Liber Fausti

Hortus Deliciarum, 1180 CE

Hortus Deliciarum, or The Garden of Delights, was a 12th century instruction book for religious novices at the monastery of St. Odile, Alsace. Imagine a time without the constant flood of art and media we have today. The original was destroyed, but facsimiles remain such as the Hell scene below. I really like this artistic style because it has medieval line styles but more modern dimensions and colorization. It also has the benefit of 700 years’ less deterioration than the original work.




Detailed 14th Century Illumination of Dante

Priamo della Quercia (active 1426-1467) masterfully illuminated these miniature scenes of Inferno and Purgatorio only a century after Dante’s time. Together with illuminations by Giovanni di Paolo, this Yates-Thompson manuscript contains 110 miniatures in brilliant pinks, blues, greens and gold.






More found at the British Library

Night Sky / Astrological Ephemeris – April MMXVIII

The sky is currently transitioning into what is called “galaxy season”, and the planets are becoming visible again at night. Already, Venus is visible after sunset, looming low over the horizon. Before dawn Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are handsomely lined up in a row. Mars is slowly coming closer to Earth according to its two-year synodic cycle, reaching opposition in July. Until then it will become brighter and brighter each night. Mercury retrograde finally ends April 15th.

Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother

Roman statue of Isis, 2nd century

Hail Isis, representative of all motherhood, new life, and goddess of magic and wisdom!

Apuleius, Prayer to Isis, Metamorphoses,  lib XI cap XXV

O holy and blessed dame, the perpetual comfort of human kind, who by Thy bounty and grace nourishes all the world, and bearest a great affection to the adversitities of the miserable as a loving mother, Thou takest no rest night or day, neither art Thou idle at any time in giving benefits and succouring all men as well on land as sea; Thou art she that puttest away all all storms and dangers from men’s life by stretching forth Thy right hand, whereby likewise Thou dost unweave even the inextricable and tangled web of fate, and appeases the great tempests of fortune, and keepest back the harmful course of the stars. The gods supernal do honour Thee; the gods infernal have Thee in reverence; Thou dost make all the earth to turn, Thou givest light to the sun, Though governest the world, Thou treadest down the power of hell. By Thy mean the stars give answer, the seasons return, the gods rejoice, the elements serve: at Thy commandment the winds do blow, the clouds nourish the earth, the seeds prosper, and the fruits do grow. The birds of the air, the beasts of the hill, the serpents of the den, and the fishes of the sea do tremble at Thy majesty: by my spirit is not able to give Thee sufficient praise, my patrimony is unable to satisfy Thy sacrifices; my voice hath no power to utter that which I think of Thy majesty, no, not if I had a thousand mouths and so many tongues and were able to continue forever. Howbeit as a good religious person, and according to my poor estate, I will do what I may: I will always keep Thy divine appearance in remembrance, and close the imagination of Thy most holy godhead within my breast.

Tu quidem sancta et humani generis sospitatrix perpetua, semper fovendis mortalibus munifica, dulcem matris adfectationem miserorum casibus tribuis. Nec dies nec quies nulla ac ne momentum quidem tenue tuis transcurrit beneficiis otiosum, quin mari terraque protegas homines et depulsis vitae procellis salutarem porrigas dexteram, qua fatorum etiam inextricabiliter contorta retractas licia et Fortunae tempestates mitigas et stellarum noxios meatus cohibes. Te superi colunt, observant inferi, tu rotas orbem, luminas solem, regis mundum, calcas tartarum. Tibi respondent sidera, redeunt tempora, gaudent numina, serviunt elementa. Tuo nutu spirant flamina, nutriunt nubila, germinant semina, crescunt germina. Tuam maiestatem perhorrescunt aves caelo meantes, ferae montibus errantes, serpentes solo latentes, beluae ponto natantes. At ego referendis laudibus tuis exilis ingenio et adhibendis sacrificiis tenuis patrimonio; nec mihi vocis ubertas ad dicenda, quae de tua maiestate sentio, sufficit nec ora mille linguaeque totidem vel indefessi sermonis aeterna series. Ergo quod solum potest religiosus quidem, sed pauper alioquin, efficere curabo: divinos tuos vultus numenque sanctissimum intra pectoris mei secreta conditum perpetuo custodiens imaginabor.

Vernal Equinox, MMXVIII

Hail Ostara, eastward arising,
Laughing goddess, Lady of Light–
To dawn, dominion over darkness
Thy glory has granted, gone is the night!

Winter’s wrath by winds of warmth
The maiden’s might has melted here;
Everywhere green plants are growing,
Flowers flourish, she-beasts bear;

Let Thy light’s illumination
Banish sorrow, blessings bring,
Grant success, and a good season
To those who seek thee here this spring!

-Hail Ostara, Diana Paxson