Thursday, 17 March 2016

Renaissance Magic

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) was a Romance nobleman and philosopher who studied the various occult traditions from around the Mediterranean, both within and without the True Faith, and who ordered and classified them as an organised philosophical art.

Pico della Mirandola divided Magic into two different forms: Natural Magic, and Demonic Magic.

Natural Magic is based upon the study of the forces of nature, the four elements, esotericism, etc., and is deemed compatible with the True Faith. Demonic Magic is based upon the invocation of occult forces and is not to be dabbled in.

Pico's ideas have given birth to Renaissance Magic, and to the practice for powerful noblemen to keep court magicians. Many of these court magicians write magical grimoires; the most famous one is Giambattista della Porta (1535–1615) with his book Magia Naturalis (1558).
In Northern Europe, Pico's system has been made popular by the Almain polymath Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535). Obviously, in a age of crazed witch hunts, the line between Natural and Demonic Magic is not clear-cut but often dictated by religious interests, and so the profession of magician is a most dangerous one...

NB— This post has been inspired by this article.