Let me congratulate you on having both the courage and curiosity to listen to this episode! This is part five of our deep dive into Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. If you feel lost and would like to catch up with earlier episodes in the series, you can find them on the series page.
Why are courage and curiosity so important for this episode? Because we’re going to be talking about math. Math and magic. I have been looking forward to this episode for a long time, but I know that for a lot of people, the idea of reading about and learning about math is pretty miserable. When occultists discover how much Agrippa loved math, and how central math is to Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy, they sometimes seem pretty disappointed.
Much of book two of Occult Philosophy deals with numbers and mathematics. If you would like to really get an amazing head start on this episode, read books 2, chapters 1 through 23. However, if that is too much, I think you can be pretty well prepared for this episode by just reading book 2, chapters 1, 2, 21, 22, and 23.
Some of the math topics we will be talking about in this episode are the philosophical concept of number, the relationship between math and occult correspondences, magic squares, and sacred geometry. There is a lot of great material, and I hope you give it a listen even though math might seem like it’s a bummer!
- Do Numbers Exist?
- The Theology of Arithmetic by Pseudo-Iamblichus
- Martianus Capella
- Magic squares on Wikipedia
- Melencholia I by Albrecht Dürer
- A previous discussion involving math and magic in Agrippa
- My review of the modern translations of Occult Philosophy
- J.F.’s translation, online for free!
- Eric Purdue has studied metaphysics and the occult and has practiced magic and astrology for more than thirty years, with a particular focus on practical folk and astrological magic.
- Andrew B. Watt is known to long-time listeners of the Arnemancy show. He’s an astrologer and textile artist living in western Massachusetts, and an enthusiast of geometry and number theory.
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