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Re: VMs: Demons, Daimones, Daemones...

Hi Pamela,

At 16:13 21/09/2004 -0700, Pamela Richards wrote:
Yes, in traditional astrology, the daemon is the
"spirit" or "angel" to whom we are bound.  We are said
to have a "good" one, the "Agathos daemon", which we
find on the cusp of the eleventh house, and an "evil"
one, "Cacodaemon", (really!) for "Dogma" fans, found
on the cusp of the twelfth or sixth.  When Ficino
speaks of the spirit of a star being bound to a human
being, he uses the term daemon, which may be loosely
translated "guiding spirit".  Guiding for good for for
bad, either way, the spirit is thought to guide us to
live out our fate.  The good one could be thought of
as a "guardian angel".  See also Arippa, below.

I suppose I'm developing a quite different appreciation of the roots of Quattrocento humanism from the picture painted by most books. It was less a time of appreciating the classics than appropriating them - of myth-making rather than demystification. Think postmodernism rather than logical positivism (if you want to think about either much). :-

Agrippa and Ficino both operated within that humanist research programme: and as such, played fast and loose with their sources, in their attempts to construct (as had Alberti) fake modernist structural takes on politically-charged issues of the moment. That is, they constructed mythological frameworks, rather than reported them - humanism's central myth is its own internal decorum and responsibility to its sources, whereas in fact it had little or none of either.

I don't know of any evidence of any prior text linking named fixed stars to named d[a]emons: daemons, as Apuleius described, were typically thought to occupy the sub-lunary space, well below the stars. I suppose all I'm saying is beware of relying on authors like Ficino and Agrippa, whose approach involved a large degree of myth-making - a careful analysis of the intellectual history supporting their frameworks would be required, and I'm not sure any books currently do that (but please tell me if I'm wrong on that count).

BTW, did you mean that the agathos daemon is on the cusp of the tenth and eleventh house?

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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