Baphomet – The Goat of Mendes
The image of Baphomet was created in 1854 by occultist Eliphas Levi for his book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (“Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic”). It reflects several principles considered fundamental to occultists and was influenced by Hermeticism, Kabbalah, and alchemy, among other sources.
The Rosy Cross or Rose Cross
The Rose Cross is associated with several different schools of thought, including that of the Golden Dawn, Thelema, the OTO, and the Rosicrucians (also known as the Order of the Rose Cross). Each group offers somewhat different interpretations of the symbol. This should not be surprising as magical, occult, and esoteric symbols are frequently used to communicate ideas more complex than is possible to express in speech.
Israel Regardie describes this specific version of the Rose Cross in The Golden Dawn.
For the full article, please check out The Rose Cross.
The Tetragrammaton – The Unpronounceable Name of God
God is called by many names in Hebrew. The Tetragrammaton (Greek for “word of four letters”) is the one name that observant Jews will write down but will not pronounce, considering the word too holy for utterance.
Early Christian transliterators pronounced it as Jehovah from at least the 17th century. In the 19th century, the word was retransliterated into Yahweh. The confusion stems from Latin sources, in which the same letter represents both J and Y, and another single letter represents both V and W.
Hebrew is read from right to left. The letters making up the tetragrammaton are (from right to left) Yod, He, Vau, and He. In English, it is commonly written out as YHWH or JHVH.
Occultists based in Judeo-Christian mythology consider the Hebrew names of God (such as Adonai and Elohim) to hold power, and none is more powerful than the tetragrammaton. In occult illustrations, God is most commonly represented by the tetragrammaton.
Cosmology of Robert Fludd – The Soul of the World
Robert Fludd's illustrations are some of the most famous occult images from the Renaissance. His diagrams frequently attempted to communicate the relationship between levels of existence and the universe's composition through the proportions of spirit and matter.
For a full description and explanation of this image, please read Robert Fludd's Illustration of The Universe and the Soul of The World.
Robert Fludd's Union of Spirit and Matter
Creation, for renaissance occultist Robert Fludd, springs from the union of two opposite forces: the creative power of God impressing itself upon a receptive anti-substance he called the Hyle.
One might suggest that it is a part of God, the dark void existing in opposition to the creative power more commonly associated with God. Note that the Hyle is in no way evil. It is, in fact, the essence of not being anything: it is infinite non-existence. Neither half subsumes the other, as is indicated by the fact that while the Hyle circle and the triangle of God intersect, both also exist outside the boundaries of the other.
The intersection of Hyle and God
Within this intersection are the three realms of renaissance cosmology: physical, celestial, and spiritual. While they are more commonly depicted as concentric rings, with the superior spiritual realm being the outermost and the inferior physical realm being the innermost, here they are depicted equally. This should not be taken that Fludd has changed his mind but rather the limitations of symbology. He needs to lay them out in this manner in order to display their associations with the tetragrammaton.
The unpronounceable name of God, known as the tetragrammaton, is comprised of four letters: yod, he, vau, and he. Fludd associates each of these letters to one of the realms, with the repeated “he” letter being set in the middle, outside of any of the three realms yet at the center of God.
Robert Fludd's Macrocosm and Microcosm
Read more: Robert Fludd's Macrocosm and Microcosm
Robert Fludd's Created Universe as Reflection of God
Renaissance occultists often offer apparently contradictory views on the created universe. There is a common sense of a struggle between spirit and matter, where material things are imperfect and contrary to spiritual things, as per contemporary Christian teachings. Illustrator and occultist Robert Fludd often espouse this view. However, there is also a common school of thought extolling the creations of God, and this is the issue Fludd addresses in this particular diagram.
Symbols of God
The second is the use of the triangle. Because Christianity envisions God as a tripartite being of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost united within a single godhead, the triangle is commonly used as a symbol for God.
The upper triangle, with the tetragrammaton centered within it, is therefore the totality of God.
The Created Universe
The lower triangle has three concentric circles within it, with its center being a solid mass. The solid mass is actual physical reality as we commonly experience it, the most material portion of creation. The circles represent the three realms: Physical, Celestial, and Angelic (labeled here as the Elemental, Aether, and Empyrean).
Read more: Occult Cosmology in The Renaissance: The Three Realms
Robert Fludd's Spiral Cosmology – Intermediary Steps Between Matter and Spirit
Neoplatonic philosophy holds that there is a single ultimate source from which all things descend. Each stage of descent from the ultimate source contains less of the original perfection. The result is a series of graduated layers, each one more perfect than the one below and less perfect than the one above.
God: The Ultimate Source
Read more: Occult Cosmology in The Renaissance: The Three Realms
Creation Model Versus Literal Composition of the Heavens
Read more: Fludd's Model of the Cosmos
Sigillum Dei Aemaeth
The Sigillum Dei Aemeth, or Seal of the Truth of God, is most widely known through the writings and artifacts of John Dee, a 16th-century occultist, and astrologer in the court of Elizabeth I. While the sigil does appear in older texts with which Dee was probably familiar, he was not happy with them and ultimately gained guidance from angels to construct his version.
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Sigillum Dei Aemeth
Tree of Life
The Tree of Life, called the Etz Chaim in Hebrew, is a common visual depiction of the ten sephirot of Kabbalah. Each sephirot represents an attribute of God through which he manifests his will.
The Tree of Life does not represent a single, cleanly definable system. It can be applied to the formation and existence of both the physical world and metaphysical worlds, as well as to one's own soul, state of being, or understanding. In addition, different schools of thought such as Kabbalistic Judaism and modern Western occultism, also offer different interpretations.
Read more: Robert Fludd's Spiral Cosmology – Intermediary Steps Between Matter and Spirit, for another occult model of the unfolding of God's will into physical creation.
The next three sephirot (Hesed, Gevurah, Tiferet) are the primary emotions. They are the spark of action and are goals until themselves.
The final three (Netzah, Hod, Yesod) are secondary emotions. They have a more tangible manifestation and are means to other ends rather than being the ends themselves.
Malkuth stands alone, the physical manifestation of the other nine sephirot.
Read more: Meanings of Each of the Sephirot
This symbol was created by John Dee and described in the Monas Hieroglyphica, or Hieroglyphic Monad, in 1564. The symbol is intended to represent the reality of the monad, a singular entity from which all material things are said to derive.
The image here includes graph lines to illustrate the specific proportions described by Dee in his writings.
Summary of the Hieroglyphic Monad
The symbol is constructed from four distinct symbols: the astrological signs for the moon and the sun, the cross, and the zodiac sign of Aries the ram, represented by the two semi-circles at the bottom of the glyph.
For the full article, please check out John Dee's Hieroglyphic Monad.