Christopher Warnock, Esq.
Albertus Magnus on Astrological Magic

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The most sublime part of astronomy is the science of images. But those cursed necromantic books on images, illusions and characters, rings and sigils are associated with this part of the science because they borrow certain astronomical observations...

Speculum Astronomiae
Albertus Magnus

Albertus Magnus on Astrological Magic



Medieval Telescope
Astronomical Observation
The great medieval philosopher Albertus Magnus, "Albert the Great" wrote on a wide variety of theological, philosophical and scientific subjects. His Speculum Astronomiae, "The Mirror of Astronomy" is a treatise on astronomy, the science of the movements of the Heavens, as well as astrology, the science of the judgment of the effects or significations of the stars on earthly events. Speculum Astronomiae dates to circa A.D. 1270. The Speculum Astronomiae puts astrology on a particularly exalted plane as the connection between the world of the Divine and the material world. Albertus even goes so far as to find certain types of astrological talismans to be theologically acceptable, so long as no invocations to spirits or inexplicable sigils or signs are used.
Given the integration of the spiritual and material in the medieval world view, Albertus' views of astrology cannot be dismissed as superstitious or illogical. They are, in fact, eminently consistent with his other theological and philosphical writings and form part of a marvelously coherent and elegant view of reality, though one that differs in its acceptance of the spiritual, from the modern world view.
In the excerpts from chapter 11 of the Speculum Astronomiae translated below, Albertus explains the various types of astrological magic extant in medieval Europe.

Speculum Astronomiae

Chapter 11



Bosch Tree
Hieronymous Bosch
As I have previously stated, the science of images is placed under the part of elections, but not all of them, but only the those that are astronomical, since the images are made in three ways. The first is is a way that is abominable, as it uses suffumigations and invocations like the Imagines of Toz Graeci and Germath Babylonensis, which have stations for the worship of Venus, like the Imagines of Belenuz and Hermes which are exorcized by the 54 names of the angels, who are said to be subordinate to the images of the Moon in her circuit, which are probably the names of demons, and there are inscribed on them are seven names in the proper order for good things and in the reverse order to drive things away.
For good things they are suffumigated with lignum aloes, saffron and balsam, and for evil things with galbanum, red sandalwood and resin... This is the wickedest idolatry, observing, in order to be worthy of trust, the 28 Mansions of the Moon and the hours of the day and night and the names of the days, hours and Mansions...
There is another way that is a little less troublesome, but still detestable, which is done by writing characters by which certain names are exorcised, as are the four rings of Solomon, and nine candles, and three figures of spirits, which are called the princes of the four places of the World, and the Almadal of Solomon, and the sigils of those possessed by evil spirits.
Further, there are the seven names from the book of Muhameth, and another fifteen names from the same book, and in turn names from the Libro Institutionis said to be by Raziel, that is the names of earth, sea, air and fire, of winds of the cardinal [directions] of the Earth, and of the seals of the planets and their angels, each of which has a different name depending on which triplicity it is in and whether it is day or night...
Celestial Scorpion
The third way of [making] astrological images, which elimates this filth, and doesn't use suffumigations and invocations, nor exorcizes nor characters or sigils, but gets its powers from the arrangement of the Heavens; as if there was made an image for the destruction of a particular thing in a particular place, when we have been asked a horary question that is radical, with nothing either large or small cadent, and the significators signify destruction, make the image under an Ascendant similiar to the thing [you wish to destroy] or under the Ascendant of the question, and make lord of the house of death [8th] or a malefic afflict the Ascendant and its lord with a an opposition or square without reception, and afflict the lord of the house of the lord of the Ascendant and the Moon, and the lord of the house of the Moon and the Part of Fortune and the lord of the hour, and make the benefics cadent from the Ascendant and the angles and the triplicity of the Ascendant, and make the Moon rising in the sign and face of the Ascendant;
After which, when the image has been made according to these and other conditions, it should be buried in the middle of the place from which you wish to expel the particular thing, placing earth from the four corners of the place in the belly of the image. If, on the other hand, you wish to make an image for joy and success, make it at a time contrary to what we have said, additionally the image should be made at a time that has been elected, and it will have its effects according to the powers of the Heavens by the command of God, because the images found in the sensible world are from the four elements and are obedient to the images of the Heavens, some of which are close to the things and names of the created [world] and some of which are far away and miraculous and to which we can rise intellectually through profound thought.



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Specializing in Horary Astrology, Electional Astrology Astrological Magic and Astrological Talismans.

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