).

She attempts to learn Hebrew approximately once every 15 months and has been known to spontaneously arrange her pancakes into a Tree of Life formation.

When not engaged in tarot-adjacent activity, she teaches writing at Smith College, and writes occasionally about food and cookbooks. She lives in western New England with her husband, two children, and a variable number of chickens.

Other Links

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

The Abaton of Asklepios

Arnemancy
The Abaton of Asklepios
/

This episode of the podcast visits the Abaton of Asklepios to incubate a dream from the god for the purposes of healing. This is not a typical episode, and is intended to be used as an episode to help you get to sleep while also performing dream magic and oneiromancy.

The first segment of this episode will give you instructions on preparing your ritual space and explaining the ritual. Relevant parts of those instructions are included below just in case you want to get a jump start on things before listening to the episode.

The second segment is the ritual itself. I look forward to hearing feedback about this episode. Please send me reports of your results with this new and unusual experiment!

Preparing Your Abaton

To prepare for your dream incubation, you will want the following items available.

  1. Pen and paper next to your bed and within easy reach of your sleeping area.
  2. A bed with fresh bedding.
  3. Frankincense incense or essential oil in a diffuser
  4. Flickering LED candles (because you can’t leave real candles burning!)
  5. An image of Asklepios or the rod of Asklepios.
  6. Food and drink as an offering to the god.

Incubation Ritual Steps

These steps are explained in the podcast and are typed out here to make things easier for you.

  1. Change your bedding and clean your sleeping area.
  2. Hang the image of Asklepios or his rod over the head of your bed.
  3. Write your healing wish on a piece of paper, and put that paper under your pillow.
  4. Light the frankincense and LED candles.
  5. Take a ritual shower or bath with the intent of cleansing yourself to enter the dream abaton.
  6. Enter your sleeping area reverently.
  7. Perform your usual ritual opening; if you do not have one, at least offer a prayer to the Most High.
  8. Get into bed and listen to the rest of the podcast.

My Gratitude

This is a very different sort of episode and it stretched my skills and got me to work in new ways. I couldn’t have done it without the help of these fine folks:

Sources

Links

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

My Introduction to Sigils class is once again open for enrollment! I am offering one class on Sunday, December 13th. Use code SIGILCLASS2 in the form below to get 15% off the enrollment fee! That code is good until December 9th.

From the seals of the Goetic spirits to the magical artwork of Austin Osman Spare, sigils are a cornerstone of magical work. They have been part of the Western esoteric tradition since its very roots. The art of working with sigils has continued to evolve and develop over time. At its core, a sigil is the perfect method to put the creativity and imagination of the practitioner to work quickly and effectively.

In this class, we will cover:

  • Chaos magic sigils
  • Planetary sigils with magic squares
  • Sigils with Aiq Bekar and magical alphabets
  • Different methods to charge a sigil
  • Advanced sigil techniques (e.g. servitors and image magic)

New Material

Since the first iteration of Introduction to Sigils at the beginning of 2020, I have learned more about sigils, more about teaching, and had some incredible conversations with students and fellow magicians. This has resulted in some new material! This new iteration of the class will include more examples to help YOU get started with sigils in your own practice.

New Recording

At the beginning of the year, when I was first recording classes, I had a very poor internet connection. This class will give me the opportunity to get a fresh new recording, better and improved! Even if you can’t make the class, watch for an announcement that the new class recording is available in the Arnemancy Shop.

Sign up to the Arnemancy Newsletter to stay informed!

Hermetica with Sam Block

Arnemancy
Hermetica with Sam Block
/

There is a good chance that you are already familiar with my guest on this episode. Sam Block, AKA @polyphanes, is the prolific genius behind the Digital Ambler, his blog covering a wide swath of esoteric and occult topics. Earlier this year, he took on the ambitious project of completing his own translation of the third book of the Corpus Hermeticum, the collection of classical philosophical texts that forms the core of Hermeticism.

We begin this episode with a discussion about the nature of the Corpus Hermeticum and the Hermetica in general, and then we get into Sam’s project. We talk about his inspiration, the challenges of the translation, and what he learned through the experience. We discuss stories of creation in the Hermetica, how we use Hermetic concepts in our practices, and how to learn this stuff.

This conversation ranges from the relaxed to the serious, from the frivolous to the deeply thoughtful. I am releasing it the week of Thanksgiving in the United States in the hopes that our conversation will add something special to everybody’s lazy holiday.

Links

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

Even though I only have two products in the Arnemancy Shop that I actually ship, that’s enough to offer you a special sale! Until December 4th, I will be offering free shipping in the United States on all the stuff I can ship. Please head on over to the shop and check out these exciting items!

Arnemancy
True Nature with Rafa Martinelli
/

Rafa Martinelli is a musician, podcaster, sound healer, and meditation guide. His intuition and curiosity led him to transcendental experiences which awakened in him the quest to remember who we are and how to become more of who we are. In this episode, he joins me from Uruguay to discuss his spiritual journey and how we can address the great secret of our true nature.

Rafa’s story is fascinating, and involves adventures and travels with a Taoist doctor of Chinese medicine. We discuss psychedelics, spiritual dimensions, meditation, surrender, and how our ego tends to get in the way.

Links

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