Marsilio Ficino (Western Esoteric Masters) Info

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Reviews for Marsilio Ficino (Western Esoteric Masters):

5

Dec 31, 2017

This was a great way to finish the year.

The Esoteric Masters Series is a very interesting collection of books. Each of the books focus on an important western esoteric thinker, introducing their ideas and presenting a collection of texts. This one focuses on Ficino, a 15th century humanist philosopher.

The introduction is written by Angela Voss, an expert on Ficino, and gives a rich overview of his ideas and of the most important classical philosophers that influenced the Renaissance. It touches This was a great way to finish the year.

The Esoteric Masters Series is a very interesting collection of books. Each of the books focus on an important western esoteric thinker, introducing their ideas and presenting a collection of texts. This one focuses on Ficino, a 15th century humanist philosopher.

The introduction is written by Angela Voss, an expert on Ficino, and gives a rich overview of his ideas and of the most important classical philosophers that influenced the Renaissance. It touches on Plato, Plotinus and Hermes Trimegistus. Its introduction to the Ptolomaic cosmos is also great. It's quite accessible in terms of writing and it helps understanding the selected texts. It's also useful to understand the context of Ficino's time and some of the apparent contradictions in his work (mainly his position regarding Astrology and pagan deities).
The book focus mostly on Ficino's work on Astrology.

Regarding Ficino's writings, I would say that it is very rare to find a philosopher that creates such a deep resonance in us like the resonance Ficino creates in me. He himself reflects my own struggles with faith, with the love of both pagan and christian imagery, and my own haunting doubts regarding Astrology. His thinking his clear and quite clever. The synthesis he is able to create of christianity and paganism is not small intellectual feat and reveals his genius. I would say that the only reason this is not the most important philosopher I have come across in a long time is because I also got acquainted with Iamblichus last month. But their effects on me are similar.

Although I tend to disagree with is views on natural magic I think they were not only important but also necessary for his ideas to survive in his context. By attributing the magic abilities to nature (creation) he shifts the focus from "spirits" or "daemons" allowing magic and christianity to co-occur. I am fascinated by his approach to music to the point that I am even considering studying music at some point. The book of the Sun is also a fascinating piece, bringing the anagogic level of God into the literal level of the Sun.

Ficino is one of those philosophers whose writings transform your perception of reality. ...more
5

Jan 12, 2018

It has a great introduction on the western esoteric tradition in general and how Ficino fits in it all in particular. Voss' style is very pleasant to read and informative - from Hermes Trimegistus to Plotinus, it gives an overview of how ancient philosophers have shaped western esotericism. It is also worth to reread it after finishing the book to better understand the contents of the book.

Ficino's writing in itself at its highest transmits very powerful symbolic understanding of the heavens It has a great introduction on the western esoteric tradition in general and how Ficino fits in it all in particular. Voss' style is very pleasant to read and informative - from Hermes Trimegistus to Plotinus, it gives an overview of how ancient philosophers have shaped western esotericism. It is also worth to reread it after finishing the book to better understand the contents of the book.

Ficino's writing in itself at its highest transmits very powerful symbolic understanding of the heavens and shows the author's incredibly sensitive mind. Although it might seem that Ficino contradicts himself (why write a book on the sun and denounce astrology at the same time?), it is fruit of his effort to bring together christianity and paganism in a fertile synthesis of what both has to offer.

It is not an easy read for those who do not have at least a basic grasp of astrological theory. I, for myself, did not understand much of the chapter on The Principles of Music being completely laic in those matters. But it is a good book for anyone interested in astrology, for Ficino provides much dept in his astrological interpretations and that will certainly resonate with any enthusiastic student of the craft. ...more
5

Jul 20, 2018

Ficino in these texts incorporates astrology into the Christian paradigm Platonically, as a metaphorical discourse. The motion of the planets is not the creator of fate, but rather a model for how fate is manifested. It is wonderful to explore the labyrinthine exposition of Ficino's thought, even if the whole is a shaggy dog story capped by his disingenuous disavowal of celestial philosophy in the final letter.
1

May 21, 2017

Unfortunately just did not grab me. Gives some interesting back ground to the mystic tradition of the gnostic philosophers. Not an especially interesting or well written book. Best reserved for phd students or persons with a very specialized interest in Ficino.

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