Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Volume 4, No. 2

The Astrology of Marsilio Ficino: Divination or Science?

Angela Voss

This paper addresses the question of the kind of knowledge which informed the astrological practice of Marsilio Ficino, and in so doing distinguishes between two modes of understanding the human relationship to the cosmos, the natural scientific and the magical. I will seek to show that Ficino's critique of his contemporary astrologers derived from their lack of symbolic understanding, and I shall attempt to explore the nature of this understanding which for Ficino was fully revealed in the Platonic and Hermetic traditions. Finally I shall suggest that in his system of natural magic Ficino re-defined astrology as a unitive tool for healing, founded on both 'scientific' investigation into cosmic law and divinatory experience.

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