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Giordano Bruno
Christopher Warnock, Esq.
Giordano Bruno's Planetary Images

Copyright 2002 Nigel Jackson

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Forty Nine Planetary Images

from Giordano Bruno's

De Umbris Idearum
The Shadows of Ideas
(Paris, 1582)

Translated by Nigel Jackson

The Seven Images of Saturn
The Seven Images of Jupiter
The Seven Images of Mars
The Seven Images of the Sun
The Seven Images of Venus
The Seven Images of Mercury
The Seven Images of the Moon


Renaissance Image
The Italian Giordano Bruno was one of the foremost Renaissance theoreticians and practitioners of talismanic image magic. Many of the images described here are clearly derived from Picatrix, that most comprehensive of compilations of medieval Arabic astrological magic, but Bruno's images are redolent of Renaissance art and culture. His images are lyrical and poetic, while Picatrix images can sometimes appear merely strange and outlandish.
An image of the Sun by the artist and traditional magician Nigel Jackson influenced by Bruno's talismanic descriptions appears above to right at the top of the page. Here is the complete set of descriptions and an actual astrological election for this image of the Sun in Aries, a Venus election for Bruno's image as well as another image by Nigel Jackson of Jupiter which is also inspired by Bruno's planetary image descriptions.

The Seven Images of Saturn


Renaissance Image
First Image of Saturn: a Man with a Stag's face upon a Dragon, having on his right hand an Owl which devours a Snake.
Second is a Man riding upon a Camel, having a Sickle in his right hand and a Fish in his left.
Third: A sombre and sighing Man wearing swarthy vestments and holding his palms up in the air.
Fourth: A dark man having the feet of a Camel, seated upon a Winged Dragon and bearing a Cypress-branch in his right hand.
Fifth: One dressed in black with a dark countenance in whose right hand a Basilisk twists it's claws round to it's tail.
Sixth: One aged and lame leaning upon a staff upon a high throne, over a Chariot drawn by a Mule and an Ass.
Seventh: A Charioteer bearing in one hand a Fish and a Sickle in the other, mounted upon a Chariot pulled by two Deer.

The Seven Images of Jupiter


First Image of Jove: A Nobleman upon a chariot drawn by a Dragon with an Arrow in his right hand which he hurls at the Dragon's head.
Second Image of Jove: A Man seated in a sedan chair borne by four Winged Youths leaning on leafing staves of Beech.
Third is one having the head of a Ram, seated upon a Wheel and bearing in his hands a Vessel of Balsam.
Fourth is one having the head of a Lion and the feet of an Eagle, an Oaken Bough in his right hand, before whom move two youths of most beautiful appearance dressed in white.
Fifth: One seated upon an Eagle, his dress adorned with Emeralds, a Crown of Hyacinths upon his head and a Sceptre in his hand.
Sixth: A Crowned man riding upon a Dragon, dressed in saffron vestments and carrying an Olive-stave in his right hand.
Seventh: One Crowned with raised hands joined together as if in imprecation, his vestments of Sky-Blue besprinkled with Golden Stars.

The Seven Images of Mars


The First Image of Mars is a Man armoured and riding upon a Lion upon whose Helm a Vulture strikes with it's beak. He is a Man of most ferocious appearance.
Second: A Man armed with Broad-Sword and Spear upon whose Helm is a form resembling a Chimaera from whose mouth shoot sparkling flames.
Third: One who casts sulphurous Fire with his right hand, having taken hold with his left of the neck of a Leopard which he rides against it's will.
Fourth: A Man having in his right hand a Sword unsheathed and dripping with blood and in his left a human Head whose countenance is burnt as if by the sun.
Fifth: A Man of tawny colouring riding upon a Wolf, dressed in Red garments and bearing a heavy Sceptre of Iron.
Sixth: A ravished and very beautiful Virgin before a Man who turns away from her: they are together in an Ivory-White Chariot drawn by two Dog-Headed Apes.
Seventh: A Leopard and a Tiger fighting, on both sides are two helmeted men threatening each other with drawn Swords.

The Seven Images of the Sun


Renaisance Image
The First Image of the Sun: A Crowned Woman of attractive charms, in a Golden Chariot drawn by four harnessed Horses rising upwards.
Second: A most beauteous Youth, nude and having a Crown of many interwoven Flowers upon his head, embracing a Peacock.
Third: A Youth bearing a Bow and Quiver, from whose diademed head radiate beams of flashing brilliance.
Fourth: A Woman having a Mirror in her right hand, embracing and fondly kissing a Boy, dressed in a Green vestment reaching to her feet, with yellow tresses and a beautiful face.
Fifth: A Virgin seated upon a Crocodile, carrying a Shield of Bronze in her left hand and hurling a Dart with her right.
Sixth: A Man in whose right hand is a Cockerel, riding upon a Flying Lion with clouds of mist billowing from it's nostrils.
Seventh: A Man in Pontifical garments holding a Raven at his bosom who is preceded by two bare-headed men, wearing saffron or tawny and under his feet a Golden Hound.

The Seven Images of Venus


The First Image of Venus: A nude Girl crowned with Myrtle having long hair all the way down to her ankles and before her a sportive white Bitch.
Second: A graceful Youth carrying with both hands a Bowl filled with many-coloured Flowers and following a Man like a Gardener.
Third: A nude Woman at a tomb who appears to bear the in-grafted head of a Dove having the feet of an Eagle, followed by a Youth and preceded by a man who seems to flee.
Fourth: A Woman riding upon a Bull having a Hair-Comb in her right hand, a Looking-Glass in her left by whom stands a Youth with a Green Bird in his hand.
Fifth: A Boy having a Silver Chain and close by him a nude Girl, dancing and crowned with Laurels of revelry.
Sixth: A Winged Boy having hair of shining gold, whose plumes are tinged with a thousand hues, hurling a Fiery Dart of Love.
Seventh: A Youth and a Maiden both naked and wrestling, one striving to bind the other, whence each has a Golden Chain in their hand.

The Seven Images of Mercury


To Mercury in truth are these Signs and in the first station the image of a very beautiful Youth having a Sceptre about which two Serpents wind with their heads opposite and contemplating each other.
Second: A bearded, attractive Youth crowned with a Garland of Olive, having a Sceptre in his hand and a Fire kindled before him.
Third: One having a Winged Helm and bearing moreover a Wand in his left hand and a Dart in his right.
Fourth Image: A Man in a toga, having a Comb in his forward-groomed beard, who is accompanied by a Girl of comely appearance and altogether beauteous of body but having a serpentine tail.
Fifth: Argus the many-eyed, in his right hand a stabbing Spear and in his left the Pan-Pipes and close beside a Calf feeding upon fresh herbage.
Sixth: A Man in the garb of a Merchant and Way-Farer having his eyes turned to the sun and his hands stretched forth.
Seventh: A Boy riding upon a Ram whose left horn he takes hold of, bearing a Parrot upon his right hand.

The Seven Images of the Moon


Renaissance Image
The First Image of the Moon: A Crescent-Horned Woman riding upon a Dolphin, having a Chameleon in her right hand and a Lily in her left.
Second: A Hooded Countryman with a Hook of Fish in his right hand and holding forward a Trident-Spear grasped in his left.
Third: A Woman ornamented with many Pearls, wearing vestments of white, a Crystalline Vessel in her right hand and Cat in her left.
Fourth is a Woman seated upon a Hydra having three necks wherefrom spring Seven Heads, stretching out the empty hollow of her hand.
Fifth: A Boy having a Silver Crown and Sceptre, mounted upon a Chariot drawn by two Roe-Deer.
Sixth: A Woman riding upon a Panther, armed with a single Javelin, with snakes coiling about her forelegs and forearms.
Seventh: A Hunter wearing garb of clean linen and his Hound harrying a Wild Boar in the Woods.


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Translation Copyright 2002, Nigel Jackson
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