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‘Jupiter Tames Saturn’: Astrology In Ficino’s Epistolae

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Chapter Summary

Ficino suggests that a current square aspect between Saturn and the Moon explains not only Orsini's apparent ancient and pagan times - just as he placed himself in the noble lineage of change of heart, but also his own ill health, which had prevented him visiting the Archbishop. Ficino perceived himself as continuing a lineage of astrologer-priests from the prisci theologi descending from Zoroaster, himself the mythical founder of astrology. Ficino's mind was the twin subjects of philosophical theology and astrology. Neoplatonic influence can also be seen in Ficino's use of synastry, or the comparison of horoscopes. Astrological determinism has no meaning for the man who turns within and takes command of his own inner universe. When writing to his close friends and intimates, Ficino uses astrological symbolism in a far lighter vein, as literary conceits or jests.

Keywords: astrology; Ficino; literary conceits; Neoplatonists; synastry



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