Pico della Mirandola: Oration on the Dignity of Man: A New Translation and Commentary by Pico della Mirandola, edited by Francesco Borghesi, Dr Michael Papio and Dr Massimo Riva (Cambridge University Press) This is a new translation of and commentary on Pico della Mirandola's most famous work, the Oration on the Dignity of Man. It is the first English edition to provide readers with substantial notes on the text, essays that address the work's historical, philosophical, and theological context, and a survey of its reception. Often called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance," this brief but complex text was originally composed in 1486 as the inaugural speech for an assembly of intellectuals, which could have produced one of the most exhaustive metaphysical, theological, and psychological debates in history, had Pope Innocent VIII not forbidden it. This edition of the Oration reflects the spirit of the original text in bringing together experts in different fields. Not unlike the debate Pico optimistically anticipated, the resulting work is superior to the sum of its parts. More
A Study of the Life and Works of Athanasius Kircher, 'Germanus Incredibilis': With a Selection of His Unpublished Correspondence and an Annotated Translation of His Autobiography by John Edward Fletcher and Elizabeth Fletcher (Aries Book: Brill Academic) Athanasius Kircher, a German Jesuit in 17th-century Rome, was an enigma. Intensely pious and a prolific author, he was also a polymath fascinated with everything from Egyptian hieroglyphs to the tiny creatures in his microscope. His correspondence with popes, princes and priests was a window into the restless energy of the period. It showed first-hand the seventeenth-century’s struggle for knowledge in astronomy, microscopy, geology, chemistry, musicology, Egyptology, horology… The list goes on. Kircher’s books reflect the mind-set of 17th-century scholars - endless curiosity and a … read more substantial larding of naiveté: Kircher scorned alchemy as the wishful thinking of charlatans, yet believed in dragons. His life and correspondence provide a key to the transition from the Middle Ages to a new scientific age. This book, though unpublished, has been long quoted and referred to. Awaited by scholars and specialists of Kircher, it is finally available with this edition. More
Bonaventura Vulcanius, Works and Networks: Bruges 1538-Leiden 1614 by Helene Cazes (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History: Brill Academic) One of the last Renaissance humanists, Bonaventura Vulcanius, is still a mysterious figure, even though he left a correspondence, at least two Alba amicorum, and a collection of books and manuscripts. Born in Bruges in 1538, the son of a disciple of Erasmus, he spent the troubled decades of the 1560s and 1570s wandering Europe (Burgos, Toledo, Cologne, Frankfort, Geneva, Basel, Antwerp). In 1581 Vulcanius was appointed professor of Greek and Latin Letters at the University of Leiden. He edited and translated many rare texts, composed dictionaries, wrote laudatory poems, and compiled the first chapters of a history of the Germanic languages. This volume gathers recent research on this versatile philologist, and includes the first editions of many unpublished works and documents. More
Petrarch's Humanism and the Care of the Self by Gur Zak (Cambridge University Press) Petrarch was one of the founding fathers of Renaissance humanism, yet the nature and significance of his ideas are still widely debated. In this book, Gur Zak examines two central issues in Petrarch's works - his humanist philosophy and his concept of the self. Zak argues that both are defined by Petrarch's idea of care for the self. Overcome by a strong sense of fragmentation, Petrarch turned to the ancient idea that philosophy can bring harmony and wholeness to the soul through the use of spiritual exercises in the form of writing. Examining his vernacular poetry and his Latin works from both literary and historical perspectives, Zak explores Petrarch's attempts to use writing as a spiritual exercise, how his spiritual techniques absorbed and transformed ancient and medieval traditions of writing, and the tensions that arose from his efforts to care for the self through writing. More
Commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies)by Peter Martyr Vermigli; Emidio Campi; Joseph C. McLelland (Truman State University Press) This volume is techincally superb, and reflects a consistent team effort...clean, lucid, and allied with the best interdisciplinary research. More
Transparency and Dissimulation: Configurations of Neoplatonism in Early Modern English Literature by Verena Olejniczak Lobsien(Transformationen Der Antike: Walter de Gruyter) Transparency and Dissimulation analyses the configurations of ancient Neoplatonism in early modern English texts. In looking closely at poems and prose writings by authors as diverse as Thomas Wyatt, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, John Donne, Edward Herbert, Andrew Marvell, Thomas Traherne, Thomas Browne and, last not least, Aphra Behn, this study attempts to map the outlines of a Neoplatonic aesthetics in literary practice as well as to chart its transformative potential in the shifting contexts of cultural turbulency and denominational conflict in 16th- and 17th-century England. What emerges is a versatile poetics of excess and enigma that shows surprising effects above all in the way it helps to resist the easy answers - in religion, science, or the fashions of libertine love. More
Language and Ritual in Sabellic Italy by Michael L. Weiss (Brill's Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics: Brill Academic) The Iguvine Tables (Tabulae Iguvinae) are among the most invaluable documents of Italic linguistics and religion. Seven bronze tablets discovered in 1444 in the Umbrian town of Gubbio (ancient Iguvium), they record the rites and sacral laws of a priestly brotherhood, the Fratres Atiedii, with a degree of detail unparalleled elsewhere in ancient Italy. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines philological and linguistic, as well as ritual analysis, Michael Weiss not only addresses the many interpretive cruces that have puzzled scholars for a century and a half, but also constructs a coherent theory of the entire ritual performance described on Tables III and IV. In addition, Weiss sheds light on many questions of Roman ritual practice and places the Iguvine Tables in their broader Italic and Indo-European contexts. More
The Letters of Marsilio Ficino Volume 8 by Marsilio Ficino, edited, translated by Clement Salaman (Shepheard-Walwyn)
This volume casts a new light on Marsilio Ficino, an extraordinary Renaissance man. Sometimes he has been thought of as an ivory-tower philosopher, who retired from the hurly-burly of life to contemplate God in the seclusion of his academy. It is true that he was a man of devotion; but when the need was there he could be a highly effective man of action. We see him using his significant influence in Florence and beyond to defend his philosophy against opposition from the Church. In this he was successful.
The collected letters were first printed in Venice in 1495. This may have been because the fundamentalist priest Savonarola and the party opposed to the Medici, Ficino's patrons, were then powerful in Florence - Lorenzo's son and heir, Piero, had been expelled the previous year. Some material that would have been in this book on chronological grounds may also have been excluded for the same reason. This material has been included here in the Appendix together with some letters to Ficino and prefaces added to his work published at this time.More
Athanasius Kirchers Theatre of the World: The Life and Work of the Last Man to Search for Universal Knowledge by Joscelyn Godwin (Inner Traditions) Linguist, archaeologist, and exceptional scholar, Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) was the last true Renaissance man. By profession a Jesuit priest, he made himself an authority on almost every subject under the sun. To Kircher the entire world was a glorious manifestation of God, and his exploration was both a scientific quest and a religious experience. His works on Egyptology (he is credited with being the first Egyptologist), music, optics, magnetism, geology, and comparative religion were the definitive tests of their time--and yet they represent only a part of his vast range of knowledge. A Christian Hermeticist in the mold of Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola, his work also examined alchemy, the Kabbalah, and the Egyptian Mystery tradition exemplified by Hermes Trismegistus. Kircher was the first to map ocean currents; the first to offer a comprehensive theory of vulcanism; the first to compile an encyclopedia on China, a dictionary of Coptic, a book dedicated solely to acoustics; the first to construct a machine for coding messages and another for composing music. His museum in Rome was among the most famous "cabinets of curiosities," visited by everybody in the intellectual world. More
When Philosophers Rule: Ficino on Plato's Republic, Laws & Epinomis (Commentaries by Ficino on Plato's Writing) Translation by Arthur Farndell (Shepheard-Walwyn) Marsillio Ficino of Florence (1433-99) was one of the most influential thinkers of the Renaissance. He put before society a new ideal of human nature, emphasising its divine potential. As teacher and guide to a remarkable circle of men, he made a vital contribution to changes that were taking place in European thought. For Ficino, the writings of Plato provided the key to the most important knowledge for mankind, knowledge of God and the soul. It was the absorption of this knowledge that proved so important to Ficino, to his circle, and to later writers and artists. As a young man, Ficino had been directed by Cosimo de’ Medici towards the study of Plato in the original Greek. Later he formed a close connection with Cosimo’s grandson, Lorenzo de’ Medici, under whom Florence achieved its age of brilliance. Gathered round Ficino and Lorenzo were such men as Landino, Bembo, Poliziano and Pico della Mirandola. The ideas they discussed became central to the work of Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dürer, and many other writers and artists. Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils, - no, nor the human race, as I believe, - and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day.' Republic, Book V, 473D With these words Plato expressed his ideal form of government. Often dismissed as unrealisable, they have appealed down the ages to men of goodwill. Having translated all of the Dialogues from Greek into Latin, at the request of his Medici patrons, Ficino was asked to prepare summaries by Lorenzo de’ Medici, the de facto ruler of the republic of Florence, who aspired to be the kind of enlightened ruler Plato described. More
Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541):
Essential Theoretical Writings edited, introduced, translated by
Andrew Weeks (Aries Book Series: Brill) The daunting writings of
Paracelsus—the second largest 16th-century body of writings in
German after Luther's—contributed to medicine, natural science,
alchemy, philosophy, theology, and esoteric tradition. This volume
provides a critical edition of essential writings from the
authoritative 1589 Huser Paracelsus alongside new English
translations and commentary on the sources and context of the full
The Essential Theoretical Writings incorporate topics ranging
from metaphyics, cosmology, faith, religious conflict, magic,
gender, and education, to the processes of nature, disease and
medication, female and male sufferings, and cures of body and soul.
Properly contextualized, these treatises yield rich extracts of
Renaissance and Reformation culture, soundings of 16th-century life,
and keys to an influential but poorly understood early modern
intellectual tradition. This work will supersede all other
translations into English and lays an admirable foundation for
future balanced and depth studies of Paracelsus.
Andrew Weeks is Professor of German at Illinois State University, with a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois, has published intellectual biographies of Jacob Boehme, Paracelsus, Valentin Weigel, a history of German mysticism, and translations of Weigel's writings. He is well qualified to help in the reform of this pivotal figure standing between tradition and the innovations of science. More
Humanism and Creativity in the Renaissance: Essays in Honor of Ronald G. Witt edited by Christopher S. Celenza, Kenneth Gouwens (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History: Brill Academic Publishers) comprises original contributions from 17 scholars whose work and careers Ronald Witt has touched in myriad ways. Intellectual, social, and political historians, a historian of philosophy and an art historian: specialists in various temporal and geographical regions of the Renaissance world here address specific topics reflecting some of the major themes that have woven their way through Ronald Witt’s intellectual cursus. While some essays offer fresh readings of canonical texts and explore previously unnoticed lines of filiation among them, others present "discoveries," including a hitherto "lost" text and overlooked manuscripts that are here edited for the first time. Engagement with little-known material reflects another of Witt's distinguishing characteristics: a passion for original sources. The essays are gathered under three rubrics: (1) "Politics and the Revival of Antiquity"; (2) "Humanism, Religion, and Moral Philosophy"; and (3) "Erudition and Innovation." More
Error and the Academic Self by Seth Lerer (Columbia University Press) (Paperback) How and why did the academic style of writing, with its emphasis on criticism and correctness, develop? Seth Lerer suggests that the answer lies in medieval and Renaissance philology and, more specifically, in mistakes. For Lerer, erring is not simply being wrong, but being errant, and this book illuminates the wanderings of exiles, émigrés, dissenters, and the socially estranged as they helped form the modern university disciplines of philology and rhetoric, literary criticism and literary theory. Examining figures from Thomas More to Stephen Greenblatt, from George Hickes to Seamus Heaney, from George Eliot to Paul de Man, Error and the Academic Self argues that this critical abstraction from society and retreat into ivory towers allowed estranged groups or individuals to gain both a sense of private worth and the public legitimacy of a professional identity.
Tree of Sapphires: The Enlightened Qabalah by David Goddard (Weiser Books) offers a working ceremonial magickian a system of practical correspondences built on the syncretic traditions, modern, Renaissance, Jewish, Christian, hermetic, Islamic and humanist with the keys to unlocking the ancient and modern Western mystery traditions for applied ritual magick.
Avoiding heavy theory about Qabalah, Goddard offers exercises, meditations, and visualizations, as well as a prayer book to help readers gain a full understanding and experience of the Qabalah and its "Tree of Life," the root of all wisdom. He explains that the Qabalah is the root source of all Western mystery traditions—Kabbalist, Rosicrucian and Sufi—as well as the more modem, classic Western systems, such as the tarot, alchemy, angelology, and ritual magick.
This is an experiential guidebook that explores Qabalah – "the Yoga of the West" – as a methodical system of spiritual enlightenment, providing exercises, meditations, visualizations, and prayers so readers can experience Qabalah directly.
David Goddard is a Lineage-Holder and teacher of the Mystical Tradition of the West. He travels extensively, teaching internationally. His work enables others to experience directly their own divine consciousness, as well as to assist in healing the suffering of individuals and their communities. Goddard is the author of The Tower of Alchemy and Sacred Magic of the Angels. He lives in England.
Excerpt: I have often been asked: Is Qabalah a religion? It is not. Qabalah is a spiritual tradition. Religion and spirituality are not the same thing. Religion is a means to get to a certain state of knowing gnosis. Spirituality is the state you are in when you get there. A spiritual practitioner is one who has come to know the realities that religious scripture and imagery indicate—directly, if imperfectly. The knowledge is imperfect because it involves realities that transcend form and dualistic thinking.
This is very important to grasp. Religious image and scripture are metaphorical not literal; they need to be perceived wisely as poetic allegory, not as concrete fact. All religions, without exception, are time-fettered attempts to communicate with (and label) the inexpressible. Once you grasp this, you automatically move into a stance where you look for what you have in common with other religious expressions. If, however, you read your own religion as "prose" instead of as poetry, you automatically demonize others whose religious images conflict with your own deeply held beliefs.
We see this in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, where three world religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (all derived from Abraham)—cannot tolerate one another because they each have different names and myths for the same deity. In the 21st century, it is time we outgrew such things. Such views cannot help us realize the Transcendent Mystery for which the term "God" is a metaphor.
A realized spiritual practitioner can worship with other people in any setting—synagogue, church, mosque, temple, or grove—because they have learned to be conscious of the Divine in all places and in all beings. This is represented by the esoteric aphorism that teaches, "Mock not the name by which another knows God."
Skillfully applied, religion can be useful to spiritual practitioners by helping them communicate with others who use the same imagery or share the same associations. But we need not be bound by its practices. We choose it only because it is helpful. As with any tool, when it has done the job, we lay it aside. Or we may retain it for its inherent beauty, like a picture or a piece of music we personally find inspiring. The important thing is that we not impose our preferences on others or judge them by whether they like or dislike that picture or piece of music. Having "tasted" the One Reality, the truly spiritual person is no longer attached to religion, but rather sees it for what it is and continues forward to actualize that which religion can only suggest.
To be real spiritual practitioners—authentic Qabalists—we must transcend all traces of sectarianism and religious exclusivity and rise to a recognition that all who serve the Absolute are our companions. For they too are on the journey to Jerusalem Above—the Mother of us all, where, it has been said, there are many mansions.
A true Qabalist is one who receives enlightenment from Above, one whose eyes are open to the One Light and whose ears are open to receive from those-who-know. A true Qabalist gains knowledge, not from those who preach, speculate, or theorize, but from those who haverealized the unity that alone is Eternal. The eternity they seek is beyond all form, name, or definition. It transcends all things, births all things. It is the deepest identity that dwells within all beings. It is that which those-who-know have called the Supreme Rapture.
Another question I am often asked is: Why use Qabalah in esoteric work, why not some other system? Isn't it just a matter of personal preference or bias? Again the answer is no. Qabalah is taught by most of the esoteric schools of the West because its purity and common sense form the best foundation for all subsequent work. Its philosophy and techniques underpin the entire structure of the Western esoteric tradition. Moreover, in its practical aspect, alchemy, the Qabalah also offers the means to reach the highest attainments of spiritual illumination.
The reason why the Qabalah holds the preeminent position it does in the mystical and occult traditions lies in one simple fact: the Qabalah is the only complete esoteric system to have survived in the West.
A real spiritual tradition is able to give its practitioners the means to achieve mental and emotional poise, psychological maturation, spiritual awareness, and self-transcendence. In short, it must be able to guide the individual, stage by stage, to enlightenment. Christine Hartley wrote,
All mystery systems, all metaphysical philosophy . . . are nothing more or less than systems of props whose sole object is to support and steady the human mind while it slowly prepares itself for the final plunge into Thrice Greatest Darkness, which is the Ineffable Light, which is in very truth, Nirvana—At-one-ness with the Supreme Life.
An authentic tradition is a complete system of valid metaphysics. It has a complete cosmology that is both observable and experiential. It needs to teach emanation and numeration in order to give the sequence and frequencies that constitute interdependent existence. It requires a pro-found understanding of the nature of awareness and the interior constitution. It must possess a storehouse of images that are embedded within the collective unconscious and provide an array of meditative techniques in both creative and formless modes. It must be adept in true education (literally, "to bring forth") of both the conscious and subconscious aspects of the mind. And with all this, it must also be able to transmit to the prepared the art of integration and skillful application to produce gradual and sustainable transformation.
Of the great Mystery schools of the Mediterranean basin—the temples of Egypt, the Greek cults of Eleusis and Orpheus, the school of Pythagoras, or the Hermetic wisdom of Alexandria—none have survived in their entirety. There are some bare bones remaining, but the living organism—the "Body of Light"—is lost to us. We do not possess the complete system necessary to journey all the way to the mountaintop. This is the quintessential reason why the mystics and adepts of the West practice Qabalah. It has preserved the philosophy, the words of power (the mantras) and methods of the ancient Mysteries. For example, in Dion Fortune's esoteric novel, Moon Magic, we read how a modern adept of the Western Tradition invokes the ancient Egyptian deity, Isis:
The high full-moon in the mid-heavens shines clear, Oh hear the invoking words, hear and appear! Shaddai-El-Chai and Rhea, Binah, Ge -,
Shaddai El-Chai—the Almighty God of Life—is the Hebrew title for the Divine manifesting in the sephira of Yesod. The point is that we don't actually know the invoking words by which the adepts of ancient
Egypt called on Isis (itself a Greek noun for the Egyptian Aset) they are lost. The Qabalah imparts the Primordial Wisdom Tradition in imagery and language native to Western culture and experience. And most important, it is complete.
It is not the purpose of this book to give a detailed history of the Qabalah; that can be gleaned from the many available books (see Recommended Readings). This book has been written so you can learn to transmute the Qabalistic Tree of Life from an exterior diagram into an interior reality. Its purpose is to instruct you in the working methods of the Qabalah as practiced in the esoteric tradition. These methods, aptly described as the yoga of the West, are transformative by nature. If faith-fully followed, they will extend your range of consciousness, deepen your perceptions, and give you first-hand knowledge of the purpose of existence and of your place in the Great Design.
It may, however, be useful to begin with a brief outline of the Qabalah as an esoteric tradition. As many readers will know, the Qabalah is, among other things, the mystical tradition of Judaism. It also forms the secret heart of Christianity (Rosicrucianism) and of Islam (Sufism). As such, the Qabalah is the common heritage of all People of the Book and it has deeply influenced Western culture as a whole. Since the Magic of Light is practical mysticism, Qabalah is the foundation of Western occultism as well.
In the Bible, the principal Qabalistic books of the Old Testament are Genesis, Exodus, Ezekiel, and Daniel; and in the New Testament, the Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation). The Qabalah was the treasure trove of the sages of Israel, particularly after the destruction of the temple and the Diaspora. It formed the basis for the spiritual regeneration of the Jewish religion through the Baal-Shem-Tov and the early Hasidic masters. It was the inspiration behind the spiritual impulse of
the Renaissance, seen in the works of Marsilio Ficino, Ramon Lull, and Pico della Mirandola. It informed the mysticism of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, and Ignatius of Loyola (who founded the Jesuits) employed some of its methods. Its "ascension method" was employed by Mohammed to receive the Koran, and Qabalistic influence is seen in the teachings of the great Sufi masters, particularly Rumi.
In the European esoteric movement, Qabalah forms the basis of Rosicrucianism; the founders of Freemasonry employed its symbolism in their higher degrees, and the alchemists used it as the key to unlock the mystical techniques that comprised their praxis. In the last 130 years, the most influential Western esoteric teachers—Eliphas Levi, Paul Foster Case, Dion Fortune, W. E. Butler, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, and Gareth Knight—have all been practicing Qabalists.
Many think that the Qabalah is totally Judaic in origin; this is not correct. Qabalah no more belongs to the Jews than Buddhism does to the Tibetans or Christianity to the Vatican. No one people or any single individual can own a spiritual teaching. Of course, the Jewish mystics did culturally imprint the Qabalah; it wouldn't have worked for them if they had not. The same thing happened to Buddhism after it was brought to Tibet from India. This has always been the way of true esoteric work: adaptation to the culture and the times. In Jewish leg-end, it is said that the Qabalah was bought to Earth by the Archangel Ratziel, just after the death of Adam (thus long predating the birth of Abraham) to show us the way back to the Garden of Eden. Naturally, we pay respect to the sages of Israel because they preserved the Qabalah despite unimaginable odds. Similarly, the monasteries of Tibet pre-served scriptures and teachings that would otherwise have been lost to the world. Nevertheless, the holy Qabalah is a message from divinity to all humanity.
Some of the Qabalistic philosophy is Chaldean and ancient Egyptian in origin—not too surprising a result when a nomadic people become exposed to the influence of a sophisticated and religious civilization. For example, the confirmative word "Amen" (a title of Kether, the first of the sphere of the Tree of Life) is derived from the name of the Egyptian god Amun, and is one of the most important technical terms in the Qabalah. Qabalistic angelology came mainly from the magi of Chaldea (during the Babylonian Captivity), as did the Script of Flame, the Hebrew alphabet. Later, Hellenistic Neoplatonism further influenced the Qabalah in Alexandria. The Qabalah is thus a precious repository for many streams of the ageless wisdom.
A spiritual tradition is a tapestry woven from many colored threads: revelation, history, culture, crisis, and reformation. All of these factors influence and develop a tradition. There is no such a thing as a pure tradition. From the moment an individual becomes part of a tradition, that person undergoes subtle changes and so does the tradition itself. In fact, an esoteric tradition must change and evolve if it is to remain an open channel for the influx of grace from the upper worlds. The moment a tradition ceases to change, it begins to stagnate and runs the risk of becoming an empty shell devoid of life. This also applies to the schools, orders, and groups that constitute a tradition. And, of course, this also applies to us as individual beings. When we cut ourselves off from the universal life, we freeze, atrophy, and eventually die. This can occur on all levels of our being: physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.
The great creative power of which we are expressions is a living force that constantly seeks more perfect vessels through which to express itself as form. This thrust is the cosmic dynamic behind creation and evolution in the manifest universe, because eternity is in love with the forms of time. Force needs a form through which to work, for force without form is diffused and wasted. Likewise, form without a force is impotent. To invoke the right force into the correctly built form is the work of true initiates.
There are many streams that make up the great river that is the tradition of the holy Qabalah: the scholarly Rabbinic School, the ecstatic methods of the Hassidic and Ethiopian streams, the wisdom approach of the Toledo School, the redemptive mysticism of the Lurianic School, and the synthetic methods employed in the Alchemical Qabalah, which, as Dion Fortune pointed out, is the correct name for the form of Qabalah used in the Western Mystery Tradition.
I refer to the Alchemical Qabalah of the West as synthetic because it is a synthesis of several streams. This Alchemical Qabalah was formulated in Alexandria by a great school of initiates based in that Hellenistic capital of Egypt. Alexandria was the meeting place of all peoples in the ancient world and the great center of all learning for nearly a thousand years. In Alexandria, various spiritual traditions met and cross-fertilized each other: Greek Neoplatonism, Hebrew mysticism, Mahayana Buddhist tantras, Hindu Vedanta, Christian Gnosticism, and the wisdom of the indigenous Egyptian temples. The Alexandrian School of the Soul was responsible for the formulation of a spiritual impulse that, thanks to the Roman Empire, was spread throughout the Mediterranean basin, and into Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The Alexandrian School reformulated the ageless wisdom into a synthesis that wove those wisdom teachings together, forming the Alchemical Qabalah.
This synthesis made the Qabalah of the West strong in its spiritual armory and rich in its mystical treasury. It has inherited many formulae and techniques that make it versatile and adaptable to most life situations and conditions. It is now studied and practiced all over the world. Its roots draw from the primordial past, but it has proven throughout history its adaptability and its power to give to successive generations first-hand knowledge of the levels of existence. The Qabalah is a tried and tested way by which dedicated men and women may grow into their full potential as consciously eternal and immortal beings. This Alchemical Qabalah has been inherited from past teachers and is now imparted again, so that its life-affirming teachings and transformative methods may continue to assist others upon the Path of Return.
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