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Peterson, C. (1983). Moore, Thomas. The Planets Within: Marsilio Ficino's Astrological Psychology. London & Toronto, Associated University Presses, Inc., 1982. pp. 227. $26.50. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(4):391-392.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(4):391-392

Moore, Thomas. The Planets Within: Marsilio Ficino's Astrological Psychology. London & Toronto, Associated University Presses, Inc., 1982. pp. 227. $26.50

Review by:
Corinna Peterson

Edited by:
Corinna Peterson

We have an entire sky within us, wrote Marsilio Ficino to his pupil and patron, Lorenzo the Magnificent. The words evoke a deep fascination, as does Ficino's life-work, reflected in this exhilarating study, one of a series in Jungian thought edited by James Hillman. The author is a musicologist and professor of psychology and religion who obtained his doctorate at Syracuse University, having previously spent twelve years in a Roman Catholic monastic order. He is well equipped, therefore, to undertake with zest the exploration of the third volume in Ficino's Libri de Vita Tres, which is concerned primarily with the planets, and to give its strange imaginative insights a new relevance.

A notable Renaissance scholar, recognised chiefly for his translations of Plato and the Neo-Platonic philosophers, Ficino was provided by Cosimo dei Medici, Lorenzo's grandfather, with a villa outside Florence which became a flourishing centre for artists, philosophers and poets, as well as an important link between Platonic and occult studies (interest in the latter had been stimulated in Florence at this time by a visiting monk from Macedonia, who brought with him copies of nearly all the treaties from the Corpus Hermieticum). Ficino himself wished to be known as a ‘physician of the soul’. His ‘poetic theology’, as Pico della Mirandola called it, is seen by Professor Moore as sharing many affinities with the attitudes of certain thinkers, notably Jung and Hillman, who show, in the author's words, ‘a true concern for the integrity of images’.

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