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Re: VMs: Demons, Daimones, Daemones...
The agathos daemon is a teaching of Plato. The
Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth, from the Nag
Hammadi Library, dated to the fourth century AD, also
discusses the belief that the stars produce spirits
which inhabit and accompany humans in this life. In
fact, the belief in spirits of stars guiding humans
predates Plato and can be found as early as Persian
I smiled when I read your post. I have been
presenting materials derived from source documents.
With more research, I can go older and older. How old
do my sources need to be to satisfy you? My point has
been that we all would benefit from reading actual
source documents on these matters, but this is not
your approach. You prefer to read what more modern
authors think of their predecessors. I observe a
certain irony in you warning me to avoid "modernized"
versions of ancient beliefs.
Many such Renaissance beliefs hark back to
hermeticism. Hermeticism relies in a large part on
gnosticism. Gnosticism. . . back to Plato, and before
that to Hermes Trismigestus (assumed to be) in Egypt
and before that to Abraxas and the Persians. The
message has not been identical over time, but the
threads are nevertheless interwoven. All of these
cultures practiced and valued astrology, in part
because of their faith in the star spirits (daemonae)
guiding humankind. To oversimpllify, if we can
predict the doings of the stars through astrology, and
human beings are bound to the stars, then we can
predict the behavior of human beings.
So how far back would you like to go? Smile.
The agathos daemon is on the cusp of the eleventh
house, not the tenth. The cusp of the eleventh is
known since antiquity as the place of the "good
daemon". The tenth is the place of an earthly
authority or ruler, among other things.
--- Nick Pelling <nickpelling@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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
> >to have a "good" one, the "Agathos daemon", which
> >find on the cusp of the eleventh house, and an
> >one, "Cacodaemon", (really!) for "Dogma" fans,
> >on the cusp of the twelfth or sixth. When Ficino
> >speaks of the spirit of a star being bound to a
> >being, he uses the term daemon, which may be
> >translated "guiding spirit". Guiding for good for
> >bad, either way, the spirit is thought to guide us
> >live out our fate. The good one could be thought
> >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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"I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing, than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."
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