Friday, February 17, 2012

The Feast of St. Giordano Bruno

Bruno looking less stern than in his
famous bronze in Rome.
Today marks the feast of St. Giordano Bruno. Not an official feast, or official Saint in Catholo-Othrodox terms no, but a Saint to all of us Magic folk at least. Gordon wrote a wonderful bio of him here.

Bruno was, and I would say is, truly remarkable. A polymath whose potential was not plumbed due to his beliefs, and his unwillingness to compromise what he knew in his heart to be the truth. He was a true itinerant wizard. He advised kings and whose work was admired by a certain Pope.

He was the archetypal fallen priest who knew too much. Once upon a time I looked at his brazen attitude as a lack of wisdom. Now that I a bit older, and myself a bit wiser, I realize that it wasn't a lack of wisdom, but it was an overabundance of courage that lead him to the stake. A courage and integrity that would not allow him to double talk, back track, or censor himself. He is a martyr to free speech as much as he is to both science and Magic. How can we look at execution as a poor end to a man who no longer fears death?

Today is the commemoration of the day he was burned alive at Campo de Fiori, literally "The Place of Flowers" in Rome. His integrity was such, that even smoldering, when the inquisitors held the cross up for him to kiss as a last ditch effort to save his soul, he turned his face away. He knew the destination of his soul. He knew the path of his Star.  He died a death to the four elements, Fire separating, leaving his earthy ash, his caput mortum, to be scattered by the wind, and the rest being dumped into the Tiber, and sinking to mix with its own silty earth. The four elements of his body have gone, but the fifth remains filling the whole of space.

Today I honor him right after those who open the way. Today I honor him as spiritual ancestor, and one of the Mighty Dead, who perhaps though his body was reduced to ash, he did not go west to the underworld, but north to the halls of the Wise. I honor the four elements as keepers of his body, and the fifth as keeper of his presence. He was martyred by ignorance, but is eternally a champion of Truth and Wisdom As a Catholic convert to Paganism in a time when that was a death sentence, I honor him. As a Hermeticist, I especially honor him. As a lover of Justice, Liberty, Truth, and Wisdom I most especially honor him.

I would say that I hope he rests well, but I do not think he rests. I think he Works. May Giordano Bruno be given ten thousand barrels of wine. May Giordano Bruno be given the thousand plates of the finest food. May Griordano Bruno be given ten thousand goblets of purest water. May Giordano Bruno be given the tutelage of ten thousand Gods of Wisdom. May Giordano Bruno have Peace, Freedom, Happiness, Prosperity, and Pleasure. May his work be accomplished.

So Mote It Be.