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Spiritual & Demonic Magic – from Ficino to Campanella * Daniel Pickering Walker (1958 * isbn 0750923725)

A title from 1958 fortunately not let run out of print. D.P. Walker was member of the same Warburg Institute as our beloved Frances Yates of who I reviewed various titles. Yates often drew on this book by Walker, but I never really came to read it. I rapidly paged through an old print in the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam when looking for info about Francesco Giorgi and later saw that a recent printing (2000) is available from Amazon, so I decided to get it and read it after all. Now I seriously need to look at my article about Renaissance occultism again since Walker has much more and often better info than any book that I used for this article thusfar!

Walker was a music-historian (as Yates was an art-historian) and got interested in the music magic of Marsilio Ficino. This is the basis of this book about Renaissance magic about which you can read in the mentioned article. What Yates calls “natural magic”, Walker calls “spiritual” magic, because -as he explains- spiritual magic doesn’t want to reach beyond the spirit, the ‘middle soul’. All in all a very interesting work about various Renaissance figures all traced back to the magic of Ficino. Walker also proves less historical and more focused on the actual ideas and systems themselves than Yates in most of her works!

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