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ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy

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Author Topic: ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy  (Read 8735 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2007, 07:56:36 am »

This chapter gives a list of the Mansions, in the normal, garbled mediaeval form of the Arabic names, the meaning in Latin, their positions and a brief summary of their significance, while a later chapter gives images for each of the Mansions to be used in the manufacture of talismans according to the magical intentions of the maker (see Agrippa’s list below). These images are of a similar nature to those which Yeats tried to develop for each of the Phases (see Phase Images), although they are usually very different in detail; however, both combine disparate and strange images, which are sometimes quite violent. For instance, a talisman for revenge and enmity should be made out of red wax when the Moon is in the fourth Mansion (Aldebram or Aldelamen, the eye of the bull), with the image of a soldier on horseback, holding a snake in his right hand, which should then fumigated in incense of red myrrh and storax, while one to aid childbirth and to cure the sick, should be made out of gold with a lion’s head on it when the Moon is in the tenth Mansion (Algeliache or Aglebh, the lion’s forehead), fumigated with ambergris. The only image which coincides in Yeats’s and Agrippa’s lists is that of a Janus figure which represents both Yeats’s Phase 18 and Agrippa’s Mansion 21, Abeda (see the list below).

Giordano Bruno’s lists of astrological images, including those of the Mansions, are very similar to Agrippa’s. These figures are given not in the context of talismans or magic, since, ostensibly they are part of his mnemonic system; however, in the words of Frances Yates, the “two books on the art of memory” which he published while resident in Paris “reveal him as a magician”. Much of his more explicit magical writing was in fact not published until long after his death, with De Magia only appearing in 1891. The images which appear in De umbris idearum (1582) are not exactly the same, but, although there are other sources which he could have used, Agrippa is the most likely, particularly given other echoes elsewhere in his works. Bruno, however, develops and embellishes to a greater or lesser extent from what any sources could offer him. With reference to the examples given above, Bruno gives for the fourth Mansion a soldier on horseback with a snake in his right hand and dragging a black dog with his left, for the tenth a woman in childbirth, in front of whom there is a golden lion and a man in the attitude of a convalescent, and for the twenty-first, two men back to back, each picking up shaved hairs.
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