The Early Renaissance in Florence was a turning point in the history of Western thinking and culture – and looks forward to much in modern astrology. It was a remarkable time but more complex, contradictory, and chaotic than what we learned about in school. This course will explore some of its chaos and contradiction.
INSTRUCTOR: Joseph Crane
No external texts are required
Marsilio Ficino was a major player during this time, the main translator of and commentator on recently-available philosophical texts from antiquity. His mixture of traditional astrology and medicine, the Christian religion, Neoplatonism, and paganism helped launch the Italian Renaissance. Most important to us is that he also used sympathetic magic and astrology to support the health and flourishing of body and soul.
Book 3 of his Three Books on Life, “On Obtaining Life from the Heavens” uses astrology to help cultivate the good life here and now. We’ll look closely at this work, at a planetary symbolism that fused astrology and ancient mythology and their applications to daily life, also to art and music. This also gives us the opportunity to look closely at general issues of electional astrology and ritual timing. Students will learn and practice the techniques in this important work.
Coinciding with the life of Ficino were some of the major characters of the Renaissance: Lorenzo de Medici, Sandro Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola, and, more tragically, the friar Savonarola. We’ll look at these people, including their astrology, and their connections with Ficino.
Topics will cover:
- Welcome to Florence, Astrology, and the Revival of Ancient Learning
- The Life and Medical Astrology and Other Works of Marsilio Ficino
- Astrological Symbolism in “On Obtaining Life”
- Magic, Timing, and Astrology in “On Obtaining Life”
- The Flourishing Life and Decline of the Florentine Renaissance
Joseph Crane, M.A. is a consulting astrologer, teacher, and author. He has conducted beginning astrology courses, training programs on astrological interpretation, and on counseling skills for astrologers. He has been involved with the Kepler College and Certificate Program since 2007. He also works 1:1 with those who wish to include astrology in their counseling work. He has been involved with the Kepler College and Certificate Program since 2007.
Joseph is the author of A Practical Guide to Traditional Astrology (1997), Astrological Roots: The Hellenistic Legacy (2007) and Between Fortune and Providence: Astrology and the Universe in Dante’s Divine Comedy (2012). He publishes a monthly astrology newsletter that currently profiles historical and contemporary public figures. Newsletters and other information can be found at The Astrology Institute. Joseph is also a psychotherapist and a Buddhist practitioner. He lives in Rhode Island. You can find out more at his website: https://www.astrologyinstitute.com/