Marsilio Ficino (October 19, 1433–October 1, 1499) was an influential Italian philosopher, Catholic priest, and astrologer. He helped revive Neoplatonism, was the first to translate Plato’s works into Latin, and was instrumental in helping to develop European philosophy. The Medici’s, the most powerful family of Florence Italy, were lifelong patrons of Marsilio Ficino, who tutored young members of the family.

In the second quote below, he speaks of Saturn and melancholy. Although we don’t have his full birth data to confirm, we believe he’s referring to the symbolism of a heavy natal Saturn in his astrological charts. Astrologically, Saturn frequently represents works of endurance (e.g., translating Plato’s works into Latin), anxiety, fear, and melancholy for those whose Saturn is dominant in the natal patterns.

Below we list some words of wisdom from Marsilio Ficino.

“The soul exists partly in eternity and partly in time.”

“Saturn seems to have impressed the seal of melancholy on me from the beginning.”

“Why do you seek treasure far away, when it is nearby, indeed within yourself?”

“Mortal men ask God for good things every day, but they never pray that they may make good use of them.”

“Labor so that you may be good and shine with beauty; suddenly all things are good and shining with beauty for you.”

“To an evil man, indeed, all things, even the good, are turned into evil. To a good man, however, all things, even those which seem very bad, are finally turned into good.”

“For God draws the desire of the mind to Himself by filling it with beauty, and by drawing desire to Himself he fulfills it.”

“Let us, I beg you, nourish and increase the spirit with spiritual food, so that it may at length become mighty and give small regard for physical things, as though they were worth very little.”

“Nothing is truly good or beautiful in the house of that man where all things seem good and beautiful before himself, that is before the soul.”

“The people who have discovered something important in any of the more noble arts have principally done so when they have abandoned the body and taken refuge in the citadel of the soul.”

“This century, like a golden age, has restored to light the liberal arts, which were almost extinct: grammar, poetry, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music ... this century appears to have perfected astrology.”

“In the truths of the many doctrines of the virtues, there is one supreme truth, and the invisible light of this truth is the supreme beauty of the soul. In this way we love the likeness of God in our souls.”

“If by nature the mind desires certain things, we should acquire them. And certainly, in acquiring them, the soul would at some time be fulfilled by them, either wholly or in greatest part. But the more we acquire mortal things from all sides, by so much the more is the appetite of the soul inflamed.”

“We may direct our soul's power of choice either downward, toward the body, or upward, and thereby rise into our Angelic Mind. If we direct it upward, then we escape from time and seek the Forms in their eternal, unchanging multiplicity (for they are distinct from one another, and therefore have number). In the Forms the mind comes to a state of rest, which is more perfect than motion, and achieves stability and tranquility. This is the full actuality of intelligence (which was partially potential in the lower stages), for all things will be understood from the perspective of eternity. The Forms are illuminated by the light of a single truth, which is refracted into different colors in the various Forms. This unitary wisdom is the beauty of the Angelic Mind, which is greater than the beauty of the soul. Thus we love the image of God in the Angelic Mind.”

“Among philosophers he first turned from physical and mathematical topics to contemplation of things divine, and he was the first to discuss with great wisdom the majesty of God, the order of demons, and the transformations of souls. Thus, he (Hermes Trismegistus) was called the first author of theology, and Orpheus followed him, taking second place in the ancient theology. After Aglaophemus, Pythagoras came next in theological succession, having been initiated into the rites of Orpheus, and he was followed by Philolaus, teacher of our divine Plato. In this way, from a wondrous line of six theologians emerged a single system of ancient theology, harmonious in every part.”

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