Marsilio ficino and the star of the magi: “De Stella magorum”

This is one of the most famous sermons and astrological texts written by Marsilio Ficino for Christmas  1482.

Marsilio explains the birthchart of Jesus and the role of Magi: he dismisses the theory of Great Conjunction but he can’t renounce to one of the most known texts of Middle Ages, few lines from Albumasar’s Great Introduction.

Albumasar writes ( from John of Seville)

In its first facie arises a Girl called Darostal by Teucer,[1] and she is a pure  and beautiful virgin, long haired and beautiful in her face, she has two Spikes  in her hand. She is seated upon some  cushions, and  she is feeding a child giving him some soup in a place called Atrium. And people call this child IHESUM,  that in Arab is EICE. Also rising with her a man sitting upon a throne.[2] And arises  with her the Virgo star [3] which is  at the back of the second snake,[4] and  the head of Corvus and the head of the Lion.[5]

But a new world was coming and soon Pico della Mirandola would start his fight against Arab silly astrological theories.

On the Magi’s star, which lead them to the Christ, King of Israel, when he was born

Marsilio Ficino, De Stella Magorum, Praedicationes (1482)

Grant us your favour, My Lord,  show us  this day your star, the one once you showed to the Magi. The star that led the Magi to Christ, may lead us to Christ’s mysteries.

A star shall come out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. With these words Balaam, in the book of Numbers,[6] foretells the coming of the Messiah. One day a star will rise  in an extraordinary way  in Judea.  Balaam lived in the Eastern area, where Magi lived too, and among them there were some priests very skilled in astronomy, ruling people. Thus, they, attentive students of sky signs, had noticed the event that, according Balaam, would be showed by the prodigy of the star.

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The first day of the year

The legend says that  Numa Pompilius, the successor of Romulus,  in his reform of the Calendar added two months to the  Roman calendar, and fixed the beginning of the year at the first day of the month dedicated to Janus, the God of the doors – janua in Latin, from yana (road) in Sanskrit.

That day Romans used to invite friends and offer them honey with dry dates and figs because “ their taste can arrive in things of life and the year can be sweet as in the beginning.” (Ovidius, Fasti) and laurel twigs, called strenae – this word still means gift In Italian– because these twigs came from a small wood dedicated to the Goddess Strenia, bringer of luck and happiness.

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Girolamo Cardano writes about Jesus’ horoscope

In his effort to forget Arab magic and astrology and collections of aphorisms and in order to give more evidence to genethliac astrology, Cardano puts his reading of Jesus birthchart in his Comment to Tetrabiblos.
These pages are a turning point after Albumasar’s pages about the Great Conjunction and the Pulchra Virgo. In these lines  written by Cardano there is no miracle and no God, just a geniture.

Near the Ascendant there are five elements of great importance, very rare and unusual. The first one is the conjunction of the first degree of the Libra, both in the 8th and in the 9th sphere, with the intersection between the ecliptic and circle of equinox; so the first degree of Aries in the small circle of the 8th sphere had the same longitude of the first degree of Aries, which is the centre of small centre present in  the 9th sphere .

I’m not saying this conjunction is the main factor,

Continue reading Girolamo Cardano writes about Jesus’ horoscope