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Hellenistic Sources of Hermetic Philosophy

Discussing the input from Greek teachings – especially Pythagorean – on sacred geometry, hermeneutics and gematria.

Lecture 3 in the Western Hermeticism series. All the lectures in this series stand alone, and may fruitfully be attended without having attended any of the preceding evenings.

Many students of magic associate the technique of gematria and the spiritual/numerical exegesis of scriptures exclusively with the Judaism and the medieval formulation of Kabbalah. There was, however, an input from Greek teachings – especially Pythagorean – on sacred geometry, exegesis and numerology. The Greek teachings came together with hermetic philosophy and astrology in Alexandrian culture at the dawn of the Christian era, and this older layer had an ongoing influence in Western hermeticism. James North will look at these late ancient strands in turn. Finally, he will look at how modern pioneers of sacred geometry, such as William Stirling and Frederick Bligh Bond, attempted to prove the existence of an ancient, sacred architecture in the West.

James North studied the history of philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Warburg ‎Institute. His interests include renaissance hermeticism, Elizabethan literature and cryptography. ‎He is editor of the Francis Bacon Society’s website, and its journal Baconiana. He is currently an ‎intelligence analyst, and his previous career involved music and theatre in odd combinations.


James North | talks


Date and Time:

13 February 2008 at 7:15 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



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