“Toward a Magical Enlightenment: Notes on Bruno’s Magic”
January 2, 2016
Vol. 2, No. 1 of Walking the Worlds: A Biannual Journal of Polytheism and Spiritwork is now available. This issue, with the theme of “Magic and Religion”, contains my article “Toward a Magical Enlightenment: Notes on Bruno’s Magic” (pp. 96-109). Here is the abstract:
This essay, which may be regarded as a companion to the general account of Bruno’s metaphysics presented in “Transformation and Individuation in Giordano Bruno’s Monadology” (SOCRATES 3.2, June 2015, pp. 57-70), discusses Bruno’s theory of magic primarily as presented in his essay De magia (1590), attempting to explicate it in light of the systematic tendencies in Bruno’s late thought, particularly his monadology and his enigmatic finitist mathematics, the mythopoetic presentation of which has vexed commentators. The fundamental role of bonding in Bruno’s theory of magic is seen to reflect the primary metaphysical significance of termini in his monadology, while the cosmological role of monads of diverse kinds as minima or measures of an otherwise infinite, acentric and hence incomprehensible universe corresponds to the role of the magical operator, who imparts form and value to the universe centered around her. Bruno’s monadology is also seen to guide his usage of the traditional term ‘spirit’ as an element essential to magic.