Not for nothing is my darling Bruno in the header image for this website. He’s one of my all-time heroes.
The combination of a passionate, brilliant spiritual seeker and a boisterous, obstinate Italian is intoxicating and unrivalled.
Only a certain kind of person has to flee in the night when he finds out the Inquisition were after him for 130 (!) heretical charges. At age 28.
Other things he did in his lifetime that I adore him for:
- He was first accused of heresy by his fellow Dominican monks as a teenager.
- He taught magic to the king of France. Made him order the Picatrix from Spain and everything.
- He moved in the same British Hermetic circles as Dr Dee.
- He didn’t want to just ‘astrologize’ Christianity. He genuinely wanted to overthrow it and replace it with an Egyptian/Hermetic religion.
- He was possibly an anti-Catholic spy for Walsingham. (Only found that out on his wiki page today.)
- He was chased out of London by an angry mob.
- He competed for a job as math professor with Gallileo himself. (And didn’t get the job.)
When the Inquisition finally caught him and sentenced him to burn at the stake, you know what absolute rockstar thing Bruno said to them?
Perchance your fear in passing judgement on me is greater than mine in receiving it?
He got the stake not because of his Copernican views of the universe (which, incidentally, he saw as a talisman and proof that the macrocosm was governed by a central intelligence filtered through the planetary powers). No, it was because it took it way beyond Copernicus.
- He insisted that the sun was just a star.
- He insisted that the universe was infinite.
- He insisted that there were an infinite number of stars, each with their own solar system like ours.
- He insisted that it was all God.
So Bruno is, in my estimation, the patron saint of pantheism.
Cleopatra showed us how a queen dies, Bruno showed us how a sorcerer lives.
Here’s some of his writing that he published while in London. I prefer On Magic which is toward the end.