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Thread: Alchemical & Magickal Symbolism in Religious/Spiritual Traditions & Ancient Alphabets

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Marcus View Post
    Wow.. I've never noticed the cover of that book before. Was your intent to prove our idea of the contemplation of these geometric devices?
    No. I just wanted to make a connection between all the discussed symbols, especially the Tetragrammaton on the Tarot fig. 13, the use in R+C symbology and the Compass of the Wise. But it's actually a nice example for a well fitting symbol, which I mentioned in a previous post. It's interesting to observe the way how they unfold and express themselves here in this thread.

    There are quite a lot of things going on on that image of Beyer's book. I don't know its origin either. Looks to me a bit as if it stems from the 17th century, so not genuine GuR.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    I am totally with you regarding the significance of Lull and Bruno. They both played a pivotal role in the history of natural philosophy. Furthermore, I would highlight the role of Nicholas of Cusa as the link between those two.
    I've run across Cusa and I may have even downloaded some titles but haven't gotten to him yet. Or maybe I browsed through them and there weren't many diagrams. There's a a couple of other names that come up in relation to this and other subjects.. Colonna(sp?) and Della Porta.

    There are connections here to the "learned image".. and Tarot and Masonic systems. There's another monk, Thomas Murner....

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Talking about alchemy, there is a reason why it was once widely known as 'the Lullian art'. It is of little consequence if the works attributed to the Catalanian philosopher wete actually authored by him or by someone intimately familiar with his writings. Their influence on the later practitioners can hardly be overestimated.
    I know what you are talking about.. pseudo-Gerber.. pseudo-Lullian, pseudo-paracelsus (thinking of Dorn in particular with that one). With the exception of Gerber, Lull is probably the grand-daddy to them all, he was so long ago.. centuries before printing. I haven't even heard rumours of genuine original manuscripts. The earliest Lullian material I have is about 1420. I mentioned this text that was new to me, "Geometria Nova".. I'm pretty sure this the translators make a big deal out of the number of different manuscripts they consulted - it points to an original source somewhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    Bicameralism seems a lot like the Egyptian then Tibetan book of the dead. Could explain a lot about the beliefs origins.
    Its been so long since I've read those, and I didn't get much out of them at the time (i'm sure it would be different now). So I really couldn't say, but I have no reason to doubt you.

    There's another recent documentary based on some modern book or books.. "The Divided Brain". I'm not sure if it's about the same thing or not.. I've recorded the doc and found the books, but haven't done anything with either yet. Oh, okay here it is:

    "The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is a 2009 book written by Iain McGilchrist that deals with the specialist hemispheric functioning of the brain. The differing world views of the right and left brain (the "Master" and "Emissary" in the title, respectively) have, according to the author, shaped Western culture since the time of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, and the growing conflict between these views has implications for the way the modern world is changing.[1] In part, McGilchrist's book, which is the product of twenty years of research,[2] reviews the evidence of previous related research and theories, and based on this and cultural evidence, the author arrives at his own conclusions."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    This also fits with civilizations being seen as a deception in spiritual sects, an old Dravidian teaching from an Aryan conquest trying to establishing their civilization upon the indigenous tribes. It was the conquest and forced reeducation of other people that probably contributed to losing the ability, gradually has a cause somewhere. Seeing as tribal society was superstitious, and to conquer the people you must rid them of their superstitions first. Mental conditioning and propaganda ?.
    I don't think you even have to go that far back, just look at Europe after the collapse of the Roman empire, and the rise of the Church. I don't think you rid them of superstitions, you over-write them with new ones or adapt them to your purposes. Modern life ignores instincts and all natural cycles.

    Pieces of something I typed elsewhere at some point:

    One of my "between the lines" points I'm hinting that is, our current paradigm is actually an effect of a "large scale" ritual, imo. But one that's set up to work against man.

    The art of memory is really the art of the mind, developing "higher consciousness" or whatever terminology you are most comfortable with. The external manifestation of the "micro" individual psyche is the "macro" culture. Everything we do is imprinted by our subsconscious.

    So I think something like people staring at rectangle screens could either be "rotated one way for good or the other way for evil".

    It could certainly be used to create a macro expression.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    I'm not well versed in all the language and sources as you. I know it as the art of daydreaming.
    I would argue that we wouldn't have theoretical physics or any invention without illogical superstitious fiction generated by our own boredom.
    The dissection of illogical superstitious fiction is an exercise in finding truth in our own generated fiction or others, and All our fiction starts with some truth that we play mentally with. Its not long before mankind makes what he daydreams.
    Consider.. Person A has a dream in which he can fly. He wakes up, and spends his life looking for an elixer or magic spell that would grant him that power. Or he devotes time to praying to the God/Genie/Santa Claus in the sky to be able to fly. Person B has the same dream. He wakes up and thinks about what does fly. Contemplates how birds fly. Maybe he wonders if he can make wings. Maybe he thinks about why things stick to the earth and discovers gravity. Maybe after failures with his man made wings, he further studies bird flight, and figures out lift and drag, and makes a different wing that does work. You will have to agree there's a big difference between the two.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    No. I just wanted to make a connection between all the discussed symbols, especially the Tetragrammaton on the Tarot fig. 13, the use in R+C symbology and the Compass of the Wise. But it's actually a nice example for a well fitting symbol, which I mentioned in a previous post. It's interesting to observe the way how they unfold and express themselves here in this thread.

    There are quite a lot of things going on on that image of Beyer's book. I don't know its origin either. Looks to me a bit as if it stems from the 17th century, so not genuine GuR.
    I have can think of quite a few examples of that kind of frontispiece.. I don't know for sure what the style is called but the word "cabinet" comes to mind. Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum, Croll, either the R.C text of Michaelspacher or Mogling, or maybe both. None are as "dense" as that one though.



    A lot of what's been mentioned in this thread is relatable to the Yin-Yang thread, and vice versa.

    When I see this, I can't help but imagine the "4" being projected into "6" (and the 4 points of the square = 6 points of the cube.. 2D to 3D). This is the explanation of the "center of centers" for me. Every point in 3D space links back to a corresponding point in 2D space, every point in that 2D space links back to its corresponding point in 1D space, and every point in that 1D space links back to the original point. The Monad/God is "everywhere". Also, I have a mental image of this process or evolution, from the point out to n-dimensions is like the blooming of a flower.

  4. #24
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    There was a couple of things I forgot to mention, and since it's the thread has been moved and retitled I think i will now..

    There have been plenty of mentions of the male/female, mars/venus.. Lots of images with the sun and moon imagery, talk of the center of centers, the all in all, and the "throne". In a lot of these diagrams the "center" is considered the "throne", or whatever you want to where the Creator sits..

    This is a passage from the Pyramid Texts. They are consider Funerary texts, related to the soul's final journey at death. But this soul journey is also the goal of the mystic while still alive. So in that sense, I think they could also be considered Initiatory texts:

    Unas, the small orphan (tefen), went to law with the sister (Tefnet).
    The Two Truths judged, while Shu was a witness.
    The Two Truths have decreed that the thrones of Geb should come to him
    and that he should raise himself to what he wanted.
    I think the "law" here is Maat, who is mentioned later. I think the "two truths" are any of the union of opposites that have been mentioned.. male/female, sun/moon, above/below. "judged" = balanced. the "throne" is the same as discussed. The "raising" is an interesting choice of words, it's exactly what the Masons say.

    Here's a little background on the names being mentioned:

    "Ptah and Ra, creator deities, usually begin the list of divine ancestors. There is speculation between Shu and Geb and who was the first god-king of Egypt. The story of how Shu, Geb, and Nut were separated in order to create the cosmos is now being interpreted in more human terms; exposing the hostility and sexual jealousy. Between the father-son jealousy and Shu rebelling against the divine order, Geb challenges Shus leadership. Geb takes Shus mother, Tefnut, as his chief queen, separating Shu from his sister-wife. Just as Shu had previously done to him. In the book of the Heavenly Cow, it is implied that Geb is the heir of the departing sun god. After Geb passed on the throne to Osiris, his youngest son, he then took on a role of a judge in the Divine Tribunal of the gods."
    I usually use those four lines out of context of the rest of the text. But considering it in that context doesn't really hurt my case:

    Bring together (then) his members, which shall be secret.
    He joins those who are in Nwn, he leaves his testament in Heliopolis.
    Lo! Unas comes out on this day in the true form of a living Akh-spirit so that Unas interrupts the fight,

    so that he punishes strife.
    Unas comes out, the guardian of Maat,
    he brings it while it is with him.
    Those who were very angry turn round about him,
    those who were in Nwn transfer life to him.

    Unas' shelter is in his Eye, the protection of Unas is in his Eye,
    Unas' victorious strength is in his Eye, the power of Unas in his Eye.
    I mentioned the "Hand of of the Lord" from Ezekiel, compared to the "hands" shown at the end of the Sun Rays in different ancient Egyptian art.. In Hebrew, the letter "Yod" means "hand". It's value is 10, like the number of fingers on the hands (and the origin of base 10 number systems, like the eyptian, hebrew, greek, arabic). when written informally, it looks like a comma or apostraphe.. Formally, it is described as a "tongue". It's the upper right portion of the Alef character. In the Marseille deck, it looks like tears going towards the moon, and away from the sun. In the Rider-Waite deck, the same type of device is stylized as Yods. The even more modern G.D. deck (with child as fool) turns them into literally yods (there's no mistaking them)


  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Marcus View Post
    I have can think of quite a few examples of that kind of frontispiece.. I don't know for sure what the style is called but the word "cabinet" comes to mind. Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum, Croll, either the R.C text of Michaelspacher or Mogling, or maybe both. None are as "dense" as that one though.
    Turns out, the bottom is Croll! And the top middle of Beyer's cover.. the 3, 5, 2 circle form of hte Tree of life.. that's straight from Rosenroth's Kabbalah Denudata




    Edit: sorry I meant 3, 6, 1:


  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Marcus
    Colonna
    I also happen to recently have read about the family name "Colonna". May I ask in which context you are familiar with it?

    Concerning the Tarot: On older versions than the one you showed here you can also see that the drops look as if they are attracted to both the sun and the moon. Historical criticism is difficult here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    I also happen to recently have read about the family name "Colonna". May I ask in which context you are familiar with it?

    Concerning the Tarot: On older versions than the one you showed here you can also see that the drops look as if they are attracted to both the sun and the moon. Historical criticism is difficult here.
    Consider each paragraph here a different quote from the same source:


    Unfortunately, Drummond did not record any discussion of Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499), but it seems likely that the subject would have arisen, for the work interested both poets. Colonna presented a highly eroticized and mystical vision of the importance of architecture and stonemasonry which was relevant to their on-going conversations. Many Francophile Scots were familiar with the elegant French translation, L Songe de Poliphile (1546), attributed to an anonymous Knight of Malta, with added illustrations which influenced French architecture and decorative art. Drummond owned the greatly condensed English translation, Hypnerotomachia: the Strife of Love in a Dreame (1590), and he was probably aware of the work's influence on the fantastic 'Garden of the Planets' created by Sir David Lindsay at Edzell Castle in 1604. Surrounded by walls designed according to 'sacred geometry' and built by local masons, the garden was decorated with 'pilasters, pediments, Stuart unionist royal symbols and carved panels depicting the planetary deities, the Virtues and the Arts.' Symbolising 'the builder's character, education and good fortune,' the garden was a testament of Lindsay's esoteric, architectural, and civic beliefs. While Gent concludes that Colonna's work had no influence on architecture in Elizabethan England because of the deficiency in architectural taste at the time, she seems unaware of its impact on garden design and stone carving in Jacobean Scotland.
    --
    Colonna seemed aware of Hebrew traditions of Solomonic architecture, for he referred to 'the great skills . . . of Jewish Hiram,' 'the brazen lions in the temple of the wise Jew,' and the rites of 'the holy Jew,' while he included two inscriptions in Hebrew letters. His linking of meditation on architecture with the achievement of a mystical-erotic trance further suggests his familiarity with Cabalistic techniques, which he seemed to merge into the Art of Memory. For Scottish architectural enthusiasts like Lindsay and Drummond, his descriptions of the operative and speculative masonry embodied in actual Vitruvian and early Renaissance edifices were relevant to their own projects.
    ---
    Perhaps an artificial memory gone out of control into wild imaginative indulgence might be one of the stimuli behind such a work as the Hypnerotomachia Polyphili, written by a Dominican before 1500, [48] in which we meet, not only with Petrarchan triumphs and curious archaeology, but also with Hell, divided into places to suit the sins and their punishments, with explanatory inscriptions on them. [48] It has been established that the author of diis work, Francesco Colonna, was a Dominican; see M. T. Case 11a and G. Pozzi, Francesco Colonna, Biografia e Opere, Padua, 1959, 1, pp. 10 ff.
    ---
    The narrator Poliphilus also relates his discovery of 'an everlasting Lampe,' which reveals mysterious hieroglyphs on the walls of 'feareful vaultes, and subterranean buttresses' which sustain 'the waightie Pyramides.'61 The parallels with the Rosicrucian Fama, in which an architect discovers a similar lamp and vault, raises the question of whether the authors of the latter tract were familiar with Colonna's work. McLean argues for a direct influence, especially on Andreae's Die Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz (1616), and he suggests further that David Lindsay's garden had 'distinct Rosicrucian connections.'62 Certainly, Lindsay had travelled in Germany, from where he invited various German metallurgists and engineers to 'search for the planetary metals' buried at Edzell. From these German contacts, he may have learned about the proto-Rosicrucian works of Simon Studion and other Hermetic millenarians.63 His brother Menmuir collaborated with the German metallurgists, and Menmuir's son David Lindsay would subsequently develop Rosicrucian contacts and translate works about the fraternity. As First Earl of Balcarres, the latter Lindsay would become father-in-law to Robert Moray, and both men would play important roles in the development of Freemasonry.
    This might be from different source:

    The brother of Sir David Lindsay of Edzell was Lord Menmuir, who had collaborated with William Schaw and John Napier; thus, it is possible that Schaw and Napier were also familiar with Colonna's architectural-masonic allegory. Drummond was close to the Lindsay, Napier, Seton, and Alexander families, who all had Masonic connections. Thus, the emergence of a mystical-architectural eroticism in the Masonic correspondence of Robert Moray in the 1650's may reflect a 'hypnerotomachian' influence on the esoteric teachings of Scottish Freemasonry.
    Different Colonna:

    It is held by the believers in Rosicrucianism that Edward I was initiated into the mysteries of the society in 1296 ; that the degree of Rose Croix was conferred on him by Raymond Lully (the friend of John Cremer, Abbot of Westminster, and that delightful old English alchemist, Roger Bacon). Edward made the crusade to Palestine and brought back to England with him Guido dalla Colonna and this same Raymond Lully, who coined six millions of nobles for him, as I have recounted at length in another chapter. Lully was a contemporary of Dante and of Arnold of Villanova. All were persecuted exiles. Lully was accused of heresy, and at last took recourse in the language of conventional hypocrisy, and, as did Dante, pretended to be reunited with the Church of Rome.

  8. #28
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    Thanks!
    I read about a different 18th century Coronna of Tyrol, German and Italian origin. Got to check the family tree to learn whether there is any kind of relationship. You mentioned Francesco, who was a dominican, but one never knows..

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Thanks!
    I read about a different 18th century Coronna of Tyrol, German and Italian origin. Got to check the family tree to learn whether there is any kind of relationship. You mentioned Francesco, who was a dominican, but one never knows..
    That was just some material that quickly popped up from a search of my facebook archive. I've seen from other sources that Francesco being a dominican is questioned.. I think you might have come across the same..

    When I was going to post that, I did some quick searching and on the wikipedia for Francesco it doesn't mention "art of memory" at all. I had to do some further searching to confirm I had that right.

    The bit about the other Colonna, Edward I, Lully, RC was new to me even though I must have cut and paste it at some point

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    @Zoas23

    I'd agree for the (useful) method of historical criticism. Symbols imo are also useful to have "timeless" fun with. If it fits, it fits. No matter the historical accuracy.
    Someone asked me a quick question in a mail (because of this thread actually), and I thought of something. It may be useful for the three of you... just some ideas.

    -The core of this conversation is about Medieval and Renaissance Neo-Platonism (Cusa, Bruno, Pletho, Ficino, Pico, Eriugena, Duns Scoto, Origen, Boethius, etc, etc)...

    -This tradition has somehow worked with the idea of non-historical symbols... It's not even ideological and a lot of traditions work like that (i.e, the Qabalah tradition involves the idea that God created the Hebrew alphabet, but I think that EVEN for studying Qabalah, it is important to consider the fact that the alphabet is a historical creation).

    -The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili has been brought for some reason and it truly explains what neo-platonism is (because it's a neo-platonic allegory).
    The Hypnerotomachia is the story of Poliphilus ("the one with many loves", though this understood as "the one with many areas of knowledge", he is a Polymath).
    Poliphilus has "many loves, but he also has ONE love: Polia... another version of the "ideal woman" (just like Beatrice in the Divine Comedy... if you have to go through Hell, Purgatorio and Heaven just to be with her... you'll go, meeting her is even more relevant than meeting God).
    The problem with Polia is that she somehow exists in a realm of dreams (probably a metaphor because the author was a monk, he couldn't get married to this girl)..
    So Poliphilus uses his "many knowledges" in different ways and in that "realm of dreams" as to get closer and closer to Polia (i.e, his "ONE love").

    Thst's a perfect description of Neo-Platonism. It can't be better.

    When it comes to Neo-Platonism you always have 2 things... Even if more divisions are usual (i.e, the classical division in four of Plotinus, that was even adopted by Qabalah -yeah, take it for granted that Qabalah was built with the bicks provided by Plotinus).

    These two things are:

    a) The ONE, the "form of Good", God, the "Not-Other" (Cusa), something that has no name (Areopagyte)... It's always the Ontological State that is "beyond the Being", It allows the Being to Be, but is not even affected by "being". The Sixth Book of the Republic (Plato) explains it very well (it's the Form of Good there).

    You can't have a direct knowledge of it... and the irony is that if you are a neo-platonist, then probably there is nothing else you want than having a direct knowledge of it.
    Knowing it is identical to Redemption, there is no difference... it's not because it's a "power" that you get, Porphyry explained it well in just a sentence: "all knowledge is an assimilation to the object of knowledge." (Auxiliaries to the Perception of Intelligible Natures).

    Of course, you can't know it because we know the BEING, we can't speak about it either in very direct ways because what we speak about becomes "the Being" (yeah, not too far from "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao"... because it's the same idea... it's the superior state of Non-Being... our discourse is always a discourse about the Being... thus some tricks like the Negative Theology became so popular in the neo-platonic tradition).

    b) the second state is the BEING and MULTIPLICITY. If you want to know "The One", you have to know its offspring... and there is no other way.
    Many persons created systems as to know this multiple whole (Llull did it, Cusa did it with his logic, Abulafia did it in a more mystical and not really logical way)...
    The Ars combinatoria and the Art of Memory are not the same thing, but they are BOTH systems to embrace this Multiple Whole.

    The point is that only the knowledge of this imperfect "multiple whole" can open the door to know the Superior Non-Being (which you can know by using logic, but it's always an inferred knowledge... As Cusa said: All the things that exists are logically defined by another thing... So everything defines all the other things and it's like a network... but the whole thing is nonsensical unless we have ONE thing that can do something unique: define itself without the need of being defined by another thing. That's his "God", his "Not-Other"... the Logical Impossibility of something that defines itself... which is both an impossibility and a logical need if that thing know as "the Truth" has to make any kind of sense).

    And, of course, ALL of them were against the Logic of Aristotle because it does not allow contradictions and the neo-platonic logic embraces them (the BIG difference is that Aristotle considers that God is the Being... so it is either "big" or "small", "it moves" or "it does not move", but it has no contradictions... the Neo-Platonic god is both "big" and "small" and it's neither "big" and "small"... which does not make sense to Aristotle, but it's because the idea of a Superior non-Being does not make sense either to him).
    This idea has some very practical consequences: i.e, an aristotelian can perfectly say: some day science will show us "the truth", it's a matter of progress and time, but we'll know "the truth" (or at least it is possible).
    A neo-platonist would say: science will never show us "the truth" because science is, by definition, limited to a study of the Being... "The truth" is beyond such state, so science can't eve investigate the truth, nor it will even investigate it, it can't.


    Probably these ideas may help to organize a more systematic understanding of what neo-platonism is about... or not!

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