Marsilio Ficino’s Book of Life

Sunday the 17th February I will be running the popular annual workshop “The Sky Within” in the Sanctuary, a mindfulness and meditation centre in Stanhope Street, Dublin 7.

It is a full day painting workshop during which we will be exploring images of Art and Spirit.

Personal paintings and images are like maps that reveal our inner landscapes, our boundaries and sacred sites. In them we carry not just our history but also the spirituality of who we are.

During this programme we will be working on personal imagery, the sacred and secular artworks of different cultures and the importance of the imagination according to the ideas of the Renaissance Florentine’s scholar Marsilio Ficino.

Ficino believed that we should all, in our lifetime, paint a map, a personal one, of our universe. At such he gave very specific directions of how it should be done, what images and colours to use and where to place it once completed.

In his book “The Book of Life” he also takes us trough each of the known planets (of that time) and gives advices on how to live a balanced and fulfilled ife.

“We have an entire sky within us, our fiery strength and heavenly origins: Luna which symbolizes the continuous motion of soul and body, Mars speed and Saturn slowness, the Sun God, Jupiter law, Mercury reason, and Venus Humanity”.

– Marsilio Ficino, letter to Lorenzo The Magnificent.

Below are some beautiful images from Splendor Solis, Alchemical Treatises of Solomon Trismosis, 1532-1535.

Black Sun

Black Sun

Mercury – The White Queen

Mercury – The White Queen

Picture 15


Venus – The Peacock’s Tail

Sun – The Three Headed Dragon

Sun – The Three Headed Dragon