The God with the Upraised Arm – by Greg Taylor, The Daily Grail

(Extract from an essay by Greg Taylor, originally posted to The Daily Grail in 1999) "In the depictions of mythological scenes on Near Eastern archaeological monuments and artefacts, a number of ‘archetypal images’ are apparent. One of the most intriguing of these is the ‘God with the Upraised-Arm’, which can be found in scenes from … Continue reading The God with the Upraised Arm – by Greg Taylor, The Daily Grail

August Strindberg: Playwright, Artist, Author – and his “Celestographs” (Alchemical Shots of the Night Sky)

Johan August Strindberg (January 1849 – 14 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. In the 1890s, he photographed the night sky without a camera or even a lens. These “Celestographs,” as he called them, were both a folly and an innovative work of experimental art. The National Library of Sweden has … Continue reading August Strindberg: Playwright, Artist, Author – and his “Celestographs” (Alchemical Shots of the Night Sky)

Harmonices Mundi (Harmony of the World) by Johannes Kepler, 1619

"Nature, which is never not lavish of herself, after a lying-in of two thousand years, has finally brought you forth in these last generations, the first true images of the universe. By means of your concords of various voices, and through your ears, she has whispered to the human mind, the favorite daughter of God … Continue reading Harmonices Mundi (Harmony of the World) by Johannes Kepler, 1619

The Beatus of Facundus, or Beatus of Liebana

Towards the end of the eighth century Beatus, a monk in the monastery of San Martin de Turieno, near present day Santander, compiled a Commentary on the Book of Revelation, or Apocalypse, from the writings dedicated to the topic by such patristic authors as Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose and Irenaeus. Recognition of Beatus of Liébana has … Continue reading The Beatus of Facundus, or Beatus of Liebana

Kitab al-Bulhan, or the Book of Wonders

(flick through the readable version above) Kitab al-Bulhan, or Book of Wonders, is an Arabic manuscript dating mainly from the late 14th century A.D. and probably bound together in Baghdad during the reign of Jalayirid Sultan Ahmad (1382-1410). The manuscript is made up of astrological, astronomical and geomantic texts compiled by Abd al-Hasan Al-Isfahani, as … Continue reading Kitab al-Bulhan, or the Book of Wonders

The Sabians and their role in the development of astrological, alchemical and magical traditions

"In what is now southern Turkey stand the remnants of a city called Harran. Part of long ago Babylon, Harran was once the site of the Temple of the Moon god-Sin, one of seven temples in seven cities sacred to the seven classical planets.  Unlike the other great celestial temples, though, the Temple of the … Continue reading The Sabians and their role in the development of astrological, alchemical and magical traditions

Kometenbuch (1587)

Kometenbuch, a handwritten and handpainted book with beautiful illustrations and explanations on the meaning of comets, from 1587 http://orka.bibliothek.uni-kassel.de/viewer/!thumbs/1336039708836/1/

The Glass Bead Game

"Anyway, in the isolation of Castalia, a new art or science will be perfected. It will arise first in the music academies, where a system of glass beads of different sizes and colors, strung on a frame like an abacus, is used to represent musical themes and the rules of counterpoint, allowing themes to be … Continue reading The Glass Bead Game

Synesius – A letter to Hypatia: On Dreams

In a letter to Hypatia of Alexandria, of whom he was a student, Synesius of Cyrene wrote that his essay, or as he called it "book" was: "[...] set up as a thank-offering to the imaginative faculties. It contains an inquiry into the whole imaginative soul, and into some other points which have not yet … Continue reading Synesius – A letter to Hypatia: On Dreams

The Aquarium of Vulcan: Layer Monument

Excerpt from The Layer Monument - Aquarium of Vulcan Blog "In essence the Renaissance world-view of astrological correspondences lay at the heart of much of Elizabethan art, including Edmund Spencer's The Fairie Queene (1579). In Spencer's epic poem the symbolism of  each respective planet and it's 'virtues' shape each book of  poetry. Shakespeare's plays  also … Continue reading The Aquarium of Vulcan: Layer Monument