Giordano Bruno and Hermetism

Bruno’s portrait reveals to me a facial expression of a sentimental man with the joyful child within. His motto was “Joking seriously and playing games academically (Iocari serio et studiosissime ludere)”. Bruno’s another motto, “Enigma et Paradigma”, both mysterious and academic, nicely depicts the nature of a true hermetic, who he was. Giordano Bruno spent his time among the enlightened men who advocated Hermes Trismegistus to be accepted as the Christian prophet and a reformed Christianity as a religion standing on the three equally important pillars of Old Testament, New Testament and Pagan tradition. No wonder that some people even today find it very inspiring to sit at the foot at the statue of Giordano Bruno in Campo dei Fiori in Rome and read.

British historian Frances A. Yates was among the first to point out that Bruno was not executed because of his heliocentric theory but because of his Hermetism. You may check first three chapters of “Giordano Bruno and Hermetic Tradition” by Yates to put those things in perspective.

Giordano Bruno considered himself to be a Hermes’ student. He identified with Hermes often too. Bruno says that gods sent Hermes to the Earth to reveal the truth which had been corrupted by “bad Mercurials” – bad angels or Noncentes who were mentioned in the Hermetic script “Asclepius”.

He honored Diana. Referring to the ancient legend about the hunter Actaeon who saw the virgin Diana naked while bathing, Bruno comes to the conclusion that the Divine beauty does not need to be seek outside, but inside. According to Giordano Bruno, Actaeon is a new hero who, after he was killed by his own dogs (thoughts), became enlightened: “At this moment, his life in a sensual, blind and fantastic world comes to an end, and from now on he will lead the spiritual life. He will live the life of the gods. “

Giordano Bruno was a master of cypher. The cypher was working with angelic forces. You sealed it with an angel, so none but the one who had the key to the seal could see its true use. Cyphers were no secular things in that time, because they were telling, for example, who by God was appointed to rule the whole of the world.

All of the spirits may be seen by some people as “points” of one and the same great spirit, and this they sometimes experience in deep meditation and also in ecstatic episodes of their daily lives – Giordano Bruno was one of those people, but he also paid his life for such believes.

Memorizing is very much part of magic. Giordano Bruno and the Art of Memory by Dame Francis Yates explains a lot about this in a fairly easy to understand book.

Giordano Bruno and John Dee shared a fascination for the numbers 49 and 30. (Loagaeth tables are 49×49 grids, and 49 is already explored in the Heptarchia). Dee is not the first to have used a 7×7 symbolism in his system. Bruno also did, and before them, Giulio Camillo used such a 7×7 grid to describe all human knowledge in project of a vitruvian theater of memory having 49 seats. Bruno’s emblems of 49 leafs in his de Umbra Idearum, can be found online.

The “regular” Hexagram shows a union of opposites which retain their own natures. The unicursal shows the annihilation of those same opposites through an unbreakable fusion. It is not Crowley who created this notion, it is Giordano Bruno. Giordano Bruno also used Circle in his work. Being very familiar with the 28 Mansions of the Moon, he was also one of the masters of Moon magic.

A sentence was pronounced upon him by ten cardinals of that unholy inquisition that he should be burned alive for heresy. His heresy was this: To live in truth and not foster a lie. He looked at them with their pronunciation of this dreaded sentence and with resolution said:

“You who give me this sentence of death do so with greater fear than I who receive it.”

Bruno’s death was an introduction to all religious wars in Europe in the next half century.

His case was a hard burden to every enlightened man in Europe. The Hermetists understood that a great attempt to reform the Church on the basis of Hermetism had failed. The Catholic Church continued to punish the Hermetists in the next 200 years. As late as in 1795, the Catholic Church sentenced the adventurer and Hermetist Alesandro Calliostro first to death and then to life sentence.

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