Christian hermetic astrology

Christian Hermetic Astrology: The Star of the Magi and the Life of Christ

A second text titled On the Ogdoad and Ennead told of the Hermetic mystery schools. It was written in the Coptic language , the latest and final form in which the Egyptian language was written. According to Geza Vermes , Hermeticism was a Hellenistic mysticism contemporaneous with the Fourth Gospel, and Hermes Tresmegistos was "the Hellenized reincarnation of the Egyptian deity Thoth , the source of wisdom, who was believed to deify man through knowledge gnosis.

Gilles Quispel says "It is now completely certain that there existed before and after the beginning of the Christian era in Alexandria a secret society, akin to a Masonic lodge. The members of this group called themselves 'brethren,' were initiated through a baptism of the Spirit, greeted each other with a sacred kiss, celebrated a sacred meal and read the Hermetic writings as edifying treatises for their spiritual progress.

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Volume 1. Theology portal. Hoeller, On the Trail of the Winged God. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ayyavazhi theology Krishnology. The Stella Matutina was a successor society of the Golden Dawn.

There is neither internal nor external evidence for such an Alexandrian 'lodge', a designation that is alien to the ancient world and carries Masonic connotations. In Hermeticism, the ultimate reality is referred to variously as God, the All, or the One. God in the Hermetica is unitary and transcendent: he is one and exists apart from the material cosmos. Hermetism is therefore profoundly monotheistic although in a deistic and unitarian understanding of the term. Its philosophy teaches that there is a transcendent God , or Absolute, in which we and the entire universe participate.

It also subscribes to the idea that other beings, such as aeons , angels and elementals , exist within the universe.

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Hermeticists believe in a prisca theologia , the doctrine that a single, true theology exists, that it exists in all religions, and that it was given by God to man in antiquity. By this account, Hermes Trismegistus was according to the fathers of the Christian church either a contemporary of Moses [32] or the third in a line of men named Hermes— Enoch , Noah , and the Egyptian priest-king who is known to us as Hermes Trismegistus. The actual text of that maxim , as translated by Dennis W.

Hauck from The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus , is: "That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing. This principle, however, is more often used in the sense of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The microcosm is oneself, and the macrocosm is the universe. The macrocosm is as the microcosm and vice versa; within each lies the other, and through understanding one usually the microcosm a person may understand the other. Alchemy the operation of the Sun : Alchemy is not merely the changing of lead into gold.

Astrology the operation of the stars : Hermes claims that Zoroaster discovered this part of the wisdom of the whole universe, astrology, and taught it to man. Astrology has influences upon the Earth, but does not dictate our actions, and wisdom is gained when we know what these influences are and how to deal with them. Theurgy the operation of the gods : There are two different types of magic, according to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's Apology , completely opposite of each other.

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The second is Theurgy , divine magic reliant upon an alliance with divine spirits i. Reincarnation is mentioned in Hermetic texts. Hermes Trismegistus asked:.

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O son, how many bodies have we to pass through, how many bands of demons, through how many series of repetitions and cycles of the stars, before we hasten to the One alone? Hermes explains in Book 9 of the Corpus Hermeticum that nous reason and knowledge brings forth either good or evil, depending upon whether one receives one's perceptions from God or from demons.

God brings forth good, but demons bring forth evil. Among the evils brought forth by demons are: "adultery, murder, violence to one's father, sacrilege, ungodliness, strangling, suicide from a cliff and all such other demonic actions". This provides evidence that Hermeticism includes a sense of morality. However, the word "good" is used very strictly.

It is restricted to references to God. Men are prevented from being good because man, having a body, is consumed by his physical nature, and is ignorant of the Supreme Good. A focus upon the material life is said to be the only thing that offends God:. As processions passing in the road cannot achieve anything themselves yet still obstruct others, so these men merely process through the universe, led by the pleasures of the body. One must create, one must do something positive in one's life, because God is a generative power.

Not creating anything leaves a person "sterile" i. A creation story is told by God to Hermes in the first book of the Corpus Hermeticum. It begins when God, by an act of will, creates the primary matter that is to constitute the cosmos. From primary matter God separates the four elements earth, air, fire, and water.

Then God orders the elements into the seven heavens often held to be the spheres of Mercury , Venus , Mars , Jupiter , Saturn , the Sun, and the Moon , which travel in circles and govern destiny. Nous then makes the seven heavens spin, and from them spring forth creatures without speech. Earth is then separated from water, and animals other than man are brought forth. The God then created androgynous man, in God's own image, and handed over his creation.

Man carefully observed the creation of nous and received from God man's authority over all creation. Man then rose up above the spheres' paths in order to better view creation. He then showed the form of the All to Nature. Nature fell in love with the All, and man, seeing his reflection in water, fell in love with Nature and wished to dwell in it.

Immediately, man became one with Nature and became a slave to its limitations, such as sex and sleep. In this way, man became speechless having lost "the Word" and he became " double ", being mortal in body yet immortal in spirit , and having authority over all creation yet subject to destiny. An alternative account of the fall of man, preserved in the Discourses of Isis to Horus , is as follows:.

God, having created the universe, then created the divisions, the worlds, and various gods and goddesses, whom he appointed to certain parts of the universe. He then took a mysterious transparent substance, out of which he created human souls. He appointed the souls to the astral region, which is just above the physical region. He then assigned the souls to create life on Earth. He handed over some of his creative substance to the souls and commanded them to contribute to his creation. The souls then used the substance to create the various animals and forms of physical life. Soon after, however, the souls began to overstep their boundaries; they succumbed to pride and desired to be equal to the highest gods. God was displeased and called upon Hermes to create physical bodies that would imprison the souls as a punishment for them. Hermes created human bodies on earth, and God then told the souls of their punishment.


God decreed that suffering would await them in the physical world, but he promised them that, if their actions on Earth were worthy of their divine origin, their condition would improve and they would eventually return to the heavenly world. He does however digress that there was a change since the s in the LDS Church which has widely removed Hermetic influence. However, scholars at the LDS-owned Brigham Young University have denounced Brooke's work and even scolded the publisher, Cambridge University Press , for printing it [ verification needed ].

Philip I Barlow criticizes the work as carelessly seeking out relations to Hermeticism which Brooke knows better than Mormonism, and believes that Brooke's links to Hermeticism can be explained away with "a particular and selectively literal reading of the Bible.

Albanese believes that the metaphysical denial in scholarly research is due to its strong feminist qualities. Neuhaus believes American Christianity is more Gnostic in nature than Hermetic. Albanese portends that several Christian denominations were affected by Hermeticism. She claims that Universalism was a clear mix of Christianity and Hermeticism where they come together, much like Rosicrucianism. Hermeticism is closely related to Gnosticism. Christian Gnostics, however, felt that there was something seriously wrong with Nous , a part of The All; [20] to them, it seemed that the concept could be stretched so far as to say that by bringing the world into existence, God had to remove himself from it at the same time.


However, the Gnostics often held a pessimistic view of mankind as a result while the Hermetic belief is generally positive towards mankind just the same. They took the Corpus Hermeticum as their scripture and Hermes Trismegistus as their prophet, and decided to call themselves Sabians.

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As no one was sure what the Qur'an meant by Sabian, they were accepted as being such having a monotheistic scripture and a prophet. This group played a large role in Baghdad's intellectual life from The most famous of the Harranian Sabians was Thabit ibn Qurra , who made great advances in alchemy , astronomy , and mathematics , citing his paganism as the reason for his ability. Khalid ibn Yazid was an Umayyad prince, who took an interest in alchemy early in Islamic history.

The works of Jabir ibn Hayyan would be heavily influenced by Hermetic philosophy, as would Ismaili beliefs and theology. The relationship between Judaism and Hermetism has been one of mutual influence and a subject of controversy within the Jewish religion. This identification paved the way for the exchange and melding of ideas between Judaism and Hermetism during the Middle Ages.

Hermetism and Kabbalah arose together in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Christian Hermetic Astrology

The Practical Kabbalah also relied upon magic and astrology but focused more on the Hebrew language in its incantations than the general language of Hermetism in general. Secondly, Jewish scholars of the Middle Ages attempted to make use of treatises on astrology , medicine and theurgy as a justification for practicing natural magic forbidden by a number of commandments in the Torah and reinforced by prophetic books codified by rabbinic authorities.

They noted the wonders performed by celebrated biblical figures such as the patriarchs and King Solomon and which were seen as a God-given and condoned use of natural magic. They attributed these arts to divine knowledge imparted by Jewish heroes to gentiles such as the Indians , Babylonians , Egyptians , and Greeks , and felt that by approaching magic from a religious standpoint would legitimize their use of the sciences.

In particular, they believed the Hermetic teachings to have its origins in ancient Jewish sources. These Jewish scholars, particularly the ones who distrusted Aristotelian rationality , looked to Hermetism as a backing to discuss theological interpretation of the Torah and the ten commandments. Fabrizo Lelli writes: "As for Christians and Muslims, so likewise for Jews, Hermetism was an alternative to Aristotelianism--the likeliest prospect, in fact, for integrating an alien system into their religion. This was because the response of the Hermetica to intellectual problems was generally theosophical.

In the use of these Hermetic treatises, these Jewish scholars, though at times inadvertently, introduced Hermetic ideas into Jewish thought. Shabbetay Donnolo 's 10th century commentary on the Sefer Yezirah shows Hermetic influence, as well as the 13th century texts later compiled into the Sefer ha-Zohar , and in the contemporary Kabbalistic works of Abraham Abulafia as well as of other Jewish thinkers influenced by Kabbalah [35] such as Isaac Abravanel who used Hermetic Qabalah to affirm the superiority of Judaism.

However, most Medieval Jewish scholars aware of the Hermetic tradition did not mention Hermetism explicitly, but rather referred to them through Hermetic ideas that were borrowed from Islam or brought Hermeticism up only to reject it. While scholars such as Moses ibn Ezra , Bahya ibn Paquda , Judah ha-Levi , and Abraham ibn Ezra specifically brought up Hermeticism to integrate into their philosophies, others such as Moses ben Maimon Maimonides specifically rejected anything Hermetic as being responsible for counterparadigmic views of God.

Maimonides warned his readers against what he viewed as the degenerative effect of Hermetic ideas, particularly those of the Sabians, and was effective in persuading many Jewish thinkers away from Hermetic integration, known as Hebrew Hermetism.